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August 17, 2016 | By Mensah M. Dean, Staff Writer
The Philadelphia School Reform Commission's nearly two-year battle to cancel the city teachers' union contract and impose new work rules to save money was soundly defeated again Monday. The state Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision last January that blocked the five-member commission from forcing terms on the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. Union leaders called the ruling a rebuke of a power grab, and a spokesman for the commission and Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. said no further legal action would be taken.
NEWS
August 14, 2016 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Staff Writer
Joe McGinniss Jr. tells intense, rapid-fire stories about an America that seems permanently down on its luck. The novelist, who grew up in Swarthmore, made his literary debut with 2008's The Delivery Man , about a trio of young Las Vegas natives who get sucked into criminality. Its searing portrait of a lost generation earned it comparisons to Bret Easton Ellis' Less Than Zero . McGinniss' sophomore effort, Carousel Court , is about the toll the foreclosure crisis takes on a young Southern California couple.
NEWS
August 13, 2016 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Staff Writer
With the world watching four years ago, Jerry Sandusky kept silent, opting not to testify in his defense before a jury that labeled him a serial sexual predator. He is to return to the same Centre County, Pa., courtroom Friday in a bid to overturn that conviction. But this time, the former coach has vowed to take the witness stand - and force his victims, prosecutors, and defense lawyers to do the same. Sandusky's lawyer says their testimony will expose the case as a "modern-day Salem witch trial" that he says led to the conviction of an innocent man. The arguments aren't novel, and the odds of success are long.
NEWS
August 12, 2016 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Staff Writer
Seven months after Pennsylvania officials settled an ACLU lawsuit over treatment delays for mentally ill people awaiting trial, the Philadelphia courts have moved a first handful of defendants from prison to medical care. Seven people in the custody of the Philadelphia prisons were ordered transferred Wednesday to one of three new mental health facilities in the city, according to Gregg Blender, a lawyer in the mental health unit of the Defender Association of Philadelphia. Blender said all seven were nonviolent offenders recommended by the state Department of Human Services to city prosecutors as candidates for release into treatment.
BUSINESS
August 11, 2016 | By Chris Mondics, Staff Writer
Sports-betting fans in New Jersey may finally have run out of luck. A federal appeals court on Tuesday rejected the state's attempt to legalize sports betting for the third time in three years. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, ruling in Philadelphia, said that the state's initiative to legalize sports betting at casinos and race tracks - an effort to revitalize the faltering casino industry - breached the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA)
NEWS
August 7, 2016 | By Laura McCrystal, Staff Writer
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has rejected Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane's last-minute bid to delay her perjury trial. The decision, delivered in a one-line order Friday, means that jury selection is expected to begin Monday in Norristown. Kane, 50, is charged with perjury, obstruction, official oppression, and other crimes. She has pleaded not guilty. This week she filed an emergency petition to the Supreme Court , requesting that the charges against her be dropped.
NEWS
August 4, 2016 | By Mike Newall, Columnist
On a makeshift court in Center City, Ruby Johnston is known for her lanky grace, a signature shot none of her friends can quite seem to replicate - the famous and feared "Spicy Mama" - and her campaign to build more places for city kids to play this game she loves: the sweet schoolyard game of wallball, of course. "The Ruby Style," she said Tuesday as she showed off a shot so hot it needs a name. She swung her arm so low that her knuckles nearly nicked the pavement, and smacked a Spalding High-Bounce ball off the side of a Locust Street apartment building.
NEWS
August 3, 2016
ISSUE | SUPREME COURT Conduct hearings Senate Republicans have refused to consider the nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to replace deceased Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia until the next president takes office ("Phila. lawyer urges hearings," Sunday). The Constitution is clear about how appointments must be made, and the rules have been followed for more than 200 years. Former federal judge Tim Lewis said he put his ideological differences aside and testified on behalf of conservative Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. because he was a "good person and a fine judge" and "it was the right thing to do. " That's what is missing in the U.S. government today: the selfless act of doing the right thing for the good of the people.
NEWS
August 3, 2016 | By Laura McCrystal, Staff Writer
A week before Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane is set to face criminal trial, her lawyers filed an emergency petition with the state Supreme Court on Monday asking that the charges against her be dismissed. The so-called King's Bench motion marked a last-minute attempt to avoid or delay trial for Kane. Jury selection is to begin Monday in Norristown. King's Bench actions, named for the high court in English common law, may be filed only in matters of immediate public importance.
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