Friday, December 19, 2014

The Daily Numbers for Friday, Dec. 19

The Daily Numbers: 400 students to 850 attending the Delaware County Intermediate Unit campus in Aston under an expansion plan. The township planners rejected the proposal.

21, age of victim struck and killed by train in Darby Borough.

25, age of man charged with 1st-degree murder in fatal stabbing in Yeadon.

23, of Upper Darby man charged with groping a fast-food worker at the drive-thru window.

4 percent tax hike in Rose Valley.

0 tax hike in Edgmont and Middletown.

3 weeks since Shane Montgomery disappeared after he left a Manayunk bar.

55 million dollar price tag for SEPTA to replace the Crum creek bridge on the Media-Elwyn train line.

925 foot span that connects Swarthmore and Nether Providence needs to be replaced.

3 suspects who waived their hearings yesterday in the beating death of 3-year-old Scotty McMillan in Chester County.

421 point boost for the Dow Jones yesterday.

2.4 percent hike, closing at 17,778.15

20 million dollars from Carl Icahn that will keep the Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City open for now.

309 million dollars being sought for the school district.

30 million dollar deficit, what they are facing next year.

2-1 shootout loss for the Flyers to the Panthers.

2-1-1 record for Flyers on their homestand.

8 games on the road now. Flyers do not return home until Jan. 6

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.

Eagles will need Luck to reach the playoffs. Namely Andrew Luck, who will lead the Colts vs. the Cowboys on sunday. Of course, first the Eagles need to beat the Redskins on Saturday.

I Don’t Get It: There is a sex tape circulating in Bucks County. It involves middle school students. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan, who is at the forefront of the Sony hacking story through his position as chairman of the House Subcommitee on Cybersecurity.

Quote Box: “We Mc-locked him up and Mc-photoed him for the offense.”

- Upper Darby top cop Mike Chitwood, after a man was charged with groping a fast-food worker at a drive-thru window.

The agony continues for family of Shane Montgomery

There is no end to the agony for the family of Shane Montgomery.

It has now been three weeks since the 21-year-old West Chester University student walked out of Kildare's Irish Pub in Manayunk after a night out with friends - and vanished off the face of the earth. He has not been seen since.

These cases have a tendency to make headlines for a few days or maybe a week, then fade away.

But the horror does not stop for his family.

Less than a week before Christmas, Montgomery's family continues to press the search, looking for any clue of their loved one.

This weekend there is a run/walk to raise money to help the hunt for Montgomery.

It is heartbreaking to listen to Montgomery's mother talk about the situation. Here's hoping they get some kind of resolution soon.

126 hours of shopping: On your marks ....

Every day in my Daily Numbers portion of the blog, I list an "I Don't Get It" item.

Today I decided it needed a blog post all its own.

Kohl's stores opened their doors this morning at 6 a.m. They will not close until 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve.

That's right. They will be open for business for 126 consecutive hours. I suppose there are some advantages to shopping at 3 in the morning. It's certainly likely that you will be the crowds.

I just hope my wife has not yet heard of this new shopping fad.

She's a Kohl's junkie.

Then again, if she's shopping for me.....

Luck-y Day for Eagles fans?

There are actually two big games for Eagles fans this weekend.

First, of course, the Birds must take care of business on Saturday when they visit the nation's capital to tangle with the Redskins and what appears to be a newly rejuvenated Robert Griffin III.

If they take care of business, then Eagles fans will need to gather around the tube at 4:30 Sunday, when the Cowboys play the Colts.

The Eagles will not make the playoffs unless they win their final two games, and the Cowboys lose at least once. Dallas ends their regular season with Washington, while the Eagles have to go up the Jersey Turnpike to face the Giants.

DeMarco Murray continues to be questionable for the 'Boys with a broken bone in his hand.

The Eagles beat the Colts early in this season. They need to hope Andrew Luck and company can rise to the occasion.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, Dec. 18

The Daily Numbers: 27 years, how long Dr. Lawrence Wean has been practicing medicine in Media. Yesterday he was busted for selling prescriptions for painkillers to undercover police officers.

14 counts of administering controlled substance and 3 counts of insurance fraud filed against the doctor.

12.5 percent dip in finances at Cheyney University between 2009 and 2013. The state is warning the historic school faces a ‘dire future’ if finances are not reversed.

348 percent increase in bad debt at the school during the same period.

1,471 students enrolled at the school in 2008-09. That dipped to 1,248 in 2012-13 and expected to fall to 1,053 this year.

12.3 million dollar deficit at the school.

10 people, including 1 from Delco, charged in a scheme to cheat PennDOT out of $1.2 million.

8 people busted in a sting operation in Radnor after they answered a bogus letter indicating they were due unclaimed cash.

0 tax hike in Morton budget.

3.9 percent tax hike in works in Marple.

0 tax hike in Aldan.

0 tax hike in Swarthmore

0 tax hike in Upper Chichester.

4:30 Saturday, when the Eagles teen it up against the Redskins in D.C. Remember the Birds play Saturday, not Sunday. On Sunday all Eagles fans will be watching the Cowboys in the 4:30 game to see if they falter.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.

Why do I get the feeling DeSean Jackson would like nothing more than to ruin the playoff chances of Chip Kelly and the Eagles.

I Don’t Get It: Another doctor facing charges of illegally doling out painkillers. No wonder the county has an opioid problem.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Betty Subashi. The Ridley woman is donating $100 to the Daily Times Merry Christmas Fund to honor the anonymous ‘angel’ who returned her fanny pack that she had left in a shopping cart at the local Acme.

Quote Box: “This is all wrong, all wrong.”

- Dr. Lawrence Wean, after being charged in a sting operation with illegally dispensing painkillers.

The men who run Chester Upland

There is nothing wrong with the Chester Upland School District that $20 million wouldn't cure.

That's the word from the man who should know. Joe Watkins is the embattled state-appointed receiver of the struggling district. He managed to survive an attempt by his boss at the state Department of Education to boot him from his job. But he's not out of the woods yet. Neither is the district.

Chester Upland continues to face fiscal calamity, staring at a $20 million deficit. Watkins says that shortfall could be wiped out if the state went back to disbursing money as it did after a costing-out study done in 2011 that delivered more state aid to those districts in the greatest need.

He's hopeful that a new administration taking over in Harrisburg - namely Democratic Gov.-elect Tom Wolf - will restore the Act 88 funds nixed by the Corbett Administration.

In the meantime, he maintains the district is making progress, both in luring students back to the public schools from charters, in maintaining a safe atmosphere, and increasing test scores.

He has a secret weapon in this daunting task.

His name is Gregory Shannon, the superintendent Watkins hired to help turn around the district.

Watkins and Shannon were my guests last night on our live-stream Internet show, 'Live From the Newsroom.' If you missed the show, you can catch the replay here.

I have to admit I was surprised at the move by the state to bounce Watkins, which came just a few weeks after his announcement that he planned to visit China to entice a charter school operator there to invest - perhaps as much as a billion dollars - in Chester Upland.

That trip is now off, but Watkins stands by the move, and hopes officials may still be willing to come here instead.

But if you're looking for a reason for hope in Chester Upland, Shannon is your man.

He speaks passionately about his mission, and creating a safe atmosphere for Chester students.

Shannon did not mince words about his first task when he and Watkins literally went door-to-door in a much-needed attempt to convince families to pull their kids out of the charters and put them back in Chester Upland district schools. They did it. Enrollment at Chester Upland schools is up.

"They didn't think the schools were safe," Shannon frankly admitted last night.

He's changed that.

He's also pushing basics - reading, writing and public speaking - as the cornerstone to give Chester Upland kids a fighting chance. Watkins and Shannon still face a huge task in turning around Chester Upland.

I almost said "insurmountable," but if you ever get the chance to meet them, in particular Shannon, you'll know that's not the case.

Think DeSean Jackson would like to ruin the Eagles' playoff chances?

Here's a random thought while waiting for the Eagles to continue their desperate hunt for a playoff spot.

Much has been made of the Eagles' inability to throw deep balls this year. Many believe there is a simple reason for that. He will be lining up across the line of scrimmage Saturday in D.C.

How much do you think DeSean Jackson would like to stick a pin in Chip Kelly and the Eagles' playoff hopes.

With Robert Griffin III back as the starting QB due to still another injury to a Redskins quarterback, look for him to try to get Jackson deep on the Eagles vulnerable secondary.

And how nervous are you at the thought of Jackson going up against what has been a persistent problem this year. That would be the Eagles much-maligned corners, Bradley Fletcher and Cary Williams.

Buckle your seat belts, Eagles fans, what was thought to be an easy game in the nation's capital may turn out to be one more finger-biting affair.