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Inquirer Daily News

Archive: January, 2012

POSTED: Tuesday, January 24, 2012, 12:08 PM

Gov. Tom Corbett is scheduled to visit the Langhorne-Middletown Fire Company on Thursday for the ceremonial signing of a bill that designates cancer as an occupational disease for firefighters.

The bill, which was signed into law last summer, was introduced by Bucks Rep. Frank Farry, who is chief of the fire company.

“Pennsylvania’s volunteer and career firefighters sacrifice a great deal to protect our lives and property,” Farry said in a statement. “Firefighters who develop cancer as a result of their service deserve support and proper protection. This new law guarantees they will receive it.”

Bill Reed @ 12:08 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Monday, January 23, 2012, 10:59 AM
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Rutgers–Camden history professor Andrew Shankman will talk about Alexander Hamilton on Feb. 13.

Alexander Hamilton and the life of a Bucks County slave will be two of the subjects of the winter-spring lecture series at the David Library of the American Revolution in Washington Crossing.

“The Hamiltonian Moment and the Specter of Democracy,” a talk by Rutgers–Camden history professor Andrew Shankman, will kick off the series of five free lectures at 3 p.m. Feb. 12. Shankman will discuss Hamilton’s role in the shaping of American government in the 1790s and his ultimate defeat by the “terrifying specter of democracy.”

The other lectures are:

Bill Reed @ 10:59 AM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Thursday, January 19, 2012, 2:45 PM

Two boys basketball coaches who honored the picket lines of striking Neshaminy teachers have been suspended and replaced, district officials said Thursday.

The officials declined to name the high school coaches, but sources said they are Russ Selger, an assistant coach for the boys’ varsity basketball team, and Bryan McGinty, coach of the ninth-grade team.

The coaches are not district teachers, but sources said they are married to members of the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers, which has been on strike since Jan. 9. The union’s 654 members were scheduled to return to work Friday, to meet a state requirement to provide 180 school days.          

Bill Reed @ 2:45 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Thursday, January 19, 2012, 2:40 PM
Bill Reed @ 2:40 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Monday, January 16, 2012, 2:08 PM

Neshaminy teachers will continue their strike this week but will return to classrooms Friday, union President Louise Boyd said at a “We are not alone” rally Monday at Core Creek Park.

About 400 members and supporters of the Neshaminy Federation of Teachers heard speeches of encouragement by their leaders past and present and representatives of other unions, including the American Federation of Teachers, the Pennsylvania State Education Association, AFCSME and the Teamsters.

Martin Luther King would be proud of us,” said Chuck White of Teamsters Local 830. “He gave his life fighting for sanitation workers in Memphis 44 years ago.”

Bill Reed @ 2:08 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Friday, January 13, 2012, 1:28 PM
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The winning Christmas tree, decorated with the theme, “Trim the Pine and Drink Some Wine.” (Visit Bucks County)

The results are in for the most popular Christmas tree at the 6th Annual Bucks County Holiday Treefest, and the winner is:  “Trim the Pine and Drink Some Wine,” sponsored and decorated by 263 Marketplace.

The festival at the county Visitors Center on Street Road in Bensalem featured 25 themed trees during the holiday season, with the nearly 5,000 people who attended able to vote for their favorite. The winning tree was decked out in big, red bows; white flowers; flowing ribbons; and wine bottles.

Each of the trees were sponsored by a member of the county’s visitors agency or on behalf of a charity or non-profit organization. The winner, 263 Marketplace, is an indoor shopping village in Warminster, that has more than 70 booths offering antiques, jewelry, cookware, local wine and  collectibles. It is open Friday through Sunday.

Bill Reed @ 1:28 PM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Friday, January 13, 2012, 11:20 AM
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Louise Boyd, president of the Neshaminy teachers union, reads a statement Thursday night outside Maple Point Middle School, urging the school board to resume negotiations. (Bill Reed/Staff)

The 654-member Neshaminy Federation of Teachers offered Friday to end their five-day strike to enter around-the clock negotiations with the school board for one week, followed by "final and binding arbitration.

"We have been advised that the School Board is willing to engage in around the clock negotiations if the Federation is willing to immediately end its strike," the union said in a letter to school board President Ritchie Webb. "The Federation welcomes this Board offer to bargain twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week until agreement is reached, if the strike is suspended.

"We would readily agree to do so if the Board also agrees that if no agreement is reached within seven days of around the clock bargaining, all remaining disputes would be submitted to final and binding arbitration before an arbitrator selected from a list of seven names provided by the American Arbitration Association," the union said.

Bill Reed @ 11:20 AM  Permalink | 0
POSTED: Thursday, January 12, 2012, 12:12 PM
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Striking teachers picket outside Oliver Heckman Elementary School in Langhorne on Tuesday. (Bill Reed/Staff)

The 654-member Neshaminy Federation of Teachers plan to stay out on strike until Jan. 20, or until the school district resumes “meaningful” negotiations, a union spokesman said Thursday morning.

“We will exercise our right to strike until the state Department of Education tells us to go back, or until the district engages us in solid, meaningful negotiations,” Bob Schiers said.  

The Education Department notified both sides Wednesday that teachers must return to work Jan. 20 to conform with Act 88, which guarantees 180 days of classes for the district’s 7,000 students.        

Bill Reed @ 12:12 PM  Permalink | 0
About this blog
Chris Palmer covers Bucks County for the Philadelphia Inquirer. His previous work has appeared in the New York Times and on several Times blogs, including City Room, the Local East Village and SchoolBook (which has since been taken over by WNYC). Contact him at, 610 313 8212 or on Twitter, @cs_palmer.

Ben Finley covers Bucks County for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He previously worked for The Associated Press, and the Bucks County Courier Times, where he won more than a dozen journalism awards from organizations including the Education Writers Association, the Society for Features Journalism and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio and graduated with honors from The Ohio State University with a degree in journalism. Contact him at, 610-313-8118 or on Twitter, @Ben_Finley.

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