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May 8, 2016
A federal judge in Trenton on Friday sentenced a 34-year-old Philadelphia woman to 40 months in federal prison for her role in a massive credit-card fraud scheme, prosecutor said. Vernina Adams, 34, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. She was charged in 2013, and since then 18 others have pleaded guilty in connection with the conspiracy to fabricate more than 7,000 false identities and obtain tens of thousands of credit cards.
NEWS
May 8, 2016 | By David Patrick Stearns, CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC
The Philadelphia Orchestra's two-week John Williams festival ideally balanced the two lives of this hugely well-known, oft-awarded composer - and left you feeling that you knew the personality behind the music. Principal guest conductor Stéphane Denève integrated two Williams concertos into regular subscription concerts - showing how much they do belong there, especially with the deluxe treatment that came with the likes of James Ehnes, who played the Williams Violin Concerto at Thursday at the Kimmel Center with the insights and commitment he brings to better-known repertoire.
NEWS
May 8, 2016 | By Jeff Gammage, Staff Writer
Former Philadelphia Police Officer Walter Sasse, whom friends and family described as loving, devoted, and even inspirational, was sentenced to 111/2 to 23 months in prison Tuesday for molesting a teenage girl over two years. Prosecutors had sought a sentence of five to 10 years, and sentencing guidelines called for a minimum of four years. Sasse, 78, was released to serve house arrest until he files an appeal, at which time he is to report to prison. He was convicted of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, and related offenses.
NEWS
May 7, 2016
ISSUE | PHILA. ECONOMY Cut the wage tax A commentary discussed positive and negative aspects of Philadelphia's economy ("Use key assets to promote Philly growth," April 28). It cited state legislation endorsed by Mayor Kenney that would increase the property-tax rate on commercial real estate from 1.4 percent to 1.61 percent of value , with the increment devoted to reducing the wage tax and the business net income tax. Data from a report by Econsult Solutions show that property-tax revenue on commercial real estate will amount to $220 million this year, and the new rate would boost it to $253 million if the tax base does not change.
NEWS
May 7, 2016 | By David Patrick Stearns, CLASSICAL MUSIC CRITIC
Somehow the words love fest don't cover it. Wednesday's one-night-only concert of John Williams film music by the Philadelphia Orchestra as part of its two-week Williams celebration was bound to be good box office, with an audience exuding good will accumulated from the many popular Stephen Spielberg films that he has scored. But what unfolded at the Kimmel Center was beyond what could have been anticipated. Planned to be two hours long, it went an for an extra half hour, with three encores led by the composer himself, who shared the conducting podium with Stéphane Denève, prompting some of the longest and loudest ovations I've heard at the Kimmel Center.
NEWS
May 5, 2016
ISSUE | PHILADELPHIA POLICE Recruit harder for educated candidates Former Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey was headed in a positive direction when he required more-educated, less-violence-prone Philadelphia officers. Now, because a 60-college-credit (or two years in the military) requirement poses a recruitment challenge, new Commissioner Richard Ross sadly wants to ditch it ("Police recruiting woes may end college credit requirement," Tuesday). What's needed is more-aggressive recruiting, including of recruits of color, not backsliding on standards that are important to the public's interests.
NEWS
May 4, 2016 | By Max Weiss and Wendell Pritchett
Over the past five years, the funding crisis in the School District of Philadelphia has become well known to everyone in the region, as well as many people across the country. As a result of cuts in state and federal funding during the summer of 2011, the district faced a deficit in excess of $600 million for fiscal 2012. In preparing the fiscal 2013 and 2014 budgets, the School District faced gaps in excess of $300 million. While the district has secured funding (mostly from the city)
NEWS
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Two men were stabbed in a store in the 200 block of West Tioga Street in North Philadelphia about 6:30 p.m. Sunday, with one victim wounded multiple times in the body and the other less seriously, police said. They said an unknown assailant stabbed the men, one 17 and the more seriously wounded 20. Both were taken take to Temple University Hospital and were in stable condition. The assailant fled the scene, and no arrests were made. Police gave no motive for the attack. - Mark Fazlollah
NEWS
May 3, 2016 | By Robert Moran, Staff Writer
It was graduation day for Rousey, a stray German shepherd rescued last summer by a Philadelphia-area nonprofit with the goal of making her a police dog. After 10 weeks of training, Rousey officially became a K-9 at a ceremony Saturday in Roanoke, Va. She will serve with the Rocky Mount Police Department, which is just south of Roanoke. It was the end of one journey and the beginning of another for Rousey, who was given a second chance by Throw Away Dogs and its founder Carol Skaziak.
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