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BUSINESS
March 2, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
WASHINGTON - In the grand halls of Union Station, you can get everything but a train. From Appalachian Spring to Victoria's Secret, 55 retail shops offer shoes, handbags, ties, chocolate, wine, perfume, cigars, watches, and clothes. Thirty-five restaurants and food stands will serve you plank-roasted salmon on a white tablecloth or a burrito in a brown paper bag. The many commercial lures - and the majesty of the monumental 1907 Beaux Arts building with its vaulted, coffered ceilings and classical statuary - have made Union Station a bigger draw than the Lincoln Memorial or the Smithsonian Institution: 37 million people pass under its arches each year.
NEWS
March 1, 2015 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
The principal of Science Leadership Academy will skip school Monday and Tuesday. So will the principal of the Workshop School and the leader of Science Leadership Academy at Beeber. The three Philadelphia School District leaders have a solid excuse for being absent. They will be meeting with Education Secretary Arne Duncan and other top principals from around the country in Washington. Chris Lehmann, Simon Hauger, and Chris Johnson have been chosen for a new program, "Principals at ED," that "brings groups of highly innovative and successful principals from across the country to the Education Department to learn more about federal programs and to share experiences from their jobs as school leaders.
BUSINESS
March 1, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
Acknowledging the popularity of ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft, the Philadelphia Parking Authority said it plans to require better taxicab service in the city. New rules proposed this week would require that vehicles brought into service as taxis could have no more than 500 miles on the odometer, down from the current 135,000 miles. And all new medallion cabs would be required to be wheelchair-accessible. The new rules, if approved by the state Independent Regulatory Review Commission, likely would not take effect until late this year, though change might take many years, since existing cabs could remain on the road until they were eight years old or had 250,000 miles on the odometer.
NEWS
March 1, 2015 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Philadelphia woman was sentenced Friday to at least 21 months in prison for her role in the death of her 11-year-old daughter, who was shot by her 2-year-old son with a revolver she kept in her Mantua home. Tiffany Goldwire, 32, who pleaded guilty Dec. 18 to involuntary manslaughter, could spend up to five years in prison. Common Pleas Court Judge Glenn B. Bronson showed leniency for Goldwire, who faced from five to 10 years in prison. "The judge was aware that justice in this case needed to be exacted," said Goldwire's lawyer, Eugene Tinari, "but at the same time it needed to be tempered with some mercy, given the circumstances.
BUSINESS
February 28, 2015 | By Jeff Gelles, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission moved Thursday to deregulate prices for Verizon's landline phone service in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and three other regions - a decision that could lead to sizable price jumps for customers, who pay about $22 a month for traditional local phone service. By a 3-2 vote that drew sharp dissents from the commission's two Democratic appointees, the PUC partly backed Verizon's October petition, which asked that its service be declared "competitive" in the five markets under a 2004 state law that sought to promote phone and Internet competition.
NEWS
February 27, 2015 | By Sandy Bauers, For The Inquirer
Snowy owls, with 5-foot wingspans and piercing yellow gazes, are a rare sight in this region, so far from their high Arctic realm. Last winter, however, the majestic birds showed up in numbers not seen in half a century. Birders declared it a once-in-a-lifetime event. Incredibly, it is happening again. The owls are back this winter, if not quite as abundantly. Their appearance over the last two years has sent researchers into a frenzy of data-gathering on a species that has given up little about where it goes, what it does, and why. During snowy owl "irruptions," unusually high numbers travel south for the coldest months, out of Canada and into the United States.
NEWS
February 27, 2015 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
The prosecutor in Eric Torres' attempted murder-trial said the defendant was determined to shoot a Philadelphia police officer - and succeeded. The lawyer for the 33-year-old Feltonville man, however, called the shooting of Officer Edward Davies an accident that occurred as "more than five aggressive police officers" tried to subdue the struggling suspect on the floor of a neighborhood bodega. The prosecution challenged that notion, saying that only four officers were involved and that Torres was the aggressor.
NEWS
February 26, 2015 | Chris Hepp and Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writers
It was a bit like speed dating meets the Iowa caucuses Tuesday night at the Field House sports bar in Center City. Five of the candidates for the Democratic nomination for mayor took part in what was billed as a petition-pitch party, but was as much a test of how well they could connect with a bar filled with young, semi-inebriated voters. And, theoretically, there was a measure of success - how many people a candidate could persuade to sign his or her nominating petition. Early returns suggested former City Councilman James F. Kenney was doing the best.
NEWS
February 25, 2015 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia School District is taking its attempt to cancel its teachers' contract to the state's highest court. District officials announced Monday that they had appealed to the state Supreme Court a Commonwealth Court decision that the School Reform Commission lacked authority to impose new terms on the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. The SRC called the lower court's ruling "wrongly decided. " "We remain convinced that the SRC had clear statutory authority when it acted last fall to redirect a projected $200 million in savings to our schools over the next four years," the commission said in a statement.
NEWS
February 23, 2015 | By Andrew Maykuth, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia region's petroleum refineries, many of which faced closure four years ago, have experienced an economic revival, thanks to the arrival of a virtual pipeline of domestic crude oil by rail. But the same petroleum from North Dakota's Bakken oil field has been implicated in a succession of dramatic North American rail accidents in the last two years, most recently Monday in West Virginia. Video images of orange fireballs erupting from crumpled tank cars near the village of Mount Carbon last week reignited concerns that the same thing could happen here.
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