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NEWS
September 23, 2014
OVER THE PAST 15 years in the U.S. Congress, I have been representing the citizens of the city of Philadelphia with pride and honor. I have been fortunate to see how our city has grown to respect and promote diversity. The LGBT community in our city has worked hard and been very lucky to have some great political leaders to ensure their acceptance and a place at the table. This recent gay bashing in downtown Philadelphia, in what I consider to be a hate crime, has no place in our fine City of Brotherly Love.
NEWS
September 22, 2014 | BY VINNY VELLA, Daily News Staff Writer vellav@phillynews.com, 215-854-2513
MORE THAN a week later, the story of two gay men savagely beaten in Center City continues to spread. Yesterday, as police sources said detectives were nearing the end of their investigation, word reached Harrisburg, where state legislators are calling their colleagues to action. "The gay guy in me and the Philly guy in me are pissed," said state Rep. Brian Sims, "but I'm a legislator, and my job is to change policy. "If we can do anything to draw enough attention to this to give the hate-crime bill some buoyancy, we need to do it. " Sims, a Democrat whose district includes the site of the attack, is organizing a rally Thursday in LOVE Park, at which officials and members of the city's LGBT community will push for change in Pennsylvania's hate-crime law. He's joined in his efforts by state Sen. Larry Farnese - a Democrat whose district serves parts of North Philly, Center City and South Philly - who will hold a news conference inside the Capitol on Tuesday.
BUSINESS
September 22, 2014 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Drexel University 's plan to name its law school for plaintiff's lawyer Thomas R. Kline , for his pledge of $50 million in cash and real estate, is the second time that school has sold naming rights. In 2008, Drexel said the law school would be named for 1959 grad Earle I. Mack , the real estate mogul who ran Mack-Cali Realty Corp. , in exchange for Mack's pledge of a $15 million matching grant, once Drexel found a second $15 million. The recession hammered charities and law school enrollments.
NEWS
September 21, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
DESPITE VIDEO evidence of Gov. Corbett's former son-in-law taking $140 in marked money during a 2013 FBI and Police Department sting operation, a Philadelphia jury yesterday failed to reach a unanimous verdict. Common Pleas Judge Diana L. Anhalt declared a mistrial after the jury indicated it was hopelessly deadlocked on all seven charges faced by fired narcotics officer Gerold Gibson, 44. The jury of nine women and three men began deliberating yesterday morning and worked for five hours before being released by Anhalt.
NEWS
September 21, 2014 | By Mike Newall, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pennsylvania Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf joined a growing chorus Friday calling for expanded state hate-crime laws after a Center City assault that left a gay couple seriously injured. In a statement, Wolf described the Sept. 11 incident near Rittenhouse Square as "vicious" and "incomprehensible. " "No one, no matter their race, gender, or sexual orientation, should ever have to live in fear of walking down the street," Wolf said of the assault, in which two men said they were attacked by a group of 10 to 12 people hurling antigay slurs.
NEWS
September 20, 2014 | By Aubrey Whelan and Mike Newall, Inquirer Staff Writers
As investigators interviewed more witnesses and reviewed additional video footage of a Center City assault that sent a gay couple to the hospital last week, calls began anew for Pennsylvania to expand its hate-crimes law. A law enforcement source said that police were still taking statements from men and women involved in the Sept. 11 incident near Rittenhouse Square. The couple and police have said members of a group of 10 to 12 people hurled antigay slurs, held and punched the couple, and beat one man so severely he had to undergo surgery and have his jaw wired shut.
BUSINESS
September 20, 2014 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
They say it is good to be king. It might be better, though, to be a very successful trial lawyer. Thomas R. Kline, who unveiled a $50 million gift to the Drexel University law school on Wednesday, and Shanin Specter, his partner at Kline & Specter P.C., would seem to fit that description. From its founding in 1995, the firm has grown to 35 lawyers and 115 employees overall, the largest personal-injury law firm in Pennsylvania and one of the largest in the country. The firm is known for big-ticket, emotional cases, and devotes considerable time to screening matters before agreeing to represent a client, with three staff members, a nurse, and two lawyers, one with a nursing degree, doing the intake.
NEWS
September 19, 2014 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
In one of the largest gifts ever to a U.S. law school, Drexel University said Wednesday that Philadelphia trial lawyer Thomas R. Kline would give the eight-year-old school $50 million to bolster its effort to reach the top ranks of legal education. Drexel president John A. Fry said the money would be used to fund scholarships, add faculty, and expand the law school's trial-advocacy program, which provides training for lawyers who plan to focus on courtroom practice. Included in the gift is the former Beneficial Saving Fund Society building at 12th and Chestnut Streets, an imposing Classical Revival-style structure that has been vacant since 2001 and that will house the law school's Institute for Trial Advocacy.
NEWS
September 18, 2014 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
In response to the police shooting of a young black man in Ferguson, Mo., about 100 people gathered Tuesday night in Norristown for a public forum on race, law enforcement, and community relations. The discussion, hosted by Zeta Phi Beta sorority's Montgomery County chapter, spanned a wide range of topics, from arrest and incarceration to education, ingrained social systems, and economics. The moderator, community activist Buck Jones, read a list of more than a dozen names - all young black men, unarmed, killed by police in recent years across the country.
NEWS
September 18, 2014 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
GEROLD GIBSON, a fired Philadelphia narcotics cop and former son-in-law of Gov. Corbett, sat stone-faced in court yesterday as a prosecutor told a jury that he was a "thief" who had disgraced his badge. "Honor, service and integrity. These are the pillars of the Philadelphia Police Department," Assistant District Attorney Douglas Rhoads said in his opening statement at Gibson's trial. "This trial, however, is about one officer who not only failed to live up to that oath, but he committed crimes while on duty.
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