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NEWS
August 25, 2013 | By Carolyn Davis and Mari A. Schaefer, Inquirer Staff Writers
The former treasurer of a Montgomery County nonprofit fire department has been charged with stealing nearly $250,000 from the organization and using the money to fly to China and Las Vegas and to buy jewelry, spa visits, and tickets to sporting events. Montgomery County detectives charged Ronald Kenneth Nolan on Thursday with theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception, misapplication of entrusted property, and related offenses in the theft from the Upper Gwynedd Township Volunteer Fire Company.
NEWS
August 2, 2013 | BY JAN RANSOM, Daily News Staff Writer ransomj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
IS THE DEPARTMENT of Licenses and Inspection's primary focus economic development or public safety? That question was one of several at the forefront yesterday during City Council's fourth hearing held to investigate the Center City building collapse that claimed six lives in June. Bennett Levin, one of two former L&I commissioners who testified before Council yesterday, said the department's focus has shifted away from public safety. "L&I has equivalent public safety responsibilities to the Police Department and/or the Fire Department, but we tolerate and even accept sloth and unaccountability in the name of political expediency and economic development," said Levin, who was the department's commissioner under Mayor Ed Rendell.
NEWS
August 2, 2013 | By Bob Warner, Inquirer Staff Writer
Bennett Levin, a professional engineer who ran the Department of Licenses and Inspections in the Rendell administration, testified Thursday that the agency's performance had deteriorated markedly since the mid-1990s, contributing to a series of fatal accidents long before the Center City building collapse in June that killed six people. "The Market Street collapse is just the latest catastrophe in a tragic string of fatal events that can be traced back to the [One Meridian] fire, with three dead firefighters," in 1991, Levin told a City Council committee investigating the city's demolition practices.
NEWS
July 31, 2013 | By Claudia Vargas, Theodore Schleifer, Summer Ballentine, and Michael Matza, Inquirer Staff Writers
Shaquorie Fields, 15, was alone in her upstairs bedroom Monday morning when she heard a monstrous roar. The walls shook and the floor dropped out from under her. She landed in the kitchen with a thud, coated in dust and debris. Through a ground-floor window, she managed to drag herself to safety just as the rowhouse next door collapsed. In another room in Fields' home in South Philadelphia, Jukennith Smith, 35, was acting on what he described as instinct as he rode a slide of rubble out of the two-story building.
NEWS
July 19, 2013 | BY JAN RANSOM, Daily News Staff Writer ransomj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
A CITY COUNCIL investigatory committee established to look into the deadly Center City building collapse wants answers, but the Nutter administration isn't making it easy. Councilman Jim Kenney asked several departments to appear at today's hearing, the third of five investigating the collapse of a four-story building onto a neighboring thrift store on 22nd Street near Market that left six people dead and 13 injured in June. But Kenney said yesterday that he later learned the administration had refused to allow representatives from the Fire Department and the Department of Licenses and Inspections - which is tasked with issuing construction permits and inspecting construction sites - to speak at today's hearing.
NEWS
May 31, 2013
JUST ANOTHER reason why Philadelphians get fed up with politics! On one hand we have Alan Butkovitz claiming that only 32 percent of surveillance cameras ("worse than useless" was his quote) are currently working to help Philadelphia Police (who have been under fire of late) fight crime - while Mayor Nutter says that 85 percent of the cameras are working and that the audit has "many inaccuracies. " So, what the *&*%$ is it - 32 or 85 ?! Somebody obviously is way off! That is a 53 percent difference- not 5 or 10 percent - so who is BS'ing us?
NEWS
April 26, 2013 | BY JAN RANSOM, Daily News Staff Writer ransomj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
EVEN IF City Council were to provide the Fire Department with the money needed to end the controversial rotating "brownouts" of fire stations, the Nutter administration said it would still stand by the policy. During his budget presentation to Council yesterday, Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers was asked if given the $3.8 million the city says it saves from brownouts, which began in 2010, would he discontinue the policy? "If Council came up with $3.8 million to eliminate brownouts and I were allowed to?
NEWS
April 18, 2013
A woman died Monday afternoon in a South Philadelphia house fire, according to the Fire Department. The woman's name and age were not released. Executive Chief Richard Davison said the Fire Department received the call at 4:10 p.m. of a residential blaze on the 2100 block of Pierce Street in the Point Breeze neighborhood. Firefighters encountered heavy fire on the first floor and found the woman's body inside, Davison said. Nobody else was in the home at the time of the fire. The fire was brought under control at 4:28.
NEWS
April 9, 2013 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
IT WASN'T long ago that Philadelphia fire Capt. Michael Goodwin - a popular veteran with nearly three decades in the department - took the test for a promotion to battalion chief. Now, Goodwin will receive his promotion posthumously - after he died Saturday evening fighting a three-alarm blaze in Queen Village - the third firefighter killed in the line of duty in the past 12 months. Goodwin, 53, a 29-year veteran described by neighbors as a dedicated family man, was killed after a third-floor roof collapsed beneath him as he battled a fire in a fabric store at the corner of 4th and Fitzwater streets Saturday.
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