May 19, 2016
Brandon Bostian was by all accounts the sort of conscientious engineer any passenger would want in the locomotive, his professionalism and lifelong love of trains evident in earnest online posts about rail safety. And yet radio chatter about a SEPTA train struck by a rock north of Philadelphia's 30th Street Station - a common hazard on the Northeast Corridor - was probably enough to distract the Amtrak engineer from the quick series of speed changes required ahead of one of the corridor's sharpest curves, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded in a report released Tuesday.
May 15, 2015 |
A LONG, GRAY day of digging through the twisted-metal jigsaw-puzzle wreckage of Amtrak Train 188 in an industrial no man's land in Frankford yielded the first but hardly the last answer to what caused the worst Northeast Corridor rail accident in nearly three decades: Speed killed. Robert Sumwalt, of the National Transportation Safety Board, said at a news conference that data showed the train had hit 106 mph - more than double the 50 mph speed limit for the sharp left curve at Frankford Junction - right as the engineer hit the emergency brake, to no avail, in the derailment at 9:21 p.m. Tuesday.
July 25, 2014
WHEN DEBORAH Stagg saw the $11,828.18 bill from Philadelphia Gas Works, "I think I was speechless," she says. Then, she was curious and, finally, something close to furious. In a July 10 letter to Stagg, PGW said her meter had been recording only half her usage for years, but it would bill her for only the past four years. "There is no way they can bill me for four years," she said to herself, but she was wrong about that. Four years is the back-billing limit established by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission.
March 25, 2013 |
MIAMI - Two skydivers died during weekend jumps at a popular Florida, and the co-owner of the facility said Sunday that they did not deploy their main parachutes. Deputies found the bodies of the skydiving instructor and a student, both from Iceland, on Saturday after the two didn't return from a jump with a group, setting off an hours-long air and ground search around the site in Zephyrhills, about 30 miles northeast of Tampa. Pasco County sheriff's authorities identified the victims as instructor Orvar Arnarson, 41, and student Andrimar Pordarson, 25. The men jumped separately, not in tandem.
December 5, 2012 |
The freight train derailment last week in Paulsboro likely was the result of human mistakes (overriding a red stop signal), money-saving automation (replacing a human bridge operator with an electronic system), and overloaded old infrastructure (a bridge with parts dating to 1873), rail experts say. The bridge failure and derailment Friday dumped four tank cars into the Mantua Creek, one of which ruptured, spewing hazardous vinyl chloride gas into the air. Seventy people went to hospitals, and more than 100 residents are expected to remain out of their homes this week while crews try to remove the dangerous chemical.
June 13, 2012 |
The Wampum Walloper, aka Dick Allen, and other members of the 1972 White Sox will be honored by the Chicago Baseball Museum on June 25 at a fundraising dinner at U.S. Cellular Field. Allen played only three seasons with the White Sox but is immensely popular in Chicago and loves the city enough to say he wished he had spent his entire career there. The slugger who had electrified Philadelphia eight years earlier lit up the American League in his first season with the Sox in '72. He led the league with 37 homers, a career-high 113 RBI and 99 walks.
June 11, 2012
BALTIMORE - The Phillies made mistakes in the field and compounded those problems by hitting into a total of four inning-ending double plays during the 6-4, 12-inning loss the Baltimore Orioles pinned on them Saturday. They fully earned this defeat. No excuses were offered by manager Charlie Manuel or any of his players after the team's seventh loss in eight games pushed them a season-high seven games behind the first-place Washington Nationals. "We could have shut them out," Manuel said, lamenting his team's poor defensive performance, a few minutes after Adam Jones launched a two-run home run that gave the Orioles a victory and reliever B.J. Rosenberg a loss in his major-league debut.
November 29, 2011 |
VILLANOVA'S basketball team - which has no seniors and five freshmen - is 4-2, after losing two of three in the 76 Classic in Anaheim, Calif. The losses were to Saint Louis (6-0) by 12 points in the second round on Friday and by one to Santa Clara (4-2) in Sunday's third-place game. But it was the way they went down against Steve Nash's alma mater that caused some head-shaking. The Wildcats, after trailing by eight three times in the first half, went ahead by nine with 3 1/2 minutes left.
November 24, 2011 |
My daughter was nearly 2 when her first full sentence - its syntax disheveled but the meaning clear - tumbled from her lips. We were expecting company that night, a group of friends with whom we'd been sharing weekly dinners since before Sasha was born. "Friends come house Sasha now?" she queried. And while her words may have sounded like a clumsy translation from a Far Eastern language, I cherished them as a scrap of found poetry. Oh yes, my sweet; friends come house Sasha any minute now. I miss those toddler days, with their unpredictable kinks of speech.
May 14, 2011 |
The investigation into the police department's bad-data-spewing Breathalyzer machines has found that 2,126 drunken-driving cases were affected, with 1,459 of those defendants able to request new trials, the district attorney announced yesterday. "This was an unfortunate case of human error," Philadelphia D.A. Seth Williams said in a statement. "But we identified it and have started the process of correcting any mistakes that were made. And the hardworking members of my office . . . have put in countless hours to make sure this doesn't happen again," added Williams, whose office conducted a six-week investigation.