February 6, 2015 |
NO PARENT ever dreams their kid will become an addict. If that weren't obvious enough, it lay bare in the despair and desperation on the faces of many of the parents who attended a recent forum about young people struggling with substance abuse. Nancy and Kevin Peter, of West Mount Airy, were panelists at the Horsham Township Community Center forum last week. When it was their turn to speak, Nancy began with an admission that moved other parents to nod in agreement. When the Peters envisioned their only son's life, addiction wasn't part of it. "I suspect it's what happens when a child is suddenly hurt in an accident, or is stricken with a disease . . . parents have to 'recalibrate' the future they envisioned for their son or daughter," she later said.
January 31, 2015 |
Jim Kenney and Kevin Dougherty grew up in the same South Philadelphia neighborhood, two kids from the block in Whitman who crafted careers in public service. The city councilman and Common Pleas Court judge are now aiming higher. And their ambitions align in a way that stands to benefit them both. Kenney, 56, resigned Thursday from his sixth term on Council and is now preparing a campaign for mayor. Dougherty, 52, is expected to announce in three weeks his bid for one of three openings on the state Supreme Court.
January 15, 2015 |
To her family, 16-year-old Zaria Estes is a "considerate and caring" girl who likes tuna fish and dancing and doesn't always keep her room clean. But to Abbey Luffey's family, Estes is the cold and calculating monster who attacked Luffey, a Temple University student, last March as Luffey walked with her boyfriend on the edge of campus. As she and her friends hunted prey for their sadistic game of "knock a bitch down," Estes bashed Luffey in the face with a brick, leaving her with a broken jaw, palate and teeth - and a shattered sense of security.
January 8, 2015 |
A FEDERAL JUDGE has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a niece of alleged kidnapper and torturer Linda Ann Weston against the city and a former Department of Human Services worker. In a judgment filed Monday and made public yesterday, U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick ruled in favor of the former DHS worker, Nefertiti Savoy, and the city, and against Beatrice Weston, 23, who filed the suit. The judge ruled that while Savoy - the DHS case worker who recommended to a judge that Beatrice live with her aunt and failed to investigate Linda Weston's criminal background - was negligent, she could not be found liable for the abuse Beatrice suffered by her aunt.
January 5, 2015 |
On leaving the city's old Family Court building, The Inquirer recently reported, some judges saw fit to take the fixtures with them to their new chambers. This neatly illustrated the distance between judicial impropriety and criminal guilt. No one - including the city officials who promised the court's antique accoutrements to the building's buyer - is planning to make a federal case out of this. Nor should they. Still, many Philadelphians are no doubt dismayed that their designated arbiters of justice appeared to stoop to stripping a public facility for parts.
December 27, 2014 |
Even as institutional buildings go, Philadelphia's new Family Court is a spartan place. No architectural flourishes relieve the dreary expanse of its milky glass facade. No murals celebrate benevolent justice or family virtues. No modern art adds color to its bland white walls. But for a brief moment, Family Court's cold, unadorned rooms were brought to life by decorative antique lamps, ornate torchères, and fine wooden chairs. According to the city's commissioner of public property, Bridget Collins-Greenwald, those valuable, custom-designed objects were stripped by Family Court judges and court employees from the historic Logan Square palazzo that served as the court's home for seven decades, and carted off to their new building overlooking LOVE Park, to be used to decorate the judges' chambers.
December 14, 2014 |
Seven aging bridges over the Vine Street Expressway (I-676) will be replaced over the next five years at a cost of $64.8 million, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said Friday. Buckley & Co., Inc., of Philadelphia, is the apparent low bidder to replace bridges carrying 22nd Street, 21st Street, Benjamin Franklin Parkway/20th Street, 19th Street, 18th Street, and the Free Library and Family Court pedestrian bridges over the expressway. The work is scheduled to start in February and be completed by the fall of 2019, PennDot said.
December 2, 2014 |
COMMON PLEAS Judge Benjamin Lerner, with nearly 20 years on the bench, is respected by peers, prosecutors and defense lawyers. Next week, Lerner, 73, will be recognized by the Philadelphia Bar Association. He will receive the Justice William J. Brennan Jr. Distinguished Jurist Award at the bar association's annual luncheon meeting Dec. 9 at the Hyatt at the Bellevue. "Everybody who knows him knows him as a man of great integrity, vision and talent," said Bill Fedullo, chancellor of the bar association.
November 23, 2014 |
CHILDREN AS young as 11 years old were allegedly strip-searched in full view of other kids when they entered the new Family Court building this week, according to sources, but when court administrators learned of the practice they put a stop to it. The new Family Court building at 15th and Arch streets just opened Monday, but for a building that was mired in controversy during its construction, this was yet another sticky, ugly hurdle. In an email from child advocates that was sent to the Family Court judges on Monday, concerns were raised about young children being strip-searched in front of one another by adults, including the strip-searching of children who may have been awaiting trial, not just those who have been adjudicated.