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NEWS
July 12, 2014 | By Jan Hefler, Inquirer Staff Writer
Vineyards on preserved farmland can sell some merriment along with their wine, under a bipartisan bill signed last week by Gov. Christie that removes a hurdle to holding festivals, wedding receptions, and private parties there. Among the state's 48 licensed wineries, 19 are enrolled in the farmland preservation program, which means they have surrendered their right to sell the land for development. "The state is encouraging farms to go into preservation. We want to keep green vistas," said Assemblyman Ron Dancer, a Republican who represents parts of Burlington, Ocean, Middlesex, and Monmouth Counties, who cosponsored the bill.
NEWS
July 9, 2014 | By Melissa Dribben, Inquirer Staff Writer
From his perch at the crimson-walled tasting bar in Love Vape on South Fifth Street, Jeff Cullaton took a dim view of Philadelphia's new law banning electronic cigarettes from most indoor public spaces. "I think it's premature," he said, enveloped in a custard-flavored vapor cloud. The restriction, in effect since last Tuesday, does not apply to shops like this, where the air is as thick and cloying as a taxi loaded with Car Scent air fresheners. Yet the very idea that e-cigarettes may be unhealthy in any setting has raised the hackles of aficionados like Cullaton.
NEWS
July 8, 2014 | By Jan Hefler, Inquirer Staff Writer
  By day, Gerard Breland has spent the last 23 years prosecuting criminals. Among the 60 cases he tried was a particularly heinous matter involving murder and jury intimidation in Jersey City. But in his free time, the Burlington Township resident turns his attention to the less seedy side of life. He and his wife, Tonya, have recorded 17 original and traditional gospel songs on YouTube, earning as many as 15,368 views on one of them: "I Want to Say Thank You. " He also directs the music and worship team at Destiny Church in Moorestown.
NEWS
July 5, 2014 | By Tom Avril, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pennsylvania has joined most states in requiring that newborns have their blood oxygen levels measured - a simple test that allows doctors to catch rare heart defects missed during prenatal screening. The test, known as pulse oximetry, consists of placing a small sensor on the infant's foot. It is common practice at birthing hospitals, but was not mandated in Pennsylvania. On Wednesday, Gov. Corbett signed the requirement, which takes effect in 90 days. Physicians say the test can detect problems while newborns are still in the hospital, in case they need surgery.
NEWS
July 1, 2014 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
At once tidy and stalwart, but pockmarked, too, with its share of boarded-up homes, Elizabeth Young's neighborhood in the Cobbs Creek section of West Philadelphia is the epitome of urban grit. No one would mistake this tough patch of the city for a hotbed of real estate action. And yet the District Attorney's Office stands to make a pretty good return here. On April 3, 2013, Common Pleas Court Judge Paula Patrick ruled in favor of the D.A.'s Office and ordered Young, 69, a widow active in her church, to turn over her home to the city.
NEWS
June 28, 2014 | By Rachel Zamzow, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pennsylvania had the most Lyme disease cases in the nation in 2009, 2011, and 2012, yet no state-run surveillance program for ticks exists. A bill Gov. Corbett signed into law Thursday seeks to remedy that. The Lyme and Related Tick-Borne Disease Surveillance, Education, Prevention, and Treatment Act will establish a 20-member task force to develop educational and surveillance programs to be run by the Department of Health and other agencies. "This is an underdiagnosed and undertreated disease," said Sen. Stewart Greenleaf (R., Montgomery)
NEWS
June 26, 2014 | By Jonathan Lai, Inquirer Staff Writer
Gloucester County College began another construction project Tuesday, holding a ceremonial groundbreaking for an expansion to its Law and Justice Education Center. The center houses the school's criminal justice, law enforcement, paralegal, and pre-law degree programs, along with the Gloucester County Police Academy. A 6,500-square-foot expansion will include two new forensic labs and a new classroom, along with renovation of existing space. Currently, 500 students and 3,000 Police Academy cadets use the building each year, the school said.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 25, 2014 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Clooney meets the mom . . . We've said it about scores of his ex-girlfriends, but George Clooney 's latest belle, fiancee Amal Alamuddin , 36, really may lead him down the aisle after all. Clooney, 53, spent this weekend with Amal and her mom, Baria Alamuddin , at his villa on Lake Como, Italy, People reports. "They were outside, and Amal and her mom were smiling," Anonymous Source tells the mag. "Amal's mom left the next day, and at the airport they just looked so happy.
NEWS
June 24, 2014 | By Ben Finley, Inquirer Staff Writer
When funeral director Lou Galzerano entered the family business 35 years ago, cremation wasn't an option for his clients in lower Bucks County. But he built a crematory in Bristol Township in 2009 to meet growing demand. His customers include people who want to save money and Hindus who spread their loved ones' ashes in the Ganges River. Galzerano is now in a not-in-my-backyard-style fight to build a second crematory in Tullytown. The borough, concerned about environmental and other issues, has so far prevailed against him in the courts.
NEWS
June 23, 2014
With staccato bursts of horrifying news of mass shootings coming almost weekly, it's hard to fathom how the U.S. Supreme Court came within a vote of upending a cornerstone of federal gun-trafficking laws. Had one more justice joined the court's conservative bloc last week, it would have become possible for a straw buyer to purchase a firearm and hand it over to just about anybody. Thanks to a 5-4 ruling, though, such transactions will remain illegal - and for good reason. Even if everyone involved in a gun sale has the right to own a weapon, federal lawmakers and authorities understand the need to track gun ownership.
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