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NEWS
March 18, 2015 | By Ben Finley, Inquirer Staff Writer
When Trevor Newman left home for a nearby Burger King on New Year's Day 2013, the teen took a shortcut across some SEPTA tracks. He never made it to the other side, becoming the fifth person killed on the same stretch of the West Trenton line in Langhorne, Bucks County. SEPTA denies responsibility, filing a motion last week to dismiss a civil suit filed by Newman's grandparents. The family claims that SEPTA and track-owner CSX failed to take lifesaving measures, such as erecting a fence, in an area notorious for illegal crossings.
NEWS
March 14, 2015 | By Jeremy Roebuck and Michael Matza, Inquirer Staff Writers
SEPTA's efforts to block city bus ads proclaiming "Jew Hatred: It's in the Quran" violate free-speech protections and should be halted, a federal judge has found. In a case that grappled with basic First Amendment issues over disparaging advertising, District Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg ruled Wednesday that SEPTA had inconsistently run public-issue ads from other organizations, and cleared the way for a private group's ad that seeks to end U.S. aid to Islamic countries using a provocative headline and a photograph of Adolf Hitler meeting with an Arab leader.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 14, 2015 | By Samantha Melamed, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two hours behind schedule, Beth Heinly finally located a working electrical outlet in the echoing cavern of the Broad Street concourse and settled in, wearing a puffy chef's hat, to cook pasta. The mac-and-cheese giveaway was Heinly's take on site-specific performance art - meant to engage a space that mostly lies vacant, except for occasional skateboarders, scuttling rainy-day commuters, and covert smokers of marijuana. "I wanted to do a really loving thing in a scary place," she said.
NEWS
March 13, 2015
SEPTA DID what it felt it had to do, pointlessly, and wound up in federal court after banning posters deemed to be anti-Islamic. I say pointlessly because the same ban had been tried and defeated in Washington, D.C., New York and San Francisco. The U.S. District Court here ruled Wednesday that since SEPTA has accepted other advocacy advertising, it can't refuse ads that call for ending U.S. aid to Islamic countries and that portray an Islamic leader as an ally of Adolf Hitler.
NEWS
March 13, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
A FORMER SEPTA Transit Police officer who was videotaped masturbating on a Broad Street Line train was convicted yesterday of open lewdness and indecent exposure. Kevin Fant, 44, worked for SEPTA and was off duty, dressed in a gray hoodie sweatshirt, black biker shorts and black sneakers, when someone videotaped him fondling himself. After viewing the short video of Fant pleasuring himself - which was not played in open court - and hearing from two SEPTA employees, Municipal Judge Karen Yvette Simmons convicted the former transit cop, who has since been fired, of the two misdemeanor charges.
NEWS
March 7, 2015 | By Anthony R. Wood and Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writers
Like the winter of 2014-15 itself, Thursday's snow was a late arrival. But for the region's commuters - and almost anyone else who had to go anywhere - this was a case of better never than late. By the time the snow tapered off late in the day, close to a foot had fallen in parts of the region, by far the biggest snowfall of a strange winter in which March has behaved like January. The storm's most disruptive element probably was its timing. Rain and sleet changed to heavy snow right before the peak morning commute.
NEWS
February 27, 2015 | BY DANA DiFILIPPO, Daily News Staff Writer difilid@phillynews.com, 215-854-5934
FEW THINGS in daily life are scarier than being trapped on a train with no heat or power that's draped with live wires. Except maybe a puddle of unidentified goo on the seat or the floor, but this story is not about that. Instead, about 500 rush-hour commuters found themselves stranded on SEPTA's Warminster Line after the live wire came down on the Center City-bound train just before 8:15 a.m. south of the Roslyn Station in Montgomery County. The passengers kept their cool - and their sense of humor - until SEPTA was able to scramble a "rescue train" to the disabled train to retrieve the marooned riders.
NEWS
February 21, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
A SEPTA board committee has approved new labor contracts with two rail unions, paving the way for approval by the full board next week. Members of both unions, which represent about 140 maintenance workers, clerks and passenger-service employees, voted last week to ratify the contracts, which provide a 5 percent raise over the 31-month term of the pacts. The contracts with the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen and the Transportation Communications International Union/International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers followed the pattern set last fall by the contract negotiated with the largest of SEPTA's 17 unions, Transport Workers Union Local 234. pnussbaum@phillynews.com 215-854-4587 @nussbaumpaul
NEWS
February 21, 2015 | By Paul Nussbaum, Inquirer Staff Writer
SEPTA is preparing to launch a $22 million remake of the Margaret-Orthodox elevated station on the Market-Frankford Line and Arrott Transportation Center in Frankford. A committee of the SEPTA board on Thursday approved a plan to award a $20.9 million construction contract to James J. Anderson Construction Co., of Philadelphia, and a $1.1 million contract to Lima Co., of Philadelphia. If the full board approves the contracts next week, work is expected to start by June to install three elevators, security cameras, new structural steel, new transformers and communications systems.
NEWS
February 18, 2015 | ABBY CRUZ, Daily News Staff Writer cruza@phillynews.com, 215-854-5938
VERNON WILKINS travels the city on buses, subways and foot, selling $1 carrot cupcakes he bakes from scratch, using a recipe he has made nearly every day - the exact same way - for the past 35 years. "I never ever, ever, ever changed or skimped on my recipe," he said. "I buy fresh products every day. I go to the market every day. One of my favorite sayings in life is, 'If it's not broke, don't fix it,' and that's how I managed to be successful so long. " In the beginning, Wilkins, 60, sold carrot cake in his West Philly store.
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