While pot arrests are up in the suburbs, police have been overstating the trend in figures filed with the FBI. Top commanders acknowledge their departments have been counting all seizures of marijuana as arrests, even when people were sent on their way uncharged or only handed citations.
While Philadelphia has largely decriminalized marijuana possession, police in South Jersey and in the city's Pennsylvania suburbs are charging more people than ever with the crime. For some, critics say, that means they run a kind of gantlet from suburban town to suburban town.
With $7.6 million in new state funds, the School District of Philadelphia this week picked four contractors to clean up toxic lead paint in 40 schools after an Inquirer and Daily News investigation, "Toxic City: Sick Schools," exposed widespread problems.
Philadelphia district schools are filled with acres of damaged asbestos in ceilings, floor tiles and insulation. The Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News investigated whether the district is doing enough to protect students from exposure to the cancerous fibers.
Many Philadelphia classrooms and gyms are incubators for illness, with toxic water fountains and lead paint falling from the ceiling. School staffers helped our reporters conduct scientific testing for these hazards. The results are disturbing.
Dylan Purcell is a reporter on the investigative team, specializing in data analysis. Since joining the Inquirer in 1998, Dylan has worked on numerous investigative projects, including coverage of courts, crime and education. He is a Temple University graduate and avid local sports fan.