Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, March 31

The Daily Numbers: 85,000 dollars, amount the Delco D.A. said was scammed during a massive insurance fraud ring in the county.

11 people now facing charges in connection with the case.

4 years, how long the D.A. had the Darby Borough auto repair shop at center of probe under investigation.

3 years of planning that went into the county’s new open space plan, which was rolled out Monday night.

1,100 pages in the report.

22 million dollars worth of improvements to county park system over the next 30 years.

558,979 people living in the county as of 2010.

27, age of girlfriend of slain Darby Borough Officer Mark Hudson. She now faces charges in connection with a domestic incident last summer. No charges have been filed in his shooting death.

1 worker killed during an accident Monday at the Sunoco Logistics plant in Marcus Hook.

11 buildings being knocked down at MacDade Boulevard and Kedron Avenue to make way for a new Wawa.

38 million dollars awarded to family members of of 2 women killed by co-worker in shooting at food plant.

1 person killed during bizarre incident at the NSA headquarters at Ford Meade in Maryland.

113-111 loss for the Sixers at the hands of the Lakers.

1 year extension for Eagles LB DeMeco Ryans.

18-4 rout of the Phils by the Pirates in game that also featured bench-clearing brawl.

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

Just a few more days before we see those exciting 2015 Phils. If Dom Brown starts season on the DL, the Phils’ starting outfield will count 7 home runs among all 3 last season.

I Don’t Get It: A bench-clearing brawl in an exhibition game? I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the Delco D.A. for bringing the hammer down on a massive auto repair insurance fraud ring.

Quote Box: “The fire house gave him something positive to do, rather than standing around on the street corner.”

- Yeadon Fire Chief Mike DiIenno, on slain Darby Officer Mark Hudson, who also was a volunteer firefighter.

In Ridley, they gotta have another Wawa!

That didn't take long.

Obviously, Wawa doesn't mess around.

Maybe it's the presence of that upstart Royal Farms, which has recently opened its first locations in the county and is planning several more.

They already are locked in something of a gas war in Ridley, with the Wawa next to the municipal building on Morton Avenue and the nearby Royal Farms store consistently selling gas cheaper than even other local Wawas.

And now Wawa will have some new ammo on the war.

They are in the process of demolishing buildings at the intersection of MacDade Boulevard and Route 420 (Kedron Avenue), across the street from Nifty Fifties. Yes, it will be another super store, complete with gas pumps. Here are the details.

It seems like just a few weeks ago that we took our 'Live From the Newsroom' show to the Delco Let There Be Rock School for a special show featuring Audra McLaughlin.

The school has relocated to a spot on MacDade Boulevard.

The bulldozers have leveled their old home and the rest of the intersection.

You know what they say, Gotta Havva Wawa!

Now if they could just figure out the deal with that proposed store on Baltimore Pike on the eastern edge of Media Borough.

More info on killing of Darby officer

The mystery surrounding the death of Darby Borough Police Officer Mark Hudson is beginning to clear up.

No one has been charged in the fatal shooting that took his life, but officials have charged his girlfriend, who was in the house at the time of the shooting, in connection with a domestic incident with the officer last summer.

You can get all the details here.

It's clear there was more than a little strife in the home of Mark Hudson. Now his girlfriend is facing assault and terroristic threat charges from an incident in which she brandished a knife and threatened to kill him.

No charges have yet been filed in the murder. It remains under investigation.

Dr. Kelly is at it again

I think maybe I've stumbled on to what Chip Kelly is really doing.

The Eagles coach is trying to put together the best group of injured players in NFL history.

Kelly was at it again yesterday, signing linebacker DeMeco Ryans to a one-year extension. I like Ryans; his teammates call him 'Mufasa' after 'The Lion King' character. He's a born leader. He's also prone to injuries. He missed half the season last year after his second torn Achilles tendon.

And that's not all. The Eagles also are in talks with veteran wide receiver Miles Austin. Again, this is a good thing. The Birds need help at wideout since jettisoning DeSean Jackson and losing Jeremy Maclin to Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs.

But, of course, there is an asterisk. Austin has missed big chunks of the last two seasons with injuries.

He'll have plenty of company. Quarterback Sam Bradford is still rehabbing from his second ACL tear and apparently had to be talked out of retiring by a coach.

So does Kelly know

something the rest of us don't? Does he believe his advanced training regimen and smoothies will keep all these guys on the field. I hope so.

The truth is, I'm not sure Kelly really has a plan, or if he's just flying by the seat of his pants.

All I know is this, something I have stated here before.

He'd better be right.

Monday, March 30, 2015

The Daily Numbers for Monday, March 30

The Daily Numbers: 1 part-time Darby Borough police officer shot and killed in his Darby Township home.

1 person being questioned in the shooting. No charges have yet been filed.

3 years, how long Mark Hudson had been on the borough police force. He also was active with Yeadon Fire Co.

1,57 million dollars, how much Rose Tree Media School District plans to spend to renovate the Penncrest High School athletic fields, including a new synthetic field and $400,000 for a new track.

400 events a year that could be held on the synthetic surface, as opposed to 40 on the natural grass.

62,075 dollars contributed to the county Intermediate Unit by Springfield School District.

27, age of Sharon Hill man indicted in 2013 Philly jewelry heist.

2 people killed in crash of small plane shortly after it took off from Brandywine Airport in West Goshen Sunday.

2.43 a gallon, national average price for gas.

1.11 below what we were paying last year.

2.50 average price in the Philly area.

3,64, what we were paying at pump last year.

2 bodies found in rubble of building blast in New York City.

21 goals and 55 assists for Flyers Jake Voracek, just 2 points behind points leader Sidney Crosby.

87-86 win for LeBron James and the Cavs over the Sixers last night.

20 points for LeBron James.

2 home runs yesterday for Chase Utley. Phillies open season 1 week from today vs. Red Sox at Citizens Bank Park.

76-70 win for Michigan State over Louisville in OT to make the Final Four.

66-52 win for Duke over Gonzaga.

12th trip to Final Four for Duke Coach Mike Krzyzewski. Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.

Opening day for the Phillies is one week from today at Citizens Bank Park. No word on chance of snow flurries.

I Don’t Get It: It was snowing this morning on March 30. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Delaware County, which is considering setting up a special court to attack DUI cases. A similar plan already is in place in Montco.

Quote Box: “He was a shining star in the department.”

- Darby Borough Police Chief Bob Smythe, on Officer Mark Hudson, who was shot and killed in his home.

Who shot Officer Mark Hudson?

We now know the name of the off-duty Darby Borough officer killed in a shooting in his home.

What we don't know yet is why?

The county District Attorney's office and investigators were saying very little about the fatal shooting of Mark Hudson, who was a part-time officer in Darby Borough referred to as a 'shining star' in the department by Chief Bob Smythe. Hudson also was active with the Yeadon Fire Co.

A person who was in the house on Magnolia Avenue in Darby Township with Hudson at the time of the shooting was taken into custody. Charges in the case could be filed today.

We'll give you the latest.

A self-inflicted wound for Delco Dems

I used my print column today to talk about the debacle surrounding the three endorsed Democrats being tossed from the May primary ballot in a petition challenge.

There is a lot of finger-pointing going on, with laments of how this is what happens under one-party rule and a system that is less than friednly to Democrats.

All of that may be true.

It doesn't change the fact that this wound was largely self-inflicted.

The Democrats vow they will appeal all the way to the state Supreme Court.

In the meantime, they will need to mount a write-in campaign for the primary in order to qualify to be on the ballot in the November general election.

Yes, it was snowing on March 30

March apparently has decided to go out the same way it came in.

Like a lion.

Yes, it is March 30. Yes, those were snowflakes I was driving through on the drive into the office this morning.

Don't panic. It's not going to amount to much, unless you live up in the Poconos, where it is snowing fairly heavily.

We'll also see some rain this morning, before it warms up later this afternoon, pushing close to 60.

Here's the full forecast.

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Daily Numbers for Friday, March 27

The Daily Numbers: 299 bucks, cost of a pair of Beats by Dre headphones. Police believe that’s what Arkel Garcia was after when he killed Marple Newtown grad Christian Massey.

21, age of Garcia, who was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

25, age of Amanda De Guio, a mother of 2 from Upper Darby who has been missing since June.

400 acres of Mount Moriah Cemetery in Yeadon, where a new flagpole will honor veterans.

2,400 veterans who are buried there.

10-234, the Local union of the United Steelworkers Union who are voting on new contract with Monroe Energy at the Trainer refinery. 500,000 dollar grant for a library expansion in Ridley.

34,000 dollars raised to help literacy in Wallingford Swarthmore.

59 percent of people in new Franklin & Marshall poll who back Gov. Tom Wolf’s tax plan.

39 percent say Pa. is now heading in the right direction.

40 percent who have favorable opinion of Wolf. That’s better rating than former Gov. Tom Corbett had at any point in his 4 years.

4 straight days of declines for stock market.

40.31 dip for Dow Jones yesterday.

79-72 win for Chester Native Bo Ryan and Wisconson over North Carolina.

68-60 win for Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and Arizona over Xavier.

9-1 win for Ridley over Strath Haven in boys lacrosse.

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

The pride of Chester: Bo Ryan vs. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson in the Elite 8. Gotta’ love it.

I Don’t Get It: The idea of slamming a jumbo jet into the ground. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to all those who took part in flag ceremony to honor vets yesterday at Mount Moriah Cemetery in Yeadon.

Quote Box: “He didn’t even get what he came there for. He took Chris’ life and left the headphones on the ground.”

- Assistant District Attorney Brendan O’Malley, on Arkel Garcia, sentenced to life for the murder of Christian Massey.

The Delco connection to deadly Alps jet crash

Every time there is a huge natural disaster or horrendous crash, I always offer the following warning to my staff.

Don't worry, it will somehow works its way back to Delco.

It's happened again.

Yvonne Selke, who along with her daughter Emily, shown in picture at right, was on the doomed Germanwings flight that crashed in the French Alps, was a Delco native.

Yvonne was a graduate of Springfield High School, Class of '75.

She still has family living here.

The Class of '75 is planning their 40th reunion and it is believed Yvonne was planning to attend.

Yvonne Selke lived in Nokesville, Va., and was a valued, longtime employee of Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., a defense contractor in Washington, D.C.

Her daughter Emily, who was with her on the doomed flight, was a recent graduate of Drexel University.

Booz Allen's chief personnel officer, Betty Thompson, described Selke as "a wonderful co-worker and a dedicated employee who spent her career with the firm." Yvonne Selke worked for Booz Allen for 23 years.

We'll try to get reaction from Springfield High as well as those who know her today.

Public offers support for Wolf tax plan

In his battle with Republicans over the state budget, new Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf just picked up a little more ammo.

A new Franklin & Marshall College Poll showed the public supports his plan to hike the state sales and income taxes and use the money to boost education funding.

Nearly 6 in 10 - 59 percent - of those polled backed the plan, no doubt in large part because it targets the state's most hated levy, property taxes.

About 17 percent of those asked identified taxes as the biggest issue in the state.

We'll have Wolf's chief of staff, Katie McGinty, here for a visit with the editorial board this morning.

I'll ask her about the prospects of getting the Wolf plan through the Legislature.

Do you have a question for McGinty? If so email it to me at editor@delcotimes.com and I will add it to my list.

A couple of weeks ago, State Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, who heads the state House Democratic Policy Committee, told me he does not believe the budget will be done by the July 1 deadline.

Instead, he sees Republicans, who control both the Senate and House, passing their own "no-tax-hike" spending plan, and then tossing it in Wolf's lap.

Sturla believes Wolf will veto it, and then both sides could dig in for an extended standoff.

We'll ask McGinty how she sees this playing out.

Pride of Chester: Bo vs. Rondae in Elite Eight

Villanova may be gone, but Delco is still very well represented in the NCAA men's hoops tourney.

Both Chester High standout Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and his Arizona Wildcats and Chester native Bo Ryan, who coaches Wisconsin, were winners last night.

Hollis-Jefferson, a former All-Delco player, came back from an injury as the Wildcats held off Xavier.

Wisconsin did the same while taking care of North Carolina.

Here's the bad news. Only one of them is going to the Final Four.

That's because they will face each other Saturday in the Elite Eight.

It's the second straight year they have faced each other.

Anyone want to argue the prowess of Chester and Delco hoops?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Dems the breaks in Delco politics

What if they they threw an election and nobody came?

We're not talking about voters.

We're talking about Democratic candidates.

To the surprise of just about no one, other than maybe Delaware County Democratic Party leaders, a county judge yesterday tossed the three endorsed Dem candidates off the May primary ballot. Judge James Proud ruled their nominating petitions were in fact incorrectly filed. Specifically, they failed to file the required statements of financial disclosure with the county clerk. No matter that they correctly filed with the board of elections.

A technicality? Maybe. But those are the rules. And these three Democrats didn't follow them.

County Democratic Party Chairman David Landau vows an appeal, first to Commonwealth Court and perhaps all the way to the state Supreme Court if necessary.

So be it.

In the meantime, Democrats may need to try to muster enough write-in votes in the primary to get on the November general election ballot. It is believed they will need at least 250 write-ins to make it.

In the meantime, there is more than a little grumbling from within Delco Democrats about this latest black eye for a party that has not been able to get a candidate elected to County Council for more than three decades.

Hard to blame them.

Oh deer! A sure sign of spring

Spring has arrived.

I know this not because they tell us the thermometer will threaten 70 degrees today, even it will be accompanied by rain. Certainly that should wash away the last remnants of snow that are stubbornly hanging on.

Don't worry, temperatures are expected to dip back into the 30s and 40s just in time for the weekend.

That's not how I celebrated the unofficial arrival of spring this morning.

I welcomed back some old friends.

Four-legged ones.

I kind of got a sneak peek at what the drive into the office was going to be like even before I got out of my development. Just one street up from mine, as my headlights peered through some early-morning rain and light fog, I picked up that distinctive glint on the side of the road.

Yep, the deer are back. Three of them, sauntering right through a neighbor's front yard, and of course right in front of my car.

Luckily in the development I'm not going all that fast and was able to stop to let them cross the street.

And they weren't alone. I saw three more before I got out of the development.

My mind immediately raced to Providence Road, the route I take from West Chester Pike across to the Route 1 Media Bypass at Rose Tree. I figured if I was already seeing deer, they'd be out in force on this road, which seems at times to be overrun with these critters. I wasn't wrong.

Instead of just dodging potholes, I spent much of the morning dodging deer as well.

Welcome back, fellas. I missed you.

Yep, spring is here.

In Chip We Trust - I think

Chip Kelly has spoken.

Again.

One day after Eagles owner Jeff Lurie met the media, Kelly spent a full hour in front of the microphones Wednesday at the NFL Owners meetings in Phoenix.

Kelly answered all the questions. He explained the money behind dealing away the team's all-time rushing leader LeSean McCoy and replacing him with two big-money backs, including DeMarco Murray. He said the team actually wanted to keep Nick Foles while adding Sam Bradford, but the Rams wanted some players at the last minute. He stressed the team is very high on the seemingly always-injured Bradford's potential, without necessarily saying he will in fact be the Eagles starting QB. He indicated Jeremy Maclin got too rich for the Eagles' blood. And maybe most important of all, he touched on the touchy issue of control of the roster and personnel.

It's clear that now lies totally in Kelly's hands, with Howie Roseman clearly in a lesser role. But Kelly backed up what Lurie said, that Roseman is still a key part of the team and that he values his input.

All of it certainly sounds like a master plan for the Eagles' franchise.

So why am I still not convinced.

Why do I fear Kelly is in fact thrashing around in the NFL personnel wars, being taken advantage of by more experienced front office types.

And why do I still have the nagging feeling that Kelly still is plotting a master coup on Draft Day to get the guy he covets, Oregon QB Marcus Mariota, to run his much-debated 'system.'

I hope I'm wrong. I hope all of this works out. Certainly bedraggled Philly fans looking at a long walk through the desert of the final drabs of both the Sixers and Flyers seasons, and the less-than-optimistic outlook for the Phillies, want the Eagles and Kelly to deliver.

Right now all we can do is wait. And hope.

In Chip We Trust.

Do we really have any other choice?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Delco Dems fight for their lives

Democrats in Delaware County are used to fighting for their lives.

But they don't usually have to fight just to stay no the ballot.

But that's the predicament they find themselves in after a mind-numbing problem with the nominating petitions encountered by their candidates for three seats on County Council.

Let's just say it's a bit of a bureaucratic nightmare.

You can get all the details here.

Democrats have not had a win in a County Council race since the mid-1970s, when the Home Rule Charter was passed, eliminating the mandated minority party representation on Council, instead opting to have all five members elected at-large.

At this point the Dems might have to settle for winning a petition challenge.

If they lose, they could be looking at a very steep longshot, winning a write-in campaign.

A great night for the media at Neumann

Yesterday I was singing the praises of Mo'ne Davis.

Turns out I didn't have to go that far to find some outstanding young people.

Last night I was on the campus of Neumann University for a meeting of the Advisory Board of the school's Communication Media Arts program.

More importantly, I met some young people who were inducted into Lambda Pi Eta, Psi Phi Chapter Honor Society. These are the best and brightest kids in the Neumann Communication Media Arts program.

I have been in this newspaper for more than three decades. I stopped counting how many times I've heard the complaint that young people are not reading newspapers - or anything for that matter. And that their writing and communications skills seemingly diminish with every text message they compose.

These kids put the lie to that premise.

They are the future of media.

And Neumann is investing heavily in that future.

Before the induction ceremony, their media arts guru reviewed the impressive plans the school has for state-of-the-art radio and TV studios, as well as writing labs, on the campus.

One thing is certain: When these kids come out of Neumann, they will be ready to pick up the mantle of journalism for a new generation, delivered on every imaginable platform.

Once a month we take our livestream Internet broadcast, 'Live From the Newsroom,' to the Widener campus to take advantage of their brand spanking new TV studio. The students do all the production work, including manning the sound and cameras. They even try futilely to make this old face look good.

I look forward to being able to do the same from the Neumann campus. Consider that my way of inviting myself, Sean. Thanks as well to faculty adviser Karen Thomas (you know her from her many years delivering the weather and news on local TV) for the invitation.

And the best part? I got to meet WPHT-1210 talk show host Chris Stigall and longtime WMGK DJ and programming director Debbi Calton, a familiar face in Delco with whom I've done many events.

Calton was lauded as the school's Special Guest of Honor for 2015.

Great kids. Great night.

Lurie goes 'all-in' on Chip

In Chip We Trust.

Howie Roseman? Not so much.

That was the word yesterday from Eagles' owner Jeff Lurie, who met with the media at the NFL meetings in Phoenix.

It was a stunning turnaround from Lurie's statement at the end of the season, in which he insisted that Roseman was his general manager.

That obviously changed in the offseason, when Lurie turned over the keys - and total control on the roster and personnel - to his hot shot new head coach Chip Kelly.

The wunderkind who has yet to win a playoff game - and this year failed to make the playoffs despite once sitting on top of the NFC East with a 9-3 mark - then embarked on a heart-stopping remake of the Eagles roster.

LeSean McCoy? Gone.

Nick Foles? Gone.

Jeremy Maclin? Gone.

Add in DeSean Jackson from the year before, and toss in lineman Todd Herremans and soon-to-be gone Evan Mathis and you have a completely different offense.

Kelly signed two running backs, including DeMarco Murray, who led the NFL in rushing last year with the Cowboys.

He used McCoy to pick up young stud linebacker Kiko Alonzo from the Bills.

He sent Foles to the Rams in exchange for always-injured QB Sam Bradford, a former No. 1 pick in the draft.

Lurie hinted that his demotion of his once-trusted aide Roseman was no reflection on Howie, but rather a belief in Kelly. It's simple. Lurie doesn't want to be just good, to make the playoffs or even win a playoff game. He wants to win a Super Bowl. Obviously he thinks Kelly is the guy who can get him there.

We'll see.

Lurie might as well have been standing at a poker table in Las Vegas as opposed to the sparkling sunshine of the Southwest. He then could have pushed all his chips to the center of the table.

Because in this game there is really only one 'Chip' that matters.

That is Kelly. Clearly, Lurie is "all-in."

Beat writer Bob Grotz offers his take on Lurie's statements here.

Now all Kelly has to do is deliver.

We'll hear from the coach today.

What do you think the over/under is on the number of questions that focus on Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota, the guy Kelly covets to run his offense?

Don't expect Kelly to say much. He'll no doubt talk about Bradford having "great tools" and how the Eagles did not bring him in to be used as some kind of bargaining chip.

"I'm the only Chip here," Kelly said when quizzed about his QB after the signing of Murray.

Lurie confirmed that yesterday.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Daily Numbers for Tuesday, March 24

The Daily Numbers: 19 years on the bench for Brookhaven Magisterial District Judge Walter McCray. His nominating petitions for re-election are being challenged.

3 Democratic candidates for County Council who will be in court this morning for a challenge to their petitions that could boot them from the ballot.

1,500 feet, how far a runway at Philadelphia International Airport will be expanded. The plan was OK’d by Tinicum commissioners.

3 Montco men who face charges in a huge string of robberies that targeted tooks in work vans, including many in Delco.

2 attempted robberies near the campus of West Chester University prompts school to warn students to be safe.

20 vehicles hit in Philadelphia in a string of break-ins in which the air bags were stolen.

650 million dollars paid last year to outside managers overseeing Pa.’s two big public pension plans.

540 Philly police officers who discharged a weapon in the period 2007-2013

68 officers involved in multiple shootings in the same period.

6,500 students involved in 88 fraternies and sororities at Penn State. The school president announced a probe of Greek life in the wake of a scandal involving a frat that posted pictures of nude women on a Facebook page.

34, age of former Norristown teacher who pleaded guilty to having sex with one of her students.

14, age of the student involved.

170th state House District in Philly, where they will hold a special election today.

41, age of chef at Philly restaurant Alma de cuba, who was found dead in restroom of the eatery.

0 evidence of rape found by police investigating highly publicized report at the University of Virginia. They have suspended their probe, while saying it is not over.

3 workers killed when scaffolding collapsed at a work site in Raleigh, N.C.

14-4 win for Bonner-Prendie boys lacrosse over rival Upper Darby High.

0-1-2 mark so far for the Union as they struggle early in MLS season.

12-4 and 6-9 p.m. Thursday, viewing for Eagles great Chuck Bednarik at Connell Funeral Home, 245 E. Broad St. in Bethlehem.

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

And a child will lead them. Hats off to Mo’ne Davis, who is calling on Bloomsburg University to reinstate a baseball player booted from the squad for an offensive Tweet that targeted the teen sensation.

I Don’t Get It: One more case of a keyboard run amok. Think before you Tweet, folks.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Mo’ne Davis. If only more adults would emulate her.

Quote Box: “Everyone makes mistakes. ... I know how hard he’s worked. Why not give him a second chance?”

- Mo’ne Davis on college baseball player who ripped her in offensive Tweet.

Singing the praises of Mo'ne Davis

It's hard to turn around these days without bumping into Mo'ne Davis.

The teen Little League sensation from Philly's Taney Dragons seems to be everywhere.

After becoming the first girl to earn a win and pitch a shutout in the Little League World Series, Davis has been something of a media sensation, appearing on the cover of Sports Illustrated. She got a book deal and published a 'memoir' at the tender age of 13, and now a movie on her exploits is in the works.

I've been among those who raised an eyebrow over all the hype surrounding this young woman.

I was wrong.

I started to change my mind after seeing Davis appear on camera in a series of interviews. She struck me as a singularly composed, down to Earth, sensible young lady.

But I've never been more impressed than I was yesterday.

After news stories appeared on the possible Disney movie based on her life, a college student - a fellow baseball player at that - fired off a Tweet with an incredibly unfair, sexist slur targeting Davis.

Yes, the Internet now thinks 13-year-old girls are fair game.

The incredibly bone-headed social media blunder caused Bloomsburg University to boot the athlete off the baseball team.

That's when Mo'ne got involved.

Not to gloat in her attacker being put in his place, but instead to urge the school to give him a second chance.

That's right, Davis has asked Bloomsburg to reconsider their decision and allow the player back on the team.

While admitting the Tweet stung, instead of firing back, Davis instead extended an olive leaf.

"Everyone makes mistakes," Davis said. "It hurt on my part, but I know he's hurt even more. If it was me, I would want to take that back. I know how hard he's worked. Why not give him a second chance?"

Bloomsburg says it appreciates the "level of maturity" shown by Davis, but for now the school stands by its decision.

In a world that is now ruled by instantaneous thoughts delivered in staccato 140-character bursts, a 13-year-old girl is proving we are capable of so much more.

It's often been said that Mo'ne Davis can serve as an example for other kids to follow.

Never more than yesterday.

You go, girl.

March-ing to the tune of lousy weather

Raise your hand if you're tired of March.

I feel your pain.

For the most part, spring remains mostly a rumor.

The good news is that is about to change. The bad news is that it will change once again after that.

Yes, you will need your coat as you head out this morning. Temperatures continue to hover around the freezing mark.

We will slowly start to warm up Wednesday, and then we'll get our first real taste of spring on Thursday when temperatures actually will threaten the 70-degree mark.

Unfortunately, the warm-up will be accompanied by rain - heavy at times - as well as the threat of thunderstorms.

And then on Friday things will turn cold again, just in time for the weekend.

Saturday's night will once again struggle to get out of the 30s, with - you guessed it - a chance of snow flurries.

Here's the forecast.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Daily Numbers for Monday, March 23

The Daily Numbers: 10,000 dollar salary and $3,000 signing bonus, what Chuck Bednarik signed for in his rookie season with the Eagles.

27,000 dollars, the most ‘Concrete Charlie’ ever made in a season in his illustrious career.

1st overall pick in NFL Draft, in 1949

14 seasons in the NFL, all with the Birds, for Bednarik.

2 NFL championships won, in 1949 and 1960.

8 Pro Bowl appearances.

71-68 loss for the Villanova Wildcats to North Carolina State to bow out of the NCAA Tourney.

1 seed and 1st No. 1 seed to make their exit.

2 No. 2 seeds, Virginia and Kansas both lost Sunday.

78 million dollars, how much was contribute by Delco school districts to employee pension plans.

11 to 15 billion dollars in savings over the 30 years under a plan by state Rep. Mike Tobash, R-125, supported by Delco state Rep. Tom Killion, who will hold a public forum on the measure this week.

1.57 million dollars, the cost to replace the playing field at Penncrest with a synthetic turf and also fix the track.

400 events that could be held on the artificial surface, as compared to 40 in real grass.

20,000 dollars, how much it’s hoped can be raised at this year’s Nicole Gallo Sunshine and Bubbles 5K Run/Walk

305,000 dollar grant for the Chester County SPCA.

5 million dollars kicked in for open space in Chester County.

3.5 million dollar price tag to repair a 19th Century church in Philadelphia. Instead the archdiocese has announced it will raze the structure. Parishioners are not happy and say the repairs will cost much less.

90-77 win for Temple to advance in NIT play. The Owls are the last local team still playing.

7-6 loss for the Phillies to the Red Sox last year.

101-87 loss for the Sixers out in L.A. last night.

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

Villanova came up short. Again. And be honest. Did anyone actually think they were ever the 2nd best team in the nation? The Big East just was not that good this year.

I Don’t Get It: Why would you sling a nasty sexual slap at Mone Davis on Twitter? I don’t agree with all of the hype surrounding the Taney Dragons star, but the Tweet over the weekend by a local college athlete was way over the line, and another sign of the dangers that lurk out there on the Internet.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the legacy of Chuck Bednarik, perhaps the greatest Eagle of them all.

Quote Box: “Some men are born to be poets or astronauts. He was born to hit people.

- The late, great Eagle Tom Brookshier, on his teammate, Chuck Bednarik, who died this weekend.

The down side of the Internet

I used my Monday print column to focus on one of the uglier aspects of the technology that pushes information at us 24/7 365 days a year.

That's not all it flings at us.

Unfortunately, it also hurls any and all matter of racial invective, gossip, rumor, libelous claims and mean-spirited commentary. And it allows much of it to be done from behind the convenient cloak of anonymity.

I don't have that luxury. My name is right beside everything I do - either online or in print.

The Internet can be a very mean place.

Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg is hoping to make it a little less so. I wish him luck. He's going to need it.

The reason we loved 'Concrete Charlie'

It was not a good weekend for Philadelphia sports.

And it has nothing to do with the fact that Villanova lost. Again.

It has everything to do with the fact that we lost an immortal.

Chuck Bednarik died.

I never actually saw Bednarik play. But I distinctly remember my father and my wife's father boast of his prowess.

I have another reason to like the man referred to as 'Concrete Charlie.'

That moniker was slapped on him in part because of the way he played. Bednarik was simply an unstoppable force, a guy who reveled in the sheer, at times brutal physical violence that occurs on a football field.

The picture of him standing over a prone Frank Gifford stands to this day as one of the iconic images of the National Football League. But there is another - perhaps more telling - reason behind Bednarik's nickname.

In the offseason, Bednarik worked for a local concrete company.

Perhaps more than anything else, that tells you all you need to know about professional sports, specifically the way the games have changed.

When Bednarik inked his first contract with the Eagles, the All-America out of Penn signed on the dotted line for a $3,000 signing bonus and $10,000 salary. He never made more than $27,000 in a season. Today some guys spend more than that on dinner.

That's the difference in sports today, and part of the reason Bednarik remained incredibly popular decades after his last appearance on a playing field.

He was one of us. Back then, most athletes were. Some guys worked in a factory, others drove a truck, still others were salesmen. Bednarik played football. He was just one of the guys.

Oh, and one other thing, not be taken lightly. Bednarik won. He was the heart of a team that handed the legendary Vince Lombardi his only loss in a championship game.

Bednarik had little use for today's athlete - and was not shy about telling you about it.

In his later days, he could be come as just a cantankerous old guy. He got involved in a couple of unnecessary disputes with the Eagles and in particular owner Jeff Lurie.

But Bednarik never changed. He loved the game. He loved the physlical aspect. He loved violence. He loved being one of us. And that's why we loved him.

Deion Sanders notwithstanding, there will never be another guy who played both ways, at center and linebacker, the way Bednarik did. There will never be another 'Concrete Charlie.'

Athletes today don't take second jobs in the off-season.

We might all be poorer for that.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The Daily Numbers for Friday, March 20

The Daily Numbers: 6:45 p.m., when spring officially arrives.

1-3 inches of snow expected in the region this morning.

417 million dollar economic impact for the region from the visit of Pope Francis for the World Meeting of Families in September.

3 years in the making for plans for a new Wawa at the eastern edge of Media Borough on Baltimore Pike. Council last night again put off a vote.

12 to 24 years in prison for a Main Line lawyer on child molestation charges from 20 years ago.

318 members of the Rose Tree Media Education Association who voted to approve a new contract reached with the district. The board will now vote on March 26.

6th and final meeting held last night in Springfield on what to do with the high school.

4 million dollars in pledges collected by those determined to stave off development of the Beaver Valley tract in Concord.

1.36 billion dollar budget for SEPTA, with no fare hike.

658 million dollars from the state, that’s up $29 million.

70 more employees that will be added by the transit giant.

150 jobs being axed by GlaxoSmithKline in the region.

165 metered parking spots near West Chester University that will no longer be free under a plan being considered by the borough. 0 charges being filed against Philadelphia police in connection with the fatal shooting of 26-year-old Brandon Tate-Brown during a traffic stop last December.

4x8 foot piece of plywood that struck a Philly woman walking on a New York City street, hurling her into a wall. She died of her injuries.

20 months in jail for Philly Traffic Court Judge Willie Singletary on corruption charges.

3 teens - ages 14, 15, and 15 - charged in fatal shooting of man walking his dog in Philadelphia.

13th longest commute in the nation for those riding to work in Philadelphia area.

5 hours a week, what average person spends behind wheel on way to work.

1 billion dollars being considered to fight the ongoing drought in California.

91-52 win for Villanova over the No. 16 seed Lafayette Leopards in Game 1 of the NCAA Tourney.

16 points for Dylan Ennis to lead the ‘Cats attack.

16 straight wins for Villanova.

7:10 tipoff Saturday night as they face North Carolina State.

45 point lead for Villanova at one point.

11-of-22 shooting from beyong the 3-point stripe.

23 points for Chester High product Rondae Hollis Jefferson to lead Arizona to NCAA Tourney win over Texas Southern

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

Keep your eye on Chester’s own Rondae Hollis-Jefferson. He’s my prediction for the NCAA Tournament MVP with Arizona.

I Don’t Get It: 3 kids - age 14, 15, and 15 - have been charged with killing a man just out walking his dog in Philly. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to those who again turned out in big numbers to discuss the project in Springfield to either renovate the current high school or build a new one.

Quote Box: “It might as well be the World Meetinf of Families Aston, the World Meeting of Families Clifton Heights, the World Meeting of Families Bensalem.”

- Donna Farrell, on the Delco flavor of the committee she heads that is planning for the confab and visit by Pope Francis.

It was a busy night in Delco

One of the things a daily community newspaper strives to do every day - surprisingly enough - is deliver news.

By that I mean things that affect readers' lives - that they likely did not hear about yesterday from other outlets, such as TV or radio.

A lot happened last night in Delco.

Here's a quick look at some of it.

In Media Borough, Council did not take a final vote on the much-talked about Wawa that will anchor the town's eastern border on Baltimore Pike. Is it just me or has this proposal been kicked around forever?

Meanwhile, in the school district, Rose Tree Media teachers approved the tentative contact they've reached with the school district. It now will go to the school board for a similar vote. No doubt this one will be gone over with a fine-tooth comb by the budget hawks who keep very close tabs on spending in the district. They're already making noise about the proposal to renovate the high school's athletic facilities. Expect fireworks over that one at the next board meeting.

Down in Tinicum, a bunch of local officials and emergency responders did a tabletop exercise to simulate something everyone hopes is never necessary - a response to an oil train disaster in the county. We're planning a much more extensive look at what goes into this on Sunday. It's one you won't want to miss.

In Springfield, they held the final meeting in a series of public hearings on plans for a new high school. Once again the place was packed, with the majority of those in attendance urging the board to rein in spending.

And finally out in Haverford, the school board announced they have a new superintendent. It's Dr. Maureen Reusche, who comes from the Cherry Hill School District in New Jersey.

Like I said, a pretty busy night.

Winter's last gasp ... & then Spring!

6:45.

Just keep repeating that time to yourself this morning.

6:45 p.m., that's when spring officially arrives.

Of course between now and then we're going to have to deal with winter's last gasp.

Yes, we're expecting snow this morning.

That means the TV stations have dispatched reporters to the far western suburbs so they can breathlessly tell us that snow has arrived. At 6:45 a.m. it appears the snow is as close as West Chester.

Here's what we can expect today.

It looks like we're going to get somewhere in the vicinity of 1-3 inches. The guess here is that the roads will remain for the most part just wet. Snow might accumulate on grassy surfaces. It's tough at this time of year for snow to actually cover the roads.

We'll see.

I suggest a chant. Repeat after me:

6:45 ... 6:45 ... 6:45 ...

Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, March 19

The Daily Numbers: 3-1 vote by which Concord supervisors gave the OK for development of a big chunk of the Beaver Valley tract.

160 homes planned on 230 acres of the 318-acre site.

500,000 pledged by the township in an effort with local conservation groups to preserve the land.

250,000 dollars more being kicked in by Delaware County, bringing the total to $750,000.

95 acres that is already targeted as open space on the tract in question.

300 citizens who showed up for the vote. Most were opposed.

30 days, how long opponents have to appeal the township’s decision.

6 people charged in a daring daylight burglary while a woman was home in side her Secane residence.

2 people in Upper Providence being sought for iPhone thefts in the township.

90 million dollar deal for an Eddystone firm with U.S. Navy.

30 of April, new window for people to sign up for health care to avoid the fine.

41 percent of those who still do not have insurance who were unaware of the fine.

3 billion dollars a year, how much Tom Wolf thinks he can rake in by expanding items that would fall under sales tax.

45 different categories that are now exempt that would start paying the tax, including real estate transactions.

1-2 inches of snow in the forecast for Friday.

52, high temperature seen on Saturday.

1 more day of winter. Spring arrives Friday, despite that forecast.

6:50 p.m. tipoff for Villanova and Lafayette in NCAA Tourney.

94-83 win for Sixers over Pistons.

4 game losing skid snapped by 76ers.

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

Over-under on Villanova win vs. Lafayette. I’ll put the line at 15. I’m taking the under.

I Don’t Get It: Rack up another big parcel of open space in Delco about to go by the boards. Concord last night OK’d development of a big chunk of the Beaver Valley tract.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the township and Delaware County for trying to put up the money to buy the tract and save it from development. I wouldn’t hold my breath, however.

Quote Box: “This is a unique tract of land. Once it is gone, it is gone.”

- Concord Supervisor Kevin O’Donoghue, after voting against development of Beaver Valley.

Want to meet some great college kids? Follow me

If you only read the headlines, you might think America’s college campuses are going to hell in a hand basket.

A frat at the University of Oklahoma decided it was cool to chant atrociously racist messages. It wasn’t.

Now Penn State is back in the news, with a frat there accused of taking photos of women who had visited their house and were, how should be say... in various states of undress - and consciousness - and posting them on a private Facebook page. That story also is making national headlines.

The story I covered at Widener University last night was not. That's a shame.

We took our 'Live From the Newsroom' show to the Chester campus for our monthly visit with the great kids in Professor Tim Scepansky's communications class. They do all the heavy lifting, working the cameras and sound. If you missed the show, you can catch the replay here.

Our very special guests were several cadets involved in the Widener ROTC program, proud members of the Dauntless Battalion.

Haley Photis is a senior nursing student; Lloyd Flores and Alex McCarthy are both juniors. Flores wants to take up political science and sees his future in the military, preferably running an armored division. McCarthy is majoring in environmental science and is planning to do great things making this Earth a better place. Photis wants to see the world as a nurse. It's one of the hallmarks of the Widener ROTC program. It consistently cranks out high-caliber nurses. In fact, in 2006, 2007 and 2010 Widener produced more U.S. Army nurses that most other schools in America.

Our thanks to battlion leader Lt. Col. Matthew Ignatovig, and Keith Karbel, who is in charge of recruiting and enrollment. Both explained the attraction of ROTC, and the commitment it requires. Anyone can take the course in the first two years, but then most students must make a choice to become either an enrolled cadet or contracted cadet. As you might guess, the key is 'contracted.'

Students are literally making a 'contract' with the government and are required to do eight years of service upon graduation. Usually only four of those are in active duty.

There is also a serious scholarship opportunity, as in full tuition and other costs.

One word kept coming up again and again throughout the night. Both Ignatovig and Karbel mentioned it.

But it was also the first word out of these three kids' mouths.

The word was 'leadership.'

It's what they pride themselves in, what they strive for.

I could not have been more impressed.

In the wake of what is going on around the nation, these kids could prove a beacon, and more importantly, leaders.

That's what they're all about.

Petition battle is of 'Primary' importance in Delco

What if they threw an election and nobody showed up?

We're not talking about voters. They do that all the time. Citizens likely will once again stay away in droves when the primary rolls around in May.

We're talking about candidates, specifically the Democrats running for County Council.

There is a dispute centering around their nominating petitions. A challenge has been filed because Richard Womack, Jack Evans and Christine Reuther failed to file the required financial statements with the county clerk. You can read all the details here.

As you might expect, the leaders of the county Republican and Democratic parties don't exactly see eye to eye on this. Republican Chairman Andy Reilly is calling it a 'fatal defect.'

His counterpart, David Landau, says the challenge to his candidates' nominating petitions lacks any merit. More to the point, he believes this is a perfect example of what happens when you have one-party rule, as has been the case in Delaware County government for decades.

He believes the system is tilted toward the party in power.

"They make the rules and they know them," Landau told me in a phone call after the story hit the paper. "It's not designed to be user friendly for Democrats."

You can say that Landau is not exactly a fan of the current system, and says the whole thing was botched by the people working in the county courthouse.

Still, I would think that someone should have been making sure all these candidates' papers were correct, that all the i's were dotted and t's were crossed. What? They didn't think the GOP would sniff out even a faint whiff of a problem.

It's not like the Dems have never filed these kinds of petitions before, even if they have failed to win a single county-wide seat for County Council since the Home Rule Charter was passed back in the mid-'70s.

In the meantime, Reilly could not resist a jab, wondering if they had this much trouble with their nominating petitions, how would the Dem hopefuls fare running the county with a budget of hundreds of millions of dollars and subject to a maze of complex state and federal regulations.

Ouch! I think the Democrats can expect to be hearing that one for awhile.

For now the while thing will go before a judge.

And if that ruling goes against his candidates, Landau is vowing to take the issue all the way to the state Supreme Court.

Only in Delco.

Will Mother Nature 'Spring' a surprise?

Tomorrow is the first day of spring.

You don't want to hear the forecast.

It's enough to make me start spouting four-letter words.

Yes, snow is in the forecast. Guess I picked the wrong year to give up cursing for Lent. Again.

Spring officially arrives at 3:46 p.m. Friday, just in time for one last winter blast from Mother Nature.

Snow is expected to move into the region sometime around rush hour on Friday. At times it will mix with rain. In short, a pretty miserable way to celebrate the arrival of spring.

I kind of doubt that, with that much wetness in the air, that the roads should be much of an issue. The ground might get covered again.

On the bright side, Friday looks like a winner, with temperatures breaking 50 and lots of sun.

How much money do you think changes hands on the NCAA Tourney?

Here's a question that is on my mind this morning.

Just how much money do you think changes hands on the NCAA men's hoops tournament. That's right, they call it March Madness for a reason. Actually, maybe they should call it March Madne$$.

Staff writer Tim Logue took up the challenge of why the bracket pool has become one of the signatures of March.

At the same time, Kathleen Carey talked with some experts about just how much productivity in the office and workplace is lost as people obsess over the tournament and their brackets - and why that is not necessarily a bad thing.

Those are just two of the stories you will find today in our special 32-page March Madness NCAA tournament preview tab.

You'll also find out 68 things you need to know about the Field of 68, courtesy of columnist Jack McCaffery, who also runs down the 10 greatest NCAA Tournament games involving Big 5 teams.

We'll also have a couple of special keepsake items honoring the 30th anniversary of Villanova's 1985 championship team, including a poster page.

This is one any hoops fan will want to get their hands on. Make sure you pick up a copy of the print edition of today's Daily Times.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

'Live From the Newsroom' examines ROTC

Our live-stream Internet broadcast, 'Live From the Newsroom,' will be back on the Widener campus tonight, examining a little-talked about aspect of college life.

We're talking about the cadets who take part in the ROTC program.

Lt. Col. Matthew Ignatovig, Battalion Commander of the Dauntless Battalion of the Widener Army ROTC, will be our guest, along with several cadets from the Widener program.

They will talk about ROTC, what life is like for cadets, and the role of ROTC in today’s military.

Widener’s Army ROTC program also serves several other colleges and universities in the area including Villanova, Penn State-Abington, West Chester University, Cheyney University, Penn State-Brandywine, Neumann University and Immaculata University.

The name of the battalion is also the title of a John Phillip Sousa song that he wrote in honor of the Pennsylvania Military College Cadets years ago.

Join us live tonight at 7 on DelcoTimes.com.

If you have a question you'd like answered about ROTC, email it to me at editor@delcotimes.com, and I will include it in the show.

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, March 18

The Daily Numbers: 2 teens from Downingtown killed in crash in which other driver, a Delco man, has been charged with DUI. He waived his preliminary hearing yesterday.

3 Delco Dem candidates for County Council at center of dispute over whether they needed to file financial disclosure statements. A hearing will be held.

20, age of Ridley Township man charged with molesting series of children. His parents served as foster parents for the kids.

3 to 23 months in prison for a Folcroft man charged with possession of child porn.

1 person injured when fire roared through a Chester home Tuesday night.

1 person stabbed while he was walking on a Collingdale street in an attempted robbery.

50,000 dollar prize for an Upper Providence woman who collected all the pieces in a special giveaway at the Granite Run Acme. 1 year suspension for Penn State frat where members apparently set up a private, invitation-only Facebook page that featured pictures of nude women.

59-32 win for Archbishop Carroll over Eric Cathedarl Prep to advance to PIAA AAA title game.

2 teams, Hampton and Ole Miss, who won play-in games to get into NCAA Tourney last night.

24, age of Chris Borland, standout linebacker for the 49ers. He’s retiring because he fears head injuries.

4-1 loss for the Flyers last night in Vancouver.

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

Philly sports fans should gets on their knees and hope for a long run from Villanova in the NCAA Tournament. Once they’re done, it is going to be a long time until the Eagles report to training camp.

I Don’t Get It: A frat is in hot water again. This time it’s at Penn State and it involves photos of nude women posted on a Facebook page. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the former frat member who came forward and blew the whistle on what was going on at the Kappa Delta Rho house.

Quote Box: “The evidence offered by the FAcebook postings is apalling, offensive and inconsistent with the univesity’s expectations.”

- Damon Sims, Penn State vice president of student affairs.

Not exactly what Penn State needed

This is about the last thing Penn State needed.

Not, not the professor from Penn State Abington who went on a bizarre rant and was ushered off a flight in Miami.

This one is much more serious, and again paints State College as someplace less than Happy Valley.

While still trying to extricate itself from the shadow of Jerry Sandusky, Penn State now finds itself in the midst of another sex scandal.

This one involves a frat that apparently set up a private, invitation Facebook page where they displayed photos of nude and partially nude women.

It doesn't take an honors student to figure out what was going on.

It gives every appearance that someone connected to the frat was taking advantage of women who had visited the house.

Look, I was in college once. I attended more than my share of frat parties. I have a pretty good idea what was going on here.

But once again, today we live in a different world, one that involves social media, Internet postings and images that never go away. Capturing those images and then posting them on Facebook, including shots of women who appeared to be passed out or sleeping, is just one more facet of the technology we swim in every day.

Now the frat has been suspended, and some people may actually wind up facing criminal charges.

Authorities are asking anyone who believes they may have been a victim to come forward so they can be identified and help in the investigation.

It also doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out some of those victims might be less than enthused about coming forward. Several have indicated they simply want the images taken down.

In the meantime, it's just one more ugly splotch on Penn State.

Don't miss our special NCAA March Madness section on Thursday

Attention Villanova fans, and anyone with even a passing interest in the hysteria otherwise known as 'March Madness.'

If you suffering from an incurable case of bracket mania, We have the cure.

You are going to want to be sure you pick up a copy of the Thursday Daily Times. In it you will find a special, 32-page section with everything you need to know about the NCAA men's hoops tournament.

It will be a special treat for Villanova fans, with a poster page honoring the 30th anniversary of the Wildcats' stunning win over Georgetown to capture the 1985 national championship.

We'll include the story we wrote on that classic game, and you might recognize yourself in some classic photos of the celebration after the 'Cats big win.

We’ll also run down the 68 things you need to know about the Field of 68, and review the 10 greatest NCAA Tournament games involving Big 5 teams.

This one is a keeper for any hoops fan.

Don't miss it. Snag a copy of this keepsake edition on Thursday.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, March 17

The Daily Numbers: 17, as in March 17. Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

21, age of man from Bear, Del., who faces charges of DUI after slamming his truck into a home in Upper Chi.

17 million dollars in property tax relief for Chester Upland residents under Gov. Tom Wolf’s plan.

9.8 million in new taxes.

9.7 million dollars in tax relief for Chi, but $9.5 million in new taxes.

5.9 million in relief in Penn-Delco, but whopping $9.16 million in new taxes.

1 million dollars bail for man charged with shooting his neighbor in Upper Darby after a dispute.

5 to 10 years in prison for a 32-year-old Chester man after pleading guilty to attempted homicide.

7000, as in Theatre 700, the new theater arts program on 69th Street in Upper Darby.

47,000 dollars in snow removal costs racked up by Aldan Borough.

50,000 dollar check collected by woman from Media in a game offered by Acme supermarkets.

2 Chester County teen siblings who were killed in DUI crash. A Media man faces preliminary hearing on the charges today.

228 member hazardouns materials unit in Philly that is ready to respond to any oil train disaster.

4 oil trains that have derailed in Pennsylvania in the last 15 months.

50 billion dollar debt in Pa., pension systems that looms over Harrisburg as the state budget is put together.

462 million dollars in fees collected by Pa.’s courts in fees, fines, court costs and restitution in 2014

59, age of Mike Porcaro, the bass player for the rock band Toto. He died this week.

2058, year when American women can expect to gain equal pay with men, according to new study.

228 point jump for Dow Jones yesterday.

60 day disabled list for Cliff Lee, whose left arm is still ailing. This is not good - either for the Phillies or for Lee’s career. He still might have surgery, which could end his playing days.

16-4 loss for Phils to Orioles yesterday as Cole Hamels was among those roughed up.

8 of 14 batters he faced got hits off Hamels, including 3-run homer for Chris Davis.

108-89 loss for Sixers in Boston.

5 straight wins for streaking Celtics.

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

Looks like Cliff Lee is done. If that wasn’t sad enough, Tim Tebow also was in town.

I Don’t Get It: Green beer. Never got it. Still don’t.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Theatre 7000 as the new arts center continues the amazaing turnaround on 69th Street in Upper Darby. Quote Box: “I’m going to kill you.”

- Driver of car involved in road-rage incident while terrorizing family in Upper Chichester.

The original Quiet Man

I'm not really much for green beer.

I really don't care for corned beef and cabbage.

And I really can't stomach "Irish potatoes." It always struck me that you might as well pour sugar and cinnamon in your mouth.

I take my cue for celebrating St. Paddy's Day from my mother.

And yes, John McBlain, it is always Paddy's, not Patty's. I’ve had an annual debate with the very Irish county councilman over this usage. I'm married to a Patty. She is decidedly Italian. Patty is a woman's name. She will never be confused with her husband, who is a confirmed Paddy, derived from the Irish version of Patrick, which is Padraig. The belief that Paddy is some kind of slur founded in the belief that so many making merry on this day wind up in the 'Paddy' wagon is unfounded.

Don't believe me? Visit this website. I rest my case.

My mother always was dismayed at the way St. Patrick's Day was celebrated. She said that in Ireland, it was much more of a spiritual holiday.

I used to take my cue from her and try to attend Mass on March 17. I haven't made it the last couple of years. As usual, work gets in the way.

I will honor my Irish heritage in a couple of special ways. While I don't dress up in green from head to toe, I do wear a very special tie that I wear only one day every year.

It belonged to my father, and I believe he got it from his father. It was made in Scotland - and no doubt worn proudly by several generations of Herons. It is a wool Tartan green plaid. It connects me to my father, who died 37 years ago.

My father was a man of very few words. It prompted my mother - who more than made up for his silence - to tag him as the original Quiet Man.

In doing so she gave me another tradition I try to honor every year. At some point in the next few days, I will watch 'The Quiet Man.' It remains one of my favorite movies.

My children never met their grandfather. They believe, however, that the acorn did not fall far from the tree. On more than one occasion they have referred to me as the 'quiet man."

It's a badge I wear proudly. I don't need green beer to prove my heritage. Actually all I have to do is gaze in the mirror. Once look at the 'schnozz' that so prominently defines my face leaves all doubt behind as to my gene lines.

Happy St. Patrick's Day.

And dad, your tie still looks great.

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Daily Numbers for Monday, March 16

The Daily Numbers: 1, as in the No. 1 seed in the East for Villanova.

1, as in the No. 1 seed in the West, for Chester native Bo Ryan and his Wisconsin Badgers.

0, as in left out, that’s the sad state for the Temple Owls, snubbed by the NCAA Selection Committee.

1 as in the No. 1 seed in the NIT for the Owls.

32-2 mark for Villanova this year.

23-10 record for Temple.

25.9 million dollars, how much PennDOT has budgeted for road repair.

32.9 million dollars, how much PennDOT will spend on winter road repairs this year.

10,000 dollars in cash seized by Upper Darby cops, along with crack cocaine, pills and a loaded handgun, during drug raid.

2 suspects under arrest.

20, age of man charged with shooting 2 police officers after a protest in Ferguson, Mo.

2-1 shootout loss for the Flyers to the Senators last night.

1 Delco high school still alive in the PIAA hoops tournament. That would be the Carroll boys.

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

Ya gotta love Villanova great Fran O’Hanlon getting a chance to lead his Lafayettte squad vs. his alma mater in the NCAA hoops tourney.

I Don’t Get It: Still not quite sure why Temple got snubbed.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Jay Wright and his Wildcats for a great season.

Quote Box: “That was the last team I wanted to play, for two reasons. They’re very good, and I love him (Fran O’Hanlon). He’s one of my favorite Villanova alums.

- Jay Wright on prospect of playing O’Hanlon’s Lafayette Leopards in Round 1 of the East Region.

Dealing with tragedy of suicide

I used my print column today to talk about something I have to fact all too often.

It is the unenviable task of delivering heart-breaking news.

Suicide is a growing problem, especially among young people.

I am often asked by some suicides get reported and others do not.

I offer an explanation, while lamenting the loss of a young life far too soon.

I'll be rooting for Villanova - & Lafayette!

Sorry Jay Wright, we have a problem.

Don't get me wrong. I love the fact that Villanova snagged a No. 1 seed in the NCAA men's hoops tournament. The Main Lineers are Top Cats in the East Region.

My problem is with their opponent.

My daughter is a proud Lafayette alum.

I do not expect the Leopards to topple mighty Villanova.

In fact, one Associated Press expert already is picking an all-Wildcat final - with Villanova facing Kentucky.

Lafayette, champions of the Patriot League, also have a great local tie, with Philly guy Fran O'Hanlon coaching the the Pards.

They will do their best David routine vs. the Goliath of Villanova Thursday out in Pittsburgh.

I don't expect Lafayette to win. I probably will not be picking them as an upset special in my bracket pool.

In fact, I think this Villanova team likely will make the Final Four.

But how big an upset would it be if O'Hanlon were to outduel his pal Jay Wright.

It's not likely to happen, but I still have to say it:

Go Pards!

Friday, March 13, 2015

Daily Numbers for Friday, March 13

The Daily Numbers: 2 straight months in which we’ve encountered a Friday the 13th.

42 million dollar, 5 year deal for running back DeMarco Murray, who signed with Chip Kelly and the Eagles yesterday.

21 million dollars guaranteed.

3 year deal for running back Ryan Matthews, with $5 million of that guaranteed.

2 children left home alone in Upper Darby while their mother went to work. Mom now faces charges.

5.2 percent unemployment rate in Delaware County, below the national average, touted during yesterday’s State of the County address. 25, age of man who led Upper Darby police on a wild chase that left 1 officer injured.

450 counts against an alleged peeping Tom on the Main Line. Sean Moses was held for trial on all charges.

100,000 dollar grant that will allow the Chester Charter School for the Arts to expand and offer high school classes.

11 1/2 to 23 months for a Chester County man on animal cruelty charges.

192.3 billion dollars, where U.S. deficit now sits

259 point gain for the Dow Jones yesterday.

84-49 win for Villanova over Marquette in opening round of Big East tourney.

60-49 loss for Saint Joe’s to St. Bonaventure.

76-69 win for La Salle over UMass.

1-0 loss for the Flyers to the Blues in a shootout. Stick a fork in them, they’re done.

35 shots stopped by Steve Mason.

2 Catholic League girls teams - O’Hara and Carroll - who will be in action today in PIAA play.

5-3 loss for Springfield to Henderson in Flyers Cup ice hockey action.

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

Chip Kelly should take this act to Vegas. He can wheel and deal with the best of them.

I Don’t Get It: Leaving two kids home alone. I just don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Chip Kelly. He’s taken a lot of heat this week. Signing DeMarco Murray away from the Cowboys is just delicious.

Quote Box: “All of you are shareholders or stakeholders in Delaware County government. Today you have every reason to be bullish about the economic value of Delaware County.” - Mario Civera, delivering State of the County address yesterday.

Joe Sestak: Running man

Joe Sestak has never stopped running.

He lost a tough race to Republican Pat Toomey back in 2010, but instead of retreating, he kept pounding the pavement, visiting every corner of Pennsylvania, in part to thank those who supported him, in part to increase his visibility across the state.

Joe Sestak has never stopped running. He taught a course at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, giving him a beachhead in the western part of the state. He’s also been teaching at Penn State, Dickinson and Cheyney.

The course he has been offering tells you a lot about him - and why he’s now running for a rematch against Toomey. The class is in ethical leadership.

Sestak is basing his campaign on that theme. He believes there is a trust deficit in Washington.

And he points to Toomey as a prime example, a person who says one thing here in Pennsylvania, then does another in the nation’s capital.

He jabs at the Republican’s votes against veterans issues and small business.

Right now, Sestak is taking a break from running - to take a walk instead.

The former admiral last week kicked off his campaign for the Democratic nomination in a pair of classic Reebok high-top sneakers that seemed to gain a life of their own. Then he donned a pair of combat boots and announced his decision to walk 422 miles across Pennsylvania. In his words, to “walk in the shoes” of Pennsylvanians, hear their issues and listen to their concerns.

First he might have to resolve the concerns of some Democratic leaders.

A lot of them are saying not nice things about him.

Sestak stopped in our office this week for a meeting with our editorial board.

The first question I asked him is why are so many Democratic leaders saying bad things about him.

Sestak smiled.

He knew the question was coming.

Sestak has had a bit of a strained relationship with his party’s brass since poking them in the eye with his decision to ignore their pleas and challenge Republican-turned-Democrat Arlen Specter in the 2010 Dem primary.

Sestak beat them both - Sestak and his own party leaders, including Ed Rendell, Barack Obama and Joe Biden. All had urged him to step aside.

But he couldn’t beat Toomey, although he came close in a year when Dems got clobbered from coast to coast. Now he’s taking his message to the people, and listening to their concerns.

He does not seem especially concerned about the misgivings of party leaders, several of whom have indicated they do not believe he can beat Toomey.

So far non one else has come forward to challenge Sestak for the Democratic nomination.

I expect that will change.

I fully expect something else will not.

Joe Sestak has no intention of stopping running.

It should be a most interesting primary.

Chip Kelly remakes the Eagles - & sticks it to Cowboys at same time

Who knew Frank Gore might have been the best thing that ever happened to Chip Kelly and the Eagles?

Especially after the longtime 49ers workhorse running back first agreed to a deal with the Birds, then snubbed them by backing out and signing with the Colts.

Suddenly, Kelly's house was on fire. He had dealt away one of the league's premier running backs, LeSean McCoy. He was in the process of sending Nick Foles packing.

Eagles Nation was in an uproar.

Today things are much calmer. Sort of.

DeMarco Murray is an Eagle.

The Eagles' newest star is a guy who used to wear that hated star on his helmet.

Yes, not only did Kelly move quickly to ease the hurt of dealing away the guy fans called 'Shady,' he managed to do the one thing that stirs the hearts - and passion - of every Eagles fan.

He managed to stick it to Jerry Jones and the Dallas Cowboys in the process.

It's clear Kelly put his hunt for a new running back into overdrive after Gore turned him down. Not only that, but there were whispers that maybe players were reluctant to come to Philly because of Kelly's insistence on his 'culture,' as well as his offbeat training methods, and decidedly upbeat, intense practice regimen.

No one is complaining now.

Are the Eagles better than the team two years ago that featured DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy, Nick Foles, or the one last year that had a healthy Jeremy Maclin.

That remains to be seen.

What is clear is that Kelly is a different animal. He decided to remake this roster in a way that he wanted.

He assures us all of this is not simply a prelude to another stunner, a move up to snag the coveted Oregon QB Marcus Mariota in the draft.

But he certainly has eased the anguish that had engulfed the city as we watched one star after another be dispatched by Kelly with a cold, steely resolve.

Now all he has to do is win.

Because, in the end, that's all that matters.

At this level, it's the only thing that matters.

Vince Lombardi was right.

So was Al Davis.

Just win, baby.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Daily Numbers for Thursday, March 12

The Daily Numbers: 2 police officers shot after a protest outside the police department in Ferguson, Mo., last night.

5 Dem candidates who will challenge Republicans for seats on County Council and Delco judgeships.

1 year, how long Pete Balzano served as principal at Cardinal O’Hara High School. He has resigned his position.

3 1/2 to 8 years in state prison for a Collingdale man after pleading guilty to robbery in Montgomery County.

3 women honored by the Delaware County Women’s Commission yesterday, including Janet Murnaghan of Newtown Square. She was honored for her efforts to get a kidney transplant for her daughter Sarah, a push that gained national attention.

3.57 percent increase in room and board at Temple University next year.

17, age of teen killed by a friend who was playing with a gun in Philly.

11 soldiers killed in crash of Black Hawk helicopter near Eglin Air Force Base in Fla.

27.55 dip for the Dow Jones yesterday.

23 minutes, how long Chip Kelly appeared before the media yesterday.

1st round pick, what Kelly says he was already offered for Sam Bradford yesterday.

55 million dollars for 5 years, what Jeremy Maclin got from Andy Reid and the Chiefs. The Eagles were offering $10 million a year.

59-53 win for the girls from Bonner-Prendie over West York to advance in PIAA play.

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

So is everybody to trust Chip Kelly again? I didn’t think so. It’s going to be a very interesting season.

I Don’t Get It: Two police officers were shot last night after a protest outside the police department in Ferguson, Mo. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to County Councilman Mario Civera, who nabbed a leadership post on the committees being formed for the World Meeting of Families and the visit by Pope Francis in September.

Quote Box: “We didn’t bring Sam in here to be a chip. I’m the only Chip.”

- Eagles Coach Chip Kelly, on trade to swap Nick Foles for Sam Bradford.

Budget war starts to heat up in Harrisburg

They're starting to circle the wagons out in Harrisburg.

As you might expect, new Gov. Tom Wolf's budget, which calls for hikes in both the personal income and sales taxes, is not being well-received by Republicans who control both the House and Senate.

Delco's own Bill Adolph, R-166, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee that will oversee the process, made his feelings pretty clear.

"This is a gigantic tax increase," Adolph said. "OK? A gigantic tax increase. I do belive the PIT and the sale tax is on the middle cleass. And the governor picked and chose wher ehe sent the money to."

For his part, Wolf is trying to remind people that those increases will be balanced by relief on property taxes.

Good luck with argument, governor.

In the meantime, state Rep. Mike Sturla, D-Lcnaster, the chairman of the House Democratic Policy Committee, paid us a visit this week to push the governor's fiscal plan.

Sturla stresses the governor's mission to reverse four years of declining education funding under former Gov. Tom Corbett. Yes, he concedes that a big chunk of that was federal stimulus funds, but it doesn't change the bottom line. Schools were getting less money. About $1 billion less. Sturla says Wolf would like to reverse that and actually increase funding for schools to the tune of $2 billion.

To do that he will need revenue, which is why those tax hikes, along with a new severance tax on natural gas drilling in the state, are getting so much attention.

So I asked Sturla, since the GOP controls both the House and Senate, what the chances are that any of this is going to get done. He admitted it's an uphill battle.

He also admitted something else.

Those four years of on-time budgets that Corbett was so proud of? They might be a thing of the past. Sturla fully expects the budget impasse to blow past the midnight July 1 deadline and go into overtime. He believes Republicans will pass an alternate budget that does not increase taxes, and he says Wolf will veto it.

So I asked him if Wolf would be willing to shut down the state government?

Sturla wouldn't say, but if I was a state legislator, I would not be making a lot of plans for the July 4th weekend.

Stay tuned.

The Battle of Harrisburg is just starting to heat up.

Chip Kelly speaks

Chip Kelly has spoken.

And if you believe him, all the talk about the Eagles' interest in Marcus Mariota has been a figment of the media's imagination. Kelly made a surprise appearance yesterday after a tumultuous few days that saw the Birds jettison the team's all-time leading rusher LeSean McCoy and quarterback Nick Foles.

Foles was dealt to the Rams for QB Sam Bradford. Some draft picks were involved.

It sure sounded like Bradford is Kelly's guy, even if he did couch it a bit with the usual pap about 'we'll see and possible competition between Bradford and the newly re-signed Mark Sanchez.

Of course, Bradford has to get on the field first. A couple of hours after Kelly's appearance, the former No. 1 pick in the 2010 draft was in front of the microphones at the NovaCare Center, talking about how he became an Eagle. He said two interesting things: One, that he's not yet completely healthy but hopes to be ready for training camp, and two that he has known about the Eagles interest for several weeks.

So do you believe Kelly when he says he wants to 'dispel' all the talk about Mariota and that the Eagles are 'not going to mortgage the future' to move up to get the guy he coached at Oregon because they have too many other holes to fill? I'm still wondering if there isn't more going on here.

Like DeMarco Murray. The Cowboys' star, who just happened to be Bradford's roommate at Oklahoma, apparently is going to be in town today for an interview with the Eagles.

That means a face-to-face with Kelly, since the other thing the coach made clear yesterday was that he now has complete control over personnel and the draft. In other words, 'don't blame me for that Marcus Smith pick with our No. 1 pick last year because I didn't have control.'

For better or worse, this is now Kelly's team. It's his fingerprints that are all over this implosion and moves to rebuild the roster. Yesterday was classic bravura Kelly, arrogant, brash, belittling questions at every turn.

I've said it before, and I'll stick with it.

He'd better be right.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, March 11

The Daily Numbers: 27-2, as in 27 touchdown passes and 2 interceptions, what Nick Foles did 2 years ago. Not anymore.

1, as in the No. 1 pick in the draft for Sam Bradford in 2010

2 knee injuries Bradford has suffered since then.

79.3 career passer rating for Bradford, with 59 TD passes and 38 intercdptions, along with a .586 completion percentage.

94.2 passer rating for Foles, 46 touchdowns and 17 INTs, .616 completion percentage.

300 residents who showed up in Concord last night to voice opposition to development on Beaver Valley tract.

160 houses proposed for 30 acres of the 318-acre parcel.

72 hours in county prison for Joe Gallagher, head coach of the Haverford High football team, on a DUI rap.

7-2 vote by Haverford commissioners for zoning amendment that will allow more parking at the crowded new YMCA facility at the corner of Eagle and Lawrence roads.

6-12 years in state prison for a Glenolden man who entered an open guilty plea to a rape charge.

3-year deal OK’d by union workers at Monroe Energy’s Trainer refinery. It includes pay raises.

20 percent of health care to be picked up by union members.

218 acres of the Ellis Tract along West Chester Pike and Route 252 being developed in Newtown.

20, age of missing Royersford woman who turned up safe and sound in Kensington.

3 more Pa. pols indicted on corruption charges.

474,697 consumers now enrolled in Helath Insurance Marketplace.

32, age of man charged with leaving his 7-year-old son alone in a car outside while he gambled at Parx Casino. for 3 hours.

2-1 loss for the Flyers to the Dallas Stars.

39-31 win for Archbishop Carroll girls over North Penn.

53-48 win for O’Hara girls as they rallied to beat Central Dauphin East.

83-54 win for the Carroll boys over Steelton-Highspire

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

All together now, Eagles fans, please tell us there is something else coming here. Otherwise, most of us don’t have a clue.

I Don’t Get It: Chip Kelly. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the huge crowd that showed up last night to voice their displeasure over development of the Beaver Valley.

Quote Box: “My gut tells me the road cannot handle the traffic now and it will not be able to do so in the future.”

- Resident at last night’s Concord meeting.