July 31, 2015 |
RON WALKER has a strong back for a 68-year-old man. What's bending it in half is the weight of owing thousands of dollars to Hahnemann University Hospital, where he's being treated for prostate cancer. "Once a week, the bill collectors call. I say, 'I can't pay you yet,' " says Walker, sitting in his kitchen, showing me neat rows of financial figures he tracks in a copy book. "They say, 'We'll call you again next week.' It keeps me up at night. " Walker's bills total about $23,000 - almost the exact amount, ironically, that he's owed by the Philadelphia Sheriff's Office for the 2012 sale of a house he owned in South Philly.
June 19, 2015
RYAN BRIGGS' article on the city's vacant lot problem displayed little understanding of how the Sheriff's Office functions. He used outdated information to form erroneous conclusions. At no time did he call our office to obtain the facts. He assumed that the Sheriff's Office chooses the properties put up for foreclosure or tax sale. Properties are placed in sheriff's sales by the city for delinquent taxes or a mortgage lender seeking foreclosure. The sheriff is an arm of the court system who conducts the sales according to law and has no part in the selection process.
June 16, 2015 |
Joseph F. Tomasello, 61, of Cape May Court House, an Atlantic County sheriff's officer from 1980 to 2005, died of pancreatic cancer Tuesday, June 9, at home. Born in Hammonton, Mr. Tomasello graduated from Pleasantville High School and served in the Army in West Germany in the 1970s. He returned to duty in the New Jersey Army National Guard, where he was a supply sergeant in charge of weapons at the National Guard armory in Atlantic City, said his wife, Irene. Mr. Tomasello joined the National Guard in the late 1970s, his wife said, and retired in 2005, at the same time that he retired from the sheriff's office.
June 11, 2015 |
WHEN HE'S NOT on duty at the Criminal Justice Center, Deputy Sheriff Mike Terry drives all over the city and suburbs, inviting thousands of cops and corrections officers to this weekend's Sgt. Robert Wilson III Memorial Basketball Tournament. Along the way, Terry honors his deep North Philly roots by giving out tournament tickets to kids on the street corners of his youth, and in GameStop stores, including the one, on Lehigh Avenue near 21st Street, where Wilson was shot dead in March while trying to stop an armed robbery.
May 30, 2015 |
One Philadelphia voter wanted Mickey Mouse on City Council, while another supported the rodent's longtime sweetheart, Minnie, for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Daffy Duck also got a nod for Council, along with Bozo the Clown. And Philly Jesus won votes for Council and Municipal Court judge. Philadelphia voters cast ballots for 41 electoral contests in last week's primary election. And 1,296 of them, unimpressed with their options, opted to write in candidates not on the ballot.
January 28, 2015 |
After nearly a year on the job, Montgomery County Sheriff Russell J. Bono announced Monday that he will run for a full term in November. Bono, a Republican, was appointed by Gov. Tom Corbett last March to fill out the remainder of Eileen Whalon Behr's four-year term. She resigned to lead the police department at Drexel University. At a news conference Monday, Bono, 67, said he would be "the kind of sheriff that our county demands - a full-time sheriff with a law enforcement background who understands the day-to-day demands of this department.
December 31, 2014 |
Nine-year-old Alex Collins sent his mother into the office of Sheriff Carolyn Bunny Welsh in West Chester earlier this month for what he thought was the last step in applying to win a hunting and fishing trip with a sheriff. But there was a problem. The contest was for kids almost 600 miles away, at the sheriff's office in Chester County, South Carolina. "He was very upset when he realized it was the wrong Chester County," said Alex's mother, Leslie. The family saw the contest on the Chester County Sheriff's Office Facebook page and assumed it was the Pennsylvania county.
December 10, 2014 |
An agreement has quietly been ironed out to shift the city courts' 47 "warrant officers" to the Sheriff's Office, and not everyone is happy about it. The warrant unit, created in 1972 to enforce court orders and encourage voluntary surrenders, tracks down criminal defendants and manages people under electronic monitoring. Its officers are firearms-trained and carry 9mm pistols. They can enter private property in their hunt for people who skip out on court appearances. It can be dangerous work.
October 6, 2014 |
Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams, elected in 2011 on promises of openness and accountability, has handed out 38 contracts, some to his political donors, without competitive bidding or other safeguards required by the City Charter. In two years, records show, the Sheriff's Office has signed contracts worth $1.2 million without formal bidding or city Finance and Law Department approval. Payments have come out of proceeds from one of the office's main duties: sheriff's sales. The charter says any contract over $32,000 - a limit adjusted for inflation every five years - must be competitively bid. Contracts under $32,000 must be for one-time services and can't be renewed.
July 25, 2014 |
Farm 51 was bustling on a Thursday in early July, as neighbors poured into the lush educational farm and market to load up on kale and collards, eggs in delicate shades of beige, cream, and blue, bunches of herbs, and jars of honey. "This is the annual flower show, right here," said Shelly Nieves, who stopped in to buy greens and left with an armful of gifts: a bouquet of flowers and three kinds of sage. It's hard to imagine that when Neal Santos and Andrew Olson moved to the 5100 block of Chester Avenue in West Philadelphia, this space - made up of two lots, one then city-owned, the other long abandoned - was a haven for crime and dumping.