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Archive: April, 2012

POSTED: Thursday, April 12, 2012, 8:30 PM

Working smoke alarms could have prevented 84 percent of last year’s fire fatalities officials have said.

Today City Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. introduced a bill amending the Philadelphia Fire Code to allow one and two family dwellings to use battery powered smoke alarms only if they are equipped with 10-year non-removable (sealed) batteries.

Jones said he isn’t pushing for residents to use any particular vendor, but that they use batteries with a longer lifespan. Although fire fatalities are down 27 of 32 fire deaths last year could have been prevented with a working smoke detector.

POSTED: Thursday, April 12, 2012, 5:56 PM

In the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, Florida’s police department said their hands were tied by the state’s “stand your ground” self defense law and critics have vowed to push lawmakers to roll back those laws.

It was after public pressure and outrage that the shooter --neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman was finally arrested. (See earlier PhillyClout blog post.)

City Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. introduced a resolution today calling for the Pennsylvania General assembly to repeal its expansion of the “Castle Doctrine” law which went into effect last year and is similar to Florida’s “stand your ground” legislation. Council members Bill Greenlee and Marian Tasco co-sponsored the resolution.

POSTED: Thursday, April 12, 2012, 2:30 PM

City Council’s chambers were packed today with students, clergy and volunteers who argued, pleaded and even sang in an attempt to convince their representatives that taking outdoor meals away from the homeless is a bad idea.

“We agree that all people deserve great dignity, but we don’t believe this ordinance seeks that dignity,” said Rachel Hosan, a parishioner of Fairmount’s Liberti Church. “We believe this regulation will take resources away from Philadelphia’s homeless and mentally ill—vulnerable people who need as much help as they can receive.”

Hosan was one of 24 guests that came to speak in support of Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell’s resolution to hold hearings over Mayor Nutter’s ban on feeding the homeless outdoors. Despite the turnout, Blackwell decided to hold her resolution until next week.


POSTED: Thursday, April 12, 2012, 1:34 PM

Thousands across the country have rallied for justice in the death of 17-year old Trayvon Martin who was gunned down by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman in late February, in Sanford Fla.

“Today, we know that our justice system is working,” said City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, a day after special prosecutor Angela Corey announced in Jacksonville, Fla. that Zimmerman would be charged with second degree murder –which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison. (Check out today’s Daily News story here.)

Reynolds Brown sponsored a resolution calling for justice in Martin’s death and standing in solidarity and support of his family. The case has sparked public outrage.

POSTED: Thursday, April 12, 2012, 11:40 AM

The mother of firefighter Francis Cheney recalls his heartbreaking words after Monday's fatal fire.

A school pyschologist who had been stiffed by a troubled Philly-based charter school got paid this week, after the Daily News wrote about her.

A South Jersey doctor took his own life after slaying a colleague yesterday over some long-simmering beef.

POSTED: Wednesday, April 11, 2012, 10:56 AM

Former state Rep. Sam Rohrer of Berks County has the backing of Tea Party groups.  Malvern investor Steve Welch is supported by Gov. Corbett and the state Republican Party.  But Tom Smith, a former coal company owner from Armstrong County, has plenty of cash and is throwing it around with two weeks to go before the April 24 primary election for the U.S. Senate nomination.

Smith, who put $4.2 million into his campaign in December, has been using that cash advantage to introduce himself to voters via television commercials.  Now he's trying to introduce voters to Rohrer and Welch as well, with a new commercial asking "Who is the real conservative."  Smith hits his opponents where it hurts: Noting that "career politician" Rohrer voted for a controversial 2005 pay raise for legislators and that "liberal" Welch, while registered as a Democrat, voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 primary election for president.

Smith may have some trouble selling his commercial's claim that he is a "life-long conservative," since Welch has been hitting back, noting that Smith was a registered Democrat for four decades.  Welch, who put $1 million of his own money into the race late last year, put out a new web video today mocking Smith for appearing confused during a debate last week about his role in Democratic politics.


POSTED: Wednesday, April 11, 2012, 10:23 AM

From the governor's press office:

Governor Corbett Issues Flag Order to Honor Fallen Philadelphia Firefighters

Harrisburg – Governor Tom Corbett today ordered all Pennsylvania flags in the Capitol Complex and at commonwealth facilities in Philadelphia County to fly at half-staff today through Saturday, April 14, to honor two fallen Philadelphia firefighters.

POSTED: Wednesday, April 11, 2012, 10:20 AM

Check out the release:

PA VOTER ID COALITION KICKS OFF VOTER ID HOTLINE

Voters urged to call 1‐866‐OUR VOTE (1‐866‐687‐8683) to learn about PA’s new Voter ID law

About this blog
Chris Brennan, a native Philadelphian and graduate of Temple University, joined the Daily News in 1999. He has written about SEPTA, the Philadelphia School District, the legalization of casino gambling, state government, the mayor, the governor, City Council and political campaigns. E-mail tips to brennac@phillynews.com
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Jenny DeHuff is a 2005 graduate of the University of Rhode Island, where she cut her teeth in journalism. A South Philly transplant from New England, she joined the Daily News City Hall Bureau in 2013. For the past several years, she has worked as an investigative reporter exposing corruption in suburban politics, covering sometimes ghastly criminal court cases and following the people’s money and how its spent. In addition to being a dogged news hound, she enjoys reading and writing about travel, animals, Irish whiskey and aviation. E-mail tips to dehuffj@phillynews.com
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Sean Collins Walsh is from Bucks County and went to Northwestern University. He joined the Daily News copy desk in 2012 and now covers the Nutter administration. Before that, he interned at papers including The New York Times, The Dallas Morning News and The Seattle Times. E-mail tips to walshSE@phillynews.com
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