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.
April 4, 2014 |
WHEN YOU'RE at home plate and a baseball barrels toward your head, the smart thing to do is to get out of the way. Ah, but when the pitcher aims his curveball at your ear and the ball breaks over the plate, a bailing batter can emerge red-faced if the pitch is a strike. Marcus Jimenez, a junior for Maritime Academy, knows that feeling well. Jimenez typically plays rightfield but usually yields to a designated hitter because he's been a flincher at the plate. "I just always think it's gonna hit me so I just don't want to take that hit," said a smiling Jimenez, yesterday's unlikely hero.
March 3, 2014 |
THE SOCIAL Security Administration yesterday expanded a Philadelphia-area pilot program nationally to help bar criminals from controlling benefits on behalf of the disabled and elderly. The program was launched locally in June 2012 in the wake of the Tacony dungeon case. That case made headlines after police rescued four mentally disabled people from a filthy basement where Linda Ann Weston and four co-defendants allegedly held them captive in a scheme to steal their Social Security benefits.
January 22, 2014 |
IN OCTOBER 2011, Philadelphia police rescued four mentally disabled people from a filthy Tacony basement, where Linda Ann Weston and four codefendants allegedly held them captive in a scheme to steal their Social Security benefits. In the wake of the Tacony dungeon case, outraged congressional leaders called for swift changes to how the Social Security Administration screens and monitors people who receive benefits on behalf of the elderly and disabled. But more than two years later, advocates for senior citizens and those with disabilities say that Social Security has taken minimal steps to root out fraud and abuse within the "Representative Payee Program.
January 8, 2014 |
STACEY Newkirk-Smalls, the Tacony mother charged with the May 2012 murders of her 18-month-old twins, Adam and Eve, was convicted yesterday and sentenced to life in prison without parole. The verdict and sentence were handed down by Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Minehart following a one-day nonjury trial. Newkirk-Smalls, 42, was convicted of third-degree murder in both deaths. Minehart sentenced her to 20 to 40 years in prison for one murder and to life for the other because having two murder convictions automatically triggers a life sentence under state law. Police and prosecutors said that on May 24, 2012, Newkirk-Smalls poisoned both twins before drowning one and suffocating the other at the Ditman Street home she shared with her husband, who worked as a city correctional officer at the time.