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NEWS
September 10, 2014 | By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments Tuesday in a charter school case that has raised grave concerns among Philadelphia School District officials. The dispute, which is being watched closely by the charter community and others, centers on the powers that the School Reform Commission has to manage charter school growth in the financially distressed district. The West Philadelphia Achievement Charter Elementary School contends that the SRC illegally suspended parts of the state School Code to cap charter school enrollment and then threatened to close schools that did not sign agreements with enrollment maximums.
NEWS
September 6, 2014 | By Jeff Gammage, Inquirer Staff Writer
One trait that stood out about F. Emmett Fitzpatrick Jr., colleagues said, was his spellbinding eloquence. Never was it more on display than in spring 1976, when the then-district attorney personally prosecuted one of the highest-profile murder cases in Philadelphia history, the lurid beating and stabbing of newspaper heir John Knight. "Salvatore Soli," Fitzpatrick told the court, standing near the defendant, "was the captain of the team. He was the quarterback, the man who made each and every decision, the leader of a band of Vikings wreaking terror all over Rittenhouse Square.
NEWS
September 2, 2014 | By Carolyn Davis, Inquirer Staff Writer
Erving Hurst looked at the giant chess pieces in front of him at the Spruce Street Harbor Park in Philadelphia and waited. His opponent, Steve Hahn, made his move. "My queen just took your queen," Hahn said. Hurst didn't hesitate. He moved one of his pawns to the last row of Hahn's half of the makeshift board so he could put his queen back in the game. "Now you're just being mean," said Hahn, 34, of Glenside. Hurst just smiled. Why not? A few minutes later, he won the match.
NEWS
August 31, 2014 | By Andrew Seidman, Inquirer Trenton Bureau
Some of New Jersey's top Democrats said Friday that organized labor is under assault across the country, even as the movement has gained considerable clout in Trenton. "We're under attack, and this country has gone backward as we've seen labor go backward," State Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D., Gloucester) said in a speech at an annual AFL-CIO gathering in Collingswood in advance of Labor Day. To help reverse the trend, he said, New Jersey needs to send State Sen. Donald Norcross to Congress and reelect U.S. Sen. Cory A. Booker.
NEWS
August 26, 2014 | BY SHIRA GOODMAN & NICHOLAS RAMSEY
ON AUG. 1, just before 10 p.m. on Etting Street near Dickinson, in Grays Ferry, neighbors filled the street enjoying the mild summer evening. Three-year-old Tynirah Borum sat on a porch getting her hair braided. Two young men from the neighborhood arrived on a bicycle, began arguing and with complete disregard for life, fired off several rounds from a handgun. Tragically, they shot four people, one of whom was Tynirah. Shot through the left side of her chest, she died not long after.
NEWS
August 23, 2014 | By Allison Steele, Inquirer Staff Writer
Lap dances in Philadelphia will stay tax-free - for now, at least. After an attempt to start collecting amusement-tax revenue from the dances was slapped down by a court earlier this year, the city will not pursue an appeal, officials said Thursday. George Bochetto, an attorney representing Cheerleaders and Club Risque, two of the three strip clubs targeted by the city for unpaid taxes last year, said the money sought by the city - hundreds of thousands of dollars - was enough to put some of the clubs out of business.
NEWS
August 22, 2014 | By Chris Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia's 95-year ban on political contributions by police officers has been overturned by a federal appeals court, which found that the prohibition violated the officers' First Amendment rights. The ruling Monday by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit came in response to an appeal by the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5, which argued that the ban emasculated the union politically by greatly reducing the funds available to its political action committee, known as COPPAC.
NEWS
August 22, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
T HE JUDGE who put Philadelphia-born rapper Meek Mill in jail for probation violations overstepped her authority by trying to transform him in "Pygmalion-like fashion," his attorneys said in an appeal filed with the state Supreme Court. The appeal followed a hearing Monday during which Common Pleas Judge Genece Brinkley denied Mill's request to be released early from jail, where he has been serving a three-to-six-month sentence since July 11. In support of their claim that Brinkley had gone too far, attorneys for the rapper born Robert Williams noted that during an off-the-record discussion, the judge complained that she did not approve of the haircut or clothing Mill had worn on the "Conan O'Brien Show.
BUSINESS
August 21, 2014 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that homeowners' warranties against defects apply only to a property's first buyer, and cannot be passed along in subsequent sales. The unanimous decision, reversing a Pennsylvania Superior Court decision, said homeowners' warranties are based on the contractual relationship between a builder of a new home and its purchasers. There is no such relationship between the developer and subsequent purchasers, the court said in an opinion written by Justice Seamus P. McCaffery.
NEWS
August 15, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
One of two men charged in the July 25 carjacking and crash that killed a North Philadelphia mother and three of her children broke his silence in court Wednesday and pleaded for forgiveness. "I want to ask for forgiveness from the family," Jonathan Rosa blurted out at the end of his brief appearance before Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge Teresa Carr Deni. Rosa, 19, had just waived his right to a preliminary hearing and Deni then asked the routine, almost rhetorical question: "Is there anything else?"
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