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NEWS
March 31, 2015 | BY REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985
OVER THE 22 YEARS she's been selling beautifully decorated cakes and other sweets from her North Philadelphia bakery, Denise Gause's loyal customers have consistently offered her kind words, she said. "People would say: 'Oh, I'm so glad you're here. I don't have to bake anymore,' " Gause said yesterday. Or, " 'Miss Denise, I don't know what I would do if you weren't here.' " That contingency plan may have to be revisited by customers of Denise's Bakery on 22nd Street near Cambria in Swampoodle, a neighborhood with few options for baked goods.
NEWS
March 19, 2015 | By Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two Philadelphia Fire Department employees have accepted undisclosed punishment in a sexual harassment scandal that has roiled the department, officials said Tuesday. The employees, whose names and ranks were not released, waived a departmental hearing on the allegations against them and chose to accept punishment, Frank Keel, a spokesman for the firefighters' union, said in a statement. They are among seven - two battalion chiefs, a captain, a lieutenant, a paramedic, and two firefighters - who faced discipline for their interactions with a paramedic who filed a sexual harassment complaint against the department last year.
NEWS
March 17, 2015 | By Jan Hefler, Inquirer Staff Writer
Students, alumni, and staff of the Wyncote Academy, a private school in Cheltenham for grades six through 12, were mourning the loss of their school after a ferocious fire destroyed it Saturday morning. "The school, in and of itself, is a total loss," principal Kerry Leraris said Sunday. "But Wyncote will continue to exist, as it has for 41 years. " She said classes for the school's 65 students would be canceled until Wednesday, when they will be held in space to be leased through the end of the year at Gratz College in Elkins Park.
NEWS
March 12, 2015 | By Mike Newall, Inquirer Columnist
We know enough now about the death of Firefighter Joyce Craig to say that many things went wrong the night she lost her life battling a West Oak Lane basement blaze. It's also clear that Craig's death is wrapped up in a larger problem: The Fire Department needs to recommit to giving its members the training they need and want. Craig's professionalism and bravery are not in question. Neither is the bravery of other firefighters who gave their lives battling fires in recent years: Lt. Robert Neary and Firefighter Daniel Sweeney, killed in 2012 when a roof collapsed in an abandoned factory in Kensington.
NEWS
March 11, 2015 | By Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Philadelphia Fire Department investigation found delayed responses, tactical errors, and communication failures at the scene of the December blaze that killed Firefighter Joyce Craig, according to internal documents obtained by The Inquirer. The report reinforces accounts from firefighters that indicate critical time passed before commanders realized that Craig was unaccounted for and in grave danger. As other firefighters have said, Craig was pulled from the house 17 minutes after her first Mayday alarm sounded, when firefighters found her by chance.
NEWS
March 9, 2015 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Staff Writer
  The reenacting season opened with a literal cannon shot over the mud and snow at Fort Mifflin on Saturday afternoon. A diverse array of reenactors portraying German and Allied soldiers slogging through the bloody Battle of Verdun in 1916 looked on, and a group of 21st-century visitors watched in the bright sun, enticed by the fort's First World War reenactment and a break in the frigid weather. Despite the tangled, time-warpish nature of the gathering, it would seem a typical opening for Fort Mifflin, a local and National Historic Landmark by Philadelphia International Airport on the Delaware River.
NEWS
March 7, 2015 | By Aubrey Whelan and Mike Newall, Inquirer Staff Writers
In the moments before Philadelphia firefighter Joyce Craig lost her life in a West Oak Lane house fire, her coworker Nyree Bright stood at the top of a stairway filled with flames. Bright, on the job for just over two years, was holding the nozzle on a hose - the first line of attack in a predawn basement fire last Dec. 9. Her lieutenant and Craig, a decorated 11-year veteran working an overtime shift, were behind her. Minutes earlier, when they had walked into the house on the 1600 block of Middleton Street, only a light, hazy smoke had filled the first floor.
NEWS
February 26, 2015
A REPORT BY the city's Inspector General's office that has recommended discipline for seven men in the city's Fire Department for sexual misconduct and harassment, and a report assessing the Police Department's stop-and-frisk program may seem unrelated. Although the separate and serious issues in each report should be dealt with, they also raise a larger question about the culture of departments that are supposed to insure public safety. A Daily News report on the IG's investigation into allegations that more than two dozen Fire Department employees took sexual advantage and harassed a mentally trouble female paramedic paints a sickening picture of a gender hell hole.
NEWS
February 25, 2015 | BY DANA DiFILIPPO & DAVID GAMBACORTA, Daily News Staff Writers difilid@phillynews.com, 215-854-5934
HAVING YOUR BOSS unzip his pants and "adjust himself" in front of you should not be part of anyone's workday. Neither should opening a desk drawer and discovering that a colleague has ejaculated all over its contents. But these stomach-turning events - and others just as offensive - were not unusual for female members of the Philadelphia Fire Department, the Daily News has found. Such incidents hint at larger ingrained problems - sexual harassment, discrimination and questionable relationships between supervisors and subordinates - that the department's leaders have ignored for years, critics say. In fact, the Inspector General's Office referenced systemic issues in its investigation into allegations that 15 Fire Department employees had sexual encounters with or sexually harassed a mentally troubled female paramedic.
NEWS
February 13, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
The math should be simple: Investing in the city's Department of Licenses and Inspections protects the public from dangerous buildings, improves neighborhoods' quality of life, and lifts property values. According to a Nutter administration study group, L&I needs another $13.9 million, which would increase its $27.6 million budget by about half. That would pay for more building inspectors and more employees to concentrate on vacant properties. Workers would also be added to the Fire Department to take over fire inspections for L&I, a logical move considering that firefighters have to deal with the consequences of lax enforcement.
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