Friday, October 30, 2015

The Daily Numbers for Friday, Oct. 30

The Daily Numbers: 2 key GOP pols who are now on board with a push to close a loophole on sales of rifles and assault weapons.

135 persons saved from a possible fatal heroin OD by Delco officers using the drug Naloxone to reverse the symptoms.

30 members of the Upper Darby Police Department who have made saves.

7,000 pounds of old and unwanted prescription drugs taken off the Delco streets by the county Heroin Task Force.

10,000 county residents currently receiving treatment for heroin and opioid abuse.

2 suspects charged in a suspected ‘pill mill’ operation who had their cases severed yesterday.

46.2 acres of open space at the Little Flower Manor saved.

121 days and counting for the state budget impasse. Also the number on the sign held yesterday by state Rep. Margo Davidson, D-164, at a press conference urging an end to the standoff.

9 candidates seeking 5 open seats on the Upper Darby School Board.

1 hour, remember to turn your block back Sunday morning.

130 jobs lost when the famous Wilbur Chocolate factory closes in Lititz

4 officers injured in a brawl outside a high school in Allentown.

3 juveniles now facing charges.

1 child policy lifted in China. Families will now be allowed to have 2 children.

62 Speaker of the House. That would be Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin.

236 votes backing him for the post yesterday.

3 a.m., when Congress finally signed off on a new budget deal.

1 person seriously hurt when a jet caught fire on a Florida runway.

4-1 loss for the Flyers to the Devils last night.

9-12 noon, times for ESPN’s College GameDay, which will air from Independence Mall in Philly to trumpet the big Temple-Notre Dame game Saturday night.

70,000 people who will pack the Linc for the game.

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

Not a college football town? Not this weekend! Go Owls!

I Don’t Get It: The topic of inappropriate relationships between teachers and students will be the focus of this year’s Safe Schools Summit. Yes, it’s needed.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the Temple Owls. This is your weekend.

Quote Box: “We embrace the moment. We don’t pretend it’s not here. We don’t pretend we’re not playing Notre Dame. All those things are great. But they don’t help us play better.”

- Temple coach Matt Rhule.

Safe Schools Summit: Call it the new sex ed

Call it the new sex ed.

For the past 15 years, the Delaware County District Attorney's Office has run what they call a Safe Schools Summit.

It was started in the wake of the mass shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado.

Most years, it has focused on violence and other threats to students well-being, for the main part zeroing in on school security.

The focus was even more intense after the nation was again stunned when a gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and opened fire on innocent kids and teachers.

This year the Safe Schools Summit is taking a different twist.

Titled "Students and Teachers; the Bounds of Propriety," the session at the Drexelbrook in Drexel Hill will take a look at the increasingly problematic issue of relationships between teachers and students that cross the line.

Delaware County has not been immune to stories of teachers becoming sexually involved with students. The summit will gather school administrators, teachers and public safety professionals to talk about the limits of communication between teachers and students, and the dangers of crossing the line.

The focus of the session will be on electronic communications and social media, reviewing the boundaries for communication and just how easily they can be crossed.

The D.A.'s office hopes to lay out for teachers and school leaders how they can "set, maintain and enforce appropriate communication boundaries that protect both students and educators from harm.

Among the items that will be covered are:

* The rise of inappropriate communication and physical relationships between students and school authorities.

* Policies, standards, regulations and criminal laws regarding codes of conduct.

* Understanding why this happens and how inappropriate relationships occur.

* How schools and districts are addressing the problem through prevention.

* What do do when improper student-teacher conduct is suspected and the tools available to authorities to investigate.

We'll be there to offer full coverage on an issue that is increasingly on the radar of law enforcement officials, school administrators and parents.

Another moment in national spotlight for Philly, Temple

No, the pope is not coming back to town. But his pals with the Golden Domes are.

They are shutting down roads in Center City Philly.

For a Temple football game.

This is not some kind of Trick or Treat gone haywire

Notre Dame is coming to town. And they're here to play unbeaten, 7-0, No. 21-ranked Temple Owls.

It's been said a million times: Philly is not a college football town.

Not this weekend.

The stars are aligned perfectly for Temple, even if they're not necessarily above their North Broad campus.

The Eagles are on their bye week, basically vacating the sports stage.

Enter the cherry and white, having a magical season under young head coach Matt Rhule.

How big is the nationally telecast contest pitting the Owls vs. the No. 9 Fighting Irish at a sold-out Lincoln Financial Field?

College GameDay is in town.

Yes, ESPN's insanely popular Saturday morning college football preview show is setting up shop on Independence Mall, thus forcing the city to close down Market Street for a couple of blocks for two days.

Temple is planning to bus hundreds of students from North Philly to the historic site for the show, which kicks off at 9 a.m. and goes until noon, a full eight hours before kickoff at the Linc.

SEPTA, still basking in the glow of the herculean effort they put out to get pilgrims in and out of the city for the visit by Pope Francis, will be doing an encore performance. They expect heavy ridership on the Broad Street Line as newly minted Owls fans flood into South Philly.

By the way, stick with DelcoTimes.com for full coverage of all the hoopla, starting early Saturday morning as we join the party surrounding this momentous event in the city's sports history.

No a college football town? Not this weekend.

This could be the biggest college football game ever played in the city.

It's been a long time coming for Temple, often derided by those who were not exactly reticent about their belief that the school would be better off dropping big-time football.

This weekend is redemption for the Owls.

The nation will be watching, both the school, and the city.

Is there another city in America that has held the national spotlight more in the past month.

Even the pope must have been a Temple fan. He always wears red, doesn't he.

Go Owls!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, Oct. 29

The Daily Numbers: 45 years in police work for Chester Police Commissioner Joe Bail Jr., who announced his retirement yesterday.

1972, when Bail joined the Chester Police force after a stint in Ocean City, N.J.

1964 to 1976, when Bail’s father led the Chester force.

36, age of man arraigned at the Media Courthouse yesterday on charges he shot a Ridley Park police officer during an altercation in Norwood.

65, age of woman injured in explosion and fire in her Aston mobile home yesterday.

100 members of the Marple Newtown Education Association who made their presence known at a board meeting to protest the lack of a new contract.

2 district’s teachers working without new deals. Teachers in Radnor also are seeking a new contract.

12 candidates seeking 6 seats on the embattled Rose Tree Media School Board.

120 days of partisan bickering that have failed to deliver a new state budget. A GOP push to override a veto by Gov. Tom Wolf failed yesterday.

240 foot long blimp that broke loose from its moorings in Maryland and drifted over Pa. towns yesterday afternoon.

150 miles over 3.5 hours, how far the blimp wandered before coming back to earth.

27,000 residents without power as a cable dangling from the blimp took out power lines.

12,700 stores when Walgreens buys Rite Aid.

7,800 stores for rival CVS.

26 points for Jahlil Okafor last night in Sixers’ debut.

112-95 loss for the Sixers to the Celtics.

7-1 beatdown of the Mets by the Royals last night.

2-0 lead for the Royals in the World Series after their win last night.

2 hits all that Royals starter Johnny Cueto surrendered in a complete game gem.

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

Jahlil Okafor looks like the real. Unfortunately, it looks like another long season for the Sixers.

I Don’t Get It: A new poll says most Pennsylvanians believe a dysfunctional government is out top problem. I’m shocked.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Joe Bail Jr., retiring after 45 years in law enforcement, the last three as commissioner in Chester.

Quote Box: “I was able to follow in my father’s footsteps.”

- Joe Bail Jr. on taking the post as Chester top cop once held by his dad.

For Bail, end of era in Chester - again

Joe Bail saw this one coming.

The top cop in Chester has spent 45 years in policing, the last three in the spotlight as the top cop in Chester.

It's not an easy job. It's a tough town. Bail never tried to sugarcoat it.

He also knew he served at the political whims of the city's political power brokers.

He was asked to be police commissioner by John Linder when the Democrat won City Hall 2012.

But Linder was defeated in his bid for a second term in the Democratic Primary by longtime Democratic state Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland. He will face former Republican Mayor Wendell Butler at the polls next week.

Both men indicated they would seek new leadership of the city's police department, likely asking former Chief Darren Alston to return to that post.

No one had to explain the way things worked to Bail.

Yesterday, at the regular City Council meeting, he announced his retirement.

Bail has served his home town a long time. He's worked every beat, held every rank. He retired once, then was coaxed back. This time there likely will no coming back.

Chester continues to have serious issues with random gun violence. It is tied at the hip with a flourishing drug trade that continues to be the bane of city officials, police included.

The city's homicide rate has gone up the last few years, but serious crime in general has gone down.

There is only one thing left.

That is to thank a man who served the city his entire life.

Thanks, Commissioner.

Land of Giants

Here's a stunner.

Pennsylvania is a mess.

Don't take my word for it. That's the result of a new Franklin & Marshall Poll of Pennsylvania voters. Our dysfunctional state government now sits at the top of the list of things voters are most concerned about.

A whopping 62 percent of voters believe the state is on the wrong track. I guess that is what happens when you fail to agree on a new state budget for four months, allowing schools and social service agencies to teeter on the brink of collapse.

Government and politicians were skewered in the poll. They were identified as the state's No. 1 problem by 39 percent of the voters.

Congratulations, Gov. Wolf.

Kudos to you, state Legislature.

Bravo, Kathleen Kane.

Right on, state Supreme Court.

Pennsylvania, Land of Giants.

Okafor stars on opening night for Sixers

Get used to reading this headline:

Okafor scores 26 points; Sixers lose.

Welcome to the 2015-16 NBA season. It's going to be a long one for the Sixers, otherwise known as Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor and company.

Brett Brown's troops are undermanned, and it showed as they fell to the Celtics on opening night for both teams in Beantown last night.

Prefer to be an optimist? Okafor played well, and showed he can play well with Noel. Together they give the Sixers a formidable presence in the block. Okafor looks like he can score anytime he wants. Noel is a force on the boards and defense.

The rest of the team? Well, it's a work in progress.

Nik Stauskas, who missed the entire preseason, also was missing in action despite hoping he could play. Tony Wroten remains on the shelf with an ailing knee.

Here is the real question. The Sixers are now 0-1. Anyone think they will ever be .500 or better again this season?

They will get their shot when they host Utah in the home opener Friday night.

For now, picture Okafor as a legitimate Rookie of the Year candidate, and potential All-Star.

For now, that will have to do.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, Oct. 28

The Daily Numbers: 11.5 to 23 months in the county lockup for a homeless man who started a fire that damaged businesses on Upper Darby’s 69th Street last summer.

127,564 dollar grant being used by County Council to develop job training programs.

9 of November, when Middletown Council is expected to sign off on the final plans for redevelopment of the Granite Run Mall.

2 women injured in an accidental shooting at Targetmaster gun range in Chadds Ford.

5-10 years in prison for man charged in the stabbing of his stepfather inside the emergency room at Crozer-Chester Medical Center.

11,146 dollars going to a Marple family battling big medical bills through a loose change program run by TD Bank.

3,800 dollar donation from Taylor Foundation to Ridley Park police that will fund the department’s heroin education programs in local schools.

.398 blood alcohol level detected in driver of fatal crash on Main Line in which an SUV flipped over into a pond, killing the driver and his brother.

5 times over the legal limit for being legally impaired.

11 million dollars now flowing into the race for 3 open seats on the Pa. Supreme Court.

3-1 ruling by which the Pa. Supreme Court ruled Gov. Tom Wolf overstepped his bounds in axing the new director of the state Office of Open Records, Erik Arneson.

1 more college pulling its honorary degree bestowed on Bill Cosby. This time it’s Muhlenberg.

17 billion dollar deal in which Walgreens will acquire rival drug store Rite Aid.

10 GOP contenders who will debate issues at 3rd presidential debate tonight in Boulder, Colo.

1st GOP debate with Ben Carson as the new frontrunner in the polls.

1.4 million cars being recalled by GM because of fears oil leaks can spark engire fires.

2.1 million dollar fine being paid by N.J. snack firm for shortchanging temp workers.

12:18 a.m., when last night’s Game 1 of the World Series finally ended.

5-4 win for the Royals over the Mets.

4-3 OT loss for the Flyers to the Sabres last night.

2 goals for Brayden Schenn.

2 consecutive PIAA AAA golf crowns for Brynn Walker of Radnor High.

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

I don’t remember anything after that inside-the-park homer in the first at-bat last night in the World Series. I know they are never going back to day games in the World Series. But you think maybe they could start at 7 p.m.? Of course not. Because TV wants them in prime time.

I Don’t Get It: 12:18, when last night’s game ended. Swell.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the Hollis-Jefferson boys from Chester. Rondae and Rahlir both starred at Chester Hight. Rondae was a recent 1st round draft pick in the NBA. They have bought their mother a new house. Class act. I think they get if from mom.

Quote Box: “I’m excited bout it. I want it to be a centerpiece for the township.”

- Granite Run Mall owner Michael Markman, on plans to turn the shopping mall into a town center style development.

The bottom line on animal control

I don't doubt that the activists who rallied outside the Media Courthouse earlier this week have good intentions.

Almost everyone who deals with animals does. Their hearts are always in the right place.

Everyone knows Delaware County still has a problem when it comes to dealing with stray animals, one that started a few years ago when the Delaware County SPCA decided to get out of the animal control business and adopt a mission of being a "no-kill" facility. Their hearts also are good as gold.

A lot more gold would come in handy right about now.

Because what is not being said as the county continues to work toward a permanent solution to the issue of stray animals is this" It's not going to be cheap.

We used our editorial page today to talk about it.

The Kane Scrutiny takes an even more bizarre turn

I didn't think the circus surrounding Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane could get any weirder.

I was wrong.

Yesterday, at a hearing in Montgomery County Court for her one of her aides who also faces charges in this bizarre, the case took an even stranger turn.

Montgomery County Judge William Carpenter, who oversaw the grand jury that recommended charges be filed against Kane for leaking grand jury material, lying about it in her testimony before the panel, and then trying to cover it up, made a startling revelation.

The judge indicated for the record that he believed that both him and his family had been under surveillance while the case was being investigated last year.

You can get all the details here from Carl Hessler, who mans the Montco courts for our sister paper.

Carpenter made sure not to point an accusing finger at one party or another in this increasingly sordid caper, but wanted to note it for the record in the interest of full disclosure.

Carpenter indicated he believed his house was under surveillance and both he and his family had been followed while in their cars.

No charges have been filed against anyone in connection with the alleged surveillance.

You can't make this stuff up.

A Fall Classic - that ended at 12:18 a.m.

Don't strain your eyes looking for the story on last night's epic Game One of the World Series in your print edition of the Daily Times this morning.

I apologize for the omission.

Don't hope for the same from Major League Baseball. This is exactly what they wanted, games that are contested in prime time.

Last night they got that and more.

The five-hour classic ended at 12:18 a.m., when Eric Hosmer's sacrifice fly to allowed Alcides Escobar to dash home with the running run in a 5-4 victory for the Royals over the Mets.

They tell me this is one of the great things about the Internet. It's true. You can get all the details from the game here on our website.

That's not my point.

All the games in this World Series will be played at night, meaning it is unlikely I will see a lot of them.

Last night I managed to see the wild inside-the-park homer by Alcides that kicked off this crackling affair. Unfortunately, it's also the last thing I remember before sliding into my nightly coma.

I understand most people do not have my schedule, and likely stayed with this game longer.

But I wonder how many people - at least those who had to be up for work this morning - were still hanging in there as the game rolled past midnight, and well past our print deadline.

Yes, I know we are never going back to the days when I literally risked life and limb - to say nothing of Mother Marie Charles' gold ruler, by sneaking a transistor radio into school to listen to afternoon World Series games.

I remember huddling up before high football practice seeing if anybody had an update on the game that was being played as we went through our paces.

I wonder how many people one day will have similar memories about a game that ended at 12:18 a.m.

Times change.

Maybe not always for the better.

Hey, Game 2 is tonight. And yes, it's unlikely you will see the first pitch before 8:15 or so, exactly what Major League Baseball wants. Could they start the game at 7? Sure, but that's not prime time. So tonight's Game 2 will no doubt stretch close to midnight, once again imperiling out ability to get the game into print.

That's my problem, not baseball's.

I wonder how many people agree with me, or am I just a dinosaur pining for things that are not coming back.

Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, Oct. 27

The Daily Numbers: 2017, when the county’s deal with the Chester County SPCA to handle animal control ends.

30,000 dollars a month, how much some Delco towns are paying to have strays taken to the Chesco shelter.

3 shootings in a 41-hour period in the city of Chester.

2 robberies in Chester and Parkside that may be linked.

2 robberies by a knife-toting man in Glenolden that police believe are the work of the same suspect.

42, age of man from Chester County charged with trying to lure a 15-year-old boy from Delco over the Internet.

3 forums in Chester for candidates seeking to be the next mayor.

1 person wounded in an accidental shooting last night at Targetmaster gun range in Concord.

14, age of Aston teen who has started his own necktie business.

150,000 dollars in damages being sought in a defamation suit filed against former Montco D.A. (an current candidate for the same post) Bruce Castor by a woman who claimed to be sexually assaulted by Bill Cosby.

2 week break on tap for the Pa. Legislature despite no state spending plan in place.

3 months and change, how long Gov. Tom Wolf and the Legislature have been at odds on spending.

100,000 dollar prize that goes with Liberty Medal, awarded last night in Philly to the Dalai Lama. His health prevented him from attending in person.

2.3 million dollars in overtime racked up by SEPTA workers during the pope visit.

5 percent decline in ridership on SEPTA in September, which translates to $500,000 in lost revenue.

1.6 million in expenses formerly reported by SEPTA, bringing their total tab to almost $4 million for the visit by Pope Francis

1.4 million in lost revenue reported by Delaware River Port Authority due to the closing of the Ben Franklin Bridge for the pope weekend.

260 dead as earthquake rocks Afghanistan.

35, age of Phillies new GM Matt Klentak.

1, as in Game 1 of the World Series pitting Mets vs. Royals on tap tonight.

19 takeaways for Eagles defense after picking off 3 Cam Newton passes. That’s top in the NFL in turnovers.

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

This week belongs to the Temple Owls. ESPN is bringing its iconic College Game Day show to Philly Saturday to showcase the Owls matchup vs. Notre Dame.

I Don’t Get It: This one was not hard to figure out. The biggest name in the race for Montco D.A. is Bill Cosby, as former D.A. Bruce Castor and current assistant Rick Steele, who are jousting for the post, swap some ugly accusations about the old case.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to all those who took part in the Riverfront Ramble in Chester on Sunday.

Quote Box: “I think that we can build a facility here, and over time it will benefit and pay for itself.”

- Richard Womack, Dem candidate for County Council, on prospect of building an animal shelter here in the county.

A problem that continues to 'dog' Delco

It's an issue that has - pardon the expression - "dogged" Delaware County now for years.

Ever since the Delaware County SPCA decided to get out of the animal control business, the county has been trying to figure out how to handle the strays that roam the county's streets.

Building their own shelter on a site in Darby Township proved too expensive.

Eventually, the county partnered with the Chester County SPCA to handle strays. But that solution has not been without it issues as well.

Now, a group is coming forward to take issue with the idea of sending our stray animals to Chester County. They held a rally outside the Media Courthouse yesterday to put pressure on Delaware County Council to cut ties with the Chester County SPCA and build a shelter here in the county.

Not surprisingly, this comes a week before Delaware County voters will go to the polls to fill three seats on Delaware County Council. Richard Womack, a Democrat from Darby Township who is seeking one of those seats, voiced his support for a shelter here in Delaware County.

What he did not mention was how to pay for it.

That's a problem, one Delaware County officials are quite familiar with.

No doubt this issue will continue to "dog" the county until someone comes up with a way to pay to build and operate a new shelter here in the county.

The stage belongs to the Temple Owls this week

The timing could not be better.

The Eagles will take the week off as they try to figure out why their receivers can't catch the ball, and when exactly Ryan Mathews suffered that mysterious groin injury that prevented him from toting the rock - but did not keep from bolting 66 yards for a TD on one of two carries he got after the injury.

The Phillies are camping out in Clearwater, introducing themselves to new Whiz Kid General Manager Matt Klentak.

The Flyers are very early in the Dave Hakstol Era.

The Sixers are ... well, the Sixers.

So, are you ready for some college football.

This week the stage belongs to the Temple Owls.

ESPN yesterday announced they would add to the electric atmosphere surrounding this weekend's huge matchup pitting the Owls vs. Notre Dame at Lincoln Financial Field by bringing their College Game Day show to Philly. The game will be broadcast nationally Saturday night on ABC.

Lee Corso and the gang will set up shop at Independence Mall Saturday morning to showcase the city and what may be one of the biggest college football games ever played in the city.

Temple is undefeated at 7-0, the best start in school history. But the No. 21 Owls will face a staunch test from the No. 9 Golden Domers of Brian Kelly.

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Daily Numbers for Monday, Oct. 26 (Eagles Edition)

The Daily Numbers: 7 dropped passes by Eagles receivers in prime time loss to unbeaten Carolina.

27-16 loss that dropped the Birds out of 1st place.

3-4 record for the Eagles.

6-0 start for the Panthers.

63 yard TD bolt for Eagles running back Ryan Mathews to start comeback effort in 3rd quarter.

1 more carry Mathews got the rest of the way.

6 carries total for for Mathews for 97 yards.

18 carries for 65 yards for DeMarco Murray.

26 of 46 for 205 yards and 1 more interception for Sam Bradford.

5 catches for Zach Ertz.

10 interceptions against 9 TD passes for Bradford.

40 yard line, where Panthers got the ball after Eagles field goal when Calen Sturgis doinked the ensuing kickoff out of bounds.

50 yard field goal also missed by Sturgis in the 4th quarter.

3 times the Eagles intercepted Panthers’ QB Cam Newton.

2 weeks off now for the Eagles as they have a bye and then face the Cowboys in another Sunday night game on Nov. 1.

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

Sam Bradford deserves better than he’s getting from this wide receiving corps. They don’t beat press coverage, they don’t go deep and they don’t catch the ball when Bradford puts it on the money.

I Don’t Get It: For some reason Chip Kelly insists on ignoring what looks like his best weapon, running back Ryan Mathews, in favor of ex-Cowboy DeMarco Murray.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Zach Ertz, the tight end had his best day of the season with five catches.

Quote Box: “The self-inflicted wounds, the drops and the penalties. We had two procedural penalties. We had a drive going and we get a hold. You can’t do that against a good football team against Carolina and expect to beat them.”

- Eagles Coach Chip Kelly after watching his Birds fall to Carolina.

Eagles drop a golden opportunity

Sam Bradford deserved better.

From his coach.

And certainly from his wide receivers.

The Eagles had a chance to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat last night in another prime time encounter against unbeaten Carolina. But they dropped it.

Literally.

Chip Kelly's squad did their normal first half act, falling behind before mounting a charge in the second half. They actually had a chance to tie the game when Sam Bradford put the ball in an unfortunate place as he tried to hit Josh Huff in the back of the end zone in the fourth quarter.

He hit him right in the hands.

Of course Huff could not come up with it.

It was one of seven balls dropped by Eagles receivers.

Jordan Matthews, who showed so much promise in a sparkling rookie season last year, has turned into a drop machine this season. Last night not only did a ball clang off his hands, but it went right into the hands of the Panthers.

Bradford wound up a fairly pedestrian 26 of 46 for 205 yards and no TDs. But if you count in the seven balls that the Eagles receivers butchered his night would look a lot different.

Of course, a lot of the heat will fall on Bradford. He's done nothing but dink and dunk all year. But again, that says more about this receiving corps than it does about Bradford.

These guys can't beat coverage and do not get open.

When they do, and Bradford puts the ball on the money, they too often drop it.

Don't for a second leave Chip Kelly out of this mix. He's the one who remade this roster, minus DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin. He's the one now calling these plays.

He's the one who ignored Ryan Mathews even after he bolted 63 yards for a TD in the third quarter. He touched the ball only one more time after that, for a total of six carries on the night.

The Eagles are now 3-4 and have fallen out of first place in the NFC East. And they have two weeks to stew in a bitter defeat against an undefeated team they could have easily won.

But this team needs to make some changes.

Finding receivers who can catch the ball should be at the top of that list.

Can Dems dent Media Courthouse? I'm not holding my breath

Don't look now, but we're just about one week away from the November election.

Here in Delaware County, at the top of the ballot are three seats up for grabs on County Council.

It's been a long time since a Democrat has sat on County Council.

I think it's about to be a little longer.

I explain why in my column.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick

Sam Bradford gets it.

He knows he’s not playing well. He knows the Eagles are winning in spite of him, not because of him.

Actually, they’re winning because of their defense. Oddly enough, it’s the other side of the ball that is bailing out the offensive genius of Chip Kelly, which continues to sputter as Bradford suffers one hiccup - and interception - after another.

But I’m not bailing on Bradford. I still think Kelly was right in going out and getting a former No. 1 pick in the draft and jettisoning Nick Foles in the process.

Bradford threw three more picks in a prime-time debacle Monday night vs. the Giants, even as the Birds’ defense was smothering Eli Manning and the Giants.

There is no reason to consider a change at QB, despite Bradford’s struggles. You know what you’re getting with Mark Sanchez. I still think there is a chance we don’t yet know how good Sam Bradford may be. He’s coming off nearly two years on the shelf with successive ACL tears. And his mechanics are showing it.

I know some people are saying he looks tentative. I think more accurately it’s a guy who simply has not played that much. Right now he’s like a pitcher who is trying to ‘aim’ the ball. There is nothing natural in his motions, certainly not the way he looked in the preseason.

He’ll be in the prime time spotlight again this week, with a marquee Sunday night matchup vs. Cam Newton and the unbeaten Carolina Panthers, fresh off an impressive trip to the West Coast and victory over the Seahawks, who almost never lose at home.

But I think it’s a good spot for the Birds to catch the Panthers. Plus their defense should nullify the Panthers’ strength. That means they way they run the ball, including with Newton. I don’t think this team is going to scare anyone in the air, but they can pound it down your throat if you let them. That’s where Fletcher Cox and crew come in. I believe they stuff the run, then force Newton into a couple of key errors. They have been rampaging in terms of creating turnovers, and that will be key again Sunday night.

Eventually, I think Bradford will come around, and look more like the guy who was taken No. 1 in the draft.

Sunday night would be a good time.

The Pick: Make it Eagles 26, Panthers 23. The Eagles will bank on their defense being able to shut down the Panthers’ ground game. On the other side of the ball, Kelly would be wise to start feeding DeMarco Murray early and often. Kelly likes to set up the run with his short passing game. With Bradford struggling, it might be time to reverse that trend.

Last Week: Raise your hand if you thought the Birds were in serious trouble after that first drive of the game, when Eli Manning and the Giants marched down the field and scored at ease. A quick 3-and-out from Bradford and pals and Manning had the G-Men on the march again. That’s when DeMeco Ryans took things into his own hands - literally. His steal of an interception turned the game around. A pick-6 by Walter Thurmond off Manning turned the lights out on the Giants.

Season Record: I keep walking in lockstep with the Birds. They scratched their way back to 3-3, good enough for first place in the NFC Least. I’m right there with them, getting back to the .500 mark. Now we both need to hit positive territory.

Game by Game: Cowboys 20, Eagles 10 (My Pick: Eagles 31, Cowboys 26.)

Falcons 26, Eagles 24. (My Pick: Eagles 37, Falcons 26)

Eagles 24, Jets 17. (My Pick: Eagles 27, Jets 23)

Redskins 23, Eagles 20. (My Pick: Eagles 26, Redskins 13)

Eagles 39, Saints 17. (My Pick: Eagles 23, Saints 13)

Eagles 27, Giants 7. (My Pick: Eagles 27, Giants 16)

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Daily Numbers for Friday, Oct. 23

The Daily Numbers: 7-0 record for those Temple Owls after another huge win last night.

24-14 win for the Owls at a tough place to play, East Carolina.

14 points in the 4th quarter sparked the Owls to the win.

11, as in No. 11 Notre Dame, which comes to Philly next Saturday night for a date with the No. 22 Owls at a sold-out Lincoln Financial Field.

2011, last year year they had an audited financial statement in Colwyn Borough, according to a scathing report on the tiny borough’s finances.

120 page plan lays the blame for the borough’s woes at the feet of elected officials.

5 of November, when citizens can comment on the plan at a public hearing in the borough.

43,000 dollar theft that earned a landscaper weekends in jail.

3 children that police say a 26-year-old Radnor Township man tried to lure. The man’s family says he suffers from autism and was no threat to the children.

15 Delco school districts that are starting to feel the pinch in the wake of a 3-month budget standoff in Harrisburg.

3 local students who have won scholarships to local Catholic schools.

1 dead, 3 wounded on campus of Tennessee State.

40 dead in horrific bus-truck collision in France.

1st American soldier killed in the war on ISIS.

11 hours, how long Hillary Clinton was on the hot seat at yesterday’s Benghazi hearings.

4-year-old killed in road rage dispute in Arizona.

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

Hoot Owls! Anyone else think maybe Temple is the best football team in the city? At least until the Eagles play again on Sunday night.

I Don’t Get It: Still trying to figure out how a postage-stamp sized town like Colwyn can have that many issues. Hard to believe.

Today’s Upper: Are you kidding? Kudos to the Temple Owls. 7-0 for 1st time in school history and a historic match with Notre Dame coming up.

Quote Box: “The borough of Colwyn’s problems have been largely self-inflicted. due to poor behavior by its elected officials.”

- Recovery plan for borough issued recently.

The perils of publishing online

I have a love-hate relationship with the Internet.

I love the idea that it gives us the ability to deliver news immediately to readers, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


I'm still a bit startled every time a big story breaks that it was not all that long ago that news of that major story would not hit our readers until our print edition came out the next morning.

That has gone the way of the Edsel.

I live online now.

Of course, there are some dangers to that.

We work quickly - very quickly.

OK, sometimes too quickly.

Mistakes are made. And since I am often alone working here in the early-morning hours, those mistakes sometimes are published online. Here's a little insider baseball for you when it comes to the news you are consuming online every day. It often does not go through the same editing process that other news goes through.

That's part of the tradeoff with the immediacy we have with our readers these days.

Take my blog, the Heron's Nest, for instance. No one else actually sees it before I publish it. I am usually running around with my hair on fire in these early-morning hours - which by the way are prime time for online readership (people now want to know what happened overnight the second they get up in the morning).

I am a Tweeting, Facebook posting fool. And sometimes the mistakes that slide by make me look fairly foolish.

Every morning at 6 a.m. I Tweet and post on our Facebook page a brief weather forecast for the day.

Of course, I have to do it in 140 characters for Twitter, including the link to our weather page on DelcoTimes.com.

Seems simple enough.

But as often happens, I manage to hit that 'return' key to publish the item before actually 'proofing' it.

Yesterday that proved especially problematic.

I wanted to note that it was a 'crisp' morning with 'cooler' temperatures on tap.

Unfortunately, that's not what I typed. I managed to garble it into 'crips' temperatures, and 'cooleer' conditions.

I didn't notice it until I glanced at our Facebook page and noticed the comments that were being posted by readers. Yes, that's the other thing about the online world we now toil in. It's a two-way street. Yes, we deliver information, but readers now often talk back to us.

Yesterday they were having a field day with my botched forecast. Some wondered if I was somehow offering a gang forecast with my 'crips' reference.

Others took a more pragmatic approach, simply wondering if we ever proof the material we post every day. They often offer their services as a proof reader. Here's a tip. The days of the proof reader in the news business went out with hot type. Yes, we still edit and proof the print edition. We still make mistakes. The online world is a bit of a different animal. The truth is some mornings it's a bit like being a member of the Wallenda family. You know, the famous trapeze artists. And yes, it feels very much like working without a net.

There's an old saying: Speed kills. When it comes to working online, it also sometimes thrills. At least for readers who like to point out our foibles. And yes, there are many.

Luckily, my issues are not that serious. But it is a serious reminder that readers expect the information we publish online every day to be just as accurate as the material in the print edition.

That's the challenge.

Some days we're better than others.

Yesterday was not one of them.

It's a work in progress.

How 'bout those Temple Owls!

The Eagles play another very important game in prime time Sunday night when they visit the unbeaten Carolina Panthers.

It can wait.

Today belongs to the Temple Owls.

Last night Matt Rhule's kids became the first team in Temple history to go 7-0 by rallying behind a stout defense to hold off East Carolina, 24-14.

The win not only kept the No. 22-ranked Owls' record unblemished, it set up a huge national TV match with vaunted - and No. 11 - Notre Dame Saturday night at a sold-out Lincoln Financial Field.

Now the only thing missing is for the ESPN College Game Day crew to hit South Philly.

Congratulations to Rhule and the kids from Temple.

Today they are the toast of the town, and are about to experience a week not seen on the North Philly campus since the days of Wayne Hardin.

Hoot Owls!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, Oct. 22

The Daily Numbers: 18 to 36 months in the slammer for a man who admitted videotaping women in store dressing rooms.

84, as in Class of 1984 at Monsignor Bonner High School for County Councilman John McBlain. He was back at the school Wednesday as County Council held its weekly meeting there for the high school kids.

600 million dollar county budget explained for the kids.

74, age of bicyclist who police say was clipped by a school bus yesterday afternoon on Providence Road in Upper Providence. The school bus driver did not stop at the scene.

26 of October, day when Sharon Hill police will hit the streets with body cameras.

50th anniversary being celebrated by Garnet Valley School District.

25,000 dollar increase being sought for emergency services in Swarthmore Borough budget.

500 jobs being cut by Wells Fargo, including 5 in Chester.

10 million dollars per day spent by the Philadelphia School District, which says it is quickly running out of money in the continuing state budget impasse.

15 years on the Camden waterfront coming to end for Camden Riversharks baseball team, which announced yesterday it will cease operations.

5 suspects now facing a murder charge in death of student in frat hazing incident in upstate Pa.

73 next month, age of Vice President Joe Biden, who yesterday said he would not run for president.

5-4 overtime win for the Flyers over the Bruins last night.

4-0 sweep of the Cubs as the Mets advance to the World Series.

6 consecutive postseason games in which Mets outfielder Dan Murphy hit a home run, a new MLB record.

6-0 Temple Owls facing a big test on road at East Carolina tonight.

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

So much for the ‘Back to the Future’ prediction. The Cubs got swept by the Mets in the NLCS.

I Don’t Get It: Another fan wearing an opposing team’s jersey, and another fight breaks out. I’m stunned.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Sharon Hill police, who will be the first in the county to kick off an experimental program with officers wearing body cameras.

Quote Box: “Unfortunately, I believe we’re out of time.”

- VP Joe Biden, announcing he will not run for president.

A Giant lesson in fans' behavior

A couple of weeks ago I made my first foray into Lincoln Financial Field.

A lifetime ago, I was a longtime Eagles season ticket holder and proud denizen of the 700 level.

I still tell people I saw things up there that I still don't believe today.

Which brings me to the biggest difference I noticed between that dirty old bowl and the Taj Mahal Jeff Lurie built with a big chunk of public money.

We were way up in the I-95 end zone, but the sight lines were terrific. That's what happens when you build a football specific stadium, instead of a multi-purpose facility like Veterans Stadium. There were some spots up there in the 700 Level that I'm not sure were even in the same zip code as the playing surface. In other words, binoculars were often a must-have item up there.

Yes, the Vet had more 'character,' if that's what you want to call it. Sure it was a dump, but it was our dump.

The Linc has better video boards (although the sun made seeing the one in the opposite end zone less than ideal). And it's certainly not as loud.

The Linc has been described as being somewhat antiseptic, and I'm not sure I would disagree. Then again, that's not always a bad thing. But there was one overriding difference I noticed in that rarified air in the Linc.

Maybe it's me but the fans seemed a lot more civilized.

I noticed a lot of fans wearing Saints gear. They drew some catcalls and friendly banter, but nothing compared to the nightmare experiences that were routine to anyone who would dare to wear the opposing team's colors in the 700 Level of the Vet. This was problematic, since our section was right next to the seats that would routinely be sold to the opposing team.

Fistfights were routine.

The abuse heaped on those opposing fans bordered on the obscene.

That experience has always tempered my advice that people not wear their favorite team's colors to sports events in Philly. Should fans be able to exercise that right? Absolutely. Is it a good idea? Very often not.

Apparently that new spirit of cheering for your own team does not extend to 69th Street Terminal.

Video popped up this week of a New York Giants fan getting into a confrontation with Eagles fans after the Monday Night Football contest in which the Birds rolled over the G-men at the Linc.

SEPTA police are now looking to talk to both sides in this battle, which appears to show some trash talking resulting in the inevitable - punches being thrown. The Giants fan,sporting a red Eli Manning jersey, got the worst of it, getting coldcocked in the video.

Who would have thought you'd be safer in the Linc than at 69th Street Terminal?

Sounds of silence from Dems in County Council race

I'm still trying to figure out why Democrats decided to pull out of the League of Women Voters forum in the County Council race.

I think you can post this one in my 'I Don't Get It' category.

In the meantime, we used our editorial page to chide the Democrats for their decision.

They aren't the only ones, as proved by Republicans in both Chester and Haverford.

The real losers when this happens are the voters.

'Back to the Future?' Not for the Cubs

So much for those "Back to the Future" predictions, Cubs fans.

By now you probably have heard that yesterday - Oct. 21, 2015 - was the date made famous by Doc Brown and Marty McFly in the hip flick "Back to the Future." The duo - Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd - climbed into that souped up DeLorean and landed in the future, 2015 to be exact.

One of the things they discovered there was the Cubs in the World Series.

The real-life Cubbies stepped up to the plate, winning a Wild Card slot and then facing the New York Mets in the National League Championship Series.

But that's where the bubble burst.

The New Yorkers dominated the Cubs in the series, with Daniel Murphy - who had a career high 14 home runs this year - somehow managing to homer in six consecutive postseason games.

That's never been done before. Murphy eclipsed the mark of Carlos Beltran at six straight playoff games with a homer.

The Mets blew away the Cubs in the Windy City 8-3 last night in the Windy City to complete the sweep.

That wailing and gnashing of teeth you hear is Phillies fans who had adopted the downtrodden Cubs coming to grips that the New York Mets are going to the World Series.

'Back to the Future' be damned.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, Oct. 21

The Daily Numbers: 3 Dem candidates for County Council who backed out of a scheduled forum with 3 incumbent Republicans.

100,000 dollar study on the Delaware County riverfront, the 2nd part of which was detailed yesterday. It forecasts a bright future despite the loss of the iconic Sun Refinery in Marcus Hook.

70,000 barrels of ethane and propane currently being piped into the former refinery by Sunoco Logistics.

680,000 additional barrels a day seen under an expansion being called Marine East II.

50 full-time jobs and 50 contractor jobs that would be created by the plan.

1 person wounded in drive-by shooting in Chester.

10-20 years in prison for a 25-year-old Sharon Hill man who pleaded guilty to the rape of a young girl.

100,000 dollars in retirement benefits of her deceased mother, what the feds allege a 64-year-old Haverford woman wrongfully pocketed.

211,060 salary for Garnet Valley Schools Superintendent Marc Bertrando.

20 percent of the Villanova public safety department that will be converted into police officers.

770 hours of training they will undergo.

2 months after being closed by a roach infestation, the popular Main Line eatery Yangming will reopen.

96, age of Robert Weis, the head of the supermarket chain that carried his name. He died this week.

47-43 margin for Ben Carson over Hillary Clinton in Pa., according to new poll. Donald Trump also beats her in the Keystone State.

2 police officers, 1 firefighter, 1 resident injured in overnight fire in Philadelphia.

2-1 loss for the Flyers to Dallas last night.

34 saves for Stars’ netminder Antti Niemi.

30 saves in his return from a ‘familiy matter’ for Flyers goalie Steve Mason.

2 wins in 8 days for Eagles, which vaults them into 1st place in NFC East.

3 interceptions for Eagles QB Sam Bradford vs. Giants Monday night.

3-0 lead for the Mets over the Cubs in the NLCS.

5 straight postseason games in which Mets’ outfielder Daniel Murphy has homered.

3-1 lead for the Royals over the Blue Jays in the ALCS.

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

The Eagles are 3-3. And they are in 1st place. Who’d a thunk it?

I Don’t Get It: Delco Democrats skipping a debate. Have these guys won something recently?

Today’s Upper: Kudos to what appears to be a continuing bright future for the Delaware County riverfront, as outlined in a report from County Council yesterday.

Quote Box: “The League of Women Voters is extremely disappointed that we are forced to cancel Tuesday’s debate.”

- Statement put out by Delco group after Democrats pulled out of forum.

Dems the breaks, folks

Well I can't say I saw this one coming.

For years, Delaware County Democrats whined about the all-powerful Delaware County Republican Party's hand-picked candidates ducking them when it came to debates.

The county Dems have been on the outside looking in when it comes to state government since the 1970s, when the county changed its Home Rule Charter, dumping the minority party representation on Council in favor of five members elected at large.

No Democrat has been elected or sat on Council since then.

Democrats have made a lot of progress across the county since. They actually now outnumber Republicans when it comes to voter registration, although GOP leader Andy Reilly is fond of reminding me that Republicans still routinely get more people to the polls. That's one of the reasons the GOP has been able to keep its iron-clad on the Media Courthouse.

Dems have complained bitterly every time the county GOP took a pass on forums or debates what would put the candidates for office together on the same podium.

That's why I was somewhat stunned yesterday when we learned that the Democratic trio of candidates seeking the three seats up for grabs on County Council on the November ballot were backing out of a scheduled forum being put on by the League of Women Voters.

After the Dems indicated they were taking a powder on the forum, the League cancelled it.

You can get all the details here.

Remember this is the same group that saw their candidates knocked off the primary ballot because they failed to file their nominating petitions correctly.

The Dems complained bitterly back then that Republicans rigged the system against their candidates, although it apparently had not been a problem up to that point.

Successful write-in campaigns got all three Dems on fall ballot.

But they apparently don't want to appear on the same stage with their Republican foes.

My how times have changed.

Did I miss something? Has a Democrat been elected to County Council that I am not aware of?

Somewhere, someplace, I can hear our old friend Richie Ashburn muttering, "Hard to believe, Harry."

Another police story questioned

It is without question some of the most difficult material I deal with every day.

We call it police news.

Every day we report incidents and arrests from local police departments. As you might expect, it's some of the most widely read material we print and post online every day, sparking the most conversation and reaction.

It also routinely causes me the most aggravation.

That's because very often those involved in these incidents are not especially happy about seeing it splashed all over the pages of the newspaper, or on our website.

They often claim innocence, insisting the police got it wrong.

Sometime, not all that often, they are right.

When that happens, we try to rectify the situation by playing the story in which the suspects are cleared in the same manner we did for their arrest.

It happened again this week.

Two young men were charged with an incident.

The story, including their names and photos, appeared online and in print.

I received several emails defending the young men, saying the police got it wrong, and questioning how we reported the story.

It's simple, the material we get is based on the findings in the police reports. They give the information to us, including the charges that were filed.

Yes, I will admit it is one-sided, that being the side of the police. We often don't get the other side of the story, from the suspects. If those who are charged with a crime want to talk, we certainly will listen.

The story clearly indicated the young men simply were charged, it does not mean they were guilty. That is to be decided.

Actually, several people did not even think it would get that far. They insisted this was a case of mistaken identity, and that the charges would be dropped.

So I had our reporter check with the police. They told us they have no intention of altering the charges, at least at this point. Several people believe we should change the way we report stories, specifically that we should not report on them until the cases make their way through the court system.

They have a point, and it's one I've thought about for some time. Right now I'll stand with the way we report the news. It's not perfect. Sometimes mistakes are made. In those instances, it's up to me to make it right. I certainly will keep an eye on this case. If it indeed turns out that these young men were not involved, I will make sure they are given the same treatment as their arrests. Right now, that's not the case.

That is not going to make their friends happy, either with the system or the way we report the news.

I understand that.

It's part of the business.

The agony of a 3-3, 1st place team

The Eagles are in first place and all is right with the world.

Right?

Uh, not exactly. This is Philly, after all.

Raise your hand if you're still trying to get a handle on this team, even after they vanquished the New York Giants on Monday Night Football.

Yeah, me too.

At the heart of this perplexing team, not surprisingly, is the quarterback.

I wonder where the confident Sam Bradford who showed up for those four series in the preseason went?

Obviously, he didn't go anywhere. But preseason is preseason, and the regular season, as Bradford, Chip Kelly and anxious Birds' fans are learning, is another animal.

It's easy to forget that Bradford did not play for nearly two seasons after suffering successive tears in his ACL in his left knee. And he was limited to those precious few series in preseason.

He's playing like a guy who is still feeling his way back.

He looks tentative. He's not stepping into this throws. Few of them appear to have the zip Bradford showed off in camp and summer practices. He still looks like he's not on the same page with his recievers. They go long; he throws short. They go in; he throws out.

The good news is that even with a sputtering Bradford, the Eagles, courtesy of their stout defense, have now won two straight games and sit in first place at 3-3.

Things don't get any easier from here. Another prime time game vs. an undefeated Carolina Panthers team led by a red-hot Cam Newton, playing the best football of his career, looms Sunday night.

The Eagles desperately need Bradford and the offense to step up their game. If they can elevate their play to the level displayed by their defense, this team will be something to reckon with.

Right now, they're just the best team in the NFC Least.

Then again, that's not all that bad, as columnist Jack McCaffery explains.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Sam's Club? Not yet

The Eagles are in first place after a huge win over the Giants on Monday Night Football.

So why don't I feel better about it.

Is this another case of Mike Schmidt's epic Philly lament - "the thrill of victory and the agony of reading about it the next day?"

Actually I know why I'm so conflicted about what was another 'crucial' win for the Birds.

I can sum it up in two words:

Sam Bradford.

I've been one of Bradford's biggest backers. I'm the guy who thinks Chip Kelly knew exactly what he was doing when he shipped off Nick Foles and a second round draft pick to get Bradford, who was a former No. 1 pick in the draft.

After limited time in the preseason, Bradford got off to a shaky start as the Eagles struggled out of the gate.

He looked rusty, tentative and maybe a little gun shy, perfectly natural for a guy who had his left knee reconstructed two different times and hadn't played in almost two years.

Then came that second half against the Saints, when Bradford showed glimpses of his potential.

Unfortunately, he followed that up with a not-ready-for-prime-time performance Monday night against the Giants.

Make no mistake, while the Eagles were winning, 27-7, Bradford did not play well.

He was picked off three times. He seemed to be off his game, not on the same page as his receivers.

He started with what is quickly becoming this offense's trademark - the three and out.

Making it worse was that it came on the heels of a six-minute Giants draft in which Eli Manning looked like Joe Montana in picking apart the Birds' defense to take a 7-0 lead.

Bradford was ready to post another three-and-out when the game shifted on a roughing the passer penalty on Giants defensive lineman Damontre Moore, who for some unknown reason decided to body slam Bradford. Given new life, the Eagles QB connected on a TD pass to Riley Cooper to even the game. Eli Manning, who had looked lights out in that first series, then threw a Pick-6. The Eagles defense never looked back. They took over the game, harassing Manning into a miserable final three quarters.

It was a signature game for the Eagles defense, especially considering how they started the game.

The same cannot be said about Bradford.

The Eagles managed to get DeMarco Murray on track, but it's pretty obvious this team is going to go as far as Bradford carries them.

How far that is right now is anybody's guess.

Bradford took a step back last night. He looked tentative, almost as if he's aiming his throws, as they often say about a baseball pitcher. Right now his mechanics do not look natural. Everything he does looks forced. He needs to just let it go, the way that guy did in the preseason.

There was a lot to like about the Eagles' win last night. They are, after all, in first place courtesy of the win over the Giants.

But I don't think anyone is ecstatic over the win.

And that has to do with Sam Bradford.

DelcoProud! Audra McLaughlin on Monday Night Football

Delaware County residents had another reason to be revved up for the Eagles' Monday night matchup with the Giants.

Glenolden homegirl Audra McLaughlin proved she was ready for prime time.

The Delco talent who knocked them out on 'The Voice' got some national TV exposure on ESPN when she performed the National Anthem before the game.

Audra, who is the product of the Let There Be Rock School in Ridley and trains under owner Melissa Daley, wowed with a country-styled performance of the National Anthem.

McLaughlin also is celebrating the release of her new country single, "Tennessee Cowboy."

She looks like she's on her way.

Delco Proud!

Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick was on the money

First things first. I strived mightily to stay up for the Eagles game.

I failed. Yes, I dozed off early in the 4th quarter.

I didn't miss much. When I awoke the Eagles were still leading, 27-7.

And I can admit that a part of me wanted the Giants to score.

Why?

Because my traditional Saturday blog post, The Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick, had the Eagles winning 27-16. Hey, I'll take it.

It has been pointed out to me by a reader that I have picked the Eagles all six games so far this year, and there is a hint of homerism.

I think I can take care of that now.

Why is it that I don't feel all that good by the Eagles' win last night. It evened the Eagles' record at 3-3 and vaulted them over the Giants and into first place in the 'NFC Least.' (I'm really beginning to think there are no good teams in the NFC East.

Mostly it has to do with Sam Bradford. I'll deal with that in another post.

For now, the Eagles will go on the road for a second straight prime-time performance Sunday night against the undefeated Carolina Panthers.

And who would have thought a few weeks ago that Cam Newton would pose a much bigger challenge than Eli Manning?

Monday, October 19, 2015

Daily Numbers for Monday, Oct. 19

The Daily Numbers: 29, low temperature when I got in the car this morning.

26, temp once I got out on the road.

53, expected high later today.

36 at 7 a.m.

5, age of Logan Mast of Aston, who is celebrating a birthday by raising money for K-9s and their human partners. Good kid.

3 Democrats opposing 3 Republicans in race for 3 contested seats on Delaware County Council.

1 man killed when in an arson fire in Collingdale that police say was part of an arson-murder attempt. A woman was able to escape the blaze.

2 people wounded in what police are calling an ‘assassination attempt’ at an Upper Darby bar.

18,000 dollars over 2 years, how much Crozer-Keystone Health System is paying for naming rights to football stadium at Marple Newtown High School.

2 men gunned down as they sat in a car in Valley Township outside Coatesville, Chester County.

4 foot boa constrictor that got loose on a SEPTA bus in SW Philly over weekend.

2 year old who wandered away from parents and was scooped up by police in Love Park in Philly.

2 alarm fire that destroyed the clubhouse at Lulu County Club in Montgomery County early Sunday.

22, as in No. 22 ranked college football team in country for Temple Owls.

6-0 record for the Owls under Matt Rhule.

4-1 loss for the Union to New York Red Bulls to close out their MLS season.

7 seconds, how long it took for New York to deposit a goal in the Union net. That’s an MLS record for fastest goal.

2-0 lead for Mets after they beat the Cubs 4-1 Sunday night in the NLDS.

2-0 lead for the Royals over the Astros in the ALCS.

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

Gotta give huge thumb’s up to Matt Rhule and the Temple Owls for breaking into the Top 25 college football poll, at No. 22.

I Don’t Get It: A murder suicide attempt backfired, and police say the man who set the fire died in Collingdale.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Matt Logan, the 5-year-old Aston tyke is raising money for police and their K-0 compatriots. Good Kid!

Quote Box: “I wanted stuff not for myself but for the canines.”

- Matt Logan.

Hoot Owls!

There is at least one team in Philadelphia that is ready for prime time.

No, I'm not talking about the Eagles and their crucial must-win matchup tonight vs. the Giants at Lincoln Financial Field. How 'bout those Temple Owls!

The Owls broke into the Top 25 for the first time in decades after running their record to 6-0 this weekend with a 30-16 win over UCF. The new college polls came out Sunday and the Owls are ranked No. 22 in the AP poll. They sit at 24 in the coaches' poll.

They now must get by East Carolina on the road Thursday night to set up a huge matchup with Notre Dame at a sold-out Lincoln Financial Field the following weekend.

Congratulations to Temple coach Matt Rhule and the Owls.

No, I haven't forgotten the Eagles. In case you missed it, I like them to take down the Giants in Monday Night Football. It's the Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick.

And yes, I am aware of the fact that I have picked the Birds to win every week so far this season. I hope I'm not jinxing them.

Here's my take: Tonight is Sam Bradford's night. He's been slowly but surely putting his game together. Tonight is the night he shines on a national stage, outdueling Eli Manning.

Change is coming to another Delco icon

I used my print column today to note the changing landscape of Delco business.

First it was the Towne House.

Now another county icon is about to go some tumultuous change.

Crozer is being sold.

It's in my Letter From the Editor.

Remember where you put the ice scraper?

Here's a tip if you - like me - hate cold weather.

Pull the covers over your head and wait for the sun to come up.

It's cold out there.

Here's the question of the day: Do you remember where you left your ice scraper last April? If you're headed out early you're going to need it.

I refuse to put on a coat before Thanksgiving, so my teeth were chattering as I scraped the windshield this morning.

Once I safely cleared a slit for my eyes, I climbed into the car and noticed something I had not seen for months.

The thermometer told me it was 29 degrees outside. It got worse from there. Once out on the road, the temp actually dipped to 26.

Luckily, this isn't going to last long. Once the sun comes up today, we'll make it into the 50s, and we'll be in the mid-60s Tuesday.

If you love Indian Summer, you'll be in luck later this week. On Wednesday and Thursday the temperatures will be back in the 70s.

That's not going to make the jolt any easier to take this morning when you walk outside.

If I were you, I'd just roll over and wait for Monday Night Football.

Have I mentioned recently how much I dislike winter?

Yeay, I thought so.

Here's the full forecast.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick

That’s more like it.

Yes, Sam Bradford threw two interceptions in the first half. Both were in the red zone, costing the Eagles points. One was just a horrible throw.

But I like the way Bradford and the Eagles rallied.

Including his pre-game talk, I think maybe Bradford took over this team last weekend.

Bradford was on the money in the second half, having his best day as an Eagle and lead the Birds to a huge 39-17 win over the Saints. It was popular all week to denigrate the Saints. Probably less so after they knocked the Falcons from the ranks of the unbeatens Thursday night.

Now comes a Monday night prime time match vs. NFC East rival New York Giants.

This one is simple. It’s all about the quarterbacks. Bradford needs to play four quarters the way he did in the second half last week. The Birds’ defense needs to step up and put the heat on Giants QB Eli Manning, who is quietly having a very good year. But Manning is a different guy when he has time to sit back and pick out his receiver, as opposed to when he’s being hit. That’s when he turns into a turnover machine. That is Billy Davis’ mission this week, get constant pressure on Manning.

This is a battle for first place in the NFC Least, with the Giants sitting alone at 3-2, while the Birds are trying to recover from a rough start, sitting at 2-3.

I have been a Bradford backer since Chip Kelly made the move to swap Nick Foles (4 INTs last week) and a 2nd round draft pick to get him.

This is the week Bradford shines on a national stage.

I say he’s ready for prime time.

The Pick: Make it Eagles 27, Giants 16. Manning’s receivers are banged up, and I think the Eagles will pressure him into a couple of key turnovers. The Giants also will be without starting corner Prince Amukamara, nursing a chest bruise. The Eagles receivers, who have yet to show they can get open consistently - and hold on to the ball when Bradford puts it on their hands - need to stop up.

Last Week: Best showing on both sides of the ball for the Eagles. Bradford looks more comfortable with every outing, and is quietly assuming command of this team. The Eagles defense made it a very long afternoon for Drew Brees. Now they need to do the same to Eli Manning.

Season Record: Yes, 2-3 sounds a lot better than 1-4. The Eagles won to scratch their way to just one game out of first, with the Giants standing in their way. I liked them last week, and I like them to win Monday night as well. I’m also sitting at 2-3.

Game by Game: Cowboys 20, Eagles 10 (My Pick: Eagles 31, Cowboys 26.)

Falcons 26, Eagles 24. (My Pick: Eagles 37, Falcons 26)

Eagles 24, Jets 17. (My Pick: Eagles 27, Jets 23)

Redskins 23, Eagles 20. (My Pick: Eagles 26, Redskins 13)

Eagles 39, Saints 17. (My Pick: Eagles 23, Saints 13)

Friday, October 16, 2015

The Daily Numbers for Friday, Oct. 16

The Daily Numbers: 350,000 barrels a day of natural gas that will be making its way to Marcus Hook under new plans by Sunoco Logistics.

3 billion dollars in investments being made at the old Sunoco refinery in the Hook.

7 billion dollars in other investments seen coming to the region as part of the ‘Energy Boom.’

185,000 barrels of jet fuel a day cranked out by the Monroe Energy refinery in Trainer.

2 teens charged in the brutal attack on a 51-year-old man in Newtown Square.

153 bags of heroin found in the home of a man wanted on charges of drug dealing in Upper Darby.

42, age of ‘Big John’ Gordon, convicted in fatal shooting outside an Upper Darby nightspot.

25 years, how long it’s been since a party has declined an offer from the Haverford League of Women Voters to appear at a forum. The Republicans are declining this year.

37 years of service coming to an end as the McDonald’s in Newtown Square will close its doors.

2 million dollars raised by U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey in his re-election bid.

46-36 lead for Toomey over Democrat Katie McGinty.

29-22 lead for Sestak over McGinty in the race for the Dem nomination. Braddock Mayor John Fetterman gets 14 percent.

2 Bucks County men who entered pleas in the attack on a gay couple on Philly street. They are being banned from downtown Philly.

3rd suspect, a woman, rejected the deal and will go to trial.

5,500 U.S. troops who will remain in Afghanistan

3-2 win for the Mets over the Dodgers to win their NLDS. They now advance to the NLCS to face the Cubs.

31-21 win for the Saints to knock the Falcons from the ranks of the unbeaten last night.

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

Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins are joining Cole Hamels watching the post-season. But Ben Rivera and Ryan Madson are still alive with the Blue Jays and Royals.

I Don’t Get It: Two teens are charged with brutally beating a man during an attempted robbery in Newtown Square. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Boom Town might not be the best way to describe Marcus Hook, what with it being surrounded by oil refineries. But that certainly sounds like what is going on in the Hook. That’s good news.

Quote Box: “The goal is to keep these natural gas liquids from being shipped to the Gulf Coast and keep the opportunities, jobs and spending here in Pennsylvania.”

- Joe MCGinn Jr., manager of public affairs for Sunoco Logistics.

Crozer not going anywhere in Marple Newtown

With the sale of Crozer-Keystone Health System to for-profit Prospect Medical Holdings Inc., one of the things people are wondering about is whether or not another of the iconic names in Delco will disappear.

Crozer is part of the lexicon here in Delaware County.

Well, at least in one town, it appears there will be a reminder of the Crozer legacy, at least for a few more years.

That's because Crozer-Keystone Health System recently entered into a naming rights agreement with the Marple Newtown School District to have the corporate name adorn the high school football stadium.

Crozer is paying the district $18,000 for the two-year deal.

I am assuming that deal will remain in place.

Crozer's name now adorns signs on the stadium.

We'll bring you all the details tomorrow.

Poll: Sestak leads McGinty, but trails Toomey

There's some good news and bad news for U.S. Senate hopeful Joe Sestak.

The former 7th District Congressman and retired admiral so far is managing to fend off a challenge from "insider" Katie McGinty in their battle for the Democratic nomination and a shot at a rematch with U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey.

The latest Public Policy Polling survey shows Sestak with a 7-point lead, with 29 percent backing him, to 22 percent for the former chief of staff to Gov. Tom Wolf, and 14 percent for Braddock Mayor John Fetterman.

The bad news?

Another poll by the same group shows Sestak continues to trail Toomey.

The latest PPP poll shows Toomey getting backing from 41 percent of those polled, to 38 percent for Sestak and 21 percent not sure.

The 'Chase' for another World Series is over

It had all the makings of a moment of high sports drama.

Turns out it was just a routine fly ball.

Chase Utley, public enemy No. 1 in New York after his hard takeout slide broke the leg of Mets' shortstop Ruben Tejada in the NLDS, walked to the plate to lead off the top of the 9th inning with the Dodgers trailing the Mets.

It was the first time Utley had seen action since the controversial play. He did not appear in the games in New York.

Utley made that classic short, compact swing on the first pitch.

Go ahead, admit you thought it was going to be a game-tying home run.

Instead it proved to be a fairly routine fly ball to right field.

There would be no magic. Earlier in the game, another former Phillie, Jimmy Rollins, had hit a bullet that was snared by the first baseman.

It wasn't meant to be.

They will join another former Phil, Rangers' pitcher Cole Hamels, watching the World Series. Hamels certainly deserved better than the fate that befell him as three errors by the Rangers doomed them in their deciding Game 5 vs. the Blue Jays.

Hey, at least Ben Rivera and Ryan Madson are still alive. The former Phils' centerfielder is a crucial cog in the Toronto attack.

Madson is enjoying a remarkable comeback season with the Kansas City Royals. They will now face off in the ALCS.

At least one former Phil will be in the World Series.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Daily Numbers for Thursday, Oct. 15

The Daily Numbers: 2 Delco state reps - 1 Republican and 1 Democrat - who are uniting behind a piece of gun legislation today. 1 Delco legislator, Rep. Steve Barrar, who stands opposed to the measure.

1010, as in House Bill 1010, which will close a loophole when it comes to background checks on those looking to buy short-barreled or long guns.

2 suspects being sought in a series of car break-ins in Upper Chi.

31, age of motorcyclist killed on Route 452 in Upper Chi. 2nd rally to support Delco law enforcement set for Saturday on Baltimore Pike in Springfield.

3 to 6 years in state prison for a Springfield man who worked as a prison guard in Chesco after he pleaded guilty to smuggling drugs into the jail.

106 million dollar profit in 3rd quarter for the Monroe Refinery being run by Delta Airlines in Trainer.

19 million, what the refinery’s profit was last year.

1 billion dollar reduction in fuel expense for

47 years in law enforcement for Philly police Commissioner Charles Ramsey. He will retire at the end of the year.

7 candidates for 3 seats on Pa. Supreme Court who took part in debate last night.

2 straight shutouts for Flyers backup goalie Michal Neuvirth in his 1st 2 starts.

9th career shutout for Neuvirth.

30 shots stopped by Neuvirth last night.

3-0 win for Flyers over defending Stanley Cup champs the Blackhawks.

53 minutes, how long it took the Blue Jays and Rangers to play that wild 7th inning last night.

18 minute delay as Blue Jays fans pelted field with debris after call on weird throw back to the pitcher that went off a Ranger’s bat went against them.

3 straight errors that doomed the Rangers.

7-2 win for the Royals over the Astros. They will face Toronto in the ALCS.

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

Aas usual, Cole Hamels deserved better in that wild ALDS loss that saw the Rangers eliminated by the Blue Jays.

I Don’t Get It: What do you think the reaction of the national media would be if that was in Philly and the game was delayed 18 minutes while fans tossed debris on the field? Thought so.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Rep. Jamie Santora, R-163, and Rep. Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-161, who are coming together to back sensible gun legislation today.

Quote Box: “I truly believe it’s the first bill that doesn’t take Second Amendment rights away.” - Santora, on House Bill 1010.

Delco's Odd Couple in the war on gun violence

Call them the Odd Couple.

It's not every day you see a Delaware County Republican standing beside a Democrat, whether it be in Media or Harrisburg.

Actually, today's pairing will take place in Norristown, where two new Delco state legislators, Rep. Jamie Santora, R-163, and Leanne Krueger-Braneky, D-161, will join a group backing legislation that would close a loophole that allows some people buying rifles to avoid a background check.

Actually, almost every member of the Delaware County delegation is backing the House Bill 1010, which would require background checks for people purchasing short-barreled and long guns from dealers or privately through individuals, including at gun shows.

Santora is likely to take some heat for this stand from gun rights groups, but he made it clear when he was running to succeed Nick Micozzie that he was in favor of sensible gun legislation.

This certainly falls into that category.

"I truly believe it's the first bill that doesn't take Second Amendment rights away," Santora said.

Both Santora and Krueger-Braneky have signed on as co-sponsors on the legislation introduced by Rep. Steve Santarsiero, D-31, of Bucks County.

And both will be standing side by side at today's press conference in Norristown.

We'll bring you all the details.

Last chance for Chester Upland

We used our editorial page today to talk about the financial recovery plan for Chester Upland School District approved by Delaware County Judge Chad Kenney.

The plan reduces the amount the district will reimburse local charter schools for special education students, wipes out the previous debt owed to the charters, and calls for another huge infusion of new state revenue to make up for chronic underfunding of the troubled district.

It's a good plan.

But now comes the hard part. The district needs to make this work.

It might be their last chance.

You can read the editorial here.

Don't ignore this 'Supremely' important Pa. race

Here's a Pennsylvania political pop quiz:

How many seats on the state Supreme Court are up for grabs on the November ballot?

How many candidates are seeking them?

Can you name one of them?

I'm guessing way too many Pennsylvanians would take an 0-fer on the test.

That's a shame, because this is one of the most important races to be decided by Pennsylvania voters in just a few weeks.

For starters, it is this panel that rules on the redistricting process that has become so politicized when it comes to the way Congressional districts are carved up in the state. Don't believe it? Check out the boundaries of the new and not necessarily improved 7th District here in Delaware County.

Or at least it used to be here in Delco. Now the turf represented by Republican Pat Meehan stretches to King of Prussia and almost out to Pottstown.

Another reason this race is so important is to restore some decency to a court that has been battered over the last year. One of the vacancies was created when Justice Joan Orie Melvin was forced to step down after she was convicted of using some of her employees to do political work.

Then there is Justice Seamus McCaffery. He stepped down when he became one of the first victims in the porn email scandal that is currently turning the state's justice system into a conflagration. Now Justice Michael Eakin is apologizing for his role in receiving and sharing the inappropriate emails.

The third seat on the bench was created when Chief Justice Ron Castille turned 70, the mandatory retirement age for justices. All seven candidates took part in a debate last night in Harrisburg. You can read the story here.

As a public service, the Heron's Nest will list the bio information on all seven candidates.

Do yourself - and your state - a favor. Learn about these seven people. And make sure you cast a ballot for the three you think would best serve on the state's high court.

A quick look at the seven candidates competing in the Nov. 3 election for three open seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court:

DEMOCRATS

NAME: CHRISTINE DONOHUE

AGE: 62

EDUCATION: B.A., East Stroudsburg University (1974); J.D., Duquesne University School of Law (1980).

EXPERIENCE: Private law practice (1980-2007); state Superior Court judge (2008-present).

FAMILY: Single.

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: http://donohueforjustice.com/

___ NAME: KEVIN DOUGHERTY

AGE: 55

EDUCATION: B.A., Temple University (1984), J.D., Antioch School of Law (1988).

EXPERIENCE: Philadelphia district attorney's office (1990-1995); private practice (1995-2001); Philadelphia Common Pleas judge (2001-present).

FAMILY: Married, two children.

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: http://www.doughertyforpa.com/

___ NAME: DAVID WECHT

AGE: 53

EDUCATION: B.A., Yale University (1984); J.D., Yale Law School (1987).

EXPERIENCE: Private law practice (1989-2003); Allegheny County register of wills and clerk of orphans' court (1998-2003); Allegheny County Common Pleas judge (2003-2012), state Superior Court judge (2012-present).

FAMILY: Married, four children.

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: http://www.wecht2015.com/

___ REPUBLICANS

NAME: ANNE COVEY

AGE: 55

EDUCATION: B.A., University of Delaware (1981); J.D., Widener University School of Law (1984).

EXPERIENCE: Private law practice (1987-2011); member, Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board, (2002-2011); state Commonwealth Court judge (2012-present).

FAMILY: Married, two children.

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: http://www.coveyforjustice.com/

___ NAME: JUDY OLSON

AGE: 57

EDUCATION: B.A., St. Francis College (1979); J.D., Duquesne University Law School (1982).

EXPERIENCE: Private law practice (1984-2008); Allegheny County judge (2008-2009); state Superior Court judge (2010-present).

FAMILY: Married, two children.

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: http://electjudgejudy.com/

___ NAME: MIKE GEORGE

AGE: 56

EDUCATION: B.A., Washington and Jefferson College (1981), J.D., Dickinson School of Law (1985).

EXPERIENCE: Private law practice (1985-1996); Adams County district attorney (1996-2001); Adams County Common Pleas judge (2002 to present).

FAMILY: Married, two children.

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: http://judgemikegeorge.com/

___ INDEPENDENT

NAME: PAUL PANEPINTO

AGE: 66

EDUCATION: B.A., Villanova University (1971); J.D., Widener University Law School (1976); M.A. Villanova (1979).

EXPERIENCE: Philadelphia Common Pleas judge, 1990-present. A former Republican, he dropped out of the GOP in March to register as an independent.

FAMILY: Married, two children.

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: http://www.judgepanepinto.com/