December 29, 2014 |
What's another name for student debt consolidator? A new low in scam artists . So here's how not to become a target of "debt relief" companies. Many 2014 college graduates are receiving their first loan bills. Student loans total $1.2 trillion nationally, and about seven million students have defaulted. You don't need to pay anyone to get help with, or to restructure, your federal student loans - period. (Private loans are another matter entirely). Do it yourself for free.
December 25, 2014 |
American Airlines Group said Tuesday that it will raise pay rates by 4 percent for union-represented employees of US Airways and American that reach joint labor contracts. Philadelphia's largest airline said nonunion employees, below the director level, will get the same 4 percent raise. A year after the merger of US Airways and American, the airline's CEO Doug Parker said, "Taking this step just one year into our integration speaks volumes about just how well American is performing.
December 25, 2014 |
The Pennsylvania School Boards Association says it differs with some of the recommendations a Chester County grand jury gave to the Coatesville Area School District last week. The association said Tuesday that sweeping votes on meeting agendas are not always bad, antinepotism policies can go too far, and all school board members, not just new ones, should receive in-depth training. The jury's recommendations to fix systemic problems within the district might create other troubles or not go far enough, according to Stuart Knade, the Pennsylvania School Boards Association's lawyer.
December 24, 2014 |
Candles burned on every windowsill. Lights on the large, elegant holiday tree were on a dimmer that was adjusted to suit the manner of the music. So at the Crossing@Christmas concert Friday at Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, there was a glow of the familiar in a program that was anything but. Holiday concerts are not occasions for surprise. Yet middling ones arrived via the side door both here and in two versions of Handel's Messiah that showed what different experiences that overfamiliar masterwork can be. The Brandywine Singers and Tempesta di Mare chose the infrequently heard Dublin version Saturday with no conductor at all, while the Philadelphia Orchestra's Sunday Messiah had guest conductor Matthew Halls from the front lines of England's ever-evolving early-music scene.
December 23, 2014 |
Students at William Tennent High School didn't know what it takes to run a supermarket - until one opened on campus. Inside the Warminster school, a one-room ShopRite offers the snacks, drinks, and laundry detergent students and staff can buy at a bigger version of the supermarket a mile away. But this ShopRite - designed in the chain's signature red, yellow, and black - is about more than the customer. The mini-branch at Tennent, which opened in October, is part of an internship and career program aimed at giving students a taste of work in the real world.
December 22, 2014
A pall hung over the TV bazaar this year. There were passings both major (James Garner, Joan Rivers, Efrem Zimbalist Jr.) and minor (Pugsley from The Addams Family , Reuben from The Partridge Family , the Professor from Gilligan's Island ). The medium's Dowager Countess, Barbara Walters, stepped down from The View . Here Comes Honey Boo Boo was yanked for getting a little too real. And our usual escape outlets - sports and comedy - were denied us. ESPN went OCD, fixating on LeBron James for half the year and Ray Rice for the remainder.
December 21, 2014 |
For the better part of 52 years, Joseph Rosati Plumbing & Heating has offered its employees fully paid health insurance. "My father prided himself in being able to offer health benefits to his employees," says Regina Weinhardt, who, along with her brothers, Joe Jr. and Anthony, took over the company after their father died in 2007. But when the company was ready to renew its group policy last month, Weinhardt got a bad case of sticker shock - an 87 percent rate increase. Her broker was able to find Weinhardt a more affordable policy with less coverage.
December 19, 2014 |
THERE'S AN ADAGE that states "everything old becomes new again. " Which brings us to a story involving Andy Reid and Troy Aikman that resurfaced when the former Cowboys QB was interviewed on Dallas radio station KESN-FM earlier this week. Like a fine wine, or a great movie, the story about the time Aikman almost became an Eagle gets better with age. It was Nov. 17, 2002, and Aikman, who had officially retired 19 months earlier, was broadcasting the 49ers at Chargers game.
December 18, 2014 |
As he stood before a Montgomery County judge last year, Bradley W. Stone was already in a downward spiral. He had been arrested, again, for drunken driving. He was on medications as part of his mental health treatment. The former Marine said he was fully disabled by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, couldn't work and was too broke to pay court costs. Instead of coming down hard on the 33-year-old divorced father of two young girls, Judge William J. Furber Jr. allowed him to enter a Veteran's Treatment Program that insured he wouldn't have to go to prison or pay a hefty fine.
December 16, 2014 |
Exelon Generation Co. hopes to decide by New Year's Day who is going to buy the square-columned Peco Delaware Station power plant that the company owns on 16 acres between the river and Interstate 95, just north of Center City. More than a dozen would-be owners walked the property this fall, and Exelon managers and their real estate brokers at Binswanger are still weighing best offers, Exelon spokesman Bob Judge told me. Nearby, the vacant field once proposed for a Trump Tower complex, approved for the Northern Liberties waterfront at 709-717 N. Penn St., but never built, is for sale by U.S. Bank and other lenders who foreclosed on the two-acre site.