Archive: November, 2008
Associated Press reporter Martha Raffaele reports:
Many Pennsylvania voters say the declining economy has put a squeeze on their pocketbooks, but a majority expect the situation to improve by the time President-elect Barack Obama finishes four years in the White House, according to a poll released today.
About half of all voters surveyed said they were worse off financially now than a year ago, the poll by Connecticut-based Quinnipiac University found. Twenty-three percent said they were better off, and 22 percent reported no
change. Although 62 percent of the respondents said they expect the economy to improve by the end of Obama’s term, voters were less sure about his administration’s ability to solve the nation’s economic crisis. About half
said they thought the Obama administration could do so, while nearly 40 percent said no.
“It’s all related to the fact that (voters) don’t think it’s going to be fixed quickly, and they don’t think Obama can do it by himself,” said Clay Richards, assistant director of the university’s polling institute. “Generally, I would say there is optimism that Obama can do the job.”
Fifty-three percent said the economy is the most important problem facing the state. While voters gave Gov. Ed Rendell a 55 percent overall job approval rating, only 42 percent said they approved of the way he is handling the
current economic situation. Thirty-eight percent disapproved of the Democrat’s handling of the economy, and one in five were undecided, according to the telephone survey of 1,487 voters.
Inquirer staff writer Allison Steele reports:
New Jersey officials are announcing the results of their “crime plan” for Camden this morning at 10:30. The arrests of hundreds of people are expected to be announced, according to the Camden County prosecutor’s office, including some people who are charged in city homicides.
Authorities are also expected to reveal details about a series of raids and other police events that have taken place in the city in recent months.
Inquirer reporter Thomas Fitzgerald reports:
President-elect Barack Obama is scheduled to meet with the nation’s governors in Philadelphia Tuesday to discuss how the economic crisis is crimping state budgets. Gov. Rendell, chairman of the National Governor’s Association, is hosting the meeting, along with Gov. Jim Douglas (R.,Vt.), the group’s vice chairman.
Gov. Rendell, chairman of the National Governor’s Association, is hosting the meeting, along with Gov. Jim Douglas (R.,Vt.), the group’s vice chairman.
Inquirer staff writer Mari A. Schaefer reports:
Lemuel Payne, accused in the hit-and-run in August that killed a 16-year-old girl in Delaware County, was held over for trial following a preliminary hearing today in Sharon Hill District Court.
Faith Sinclair was crossing the Chester Pike in Sharon Hill on Aug. 3 when she was hit by a black Mercedes allegedly driven by Payne.
At the conclusion of this afternoon’s hearing, Sinclair’s distraught brother was carried out of the courtroom by family members. As Payne left the court, he was greeted with obscenities as TV crews chased him to his car.
Inquirer staff writer Paul Nussbaum reports:
To reduce violence in the subway, SEPTA and the Philadelphia School District should eliminate the new student TransPass program and return to subsidized tokens and paper transfers for students, city controller Alan Butkovitz said today.
Butkovitz, who released a performance audit of subway security, said the new passes allow truants “to roam the system from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.” He cited the March 26 death of Sean Patrick Conroy, 36, a Starbucks manager in Center City who died after an attack by five truant Simon Gratz High School students.
Butkovitz also called for the city to install security cameras and manned security kiosks in the concourses and pedestrian tunnels under City Hall. And he urged that SEPTA police turn over the responsibility for rousting homeless people from the concourses to civilian officials, to free up more police to deal with violent crime.
SEPTA general manager Joseph Casey said the transit agency “has seen no evidence of significant misuse” of student passes, “or any correalation of pass misuse with crime on the system.” In a written response to Butkovitz, he said crime statistics, which show a spike in crime after school dismissal times, have not changed much in recent years.
Casey said SEPTA is cooperating with the city to try to reduce homeless use of the subway concourses, but he said using non-police to deal with the problem “raises the possibility of more risk than benefit.”
A school district spokesman said he had not seen the audit and would have no immediate response.
The city’s deputy mayor of public safety, Everett A. Gillison, responded to the audit by agreeing to improve the security of emergency phones and to create a formal cooperation plan between city and SEPTA police.
But Gillison said many other of Butkovitz’s recommendations, such as cameras and kiosks, were too expensive for the city to tackle in its current financial straits.
Contact staff writer Paul Nussbaum at 215-854-4587 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Inquirer staff writer Allison Steele and the Associated Press report:
Nearly 5,000 people turned themselves in during Camden’s four-day Fugitive Safe Surrender program, authorities said this morning. The numbers aren’t finalized, but 2,245 people were processed from last Wednesday through Saturday, according to U.S. Marshal James Plousis. Another 1,563 people have not yet been processed through the system, and were given vouchers because organizers did not have time to process them last week. Those people will appear in court hearings next month.
Plousis says the four-day event greatly exceeded expectations.
Inquirer staff writer Vernon Clark reports:
Three city ice hockey rinks got a last minute reprieve this morning with the help of a well-known media and sports mogul.
Mayor Nutter appeared with Ed Snider, chairman of Comcast-Spectacor, at a press conference at the Rink at Simons Recreation Center in West Oak Lane.
The United States Marshals Service will hold a news conference to provide final
statistics on the recent Fugitive Safe Surrender campaign in Camden, a program designed to help nonviolent
fugitives resolves warrants, ideally without jail time.
There will be an 11 a.m. press conference at the Antioch Baptist Church, 690 Ferry Ave., Camden. The church was the site of the four-day program, the first for New Jersey, which ended Saturday afternoon.
Read more breaking news in our From The Source blog.