Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Daily Numbers - March 31

The Daily Numbers: 6 feet, 5 inches, the imposing figure of Bob Herdelin, the man behind the notorious Cheers bar.
200 students, still the goal behind families of St. Joseph’s School community in Collingdale. They’re waiting to hear from the archdiocese if they hit the mark to save their school.
3 more interchanges on the Blue Route that now have ramps to limit access to the road.
34-9 vote by which the state AFL-CIO, which represents 900,000 workers statewide, backed Sen. Arlen Specter over Joe Sestak.
190,000 dollars that have flooded in to Norwood Borough, allowing them to pay their bills and payroll for March.
32, age of youth soccer coach in Northeast Philly charged with having indecent contact with underage girls.
95, age of man targeted by knife-wielding attacker in Tacony. He was chased off by the man’s neighbors. Good for them.
81, age of man killed when his car was struck by stolen medical vehicle that was being chased by police in Vineland, N.J.
600 jobs that will be filled by electronics chain hhgregg when they open 12 stores in the region. None will be in Delco. There will be 1 on Route 202 in Delaware.
12, age of boy who was brought to this country from Russia by an arts philanthropist in Philly. He now faces charges.
0 smokers that will be hired after May 1 by St. Luke’s Hospital in Bethlehem as it strives to improve workers health.
270,000 dollar settlement with prisoners at Northampton County Prison because of a MRSA outbreak.
26 points for Kevin Durant as the Oklahoma City Thunder rolled over the Sixers, 111-93.
5, as in No. 5 starter for the Phils. That would be Jamie Moyer, who beat out Kyle Kendrick, who will start the season in the bullpen.
47, Moyer’s age, he’s the oldest active player in the Majors.

*
Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Is it just me, or does anyone else think Donovan McNabb is being treated shabbily by an organization that used him as its face for the last decade?
*
I Don’t Get It: PennDOT is changing its policy so school districts can gain access to the entire history of prospective school bus drivers. What took them so long?
*
Today’s Upper: Kudos to the neighbors of a 95-year-old man in the Tacony section of Philly who came to his aid when he was accosted by a knife-wielding intruder. They chased the suspect off.
*
Quote Box: “I’ve thrown out 25 drug dealers in the last year. I can’t get ‘em all.”
- Bob Herdelin, owner of Cheers bar in Upper Darby.

He's the guy behind Cheers

 Meet Bob Herdelin.


He’s the owner of one of the most notorious bars in the county.


You’ve probably been reading about Cheers, the watering hole across the street from 69th Street Terminal.


There was a fatal shooting in the bathroom a week ago. Then last weekend Upper Darby top cop Mike Chitwood led a bunch of lawmen on a raid of the joint. Turned up some gambling machines and drugs. I’m shocked, just shocked. I’m guessing you could find the same in a whole lot of bars around Delco.


Herdelin thinks he’s on the receiving end of some kind of witch hunt.


I’m not sure I’m buying.


I do know this. He and his bar have been splashed all over the pages of this newspaper several times in recent weeks. So I wanted to hear his side of the story.


He told it go Gil Spencer. And it’s a doozy.


You can read it here.

Shabby treatment for McNabb

I have never categorized myself as a huge Donovan McNabb fan.

I think he’s been a very good quarterback – but not a great one.

His penchant for throwing balls at his receivers’ feet, or behind them, has been a consistent flaw, especially in Andy Reid’s West Coast offense, which is predicated on slants, precision passing and hitting receivers in stride to maximize yards after the catch.

Having said all that, McNabb very well may be the greatest quarterback in Eagles history. At least the history I’ve seen. Norm Van Brocklin as just a tad before my time.

All of which only makes what the Eagles are now doing with McNabb even more deplorable.

This is how the “gold standard” treats one of the greatest players in their history. Sure, Norman Braman once gave Mike Quick an empty golf bag on his retirement, but this kind of treatment is not supposed to be the Lurie/Banner way. Or is it?

McNabb now hangs out there, floating in the breeze, the source of non-stop Internet trade rumors. Where is he going today? St. Louis, Minnesota, Oakland.

Don’t worry if you’re not right. That’s the beauty of the Internet? It will change in a few minutes.

Basically, the Eagles are now holding a yard sale, with McNabb wearing the big “available at any price” tag.

Pretty shabby treatment for a guy who played through various injuries, came back from several others, and was the face of your organization for a decade.

One thing now appears certain. The McNabb era is over. It’s just a matter of where he winds up. I can’t see any way McNabb would now return to the team.

Now the Eagles find themselves groveling, going from team to team trying to deal their one-time star, clearing the path for Kevin Kolb to take over.

Donovan McNabb deserved better. Gold Standard? This isn’t even cubic zirconium.

A new wrinkle to All-Delco selections

Our new mantra of digital first continues to pay dividends.


The latest example appears today with the first of our winter sports All-Delco teams.


Kudos to Archbishop Carroll’s Erin Shields, selected as our girls basketball Player of the Year.


We’ve added something new to the mix this season. Not only will the photos of each girl named to the team appear in print and online, we also have done a video of both Shields, as well as the other girls who made the team.


You can see them here, and here.


Expect to see more of the same in the next few days as we deliver the All-Delco Swimming, Wrestling, Ice Hockey and finally Boys Basketball.


I’m starting to really like this Internet thing.


 

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Daily Numbers - March 30

The Daily Numbers: 64 signatures on nominating petitions for Aston Magisterial District Judge David Murphy that the D.A. alleges were forgeries.
18, age of suspect now charged in the robbery of a man in a motorized scooter who had just used an ATM machine in Upper Darby.
75 parents and students who gathered for candlelight vigil at St. Joe’s School in Collingdale as they try to save their school.
2,000 contribution from Pat Meehan’s defunct gubernatorial campaign to that of Tom Corbett. The state A.G. will now handle review of Meehan’s petitions.
12, age of boy who will face trial as an adult in Pittsburgh for fatally shooting his father’s fiancee.
38, age of Philadelphia man now charged with threatening the life of Rep. Eric Cantor, of Virginia, in dispute over health care vote.
17, age of female student at Plymouth-Whitemarsh High School who was struck and killed by a hit-run driver Sunday night.
600 million dollar education boost for Delaware, 1 of 2 states named winners in the federal ‘Race to the Top’ competition. Pa. didn’t make the cut.
9 teens charged in Boston in the long-term bullying of a 15-year-old girl who eventually took her own life.
24.3 percent poverty rate in Philadelphia, according to new Pew Charitable Trust study.
62.17 inches of precipitation that has fallen on the region in the last
365 days, a new record.
17 percent hike in health insurance premiums that could be facing young adults when the health care reform changes take full effect.
10 wins for the New Jersey Nets, who beat the Spurs last night, which means the record for the worst NBA team of all time remains securely in the Sixers hands.
9-73, the ignominious mark established by that 1972-73 Sixers team.
20 Phillies Phanatics statues that will go up across the city as part of “Phillies Paint the Town Red” antics leading up to the home opener for the Phils.

*
Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.It’s countdown time. Six days until the Phils season opener in D.C.
*
I Don’t Get It: A court has ruled that a man who sued a fringe group that protested at the funeral of his son, who was killed in action in Iraq, must now pay their legal expenses. I don’t get it.
*
Today’s Upper: Kudos to PennDOT for quickly changing procedures so local school districts can gain access to the entire history of prospective school bus drivers. The move comes after a fatal crash in Montgomery County. The bus driver had been involved in a previous fatal crash.
*
Quote Box: “You tell them we’re going to be here for years to come.”
- Sister Virginia Paschall, principal at BVM School in Darby.

A memory of a lifetime

When my kids were little, my wife and I would plan an excursion every summer.

Luckily, they were very good travelers – for children that is. Back then, we tried to drive just about everywhere. I always like to drive the first time I go somewhere. Besides, it’s a lot cheaper.

One summer, we had planned an excursion to South Dakota to see Mount Rushmore. And yes, if you’ve never seen it, it is every bit as spectacular as they say. I would call it a “must-see.”

A few weeks before our trip, I was talking with some of the guys in the sports department about our upcoming sojourn. I happened to mention that one of the places I wanted to stop was the campus of Notre Dame.

I’m not a Notre Dame grad. No one in my family is either. I am, however, extremely Irish. I’ve always been a big fan. So the opportunity to check out Touchdown Jesus in person was too much for me to pass up.

When our sports columnist, Jack McCaffery, heard that I was planning a stop in South Bend, he told me I just had to look up his brother. At the time, Franny was working as an assistant coach for John MacLeod’s men’s basketball team at Notre Dame. Jack gave me Fran’s phone number and said he would tell his brother that we’d be in town. I didn’t really think much of it after that.

The campus was everything I expected. While South Bend didn’t move me at all, the second I drove onto the Notre Dame campus, I felt something special.

We checked out several spots on campus, including, of course, a visit to the bookstore. Every person I saw on campus had a bag from the bookstore, no doubt loaded with souvenirs.

We paid a visit to the grotto, which was almost magical in its quiet spirituality.

Then I figured I’d push my luck. I pulled out the phone number for Fran McCaffery and decided to give it a shot. I didn’t expect him to know who I was, let alone why I was there.

Was I ever wrong. Fran said he had been expecting my call. He asked where we were and said we could meet him outside the athletic center.

Sure enough, there was this smiling guy waiting for us when we got there. “You must be the Herons,” he beamed. Suddenly my wife and kids were impressed.

It only got better from there. Fran took us on a personal tour of the facilities and talked about his job and the Notre Dame basketball program.

Then he did something I never expected. “Have you ever been in a college locker room?” he asked my son Sean (yeah, he’s just as Irish as I am.) I saw his eyes getting big as saucers.

Then he proceeded to take us on a tour of the locker room. He showed us where the team gathered before they took the floor, then he swung open the doors and led us on the same path the players take when they hit the court.

I still remember every minute of that little tour. So does my son.

Fran ended our visit by giving my kids T-shirts to a summer hoops camp held at Notre Dame. They still have them.

Since then Fran McCaffery has done well for himself.

He went on to become head man at UNC-Greensboro before landing the head coaching job at Siena. Before he was at Notre Dame, he had been the coach at Lehigh. He’s taken three different programs to the NCAA Tournament. His Siena teams went 112-51 in his five season.

This week all Fran McCaffery’s hard work paid off. He was named the head coach at Iowa.

You might already know Fran McCaffery is a pretty good coach.

He’s an even better human being. Take it from someone who knows, and someone Fran McCaffery didn’t know from Adam. He treated us like royalty. And he forged a memory for me and my family that we still cherish.

I’m not surprised Fran McCaffery has risen to the top of college hoops.

He was already a Final Four guy as a person.

Go get ’em, Fran.

One other thing, which I may or may not have mentioned before. Thanks for the memory of a lifetime.

Iowa is the place where they filmed “Field of Dreams.”

They probably don’t know it yet, but they just landed the coach – and human being – of their dreams as well.

A record for futility

Thank God for the New Jersey Nets.

They won last night. Why is that important? Because it keeps the Sixers firmly entrenched in the NBA record book.

OK, so it’s not exactly something you necessarily want to brag about. I still like the idea that the record remains in Philly.

And what record would that be? The record for the worst team in NBA history.

Yes, those 1972-73 Sixers went 9-73. The Nets had been flirting with the a similar nadir most of the year.

But they ralled late, and last night they beat a short-handed Spurs team, 90-84, for their 10th win of the season.

Woe is us. Long live Roy Rubin’s 1972-73 Sixers team.

We’ll take our records where we can get them.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Last call for Cheers?

In the TV show, it was “the place where everybody knows your name.”

But in Upper Darby Township, it is the place where cops seem to know everybody’s name. And they’re tired of it.

Police once again paid a visit to Cheers Bar Saturday. This time they brought some friends.

About 50 crime-busters raided what has been blasted as a prime example of a “nuisance bar.”

It’s not the first time they’ve been to the watering hole, at 69th and Market streets across the street from the 69th Street Terminal. In fact top cop Mike Chitwood says the’ve responded to Cheers more than 300 times in the last year alone.

This all came to a head recently when a fatal shooting took place inside the bar’s bathroom.

Chitwood went on the warpath, blasting the state Liquor Control Board for allowing the place to stay open.

Agents flooded the joint about 12:30 Saturday morning. They seized several gambling machines, and also made some drug arrests.

Yesterday, county and township officials made it clear. They are not in the mood to stand up and cheer for Cheers.

In fact, they want it shut down and take steps to be sure it does not reopen.

It might be last call for Cheers.

Lessons in Faith

You could call it the “haves” and the “have-nots.”

In a three-part series this week, staff writer Patti Mengers is examining the challenge of parochial school eduction in Delaware County.

You can read the second part of her three-part series by clicking here.

Today’s installment is about St. Cornelius in the western end of the county, out in Chadds Ford. You could consider them the “haves.”

The area is booming. Lots of people are moving there, especial from locales farther east on Baltimore Pike. Archdiocesan schools in the western end of the county, like St. Cornelius, is thriving. The same can be said for schools in Chester County and western Montgomery County. All you have to do is look at population patterns. That’s where people are moving. In particular young families.

Contrast that with the situation in the inner-rung suburbs. Tonight the faithful will gather in their continuing efforts to save St. Joseph’s School in Collingdale. They must have 200 students committed to attend class there next year by tomorrow.

On Friday, the archdiocese announced two more parochial elementary schools would close. Both were in Montgomery County. And both St. James and Holy Martyers parish schools are victims of the same problem that afflicts so many schools here in Delaware County, declining enrollent couple with spiking costs.

When we started planning this series, we did not time it to coincide with the archdiocese’s announcement.

We also did not time it to appear during Holy Week, kicking off on Palm Sunday.

We did, however, title in “Lessons in Faith.” Those lessons are needed now more than ever.

And nowhere is that lesson tougher, or being felt more, than in eastern Delaware County.

Start thinking Three-Peat

Start the countdown.

We are seven days away from the start of another Phillies season.

Once again we have, in the inimitable words of Harry the K, “High Hopes.” And with good reason.

Anybody think this team does not have a great shot at doing something that has not been done in the National League since Stan Musial’s St.
Louis Cardinals teams did it in 1942-43-44, that being win three straight National League crowns?

The Phillies appear well-stocked to try to do just that.

How far has this franchise come?

Consider this: Anything less than a three-peat, another trip back to the World Series, will likely be considered a step back.

There was a time when .500 baseball was considered a lofty goal for a franchise that has set the all-time mark for losses.

That was then; this is now.

We’re now Kings of the Hill, A No. 1. Top of the heap.

And next Monday, the Phillies will start ‘spreadin’ the news.’ Again.

That’s the word for the week, and the season.

Three-Peat. You gotta’ believe.

Friday, March 26, 2010

The Daily Numbers - March 26

The Daily Numbers: 0 goals scored by the Union last night in their debut in Seattle. They were blanked, 2-0.
522 charges filed against Aston District Judge David Murphy. He’s expected to be arraigned on Monday.
0 arrests made so far in the brutal stabbing death of an Upper Chichester mother in her home.
200 registrations, how many kids need to be registered for next year at St. Joseph’s School in Collingdale to keep the doors open.
1 guilty verdict and 1 not guilty for Susan Finkelstein, the woman accused of offering sex for World Series tickets. She was acquitted on the more serious charge of prostitution, convicted on the minor attempted prostitution charge.
1 year maximum sentence, though it’s much more likely she will get probation. Finkelstein also is appealing.
28 cell phones stolen and then sold by a Common Pleas Court clerk in Philadelphia. She pleaded guilty.
1 woman shot when she tried to break into a home in the city’s Rhawnhurst section. She picked the wrong house. A deputy fire chief was asleep inside.
12 percent property tax hike now on the board in Philly, as an alternative to increase in the tax fee.
107 million dollars, how much the trash fee would raise for the city each year.
2 racial incidents now being tied to a teen who took to the PA at a South Jersey Walmart store and asked all black people to leave the store. He’s now believed to have done something similar just after Christmas.
100 students in Haddonfield, N.J., who may have had their information hacked on the district’s computers. Officials say it was part of a plot by a small group of kids to change grades.
8 men being sought in a wild series of home invasions that started in Yeadon and ended in a shootout in West Philadelphia.
2 powerful Democrats lining up behind state Sen. Anthony Williams’ bid for governor. He’s being backed by Mayor Michael Nutter and state Rep.
Dwight Evans.
2 goal lead in the third period coughed up by the Flyers, who wound up losing in OT.
0 for 16 for the orange and black on the power play in the last 4 games.
Not good.
6 losses in their last 7 games for the Flyers, who are clinging to a playoff spot by a thread.
2 runs surrendered by Phils’ starter Kyle Kendrick as he continues his push for the 5th starter’s job. Jamie Moyer will pitch tonight.
8-7 win for the Phils over Brett Myers and the Astros yesterday. Myers left the game with a groin strain after covering first on a ground ball.
Sounds familiar.
36,000 people who showed up in a driving rain to see the Union make their debut in Seattle. Lots of them were from this region.
*
Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.The Eagles, including Andy Reid, seemed to have done an about-face on the question of Donovan McNabb. Now they need to pull the trigger.
Everyone knows they can’t simply come back with the same old song next year. Reid isn’t going anywhere. McNabb likely is.
*
I Don’t Get It: Somebody know who killed Dana Felts in her Upper Chi home. It’s time for them to come forward with what they know.
*
Today’s Upper: Kudos to the Union. A lot of people never thought they would ever see them take the field. They did just that last night in Seattle. In June they will open their new stadium in Chester. Now they just need to score a goal.
*
Quote Box: “It’s such a shame. This stuff shouldn’t be happening.”
- Brian Bernard, neighbor of Dana Felts, the mom who was fatally stabbed in her Upper Chichester home.

More tough times for St. Joe's

The celebration at St. Joseph’s School in Collingdale may have been a bit premature.

The struggling school – and the die-hard group of parents and supporters working to keep it open – rejoiced a few weeks ago when a new pastor was brought in and Cardinal Justin Rigali announced the school would get a reprieve and possibly stay open next year.

But that reprieve came with some strings attached.

Some fairly short strings, it turns out.

Backers say they were well aware that they would have to demonstration that they could get 200 kids registered for next year to keep the school open.

But they claim they had no idea they were only going to get a few weeks to do it. The archdiocese informed they must meet the numbers by March 30 – next Tuesday – and they were not interested in offering an extension.

Now nerves are once again frayed all around.

It’s a continuing sign of the troubling times for Catholic education in the eastern end of the county.

Beginning this Sunday, staff writer Patti Mengers will examine this issue, with an overview of the daunting numbers so many schools face in the inner-ring suburbs up and down the eastern part of the county. She also will examine one school that is managing to keep its head above water, and how they’re doing it, along with a school in the western part of the county that is enjoying the fruits of the huge influx of new residents into that area.

We’re calling it “Lessons in Faith.”

Finkelstein's 15 minutes

Remember the old Andy Warhol belief that everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.

Susan Finkelstein is on overtime.

The Philly woman was on trial this week in Bucks County on charges she offered an undercover cop sex for World Series tickets.

Not exactly the Trial of the Century.

Finkelstein’s attorney attacked the police for their ferocity in pushing the case against Finkelstein. It’s kind of hard to argue with him.

This is the biggest issue in Bucks County? A die-hard woman Phillies fan who was so desperate to score ducats for the World Series that she was willing to score in another way?

William Brennan said his client was guilty of little more than doing some things in bad taste.

I won’t argue with that either.

Officers testified at the trial that Finkelstein e-mailed them topless pictures of herself and then exposed herself to them during a meeting at a local bar.

Finkelstein denied doing any such thing. Both sides also disagreed over whether or not Finkelstein was wearing underwear at the time.

A jury took a couple of hours yesterday before deciding Finkelstein was not guilty of prostitution, but guilty of attempted prostitution. She likely will get probation for the misdemeanor rap.

Her lawyer says they will appeal.

Finkelstein says she’s looking forward to the Phillies season.

She went 1-for-2 yesterday. Let’s hope the Phils do as well.

And let’s hope we did not hear from Susan Finkelstein again anytime soon.

The Union's debut

The zealots who waited for years for pro soccer to come to the Philadelphia region saw their dreams realized last night.


Unfortunately, they’ll have to wait a bit longer to celebrate their team’s first goal.


The Union, the newest franchise in Major League Soccer, who will call Chester their home base, kicked off the MLS season in Seattle last night.


They came within a whisker of bolting to a 1-0 lead. That’s as close as they got. They fell to the Sounders, 2-0.


That did not stop the local soccer maniacs from cheering on their team.


Click here to see how local folks took in the game. And here for how things went in Seattle.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Daily Numbers - March 25

The Daily Numbers: 2 kids, ages 3 and 6, left behind by woman who was found stabbed to death in her Upper Chichester home.
100 people who gathered outside Dana Felts’ house last night at a vigil in her memory.
12,000 dollars, how much police say an official with the Marcus Hook Trainer Volunteer Firefighters Relief Association stole from the fund.
50 dollar registration fee and $200 “commitment” being required of parents at St. Joseph’s School in Collingdale as it struggles to survive.
6 more days, how long St. Joe’s has to show the archdiocese that they have 200 children registered for the next school year or they could be closed.
22, age of man held for trial for ripping off the collection proceeds at St. Andrew’s Church in Drexel Hill.
100,000 dollar heist of an ATM machine that was carted out of Delaware County Memorial Hospital. A suspect was held for trial after a hearing yesterday.
21, age of Casey Feldman of Springfield, who was struck and killed as she tried to cross a busy street in Ocean City, N.J., last summer. The driver this week pleaded guilty to a careless driving charge and was fined $200.
1 percent uptick in the Delco population, according to new census figures.
558,028 residents in Delaware County as of July 2009, according to census numbers. That’s opposed to 550,864 in the 200 census count.
1, as in No 1, the fastest growing county in Pennsylvania? Delco? No, that would be our neighbors out in Chester County.
13.9 million dollar deal to manufacture decoys for U.S. military jets for Alloy Surfaces Co., based in Chester Township.
274 percent hike in the U.S. trade deficit with China since 2001. That’s eliminated an estimated 95,700 jobs in Pa., according to a new study.
79 employees expected to get the ax in Burlington Township, N.J., as the town struggles with budget woes.
100 protesters who gathered yesterday to protest plans by city of Philadelphia to enact tax on sodas and other sweet drinks.
3 years in jail for a woman convicted of stealing credit cards and other items from cars parked at Valley Forge National Park.
471 counts filed against a Delaware pediatrician charged with sexually abusing his young patients. He pleaded not guilty yesterday.
12, age of suspect charged with putting a knife to the ribs of a 9-year-old classmate at Thomas Creighton School in Crescentville section of Philly.
45.2 million dollar Powerball jackpot up for grabs Saturday night. No one hit all the numbers last night.
15 points for rookie Jrue Holiday as the Sixers upset the Bucks in Milwaukee last night, 101-86.
1, as in the first game ever tonight for the Philadelphia Union, which kicks off the MLS season in Seattle.
10 years with the Eagles for Donovan McNabb. His reign may be coming to an end as trade talks swirl about the Birds’ starting QB.
*
Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.It’s time for Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb to part ways. A lot of people wish it was the other way around, but it looks as if McNabb will go, while Reid will stick around.
*
I Don’t Get It: Two words: Flash mobs. I don’t get it.
*
Today’s Upper: Kudos to the Keosayian family of Concord, who are turning a family tragedy involving suicide into a valuable learning lesson for others dealing with these tragic circumstances.
*
Quote Box: “She was a good mother. I really can’t imagine who would do something like this.”
- Brenda McCabe, friend of Dana Felts, the mom who was fatally stabbed in her Upper Chichester home.

Unease in Chi

There is a growing unease in Upper Chichester Township this morning.

Last night more than a hundred friends, family and neighbors gathered outside the house of Dana Felts, who was brutally stabbed to death by an intruder Tuesday night.

It was the second violent incident in as many days in the normally tranquil township.

Earlier this week an 83-year-old man was tied up and brutally beaten in his home.

The incidents have left longtime residents on edge.

It’s also got them looking over their shoulder. Most believe these incidents likely involve someone they know.

“It’s disgusting,” one person said at last night’s vigil. “Somebody knows something and I think it’s best if someone comes forward.”

Police do not believe the two incidents are linked. Maybe it’s just a sign of the times.

One theory making its way around the neighborhood is that Felts recently had a good day at the casino and that robbery was the motive.

That also seems to lean toward the suspect being someone who knew her.

Let’s hope police make an arrest in both these incidents soon. And Upper Chichester can get back to their quiet lives.

If that’s possible.

End of the McNabb era

Andy Reid tried to couch it as best he could. But there was no escaping what is becoming increasingly clear with every passing hour.

The Donovan McNabb era with the Philadelphia Eagles is coming to a close.

Reid set the torch to this bonfire at the league owners’ meeting this week when he finally admitted the Eagles were entertaining offers for all three of their quarterbacks.

That stands in fairly stark contrast to what had been the Eagles’
company line – that Donovan would be back as their starting quarterback next year.

Now it seems fairly clear that will not be the case. McNabb likely will be traded. Kevin Kolb will assume the role of starter. Michael Vick may or may not be back as a backup.

This comes after a dizzying day of rumors and Internet hype. One report had a deal on the table for McNabb to go to the Rams for the top pick in the second round – the 33rd pick overall, and a pretty good safety, which the Eagles also happen to need.

Later in the day, Rams officials scoffed at the stories, calling them false.

Which pretty much tells you there likely was something there.

In the meantime, McNabb slowly twists in the wind. It’s a fairly ignominious wind for him to end a very good career with the Eagles.

Hey, I’ve been as big a McNabb critic as you’ll find. If I see one more ball thrown at a receiver’s ankles, if not behind him, or on two hops, my head will explode.

Why Andy Reid decided to try to force a down the field bomber like McNabb into a West Coast offense that demands precision accuracy, I have no idea. From the day he arrived, McNabb has struggled with the slants and other short throws that his offense demands.

Having said that, there’s also no denying the numbers McNabb put up in his 10 years here. You can argue about who is the greatest quarterback in Eagles history, but McNabb must be right up at the top of the list.

But it’s time for this franchise to move on. It might be the best thing to happen to McNabb as well.

Given the right circumstance, it is not stretching credulity to see McNabb take another team deep into the playoffs. Will it be the Rams, a team that lost 15 games last year? I’m not at all sure about that. If McNabb winds up with the Rams, it tells me he likely went more for the money than another shot at a Super Bowl.

And make no mistake, where McNabb winds up will be very much his decision.

It’s just not very likely that it will be Philadelphia.

Look for the Union label

The long wait ends tonight, soccer fans.

The Philadelphia Union, which by the way will play its home games in Chester, will help kick off the Major League Soccer season with a game in Seattle.

You can read Chris Vito’s advance here.

If you had asked me a few years about the possibility that we would send a staffer to cover an MLS game in Seattle, I would have called security.

That was then; this is now. At about 9 p.m. tonight, Chester will be a “Major League” city again.

Dynamite.

Look for the Union label

The long wait ends tonight, soccer fans.

The Philadelphia Union, which by the way will play its home games in Chester, will help kick off the Major League Soccer season with a game in Seattle.

You can read Chris Vito’s advance here.

If you had asked me a few years about the possibility that we would send a staffer to cover an MLS game in Seattle, I would have called security.

That was then; this is now. At about 9 p.m. tonight, Chester will be a “Major League” city again.

Dynamite.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

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The Daily Numbers - March 24

The Daily Numbers: 1 person stabbed to death in an Upper Chichester home last night. She is believed to be the 25-year-old mother of 2 young kids.
2 violent incidents in Upper Chichester this week. Earlier an 83-year-old man was tied up and brutally beaten by an intruder in his home.
120 years in jail for John Worman, convicted in a horrendous child porn ring based in Colwyn.
17 to 35 more years tacked onto his jail time by a judge in Delco yesterday for Worman’s state offenses.
3 year deal for teachers in the Rose Tree Media School District.
2.5 to 3 percent pay raises for each of the 3 years for teachers.
449,000 dollars in savings that will be reached by a switch in benefit plans for the teachers.
2,000 dollar reward posted for info on the whereabouts of a man charged in fatal shooting in Cheers bar in Upper Darby last week.
200 children that must be registered at St. Joseph’s School by March 31 in order to save the Catholic school.
450 children who have died of hypothermia in the last 12 years after being left in steaming hot vehicles. A day care operator in Bucks County was acquitted of all charges in an incident this week.
18 more teens who entered admissions of guilt in connection with “flash mob” incidents in Philadelphia.
2 homeowners behind on their mortgage who apparently took their own lives recently in South Philadelphia.
3 more suspects who turned themselves in as part of a burglary ring operating out of the Wilmington area that was allegedly made up of students from the Wilmington Job Corps.
32-12 percent lead for Sen. Arlen Specter over Rep. Joe Sestak in latest Franklin & Marshall Poll of Pennsylvania.
52 percent of those polled remain undecided in the Dem Senate race.
33-29 percent lead for GOP favorite Pat Toomey over Specter, & 27-19 lead over Sestak.
13 attorneys general, including Tom Corbett in Pa., who filed suit to block federal health care reform law from being put into effect.
29 billion dollar Pa. budget plan passed early by the House. It faces a steep challenge in the Senate.
26 shots stopped by Ottawa goalie in shutout of Flyers last night.
654 yards rushing last year for Mike Bell with the Super Bowl champion Saints. He’s now a member of the Eagles after the Saints did not match the Birds’ offer.
2 home runs yesterday for Ryan Howard as the Phils beat the Rays in a Grapefruit League contest.
90-36 win for UConn women as they buried Temple in NCAA women’s tourney game.
74 straight wins for the women Huskies.
*
Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Is that a thaw I’m sensing from Andy Reid and the Eagles brass when it comes to the possibility of entertaining offers for Donovan McNabb? Go for it, guys.
*
I Don’t Get It: Two days and two straight violent incidents out in Upper Chichester. I don’t get it.
*
Today’s Upper: Let’s hear it for Penn Wood, as they play tonight in the state semifinal as they attempt to win back-to-back state hoops titles.
*
Quote Box: “This monster is pure evil.”
- Mother of victim at yesterday’s sentencing for child predator John Worman.

More grim news from Upper Chi

It's been a tough week out in Upper Chichester.

First, an 83-year-old man was found tied up and badly beaten in his home on Apple Street. He's in the hospital while police look for the man who broke into his home.

Last night a 25-year-old mother of two was not as lucky.

An intruder entered her home and fatally stabbed the woman, according to police.

She was the mother of two young children, ages 2 and 6. They were not home at the time of the attack.

Police have not made any arrests in either incident, which occurred a few blocks from each other.

Residents no doubt are getting a bit antsy at two incidents happening so close together in what is usually a very quiet residential community.

Here's helping cops quickly corral the people responsible for these two heinous attacks.

Help spread some 'Sunshine'

I get the opportunity almost every day to deliver some pretty grim news. Today is no exception, as a glance at the home page of our Web site will attest.

That is why I am always looking for ways to deliver a more upbeat message.

And today I have exactly that opportunity, thanks to the folks at the Delaware County Community Foundation.

Yesterday afternoon I had a visit here in the office from several Foundation execs, Peg Hendricks, Joe Lastowka Jr. and Helen Davis Picher.

There were here to thank the newspaper for our help in promoting their Delco Sunshine Fund, and also to remind the public that they still need some help.

The Sunshine Fund offers direct grants to people in need. It is a very special program, and certainly in these times the need has never been greater.

The Foundation has stepped up to a challenge offered to them by Doris Buffett, sister of Midwestern billionaire Warren Buffett. The challenge is pretty simple. If the Foundation can raise $50,000 for the Sunshine Fund, Buffett would match it with another $50,000.

That's the good news. But the March 31 deadline is looming, and the Foundation is still $10,000 short of their goal. As it is, even if they don't make their mark, that $40,000 will still go to the Sunshine Fund and people in need. But just think of how much could be done with an additional $60,000.

Buffett decided to use Delco as a test market. It's the only place in the country that got this matching funds offer. She wanted to use a community foundation as a way of testing just how much a community would rally around its neediest citizens.

That's the general idea behind the Delco Sunshine Fund. If they hit the mark, they get another $50,000 in matching funds to the fund, which is used to give grants to citizens who have exhausted all other means of support.

Since its inception two years ago, the DCCF Sunshine Fund has given a total of $140,000 in grants to residents who have hit a streak of bad luck. The one-time financial assistance has enabled 45 families to achieve a long-term solution to their struggle.

Here's how you can help. Send tax-deductible contributions DCCF, 150 Radnor Chester Road, Suite E 140, Radnor, PA 19087. Please make checks payable to DCCF Sunshine Fund.

You also can make donations through the foundation's Web site at www.delcocf.org. The donation should be clearly marked "Sunshine."

The foundation has just 7 more days to hit their goal by March 31.

Let's show Doris Buffett - and the nation - that Delco takes a back seat to no one when it comes to spreading sunshine, and helping our fellow citizens.

Those UConn women

Be careful what you wish for.

The Temple women got into the NCAA tourney. For their efforts they got a date with Goliath – No. 1 UConn.

It was not pretty. This time Goliath was all that – and more.

The powerful Huskies, who had not lost a game in their last 72 outings, and haven’t won any of those by less than 10 points, unloaded on the Owls.

This one was over in a heartbeat.

UConn was up early and cruised into halftime with a 55-12 lead. They shot nearly 78 percent in the first half. The final was 90-36.

This says nothing about the Temple women. Congratulations to them for a great year.

It says everything about just how good this UConn women’s team is.

And I again offer this question. Could they win a game in the NCAA men’s tournament?

I’m still not sure, but I’d love to see them try.

Anyone else have any thoughts?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Daily Numbers - March 23

The Daily Numbers: 2 people injured, 1 shot, 1 stabbed in another incident at an Upper Darby bar.
2 incidents at Upper Darby taverns that have top cop Michael Chitwood vowing a crackdown on what he calls ‘nuisance bars.’
3:30 a.m., time of the most recent incident. The bar was packed, even though last call is supposed to be 1:45 a.m.
83, age of man tied up and beaten during a vicious home invasion in Upper Chichester.
1,259 signatures gather on her nominating petitions by 7th District Democrat hopeful Teresa Touey. Those signatures are being challenged by front-runner Rep. Bryan Lentz.
45,000 images of child porn found on computer of man who worked for a Nether Providence oil company. He faces charges.
3 percent pay raises due firefighters in Chester after they won a ruling in Commonwealth Court.
1 percent earned income tax under fire in Yeadon. Council is defending the move, which was accompanied by a cut in property taxes.
14 counts of corruption that brought convictions against former state Rep. Mike Veon. He was charged with 59 counts, but acquitted on the others.
8 hours of deliberations that ended in acquittal on all charges for the owner of a Bucks County day care center who left a toddler in her hot SUV, leading to his death.
10 teens found guilty of riot and other charges tied to a “flash mob”
incident in the city. Another group is due in court later today.
1 person killed in an overnight fire in a house in the Olney section of Philadelphia.
61 foot whale that washed up on the beach on Fenwick Island State Park in Delaware.
272 pills that were found in the backpack of 6-year-old riding in a car with a 60-year-old man in Delaware. Police say he hid the pills in the child’s pack.
25 home burglaries that have residents on alert in the Lower Merion section of the Main Line. Hundreds turned up for a community meeting held with police Monday night.
2 children hurt when a deer slammed into their school bus in Delaware.
500 million dollars in capital projects in the works at Peco Energy Co.
13.8 million dollars combined in federal and state funding for 32 airports in Pennsylvania.
8,200 bags of heroin found on man arrested in Wilmington.
11, age of kid charged in what is being referred to as a “Catch and Wreck” attack in Philly.
3 to 4 weeks, how long the Flyers will have to do without top scorer Jeff Carter, who broke a bone in his foot.
50 wins for Jameer Nelson and the Orlando Magic. Unfortunately it came at the hands of the Sixers, who dropped their 47th game of the season.
7 runs, 6 earned, surrendered by Phils starter Cole Hamels to the Yankees yesterday. The Phils rallied to win, 9-7.
1 year offer signed by Eagles linebacker Akeem Jordan.

*
Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.How long ‘til Phillies season starts in earnest. I can’t take too many more days of the Sixers and Flyers. Wasn’t Villanova supposed to get us over this hump?
*
I Don’t Get It: Flash mobs. Some fun, eh? I don’t get it.
*
Today’s Upper: Upper Darby top cop Mike Chitwood is serious about taking on nuisance bars in the township. Two recent incidents underscore his argument. Good for him.
*
Quote Box: “It’s another pit, another cesspool on our radar screen to shut down.”
- Michael Chitwood, after another incident at a township bar.

2 similar cases, 2 different results

When I heard the verdict yesterday in the case of the Bucks County day-care owner who had inadvertently left a young child in the car, it was like a flashback.

Rimma Shvartsman was acquitted of all the charges filed against her for leaving the 2-year-old boy in the sweltering car. She had been charged with involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of a child.

“We feel relief at the jury’s verdict, but other than that, our sorrow and remorse is relentless,” said Michael Mustokoff, Shvartsman’s attorney.

I think Edward Kanterman knows exactly how she feels.

Kanterman is the Delaware County grandfather who basically did precisely the same thing Shvartsman was charged with, with the same tragic results.

He had put his 14-month-old grandson – his first and only grandson – in a child seat is his car to drive him to his day care center, located in the same shopping center where he worked.

But when he arrived, Kanterman instead rushed into work, forgetting the child in the back seat. That June day the temperature soared into the high 90s. When Kanterman returned to his car at lunch, he was horrified to find the boy still inside.

Kanterman did not go to trial. He entered a “no contest” plea to a charge of involuntary manslaughter. He indicated he did not want his daughter to have to go through the ordeal of a trial. She said she forgave her father.

How his case differs from Shvartsman, aside from the fact that in the Kanterman case it was his grandson, while in the Bucks County case it was a neighbor’s child, I do not know.

Different cases, almost exactly the same kind of horrific details, and very different outcomes.

With one common theme. Unbearable sadness.

A flash in the pan

Philadelphia has a huge problem.

They are called “flash mobs.”

It is the latest spin-off from the social media we are awash in.

Teens post a message on their Twitter or Facebook accounts about a gathering, urging their friends and “cyber” friends to meet at a certain place.

Lots of them do just that. This weekend several thousand kids showed up on South Street after just such an invitation. There were no serious incidents.

That wasn’t the case in a couple of earlier cases. People were mugged; stores were ransacked.

Yesterday 10 teens were in court on riot charges stemming from one of the earlier incidents. They were all convicted. Another group will be in court today.

The city is mulling a curfew for young people. I’m not sure that is going to solve their problem.

I am sure of this: The city is battling serious fiscal issues, and exactly what they do not need right now is a real fear of anyone going downtown because of these “flash mob” hooligans.

They need to get a handle on his issue.

And fast.

Or they could find their economy – and that of any number of restaurants, nightspots, movies, museums and other destination points – going up in a flash as well.

Uneasy Ed

The Sixers lost again last night.

You’re on the edge of your seat, I know.

It’s the 47th time this season they’ve come up on the short end of the ledger. They’ve won just 24 times.

The 109-93 loss officially put them out of the playoffs and into the lottery.

More importantly, there are some serious storm clouds forming over the Sixers’ front office.

Mr. Ed is not happy.

That would be Ed Snider, the Comcast boss who happens to also be the chairman of both the Sixers and Flyers.

He’s not having a great winter. And his spring isn’t looking much better.

Check out Anthony SanFilippo’s column here on his interview with Snider.

Ed Snider is not happy with the seasons being put together by either the Sixers or Flyers. That will not come as comforting news to Sixers coach Eddie Jordan or G.M. Ed Stefanski.

As for the Flyers, they get one bad medical bulletin after another. They had already lost one starting goaltender, Ray Emery, for the season.
Then they lost their backup, Michael Leighton, to a high-ankle sprain.
Yesterday came word that the “ouch” suffered by top scorer Jeff Carter blocking a shot Sunday night was actually a broken bone in his foot.
He’ll be out the rest of the regular season, three to four weeks. The way they Flyers have been playing, that might be their “entire” season.
There is no guarantee that they don’t freefall their way right out of the playoffs.

In the meantime, Ed Snider simmers.

Look out below, especially if you happen to be on his payroll.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Daily Numbers - March 22

The Daily Numbers: 219-212 vote last night by which the House passed health care reform.
0 votes in favor from Republicans.
2 Democrats in Pa., 1 in New Jersey who voted against the plan.
540 acres consumed by fire in Barnegat, in South Jersey.
1 person missing after a boat capsized in the Delaware River near New Hope. A 58-year-old man was not found; his 24-year-old son was rescued.
2 people killed in crash on Roosevelt Boulevard.
2 incidents of vandalism that targeted a church in Gloucester County, N.J.
40, age of woman from Delaware County who was victim of road rage incident in Philly in which police say she was shot because she would not let another driver cut in front of her.
2 people injured in a shooting and stabbing inside Traxx Sports Bar and Grille in Upper Darby.
2.83 a gallon, what we’re paying on average for gas in the Philly region. Yep, must be spring.
4.3 percent increase in number of people in prison in Pa. last year.
1,000 kids who converged on South Street in Philly Saturday night in the latest incident of a “flash mob,” organized via social media online.
30 million dollar Powerball pot Wednesday night after nobody hit all the right numbers on Saturday.
50 years in the entertainment biz for Jerry Blavat, the “Geator with the Heater.”
34.5 million dollars in ticket sales for “Alice in Wonderland,” maling it No. 1 at the box office for the 3rd straight week.
0 Philly teams left in the men’s NCAA tourney, after both Villanova and Temple were bounced.
44 saves for Atlanta Thrashers goalie Ondrej Pavelec as the Flyers lost both ends of weekend home and home series.
6 seed, where Flyers now stand with 11 games left in regular season.
5 sharp innings from Jamie Moyer in his first outing against first-line players. He had pitched 3 ‘B’ games. He’s battling with Kyle Kendrick for the 5th starter’s job.
.125 batting average this spring for Raul Ibanez, who is 4-for34.
18 women who claim they had affairs with golfer Tiger Woods. He gave 2 interviews on Sunday.
*
Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Turns out Fran Dunphy knew what he was talking about in not wanting to play Cornell. The Big Red not only dispatched Temple, but are now on their way to the Sweet 16.
*
I Don’t Get It: Some knucklehead commandeered the PA system at a Walmart store in South Jersey and ordered all black people to leave the store.
Very funny, right? A teen has been charged in the case. I don’t get it.
*
Today’s Upper: Kudos to Major League Soccer and its players for coming to their senses and settling their contract dispute. That means the Union – the pride of Chester and the region – will kick off the season Thursday night in Seattle.
*
Quote Box: “I tried to stop and I couldn’t stop[. And it was just, it was horrific.”
- Tiger Woods, talking about his serial adultery.

Reform can start anytime now

The nation is one signature away from a health care reform plan.

That signature would belong to Barack Obama.

The legislation passed the U.S. House last night, 219-212. Not one Republican representative voted in favor of the plan.

Both of Delaware County’s reps, Joe Sestak and Bob Brady, also both Democrats, voted in favor. Two Democratic Pennsylvania congressmen voted against the president and the plan, along with one in New Jersey.

The president could sign the measure as early as today.

This debate is not over. Even before the roar from the first vote had seemingly settled, a second vote was being taken to make changes in the plan. It passed and now goes to the Senate.

The plan voted on last night had already been approved by the Senate.

After following this heated debate over the past year, I wonder not about the pros or cons of the bill, whether it will provide life-saving care for the uninsured or simply bankrupt the country.

Instead I wonder how anything ever gets done in Washington. The whole process is almost beyond the imagination of most people who go out and work for a living every day.

This place needs hope and change all right. And I don’t think health care should be the end of it.

Tiger's tale

Tiger Woods is talking.

Finally.

There are no big surprises from the interviews the golf great granted to The Golf Channel and ESPN Sunday.

He was a bad boy. And he got caught.

I think it was a good idea that Woods talked before he shows up in Augusta two weeks from now for the Masters.

It is not by accident that Tiger will end his exile in the wake of numerous claims of sexual romps with any number of women not his wife on the hallowed grounds of the Augusta National Golf Club.

You almost have to inherit tickets to get into the Masters. It is not like Woods will be playing the Quad Cities Open.

He very likely will get kid glove treatment, by the Masters organizers, his fellow players and – most importantly – the fans.

What I want to see is what happens when Tiger takes his redemption show out to another tour stop, one not nearly so tightly controlled.

How will he react to heckling. This is a guy known to blow up routinely on the course when things are not going his way. It could be explosive.

To be honest with you, Woods doesn’t have to tell me anything. He’s a dog. He cheated on his wife. He’s not the first. I’m not going to condone it. Basically, that’s between him and his wife.

I don’t consider myself morally superior to anyone. I have more than enough foibles to go around.

But I would be lying that I am not extremely interested to see how Woods fares on the course, not off it.

I would not be surprised in the least to see him in a familiar spot, near the top of the leaderboard on Sunday afternoon.

Maybe the greatest revelation of l’affaire Tiger is that, in at least one area, he is not all that different than the rest of us. He proved all too human, something he never seems to be on the course.

Tiger likely is looking to get these interviews out of the way before he arrives at Augusta, so he can concentrate on his golf. That is always the one place where he has been anything but human. Superhuman is more like it.

And I can’t wait to see him back.

More madness

Everybody who had Cornell in their Sweet 16, raise their hand.

Thought so.

That is the beauty of the NCAA basketball tournament.

A team like Northern Iowa can topple Goliath, otherwise known as the No.
1 seed in the tourney, big, bad Kansas.

It can also provide heartbreak, as was being felt on the Maryland campus yesterday after they took a 1-point lead in the waning seconds against Michigan State, only to see the Spartans rush the length of the flood and nail a three pointer for the win.

Of course, locally, there was no such emotional rollercoaster.

There was only depressing news. Temple lasted just one game, with Fran Dunphy’s charges falling to the Big Red of Cornell. The Ivy Leaguers weren’t quite finished inflicting heartache on local folks. They then sent Wisconsin, coached by Chester native Bo Ryan, home.

Out on the Main Line, the news was only a little bit better. After playing poorly but still managing to eke out a win vs. Robert Morris in their opener, the Wildcats could muster no such magic on Saturday against St. Mary’s.

That does not mean the tournament will not go on, and will not provide more thrills and chills. That is what makes it so special. We just won’t have a local team to cheer.

Naturally, this is the one year I did not actually turn in my bracket.
My choice? Syracuse, which is looking better all the time. Should the Orange win, that blood-curdling scream you hear will be coming from me, not their backers, and lamenting what could have been.

But the truth is I’ll be cheering for Cornell. Not because they took out Temple. But because they’re about the last team anyone would expect to be where they are.

The Ivy League has not been represented in the Sweet 16 since Penn did it decades ago.

Now that’s what I call madness.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Daily Numbers - March 19

The Daily Numbers: 8 gunshots that rang out inside Cheers bar in Upper Darby, leaving 1 person dead.
180 times police have responded to the bar since January 2009, according to U.D. top cop Michael Chitwood.
4 Interboro High School students who have died in the past two months.
1 person killed by an off-duty Philadelphia police officer who witnessed a robbery on City Line Avenue early Friday. He traded shots with the suspect, who was hit and killed.
300 dollar pair of sunglasses that police allege was pilfered by the principal of a Catholic high school in South Jersey.
32, age of teacher from Bordentown Regional School in South Jersey who faces 4 counts of sexual assault involving relations with a student.
1,500 nurses and other workers who could go on strike against Temple University Hospital today.
34 people charged with gun violations by the attorney general’s gun violence task force.
9 people who suffered minor injuries in collision of bus and minivan in Philly yesterday.
16,000 more jobs lost across Pennsylvania in February. That brings the total jobs lost since the recession started in December 2007 to 260,000
1 in 22 jobs lost during that time across the state.
500 residents in Lower Merion who oppose class-action lawsuit over alleged spying on students via their district-issued laptop computers.
2 Villanova starters benched by Coach Jay Wright for the start of the ‘Cats first NCAA tourney game against Robert Morris.
2 seed Wildcats had to go to OT to be the stubborn 15 seed.
2 for 15 shooting from the field for senior Scottie Reynolds, one of the stars who were benched.
20 points for Reynolds, including shooting 15 of 16 from the free throw line, and 7 of 8 foul shots down the stretch.
2.83 goals against average for Flyers goaltender Michael Leighton, who is now on the shelf for the rest of the season with a high ankle sprain.
16 pitches, including 11 fastballs, by Brad Lidge in his first appearance in a game in spring training.
2 more veterans Eagles released by the team yesterday. Wide receiver Kevin Curtis and DE Darren Howard both were given their walking papers.
28,750 season tickets, where the Phillies plan to cap their ticket sales.
*
Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Jay Wright is taking some heat for his decision to bench two key starters for the Wildcats first-round NCAA game. Not there. It was the Wright call.
*
I Don’t Get It: I wish I knew what was going on with young people today, especially some of those in Interboro. I do know this, ignoring this issue won’t make it go away.
*
Today’s Upper: Make sure you get outside this weekend. Spring arrives Saturday. Actually it got here early this week. Today’s high will be in the 70s, ditto for tomorrow. After that winter, we deserve it.
*
Quote Box: “This place is a shoot ‘em up joint for drugs and weapons.”
- Upper Darby top cop Mike Chitwood, on problem bar that was scene of a fatal shooting.

Why? Again

I find myself this morning once again consumed by the same question I’ve been mystified by for several weeks.

Why?

I am guessing I have company this morning, especially in the Interboro community.

That’s because it has happened again. Another young life lost. An official ruling has not been made, but every indication is that this young man decided to take his own life.

His death comes just three weeks after two female Interboro High School took their own lives by stepping in front of a high-speed Acela train on the tracks in Norwood.

I don’t know why this is happening. I wish I did.

Apparently some people do. And they made it clear as soon as we posted the story on our Web site Thursday afternoon.

Minutes after I put the story up, a comment appeared making it clear who was at fault. We were, the media. Specifically this newspaper.

The reader made it clear they believe our coverage of the girls’
suicides was inflammatory, sensational and simply glorifed the incident and the aftermath.

I don’t happen to agree.

As luck would have it, literally as I was writing this piece, I received a phone call from a woman who wanted to talk about exactly this situation.

She knows of what she speaks. Her son committed suicide five years ago.
She discovered his body.

We had an emotional conversation. She said her daughter and niece working on a program to help kids struggling with depression, which is what claimed her son.

She does not believe the newspaper aggravated the situation, or sparked any kind of copy-cat actions.

I hope and pray she is right.

But I also know this. Something is terribly wrong with too many of our kids today. I don’t think that’s limited to Interboro, although that certainly is where the focus is right now. They are not the first school district in this county to deal with this problem. Unfortunatelyk, they almost certainly will not be the last. The problem is not going to go away by ignoring it.

This newspaper is not planning to ignore it either. I am hoping to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.

I guess I will start by telling kids of another word that has been on my mind a lot these past few weeks.

Forever.

My wife, who is a teacher’s aide, tells me she sees kids every day who think only of right now. They don’t process things in terms of tomorrow, or next week. They don’t realize things will get better, that life will go on and improve. They know only that they are hurting right now. Too often with tragic results.

If you have an idea on what the newspaper can do to help fight this problem, post a comment on this blog. Send me an e-mail at editor@delcotimes.com, or call me at 610-622-8818.

I don’t want to keep asking myself why.

Instead I’d like to say this is why, and this is what we need to do about it.

The Wright Stuff

Jay Wright and Scottie Reynolds referred to it as a “teachable moment.”

You can say that again.

I can admit I have always liked Wright, the head man at Villanova basketball. I like him even more now. And I still would have liked him even if his surprising disciplinary move yesterday had blown up in his face.

It almost did. The Wildcats almost made an ignominious exit to the No.
15 seed William Morris.

Let’s review. Wildcats Nation no doubt was perplexed when Villanova took the floor for their first-round game. Scottie Reynolds, the senior and all-time scorer in Villanova history, was not there. Neither was junior Corey Fisher.

No one is saying what exactly happened. Conjecture seems to be centering on them being unable to answer a question from the scouting report on Robert Morris, indicating they did not read it.

It’s one thing to bench players in the regular season. It’s another altogether to do it in the NCAA Tournament, and for Reynolds, in what could be his last game as a Wildcat.

Reynolds struggled mightily after entering the game, shooting a miserable 2-for-15 from the field. But he was gold at the line and came up big at the end as Villanova rallied from six down late to send the game to overtime, where they held on to advance.

A lot of people think Wright was wrong, not to do what he did, but when he chose to do it.

Not me. I think it’s all the more reason to believe he’s got the Wright stuff.

Good call, coach.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Gloves come off in the 7th

The gloves are coming off in the 7th District race.

There is another challenge to Pat Meehan’s petition, and this one seeks to have him removed from the ballot.

The interesting thing is where the challenge is coming from – a group of Republicans. At least that’s what they claim. They are being referred to as “interested obsvers.”

Yeah, very interested. And very interesting.

In the meantime, Meehan claims this is all taking away from the meat and potatoes of the campaign.

Look for this one to wind up in court.

The madness begins

The madness starts in earnest today.

Villanova is in Providence to face Robert Morris in their first-round NCAA contest.

Don’t forget that if you’re stuck in an office, you can CLICK HERE for Terry Toohey’s live blog and updates during the game.

The boss won’t mind. Hey, if you want you can blame us.

Better yet, if you have wireless, take your laptop outside in this gorgeous sunshine and catch a few updates.

We’ll be doing much the same thing tomorrow with Bob Grotz in Jacksonville for the Temple game.

It’s Spring Fever and March Madness – an intoxicating brew.

A couple of new lows

Two disappointing things happened in Philadelphia sports yesterday.

First, the Sixers won a game.

No, that’s not a typo. The Sixers beat the even more hapless New Jersey Nets, 108-97.

You see, the Nets are getting dangerously close to eclipsing the all-time mark for futility. For those who don’t know, that record belongs to none other than our very own Sixers. They went 9-73 in the
1972-73 campaign. No team has sunk to such depths since.

Until now. The Nets currently stand at 7-61. They need to win two more games to tie the mark, three to let it remain ours forever.

A lot of people are rooting for the Nets to keep losing, thus lifting this mantle of “losers” from around our necks. Not me. I’ll take records anywhere we can get them. It is a claim to fame – or maybe better yet infamy – and I say the more the merrier.

Speaking of infamy, we won’t have Shawn Andrews to kick around anymore.

The hulking former All-Pro offensive lineman beset with physical and mental issues over the past couple of season, now has a lot more time to devote to his music and work on Twitter. Andrews will have to “get his Michael Phelps on” somewhere else from now on.

He was released yesterday by the Eagles.

What a waste.

But it’s not like there won’t be any Andrews in these parts. His brother Stacy is sticking around, to the tune of several more million dollars.

Shawn Andrews responded to his release the way he usually does, by taking to Twitter and filing several posts.

How tweet it ain’t.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

No green beer for me

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.

You would be hard-pressed to find someone more Irish – and more proud of it – than me.

But I’ve never been one to go crazy on March 17. I prefer to celebrate it the way my mother – whose maiden name was McIntyre – and father, as well as their ancestors, did.

In much of Ireland, St. Patrick’s Day is more of a religious holiday than a cause for reveling.

Maybe it’s because it always falls in Lent. Every year I manage to astound myself by giving up beer for these 40 days. And every year I wonder what exactly I was thinking when I do this.

So, no, I will not be imbibing any greed suds tonight. Not that I would anyhow.

I do don a very special tartan tie from Ireland that I wear exactly once each year.

This weekend I likely will sit down and watch “The Quiet Man” for the millionth time.

And I will try to finish off Tom Coyne’s golf novel, “A Course Called Ireland.”

Sounds like a party to me.

Go for it, Tiger

The Super Bowl on steroids.

That is how one analyst described what the TV audience and hype will be like for this year’s Masters Tournament.

For those non-golfers out there, the Masters is the first “major” of the year. And it is the only one that is played on the same course every year. That would be the hallowed ground of the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia.

It happens to be my favorite tournament of the year. It is on my “Bucket List,” just once before I kick it I’d like to see the place in person.

But this year it will have an added element surrounding the hallowed grounds.

Tiger is back.

The greatest golfer on the planet made it official yesterday. He will return from his exile after his life imploded in a series of tawdry sex scandal allegations in April at the Masters.

I could not be happier.

Look, I’m a golf nut. And I happen to like Tiger.

I’m not his father. Nor his mother. Nor his wife. I don’t particularly care what he does off the course.

It’s what he does on the course that I find so mesmerizing. He plays a game with which I am not familiar. Very simply, when Tiger is involved, the PGA Tour is elevated above its usual spot as a “niche sport.” When Tiger is involved, golf becomes an event. When he’s on the leaderboard Sunday afternoon, you can’t take your eyes off the TV.

The Masters is usually one of the top tournaments of the year when it comes to ratings. This year, with the return of Tiger, they will be off the charts.

When he strides to the tee, it will truly be “must-see TV.”

I have no idea how he will play. I kind of wish he had decided to play a tune-up, such as Arnold Palmer’s tournament at Bay Hill.

But if anyone can pull this off, it is Tiger Woods. He has proved again and again that he is not of this world – on the course – even if he is all too much of this world off of it.

I would not be surprised to see him in contention on Sunday afternoon.

And I would be lying if I didn’t admit I’ll be rooting for him.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Daily Numbers - March 16

The Daily Numbers: 500 jobs up for grabs at Harrah’s Casino with the arrival of table games. Hundreds showed up yesterday for a job fair.
2 more job fairs set at the Chester casino, on March 26 from 4-8 p.m., and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. March 30.
30, age of man from Glenolden who is charged in the brutal assault of a woman in the bathroom of a Manhattan nightclub.
100,000 dollars in damages to the Lone Star restaurant on Route 202 yesterday afternoon.
1 suspect busted and a 2nd being sought in the brutal beating of a man with a large wrench in an Upper Darby street holdup.
115,600 dollars being spent in Tinicum to improve traffic signals in the township.
13.7 million dollar salary for the boss at Boeing Jim McNerney, and that’s down 7.2 percent from the year before.
6 point lead for Republican Pat Toomey over Arlen Specter in latest poll from Susquehanna University.
100,000 dollars to be paid by a Main Line dentist to Avalon, N.J., after he admitted dumping medical waste that washed up on the beach.
60 animals seized by SPCA agents on raid in Northeast Philly last night.
90,000 dollars in jewelry ripped off during a weekend heist at a store in the Franklin Mills Mall.
14, age of teen charged with heroin possession in Delaware.
2.5 years in jail for man who admitted taking nude video of ESPN sideline reporter Erin Andrews through peep hole in her hotel room.
1 minor injury reported in fire that broke out in Wachovia Bank building in Center City Philadelphia last night.
10 red traffic lights that a bus driver is believed to have blown through before he collided with another car in Mongtomery County, killing a passenger in the car.
0 jail time to be done by the former head of the Pa. Turnpike Commission on corruption charges in a deal cut with prosecutors.
5 straight losses now for the Sixers, who fell to the Knicks last night, 94-84.
11 point halftime lead for the Sixers, who coughed it up in the second half.
*
Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Who will go farther in the NCAA tourney, Temple or Villanova. My heart says Temple; me head says ‘Nova.
*
I Don’t Get It: A woman in New Jersey who weighs 550 pounds is being paid to gain weight so she can break a record for the heaviest woman to ever give birth. I don’t get it.
*
Today’s Upper: Who says there’s no jobs out there. Harrah’s is hiring 500 people as they prepare for the arrival of table games this summer.
*
Quote Box: “I think it’s a great opportunity, brings a lot of jobs to the area.”
- Chris Stillwell of Drexel Hill, at job fair at Harrah’s Chester yesterday.

Calling all community journalists

I have been a little overwhelmed at the response to my call for bloggers and community journalists.

I guess I should not have been so taken aback. After all, I answer the phones here every day. I know our readers our passionate, as well as opinionated. And they’re not shy about telling you exactly what is on their mind.

It should not surprise me that they would love an opportunity to express those views on our Web site.

I received about 70 responses to my call for bloggers. Many of them are now being featured on our Web site. One lady does her own version of a Letterman Top 10 list; we have two guys writing a beer blog; we have picked up Laura Nachman’s popular blog on local radio and TV activities.

Some, like Nachman, have established blogs. Others, like Mary Ann Fiebert, is new at this, at least with us.

What I’d really like to focus on now is, rather than a themed topic like fitness, or cooking, is real community news.

We now feature blogs that are focusing on Media and Chester. I want more.

If you think you have what it takes to cover your town, if you have a nose for news and would like to supplement our coverage, let me know.

Send an e-mail with some details, and maybe a sample of your writing. If you like, give me a call and we’ll talk about this brave new world of community journalism.

There was a time, not that long ago, when we were literally the only voice out there. I like to think we are still an authoritative voice on what is happening here in Delaware County. But we are far from alone.

I invite you to join the process. I want you to go to the window and scream, “I’m sick and tired and I’m not going to take it anymore.”

Actually, you can just send me an e-mail to editor@delcotimes.com.

Delivering the news

Not everyone was on board with my thoughts yesterday, in my print column, about the new news ecology and how we increasingly are delivering the news.

The gentleman left me a fairly detailed voice-mail overnight sounding a warning about our rush to push this information to the public as fast as possible.

In my column I had relayed how we used our Web site and social media to get out the news about the train tragedy in Norwood recently, delivering the story to readers long before we ever printed a single word in print.

He told me that he had actually turned off his computer several months ago and firmly believes that our headlong rush into the cyberworld is going to lead to nothing but ruin.

I have to admit there are times when I might agree with him. Such as when I view an item that I have just posted online and realize I have made a huge typo in the headline. Some recent commenters on the Web site have taken great joy in pointing out just such foibles.

The man told me of his passion for picking up the newspaper each morning, and then slowly, carefully consuming its contents. It’s a passion I share, if one that I very rarely get an occasion to enjoy, with the possible exception of a lazy Sunday morning.

Everything I do now I do quickly, especially when it comes to delivering the news. Do I have concerns about mistakes, now built into the news-gathering – and delivering – process? You bet I do. My favorite thing about the Internet remains the fact that a mistake is only a few keystrokes away from disappearing.

The bottom line is there is no turning back the clock. Delivering news online as well as via social media is now part of our journalistic mission.

Doing it accurately will remain a priority as well. Even if we stumble from time to time.

The Dynamic Duo

The madness continues.

No, not March Madness. If you’re interested in seeing just how much productivity goes down the drain this week as your office mates huddle over their brackets, click here.

I’m talking about Rielle Hunter. Who’s she? If you don’t know her, you might know her boyfriend. His name is John Edwards. Actually she says she called him “Johnny.” He wanted to be president. A lot of people thought that was a good idea. He was actually the Democratic nominee for vice president, running with John Kerry in 2004.

These days Edwards is known more for his dalliance with Hunter, with whom he fathered a child, which he denied until he was literally caught with his pants down by the National Enquirer. This while his wife, Elizabeth, was battling cancer.

Nice.

Hunter is in the news this week. She gave an interview to Esquire magazine about her relationship with the would-be president.

It includes the obligatory photo spread, including a shot of her in just what appears to be a man’s shirt – and not much else – while surrounded by kids’ toys.

Cute.

I skimmed the interview. She appears every bit as kooky as I first thought.

And I am left only with this, wondering why exactly it is that we shower such publicity on people.

Rielle Hunter and John Edwards deserve each other.

Ides of March for Polanco, Phils

Just what Phillies fans did not need, and I’m not talking about Jamie Moyer getting lit up in the ‘B’ game yesterday.

I’m talking about the sight of newly ordained third baseman Placido Polanco being helped off the field.

Polanco stumbled over the mound chasing a pop up and tweaked his knee.

He says he’s going to be “fine” and that the strained knee is “no big deal.”

We’ll likely find out more later today.

In the meantime, if you are among us who believe there is no such thing as an off-season when it comes to the Eagles, make sure you tune in Sporttsradio 610-WIP in the 8 o’clock hour to hear our Eagles beat writer Bob Grotz talking about the Birds.

Grotz will offer some insight into what the Eagles plan to do with their three-headed monster at quarterback.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Daily Numbers - March 15

The Daily Numbers: 2.5 billion dollars in federal stimulus funding included in this year’s state budget that will not be there after this year, contributing to what Gov. Ed Rendell is calling a ‘fiscal tsunami.’
14.4 percent decline in highway deaths in Pa. in 2009, the lowest mark since 1928.
1,256 people killed in crashes in 2009.
4 inches of rain that fell on some parts of the region over the weekend.
47 mph wind gusts recorded at Philadelphia International Airport on Saturday.
67 mph gusts that rocked Atlantic City.
47 floors, how far a construction crane toppled after it was blown off the rooftop of the Revel Casino in Atlantic City.
6 hours, how long 500 passengers were stranded on a New Jersey Transit train.
85,000 people who were without power during the peak of the weekend nor’easter across the region. That was down to 32,000 Sunday morning, with just 5,000 of those in the Philly suburbs, mostly in Bucks and Montgomery counties.
2 teens charged with vandalizing a Little League field in Delaware.
2 masked men who held up the Diamond Depot in Franklin Mills Mall Sunday morning.
1 person shot during a brawl at the Aramingo Diner in Port Richmond early Sunday.
6 percent fare hike being proposed by SEPTA for tokens, weekly and monthly passes.
2 base fare for SEPTA, which would not change under the plan.
3 people killed in weekend violence in Philadelphia.
3 people charged in shooting death of man in Norristown who had just witnesses the gunpoint robbery of his nephew outside his home.
211 million dollar winning ticket sold in Saturday’s Powerball drawing. The winning ticket was sold in North Jersey.
2.82 per gallon, what we’re paying at the pump in the Philly region as the cost of driving continues to creep up.
2 Americans killed in shooting in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, as U.S. officials warn of travel to that area due to warring drug gangs.
2 seed for Villanova; 5 seed for Temple. Let the madness begin.
2 goals for Sean Avery to lead the Rangers over the Flyers, 3-1.
38 points for Dwayne Wade as the Heat pummeled the Sixers last night, 104-91.
*
Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.
Temple won their final 10 games, ran the table to win a second straight A-10 title, and they get a No. 5 seed. Villanova limped into the tourney and is slotted at No. 2. Long live the Big East.
*
I Don’t Get It: Jihad Jane? OK so it wasn’t snow. I appreciate it. That doesn’t make it any nicer. It was still a miserable weekend.
*
Today’s Upper: Kudos to state Tpr. Jean Altomari, who continues to battle back from a car accident that left her paralyzed.
*
Quote Box: “We went from being the 40th best education system at the beginning of the decade to being ranked 10th.”
- Gov. Ed Rendell, on his budget and increase in education funding.

End of the story

If you opened up your Sunday newspaper or went to delcotimes.com looking for our coverage of Saturday night’s fundraiser of the two girls from Norwood, you may have been surprised.

There wasn’t any.

That was not our original plan.

Obviously, this is a story that we have covered extensively. Even “Dr.
Phil” got involved on Friday, devoting a good part of his show to the issue of teen suicide. He had on his show the journalist who was on the train that struck the two teens – who we had interviewed – as well as a couple of moms from the Interboro community.

That same day we had a story recapping a service that was held at St.
Stephen’s Episcopal church in Norwood on Thursday night for adults who were still struggling with the tragedy.

We did not actually send a reporter or photographer in person to the event. We talked to Pastor Michael Knight afterward. We wanted to be sensitive to what is clearly a very emotional subject. We were not looking to ambush anyone, stick a camera in their face, and ask them “How do you feel?”

Likewise, I was interested in the fundraiser being held at The Deck on Saturday night. We had run an advance on Saturday indicating that part of the money raised at the event would go toward establishing a 24-hour online chat room for those in crisis.

It’s a good idea and what I consider a very good outcome for a story in which there have been all too few positives.

I decided to send a reporter to the fundraiser to see how it was attended and if anyone else wanted to comment on how the community is reacting.

When reporter Paul Luce arrived, he quickly learned that was not the case. He was asked to leave.

No problem. I had told him that we did not want to impose, and that we would go along with the families’ and organizers’ wishes.

They made it clear they did not want any additional coverage.

And that’s why there was no story in the Sunday paper.

I’m not really sure where this story goes from here. I’m not sure there really is anything else to say, although I am sure it will come up from time to time.

My most fervent desire is that we never have to do this kind of story again.

Now this is what I call madness

Speaking of madness, forget all the matchups in the NCAA men’s tourney.

Can a No. 12 take out a No. 5?

Beats the hell out of me, so long as it does not happen to Temple.

Here’s the game I would really like to see, even if it’s never going to happen.

I would love to see the UConn women’s team enter the men’s tournament.

And here is my question: Do you think they could win a game?

I asked this in the office the other day, and a guy I know who has a ton of knowledge about hoops just rolled his eyes.

“Forget it,” he informed me. “They’d get smoked. You could take the men’s team from DCCC up there and beat them.”

I’m not so sure.

This is a team that just completed another perfect season. They have now won 72 straight games, none of them by less than 10 points. They will be the No. 1 seed in the women’s tourney.

I suppose it would be one of the biggest upsets in women’s hoops history if they do not win another NCAA crown.

But it’s not the game I’d like to see. I’d pay to see them lace them up against a team in the men’s tourney, maybe the winner of the Arkansas P.B vs. Winthrop play-in No. 64 game.

What do you think? Am I out of my mind thinking they’d have a shot?
Would they get blown out? Would you also like to see it?

Post a comment and let me know.

Let the madness begin

Let the madness begin!

Actually, it started last night. For those of you not familiar with the Ides of March, it is no longer a threat to Caesar. It is, however, a very big threat to office productivity.

Expect very little to get done today and tomorrow, as folks pore over their selections in the office NCAA bracket pool.

I have always wondered exactly how much money changes hands on the men’s NCAA hoops tournament. I’m sure it is greater than the GDP of some small countries.

Of course, before folks can start filling out their pools, they have to argue the merits of the work of the selection committee.

The brackets were laid out in a TV special (isn’t every important event now catered to TV) last night.

Something very interesting popped up, especially for local hoops fans.

Call them Exhibit A and Exhibit B. Or maybe better stated Exhibit T and V.

The moaning and groaning you heard about 6:15 last night was emanating from North Broad Street. That would be the home of the Atlantic 10 champion Temple Owls.

In a word, it would appear they got hosed.

The Owls managed only a No. 5 seed. They will tangle with No. 12 seed Cornell Friday in the East bracket in Jacksonville, Fla.

Compare that with Villanova, which was quickly bounced out of the Big East Tournament, a one-and-done showing for the Wildcats. They still managed to pull down a No. 2 seed in the South bracket.

Temple won its third straight A-10 title while running off 10 straight wins to end the season. In the meantime, ‘Nova struggled after shooting out to a 20-1 mark. They lost six of their last 10 and also got the early exit from the Big East.

Oh, and one other minor point. Temple actually beat Villanova in their only meeting this year.

It boils down to this. Big East vs. A-10. Case closed. Fran Dunphy’s Temple team will never get the respect due them so long as they toil in the anonymity of the A-10. Conversely, Jay Wright’s Villanova squad will get a “break” because of the strength of their schedule in the brutal Big East.

The Big East is sending eight teams to the NCAA tournament. Only two from the A-10 had their tickets validated.

It’s a slam dunk.

Temple may not like it, but those are the facts. Is it fair? Probably not.

The Owls can go a long way toward rectifying that by winning a couple of games.

To do so they’ll have to get past someone who knows them very well.
Cornell coach Steve Donahue was an assistant with Dunphy at Penn for 10 years.

Makes for a very interesting matchup.

One which the Owls believe is something of a diss.

They’ll have to change that image on the court.

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Daily Numbers - March 12

The Daily Numbers: 25,000 unsecured bail for former Ridley Officer Brian Decker, who was held for trial on charges he assaulted a female clerk at a Wawa.
278.80 more in taxes residents likely will pay under the new Norwood budget. At least one resident doesn’t like it a bit and has put up signs in his front yard to let borough officials know how he feels about the tax hike.
5 inches of rain that could fall on the region this weekend. Hey, it could be worse. That would equate to 50 inches of snow.
18 years, how long state Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland has represented the 159th District. He’s running again.
13, age of child believe to be with a man who may have fled the country after police say they found child porn on his computer in his Upper Darby home.
4 signatures on the nominating petitions of 7th District GOP hopeful Pat Meehan that his camp believe are “questionable.”
200,000 dollar winning ticket sold in the Powerball lottery in Media. It didn’t hit the big jackpot, however. That will soar to close to $200 million Saturday night.
3.4 million dollars in tax receipts that turned up in Philly, but which was never deposited. Amazing that can happen in a city that is broke.
2 more 15-year-old girls who are now claiming a sexual relationship with a former school janitor in Downingtown.
72 percent hike in the cost of pension for employees looming in the Springfield School District.
120 million dollar deficit in Philly that has pols there talking about either hiking taxes or laying off workers.
31 young people hauled into court yesterday to face charges in ‘flash mob’ incident. One juvenile pleaded guilty.
600 local GM dealerships that will get a 2nd chance from the carmaker as they revise the number of sites that will be closed.
1 school bus and 1 car that collided yesterday afternoon in Schwenksville, resulting in several minor injuries.
1 person shot last night in Norristown.
3 people killed by trains across the region yesterday, 1 in Philly, 1 near Trenton, and 1 near East Orange, N.J.
300 pounds of pot found in a raid of a home in Reading.
3 of top 4 seeds to go down in the Big East Tourney. Put Villanova on that list. They’re 1 and done.
80-76 loss for the Wildcats to Marquette, who they beat 2 times this year.
5-1 thumping for the Flyers at the hands of the Bruins.
4 strong innings for Joe Blanton as the Phils shut out the Tigers in Florida yesterday.
*
Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Why do I suddenly get the feeling that Temple just might be the best team in the city?
*
I Don’t Get It: Jihad Jane? Now we’re hearing about a suspected ‘Jihad Joe’ from Jersey. I don’t get it.
*
Today’s Upper: Yes, it’s likely going to rain all weekend. It could be worse. That rain could be snow.
*
Quote Box: “Brian Decker enjoys the same rights that we all do, and that is a presumption of innocence until all the evidence comes out.
- Defense attorney John List, after preliminary hearing for his client, former Ridley police officer Brian Decker.