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NEWS
September 8, 2014 | By Craig R. McCoy and Dylan Purcell, Inquirer Staff Writers
State senators plan to meet Monday to consider ways of toughening Pennsylvania's DUI laws. Changing four words could do the job. A 2009 state Supreme Court decision defanged the state's decade-old efforts to impose harsher penalties on drivers awaiting trial on a string of DUI arrests. The court ruled that the wording of the 2003 law required judges to use the date of past convictions - not the date of arrests - to determine whether someone is a second offender. Legislators could fix the wording by saying past DUI convictions can trigger more aggressive penalties "if the violation occurred" before sentencing for subsequent offenses.
BUSINESS
September 7, 2014 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
A leadership change is underway at the DLA Piper law office in Philadelphia. Carl Buchholz, who has focused his practice on commercial litigation and government relations, has taken over as office managing partner. James Brogan, who preceded Buchholz as the Philadelphia managing partner, will serve as cochair of the firm's sprawling U.S. litigation practice. For Buchholz, a former White House official who served as a special assistant to President George W. Bush on Homeland Security, the move marks a return to law firm management.
NEWS
August 31, 2014 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
For 36 years, Daniel Wilson taught Spanish and English as a second language at Finletter Elementary School in the city's Olney section. He retired two years ago for another position - caregiver for his aging father. "I just couldn't keep up with a full-time job and doing for him," says Wilson, 60. "I'm a housekeeper and a caregiver before I'm anything else at this point. " Retirement meant Wilson needed health insurance. He decided against staying on the Philadelphia School District's Personal Choice or HMO plans through COBRA until he was 65. Instead, Wilson opted to buy Aetna's PA High Deductible 3000 HSA policy.
BUSINESS
August 25, 2014 | By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer
After all the hand-wringing and anguish over out-of- state firms flocking to file lawsuits in Philadelphia - the law firms you see advertising on late-night television - is Philadelphia still the notorious plaintiffs' paradise of common lore? It all depends on your idea of civil litigation bliss. A look at medical malpractice awards is revealing. There is no question: Philadelphia remains the most favorable jurisdiction in Pennsylvania for lawyers seeking big payoffs, a maddening fact to the many physicians and hospitals here.
NEWS
August 22, 2014 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
AS A GROUP of law-enforcement and elected officials called yesterday for a mandatory two-year sentence for people convicted of illegally carrying a firearm, kids in the South Philadelphia neighborhood watched and played. It was a beautiful, sunny day. But on Aug. 1, horror enveloped the area after Tynirah Borum, 3, who was getting her hair braided on a porch on Etting Street near Dickinson, was fatally shot. The alleged gunman, Brandon Ruffin, 22, had been released from jail on July 3, after serving 23 months on an 11 1/2-to-23-month sentence after pleading guilty to illegally carrying a weapon.
NEWS
August 20, 2014 | By Marie McCullough, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pennsylvania has joined a small but growing number of states requiring that a Down syndrome diagnosis be accompanied by useful, accurate information about the genetic disorder. The Down Syndrome Prenatal and Postnatal Education Act, effective Oct. 1, mandates that medical practitioners give expectant or new parents "informational publications," to be provided online by the state health department. The Down syndrome advocates behind such state laws - five in the last two years, including in Delaware and Maryland - promote them as a way to give unbiased information to pregnant women at a momentous, stressful juncture.
NEWS
August 11, 2014 | By Robert Calandra, For The Inquirer
Experts thought if people bought health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, they would find a private doctor and stop using hospital emergency rooms for their primary care. Well, more people have health insurance. But they are still crowding into emergency departments across the nation. An online study by the American College of Emergency Room Physicians found that nearly half of its members have seen a rise in visits since Jan. 1 when ACA coverage began. A resounding 86 percent of the physicians said they expect that number to continue growing.
NEWS
August 11, 2014 | By Ronnie Polaneczky, Daily News Columnist
JAMES JONES was nervous last November when I asked him to comment on allegations by the Pennsylvania Treasury Department that he'd pocketed tens of thousands of dollars in unclaimed money that didn't belong to him. "This isn't going into the paper, is it?" Jones asked when, after months of trying, I finally tracked him down. "Is this a big deal?" Seeing how it was going on the cover of the Daily News , yeah, it was a big deal. I called Jones again last week, to see if he wanted to comment on brand-new regulations that aim to keep people from doing what Treasury investigators alleged Jones had done.
NEWS
August 11, 2014 | By Rachel Zamzow, Inquirer Staff Writer
Tony Burke was an energetic 2-year-old who loved drawing purple pictures of Barney and jumping on trampolines. But then his parents began to notice how he would grunt instead of talk, and couldn't look anyone in the eye. Before his third birthday, in 2005, he was diagnosed with autism. "It felt like my heart had been ripped out," said his mother, Suzanne Burke of Philadelphia. Seeking the best care, his parents found applied behavior analysis (ABA), a one-on-one therapy considered the most effective treatment to date for autism.
NEWS
August 8, 2014
SEVERAL STATES have enacted laws in recent years that require doctors who perform abortions at clinics to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. These laws, masquerading as measures to protect the health of women, are nothing more than underhanded attempts to obstruct access to abortion services. In every state where such a law has been passed, it would result in the closure of at least some abortion clinics, making it substantially more difficult for women to get the reproductive health care to which they are constitutionally entitled.
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