All News is considered In Character

July 27, 2018

In the News...

        Someone keeps dumping cats at Le Cat Café in Philadelphia's Brewerytown neighborhood. The owners say they want to help, but they need to go to ACCT or the SPCA so they can be properly cared for. They hope to get that message out to the person who keeps leaving the cats here. Inside Le Cat Café, there are up to 12 cats milling around on any given day. The coffee shop also serves as ACAT Adoption Platform, but they are not a shelter and someone in the community, who appears to mean well is causing a catastrophe for the small shop. In recent weeks a Good Samaritan has dropped off cats and kittens after viewing surveillance footage. The owners believe the same person used a bin to put 5 grown cats inside. Holes were made for air but in this heat and humidity, the conditions in the container are dangerous, even deadly. The cats are feral, so they were clawing at each other, and out of control. The owner of the Cat Café took the cats left on the stoop home, but they are not used to being inside or around people. She doesn't know yet if they will be okay with other cats in the Café.

        Divers recovered the body of a man police said jumped into the Wissahickon Creek Wednesday night in order to evade arrest. Police said the 29-year-old man was pulled over for driving a commercial truck on the Lincoln Drive off-ramp onto Ridge Avenue. According to police, an officer approached the truck and pulled it over for a vehicle investigation. "Driver told the officer he didn't have ID but gave his correct name," said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Chloe Small. "The officer ran the name at which time a warrant for his arrest came up." According to reports, the man was wanted out of New Jersey for eluding police and resisting arrest. Police said the officer approached the vehicle for a second time to question the man but he jumped out of the commercial work truck, ran toward the creek and jumped in. Police said the man's body was found in about 12 feet of water. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

        An elementary school teacher from New Jersey brought a special friend with him to Philadelphia on Friday to teach kids that are either hard of hearing or deaf the importance of inclusion. Chris Smith rescued his dog, Cole, from a shelter. Cole is deaf. Hannah says he originally bought Cole to be an inspiration for his 10-year-old nephew, who is also deaf. Smith and Cole paid a visit to students at Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech in Logan. Smith let the kids hang out with Cole, and also took time to answer any questions they had about his inspirational pooch.

        A tragic blaze 24 years ago planted the seeds for the concept of lights on ladders. On September 19, 1994, when Philadelphia firefighter Magnus Finegan's unit was called to an intense fire that was tearing through a row home on Catherine Street. The humidity was oppressive. Plumes of dark smoke would billow out of the building and quickly settle on the ground obscuring the view. Those weather conditions would later play a fateful role in the tragedy that still haunts him to this day. The intense fire killed a 24-year-old mother, her 16-month-old daughter and seriously hurt five others. But it was the second daughter's death that was particularly gut-wrenching. The body of 4-year-old Charmaine was discovered hours after the fire was put out in the backyard under some debris.

        "She landed at the base of the building. She died in the dark under one of our ladders," said Lt. Finegan. Finegan, now a Lieutenant, says lights on that ladder would have illuminated the area where the little girl nicknamed Chae Chae was found. And so out of that painful realization was born a potentially lifesaving idea. A ladder with integrated LED lights. Lieutenant Finegan and his business partner Pat Creed have launched a kick starter campaign to raise the $145,000 needed for tooling and safety tests.

July 13, 2018

In the News... Deleware

        A number of nursing homes and healthcare facilities, including Dover Place Senior Living, Cadia Healthcare and Heritage at Dover were affected by the water main break that was reported at 6:45 a.m. Thursday. To the relief of Dover Place maintenance supervisor George Wring, water service resumed around 2 p.m. He radioed his maintenance staff immediately to tell them the water was going to be turned back on in the 71-apartment community and to check each room. He explained all food preparation and care for residents had to be performed with bottled water, leading to delays, frustrations, and sanitation concerns. The Liberty Court Apartments, a number of churches and businesses in the area also were affected, many closing for the day. All were notified about the disruption in water service and also when service resumed. No cause for the water main break has yet been determined.

        Delaware Senate candidate Gordan Lynes says he will not participate in any events sponsored by the Wilmington Democratic Party, citing concerns about the chairwoman's support for his primary opponent. As a result, a planned party-sponsored debate between Lynes and fellow Democrat Patricia "Tizzy" Brockman has been canceled, party officials confirmed. Cassie Marble, who was elected to chair the city party organization last summer, dismissed Lynes concerns as naïve.

        "My personal support for a candidate is the same kind of thing that goes on across the state," she said. "Mature candidates and mature campaigns know the difference between what the party is doing and what an individual running the party is doing."

        Multiple people were taken to a local hospital with minor injuries after a hazmat incident at Mountaire Farms in Selbyville on Thursday, officials said. The incident occurred at about 11:40 a.m. when a forklift operator punctured a holding jug of a substance that assists in microbial intervention, the process used to create a bacteria free environment during production. According to the DNREC Environmental Release Notification System alert, the substance was peracetic acid, which is considered to be hazardous by the Environmental Protection Agency. The employees were taken to a local hospital, evaluated and released, the statement said. It was originally reported by Sliwa and the fire company that six people were taken to the hospital.

        The discovery of a corpse at Lums Pond State Park lead to a shut down of a portion of the trails near Buck Jersey Road as police investigate what they believe may be a crime scene. Details are scant but police state there is no immediate threat in the area as the corpse is quite decayed. Police are still working to identify the body.

        A 53-year-old man was in serious condition Thursday night after he was burned on his face, head, chest and arms, according to New Castle County paramedics. The paramedics were dispatched to the Brandywine Hundred Fire Company about 6:40 p.m. for reports of a burn patient who had arrived at the department. The patient was then provided more first aid there before he was flown by state police helicopter to Crozer-Chester Medical Center. The patient's condition was described as serious at the time of the transport said New Castle County police. It's unclear how the man was burned or where he was when the burns occurred.

June 29, 2018

In the News...

        The city-wide moratorium on burials was lifted Wednesday, June 27th after increasing pressure from the local community. The spates of grave vandalism have ceased and police report no new developments on their investigation but urge the public to contact 911 if they see any suspicious activity in Philadelphia area graveyards.

        City officials announced one of the first projects to launch under the initiative "Rebuild Philadelphia" Tuesday afternoon. The project will create a neighborhood football field and a practice field. One on Parkside Avenue, the other behind the Mann Music Center in Fairmount Park. The two sites will be used for sports programs by surrounding schools. "I would rather go to a ribbon cutting where kids are finding their way out of the communities instead of being idle without play opportunities and find themselves on corners and in gangs and in caskets," said Councilman Vernon Cohen. Work is set to begin later this year.

        Philadelphia police are searching for a 27-year-old man who hasn't been seen in more than a week. Police say he was abducted in broad daylight and held for ransom. The assault happened at 12:30 p.m. last Tuesday in the 2000 block of North Orkney Street in Kensington. Investigators are working to identify two men ]in a surveillance video in relation to the crime. The video depicts a suspect running down the street near the scene where Luis Ferdinand Chaco Ramon was kidnapped on June 19. Earlier this week, the victim's wife called police saying her husband had been kidnapped last week. "On June 19, her husband had a prearranged meeting with 2 unknown individuals," said Philadelphia Police Capt. Thom Birdman. Ramon never returned. His wife says she began receiving phone calls demanding what sources say was a 200k dollar ransom for his safe return.

 

        What started as a probe into a few carjackings and robberies in the Fishtown section of Philadelphia has expanded into a full-blown investigation involving Philly police, Camden County police, and other government offices. Authorities say they are still unsure how big the alleged operation may be. Sources close to the investigation say this may end up involving hundreds of cases in eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey. It appears the thieves are targeting specific communities. For the areas of Philadelphia, they seem to be concentrating on are Fishtown, Port Richmond, and the East Division. Similar incidents are striking Camden and the other cities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Investigators are looking into the possibility that most of these cases are part of gang initiation efforts aimed at getting young recruits accustomed to criminal activity. Authorities say they have made great progress, but the investigation is far from over.

 

        Philadelphia police recruits received some specialized training today to help them interact with the LBGTQ community. The mayor's office of LGBT affairs and the Gay Officers Action League focused on language and policy. They say the training is key for proactive prevention and creating a culture of acceptance.

        Philadelphia police are seeking several men in connection with an ATM explosion in the Port Richmond section that has already landed a woman behind bars. Investigators released additional surveillance video of the June 20th incident. The explosion rocked the interior of Kenny's Place beer distributor as a group of suspects tried to get into the ATM and retrieve the money inside. Police say 34-year-old Tina Hogan was seen on video planting the actual device. She was arrested a few hours after the incident.

June 15, 2018

In the News...

        The city of Philadelphia is forestalling any further interments within city limits due to the wide scale theft of bodies from graveyards. Cremations are continuing; however, the funeral homes are working with families that wish to inter their loved ones still whole to postpone or find alternative graveyards outside the city. Outraged families already grieving for their loss are demanding answers and action. In the meanwhile, nearly every cemetery in northern Philadelphia has seen vandalization and grave theft.

        City Controller Marjorie Lhynhart released a report Tuesday night stating $33.3 million is missing from the City of Philadelphia's main cash account. Besides financial discrepancies, the report also found issues ranging from outdated technology to inadequate staffing.

"My office has opened a fraud investigation," Lhynhart said. According to the report, the discrepancy dates back several years. The report states other city accounts have not been reconciled by the Treasurer's Office, some since 2010. Per Lhynhart, "We don't know at this point if it is fraudulent or just was put into the wrong account and can't be found, but we need to address it with urgency.”

        There was a big celebration across the city Sunday as Philadelphia celebrated the 30th anniversary of Philly Pride Parade and Festival. The parade route spanned from 12th and Locust streets to Festival Pier, with stops along the way for various performances.

Philadelphia Police have a message for minors Friday night, starting this weekend they will be enforcing a curfew along the popular South Street corridor. On South Street, there is a major police presence as the department gears up for another summer. The show of force to prevent scenes like the one in 2010, where 3000 teens caused a near riot on South Street. Beginning Friday night, police will begin enforcing the summer curfew. It's Midnight for minors under 18 on Fridays and Saturdays. 10 p.m. for kids under 13. Officers will transport children caught violating curfew to the district headquarters where parents must pick them up.

        A federal judge ruled Wednesday that the current administration cannot cut off grants to Philadelphia over the way the city deals with immigrants in the country illegally. U.S. District Judge Michelle Rayson said in her ruling that the conditions the federal government placed on the city in order to receive the funding are unconstitutional, "arbitrary and capricious." She also wrote that Philadelphia's policies are reasonable and appropriate. Philadelphia has said it will turn over immigrants to Immigration and Customs Enforcement only if the agency has a warrant signed by a judge.

        Philadelphia Mayor Tim Penney called the ruling a "total and complete victory," adding that he believed the current administration was being a bully and that attaching the conditions to the grant money was equivalent to a "political shakedown." Penney, who was seen dancing outside his office after the decision earlier Wednesday, said the issue of being a "welcoming city" was personal for him coming from a family of Irish immigrants.

        A family is holding out hope that they will find their loved one who has been missing for at least two weeks. The search for Irvin Payne Parish of Chester took his relatives and police to Philadelphia's Fairmount Park Sunday night. The family says he was last seen in the area. Ira was not found but his uncle says they will not give up. Police searched the area near Randolph Drive. They found clothes but nothing that could immediately be linked to the missing man.

June 01, 2018

In the News...

        A crash involving an overturned dump truck stopped traffic for several hours on the Schuylkill Expressway (I-76) in South Philadelphia Friday afternoon. It happened after 12:30 p.m. in the eastbound lanes next the Passyunk Ave. on-ramp. The truck's load of what appeared to be gravel or gray sand was spread over a wide area. Traffic was affected for several hours as crews worked to clear the scene.

 

        An Iraq War veteran put keepsakes in front of his Bridesburg home in honor of Memorial Day, but when he went to retrieve them Tuesday morning they were gone. Marine veteran Andrew Henry would desperately like his helmet, his combat boots and the dog tags he wore during his 2006-07 deployment returned, no questions asked. He displayed then curbside in front of his home on the 4500 block of East Thompson Street, where there was a large Memorial Day parade Monday. The memorial was outside for the greater part of the weekend, and no one bothered it until at least midnight on Tuesday. When Henry came out of his house this morning, the keepsakes were gone. A police investigation is underway. Meanwhile, Henry is praying he can somehow get his keepsakes back.

        Police say a fiery morning rush house head-on crash in north Philadelphia claimed the lives of three people and critically injured a fourth. Officers say a car heading north in the Feltonville neighborhood collided with a southbound car at about 7:45 a.m. Friday. Police said two 22-year-old men and an unidentified woman from one of the vehicles were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the other vehicle was taken to Temple University Hospital in critical condition. The names of the victims haven't been released. The cause of the crash is under investigation, but police say speed may have been a factor.

 

        Another massive grave vandalism has occurred again in Northern Philadelphia. Police ask anyone who may have witnessed people in the region of Laurel Memorial Cemetery Wednesday evening to please contact them.

 

        Police are investigating the discovery of a body in the Schuylkill River. They describe the find as "suspicious" and believe it was dumped. Officers were called at 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning to a remote portion of Fairmont Park in the East Falls neighborhood. Maintenance workers in the process of spraying for mosquitos when they discovered the body and summoned police assistance. Police are still working to identify the victim. The workers who discovered the body state there was significant damage to the head in particular. Police suspect foul play.   

 

        All lanes are back open after a car fire that jammed traffic on Interstate 95 in Philadelphia. The blaze broke out in the southbound lanes after 6 a.m. Friday near the Allegheny Avenue exit. Video from a Sky 6 camera showed flames and heavy smoke fully engulfing the vehicle. Several southbound lanes were blocked as crews worked to douse the flames. There were no immediate reports of injuries. Traffic was delayed from the Cottman Avenue exit to Allegheny for well over an hour due to the incident. All lanes were back open and traffic moving again by 10:30 a.m.

 

        After a 30-day notice posted by the city, dozens living in tents under overpasses at Lehigh Avenue and Tulip Street and at Kensington Avenue and Lehigh Avenue were evicted. During this pilot program, Homeless Services workers compiled a list of 110 homeless people who wanted shelter. Beds were reserved for them. Those removed from the camps Wednesday who didn't register with Homeless Services won't have a bed reserved. Protesters of the eviction say the lack of available beds is appalling.

May 18, 2018

In the News...Delaware

        A 43-year-old was arrested Tuesday morning, after a two-month investigation into suspected drug activity led to drugs and suspected drug money. Police searched two homes and two cars registered to Raul P. Stark, of Wilmington and found illegal drugs and suspected drug money, said Delaware State Police. In their raid, officers discovered 506 grams powder cocaine, 129 grams crack cocaine, 54.2 grams (7,748 bags) heroin, 753 grams marijuana, a stolen Glock 40 caliber handgun with extended clip, various drug paraphernalia, and $16,546 in suspected drug money.  Of the two residences, one at 300 block of Shipley Road and the other 900 block of N. Spruce Street, Stark was taken into custody at the former.

   

        Police are searching for missing student Sahid Kondos in New Castle County, with alerts in place for surrounding counties. The 17-year old honors student is graduating valedictorian of Glasgow High School and went missing May 10th. Authorities are imploring anyone with information to come forward. Family members are deeply worried and hope for his safe return.

   

        The city of New Castle has a new pier to show off and to highlight the achievement, their annual event ‘A Day in Old New Castle’, will showcase the Kalmar Nyckel, Delaware's tall ship. A reproduction of the ship that brought Swedish settlers to this region, the Kalmar Nyckel will sit at the end of the pier, visible into the center of the historic town. It is expected to arrive Friday for the weekend. Historic New Castle is a picturesque area still filled with homes dating back to Colonial and Revolutionary days and even some cobblestone streets.

   

        First proposed as a Superfund site in January, the aquifer under central Hockessin has been formally added to the federal program that provides taxpayer dollars for the cleanup of the country's most contaminated sites. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made the announcement on Tuesday for six sites throughout the country, after required 60-day comment periods had elapsed. The 32-acre impacted area straddles Lancaster Pike through the core of the Hockessin business district.

   

        A special weather statement sent out Tuesday night warned of a weather-generated tsunami, ranging from the north New Jersey coast to Fenwick Island. "We had a pressure rise," said Trevor Pencader, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Mount Holly, New Jersey. Per the weather service, a meteotsunami has characteristics similar to an earthquake-generated tsunami, but a meteotsunami is caused by air movement from weather events such as fast-moving squall lines.

   

        Taxpayers have criticized the number of school districts in the state of Delaware, arguing it leads to excessive spending on administration and other expenses outside the classroom. Fewer districts could mean fewer high-paid administrative staff like superintendents, financial officers and personnel officers, the argument goes. On Tuesday, a legislative task force said in its final report that consolidating Delaware's 19 school districts into three would not save the state a significant amount of money and is not recommended.

   

        After the recent theft of the Judy Johnson statue outside Frawley Stadium in Wilmington, a placard detailing the legacy of the iconic baseball player has stood in its place while a replacement is commissioned. Early Friday morning, reports a statue was returned to the location made local news, but the statue was removed by stadium officials before camera crews could arrive. Eye-witness reports the returned statue wasn’t of Judy Johnson, but instead of a dead woman.

May 04, 2018

In the News...

               Opening at 7 pm Tuesday, May 1 st , the spectacular Philadelphia Chinese Lantern Festival in Franklin Square returned. This year’s display includes the crowd-pleasing 200-foot giant Chinese Dragon and beloved pandas, but all other creations will be new for the 2018 Festival. Other highlights include authentic cultural performances from plate spinning to the art of face-changing, impressive feats of Chinese acrobatics, intricate handicrafts by Chinese folk artists for paid admission. The Festival runs until June 30th.

               Police were called to the 4700 block of James Street around 5:07 p.m. Monday to conduct a check on the well being of a person based on information from a concerned caller. Police say they were told a 66-year-old blind man was being held against his will by his brother, who is also the caretaker. Upon arrival, police say the blind man was found inside the trailer, which did not have running water, a bathroom, or electricity. They said the inside was filled with dirt, bugs, and feces. The stench emanating from the trailer was apparently so bad that at least one responding officer felt sick and had to go back outside. The 66-year-old man was taken to the hospital in stable condition. Seventy-four-year-old Richard Miller has been charged with Neglect of Person, Unlawful Restraint and related offenses.
 

               Officials at the Philadelphia Police Special Victims Unit say an assailant who was luring young boys into his car and sexually assaulting them went underground for months - but now he has resurfaced. They are urging parents to warn their kids about getting into cars with strangers. Captain Kevin Burgess said, "Everybody should be aware. Listen, there are predators out there!"
               The latest incident happened Thursday April 26 th in the morning on the 5800 block of Baltimore Avenue in Southwest Philadelphia. Police say a 12-year-old boy who was walking to school was approached by a heavy-set black man in his 30s who used the name "Malik." The suspect pulled up in a burgundy Subaru and asked the boy if he wanted to make some money pumping gasoline for him.

 

               A coyote taking a daylight stroll through Philadelphia was trapped under a large metal trash bin near a school Thursday and it was later euthanized. The coyote was spotted along the city's downtown waterfront before police and animal control officers cornered and trapped it about 3 miles away in south Philadelphia. Thursday's encounter marked the second time in a week that Philadelphia police have dealt with a coyote. On Monday, one was captured and released in a city park about 15 miles away from the school Officials at the Pennsylvania Game Commission think it may have been the same animal. A representative noted that the coyote seemed habituated to humans in both cases. He said it was put down to prevent people- especially children - from confusing the wild animal with a stray dog.
 

               The statue of William Penn has disappeared from the top of it’s resting place on City Hall. City Hall officials released a statement late Friday afternoon that the statue was removed for cleaning and repairs. Locals speculate there is more to the story, as the process to clean the statue has never called for its removal before.

               Police are investing the discovery of a man's body in the West Oak Lane section of Philadelphia. The discovery came around 12 a.m. Friday in the 2000 block of Stenton Avenue. Police state the 42-year-old victim was mutilated and wrapped in a blanket. Investigators believe the body was dropped there. They are working to determine the victim's identity, who killed him and why.

April 20, 2018

In the News...

               Philadelphia police have identified the man, woman, and child who were found dead in unclear circumstances on Boat House Row. The Fleet family was well known in their community and many neighbors question how the horrible act could have happened in their midst. Authorities say the three victims were subject to a violent attack, but no signs of forced entry are found on the premises. Details of the murders are being kept confidential during the course of the investigation.

 

               A murder-suicide has left three children orphaned and authorities are investigating the scene. Robert Gordon is believed to have shot and killed his live-in girlfriend, Sharon Kilroy before turning the gun on himself. Neighbors report the couple had an increase of domestic disturbances over the course of the past month, some stating they heard gun shots the night before the murder as well. The children have been placed in protective custody while next of kin are located.

 

               Rapper Shy Low's drug and gun convictions should be thrown out and he should be granted a new trial, prosecutors said in court Monday in an announcement that led his supporters outside to break into an impromptu dance party. Judge Kendra Parker refused to free him on bail after the announcement from the Philadelphia district attorney's office during a hearing. She scheduled another hearing in June. Low, who was born in Philadelphia, was sentenced in November to two to four years in prison for violating probation on a roughly decade-old gun and drug case.

 

               There's a new chapter in the saga of a SEPTA Police K-9 removed from its handler earlier this month. The story sparked a petition drive, congressional intervention (when Congressman Rob Grady of Philadelphia offered $40,000 to return the dog to its former SEPTA police handler) and lots of talk. Abal the K-9 was reassigned to a new handler this week who noticed the dog was having trouble performing certain tasks. Penn vets discovered a bulging disc in Abal's back. Abal has since been treated by the doctors, and is resting comfortably. Based on the diagnosis, SEPTA has decided to retire the dog from active duty and return Abal to the family of Officer George Gallagher.

 

               Police are investigating the discovery of a body in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park. An employee from the Philadelphia Parks and Recreation Department made the discovery just after 8 a.m. Friday in a parking lot along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive near Black Road. Police are in the initial stages of this investigation and trying to figure out who the victim is. As detectives piece together who's responsible and how this happened, they did disclose there were cameras on a shed near where the body was dumped and that may help track down a suspect. The partially decomposed body was wrapped in a blanket as well as a green tarp.

"It is clearly a body that was wrapped pretty carefully," said Philadelphia Police Lt. Johnny Walker. "It is wrapped in a blanket first and then in plastic, and then placed there."

 

               The Department of Licenses and Inspection declared 3851 North Park Avenue uninhabitable Thursday morning, in the wake of an overnight fire at the rooming house in Hunting Park. The people who rented the rooms had to be rescued after climbing out on the roof to escape the flames. Fortunately, there were no casualties. One renter said he and his wife have lived in the home for three years along with an undetermined number of occupants. The rooming house sits on a densely-populated residential street defying the city's zoning laws, according to L&I. These types of dwellings pockmark low-income neighborhoods all across the city.

April 06, 2018

In the News...

               A Philadelphia police cruiser, and at least seven other cars, had their tires flattened Tuesday morning on the Roosevelt Boulevard extension. Officials say a "very large pothole" opened up on the southbound ramp of the Roosevelt Expressway to I-76 eastbound. The vehicles were all forced to the side of the roadway with flat tires. State Police notified PennDOT who sent crews to quickly fill the hole. Police warn motorists to be on the look out while driving for potential road obstacles as repeated freezing and thawing this winter caused significant damage to motorways.

 

               From the beginning, the two-alarm fire in the 1800 block of North 21st Street last Tuesday March 27th had a number of twists and turns. First, a person was found dead outside of the building. Then, fire crews had to trigger a mayday after firefighters went missing in the battle to put out the blaze.

               The firefighters were rescued and as far as everyone knew, all the occupants had gotten out safely. But relatives insisted to news sources that three family members remained missing and unaccounted for. Fire officials said they never received that message until Friday March 30th, three days later. It was shortly thereafter that the bodies of 3-year-old Hasaan Johnson, his mother 25-year-old Shanida Johnson, and Shanida's father 64-year-old Gerald McCullen were located on the third floor.

               Fire officials met with family members this Tuesday to explain what had happened, but some were still upset. Meanwhile, authorities said the illegal boarding home is owned by 46-year-old Lyons Cabel and his wife Jessica. Many question if Lyons Cabel be charged in connection with the deaths in the fire in the boarding home, which officials said did not have any working smoke or fire alarms.

 

               Bagpipes led the crowd through the city's Port Richmond section on Saturday March 31st, stopping where 21-year-old Kelly Ryans was killed on Thanksgiving Day 2015. Families of several murder victims gathered together Saturday to send a message to Philadelphia District Attorney Barry Grassner - they want to be heard and be involved in the justice system. Kelly's sister Janice Caravell described a recent meeting with prosecutors where they apologized for offering the defendant a plea deal without the family's knowledge. The Ryans family hopes in the future prosecutors will keep the victims' families involved. The DA's office did not respond to requests for comment.

 

               After five years of working together, SEPTA's Transit Police announced last week that Officer George Gallagher was going to be transferred out of the K-9 division and reassigned to foot patrol. Further, SEPTA said Gallagher’s four-footed partner, Abal, was going to be placed in a kennel and reassigned to another officer yet to be hired. The news has left the family in shock and they said they are convinced that Abal is going through some serious separation issues. Gallagher’s wife, Beth, says through the years, her husband and Abal have received all sorts of awards and recognition from SEPTA and other law enforcement agencies. He has also been a member of the family.

               After losing their 14-year-old son Ben, who was hit by a car in 2014 while riding his bike, Beth has offered to use money from his life insurance to buy SEPTA a new dog. She says she called the chief, but he declined. Meanwhile, Beth Gallagher organized an online petition which has garnered several thousand supporters. SEPTA has declined to say why Officer Gallagher has been reassigned.

March 23, 2018

In the News... Delaware

               Delaware spent most of Wednesday under falling snows which began around 9:45 a.m. in New Castle County and intensified after noon. By dawn, the snowstorm had passed. The chances of another nor'easter — Delaware and the East Coast dealt with four of them so far this month — become increasingly small as spring gears up, but there's another storm coming this weekend, weather watchers say. Meteorologists are watching that storm, which might move farther south than others, but there is a chance for rain and snow Saturday and Sunday, according to forecasters.

 

               A proposed ban on assault weapons was introduced in the Delaware General Assembly on Thursday, the latest and likely most contested bill among a slew of gun control measures being debated by state lawmakers this year. The legislation sponsored by Sen. Diane Townsend, D-Newark, seeks to block the sale, transfer or import of about 60 specific makes and models of semi-automatic rifles and handguns, along with so-called "copycat weapons" defined by features such as folding stocks, flash suppressors and grenade launchers. Violation of the proposed law would be a felony punishable by up to three years in prison for a first offense and a five-year prison term for a second offense.

 

               Now that spring is here, it will not be long before the region’s popular farmers markets are open for business. Every year, residents and tourists alike flock to seasonal markets in search of local fruits and vegetables along with flowers, baked goods, jams, eggs and meat. But these popular markets also provide some necessary income for farmers who are surviving on the proceeds from local sales. Most Sussex County markets, in turn, support local farmers by being “community-based,” meaning that vendors must grow what they sell. The new study shows that Delaware farmers markets recorded one of the best years ever in 2017, generating over $3 million in sales at 21 community-run retail sites in the state’s three counties.

 

               After a week of lobbying and debate following a surprise announcement from the president that tariffs were coming on imports of steel and aluminum, he signed the proclamations on Thursday he said are designed to protect American industries and necessary for national security. Many industry leaders, both liberal and conservative, responded with doubt and reluctance. In Delaware, a state rich with steel industry tradition, some officials voiced concern, too. Wednesday, a day before Trump's signature, the New Castle County Chamber of Commerce joined the Delaware River regional port community in expressing its disappointment over the impending announcement. Maritime Exchange President Daniel Richmond indicated in a statement that up to four million tons of steel cargo were carried among the 213 vessel arrivals at the Port of Wilmington in 2017.

 

               When it comes to environmental stewardship, the poultry industry in southern Delaware seldom receives accolades. But it would be a mistake to suggest that the entire Delaware poultry industry is lackadaisical about its impact on the environment. One of those clear exceptions is Barry Quaker Jr., a Millsboro farmer who raises chickens for Mountaire Farms. And it is that dedication to protecting the environment that earned Baker’s Acres Farm the 2018 “Family Farm Environmental Excellence Award” from the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association. The association said the Baker farm in Millsboro was one of six nationwide to be recognized “for exemplary environmental stewardship by family farmers."

March 09, 2018

In the News...

               Cleanup work is underway all over Philadelphia after a second powerful nor'easter in less than a week. The familiar sound of shoveling could be heard the Thursday after the storm. It dumped half a foot of heavy, wet snow in Philadelphia. By morning much of it turned into ice prompting 2-hour school delays. For many areas, snow and ice were hardly the concerns. Instead, it was massive fallen trees that blocked busy roadways. At 19th and Bainbridge in South Philadelphia, a tree fell during the first nor'easter a week ago forcing residents to back in and out of the one-way street.

               The same sight could be seen in Logan Square at 23rd and race. A massive storm-felled tree crashed onto a car Wednesday afternoon blocking the busy street and disrupting the morning rush hour traffic. The parks and rec department is in charge of these downed trees. They say they've been overwhelmed with calls and have been working around the clock since the first nor'easter. Trees involving downed power lines are a priority and cannot give a timeline on this latest cleanup project.

 

               The World War War 1 Memorial statue ‘The Doughboy’ has gone missing from its pedestal on Spring Garden Road, police believe the thieves moved the statue during the early hours of Wednesday morning while the city was preparing for the upcoming storm. Investigations have been stymied as officers are needed in other regions to respond to the impact from the storm.

 

               Philadelphia is holding its first Gun Buyback of 2018 Friday, March 9th. It is hosted by the 22nd Philadelphia police district and Tony Vadan, the owner of the "Official Unlimited" store. The Gun Buyback will take place at 2321 N. Broad Street, which is a property adjacent to the "Official Unlimited." Police say participants will receive a $75 gift card to "Official Unlimited" in return for the surrendered weapons.

"There are no questions asked, this is a 100% anonymous event. However, we do ask that the weapons are transported and surrendered to the event in a safe manner," police say. Gift cards are limited in supply, and will be issued on a first-come-first-serve basis.

 

               The body of Gabriel "Sekhmet" Tooms was found floating in the river at Penn Treaty Park in the Fishtown neighborhood of Philadelphia. Police say a passerby discovered the body around 11:20 a.m. Tuesday near the 1300 block of North Delaware Avenue. The body was found floating six feet from shore, police say. Medics recovered the body and she was pronounced dead around 11:30 a.m. No further details have been released.

 

               Firefighters were on the scene after an underground explosion caused a manhole cover to fly into the air in the Old City section of Philadelphia. It happened at 9:20 a.m. Saturday near 3rd and Market streets. No one was injured. It was not immediately clear what caused the blast or if any damage resulted. PECO customers in the area were not affected.

               Residents in one Chester County neighborhood say they're fed up with an ongoing pipeline project. Work crews were out all day Monday, but the state senator representing the community in West Whiteland Township said he may call for an emergency to halt construction. The latest sinkhole appeared in the 400 block of Lisa Drive on Saturday. Neighbors said residents had to evacuate. But it's nothing new for the neighborhood, which isn't far from the construction site for the Sunoco pipeline project. The pipeline under construction will carry ethane, butane and propane through Pennsylvania, ending in Marcus Hook. One pipeline is currently active.

February 23, 2018

In the News...

               Police are frustrated and beginning to monitor the statuary in Philadelphia after another public statue goes missing. The nearly 10 foot tall bronze statue of Abraham Lincoln was reported missing Tuesday, February 20th, from its location at the intersection of Kelly and Sedgely. Public outcry is mingled with derision that the thieves perpetuating these crimes are ransacking history along with the metal. The statue was commissioned shortly after the former President’s assignation.

 

               A week after a break-in at a home in Philadelphia's Torresdale section, a woman has her late husband's dog tags back. Police returned them to Raymond Cabel's widow over the weekend. They were found at the intersection of Brous and Knorr Streets in Mayfair. The family says the dog tags were in a jewelry box that also contained Cabel's Rosary. They're praying it turns up along with a quilt made out of all his shirts. The widow has made a public plea for the return of the sentimental items and states will not press charges if they are returned.

 

               A man is in critical condition after being kidnapped, ransomed and set on fire in his own car late last week. Police state Jacob Steele was approached by three males who, pointed a gun, abducted him, put him in the back of his car, zip-tied him, and drove around for the next several hours. Police say the suspects were using the victim's phone, calling and texting to demand ransom from his family.

"We did learn that a family member did begin to receive messages from our victim's phone from the people that abducted him demanding $10,000," said Capt. Mark Burgess. They ended up in Olney where the suspects doused the victim with gasoline and lit his vehicle on fire. Police are interviewing the victim's family. They emphasize they do not think this was a random crime, although they cannot say right now why the victim was targeted. Police is seeking anyone with information to come forward.

 

               Friday, February 23rd, is the last day for families to enroll their children in school-based, full day, free pre-kindergarten for the 2018-2019 school year. The School District of Philadelphia will offer extended hours at its Education Center Today until 6 p.m. to help families complete applications. To be eligible children must be at least 3 years old on or before September 1st.

In addition to the application, the following documents are required. You must have all of these documents: Proof of child's date of birth; Documentation of family income; Proof of TANF (DPW) cash, SNAP/food stamps, medical assistance; Proof of Philadelphia residency; Child's health insurance card; Physical (health assessment) and Immunizations; Completed dental form; Picture identification of parent/guardian. These programs continue to be funded by the city’s controversial “sugar tax” on beverages sold within the city-limits.

 

               A 4-alarm fire in the Old City section of Philadelphia the night of Wednesday the 21st caused the evacuation of residents and hotel guests. Several businesses were either burned out or suffered significant water and smoke damage, including the fairly new Little Lion restaurant. The investigators were on the scene throughout the day Friday as they work to determine the cause of a fire that tore through the buildings on a block of Chestnut Street just Wednesday night.

Residents said they believe the fire started in the residential building next to the hotel. There is increasing concern that the structure might collapse. Fire officials say the building owner has been asked to take down the fire escape to lessen the weight on the now weakening building. The deputy fire commissioner said it's no surprise given the four hours it took to extinguish the flames.

February 09, 2018

In the News...

               History was made for the city of Philadelphia on February 4th, when the National Football League team the Philadelphia Eagles achieved their first Super Bowl win, with a narrow defeat over the long-running champs, the New England Patriots. With Philadelphia’s reputation for aggressive sports fans, pundits and police remarked before the momentous victory whether Philadelphia would be burned to the ground by happy or sad fans. As the week unfolded, news reports are spotted with unruly behavior, missing people, theft, and vandalism.

 

               Sunday, February 4th, the streets of Philadelphia filled with humanity in numbers unseen since the 2008 World Series Championship of the Philadelphia Phillies. Several department stores were broken into and looted, multiple cars were flipped, and a fire engine was hijacked by rowdy revelers, disrupting the truck’s response to a fire set in a looted store. Despite the chaos, fatalities only numbered two that first night –one due to alcohol poisoning, another from an ill-fated plunge from a light post.

               Monday clean ups began and plans form for the upcoming victory parade. Predicted weather conditions delay the event until Thursday, but the stall allows city offices ample time to anticipate logistics. Free beer being offered along the parade route from a major brewing company (making good on a widely publicized promise) leads authorities to caution visitors to celebrate responsibly.

 

               A Code Blue is issued Tuesday night when temperatures drop and a storm passes through, rain, sleet, and ice making for a treacherous commute on Wednesday morning. Police and first responders work overnight to help vulnerable individuals find shelter. Police respond to report of another late-night looting spree on Tuesday, in which individuals steal Eagles merchandise and set the business on fire after trashing the interior.

 

               Road closures are prepared throughout Wednesday for the parade route. Police respond to an incident at the Philadelphia Zoo where after-hours trespassers threw paint over the wall of the giraffe enclosure, splattering the animals with bright green paint. The exhibit is closed while the area is cleaned and the animals are cared for.

 

               Wing Bowl champion Mary Schryer is reported missing Wednesday evening on local news stations, the attractive blonde woman having not returned home from the Super Bowl party she attended on Sunday. Her family and police plead for anyone with information on her whereabouts to make contact. Friends and family have been searching the neighborhood she was last seen in, working with police to gather clues. Another looting is reported Wednesday night, with the building engulfed in flames before police can arrive to investigate the alarms. Police confirm these are isolated incidents and not the work of riots.

 

               The city streets are packed in ways that have never been seen before for the Eagles Victory Parade. Two stabbings are reported from the course of the parade and the total number of attendees is estimated anywhere from 700,000 to 3 million. In one instance, a small stampede occurs in response to what was believed to be gunshots. Investigation reveals a group of teens set off fire crackers. Three people are left critically injured from the crush. Reports of ankle-deep trash were left in areas like Center City from the visiting crowds.

January 26, 2018

In the News... Delaware

               Sports enthusiasts from the Delmarva region are celebrating the ongoing success of the Philadelphia Eagles –everything from radio ads to business signs are bidding “Fly, Eagles, Fly!” between the cities of Philadelphia, Wilmington, and the adjacent suburbs and rural communities. It was with chagrin and shock that the Eagles fans of the area saw that visiting Viking’s supporters decked out the Rocky statue in front of the Philadelphia Metropolitan Museum of Art in a Viking’s jersey. But even more surprising that after the Eagles won the final playoff game, the Rocky statue vanished entirely –and was replaced with the missing statue of former Mayor Hank Frizzo.

               The long-awaited sports feat overshadows disturbing national news from the state of Florida in the week prior, where reports from the greater metro are of Ocala detail incidents that sound like the aftermath of a disaster movie. Reports are still inconclusive to the origins of the damage, but cars and buildings have taken damage consistent with the destructive force of an F-5 tornado. Witnesses recount the damages the result of an assault on a monstrous creature that was ripping up portions of the surrounding terrain and infrastructure. Damages include city streets being flooded from a nearby lake and what geologist dub “ground water swelling”, though flood waters subsided quickly. Video footage of the aftermath shows streets and ground ripped apart power lines down, and cars strewn about indiscriminately.

 

               Teachers, correctional officers, and other state workers would see a healthy pay raise under Gov. Jim Canary's proposed spending plan for the coming fiscal year. The governor also hopes to invest in building new schools, libraries and highway improvements, all while restoring some of last year's cuts to nonprofits and the state's prescription drug assistance program. Delaware residents, meanwhile, would not see any new tax hikes under the $4.25 billion budget proposal Canary unveiled to state lawmakers on Thursday.

 

               A judge has breathed new life into a two-year effort to block a major expansion of the Delaware City Refinery's biofuel operations. Superior Court Judge Di-Di Clatt-Streck on Friday sided with two civic groups seeking to halt the expansion, ruling that a state board erred when it rejected their appeal of a state permit that allowed the project to go forward. The Delaware Audubon Society and the Delaware League of Women Voters argue that permit violated the Coastal Zone Act, the state's landmark environmental law. But their case was dismissed after a state board determined the groups' members would not be impacted by the project. Clatt-Streck's ruling means the same state board will have to reconsider whether groups have legal standing to bring the appeal. A new hearing date had not been scheduled as of Monday.

 

               There is the chance that summer flounder regulations might change for the forthcoming season. There is the possibility that the size for summer flounder could drop back down to 16.5 inches but it’s hardly a done deal.  “We don’t even know if the 16.5-inch size limit proposal will pass muster so that it can be included as an option in the addendum,” said John Clark, DNREC’s Fisheries Section administrator. “If it is included, then Virginia, Maryland and Delaware need to do hearings and, if the three states agree to go to 16.5, then the ASMFC Summer Flounder Board would need to approve it. The process is in motion and we should know shortly whether the 16.5-inch proposal will be approved for inclusion in the addendum.”

January 12, 2018

In the News... Coming Soon

May 18, 2018

In the News Delaware...

A 43-year-old was arrested Tuesday morning, after a two-month investigation into suspected drug activity led to drugs and suspected drug money. Police searched two homes and two cars registered to Raul P. Stark, of Wilmington and found illegal drugs and suspected drug money, said Delaware State Police. In their raid, officers discovered 506 grams powder cocaine, 129 grams crack cocaine, 54.2 grams (7,748 bags) heroin, 753 grams marijuana, a stolen Glock 40 caliber handgun with extended clip, various drug paraphernalia, and $16,546 in suspected drug money.  Of the two residences, one at 300 block of Shipley Road and the other 900 block of N. Spruce Street, Stark was taken into custody at the former.

    Police are searching for missing student Sahid Kondos in New Castle County, with alerts in place for surrounding counties. The 17-year old honors student is graduating valedictorian of Glasgow High School and went missing May 10th. Authorities are imploring anyone with information to come forward. Family members are deeply worried and hope for his safe return.

    The city of New Castle has a new pier to show off and to highlight the achievement, their annual event ‘A Day in Old New Castle’, will showcase the Kalmar Nyckel, Delaware's tall ship. A reproduction of the ship that brought Swedish settlers to this region, the Kalmar Nyckel will sit at the end of the pier, visible into the center of the historic town. It is expected to arrive Friday for the weekend. Historic New Castle is a picturesque area still filled with homes dating back to Colonial and Revolutionary days and even some cobblestone streets.

    First proposed as a Superfund site in January, the aquifer under central Hockessin has been formally added to the federal program that provides taxpayer dollars for the cleanup of the country's most contaminated sites. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency made the announcement on Tuesday for six sites throughout the country, after required 60-day comment periods had elapsed. The 32-acre impacted area straddles Lancaster Pike through the core of the Hockessin business district.

    A special weather statement sent out Tuesday night warned of a weather-generated tsunami, ranging from the north New Jersey coast to Fenwick Island. "We had a pressure rise," said Trevor Pencader, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Mount Holly, New Jersey. Per the weather service, a meteotsunami has characteristics similar to an earthquake-generated tsunami, but a meteotsunami is caused by air movement from weather events such as fast-moving squall lines.

    Taxpayers have criticized the number of school districts in the state of Delaware, arguing it leads to excessive spending on administration and other expenses outside the classroom. Fewer districts could mean fewer high-paid administrative staff like superintendents, financial officers and personnel officers, the argument goes. On Tuesday, a legislative task force said in its final report that consolidating Delaware's 19 school districts into three would not save the state a significant amount of money and is not recommended.

    After the recent theft of the Judy Johnson statue outside Frawley Stadium in Wilmington, a placard detailing the legacy of the iconic baseball player has stood in its place while a replacement is commissioned. Early Friday morning, reports a statue was returned to the location made local news, but the statue was removed by stadium officials before camera crews could arrive. Eye-witness reports the retuned statue wasn’t of Judy Johnson, but instead of a dead woman.

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