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NEWS
February 6, 2015 | By Chris Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
Former City Councilman James F. Kenney on Tuesday returned to City Hall to formally open his bid for mayor with a promise to expand pre-K education to those who cannot afford it. Kenney, who stepped down Thursday after 23 years on Council, said he also would strive to make city schools community centerpieces, reduce wage and business taxes, and align courses at Community College of Philadelphia to better meet the needs of employers. More than that, he said, the city needs to recognize that neither the state nor the federal governments can provide a solution to the city's multiple challenges.
NEWS
February 5, 2015 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
From the 1980s into the 2000s, Samuel Erlick spoke about his World War II experiences to students at high schools in South Jersey. "He was invited to do that," and brought not only his medals, but a map so the students could follow where he had served, his wife, Sandra, said. Through his own experiences, she said, he hoped "to give them a history of World War II. " On Monday, Feb. 2, Mr. Erlick, 90, of Cherry Hill, who retired in January 1994 as an auditor for the Philadelphia regional office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, died at Voorhees Care & Rehabilitation Center.
SPORTS
February 5, 2015 | By Mike Jensen, Inquirer Columnist
The place had a VIP feel. Ed Rendell sat in the front row, and TV cameras from the local stations shot footage from the corners. Some of Herb Magee's fellow coaches sneaked into the building, and 34 former Magee players were in the stands. A simple sign in the corner of the gym told the story, a printed black "1" on a white square. Philadelphia University's coach, in his 48th season in charge on Henry Avenue, on track for the 1,000th win of his Hall of Fame career, trying to join Mike Krzyzewski as the only NCAA men's coaches to hit that mark, watched a beautifully arcing attempt by a textbook shooter track toward the basket in the final seconds, a game-winner if it fell.
NEWS
February 5, 2015 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mark L. Gushner, 80, of Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., a former co-owner and operator of Boyd's Philadelphia, died Thursday, Jan. 29, of Parkinson's disease and a blood cancer at the Hospice of Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center. Mr. Gushner lived in Gladwyne before retiring to Florida in 2004. Starting in 1968, Mr. Gushner was instrumental in the expansion and success of Boyd's, the clothing store founded by his father and two uncles in 1938. Formerly at 1217 Market St., the store is now at 1818 Chestnut St. "My father worked there from the time he was in high school," said son Jimmy.
NEWS
February 5, 2015 | By Aubrey Whelan, Inquirer Staff Writer
A former Philadelphia Police Department clerk and her husband were charged Tuesday with stealing department-owned ATVs and falsifying documents to cover up the thefts, the District Attorney's Office has announced. Sharon Hammitt, a clerk in the department's Auto Pound Unit for 26 years, and her husband, John Hammitt, have been charged with theft, forgery and related crimes, prosecutors said on Tuesday. District Attorney Seth Williams said in a statement that Sharon Hammitt - whose job involved keeping records of impounded vehicles - and her husband stole three ATVs from the unit between 2005 and 2010.
NEWS
February 4, 2015 | By Chris Brennan, Inquirer Staff Writer
The race for mayor of Philadelphia, off to a sleepy start, picked up momentum last month. The money has yet to catch up. No Democrat's campaign account had crossed the half-million-dollar mark as of Dec. 31, according to 2014 annual finance reports filed Monday. By contrast, three of the five major candidates in the 2007 Democratic primary for mayor had raised more than $1 million by this time in their race. And they all released their reports three weeks early so they could brag about it. In this race, many political donors were waiting to see if City Council President Darrell L. Clarke would run for mayor.
NEWS
February 4, 2015 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Joseph T. Steuer, 63, of Blue Bell, chief financial officer and treasurer of the Philadelphia Zoo, died Saturday, Jan. 31, of brain cancer at home. Mr. Steuer's 14 years with the zoo were a period of growth and change. The institution added exhibits and visitor amenities, renewed its focus on the health and welfare of its animals, advanced the mission of wildlife conservation, and expanded its educational services. At the same time, Mr. Steuer delivered "record financial results," said the zoo's CEO, Vikram Dewan.
NEWS
February 3, 2015 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia School District plans to hire at least 400 teachers for the 2015-16 school year. In a district that has spent the last several years closing schools and laying off teachers, that is notable. Particular areas of need, officials said, are secondary math and science, special education, art, music, and upper elementary school. In an effort to compete with charter schools and other systems, the district has also changed its application process, shortening the hiring timeline and requiring applicants to submit more information up front.
NEWS
February 2, 2015 | By Jan Hefler, Inquirer Staff Writer
Weather forecasters say revelers at Super Bowl parties to the north and east of the city could face a dusting or a few inches of snow as they head home Sunday night. But in Philadelphia, "a sloppy, wintry mix" is expected late Sunday and into Monday, said Dean Iovino, a meteorologist at the National Weather Bureau in Mount Holly. During the day, light snow will come in from the west and will change into sleet or freezing rain at night as the high temperatures hover in the mid-30s, he said.
NEWS
February 2, 2015 | By Chris Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
It is not news that the current crop of Democratic mayoral candidates is a bit long in the tooth. Heck, half the known field is eligible for Social Security. What you might have missed, however, is that Philadelphia seems guaranteed this year to elect its oldest first-term mayor since the adoption of the 1951 Home Rule Charter. That presumes, of course, that Doug Oliver, Mayor Nutter's former spokesman and a comparative child at 40, doesn't pull off the greatest upset since the tortoise smoked the hare and that the city's GOP doesn't find a candidate who can overcome a nearly 8-1 registration disadvantage.
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