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NEWS
August 6, 2014 | By Amy Worden, Inquirer Harrisburg Bureau
HARRISBURG - Gov. Corbett on Monday signaled that he was willing to advance millions of dollars in state education money to Philadelphia schools to ensure that they open on time next month. The pledge, through a spokesman, came hours after Corbett met with legislators in an unsuccessful bid to get them to return and vote on a $2-per-pack cigarette tax to fund city schools. "This is about putting children of Philadelphia first," spokesman Jay Pagni said. "The governor is prepared, if need be, to advance funding once the final request is made of him. " It was not clear, however, that the move would avert the doomsday scenario city officials have predicted: layoff notices to more than 1,000 district employees next week and a delayed start for 131,000 students next month.
NEWS
August 6, 2014 | By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer
A teacher at KIPP Philadelphia Elementary Academy has won a national teaching award. Dayna Perry was one of 10 teachers nationwide whom the KIPP Foundation honored for excellence in teaching Friday night in Houston during the annual conference of the national charter school network. Winners were selected based on their track records in improving student performance, commitment to helping students succeed, and leadership in the classroom and their schools. Each will receive $10,000.
NEWS
August 6, 2014 | BY MORGAN ZALOT, Daily News Staff Writerzalotm@phillynews.com, 215-854-5928
CONSTANCE MURRAY left her home on a quiet, winding Northeast Philadelphia street around 9 o'clock Monday night to go for a jog on the warm summer night. Tuesday morning, about nine hours after leaving for her jog, Murray, 46, was found dead a few blocks from home, her body lying along a wooded stretch of Pennypack Park, tucked behind the small Holme-Crisp Cemetery and a baseball field at Holme and Convent avenues. She was identified by a police source. That's about all police knew last night about the death of the wife and mother, known as Connie among friends and relatives.
NEWS
August 6, 2014 | By Tricia L. Nadolny, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Pennsylvania congressman has called on the Department of Veterans Affairs to investigate and hold accountable Philadelphia VA officials who he says lied to him. In a letter sent Monday to new VA Secretary Robert McDonald, Rep. Patrick Meehan (R., Pa.) said the agency seems to embrace a "culture of cover-ups. " The charge comes after a VA audit released last week showed that 31 percent of schedulers interviewed at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center said they had been told to not enter the appointment dates veterans requested, a method that masked delays.
NEWS
August 5, 2014 | BY PATRICIA MADEJ, Daily News Staff Writer madejp@phillynews.com, 215-854-5938
IT OPENED its doors at 63rd and Callowhill streets in 1887, becoming Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in 2005, and those doors now have closed. The once-church, then turned worship site, officially closed Friday, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced yesterday. The West Philly church had seen its fair share of changes. In January 2013, it merged with St. Cyprian Parish, at Cobbs Creek Parkway and Cedar Avenue, remaining open as a worship center. It was used only occasionally for Masses, funerals, weddings and more.
NEWS
August 5, 2014 | BY REGINA MEDINA, Daily News Staff Writer medinar@phillynews.com, 215-854-5985
DEPUTY POLICE Commissioner Kevin Bethel doesn't rely just on commanders and patrol units to keep the city safe, he told the West Philadelphia school classroom full of block captains. "A lot of that work done is not just policing. It's done by what you and the folks in the room are doing every day," Bethel said. "The work you're doing matters. . . . It makes my job a heck of a lot easier. " Bethel spoke Saturday during one of six workshops offered by the 2014 West/Southwest Block Captains Forum at the Boys Latin of Philadelphia Charter School, on Cedar Avenue near 55th Street.
NEWS
August 5, 2014 | BY JASON NARK, Daily News Staff Writer narkj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5916
FEAR LED Shaneen Allen to buy a handgun. Allen, 27, of South Philly, worried she'd be robbed again, left bleeding and bruised with her shirt torn apart like that breezy July night last year in an alley off South Street. She thought of her boys, Naiare and Sincere, growing up without a mom, and she worked too hard for them and too many jobs to lose it all over some makeup, a $20 bill and a SEPTA TransPass, she said. "I was actually scared to buy the firearm, because I didn't know anything about guns," Allen said Wednesday inside her townhouse as the boys hovered around her. Allen obtained a license-to-carry permit and legally purchased a .380 Bersa Thunder, a gun with two safeties and a trigger lock.
REAL_ESTATE
August 4, 2014 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Every silver lining warrants a cloud, and I guess the way Philadelphia is evolving is no exception. A Pew Charitable Trusts survey of homeownership that I wrote about a few weeks ago showed that the number of owner-occupied houses in the city has continued its decline. Numbers had been dropping since the city's population peaked in 1950 at nearly 2.1 million, falling by more than 500,000 by 2000. Between 2000 and 2012, the Pew study found, the homeownership rate dropped 7.1 percentage points, from 59.3 percent to 52.2 percent.
NEWS
August 4, 2014 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Alice Gray, 90, a standout amateur golfer and later a golf pro at two Philadelphia-area country clubs, died Friday, July 25, of causes related to aging at Barclay Friends in West Chester, where she had lived since 1996. Born in Cambridge, Mass., Ms. Gray was the daughter of Jerome B. Gray, an advertising copywriter and founder of the Philadelphia firm Gray & Rogers. Her mother, Miriam A. Fertig Gray, was a former nurse. Ms. Gray grew up in the Dower House on North High Street in West Chester, among the oldest homes in town.
REAL_ESTATE
August 4, 2014 | By Erin Arvedlund, Inquirer Staff Writer
Philadelphia needs more low-income housing for veterans, particularly those who served in recent conflicts such as the Gulf War, says Walter Kubiak of Mission First Housing Group. Kubiak, a Vietnam veteran, knows that vets often have mental-health issues that don't manifest themselves for years, and that they may then have trouble finding housing. "We have a lot of young people in Philadelphia who've spent years in combat under incredible stress," he said. "They come back with head injuries that would have killed them in previous wars.
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