December 25, 2014 |
A woman charged alongside her mother in a decadelong, cross-county plot to kidnap mentally disabled adults, enslave them, and steal their government benefit checks pleaded guilty this week, all but ensuring that she will face a lifetime behind bars. Jean McIntosh's admission of guilt was the first in a case as notable for its stomach-churning details as for the lingering question of whether prosecutors will press for a rare federal death sentence for its lead defendant - McIntosh's mother, Linda Weston.
November 23, 2014 |
Miriam E. McBride Rawley, 90, of Tacony, a mother and singer, died Friday, Nov. 14, of Alzheimer's disease at the Philadelphia Protestant Home in Lawncrest. Born in 1924 in Philadelphia, Mrs. Rawley lost her mother early. She and her four siblings grew up with their father, Francis McBride, and stepmother, Maude Whelan, on a horse farm in Hilltown, Bucks County. After the family moved back to the city, Mrs. Rawley became a member of the first graduating class of St. Hubert High School in 1942.
November 15, 2014 |
A JURY yesterday awarded $45 million to Tamara Breeden, one of four mentally disabled victims rescued from a squalid Tacony dungeon in 2011, after hearing evidence that she had been kidnapped, starved, beaten and prostituted for 10 years. Breeden, 33, told the panel on Wednesday that Linda Ann Weston forced her to use a bucket when she needed to go to the bathroom, made her drink her own urine, knocked her teeth out with a hammer, beat her with a metal bat, took her babies away and barely fed her. The Common Pleas jury spent one hour, 20 minutes deliberating before awarding $40 million in compensatory damages against Weston and two other defendants, said Steven Wigrizer, Breeden's lawyer.
November 14, 2014 |
Update: The jury this afternoon awarded $45 million in compensatory and punitive damages to Tamara Breeden against Linda Ann Weston and two other defendants after deliberating for about an hour and 20 minutes. TESTIFYING yesterday for the first time in public, Tamara Breeden - one of four mentally disabled victims rescued from a Tacony sub-basement in 2011 - told a jury that alleged kidnapper Linda Ann Weston beat her, snatched away her babies, starved her and forced her to drink her urine for more than 10 years.
October 30, 2014
L OUIS RODRIGUEZ , 46, of Williamstown, N.J., is president of Rodriguez Consulting, in North Philadelphia. The Chester native founded the civil-engineering firm in 2007. It's the 54th-fastest-growing inner-city business on the 2014 Inner City 100 compiled by the Massachusetts-based Initiative for a Competitive Inner City. Q: How'd you come up with the idea for the biz? A: I was working for the Philadelphia Water Department and noticed a lot of work was outsourced to private firms.
October 9, 2014 |
Billy Blaise Dufala's usual destination for art supplies doesn't offer oil paints, archival paper, or sable brushes. But it does have new inventory daily - tons of it, brought in by the truckload from construction sites and 1-800-GOT-JUNK pickups. As he wanders, wearing a hard hat and reflective vest, among mountains of wood pallets, concrete rubble, and twisted metal at Revolution Recovery in Tacony, he's intrigued by a tattered but, it turns out, functional patio umbrella, a perfectly good roll of roofing vinyl, and a stuffed likeness of a New Kids on the Block-era Jordan Knight, still in its box. Uncovering potential within society's castoffs is at the core of the nonprofit Recycled Artist in Residency (RAIR)
June 26, 2014 |
WHAT IT LOST to New Jersey in 76ers practices, Philadelphia has gained in bologna. Deli giant Dietz & Watson has agreed to expand its national headquarters in Northeast Philly to replace a South Jersey food warehouse destroyed by a fire last fall. The 75-year-old, fourth-generation Philadelphia company will build a new distribution plant in Tacony, officials announced yesterday. Councilman Bobby Henon, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Alan Greenberger and Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp.
May 20, 2014 |
SCOTT DeGIRALOMO, owner of Computer Guy on Torresdale Avenue near Disston, said he's very happy with the new, huge "Computer Guy" letters that light up in cool blue across the former Tacony post office that now houses his high-tech services business. "They replaced my hanging disaster of an old sign outside that was about to fall and crush somebody," DeGiralomo said dryly. Like Bull's Eye Dart Supplies next door, Computer Guy is one of 15 businesses along Torresdale Avenue that got a major face-lift, thanks to the Tacony Community Development Corp.
May 14, 2014 |
The mother of a girl held captive and tortured for nearly a decade in Linda Weston's Tacony apartment should have objected earlier if she believed her daughter was in danger, and she cannot now sue the city for violating her parental rights, a federal judge has ruled. With that, U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick dismissed a civil suit filed by Weston's sister Vickie against various local officials she blamed for failing to ensure daughter Beatrice's care. Beatrice Weston - who was placed in her aunt's custody in 2002 - was found in 2011, days after police discovered four mentally disabled adults locked in Linda Weston's fetid basement.
April 24, 2014 |
FEDERAL prosecutors in Philadelphia are awaiting a decision by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder on whether the government should seek the death penalty for Linda Ann Weston. Weston, 54, is the accused mastermind of a decadelong scheme to kidnap and keep mentally disabled victims hostage - including four disabled adults found malnourished in a locked Tacony dungeon in 2011 - to bilk them of their Social Security benefits. At a status hearing yesterday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Faithe Moore Taylor told U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe that the decision had not been made, but that her office had requested an expedited review.