August 6, 2015 |
TRENTON - Jake Thompson spent five hours of his Tuesday afternoon on a chartered bus in a traffic jam. Double-A Reading's usual 90-minute trip to Trenton's Arm & Hammer Park was delayed by an accident on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The righthander's first outing after being acquired from Texas as part of the Cole Hamels trade was off to a great start. "It was one of those typical minor-league days. Everyone grabbed a bag off the bus and we said, 'Let's go get 'em, boys,' " said manager Dusty Wathan after Thompson pitched seven strong innings in Reading's 7-1 win over the Thunder.
August 6, 2015 |
TRENTON - Nick Williams walked down the hallway with an ear-to-ear grin as he headed toward his team's locker room. His new Double A, Reading Fightin Phils teammates greeted him with cheers and loud club music as soon as he cracked open the door. They didn't want to start their celebration routine without the newly acquired centerfielder and leadoff hitter, formerly of the Texas Rangers organization. Williams and starting pitcher Jake Thompson were two of the five minor league prospects acquired in the Cole Hamels deal, which sent the former Phillies ace and reliever Jake Diekman to Texas last Wednesday.
August 5, 2015 |
Gov. Wolf on Monday nominated a retired state police major who grew up in North Philadelphia and lives in Chester County to be Pennsylvania's next police commissioner. Tyree C. Blocker, whose assignments included director of the state police's bureau of drug law enforcement, is Wolf's second choice for the job, following his controversial and politically costly nomination of Marcus Brown. Brown, a former head of the Maryland State Police, withdrew his name from consideration in mid-June after Wolf failed to get enough support among Republican lawmakers in Harrisburg.
July 9, 2015 |
Tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike will increase 6 percent in 2016, effective Jan. 3. Also, an additional toll will be collected from westbound vehicles at a new all-electronic toll plaza in Bucks County, at the eastern end of the turnpike. That toll will be $5 for passenger vehicles using E-ZPass and $6.75 for vehicles without E-ZPass. A bill will be mailed to the owner of a non-E-ZPass vehicle, based on its license plate. The decisions by the Turnpike Commission on Tuesday to raise tolls for the eighth year in a row means the cash toll to drive from the Ohio border to the New Jersey border will be $48.90 for passenger cars, up from the current $46.10.
July 3, 2015 |
Commuters who use the four bridges operated by the Delaware River Port Authority between New Jersey and Pennsylvania are one step closer to paying less in tolls. The DRPA finance committee approved a measure Wednesday that would lower tolls for frequent users of the Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Betsy Ross, and Commodore Barry bridges by $18 a month. The proposal will go before the authority's board of commissioners July 15. If approved, the changes would go into effect in November or December, officials said.
July 1, 2015 |
HARRISBURG - Third-grade teacher Elaine Blackmon took a deep breath and made her best sales pitch. "What's good for Philadelphia public students is good for students across the commonwealth," Blackmon told an impassive assistant to Rep. Martin Causer (R., McKean). "We're asking him to reconsider Gov. Wolf's budget. " Blackmon was among hundreds of people who descended on the state Capitol on Monday to lobby lawmakers deep in negotiations to pass a state budget. Among them were more 100 teachers, nurses, and other members of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, sporting red T-shirts and making their case for more funding for city schools.
May 18, 2015 |
One in a continuing series spotlighting real estate markets in the region's communities. For J. Barrett and Janet VanDame, Franconia Township had the perfect house, just what they needed five years ago for taking care of his parents, both 95 years old. "We had been looking for something with single-floor living that could accommodate them, and this was it," Barrett VanDame says of the house they moved to from Souderton Borough. Halver and Mary VanDame have died since their son and daughter-in-law moved to this Montgomery County community, but Barrett and Janet have no intention of leaving Franconia.
April 4, 2015 |
It didn't take long for the uproar over religious-freedom laws in Indiana and Arkansas to reverberate in Pennsylvania. Democrats, including Gov. Wolf, grabbed onto the controversy this week to bolster their bid for a state ban on discrimination against members of the LGBT community. The proposal would make it illegal for businesses to fire workers or deny customers because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. It would also offer protections beyond antidiscrimination measures already passed by more than 30 municipalities, including Philadelphia, Haverford, Abington, and New Hope.
March 3, 2015 |
Freezing rain, slush, and snow made driving treacherous across much of the region Sunday, causing numerous crashes, some involving multiple injuries. The icy conditions prompted authorities to reduce the speed limit to 45 m.p.h. on most highways. More than 400 flights in and out of Philadelphia International Airport were canceled as the Federal Aviation Administration slowed traffic to cope with the storm and highway delays. Staffers were preparing to hand out cots, blankets, and water bottles if delays left travelers stranded after midnight, spokeswoman Diane Gerace said.
February 23, 2015 |
Heavy snow Saturday wreaked havoc on regional transportation systems, causing flight cancellations at Philadelphia International Airport, mass-transit delays, and a spike in motor-vehicle accidents. The Federal Aviation Administration imposed a ground stop for several hours barring flights from taking off from the airport. Airport spokeswoman Mary Flannery said the action was taken because of the reduced visibility and high winds in the storm. The FAA lifted the ground stop in the late afternoon, but about 20 percent of flights into and out of the airport were canceled, and flight delays persisted the rest of the day. A winter storm warning is in effect until 9 a.m. Sunday.