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NEWS
August 3, 2014 | By Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Philadelphia police officer shot and killed a would-be robber who police say put a gun to the officer's head as he responded to a burglary alarm at a Northeast Philadelphia home, thwarting a home invasion. The alarm went off around 12:45 a.m. at the house on the 900 block of Wakeling Street in the Northwood section, police said. A man answered the door when the officer arrived and assured him everything was fine, police said. But when the officer asked him for identification to prove that he lived in the house, the man instead brought a woman to the door, police said.
NEWS
August 1, 2014 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
A former Coatesville detective who stole from the department where he worked for nearly two decades was sentenced Wednesday to 11 1/2 to 23 months in the Chester County prison, a fraction of the term prosecutors sought. Gerald Pawling, once honored for civic engagement and public service, stole more than $60,000 from the Coatesville Police Department, Police Benevolent Association, and Police Athletic League. District Attorney Thomas Hogan, whose office sought a 10- to 20-year sentence, said in a statement that "all of Chester County law enforcement" was dismayed by Judge David Partner's decision.
NEWS
July 31, 2014 | By Gideon Bradshaw, Inquirer Staff Writer
HARRISBURG - Activists said Tuesday that the Attorney General's Office has told them it will look into how state officials handled complaints by residents on the possible health impacts of natural gas drilling. Sam Bernhardt, an organizer for the advocacy group Food & Water Watch, said an agent from the office's Environmental Crimes Unit asked him for contact information for individuals who contend the Department of Health never responded to their inquiries about symptoms they believed were related to natural gas drilling.
NEWS
July 29, 2014 | By Barbara Boyer, Inquirer Staff Writer
Sgt. William McGovern of the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office fatally ran over a motorcyclist and called 911 last July 27. Then, minutes after he learned the victim was off-duty Moorestown Patrolman Craig Berner, McGovern left the scene on Westfield Road to feed a friend's cat, according to law enforcement records. Although McGovern returned within an hour of the 10 p.m. crash - and township police then documented that he smelled of alcohol - authorities called off a sobriety test requested by a Moorestown officer.
NEWS
July 28, 2014 | BY CINDY STANSBURY & STEPHANIE FARR, Daily News Staff Writer stansbc@phillynews.com, 215-854-5914
GAIL SKINNER said it was about 6 a.m. yesterday when she first heard the screams. "I was ironing, and I heard my neighbor hollering 'Help, help!' " the South Philadelphia woman recalled. When Skinner, 67, and her daughter went outside to investigate, they were greeted by clouds of thick black smoke. "So much smoke and flames, and it was coming out the window," she said, referring to a home up the street now completely black, its charred contents strewn about the sidewalk.
NEWS
July 22, 2014 | By Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writer
The would-be thief wiped sweat from his brow as he approached the unsecured bicycle in South Philadelphia, clearly marked "Police. " He paused next to the bike as the wheels - or tumbleweeds - spun in his head. He pulled up his sagging pants and quickly glanced over his shoulder, then walked the police bike around the corner and out of view of the surveillance cameras that caught the entire July 9 incident around 11:30 a.m. in the 1800 block of South Broad Street. Forty-five minutes later, the Trek bicycle was recovered in the 1300 block of Girard Avenue in North Philadelphia.
NEWS
July 19, 2014 | By Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
An investigating grand jury has found no evidence that a female police officer seriously injured a teenager's genitals during a stop-and-frisk search earlier this year, District Attorney Seth Williams said Thursday. Darrin Manning, 16, and his lawyer said he was injured after police stopped him and some friends near Broad Street and Girard Avenue. Some of the teens, who had been on their way to a school basketball game, ran from the officers. Manning, however, was apprehended.
NEWS
July 18, 2014 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
  Frederick C. Feil Jr. "always wanted dogs," his wife, Margaret, said, "but we couldn't have them," because of restrictions where they lived. Mr. Feil made up for it on the job. As an officer with the Philadelphia Police Department from 1966 to 1976, she said, he was a member of the canine unit and worked with a Doberman pinscher named Dutch and a German shepherd named Shep. "He liked working with dogs," his wife said, and in retirement the Feils have raised a schnauzer named - as a fisherman like Mr. Feil might - Striper.
NEWS
July 18, 2014 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Pennsylvania congressman has called for a criminal investigation into claims of mail shredding and data manipulation at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Regional Office. In a letter to officials from the FBI, the U.S. Postal Service, and the U.S. Attorney's Office, Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick, a Republican from Bucks County, called the alleged offenses "unconscionable and deserving of further investigation. " The concerns at the Philadelphia VA office in Germantown, which oversees benefits for 825,000 veterans in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey and also houses one of the nation's three VA pension management centers, came to light Monday.
NEWS
July 18, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Ruling that the trial judge's questioning of witnesses prejudiced the jury, a Pennsylvania appeals court has ordered a new trial for a veteran Philadelphia police officer convicted of false arrest. In unusually critical terms, a three-judge panel of the Superior Court ruled Tuesday that Aleksander Shwarz was denied a fair trial because of questions by Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Earl W. Trent Jr. At the same time, the court said, the jury probably would have convicted Shwarz based on the evidence alone.
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