April 23, 2014 |
As 14-year-old Nathaniel Wells recalled, "We started busting on them. " It was Wells and two teen boys on one side of 19th Street in South Philadelphia and two teenage girls on the other, taunting each other about looks and clothes. It was harmless until it wasn't, when 14-year-old Azim Chaplin looked up and said: "I'm stabbed. " "I lifted up his shirt and just saw blood," Wells said. Wells' testimony on Tuesday persuaded a Municipal Court judge to order 15-year-old Amber Hellesten to stand trial on a charge of third-degree murder in the Feb. 11 stabbing that killed Chaplin in a confrontation in the 2100 block of Watkins Street.
April 22, 2014 |
BILL McMONAGLE went to work every morning wearing a bulletproof vest. He needed it because part of his job was to go after deadbeat dads, who frequently weren't happy about having to fork over support payments to women they no longer loved. Bill was shot at, hit over the head with a banister post, and, of course, regularly threatened and raked by verbal abuse. It was part of the job. Bill McMonagle was head of the Philadelphia Family Court bench-warrant unit. He not only tracked down deadbeat dads, but he also found children who had been kidnapped by irate parents, usually fathers.
April 11, 2014 |
At less than 5 feet tall, Zaria Estes could have been mistaken for a middle-school student in court Thursday. She seemed unsure about the meaning of the word "waive" - as in waiving one's right to a preliminary hearing. But Estes, 15, who was arrested along with two of her friends last month, is the one accused of using a brick to attack a female Temple University student who was walking with her boyfriend on Norris Street near 17th, the District Attorney's Office said. During the March 21 attack, the Temple student was battered with the brick numerous times, causing extensive damage to her face and mouth, authorities said.
March 27, 2014 |
WHEN THEY MET in 2010, she was 14 and he, a silver-haired 72-year-old, was old enough to be her grandfather. They met at Courtesy Stables in Andorra. She rode horses. Walter Sasse, a retired Philadelphia cop who spent 18 years on horseback in the elite Mounted Patrol, supervised the barn. At first, everything was ordinary, she said. But friendly hugs and kisses soon turned into romantic kissing and fondling. That escalated into a 2 1/2-year relationship that included frequent oral sex and masturbation until she ended things in December, she said.
March 20, 2014 |
In a sweeping $500 million-plus project aimed at finally upgrading Philadelphia's worn downtown retail district and spreading Center City's apartment revival east of Broad Street, a development group says it plans to demolish a modest block of stores on Market Street between 11th and 12th - and eventually level or renovate the rest of the block down to Chestnut Street - in favor of a new retail/residential complex. Developers of the complex, to be called East Market, are two Philadelphia concerns, backed by Washington and New York firms.
March 3, 2014 |
Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ron Castille had no trouble coming up with a million dollars to pay Jeff Rotwitt's law firm a finder's fee for identifying the site of Philadelphia's new Family Court. And when details emerged about Rotwitt's money-grab with the project's developer, it was no stretch for Castille to locate another million to sever the deal. Nor did he stint when he hired a friend to investigate the mess, paying $1 million for fact-finding that was never made public. Yet somehow Castille can't scrounge together a modest $500,000 to purchase art for the new Family Court at 15th and Arch, the most visible and important government project built in Philadelphia in two decades.
March 1, 2014 |
The city's court system has taken steps to help Philadelphia's growing immigrant communities navigate their way around the courtroom. This month, the First Judicial District released Cambodian, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Spanish, and Vietnamese translations of some of the most frequently used documents in Family Court and Municipal Court. The translation project, a $25,000 undertaking, is designed to make life easier for non-English-speakers who have a tough time making sense of jargon-loaded court documents.
February 28, 2014 |
NORRISTOWN A decade later, lawyer Daniel J. Clifford still remembers watching a Family Court judge in the region awkwardly interviewing a child at the center of a custody dispute. "It was probably the worst interview I've ever seen of anyone," said Clifford, who heads the Pennsylvania Bar Association's family law section. "Nothing was being accomplished except everyone feeling uncomfortable. " That scene fueled Clifford's crusade to teach Family Court judges how to put children at ease during interviews before custody decisions are made.
February 20, 2014 |
PHILADELPHIA It is not the biggest plan for converting the historic Family Court building at 1801 Vine St. into a luxury hotel. It calls for neither the most rooms or meeting space, and it does not carry the highest price tag. But the winning bid to retrofit the 73-year-old courthouse into a Kimpton Hotel was the most straightforward, Mayor Nutter said Tuesday. The Kimpton team, led by Peebles Corp. of New York City, beat out groups headed by the high-profile local developers Ken Goldenberg and Carl Dranoff.