Archive: November, 2008
Inquirer staff writer Maya Rao reports:
Authorities are investigating a fire that broke out shortly before noon today at the Palmyra Arms apartment complex.
The fire was contained in a third-floor apartment at the back of the Broad Street complex, according to Palmyra Fire Chief Alan Zimmerman. Fire officials were dispatched at 11:58 and put out the fire in about 20 minutes, he said.
Inquirer staff writer Allison Steele reports:
Crime in Camden has dropped significantly since the first half of this year, Attorney General Anne Milgram announced today, and state, federal and local law enforcement agencies have arrested more than 300 people in the past six months in an effort to attack what Milgram called an escalating drug war.
At a news conference at the Camden County prosecutor’s office in Camden, Milgram said authorities have seized 40 firearms, $88,564 in cash and $183,302 worth of drugs since May, when they began targeting the city’s rising crime rate.
Inquirer staff writer Troy Graham reports:
A Philadephia Police sergeant testified this morning that Fort Dix defendant Serdar Tatar approached him in November 2006 to tell him that a man he knew from his mosque had been pressuring him for a map of the base.
Tatar's family owned a pizzeria near Fort Dix and kept a map in the restaurant for deliveries.
Inquirer staff writer Brittany Talarico reports from Philadelphia International Airport at 10 a.m.
The Murphy family from Jacksonville, Fla. collected their luggage at Terminal B and headed to visit family in West Chester. There first stop along the way was to catch a glimpse of the Rocky statue on the Art Museum grounds.
Jeanne Murphy, 49, traveling with her husband, Danny, 48, and three children, said, this was their first trip to Philadelphia.
“We bought our tickets before gas prices went down, trying to plan ahead. We were told the flight was sold out but I noticed a couple of empty seats.”
The family, who will be in Philadelphia through Monday, encountered no delays on their U.S. Airways flight in Florida or Philadelphia.
Sean Closkey, 41, of Delran, was headed to Memphis with his daughter, Helen, 7. Normally the family wouldn’t travel the distance on Thanksgiving but they needed to visit a terminally ill cousin, also 7, at Saint Jude’s Hospital.
“Unfortunately it’s not really a celebration but we are going to cheer up our cousin, Katie,” he said.
Passenger traffic at the airport on Thanksgiving Eve is down slightly from last year.
"We're down about 5 percent -- which is not a big drop considering the economy," said airport spokeswoman Phyllis VanIstendal.
The Wednesday before Thanksgiving is traditionally the second busiest day at the airport. More than 97,000 passengers will pass through the terminals today. On an average Wednesday, about 88,000 fly through PHL.
The biggest crowds are expected Sunday, the heaviest travel day of the year, when nearly 110,000 people will touchdown or take off from airport.
No cancellations or delays have been reported today.
"Weather, which is pretty clear across the country, has been good to us," VanIstendal said.
Lavinia Franklin, 21, of Roxborough, was flying to Orlando for a basketball in DisneyWorld.
“There will be no turkey or Thanksgiving dinner,” said Franklin, who also noted she encountered no problems with ticketing or luggage at the airport.
Read more breaking news in our From The Source blog.
Inquirer staff writer Brittany Talarico reports from 30th Street Station at 8:30 a.m.
Though it’s still early in the day, employees at 30th Street Station are noticing fewer travelers.
At 8 a.m., Jose Cordeiro, the president and CEO of Phoenix Shoe Shine, was worked on a pair of boots worn by a Haverford College student on her way Boston.
Inquirer staff writer Troy Graham reports:
The Fort Dix trial will continue this morning with an Arabic linguist on the stand, narrating two beheading videos seized from a defendant’s computer. The first video, which prosecutors starting playing yesterday before court recessed, shows an Iraqi National Guard member being questioned by an off-screen interrogator. The judge has ordered that the actual beheading not be shown to jurors. Several of these videos have been played previously.
Prosecutors plan to call several more law enforcement witnesses today before court recesses early for the Thanksgiving holiday. On Monday, the second of two paid FBI informants, Besnik Bekalli, is scheduled to take the stand. The first informant, Mahmoud Omar, spent 13 days testifying, wrapping up last week.
The Associated Press reports:
In New Jersey, fewer Garden State residents are planning to travel for their annual Thanksgiving feast.
Only 11 percent of the state’s population of nearly 992,000 people will travel more than 50 miles from home, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic. That’s down about one percent from last year, marking the first time since 2002 the auto club has predicted fewer Thanksgiving travelers in the state.
Inquirer staff writer Brittany Talarico reports from 30th Street Station at 7:35 a.m.:
Trains at the region’s busiest station are all running on time with no delays reported, Amtrak officials said.
The holiday rush got off to a late start yesterday and the number of travelers headed home for the holiday are down slightly compared with last.year.