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NEWS
May 6, 2014 | By Michael Boren, Inquirer Staff Writer
MOUNT HOLLY Officials from the human rights group Amnesty International are investigating the deaths of two Burlington County Jail inmates, saying a letter they received from the Prosecutor's Office detailing the circumstances only bolstered their suspicions that at least one of the inmates was neglected. Robert Taylor, 75, a homeless man, died Dec. 30 in the jail. Jerome Iozzia, 50, of Browns Mills, died Feb. 25. Both deaths were ruled to be from natural causes, and the Prosecutor's Office ruled out wrongdoing by correctional officers.
NEWS
May 4, 2014 | By Kristin E. Holmes, Inquirer Staff Writer
KENNETT SQUARE The Cinco de Mayo festival in Kennett Square started in a parking lot. Behind the library, a few representatives from local nonprofits sat at tables and pushed their good causes to the few hundred who showed up. On Sunday, 13 years later, at least 15,000 are expected to crowd the Chester County borough for this year's festivities, now held on Kennett Square's main street. The festival, which commemorates the Mexican army's victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, has become a streetscape of colorful costumes, foods, and music, and it is in the throes of a transition, just like the group that organizes it. The members of Casa de las Culturas (House of Cultures)
BUSINESS
April 25, 2014 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
Four environmental advocacy groups filed to intervene formally in Sunoco Pipeline L.P.'s application for public utility corporation status, which would exempt its 299-mile Mariner East pipeline to Marcus Hook from local zoning codes. The Delaware Riverkeeper Network, the Clean Air Council, the Pipeline Safety Coalition and the Mountain Watershed Association filed requests by Monday's deadline with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission to intervene in the case. The advocacy groups argue that Sunoco does not meet the legal standard for classification as a public utility corporation and should not be exempt from the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code.
NEWS
April 23, 2014 | BY DANA DiFILIPPO, Daily News Staff Writer difilid@phillynews.com, 215-854-5934
FIREARM FOES from the Philly-based CeaseFire PA have a simple answer for the gun-rights activists who have increasingly targeted them for protest: Bring it! Gun owners have shown up to CeaseFire PA rallies and events in bigger and louder groups, videotaping the goings-on and counterprotesting, said Shira Goodman, the group's executive director. Last month, Pittsburgh-area gun-rights activists visited CeaseFire PA's Center City office, prompting flustered staffers to call police. But CeaseFire is turning the criticism into cash: Goodman started a "Beat Back the Bullies" fund and is using her opponents to drum up support for her cause.
NEWS
April 21, 2014 | BY REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985
KENDRA BROOKS says Steel Elementary is the last public school in Nicetown. And if she has a say, it will stay that way. Brooks, president of the Steel Student Advisory Council, has been working nonstop - printing flyers, going door-to-door and organizing folks - in an effort to galvanize the community for the May 1 vote on the future of the school. She said she's making sure Steel parents are informed of their rights and choices regarding the vote, which will determine whether Steel, on Wayne Avenue near Rowan Street, remains a district-run school or is handed over to Mastery Charter Schools.
NEWS
April 21, 2014 | By Art Carey, For The Inquirer
Shimon Braun is a former Israeli national gymnastics champion and a professional dancer and choreographer who performed on Broadway. He founded his own jazz dance company, called Waves, in Santa Fe, N.M., and brought it to Philadelphia when he taught dance at the University of the Arts. He moves with the lithe grace of a man half his age. He keeps his wits sharp by creating choreography that blends classic jazz, Latin rhythms, and hip-hop. For the last three years, he has offered a dance workshop at Main Line Health & Fitness in Bryn Mawr, and his current students are a group of 10 women, all mothers, ages 35 to 63. But you would never guess it by the way they move - swiveling their hips, rolling their heads, strutting like vamps, prowling like cats, executing high kicks and sharp pivots, tap-dancing and toe-stepping, moving in synchrony to infectious, thumping jungle beats.
NEWS
April 18, 2014 | By Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Staff Writer
The law firm that produced the report that said Gov. Christie was clear of wrongdoing in the George Washington Bridge controversy recently donated $10,000 to the Republican Governors Association (RGA), which Christie leads. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher made the donation to the RGA on March 18, according to IRS filings made public Tuesday. The donation came nine days before the firm released its report on Christie's administration. Christie has been chairman of the RGA since November, traveling out of New Jersey to drum up donations for fellow Republican governors.
NEWS
April 18, 2014 | By Chris Brennan
  DR. VALERIE ARKOOSH   , the least-known of the four Democrats seeking the city/suburban 13th District Congressional seat in the May 20 Democratic primary election, is preparing to air campaign commercials and is already getting help from medical colleagues. A political-action committee for the American Society of Anesthesiologists reported spending $210,390 last week to air radio ads for Arkoosh. The ads seek to capitalize on Arkoosh's status as the only nonpolitician in the race.
NEWS
April 16, 2014 | By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer
A statewide grassroots education group, frequently and oftentimes fiercely critical of the state's charter school laws, is questioning whether Camden's process of bringing two more Renaissance schools to the city violated state statute. On Monday, Save Our Schools, founded in 2010, sent a letter to Commissioner David C. Hespe at the Department of Education raising concerns over promotional materials sent home with students last week detailing Mastery and Uncommon Schools. The letter to the commissioner also took issue with the district's application of the Urban Hope Act, which created district-hybrid schools.
NEWS
April 16, 2014 | BY REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985
THE PHILADELPHIA School Partnership and PennCAN, two controversial education-reform groups, want the state's highest court to decide whether the School Reform Commission can impose work-rule changes on teachers. The two pro-school-choice organizations sought the review in an amicus brief filed yesterday with the state Supreme Court. It "is crucial for this Court to fully consider this case and breathe life into the legislative command that the [SRC] is to be empowered with the flexibility to quickly respond in times of budgetary crisis and provide for the long-term sustainability of City public education," the filing read.
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