July 13, 2011 |
State Rep. Michael P. McGeehan called on the state education secretary Tuesday to create a confidential, statewide "Whistle-blower Hotline" to encourage school staffers to report testing irregularities. In a letter to Secretary Ronald Tomalis, the Northeast Philadelphia Democrat said that he believed a hotline was needed and that the Education Department, not school districts, should investigate cheating allegations, to guarantee a fair and thorough inquiry into testing practices statewide.
March 21, 2010 |
Phil Acutanza introduced himself saying he didn't think I needed to hear another mortgage horror story. Well, Phil - and everyone else - my week wouldn't be complete without one. Acutanza's story - "a 203(k) nightmare," he calls it - actually involves his stepson, Leonard Russell, and the house Russell bought Nov. 6 with an FHA 203(k) loan arranged by a broker, who sold it to Bank of America. First, let me explain what a 203(k) loan is. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's chief program for the rehabilitation and repair of single-family properties is called 203(k)
January 14, 2010 |
Patsy Auerbach Brandt, 66, of Cherry Hill, a volunteer for a crisis hotline and Jewish organizations, died of breast cancer Tuesday at home. "Our father taught us from childhood that if you take from a community, you have a responsibility to give back to that community," said Mrs. Brandt's sister, Carol Saline. The sisters' father, Carl Auerbach, was president of the board of Samost Jewish Family and Children's Service of Southern New Jersey when he died in 1981, and was a counselor for Contact 609, a Camden County 24-hour crisis-intervention hotline.
October 14, 2009 |
In a city that has trouble getting residents to rat on criminals, officials now want Philadelphians to tattle on a new kind of miscreant: truckers and bus drivers who leave their engines idling, spewing pollutants into the air. Yesterday, the Clean Air Council unveiled a hotline and Web resource, www.idlefreephilly.org - yes, there's an iPhone app - where sidewalk sleuths can report where, when, and how long idling occurs. Both city and state regulations prohibit drivers from leaving their engines idling for more than five minutes.
March 19, 2009 |
I suppose, upon further reflection, that I should have taken care of the problem myself. After all, it was just a dead possum in the middle of the road, partially blocking my driveway on a Saturday morning. At least it wasn't a dead skunk, or worse. And there are certainly larger problems our fair city has to face. That's why I was happy I could simply call 311, the centralized number for nonemergency services that the city debuted with much fanfare in January. So there was my ticket: I'd call 311, the good folks would get my message, and the poor possum would be promptly removed by the Streets Department.
January 23, 2009 |
Gail Karp-Schmidt spent much of Monday on her two cordless phones, trying to get through to the hotline of a new statewide New Jersey program aimed at helping people avoid foreclosure. The Salem County woman was so desperate to reach someone that she switched back and forth between the phones as each ran out of power. Eventually she left her name and contact information on the program's Web site, asking for someone to get back to her. Karp-Schmidt, 54, lost her job at a car dealership in August 2007.
November 30, 2008 |
Operator: Transition hotline, can I help you? Caller: Uh, yeah, I've been reading about the transition . . . O: Yes, sir, only seven more weeks until The One takes the oath! C: Yeah, really looking forward to it. But I wanted to double-check something. O: Ask away, sir. We have answers you can believe in. C: I've been reading about some of the people who are going to help Barack Obama change Washington . . . O: The One. C: The who? O: The One. We don't say Obama.
July 19, 2008 |
A 19-year-old man was stabbed to death Thursday night after a knife fight erupted at a basketball court in Willingboro, authorities said yesterday. Authorities arrested Darnell Williams, also 19, yesterday and charged him with the murder of Julian Corry, according to Joel Bewley, a spokesman for the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office. The melee, which involved from 15 to 20 people, left two others with stab wounds and a third with head injuries. Authorities believe the brawl may have been fueled by a rivalry between Willingboro neighborhoods.
January 22, 2008 |
Just a sampling of cruelty calls received by the Pennsylvania SPCA last weekend is chilling: A Labrador retriever mix scalded by cooking grease. A Pomeranian found starved to death in a doghouse, his two tiny canine companions clinging to life in frigid conditions. The emaciated body of another dog found in an apartment by a landlord after his owner skipped out on the rent. And that was just in Philadelphia. Officials with the Pennsylvania SPCA, which is based in Philadelphia and operates six satellite facilities across the state, say those calls represent a tiny fraction of abuse cases statewide.
January 17, 2008 |
Falls are a major cause of injury for people over 65, so the American Physical Therapy Association has created a toll-free hot line (877-NEED-A-PT) to answer questions about falls and how to prevent them. The hot line will be active from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 8. Risk factors associated with falls include: being older; being female; impairment of balance or walking; poor vision; leg or trunk weakness; reduced cognitive status (dementia); pre-existing medical conditions, such as Parkinson disease, stroke, or diabetes; being on more than four medications simultaneously; use of an assistive walking device; and a past history of falls.