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NEWS
October 3, 2014 | By Chris Hepp, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mayor Nutter on Wednesday wanted to make a few things clear: He does not condone marijuana use. It is not a particularly wise personal choice. And it remains illegal. With that out of the way, he put pen to paper and signed a new city ordinance that decriminalizes possession and public use of small amounts of the drug. As of Oct. 20, possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana will be considered a civil offense in Philadelphia, punishable by a $25 fine. Public use of the drug also will be a civil offense, with a $100 fine or up to nine hours of community service.
NEWS
October 3, 2014 | By Michael Matza, Inquirer Staff Writer
Born in Liberia and now living in Darby Borough, Tina Dennis eagerly anticipated the marriage of an uncle in her homeland. Dennis, a nursing home assistant, and her sister Precious, who lives in Maryland, were to meet in Atlanta and fly to Monrovia, the capital, this month, arriving a few days early for bridesmaid fittings. "It was to be a big wedding," she said Wednesday. "I'm from a huge family. " But Ebola, the epidemic responsible for more than 3,000 deaths in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone since January, derailed her plans.
NEWS
October 3, 2014
You may think that Philadelphia is run by the mayor in City Hall. In fact, there are 10 mini-mayors around town who rule their turf with near-absolute power: City Council's district representatives. They alone determine what projects get built, where bike lanes are located, whether residents can nominate their neighborhoods for historic status, and much, much else. Their power comes largely from their ability to veto zoning bills. That may explain why some Council members remain intent on undermining the new zoning code, which was designed to simplify development in Philadelphia by reducing the need for special bills and variances.
NEWS
October 2, 2014 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Philadelphia jury found Ali Marsh guilty of first-degree murder Tuesday for his role in the bloody 2012 home invasion that killed a Strawberry Mansion man, seriously wounded his wife, and traumatized their two young sons. Marsh - who was removed from the courtroom Friday after he testified in his own defense, and accused prosecutors of "railroading" him and the judge of bias - had no visible reaction as the Common Pleas Court jury returned its verdict after about six hours of deliberations since Monday.
BUSINESS
October 1, 2014 | By Linda Loyd, Inquirer Staff Writer
Most flights operated on time with some minor delays Monday at Philadelphia International Airport, despite delays and cancellations nationwide over the weekend after a Federal Aviation Administration telecommunications contractor allegedly burned a Chicago-area radar center in an apparent suicide attempt Friday. Philadelphia International has 27 scheduled departures to, and 27 scheduled arrivals from, Chicago's O'Hare and Midway Airports, said spokesman Mark Pesce. "According to the airlines, most flights are operating on time, with some minor delays," Pesce said.
BUSINESS
October 1, 2014 | By Linda Loyd, Inquirer Staff Writer
Frontier Airlines - with new owners, a new management team, and a new logo on its planes - is coming to Philadelphia with flights to seven cities. Denver's hometown airline will announce Tuesday nonstop flights from Philadelphia International Airport to Miami, Orlando, and Tampa, Fla., and Cancun, Mexico, in December, and to Atlanta, Charlotte, N.C., and Chicago next spring. "These are underserved markets with very high fares," Frontier chief executive officer David Siegel said.
NEWS
September 29, 2014 | By Kristen A. Graham, Inquirer Staff Writer
Leah Hopkins had never volunteered for a political campaign. But on Saturday, she walked up and down 56th Street in the city's Overbrook section, knocking on doors to talk to voters about the Pennsylvania gubernatorial election. "I am adamant," Hopkins said, "about getting him out of office. " Him is Gov. Corbett, a target of much revulsion in the ranks of city teachers. Hopkins is one of dozens of members of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers who have signed up to volunteer with the Tom Wolf campaign, canvassing voters to drum up support for the Democratic nominee for governor.
NEWS
September 29, 2014 | By Inga Saffron, Inquirer Architecture Critic
Let New York gloat about completing the High Line. Philadelphia is about to debut a linear park that might be even more impressive: the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk. As wonderful as the High Line is, it merely allows people to wend their way through Manhattan a few stories above its bustling streets. When the latest segment of the Schuylkill Banks trail opens to the public Thursday, you'll be able to walk on water, under the glittering gaze of the Center City skyline. The new 15-foot-wide walkway dives into the river at Locust Street, and doesn't crawl back onto dry land until it reaches the South Street Bridge, a joyous journey more than 2,000 feet long.
NEWS
September 28, 2014 | By Mark Fazlollah, Inquirer Staff Writer
With efficient precision, a Common Pleas Court judge on Friday dismissed 59 drug convictions of defendants arrested by a corrupt narcotics officer. Judge Sheila Woods-Skipper required only about a minute for each conviction she dismissed - an assembly-line treatment of cases, which the courts have perfected after years of police scandals. "Actually, this is the worst police corruption since the 39th District," said Bradley S. Bridge of the Defender Association of Philadelphia, referring to the mass dismissals of about 300 cases in the late 1990s.
REAL_ESTATE
September 28, 2014 | By Diane M. Fiske, For The Inquirer
As you enter Gene and Bonnie Schwartz's 28th-floor condominium at the Murano, first impressions that the building's entrance and halls seem sparse and bare fade away - as intended by developer Peter Shaw, who wanted individual units to outshine the common areas. Instantly, a visitor to the Schwartz home is swept away by a 20-foot span of windows. In one corner, a large brass-and-wood telescope peers out on a view embracing Philadelphia International Airport and Citizens Bank Park and 30th Street Station, and everything between.
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