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NEWS
January 24, 2015 | By Ben Finley and Chris Palmer, Inquirer Staff Writers
The Risoldi family calls its white-columned mansion "Clairemont. " Surrounded by 10 acres of rolling farmland outside New Hope, Bucks County, it boasts a swimming pool, six bedrooms, and a ceiling mural of family members dressed in flowing robes, looking down from the heavens. The manse has caught fire three times in five years - and the Risoldis could not have been more lucky, state prosecutors said. Receiving $20 million in insurance payouts from the blazes of undetermined origin, the Risoldis allegedly bought six Ferraris and two Rolls-Royces, $1.2 million worth of jewelry, and another house while spending millions to renovate the damaged one. Matriarch Claire Risoldi, 67, a prominent Republican donor and fund-raiser, was charged Thursday on a slew of felony charges, including insurance fraud and corruption.
BUSINESS
January 22, 2015 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia on Tuesday announced a $10-million fund-raising goal for its annual Catholic Charities Appeal, which supports the archdiocese's Catholic Social Services programs in the region. In each of the last two years, the appeal's goal of $10 million was met, officials said. More than 50,000 people donated last year. The appeal supports 80 charitable programs - including educational programs for children and youth with disabilities, soup kitchens for the homeless, senior centers and hospices - that provide services to more than 200,000 people a year, regardless of their faith, the archdiocese said.
NEWS
January 20, 2015 | By Kathy Boccella, Inquirer Staff Writer
Eight months ago, the Upper Darby High School Indoor Drumline was on top of the world. When the team came home from a stellar showing in the annual Winter Guard International World Championships in Ohio, police cruisers and fire trucks met the bus carrying 40-plus students and escorted them on the final three miles of their trip to a raucous welcome at the school. This winter, the short-term goal is a little more down to earth: Just to get to Dayton. While Upper Darby's champion "Marching Royals" drill up to 20 hours a week to nail down their colorful, percussion-driven performance, called "Celebration of Life," parents and boosters are stepping up the beat of fund-raising - scrambling to raise the $40,000 the drumline needs for a full season and to compete again in the top division at the worlds.
NEWS
January 18, 2015 | By Erin E. Arvedlund, Inquirer Columnist
Middle-class parents of children with disabilities: There's a new low-cost, tax-advantaged way to save money on their behalf. Low cost is the key idea here. ABLE accounts serve a purpose similar to the special-needs trusts often set up to help disabled or special-needs children without disqualifying them from government benefits. ABLE accounts don't replace special-needs trusts. They are another option. In December, President Obama signed the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE)
BUSINESS
January 15, 2015 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia plans to announce next Tuesday this year's fund-raising goal for its annual Catholic Charities Appeal, which supports the archdiocese's Catholic Social Services programs in the region. In each of the last two years, the appeal's goal of $10 million was met, officials said. More than 50,000 poeple donated last year. In 2013, there were 73,806 gifts totaling $10.03 million. An official figure for 2014 was not available. The appeal supports 80 charitable programs - including educational programs for children and youth with disabilities, soup kitchens for the homeless, senior centers and hospices - that provide services to more than 200,000 people a year, regardless of their faith, the archdiocese said.
NEWS
January 7, 2015 | By Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Staff Writer
ATLANTIC CITY - Liza Cartmell, president of the casino-funded Atlantic City Alliance marketing group, said Monday that she was leaving her $400,000-a-year post, ahead of legislation being considered that would disband the group and divert its $30-million-a-year funding. "As you all so painfully know, Atlantic City is in a time of transition and all its major institutions are proactively adapting to a new reality," Cartmell wrote in an e-mail "to my AC friends. " She said the alliance, responsible for the "Do AC" campaign, would continue its work "with a reduced staff and realigned resources and priorities - pending definitive legislative/executive action to resolve its status and possible funding (or not)
NEWS
January 6, 2015 | Inquirer Editorial Board
It would be hard to overestimate the damage Pennsylvania's elected leaders have inflicted on the commonwealth by failing to adequately and equitably fund public schools over the past four years. The inferior education being provided to students as a result is the reason so many are failing to pass assessment and graduation exams. Better-paying jobs will be out of their reach when they become adults, which will ultimately have a negative impact on the state's economy. The problem is more acute where tax bases are modest.
BUSINESS
January 6, 2015 | By Erin E. Arvedlund, Inquirer Columnist
Hackers make good headlines, but they may not make for good investments. After Sony's network was hacked recently, a new exchange-traded fund, PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF (symbol: HACK), saw its shares start to rise. The fund only launched in November and has traded from about $25 a share to $28 in recent days. Funds like this capitalize on headlines about volatile sectors of the stock market. Like episodes of Law & Order , they have a ripped-from-the-headlines pitch that investors find intriguing.
BUSINESS
December 17, 2014 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Maybe the boxes of unpaid claims should have tipped off Cynthia Holloway, trustee of the Professional Industrial Trade Workers Union Health and Welfare Fund, situated in an office suite along Route 70 in Cherry Hill. All around the country - in New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, and North Carolina - employees, presumably covered by health insurance, were going to doctors or hospitals, but their bills were not getting paid. Clearly the fund was in trouble. Financial records were missing, state insurance departments sent cease-and-desist letters, and insurance administrators were calling Holloway to tell her that the fund was not forwarding enough money to pay the claims.
NEWS
December 15, 2014 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Staff Writer
The William Penn Foundation has decided to provide short-term funding for Dance USA/Philadelphia, the service organization whose grant application was unexpectedly denied by the foundation last month after many years of support. The grant denial sent shock waves through the local dance community, which relied on the organization, commonly known as Dance/UP, for a wide variety of services - from an e-newsletter, packed with grant-deadline information, to a robust program of subsidized performance venues for the region's burgeoning number of troupes and choreographers.
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