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NEWS
June 11, 2014 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Lower Merion advocacy group that promotes a hard-line stance toward Palestinians in territorial disputes with Israel has become a focus of the smoldering debate over allegations that the IRS targeted conservative groups for opposing the Obama administration. The group, called Z Street, seeks to defend the Israeli government against allegations that its settlement policies on the West Bank and positions regarding Palestinians are the main source of conflict in the Middle East. The group applied for tax-exempt status from the IRS in 2009 and allegedly was told by an IRS official that the status had been delayed because its views conflicted with those of the U.S. government - a breach, the group said, of its free-speech rights.
BUSINESS
June 11, 2014 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
The American Industrial Hygiene Association's annual convention with its 6,000 attendees and $16.2 million worth of economic impact could have gone anywhere. And it did - anywhere but Philadelphia. But in 2018, after 11 years, the convention will return to Philadelphia, thanks, its executive says, to changes in work rules at the Convention Center. "It was practically an easy decision," said Peter O'Neil, executive director of the association for occupational and environmental health professionals.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 7, 2014 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Bob Newhart will be remembered centuries hence as one of the greatest straight men in American comedy. The soft-spoken stand-up comic and actor who has the deadliest deadpan in the biz and the driest of humors was singularly brilliant in his first major sitcom, The Bob Newhart Show , which ran for five seasons on CBS from 1972 to 1978. In a great character choice, Newhart plays a therapist, Dr. Bob Hartley. Consistently calm in the midst of chaos, Bob listens in each episode to the strange and hilarious problems of a slew of series regulars who bare their souls to him. Florida Friebus has gone down in TV history for playing one of Bob's patients, Lillian Bakerman, an elderly woman who spends her therapy sessions knitting.
NEWS
June 5, 2014 | By Claudia Vargas, Inquirer Staff Writer
  It may not surprise many people in Philadelphia-area politics that Zack Stalberg is leaving the helm of the Committee of Seventy to live out a Western fantasy. The 67-year-old former newspaper editor who took over the nonprofit watchdog group in 2005 has been a kind of ethics sheriff ever since. Stalberg announced Tuesday that he would step down as chief executive of the Committee of Seventy later this month. It is his second retirement and likely not his last. He and his wife are moving to New Mexico, where Stalberg hopes to ride horses and land a non-government-related job. "I want to do something that's different, that gets me outdoors," the former editor of the Philadelphia Daily News said Thursday.
NEWS
June 1, 2014 | By Mark Whited, Inquirer Staff Writer
Sam Fiocchi was dealing strikes from the circle, and Buena's offense struck in the bottom of the fourth inning to give the junior a comfortable cushion. The top-seeded Chiefs put up six runs in the fourth to aid Fiocchi in a 7-3 home win Friday over second seed Pemberton in the South Jersey Group 2 softball championship game. The righthander struck out 12 en route to a complete game. She allowed four hits and walked two. Victoria Battelini smacked a bases-loaded single with two out in the fourth to drive in a pair of runs.
SPORTS
May 31, 2014 | By Tim McManus, Inquirer Staff Writer
Kaity McKenna's goal might not have changed everything for the Lenape girls' lacrosse team Thursday. The Indians' comeback, which ended in a 17-14 victory over visiting West Windsor Plainsboro-North for the South Jersey Group 4 championship, was already well under way when McKenna struck for the tying goal just before halftime. But it sure symbolized the fact that the top seed just would not go away. Lenape twice trailed by five goals in the first half and fell behind by as much as 9-3 before outscoring second-seeded West Windsor-Plainsboro North by 14-5 the rest of the way. McKenna beat the halftime clock by less than a second to tie it at 11. Nicole Donnelly scored five goals, and Gabriella Fornia and Natalie Peel each had four.
NEWS
May 29, 2014 | By Carolyn Davis, Inquirer Staff Writer
A little-known aspect of child trafficking got attention Tuesday during a roundtable discussion organized by Rep. Patrick Meehan. "A lot of these kids are in the foster-care system," said Rosemarie Vesci, an FBI special agent in the Philadelphia office. Vesci was among 12 participants from federal law enforcement agencies, local district attorney's offices, and nonprofit organizations to give Meehan frontline information about human trafficking in general. The Delaware County Republican explained that sex and labor trafficking of children and adults, girls and boys, fetches about $32 billion annually around the world, according to a U.N. agency, second only in illicit industries to drug trafficking.
SPORTS
May 25, 2014 | By Chris Melchiorre, For The Inquirer
In the final seconds, fans were on their feet screaming, and players were jumping up and down on both sidelines. The ball rattled just in front of Moorestown's net, and it was inches from goalie Andrew Helfman when the clock hit zero. It was a fitting end to one of the area's most entertaining rivalries in any sport. The Moorestown boys' lacrosse team outlasted Shawnee on the road, 10-9, Saturday in the South Jersey Group 3 final. It was revenge for last season, when Shawnee upset heavily favored Moorestown in double overtime to win the sectional title.
NEWS
May 24, 2014 | By Bob Warner, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Board of Ethics announced its first enforcement action under the city's lobbying ordinance Thursday, fining the Philadelphia School Partnership $1,500 for an 18-month delay in registering as a lobbying organization and filing required financial disclosures. The partnership, a nonprofit that has raised millions with a goal of improving public, private, and charter schools, signed a settlement agreeing to pay the fine and to file reports outlining its 2012 and 2013 lobbying costs.
NEWS
May 23, 2014 | BY SEAN COLLINS WALSH, Daily News Staff Writer walshSE@phillynews.com, 215-854-4172
THE PHILADELPHIA School Partnership, a nonprofit that promotes school-choice policies, will pay a $1,500 fine to the city Board of Ethics for failing to register and report as a lobbying group in 2012 and early 2013, according to a settlement signed Wednesday. The group registered as a principal under the city's lobbying law in August and cooperated with the board's investigation, which focused on the year-and-a-half before that time. Executive Director Mark Gleason and Managing Director Michael Wang should have registered as lobbyists for work they did in early 2013, the settlement said, and the nonprofit failed to file lobbying expenditure reports in 2012 and 2013.
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