Sunday, November 23, 2014
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POSTED: Monday, September 29, 2014, 12:28 PM

Philadelphia received nearly $1 million in three different youth crime prevention grants from the U.S. Department of Justice Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

The grants will go toward improving school safety, keeping youth in school and out of prison and extend the city’s PowerCorpsPHL, a workforce development program which hires 18- to 26-year-olds to work temporarily in the City Parks and Recreation Department and the Philadelphia Water Department, city officials announced Monday.

The grants are the following:

  • $600,000 for the School Justice Collaboration Program: Keeping Kids in School and Out of Courts for the School Diversion Program;
  • $227,430 from the Corporation for National Community Service  Collaboration on the Youth Opportunity Corps for expansion of PowerCorpsPHL;
  • And $100,000 for the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention for expansion of Philadelphia’s Youth Violence Prevention Collaborative, which is centralized to North Philadelphia's 22nd police district.
POSTED: Thursday, September 25, 2014, 8:34 PM

Philadelphia kids (and adults) might soon not be able to play cops and robbers. At least not with the full effect of toy guns. 

Councilman Kenyatta Johnson introduced legislation Thursday that would ban the sale or use of fake guns.

Johnson, who represents the second council district in Southwest Philadelphia, also introduced legislation two weeks ago that would increase the penalties for anyone selling or using a BB gun (those are already illegal in Philadelphia).

POSTED: Wednesday, September 24, 2014, 5:50 PM

Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds-Brown and Councilman Jim Kenney are introducing legislation Thursday in response to the Sep. 11 assault of a same-sex couple in Center City, that would add a hate crime chapter to the city code. 

If approved, the ordinance would mandate higher penalties for any crime committed against a person because of hatred toward that person’s “perceived sexual orientation, gender or gender identity, or disability.” A hate crime violation would add up to 90 days in jail and a fine up to $2,000, the ordinance suggests.

The ordinance would amend the section of the code that addresses “Regulation of individual conduct and activity,” including ethnic intimidation and institutional vandalism. Violation of ethnic intimidation is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and monetary fines for a Class III crime offense.

POSTED: Tuesday, September 23, 2014, 10:19 PM

The much anticipated blue-ribbon panel report on the city’s Department of Licensing and Inspections is on Mayor Nutter’s desk. 

The report -- a product of a 10-month review of L&I by the panel Nutter appointed in the aftermath of the fatal June 5, 2013, Center City building collapse -- was finalized Tuesday evening and sent to Nutter, the the Special Independent Advisory Commission’s chief of staff Ned Dunham said.

The mayor is in New York City attending the Clinton Global Initiative 2014 Annual Meeting and has appointed an administrative working group to review the recommendations. He is expected to hold a press conference Thursday to discuss the report. 

POSTED: Wednesday, September 17, 2014, 11:36 AM
Lynne M. Abraham (ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / Staff Photographer)

Former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham has decided she will run for mayor.

Following a meeting Tuesday night with those in her inner circle, Abraham decided she is “a go,” said Eleanor Dezzi, who has been advising Abraham in the decision process and will serve as campaign adviser.

"I'm not prepared to make any announcement," Abraham said when reached Wednesday. "But I am not keeping it a secret that I'll be entering the race."

POSTED: Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 7:42 PM
Philly City Councilman David Oh (INQ SUWA)

Those mini Liberty Bells might not be so embarrassing after all.

City Councilman David Oh, who has previously questioned the purpose of Mayor Nutter’s international travels and criticized the little Liberty Bells given to foreign dignitaries, is embarking Wednesday on a week-long trade mission to Korea.

There, the Republican at-large Councilman will present mayors, heads of states and other dignitaries with...

POSTED: Friday, September 12, 2014, 6:06 PM

A citywide tax relief program has been extended to allow more people to apply.

The Homestead Exemption program had an initial deadline of Sep. 13. But Mayor Nutter announced Friday that the Office of Property Assessment would push the deadline through Dec. 1.

The homestead exemption, which was created in 2013 to provide some relief in the post Actual Value Initiative era, deducts $30,000 from the assessment of an owner-occupied home before the tax rate is applied. A home worth $100,000 would be taxed on only $70,000 of its value. AVI was the massive overhaul of the way Philadelphia assesses properties for tax purposes completed in 2013. 

POSTED: Friday, September 12, 2014, 11:23 AM

As I reported in today’s City Council story, the question of whether voters want the School Reform Commission to be dissolved will not be on the November ballot.

Thursday was essentially the last day to pass any ballot question bills for the upcoming election. The City Commissioners’ office said Monday is drop dead date but that was giving a couple extra days for Mayor Nutter to sign any of the ballot question bills. 

So, what will questions will voters have to answer come November? 

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The Philadelphia Inquirer's Chris Hepp, Tricia Nadolny, Julia Terruso, and Claudia Vargas take you inside Philadelphia's City Hall.

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