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NEWS
October 13, 2014 | BY WILLIAM BENDER, Daily News Staff Writer benderw@phillynews.com, 215-854-5255
JOEY MERLINO is crossing Market Street wearing a pair of oversized aviator sunglasses on an overcast day. Dark suit, dark tan. A copious amount of gel keeps his slicked-back hair locked in place, but the orange-and-blue floral tie keeps you guessing. You don't know whether he's going to shake your hand, punch you in the mouth or buy your family a Thanksgiving turkey. The 30-something gangster they used to call "Skinny Joey" on Passyunk Avenue in the 1990s is now a muscular 52-year-old who actually looks like the ruthless mob boss that prosecutors have described in past indictments.
NEWS
October 12, 2014 | By Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writer
The leader of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers said Friday that he expected the union's lawyer to go to court next week to fight the School Reform Commission's decision to cancel the union's contract. At a news conference, PFT president Jerry Jordan was joined by Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, who came to the city to blast the SRC's action. Weingarten called the SRC's move "reckless, illegal, and immoral. " The union leaders were backed by a large contingent of city and state political leaders showing their support for the union's 15,000 teachers, counselors, nurses, and secretaries.
NEWS
October 12, 2014 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Former mob boss Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino cut a colorful figure Friday as he swaggered into a federal courtroom in Philadelphia for his first appearance before a judge here in more than a decade. Dressed in a floral tie, designer shades, and a dapper suit, he needled the FBI agents who have tracked him for years and joked with court onlookers. "Can't wait to go to the parade," he quipped to news cameras on his way to court. Though Merlino says he has sworn off mob life since moving to Florida, for a few fleeting moments it was almost as if the mouthy, media-friendly former head of the city's crime family had never left.
NEWS
October 8, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writerdeanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
The lawyer representing the building contractor charged with causing the 22nd and Market streets building collapse that killed six people last year is facing his own legal battle. The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office has asked a judge to hold William Hobson in contempt of court for talking to reporters about the case after the judge issued a gag order barring such communication. "On Oct. 2, 2014, the webpage for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News posted a story by reporters Sam Wood and Brian X. McCrone which attributes quotations and case details to Mr. William Hobson, attorney for Griffin T. Campbell," read the motion filed Oct. 2 by Assistant District Attorney Edward Cameron.
NEWS
October 8, 2014 | By Michaelle Bond and Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writers
Gay-rights advocates in Pennsylvania and throughout the country say they are encouraged by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision Monday not to take on five pending same-sex marriage appeals. The denial effectively legalized same-sex marriage in five states - Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin - and cleared the way for legalization in six others. Some advocates in the Philadelphia area viewed the court's action as a sign that nationwide legalization is just a matter of time.
SPORTS
October 5, 2014 | By John N. Mitchell, Inquirer Staff Writer
The time is now for Jaylen Bond, and Bond couldn't be any happier. After sitting out last season after transferring from Texas, the 6-7, 225-junior from Plymouth Whitemarsh is finally ready to play for the Temple. "I can't wait and I'm really looking forward to it," Bond said on Friday, following the Owls' first official practice at McGonigle Hall. "I feel like I've become an all-around better player. I learned a lot while watching and now I just want to play. " Bond will get that opportunity at last when the Owls open the 2014-15 season on Nov. 14 at home against American.
NEWS
October 3, 2014 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ordered Commonwealth Court to reconsider a decision that denied the authority of the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations over SEPTA. SEPTA had argued that it was a state agency and therefore not subject to the jurisdiction of the commission or the provisions of the Philadelphia Fair Practices Ordinance. The court battle grew out of seven discrimination complaints filed against SEPTA by customers and employees between 2007 and 2009. Previously, SEPTA complied with rulings by the commission, its executive director, Rue Landau, said Wednesday.
NEWS
October 2, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
THE THREE BUCKS County residents arrested last month for allegedly attacking two gay men in Center City will have a joint preliminary hearing on Dec. 16, a judge ruled yesterday. Following that hearing, a judge will determine whether there is enough evidence to warrant a trial. The defendants - Kathryn Knott, 24; Philip Williams, 24; and Kevin Harrigan, 26 - were excused from having to appear at the status hearing under an agreement with the District Attorney's Office. But attorneys for Knott, of Southampton, and Harrigan, of Warrington, said their clients are not gay-bashers.
NEWS
October 1, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writerdeanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
The three Bucks County residents arrested earlier this month for allegedly attacking two gay men in Center City will have a joint preliminary hearing on Dec. 16, a judge ruled Tuesday. Following that hearing, a judge will determine if there is enough evidence to warrant a trial. The defendants - Kathryn Knott, 24, Philip Williams, 24, and Kevin Harrigan, 26 - were excused from having to appear at the status hearing by agreement with the District Attorney's Office. But attorneys for Knott, of Southampton, and Harrigan, of Warrington, said their clients are not gay-bashers.
BUSINESS
September 27, 2014 | By Erin Arvedlund, Inquirer Staff Writer
A multiyear legal battle over development of a 210-acre parcel in Newtown Square, Delaware County, concluded this week as the state Supreme Court ruled that the ambitious project can move forward. BPG Development received approval from Newtown Township in 2008 for Ellis Preserve Town Square - 465,000 square feet of retail space, offices, housing, a hotel, and a community park at Routes 3 and 252. But Claude de Botton, another local property owner and developer, filed suit against BPG Development and the township, claiming plans were not specific enough and were out of step with the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.
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