IN THE NEWS

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NEWS
March 21, 2014 | By Howard Gensler
RUSSELL CROWE   went to meet the pope, but the pope said "No-ah. " Crowe and the makers of the big-budget film about the animal ark-ivist attended Pope Francis ' general audience yesterday but didn't get what they most wanted: a photo-op. Maybe Crowe will have better luck if he accompanies the Philadelphia delegation later this month. Crowe had lobbied hard for a papal thumbs-up for his film "Noah," and the ensuing publicity a Francis blessing would bring. The film has been banned in much of the Muslim world because of its depiction of the prophet Noah, while U.S. conservatives have complained the film takes liberties with the biblical account of the flood.
NEWS
March 4, 2014 | By Carolyn Davis, Inquirer Staff Writer
Though buses, trains and planes could be delayed because of the snowstorm forecasted to hit the Philadelphia region Sunday, announcements about those likely delays are right on schedule. A spokeswoman for the Philadelphia International Airport said Sunday afternoon that airlines were reporting "96 canceled flights tonight in anticipation of the storm. " Most airlines reported reducing flight activity tomorrow until noon, said spokeswoman Victoria Lupica. "We are fully staffed and prepared to treat all paved surfaces when precipitation begins," she said.
NEWS
February 26, 2014 | BY JENNY DeHUFF & CHRIS BRENNAN, Daily News Staff Writers dehuffj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
AMAN WHO police say posed as District Attorney Seth Williams has been charged with a litany of crimes after allegedly scamming an elderly man out of tens of thousands of dollars, pretending to be the city's top prosecutor. The alleged scammer happens to be old pals with Williams and reportedly used that connection to gain the victim's trust. Shelton Thomas, 47, is charged with robbery, burglary, theft, extortion, criminal trespass, identity theft and impersonating a public servant.
NEWS
January 17, 2014 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
THE SCHOOL Reform Commission approved five-year renewals for three city charter schools, while taking steps to not renew the charter of another that serves mainly foster-care students. Planet Abacus and Laboratory Charter - both founded by Dorothy June Brown, who is expected to be retried on federal charges that she defrauded the schools - were approved with a slew of conditions related to personnel, governance, financial oversight, training of faculty and staff, and enrollment barriers.
SPORTS
December 20, 2013 | By Phil Anastasia, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Colonial Conference has voted down a projected alliance with the Cape-Atlantic League for football and altered its format for crossover games. The Colonial Conference's vote on Wednesday was 7-5 against the alliance with the Cape-Atlantic. A vote of 8-4 in favor was needed to approve an arrangement that would have created crossover games between the leagues in the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Colonial Conference president Lou Raba, the athletic director at Gateway, said the league has decided to create a new system for crossover games in 2014, focusing on matching teams of similar competitive strength.
NEWS
November 23, 2013 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
The West Chester Borough Council on Wednesday killed a proposed earned income tax that officials had said was necessary to save the borough's diminishing pension fund. Mayor Carolyn Comitta, who was in favor of the 0.25 percent tax increase, said she was "very disappointed" in the 4-3 council vote. "Quite frankly, it is in my opinion a mistake," she said. "You really can't kick these very important decisions down the road and that's what happened again. We're in the same place we were before.
NEWS
August 15, 2013 | By Chris Palmer, Inquirer Staff Writer
Delighting many residents but disappointing township officials, the Lower Makefield zoning board declined Tuesday to grant variances to husband-and-wife veterinarians seeking to build an equine hospital on a parcel of Patterson Farm, a large swath of open space owned by the township. Board members cited a variety of reasons for the 5-0 decision, including the potential for the hospital to change the character of the neighborhood around the farm, and setting a poor precedent by parceling out the land to private entities.
NEWS
August 9, 2013 | By Howard Gensler
THAT ANTHONY WEINER sure knows how to pick 'em. Of all the women in all the gin joints in all the world, he had to sext Sydney Leathers . Wasn't the name enough of a tip-off that this wouldn't end well? Leathers, who chose to parlay her few seconds of infamy into a self-pleasuring Vivid porn video, has now angered members of the military, reports TMZ.com, by using the American flag in her adults-only performance. Not the pole. Just the flag. Leathers' strumming atop the stars and stripes annoyed Vivid boss Steve Hirsch so much that he's editing it out of the DVD. The serviceman who called Hirsch to complain was not upset with Sydney's self-service, but with the use of Old Glory as a backdrop, and told Hirsch he would have the DVD banned from his base, which consumes more porn than . . . Anthony Weiner.
NEWS
July 5, 2013 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Medicaid expansion in Pennsylvania is on hold. And a $45 million piece of the financial rescue plan for Philadelphia schools is in limbo. Those were the results of votes Wednesday by a key state Senate committee on the so-called code bills that accompany the annual budget. At issue were two controversial revisions the state House had made in those bills before adjourning Monday night for the summer. Those changes removed Medicaid expansion and added new wording that would legalize so-called payday lending in the state.
NEWS
June 28, 2013 | BY BRIAN X. McCRONE, Philly.com
FOR THE FIRST time in decades, SEPTA TransPasses and TrailPasses will lack a controversial element: those "M" and "F" stickers identifying the gender of the person who bought them. Much attention has been given to the transit agency's fare increase that begins Monday - which includes the first increase to the system's base fare (from $2 to $2.25) in 12 years. SEPTA also is consolidating Regional Rail zones and eliminating those gender-identifying stickers in the agency's most recent preparation for its massive New Payment Technology overhaul.
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