March 17, 2014 |
SAYING THAT the punishment should fit the criminal - not the crime - a Philadelphia judge yesterday affirmed the relatively short prison sentences he gave a faith-healing couple who have been convicted in the deaths of two children. In rejecting a motion from the district attorney to more than double the sentences of Herbert and Catherine Schaible, Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner said they do not fit the mode of those who are usually convicted of abusing or killing children. "These are not uncaring, unloving parents," said Lerner, who last month sentenced the couple to 3 1/2 to 7 years in state prison and 30 months of reporting probation for the third-degree murder of their son Brandon, who was nearly 8 months old. Assistant District Attorney Joanne Pescatore had argued for the sentences to be increased to 8 to 16 years.
February 21, 2014 |
SAYING THAT IT was they who killed their son and not God or religious devotion, a judge yesterday sentenced a Rhawnhurst couple to 3 1/2 to 7 years in state prison for praying for their pneumonia-stricken baby instead of following a court order to take him to a doctor. Herbert and Catherine Schaible each apologized for the April death of 7-month-old Brandon and said despite their religious beliefs in prayer over medicine, they would take their surviving children to doctors in the future.
January 31, 2014 |
MAUREEN DALY, a SEPTA passenger-services representative, put it best: This is a Philadelphia story, a little tale to help restore our sometimes shaky faith in our fellow Philadelphian. So here it goes: The snow was coming down hard by the time Kit Thomas got to 30th Street Station late on Jan. 2 for his annual visit to Philly from Hawaii. Outside, a friend who was also from the islands, picked him up and asked him to drive. Before they drove off, Thomas got out of the car to wipe the ice from the windshield wipers and then the two friends white-knuckled it to a relative's house in Haverford.
January 9, 2014
TWO PROMINENT Italians have recently weighed in on Wall Street excess. One is Martin Scorsese, whose "Wolf of Wall Street" is the debauched bio of a crooked and high-living broker. The movie's a hit with critics, and traders have been howling in approval at Manhattan screenings. These same Wall Streeters have been less receptive to criticism offered by another Italian (by profession, if not birth): Pope Francis. His "Evangeli Gaudium" denounced "the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation," and questioned the efficacy of trickle-down economic theories.
December 28, 2013 |
Pennsylvania legislators are evidently pleased by the work of the state's Gaming Control Board, judging by the additional responsibilities the lawmakers are giving the gambling regulators. First, the tavern-gambling law approved by Gov. Corbett last month put the gaming board's Bureau of Investigations and Enforcement in charge of background checks on bar owners who apply for a "small games" license. Legislative leaders also introduced a bill last month to consolidate regulation of horse and harness racing under the seven-member gaming board.
December 26, 2013
Christmas in America has become a commercial holiday, with an emphasis on gift-giving and the shopping required to dole out and accumulate presents. But even as some ignore or obscure what makes this time of year special, it becomes more apparent to those who believe. Christmas is about believing, though it's certainly up to the individual to choose his or her beliefs. Small children believe in Santa Claus, placing their faith in the jolly old elf's ability to find their homes, be they ever so humble, and leave toys that let them lose themselves in play.
December 1, 2013 |
An old country song laments the fact that "my hot tamale has gone chili on me. " It could have been a song about minivans. By the dawn of this century, minivans were selling at a million-a-year clip. Since then, their sales have been halved. The crossover SUV did to them what they had done to Ozzie and Harriet's station wagon. The decline in minivan market share is a reminder of the power of self-image in the auto arena. While it may be roomier and more useful than your typical crossover, a lot of men see the minivan as less macho.
November 28, 2013 |
The pastor's faith had taken a hit. The man entrusted with the spiritual life of hundreds had lost a teenage daughter to cancer. So Jim Laverty, 48, an associate pastor at Souderton Mennonite Church, leaned on the people he shared so much with - his football buddies. They sent him texts of support. They listened when Laverty shared his grief and disappointment. And it all started with football. On the eve of the biggest pigskin binge day of the year, the Men's Monday Night Football Fellowship at the 700-member Souderton Mennonite Church is about more than touchdowns and Eagles pride.
November 19, 2013 |
We have arrived at the Eagles' bye week, and they have just said hello to first place in the NFC East. Maybe Nostradamus, in the midst of predicting all that war and famine, saw this coming in the 16th century, but the most believable football forecast around here three weeks ago was for an occluded front bringing in another season of gloom and doom, with the arrival of a new quarterback expected in the spring. Chip Kelly and his players swear they had a different view of the Eagles' weather map after two straight NFC East home losses last month in which they did not score an offensive touchdown.