Archive: December, 2008
Christopher B. Craig, one of former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo’s most loyal aides and widely considered among the best legal minds in the Capitol, has resigned from the Senate after 16 years.
It’s unclear why Craig, who is credited with writing the landmark 2004 law legalizing slot machines in Pennsylvania, resigned from his $158,300-a-year-post as a top lawyer for Senate Democrats. Attempts to reach him for comment were unsuccessful today, his last day.
But several sources familiar with the matter said that Craig resigned after learning that he would not be continuing as the chief counsel to Democrats on the Senate Appropriations Committee and would be reassigned to a lower legal post. Still, after he submitted his letter of resignation recently, Craig’s allies tried to land him another top job in the chamber only for Senate Minority Leader Bob Mellow (D., Lackawanna) to block the efforts.
Inquirer staff writer Adrienne Lu reports:
Senate Republicans sued the Corzine administration today to try to compel the release of data showing what state spending has been frozen by the administration. The complaint was filed in Mercer County Superior Court.
The Republicans sued after they filed a written request on Dec. 2 under the state’s open public records law. The Department of Treasury initially requested an extension until Dec. 24 to respond and then requested an additional 11 days, until Jan. 12, citing a need for a legal review of records.
Inquirer staff writer Bob Moran reports:
A Philadelphia Water Department truck collapsed into a sinkhole in Germantown this morning that was created by a water main break on Tuesday, officials said.
Pavement in the unit block of West Johnson Street began to crumble around 8 a.m. as the the maintenance truck, towing an air compressor, was backing down the street, said Jerry Stokes, a department assistant superintendent.
The work crew inside jumped out to safety and were unharmed as the rear wheels of the trucks fell into the initial hole, Stokes said.
A city-wide 311 system for non-emergency calls, long discussed and one of Mayor Nutter's priorities, goes into operation today. The concept is you call one number to get connected to the right city department. It will also reduce calls to the city's emergency only 911 number.
Here's the press release. We'll be covering the launch. Come back later for more details. The official announcement takes place at 10 a.m. today.
The City of Philadelphia will begin operation of the 311 system on December 31, 2008. Starting then, 311 will be the only number necessary to find out information or to access a Philadelphia City service.
Inquirer staff writer Sam Wood reports:
Just one day before Philadelphia is to close 11 library branches, Alan Butkovitz, the City Controller, will release a budget analysis that he says could reduce the city’s five-year $1 billion deficit by $413 million.
The analysis looks at potential cost savings and will recommend methods of generating new revenues for the city.
A Chester County fire company garage and ambulance parked inside were destroyed around midnight, CBS3 reported this morning.
Firefighters battled the blaze for about 45 minutes in East Vincent Township. The building is part of the West End Fire Company. The cause is under investigation.
No one was injured.
Read more breaking news in our From The Source blog.
Inquirer staff writer Craig McCoy reports:
Two of the investigators who built the federal case against former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo may take the stand against the state senator in his corruption trial today.
Former FBI agent Kathleen T. McAfee and IRS agent Robert Tengood are tentatively scheduled to testify. McAfee, who is now first deputy inspector general for the City of Philadelphia, was a key agent in the case, along with a colleague, FBI special agent Vicki Humphreys. McAfee is expected to talk about the probe into Fumo's free yacht cruises on yachts owned or leased by the Independence Seaport Museum. Fumo was a board member of the museum.
Inquirer staff writer Bob Moran reports:
This afternoon the city’s Fire Department and Fire Marshal’s Office will officially announce the cause of Friday’s blaze in Southwest Philadelphia that killed seven people.
Earlier, a fire official said the report would not be released today, said Capt. Richard Davison.