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Previous Reports

Explainer: Why you can't divide city's billion dollar five-year budget gap by five

March 5, 2009

It turns out what may seem like a math problem a 5th grader could solve, isn't as simple as dividing by five. The city's estimated $1.045 billion dollar budget shortfall over five years isn't evenly spread over each year. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler has more.

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More information:
You can hear Elizabeth Fiedler's entire interview with Budget Director Agostini by clicking on the play button below or download the interview by right clicking on this link and choosing "Save Link As."

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Plus, Where did the budget gap come from? Check out the city's presentation on what makes up the greater parts of the shortfall.


Connections for NJ GOP gubernatorial candidate may jeopardize state campaign funding

March 5, 2009

The Republican gubernatorial race is starting to pick up steam leading up to the June primary. However, WHYY's Monica Miller says one candidate who worked for an anti-tax interest group may have hit a snag collecting matching funds for his war chest.

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Fumo jury to begin deliberations

March 5, 2009

A jury of ten women and two men will begin deliberation Thursday in the federal corruption trial of former state Senator Vince Fumo. Fumo faces 139 counts of fraud and obstruction of justice. The jury heard dramatic conclusions from both sides on Wednesday. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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More trash talk about PhillyStat budget meeting

March 5, 2009

Trash was a hot button issue for top city officials at a meeting last night. The Mayor and City Council discussed the citizen feedback they've received from community budget forums, a citizen survey, and "kitchen table" talks. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports that City Councilmembers are divided over a proposal to charge residents fees for trash collection.

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Phila. school superintendent dialing for dollars

March 5, 2009

It takes a village to raise a child, as the saying goes. But according to Philadelphia Schools Superintendent Arlene Ackerman, it also takes a village to fund a five-year school reform plan. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports the schools CEO is looking at all possible sources of revenue.

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Rendell announces close oversight of state's stimulus funds

March 5, 2009

Governor Rendell says Pennsylvania is instituting "unprecedented" oversight of the federal stimulus process. On Wednesday he outlined three steps the commonwealth is taking to make sure federal funding is spent correctly. WHYY's Scott Detrow was there.

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Camden financial records disorganized for third consecutive year

March 4, 2009

For the third consecutive year - Camden's financial records are so disorganized that an auditor says he can't judge the city's economic status. New Jersey took over Camden seven years ago, promising to improve the city and its financial picture. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Fumo defense rests its case today

March 4, 2009

Following four and a half months of testimony, the defense will rest its case today in the federal corruption trial of former Pennsylvania state Senator Vince Fumo. The former Democratic powerbroker faces 139 counts of fraud and obstruction of justice. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Corzine offers ideas on ending budget defecit

March 4, 2009

New Jersey Democratic Governor Jon Corzine's office is floating some ideas about how he plans to plug a 7 billion dollar budget hole. WHYY's Monica Miller looks at reaction from a Republican lawmaker.

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Defense closing: Don't "demonized" Fumo

March 4, 2009

The fate of former state Senator Vince Fumo is now in the hands of a jury of two men and ten women. The four and a half month federal corruption trial wrapped up today with a dramatic pitch to the jury by both the prosecution and the defense. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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U.S. Supreme Court hears judicial ethics dispute

March 4, 2009

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday in a sensitive dispute about judicial ethics. At issue - when do elected judges have to recuse themselves if a campaign contributor is party to the case? The ruling could affect how judges in Pennsylvania are elected. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Governor Rendell offers stimulus funds for higher education

March 4, 2009

Governor Rendell says he'll use federal stimulus money to restore more than 40 million dollars in higher education cuts that he initially proposed in last month's budget address. The heads of state-related universities say while they appreciate the funding, their institutions still face an up-hill battle as WHYY's Scott Detrow reports.

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Farmer Philly? Vacant lots targeted as crop sites

March 3, 2009

Philadelphians who live near one of the city's many vacant lots, may be surprised to learn who their new neighbors might be. About a dozen farmers have expressed interest in a city pilot project to grow crops on empty city land. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Philadelphia Daily News gets a little closer to rival

March 3, 2009

The Philadelphia Daily News will soon be printed as an edition of The Philadelphia Inquirer. The Daily News will be published as an edition of The Inquirer effective March 30th. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports the papers will remain separate for now.

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Snowstorm means big expense for state, city

March 3, 2009

The weekend snowstorm turned out to be an expensive one for the Philadelphia region. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation spent about $2 million in the region. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports timing is everything when it comes to snowplowing.

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Mayor cautious but open to citizen-advised revenue raising ideas

March 3, 2009

Mayor Nutter says he's considering citizen input, while he decides what cuts and tax increases to include in his upcoming budget address. More than 1,700 taxpayers attended four budget forums and shared their values as they brainstormed about how to close a roughly $200 million annual budget gap. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler has more.

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Few specifics on Rendell's tuition plan

March 3, 2009

Details of Pennsylvania Governor Rendell's controversial video poker proposal are hard to come by during budget hearings in Harrisburg, as WHYY's Scott Detrow reports.

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Arlen Specter faces tough challenge from former GOP rival

March 3, 2009

A former rival of Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter could be coming back for another challenge. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports Pat Toomey is thinking about putting his hat in the ring again.

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Closing arguments continue in Fumo trial

March 2, 2009

The corruption trial for former state Senator Vince Fumo is expected to continue Tuesday with closing arguments by Fumo's defense lawyer. The government charges the Democratic power broker with defrauding the State Senate, the Independence Seaport Museum and a non-profit of $3.5 million dollars. But a key element of the case against Fumo includes obstruction of justice charges. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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New Jersey lawmakers debate on stimulus dollars

March 2, 2009

Some New Jersey legislators say they are worried about whether the state will distribute federal stimulus dollars fairly - especially when it comes to construction contracts. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story.

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Funeral for PA guardsmen killed in Iraq

March 2, 2009

Funeral services will be held today for a member of the Pennsylvania National Guard who died in Iraq. 32-year-old Staff Sergeant Mark Baum from Quakertown was recently killed in action north of Bagdad. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Development continues along Philadelphia's "other" river

March 2, 2009

Philadelphia is moving forward with development of the Delaware River Waterfront. Over the weekend, officials announced a $1 million foundation grant and $1 million in city money will be used for planning, design, and construction on the Delaware Riverfront. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports a similar deal is helping to develop the city's other waterfront.

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City, unions prepare for tough contract talks

March 2, 2009

Philadelphia labor unions are working under a one-year contract that ends on June 30th. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports with budget talks approaching, the city and union are beginning to square off on contentious issues like healthcare.

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Snow slows region down

March 2, 2009

An early March snowstorm has slowed things down in the Philadelphia region. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports now that the worst of the storm has passed, it's time to clean up and work on returning to normal.

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City snow alerts break digital ground

March 2, 2009

The snowstorm that bombarded the region last night and this morning was a test for the Delaware Valley's emergency notification systems. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports city officials are happy with the results.

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Mayor announces grant, plan for Delaware riverfront

March 1, 2009

Today Mayor Nutter, Councilman Frank DiCicco and the William Penn Foundation will announce a major grant to help make the Delaware riverfront a major destination. For years, some city officials and residents have said the waterfront is poorly used and not easily accessible for pedestrians. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Plan for Delaware to be put into action

February 28, 2009

Philadelphia is moving forward with plans to develop the Delaware River Waterfront. City officials and representatives of the William Penn Foundation have launched new efforts designed to make the riverfront easier to get to, and more fun for the people who do. Grant money will help kick into gear the Penn Praxis "Action Plan for the Central Delaware." WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Airport trains for epidemic preparedness

February 28, 2009

Philadelphia International Airport Employees this week undertook an exercise to determine their preparedness for an overseas epidemic. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Efforts to put Philadelphia in the "Green Belt"

February 27, 2009

The manufacturing jobs that once kept Philadelphia's economy up and unemployment down, may soon be replaced with green jobs. At an announcement this morning, two local groups said they'll use major grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to push forward with green job training programs. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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City delays again fix to property assessment system

February 27, 2009

In Philadelphia there are two factors that determine how much tax people pay on their home: the dollar value assessed by the Board of Revision of Taxes, and the property tax rate set by City Council. The city's been working toward a new, simpler system where properties would be assessed their actual value. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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City Council holds private budget meeting

February 27, 2009

Philadelphia City Council held a private meeting this week to discuss public budget hearings. Media reports have criticized the legislative body for doing so, and legal experts are now asking whether the closed-door session was within the scope of law. WHYY's Kerry Grens reports.

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City workers demand new efforts to collect revenue

February 26, 2009

The union representing white collar workers in Philadelphia is among those calling for a revenue Czar to improve the city's tax collections. But WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports the request by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, is falling on deaf ears at City Hall.

Caption: City white collar union leader Cathy Scott says city can avoid cuts by collecting revenue.

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Council not keen on shrinking itself

February 26, 2009

Philadelphia City Council members are not happy with a suggestion to shrink their legislative body to cut costs. The city's political watchdog group says Council's seventeen member makeup was established at a time when the city had twice as many residents. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Employee Free Choice Act pushed in Philly rally

February 26, 2009

Organized labor's effort to change the 1935 National Labor Relations Act has sparked a major struggle between unions and employers. Democrats in Congress say passing the Employee Free Choice Act, also known as EFCA, is one of their top priorities. The Act would let employees vote on whether to form a union through a controversial system known as "card check." WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports that unions hope it will help them gain ground lost over the years.

Caption: AFL-CIO Secretary Treasurer Richard Trumka

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Early opposition to Art Museum price increases from City Council

February 26, 2009

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is struggling to make ends meet. The museum wants to raise admission prices which is subject to city approval. But some members of City Council, are reluctant to immediately embrace the idea. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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RNC chair sends warning shot to Specter

February 26, 2009

The new Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele has suggested the party establishment might not necessarily back the three Republicans who voted for the President's stimulus package. That includes Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter, who's up for re-election in 2010, after more than 25 years in office. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Foxwoods casino still searching for a home

February 26, 2009

The Foxwoods casino originally slated to open along the Delaware Waterfront discussed setting up shop in the Gallery Mall at 11th and Market Streets. Now according to a Foxwoods spokesperson, the slots parlor's list of possible future homes includes the Strawbridge's building further down Market Street. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Pew survey reveals opinions on quality of life in Philly

February 26, 2009

A new survey by the Pew Charitable Trusts examines Philadelphians' opinions on quality of life in their city. In this, the second of a two part study on the issue, citizens weighed in on what they think are assets to the city, as well as what problems need to be addressed. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports.

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Design professionals advise on improving access to healthy food

February 26, 2009

Some underused areas of the city are getting a makeover from design professionals. The Community Design Collaborative provides community groups with free design services from a network of hundreds of local archiects, planners, and design professionals. Community leaders looking to improve food access in low and moderate income neighborhoods applied for help from the pros. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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New Jersey's highest court upholds police right to search cars without warrants

February 26, 2009

New Jersey's highest court has upheld the ability of police officers to search a stopped car without a warrant. But the state Supreme Court set more limits on what constitutes an urgent need for them to do so. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story.

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Pennsylvania residents support Governor Rendell's budget proposals

February 26, 2009

Pennsylvania residents support the bulk of Governor Rendell's budget proposals including legalizing video poker. But he could have a harder time getting some of his other plans through the legislature. That's according to the latest Franklin and Marshall College poll released today. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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With 4 workshops complete citizens wonder what's next

February 25, 2009

Over 1800 people participated in a series of community budget forums that wrapped up this week. The forums have brought people out to comment on what the city should spend their money on and what they would be willing to live without. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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South Jersey transit agency expects funding to double

February 25, 2009

A South Jersey transit agency expects its federal funding to double thanks to the economic stimulus plan, but WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports that PATCO officials say that still won't cover their long-term capital needs.

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Catholic church needs to raise $200 million

February 25, 2009

Amid the recession, Philadelphia's Roman Catholic Archbishop says the church needs to raise $200 million dollars. But some say the church needs to be more financially transparent. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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VP's task force to discuss green jobs

February 25, 2009

On Friday, Philadelphia will host the first meeting of Vice President Joe Biden's Middle Class Task Force, and the high-powered group will be talking about Green Jobs. WHYY's Denis Devine reports on why Philadelphia is hosting the meeting.

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Pennsylvania Secretary of State backs early voting expanision

February 25, 2009

Pennsylvania's Secretary of State is backing efforts to expand early voting in the commonwealth before the next presidential election. WHYY's Scott Detrow reports.

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Camden Mayor will not seek third term

February 25, 2009

Camden Mayor Gwendolyn Faison has announced she will not seek a third term in office. She was first elected in 2001 and then again in 2005. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports her successor will become mayor of a city largely run by the state.

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New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission must raise fees

February 25, 2009

New Jersey's Motor Vehicle Commission says it has to raise fees but not because the state department is short on revenue. WHYY's Mary Fuchs explains.

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Bankruptcy proceedings expensive proposition for Philly newspapers

February 25, 2009

Bankruptcy court proceedings are underway for Philadelphia Newspapers Incorporated, the parent company of the Philadelphia Inqurirer and Daily News. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports the company will spend a lot of money going through the bankruptcy process.

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Workshops complete, Nutter continues work on 2010 budget

February 24, 2009

The four community budget workshops are over, but work on the city budget continues. WHYY's Tom MacDonald spoke with Mayor Nutter about what impact the forums will have on his budget decisions.

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More information:
You can see the most up-to-date results from the first three budget workshops here, here, and here. Reports, videos and material from "the wailing wall" for the fourth workshop will be available soon.


WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler had this report from last night's final budget workshop.


Schools chief releases reform plan, some are skeptical

February 24, 2009

Philadelphia School District superintendent Arlene Ackerman has released more details on her plan to reform the city's public schools. A large focus is on high schools. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Republican jumps into race for City Controller

February 24, 2009

The field of candidates running for Philadelphia City Controller is filling out. Alan Butkovitz is expected to launch his bid for reelection at a press conference today, WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports that the Democratic incumbent's announcement will come one day after a new Republican challenger entered the race.

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Final community budget forum

February 24, 2009

Over the course of four Philadelphia community budget forums that wrapped up last night - hundreds of residents gave their input on how the city should address its budget gap. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports some came to West Philadelphia last night determined to lobby for a cause while others offered sacrifices they'd be willing to make.

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Member of Pennsylvania National Guard dies in Iraq

February 24, 2009

A member of the Pennsylvania National Guard has died in Iraq. 32-year-old Staff Sergeant Mark Baum from Quakertown was killed Saturday north of Bagdad. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Philly gets EPA funds for water-watching

February 23, 2009

The City of Philadelphia has gotten a federal grant to install high tech sensors to monitor water quality. WHYY's Tom MacDonald has the story.

Caption: Federal and city officials hold the symbolic check for $2 million in EPA funding for the city's water-quality monitoring system.

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Newspapers in city and suburbs seek bankruptcy protection

February 23, 2009

The owner of Philadelphia's two biggest newspapers has filed for bankruptcy protection. Philadelphia Newspapers Incorporated is seeking bankruptcy protection in an effort to restructure its $390 million debt. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports for now it's business as usual at the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News.

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Final forum for citizen input on budget

February 23, 2009

Tonight is the last of four forums where Philadelphians can say what they'd cut and which taxes they would raise to address the city's 1-billion-dollar budget shortfall. Citizen input from the forums will be provided to the city before Mayor Nutter makes budget decisions. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports participants are making some of their priorities clear.

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Police Department considers cost-savers

February 23, 2009

The Philadelphia Police Department is considering cost-saving alternatives to getting officers where they're needed throughout the city. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Closing arguments in Fumo trial

February 23, 2009

Following four months of testimony, jurors will hear prosecutors closing arguments today in the federal corruption trial of former Pennsylvania State Senator Vince Fumo. The Democratic power-broker faces 139 counts of fraud and obstruction of justice. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Study: Region's families increasingly underfed

February 22, 2009

Community Health Database surveyed 10,000 households in the Philadelphia area's five counties. Before the current economic crisis adults and families in the region had already been cutting back on food consumption. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Library advocates cry foul over security guard requirements

February 21, 2009

The last round of budget cuts could have closed 11 library branches, but a judge required the city to keep them open. Mayor Nutter has said everything is on the table in the next round of cuts. Now there is some concern that the city may be trying to find other ways to close libraries. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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City wins massive federal anti-homelessness funding

February 21, 2009

Federal housing officials say Philadelphia will receive $28 million in new funds for homelessness prevention programs. It's part of the federal stimulus package signed into law this week. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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"Firesetter" treatment for a Coatesville arson suspect

February 21, 2009

One of three men arrested in connection with a string of arsons in Coatesville has been sent to a juvenile treatment center that specializes in what are known as firesetters. Experts say there's a good chance that the seventeen-year-old suspect's deadly fascination can be controlled. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Garbage pickup may get price tag

February 20, 2009

Philadelphia city officials are thinking about different ways they can charge residents for trash collection. Different models exist in cities across the country. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Advocates want more Philly housing

February 20, 2009

Two new reports are urging Philadelphia officials to preserve the city's current housing stock and link new affordable housing projects to community revitalization. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Police Department honors slain officer

February 20, 2009

Members of the Philadelphia Police Department are gathered at the Cathedral-Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul for the funeral of an officer slain in the line of duty. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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City seeks savings in energy, money

February 20, 2009

It's time to turn off the lights and turn down the thermostat in city buildings. Philadelphia officials working to close the city's budget gap are looking at ways to reduce energy costs. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Citizen input sought at third budget forum

February 19, 2009

The third of four community forums on the Philadelphia budget crisis takes place tonight in South Philadelphia. Participants will be asked to weigh budget decisions and try to balance the budget by making cuts and increasing revenue. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports.

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Port panel hires Governor's former firm

February 19, 2009

The Delaware River Port Authority has approved a plan to give a contract to Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell's former lawfirm. According to a business ethics expert, the move falls into a gray area. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Police Commissioner: Cutting budget means cutting cops

February 19, 2009

Philadelphia public safety officials are saying proposed city budget cuts would cripple their departments. Mayor Nutter recently asked every department head to say how they might implement budget cuts of 10, 20 and 30 percent. WHYY's Tom MacDonald was at a budget review hearing this afternoon, and reports that Mayor Nutter didn't even want to hear the worst-case scenario.

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Senator Specter one of three Republicans to vote for stimulus package

February 19, 2009

Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter was one of only three Republican Senators to vote for the Obama administration's economic stimulus plan. Specter says the "very tough" but "necessary" vote" puts him in a "perilous" political position. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Republicans Weary of Rendell's Tuition Break Plan

February 19, 2009

Republicans are wary of Pennsylvania Governor Rendell's plan to provide tuition breaks at state schools through revenue generated by legalizing video machines.Now a top GOP Senator is introducing a measure he says would accomplish the same goal, but keep poker machines illegal. WHYY's Scott Detrow reports.

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New Jersey State Employees may be Recieving Extra Health Benefits

February 19, 2009

New Jersey officials say some state employees may be receiving more health benefits than they're entitled to. But that may not last much longer, as WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Citizens weighed in on budget at forum

February 19, 2009

Residents attended the second of four city budget forums, where they got the chance to weigh in on the priorities for next year's budget. Citizens broke into small groups to weigh the options as WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports.

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Fumo finishes testimony

February 18, 2009

Former state Senator Vince Fumo is expected to wrap up his testimony today in his federal corruption trial. The case could take a dramatic turn if Fumo's former friend and attorney Richard Sprague takes the stand. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Lawmakers say taxpayers may make up budget shortfall from failed stocks

February 18, 2009

Pennsylvania's two primary public pension programs lost more than 28 billion dollars last year, mostly due to the fallling stock market. During yesterday's budget hearing in Harrisburg, officials told members of the House Appropriations Committee that taxpayers may have to make up the shortfall. WHYY's Scott Detrow reports.

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Second Philadelphia budget forum in Germantown

February 18, 2009

The 2nd of four public forums on the Philadelphia city budget takes place tonight at the Mastery Charter School in Germantown. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Financial experts predict a grim year for PA economy

February 18, 2009

With financial experts predicting a bleak outlook for Pennsylvania's economy for the rest of this year, WHYY's Scott Detrow was in Harrisburg yesterday as a grim round of budget hearings got underway.

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Port Authority to decide on new projects

February 17, 2009

Special projects in Philadelphia and Camden could receive funding from the Delaware River Port Authority. The DRPA Board is expected to vote tomorrow on whether to spend $11 million dollars for non-transportation projects including the President's House memorial on Independence Mall and a medical school in Camden. Some lawmakers and citizens oppose the spending, in light of DRPA's recent decision to increase tolls. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Fumo's testimony parses meanings of 'ethical' and 'legal'

February 17, 2009

Former state Senator Vince Fumo is back on the witness stand today, defending himself under cross-examination. Fumo has admitted to a multitude of charges while on the witness stand. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Philadelphia mayor longs for stimulus

February 17, 2009

The city of Philadelphia is still not sure how much money it will get from the federal stimulus plan. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports Mayor Nutter has put forward his wish list.

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Forums giving city officials an earful

February 17, 2009

Philadelphians with an opinion about how the city should address its 1-billion-dollar budget gap, can give their two cents at a series of forums that continue this week. About five hundred people took part in the first forum Thursday night, and wrestled with the tough choices facing the city. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Tough financial times slow underground economy

February 17, 2009

The recession is hitting Philadelphia area residents of all ages and professions. The tough financial situation is also putting a crimp in the "underground economy," those who don't pay taxes or get permits, but who sell all manner of things like t-shirts, CDs, DVDs, and even illegal taxi rides. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler has more.

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Meningitis scares Penn students into clinics

February 16, 2009

Three University of Pennsylvania students remain hospitalized with meningitis and two others are hospitalized with flu-like symptoms. Campus officials have urged anyone who attended a fraternity or sorority event since February Second to seek medical treatment. That has thousands of students lining up at Penn's clinics, nervous that they might have been exposed to the potentially fatal disease. WHYY's Tom MacDonald has more.

Caption: Penn sophomore Rose Scheckler didn't think she was exposed to meningitis, but decided to take antibiotics given out at a Penn student health clinic as a precaution.

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Critic: Mayor reinventing tax-reform wheel

February 16, 2009

Philadelphia has the second-highest tax burden of any major city in the United States, after New York, and business leaders say high taxes are scaring away entrepreneurs and industry giants alike. Mayor Nutter has asked a task force to review the city's tax structure, but WHYY's Tom MacDonald spoke with a leading tax critic who says the task force is about to repeat work that was already done not that long ago.

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City can't yet bank on casino cash

February 16, 2009

The city of Philadelphia is looking for every penny to pay for services, but one major potential source of revenue remains untapped. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports opposition to gambling has kept the city from getting its share of revenues from casinos that haven't been built.

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Probe targets cop corruption charge

February 14, 2009

The FBI is assisting Philadelphia in an investigation into possible police corruption regarding a narcotics officer. The officer is suspected of using a confidential informant to target suspected drug dealers by using false evidence. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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From Port of Philadelphia, with love

February 14, 2009

On this Valentine's Day chocolate lovers might wonder where their favorite treat comes from. The bulk of the nation's imported cocoa beans arrive in this country through the ports of Philadelphia. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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A green pilot project at McGuire AFB

February 14, 2009

A federal grant is going to McGuire Air Force Base to create alternative and renewable fuels. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports the goal is to use bio waste to create electricity and gas.

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Trial continues over chemical giant merger

February 14, 2009

Philadelphia-based Rohm and Haas has sued Dow Chemical to force the Michigan company to complete a merger. A Delaware judge has ruled that the trial can begin next month. With the proposed 15 billion dollar buyout up in the air, WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports on the deal's possible implications for the 3,000 Rohm and Haas employees in the Delaware Valley.

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Local banks better poised to weather recession

February 14, 2009

Broad concerns remain regarding the health of the nation's banks, as the U.S. banking system faces the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The nation's banks are weighed down by bad debt. But smaller community banks largely avoided the risky loans and complex securities that sank some of the nation's best-known financial firms. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Governor Rendell promotes video poker plan

February 13, 2009

Pennsylvania Governor Rendell is promoting his plan to permit video poker this week. WHYY's Scott Detrow reports the proposal has the backing of a key legislative leader in Harrisburg.

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New Jersey Supreme Court reviews Governor's executive privilege in the case of e-mail privacy

February 13, 2009

The New Jersey Supreme Court may decide whether Governor Corzine can invoke executive privilege to keep his emails private. The communications in question were sent to union leader Carla Katz. Corzine dated her before he took office. Corzine says the e-mails didn't touch on state contract negotiations with the union Katz represents, but Katz has contradicted that claim in her own attempt to keep the e-mails secret. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Nutter hears info from Recreation, Health on budget cut impact

February 13, 2009

City officials are reviewing a wide array of options in their effort to close the budget gap while keeping service cuts to a minimum. Mayor Nutter met with department heads yesterday in a brainstorming session focusing on Health and Opportunity. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports you could be paying for previously free city services in the near future.

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Crisis temporarily averted, stimulus restores money to states

February 13, 2009

The final version of the federal stimulus restores much of the funding the Senate had cut out, according to Governor Rendell. Scott Detrow reports from Harrisburg.

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Pension board has savings plan

February 13, 2009

Philadelphia's Pension Board has voted to do some creative financing in order to help the city balance its budget. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.


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Community members build mock budgets

February 13, 2009

The first of four Philadelphia community budget forums attracted around 500 participants last night. They broke into small groups to reach consensus on how to plug a $1 billion dollar budget gap. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.



Captions: Participants at the budget workshop had the option of sharing their thoughts and comments which will be included in the final report to the mayor (top). Glenn Moyer (left) and Nancy Stollsteimer (right).

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Restaurants hope Cupid fills their seats

February 13, 2009

Valentines Day is tomorrow and it's one of the biggest days of the year for restaurants. WHYY's Tom MacDonald has more.

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Penn students stricken by meningitis

February 13, 2009

Two University of Pennsylvania students are being treated for bacterial meningitis, and dozens more have received pre-emptive treatment. School officials say the two cases are likely related. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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PSE&G asks to charge for $700 Million

February 13, 2009

PSE&G has asked New Jersey power regulators for the right to charge customers for installing 700 million dollars worth of solar panels on poles and rooftops across the state. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story.

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Vice President Biden and Governor Rendell rally support for stimulus plan

February 12, 2009

With Congress preparing for voting on the federal stimulus package, Vice President Joe Biden joined with Pennsylvania Governor Rendell in the state capitol yesterday to rally support for the plan. WHYY's Scott Detrow reports.

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Prosecutors continue cross-examination of former State Senator Vincent Fumo

February 12, 2009

Prosecutors continue their cross-examination of former Pennsylvania state senator Vincent Fumo today. Fumo's appearance on the stand is bringing the four-month trial to a dramatic finish, as WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Philadelphia officials review prison system for potential cuts

February 12, 2009

With Philadelphia officials trying to close another billion-dollar budget gap, the city's prison system is coming under scrutiny. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Couples marry in City Hall Valentine's Day ceremony

February 12, 2009

Forty-two couples were married today at lunchtime ceremony at Philadelphia City Hall. Usually, this mass wedding is held on Valentine's Day, but City Hall is closed on Saturday, and well, not many couples want to get hitched on Friday the 13th. WHYY's Denis Devine was there.



Captions: Mr. and the new Mrs. Feather (left). Officer and the new Mrs. Lawyer (right).

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Winds whip region

February 12, 2009

High winds are caused problems throughout the Philadelphia region. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports issues range from transit to power lines.

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Northwest Philly loses two neighborhood newspapers

February 11, 2009

Two neighborhood papers in Philadelphia have printed their final issues and will be shutting their doors. The Mt. Airy Times-Express and the Germantown Courier have announced they will end their operations effective. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports.

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City drops appeal of judge's library decision

February 11, 2009

The city of Philadelphia has given up it's appeal of a judge's decision that keeps libraries ordered closed by the Nutter Administration open. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports the mayor says it was an issue of time and money.

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Home scam in Philadelphia DA's sights

February 11, 2009

Philadelphia's District Attorney says stealing homes has become a major problem in the city. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports criminal charges have been filed against 15 in a home stealing scheme.

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Measuring impact of potential budget balancing scenarios

February 11, 2009

The city could see major police and fire layoffs if those departments are forced to take a budget cut. That's according to scenarios released by department heads earlier this week. As the city works toward closing a $1 billion budget gap, the heads of other city departments also unveiled their potential 10, 20 and 30 percent cuts. Those include some changes that wouldn't directly impact public safety, but could change daily life in the city. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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New Jersey residents want cut to state payroll

February 11, 2009

Governor Jon Corzine has a lot riding on his proposal to let New Jersey's towns skip their payments into the state pension system. But a new poll says more New Jersey residents think the governor should concentrate on cutting the state's payroll. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has more.

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Fumo defends secret deal with Peco Energy

February 11, 2009

Former Pennsylvania State Senator Vince Fumo is defending a secret deal he brokered with Peco Energy to donate $17 million dollars to a non-profit organization he controlled. Fumo is on the stand this week, as the final witness in his four-month-long federal corruption trial. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Pennsylvania expands pre-election day voting eligibility

February 11, 2009

Following record turnout in November, Pennsylvania is among several states considering expanding pre-election day voting eligibility WHYY's Scott Detrow reports.

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Lawmakers urge Congress for final stimulus package

February 11, 2009

Now that the Senate has passed a stimulus package, Pennsylvania politicians are urging Congress to put together the final bill as quickly as possible. WHYY's Scott Detrow reports.

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Mayor proposes committee to review tax structure

February 10, 2009

With the city facing a projected $1 billion budget shortfall, the region's business community welcomed Mayor Michael Nutter to the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce annual Mayoral luncheon on Tuesday. At a budget briefing on Monday night city officials laid out potential cuts and potential tax increases, both of which could have big impacts on the business community. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Anti-hunger activists hope for stimulus help

February 10, 2009

The Federal economic stimulus package contains increased funding for food stamps. The Senate version of the bill would boost funding by 12%. WHYY's Tom MacDonald spoke to people on the front lines in the fight against hunger.

Caption: Angela Sutton, a single mother of two, talks about her constant struggle to put good food on the table.

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Mayor unveils new budget cuts

February 10, 2009

Philadelphia Mayor Nutter gathered budget officials and City Council members at the Municipal Services Building in Center City last night as city department heads unveiled their 10, 20 and 30 percent budget cuts in the face of a billion dollar deficit. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Union and civic groups not pleased with forum format

February 10, 2009

Some union and civic groups are not pleased with the format for a series of forums on the Philadelphia budget deficit. WHYY's Tom MacDonald says they are calling for a new perspective to the exercise on civil engagement.

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Education will recieve spending increase in Rendell's budget

February 10, 2009

Education is one of the few areas that will receive a spending increase in Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell's budget plan. But as WHYY's Scott Detrow explains he's still proposing 87 million dollars worth of program cuts in the department.

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Specter shows support for stimulus package

February 10, 2009

Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter is one of three Republican lawmakers who support the federal stimulus package, ensuring the measure will go to a vote in the upper chamber. The move is generating some anger from conservatives as WHYY's Scott Detrow reports.

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Report: For-profit management working in schools

February 10, 2009

A new report gives high marks to schools managed by for-profit companies in Philadelphia, and much lower grades to schools run by non-profit agencies. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Union targets Temple University

February 9, 2009

The Philadelphia Council of the AFL-CIO has called on its unions to withhold donations to Temple University until the school strikes a deal with two major unions. More than 2000 faculty and staff are members of the local American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees and Temple Association of University Professionals. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Towards goal of city population growth, Mayor welcomes immigrants

February 9, 2009

Mayor Nutter hopes to attract more immigrants to the city to help meet his goal to increase the city's shrinking population by 75,000 in the next five years. Last Friday, as part of his outreach efforts, Mayor Nutter hosted a swearing-in naturalization ceremony for a dozen new citizens at City Hall. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Rendell takes the stand at Fumo trial

February 9, 2009

Star witness Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell takes the stand at former State Senator Vince Fumo's federal corruption trial today. WHYY's Scott Detrow reports.

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Many jobs expected to be lost

February 9, 2009

Official Pennsylvania job numbers for January will be released later this month, but the national figures show there could be 30-thousand newly unemployed in the state. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports it might take a long time for new jobs to come.

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100 state programs to be cut in new budget

February 9, 2009

100 state programs are on the chopping block in the budget address delivered by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell last week. But some of those programs might survive months of legislative debate and hearings before the final budget is passed. WHYY's Scott Detrow reports.

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Firefighters protest mayor's budget cuts

February 6, 2009

Philadelphia's firefighters are angry about the city's budget cuts, and today more than 100 took to the streets. They announced they have "no confidence" in Mayor Nutter and the fire commissioner, and criticized both officials for putting citizens safety at risk. One month ago the Mayor shut down 5 engine and two ladder companies in an effort to save $10 million. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Rendell gives counties option of boosting sales tax

February 6, 2009

Governor Rendell says there are no 'so-called' broad-based tax increases in his 2009-2010 budget. But he does want to give Pennsylvania counties the option to boost sales taxes by one percent. WHYY's Scott Detrow reports.

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Mayor says firefighters' ads are out of line

February 6, 2009

Firefighters in Philadelphia have voted no confidence in their Commissioner and are running ads saying the city's recent budget cuts are putting residents in danger. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports Mayor Nutter is urging them to stop.

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Pew poll gives mayor high marks

February 6, 2009

A new poll gives Mayor Nutter a good approval rating. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports the people who responded to the poll are split on the direction the city should go to close the budget gap.

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DTV transition pushed back

February 5, 2009

Television broadcasters are being given the option to delay the switch to digital television for another four months. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports Philadelphia TV stations are poised to keep their analog signals on during the extension.

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SRC meeting focuses on charter schools

February 5, 2009

Some education officials say there needs to be greater oversight of Philadelphia's 63 charter schools, in light of questions about financial decisions and academic performance. Tonight the School Reform Commission's Charter School Taskforce is hosting a meeting for the public to weigh in on the District's accountability measures for charter schools. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Thousands of Pennsylvanians without heat

February 5, 2009

Thousands of Pennsylvanians don't have access to their heating system because service has been cut off. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports almost half of those without central heat statewide live in Philadelphia.

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Council approves Verizon FiOS deal

February 5, 2009

Philadelphia residents will soon have another choice when it comes to pay-TV service in the city. City Council approved a contract with Verizon to deliver TV and internet service to city residents. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Rendell proposes tuition relief from video poker machines

February 5, 2009

In Governor Rendell's budget address he said he wants to fund tuition relief by legalizing and taxing video poker machines. The Governor says he wants to draw some financial benefit from the machines that are already illegally operating in bars and other businesses across the state. The plans have some gaming experts and activists crying foul. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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National stimulus program to bring 150 thousand jobs to Pennsylvania

February 5, 2009

The proposed Obama Administration stimulus program is expected to bring 150 thousand jobs to the state of Pennsylvania. WHYY's Tom MacDonald has more.

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Recruitment up due to poor economy

February 5, 2009

The U.S. Army says recruitment is up dramatically in the Delaware Valley, mostly because of the poor economy. But fewer men and women have been enlisting in Philadelphia, which has historically been a tough market for the Army. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports.

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Million dollar revenue shortfall in Philadelphia

February 5, 2009

Philadelphia's revenues are a billion dollars short of expenses, for the second time in just the last few months, and Mayor Nutter is expected to announce cuts to city departments any day now. A panel the mayor appointed in September to push the city toward sustainability is saying the city can save money and the environment at the same time. WHYY's Denis Devine has the story.

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Education advocates give mixed reviews on Rendell's budget increase

February 5, 2009

Education advocates give Governor Rendell high marks for a budget that increases public school funding even as it reduces spending overall. But some say he's making a mistake by trying to change the way local school boards handle their business. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Medical community impatient for stem cell decision

February 4, 2009

The Obama Administration still hasn't fufilled a campaign promise to remove limits on embryonic stem cell research, causing concern in the medical community. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Snow plows shelved by city budget cuts

February 4, 2009

Across the Delaware Valley residents and business owners are digging themselves out from last night's snow storm. In November Mayor Nutter announced budget cuts including scaling back city snow plowing. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Snow brings riders onto mass transit

February 4, 2009

When the snow falls, extra riders flock to mass transit. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports there is some extra capacity, but no extra buses or trains to accomodate the new riders.

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Pennsylvania residents need help with heat

February 4, 2009

More Pennsylvania residents need help to pay their heating bills this winter. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Verizon deal could be stalled over the issue of public access

February 4, 2009

The effort to break Comcast's hold over pay-TV in Philadelphia could hit a snag over funding for public access television. As WHYY's Susan Phillips reports - City Council is expected to vote this week on the city's deal with Verizon to bring FiOS service to Philadelphia.

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Rendell wants video poker funds to go towards education

February 4, 2009

Pennsylvania Governor Rendell hopes to help students afford college by legalizing video poker machines. He's expected to ask the legislature for their support in his annual budget address today. Students from families earning up to $100,000 a year would be eligible for tuition relief at any of Pennsylvania's 14 community colleges or 14 public universities. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Governor wants to give, take from schools

February 4, 2009

Governor Ed Rendell's proposed 2009 budget includes millions in new education funding. But he also asks for big changes in the way local school districts are organized. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Public-private funds help home-owners

February 4, 2009

A public-private partnership is working to keep some cash-strapped Philadelphians in their homes. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Governor's schools could feel Governor's cuts

February 3, 2009

Artistically and academically talented high school students in Pennsylvania may soon be looking for new ways to spend their summer vacation. Reports have indicated that when Governor Rendell announces his budget plans tomorrow, the five-week-long summer residential programs in the state's Governor's Schools of Excellence may be slashed. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Lawmakers hard at work to increase health coverage despite deficit

February 3, 2009

Pennsylvania lawmakers aren't letting a billion-dollar budget deficit stop them from working to increase health care coverage for Commonwealth residents. State Senate Republicans say it's worth another try to reintroduce measures that stalled in the last session. WHYY's Scott Detrow reports.

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NJ lawmakers say they want more time in office

February 3, 2009

Some New Jersey lawmakers say they'd like to serve longer terms in office. And that interest has sparked a contentious debate about term limits in an election year. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Recession boom for PA exports

February 3, 2009

Pennsylvania is exporting more of its major products: coal, steel, aircrafts and other machinery. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports the down economy could be one reason for the boost.


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Mayor Nutter reviews proposals looking for staff cuts

February 3, 2009

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is reviewing proposals from his department heads to make cuts ranging from 10-30 percent. The city's fiscal crisis focuses new attention on non-departmental city employees. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports on the Mayor's non-union exempt staff.

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Governor Rendell asks for 200 million dollars

February 2, 2009

Pennsylvania Governor Rendell is asking the General Assembly to relinquish its 200 million dollar surplus to help close the state's 2.3 billion dollar budget gap. But Republican leaders say Rendell is holding onto his own excess fund. WHYY's Scott Detrow reports.

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New era for Delaware River development

February 2, 2009

Philadelphia planning and design advocates are cheering the advent of a new era regarding the development of the Delaware river waterfront. The Penn's Landing Corporation is out, and a new board committed to transparency is in. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports on challenges.

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Wilmington lawmakers may reject Verizon plan

February 2, 2009

While Philadelphia officials are discussing a deal to bring a Verizon fiber-optic cable network to the city. Lawmakers in Wilmington seem poised to reject a similar plan. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports.

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City getting shortchanged as entitled residents unaware of benefits

January 30, 2009

City officials say tens of thousands of older Philadelphians aren't getting the public benefits they're entitled to. But the city won't be repeating the intensive outreach program that helped thousands more get signed up. WHYY's Bill Hangley reports.

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Threatened layoffs cause labor backlash for Rendell

January 30, 2009

Pennsylvania labor leaders are saying Governor Rendell crossed a line with his recent warnings that the state might have to lay off large numbers of employees. WHYY's Scott Detrow has the story in Harrisburg.

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Mayor Nutter shakes up waterfront board

January 30, 2009

New plans are underway for Philadelphia's Delaware River waterfront. Mayor Nutter disbanded the old Penn's Landing Corporation today and replaced it with a new board. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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PA seeing surge in uninsured

January 30, 2009

The number of Pennsylvania residents without health insurance is more than one million, according to a new Insurance Department study. And with layoffs rapidly cutting into the public and private sectors, that number is expected to rise as employees lose employer-provided coverage. In Harrisburg, WHYY's Scott Detrow has more.

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Changes coming to Penn's Landing board

January 30, 2009

Mayor Nutter will make a major announcement regarding the redevelopment of the Delaware River Waterfront, at a meeting of the Penn's Landing Corporation today. The details haven't been announced, but the Mayor's moves may be influenced by a plan for the riverfront he's publicly embraced. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Layoff bug sure to bite New Jersey towns and cities

January 30, 2009

With local and state revenues falling, New Jersey towns must try to balance their budgets with a limited set of tools at their disposal. A spokesman for New Jersey's town officials says many will have no choice but to layoff workers. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story.

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Trash, health centers "on the table" as city discusses budget scenarios

January 29, 2009

Mayor Nutter says he will respect a court order to keep open eleven libraries, but says the city's budget-cutting mission has only just begun. Mayor Nutter today asked Philadelphians to keep their fingers off the panic button while the city explores ideas. WHYY's Bill Hangley reports.

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New Jersey bill would allow private contractors to clean toxic waste

January 29, 2009

New Jersey is home to an estimated 20,000 contaminated toxic waste sites. No one is pleased with the slow pace in addressing the problem and the state's business community is backing a bill allowing private contractors clean up the toxic sites with less oversight from New Jersey's Department of Environmental Protection. But not everyone thinks that's a good idea. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story.

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State Republicans react to stimulus bill

January 29, 2009

Pending Senate approval Pennsylvania and New Jersey may come into millions of dollars for schools, as well as roads, bridges and mass transit. As President Obama's economic stimulus plan passed in the House last night along party lines. Republican lawmakers spurned Obama, saying the bill contains too much spending and not enough tax cuts. Democrats say the potential for job growth is key in an economy at its worst since the Great Depression. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Stimulus bill will help Pennsylvania education

January 29, 2009

Education advocates say Washington's role in funding schools could be redefined. Pennsylvania state officials say that at the very least, the stimulus bill passed in the House last night will allow them to maintain last years' spending levels and avoid painful budget cuts. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Philly cops not collecting

January 29, 2009

Philadelphia's City Controller says the city should be actively collecting fees for police services rendered to private entities and other government agencies. The city sends police to private establishments like night clubs in exchange for payment. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports.

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New Jersey lawmakers try to extend voting machine requirement deadline

January 28, 2009

New Jersey lawmakers are still trying to extend a deadline on the state's voting machine requirements. But they're running out of time - as elections and a court case stand in their way. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the details.

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Rendell says prison costs rising, won't be cut

January 28, 2009

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell has told unions to expect rolling furloughs for state workers. Rendell previously announced he would cut between 1,000 and 2,000 jobs from the state workforce as a way to plug a multi-billion dollar budget gap. But one budget item that won't be reduced is money for prisons. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Governor Rendell says to expect zero growth

January 28, 2009

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell told a meeting of the region's business leaders to expect zero growth in the upcoming year. Rendell will be delivering his budget address next week and is expected to annouce layoffs and significant budget cuts. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Wyeth employees await merger

January 28, 2009

Wyeth employees across the Philadelphia area are waiting to see what their employer's merger with pharmacutical giant Pfizer means for their jobs. About 5,000 people work at Wyeth facilities in Collegeville and Malvern. A Wyeth spokesperson says the Madison, New Jersey-based firm doesn't yet know whether jobs will be cut or facilities closed. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Health insurance failing to reach children

January 28, 2009

Children's health advocates are hoping that the Obama administration can make good on a promise to expand the federal Children's Health Insurance Program known as CHIP. But here in greater Philadelphia they say the biggest obstacle to expansion is signing people up. WHYY's Bill Hangley reports.

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Help wanted! City looking for park and rec commissioners

January 28, 2009

The city of Philadelphia wants applicants to the new Commission on Parks and Recreation. The move is an important step toward merging the Fairmount Park Commission with the city's Recreation Department. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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New Jersey closes prison

January 28, 2009

News that New Jersey is closing a prison just north of the Ben Franklin Bridge has Camden leaders excited about redeveloping a prime piece of the city's waterfront. The North Camden neighborhood resisted the prison's construction in the early 1980s, and has been eagerly anticipating its end ever since. WHYY's Denis Devine has the story.

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Youth program expands

January 28, 2009

A youth intervention program in Philadelphia is expanding its outreach. The Safe Place program encourages troubled teens to seek help for themselves. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Anti-casino activists rally for an ally

January 27, 2009

Today, members of Casino-Free Philadelphia declared the city's independence from casinos. The activists have been protesting the Sugarhouse site along the Delaware River in Fishtown, and the potential Foxwoods sites in South Philadelphia and at the Gallery in Center City. Organizers say they hope at least one elected city official will publicly support their position that casinos would be bad for Philadelphia. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Coatesville in state of emergency

January 27, 2009

A state of emergency is in effect in Coatesville, where authorities say 29 fires have been deliberately set over the past 8 weeks. The city's police force is working with county, state and federal agencies to apprehend those responsible for committing the arson that has caused more than $3 million dollars in damage. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Rendell keeps own counsel on budget

January 27, 2009

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell is expected to give his budget address next week. With a projected deficit of more than $2 billion dollars, the governor faces tough choices. But don't expect him to ask the public to weigh in. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

Credit: AP Photo

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Chemical merger in hands of Delaware judge

January 27, 2009

The future of a merger between Dow Chemical and Rohm and Haas is in the hands of a Delaware judge today. The $15.4 billion dollar buyout hit a snag this week when Dow Chemical announced it would not meet today's federal trade commission deadline to close on the deal. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Peace activist passes away

January 26, 2009

Philadelphia area Quaker activist Lillian Willoughby has died. Willoughby spent 65 years protesting war, racism and nuclear weapons. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Fumo defense starting

January 26, 2009

Prosecutors are expected to wrap up their corruption case against former state Senator Vincent Fumo today after three months of testimony. Fumo's defense is likely to bring prominent witnesses to the stand. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Gitmo attorneys pleased by Obama's order

January 26, 2009

President Obama's executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center is good news to some Philadelphia-based attorneys who represent some of the detainees. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Working to minimize wind turbine dangers

January 26, 2009

With the Obama administration pushing for more alternative energy, many are predicting that wind turbine construction will increase over the next few years. As WHYY's Scott Detrow reports, the Pennsylvania State Game Commission is working with energy companies to minimize risk for non-humans.

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PA comes down hard on smoking ban violators

January 26, 2009

Within Philadelphia's boundaries, city law dictates where smokers can light up. Outside the city - in restaurants, bars, and other businesses across the state, the state's smoking ban sets the rules. Since the law went into effect in September, officials say they've sent out more than 300 warning letters about following the law. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Making NJ's energy sources more efficient could be costly

January 26, 2009

PSE&G says it will cost more than 800 million dollars to make New Jersey's energy sources more efficient. And the company says the long term gain must come at the short term cost of higher utility rates for customers. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Port Authority back to funding economic development

January 23, 2009

The Delaware River Port Authority is planning to fund more special projects, after a DRPA committee voted yesterday to use $11 million for non-transportation projects in Philadelphia and Camden. They include funding for the President's House memorial on Independence Mall, a restaurant in Center City Philadelphia, and a medical school in Camden. However, when it announced it would raise tolls last summer, the board said the dollars would keep up bridges and PATCO, not fund economic development projects. The story from WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler.

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Councilman: Get satellite dishes off roofs

January 23, 2009

A city councilman says satellite dishes are ugly and he's introduced a bill to get them off the fronts of houses. But Federal regulations could trump his aesthetic views. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Brady bans "Made in China" souvenirs from Capitol gift shop

January 23, 2009

A U.S. Congressman from Philadelphia says he has instituted a ban on foreign made items in the U.S. Capital Gift Shop. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports that thousands of dollars of items are in storage because of the ban.

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Governer Rendell says layoffs of state employees a possilibility

January 23, 2009

With a projected budget deficit of more than two billion dollars, Pennsylvania Governor Rendell says layoffs of state employees are now on the table. WHYY's Scott Detrow reports.

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New Jersey Department of Education struggles with budget cuts

January 23, 2009

New Jersey's Department of Education is struggling with budget cuts. And Commissioner Lucille Davy doesn't know if it's going to get any better next year. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Dates, locations for Philly citizen budget input announced

January 22, 2009

You can give your two cents about how the city should address its budget problems at four upcoming forums, whose details were just announced. A week ago, Mayor Michael Nutter announced the city faces a second budget deficit of $1 billion and that painful choices will have to made. City officials will be listening to public input, but this time before they decide how to close the budget gap. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Poor economy encourages giveaways

January 22, 2009

As the economy slides, everyone is looking for bargains and "free" definitely qualifies as a bargain. More and more people are giving away things on websites such as craigslist and freecycle.com, and the free stuff you can grab off such sites isn't just old baby clothes and scrap building materials. As WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports, you can find things you might actually want.

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Philadelphia School District in control of Mayor Nutter and Governor Rendell

January 22, 2009

With the departure of School Reform Commissioner Jim Ghallager, the board that oversees the Philadelphia School District is now entirely in the control of Mayor Michael Nutter and Governor Ed Rendell. Ghallager was the last board member to be appointed by a Republican, as WHYY's Bill Hangley reports.

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City Council must do more with less

January 22, 2009

Philadelphia City Council embarks on a new session today, and a key question for Council members will be "how to do more with less?" The city faces a $2 billion dollar budget gap over the next five years. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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PA high schools, colleges falling short in student prep

January 23, 2009

A flurry of new studies suggest that Pennsylvania's high schools aren't providing colleges with enough qualified graduates, while the state's colleges aren't providing the economy with enough qualified workers. State officials say the answer is to make college more affordable, and high schools more accountable. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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High schools in PA leaving students unprepared for college

January 22, 2009

New data from the state department of education show that as many as one in three Pennsylvania high school graduates arrive at college without all the skills they need. The Rendell administration is using the numbers to revive its push for a system of statewide high school graduation exams. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Police officers shot two on Tuesday

January 22, 2009

Philadelphia police officers shot two people Tuesday night, bringing the total of civilians shot by officers up to five in the first weeks of 2009. Police investigations are trying to determine whether there's a pattern to be found in this year's rash of officer-involved shootings. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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City Council may allow break-up of Comcast TV's near monopoly

January 22, 2009

Philadelphia City Council could take a step today that would allow Verizon to offer pay-TV service in the city and break Comcast's near monopoly. The contract with Verizon was fast-tracked by the Nutter administration, but Public Access Committee members are unhappy with the bill. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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More room for babies at Einstein

January 21, 2009

Einstein Medical Center in Olney is renovating and expanding its maternity ward. Delivering babies is one of the least profitable services hospitals provide, and in the past decade fifteen area hospitals have closed their maternity wards. Einstein is investing 10 million dollars into theirs. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Taking a closer look at Municipal Mergers

January 21, 2009

One New Year story that has been lost amid news about the economy, politics, and war is that Pennsylvania has one fewer municipality in 2009. Just south of Pittsburgh - tiny Alexander Borough in Washington County has merged with Donegal Township. WHYY's Dave Heller speaks with Mark Muro, Fellow and Policy director at the Brookings Institution about the benefits of municipal mergers in Pennsylvania.

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Temple University makes broad cuts

January 21, 2009

Temple University has announced a five percent across the board budget cut. And there may be more cuts to come as WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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A second Mayor Green?

January 21, 2009

City Council is preparing to gather for its first session of the year. In just his first few months, freshman City Councilman Bill Green has drawn plenty of attention for challenging veteran politicians and long-standing city political traditions. His aggressive style has some wondering about the political ambitions of the new at-large City Councilman. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

Caption: Councilman Bill Green celebrates his 2007 victory with his father, former Mayor William "Bill" Green, III. Photo courtesy of GreenForPhiladelphia.com

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More information:
For the transcript of this story and to comment on it, visit It's Our City


Listen to Liz Fiedler's interviews with Councilman Bill Green and Councilman Jim Kenney below.


Listen to the entire Councilman Bill Green interview:

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Listen to an abridged version of the Councilman Jim Kenney interview:

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Obama prompts high hopes; some try to lower them

January 21, 2009

There are big hopes for the administration of President Barack Obama and many people are anticipating a major change in the way the government functions. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports both political and civic leaders are trying to lower expectations for the nation's first black president.

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Hundreds Watch Inauguration at Independence Mall

January 21, 2009

Independence Mall drew a few hundred people to watch yesterday's Inaugural proceedings. Some watched the ceremony on TVs inside Independence Visitor's Center and the National Constitution Center, but most chose to brave the cold and watch on a Jumbotron screen. So did WHYY's Peter Crimmins.

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Philadelphia students hope new administration will bring change

January 21, 2009

Students and educators across the city are hoping that change in the White House will mean change in the Philadelphia School District. Not all the changes they hope to see can be measured in dollars and cents. As WHYY's Bill Hangley reports.

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An urban President could benefit Philadelphia

January 21, 2009

Barack Obama is not only the first African American president but the Chicago resident is also the country's first urban president in decades that could benefit the Philadelphia area. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Deleware State Students React to Inauguration

January 21, 2009

Students at Deleware State University gathered on campus to watch the Presidential Inauguration yesterday. WHYY's Stella Payne was there, as well.

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Large crowd at inauguration reminds some Philadelphians of civil rights movement

January 21, 2009

Yesterday's inauguration brought back memories for some Philadelphians of Martin Luther King's famous 1963 march on Washington. WHYY's Alex Schmidt reports.

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City hopes better economic times are ahead

January 20, 2009

Today's inauguration of Barack Obama has Philadelphians hoping for better economic times. The city faces a growing deficit, library closings, and possible tax increases. So, what can the new administration do for Philadelphia? WHYY's Susan Phillips has more.

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SEPTA shutdowns and security tightens for Saturday's inaugural train ride

January 16, 2009

Security tightens up Saturday morning and the SEPTA R2 Marcus Hook train won't be going to Wilmington. Just two of the expected hiccups for weekend commuters around 30th street station and downtown Wilmington where the inaugural train with President Elect Obama and Vice President Elect Biden aboard. WHYY's Tasha Jamerson reports from eyeshot of the Wilmington station where excitement is palpable.

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Philly airport also on the lookout for birds

January 16, 2009

The plane that crash-landed in the Hudson River yesterday took off from La Guardia airport, which shares something with Philadelphia International. Both are along the same migratory bird flight corridor. The flight is reported to have gone down because birds got caught in its engines. Philadelphia Airport makes efforts to avoid a similar accident here. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Camden's riverfront state prison set to close

January 16, 2009

Plans are in the works to shut down Camden's riverfront state prison. WHYY's Denis Devine reports the prime waterfront property next to the Ben Franklin bridge would be used by the city of Camden.

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Firefighters might try to recall Nutter

January 16, 2009

Philadelphia firefighters could take some drastic action in response to potential budget cuts. Mayor Nutter announced Thursday that the city faces another $1 billion dollar deficit over the next five years, and wouldn't rule out additional layoffs or tax increases. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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State universities set fundraising mark

January 15, 2009

Pennsylvania's state-owned universities raised a record $52 million in private donations during the last fiscal year. And that money is being funneled toward different efforts. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Mayor announces another billion dollar shortfall over next 5 years

January 15, 2009

The city's budget problems have grown because of falling city revenues and rising costs. Mayor Michael Nutter announced two months ago that the city faced a $1 billion shortfall over the next 5 years. Today the Mayor said the budget gap is expected to be at least twice as large. He said the city will look for ways to cut costs and increase revenue. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Trump tries again to stop Foxwoods in Philly

January 15, 2009

The group behind putting a Trump Casino in Philadelphia has petitioned the State Gaming Control Board to revoke the license granted to Foxwoods Casino and give it to Trump. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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District apologizes for editing meeting video

January 15, 2009

The Lower Merion School District has apologized for editing a video recording of a heated School Board meeting. The Board had posted a video online with 5 minutes of footage removed, when a community member disrupted discussion of a redistricting plan that has divided the community. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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New Jersey close to accepting island park

January 15, 2009

New Jersey officials are on the verge of accepting an offer to take over an island in the Delaware River and turn it into a park. The fate of Petty's Island, which lies near the Betsy Ross Bridge between Port Richmond and Camden, once pitted South Jersey Democrats against environmentalists and an oil company. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Obama train will disrupt SEPTA service

January 15, 2009

SEPTA says some service on the regional rail lines will be affected by the inauguration train on Saturday morning. President-Elect Barack Obama will be coming through Philadelphia on an Amtrak train and heading south to Washington D.C. for the inauguration. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Delaware hotels are filling up fast for inaugration

January 15, 2009

Philadelphia-area hotels may not be booking up because of spillover from the inauguration celebration in Washington, but it appears Delaware hotels are seeing vacancies dwindle. WHYY's Kyle Schmoyer reports.

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Deleware State University marching band will perform in inaugural parade

January 15, 2009

One group that will have one of the best vantage points at the inauguration next Tuesday will be the Delaware State University marching band - better known as the "approaching storm." WHYY's Bill Cook explains.

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All aboard the train ride to "change"

January 14, 2009

Plans for the Obama/Biden whistle stop train ride from Philadelphia's 30th Street Station to Washington Saturday... are being finalized. WHYY's Kyle Schmoyer reports some Delaware residents are staking out their spots to see history happen.

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Children legal cases get fast tracked in PA

January 14, 2009

A new Pennsylvania Supreme Court Ruling is designed to help some of the most serious legal cases involving children. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports a children's advocate says it could shave years off of the adoption process among other things.

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Protestors flock to City Hall in defense of city libraries

January 14, 2009

About 60 noisy protestors gathered at Philadelphia City Hall last night. They say Mayor Michael Nutter is in contempt of the people's court for refusing to keep all the city's libraries open. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports the group put on some street theater to get their point across.

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Lawmakers back on duty in Dover try to deal with the budget crisis

January 14, 2009

Delaware lawmakers are back in Dover for the start of the new legislative session, bearing the weight of a huge budget shortfall. Governor-Elect Jack Markell says lawmakers have never seen anything like this budget crisis. WHYY's Bill Cook has more.

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All aboard the train ride to "change"

January 14, 2009

Plans for the Obama/Biden whistle stop train ride from Philadelphia's 30th Street Station to Washington Saturday... are being finalized. WHYY's Kyle Schmoyer reports some Delaware residents are staking out their spots to see history happen.

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Lawmakers back on duty in Dover try to deal with the budget crisis

January 14, 2009

Delaware lawmakers are back in Dover for the start of the new legislative session, bearing the weight of a huge budget shortfall. Governor-Elect Jack Markell says lawmakers have never seen anything like this budget crisis. WHYY's Bill Cook has more.

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SEPTA Cops volunteer for Inauguration duty

January 13, 2009

SEPTA is sending a contingent of officers to Washington DC to help patrol the District of Columbia's Mass Transit System. WHYY's Tom MacDonald has the details.

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More information:
We're looking for more local angles to the Inauguration. Submit your own stories or photos of how Philadelphia is preparing for January 20th to WHYY's politics blog - Y Decide. Details are here.


Volunteer programs seeing gains in applicants

January 13, 2009

The sinking economy could be one reason more young people are tapping into volunteer programs. The nationwide program, City Year, is reporting applications have tripled in the last year. More from WHYY's Susan Phillips.

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Wilmington welcomes back a supermarket after long absence

January 13, 2009

The first full-service supermarket in years is open in the city of Wilmington. The grand opening of the Shop Rite near the riverfront is a plus for residents in the neighborhood. WHYY's Kyle Schmoyer reports.

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Philly cops connect with Asian business community

January 12, 2009

The Philadelphia Police Department is reaching out to the Chinese American community. A crime-prevention seminar today [12 noon-2pm] comes in the wake of the murder of Korean-American businessman last week. Police say a series of crimes targeting Asian business owners may have occured because of their banking habits. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Natural gas savings may hinge on your address

January 12, 2009

The price of natural gas in the region is down. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports just how much you are going to save depends on where you live.

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Abundance of schemes may keep investors vigilant

January 12, 2009

Several local ponzi schemes have been uncovered since Bernard Madoff was arrested in New York last month for allegedly using billions of dollars from new investors to pay off older ones. One local expert says people may need to re-think how they decide who invests their money. WHYY'S Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Business leaders discuss economic downturn

January 12, 2009

Some of the region's top business leaders gather tomorrow for the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce's annual Economic Outlook breakfast. They'll be looking to find opportunity in troubled times. WHYY's Bill Hangley reports.

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City to use social networking sites for emergency information

January 12, 2009

The city of Philadelphia is using new media to contact people in case of emergency. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports they are specifically seeking out young people with social networking sites.

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Fumo leaves big shoes to fill in Harrisburg

January 12, 2009

Prosecutors are still two weeks away from wrapping up their case against Former State Senator Vincent Fumo. But when the legislature in Harrisburg begins its new session next week, lawmakers will be meeting without one of Philadelphia's most powerful advocates. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Sugarhouse Casino takes case to the Supreme Court

January 9, 2009

Lawyers for Sugarhouse casino say the city of Philadelphia has blocked efforts to build on the waterfront in Fishtown and have taken their case back to the Supreme Court. Sugarhouse wants the court to appoint a special master to resolve their dispute with the Nutter administration. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Five New Jersey institutions for the disabled to close

January 9, 2009

A proposal to close five of New Jersey's seven state-run institutions for the disabled is drawing both criticism and support among advocates for the disabled. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Senate race open with the exit of Chris Matthews

January 9, 2009

Experts say Pennsylvania's 2010 senate race is wide open now that political talk show host Chris Matthews is out of the running. They expect Republican incumbent Arlen Specter to face strong challenges from the left and the right. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Prosecution claims Fumo obstructed an FBI investigation

January 8, 2009

The corruption trial of former State Senator Vincent Fumo continues today in federal court. The prosecution is laying out its case charging that Fumo obstructed an FBI investigation. Some say the trial in its third month could mark the beginning of the end of pay to play culture in philadelphia. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Low income energy program reinstated

January 8, 2009

A low income energy program has been reinstated just days after the oil pipe was supposed to be clamped shut. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports a local congressman and a member of a famous political family teamed up to get the oil flowing again.

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Digital-conversion deadline approaching

January 8, 2009

There are only 40 days left until all television broadcasts in the country switch to a digital signal. That means beginning February 17th you won't be able to watch anything on TVs that only get an analog signal. WHYY's Peter Crimmins has more.

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Watchdog doesn't bark at mayor's move to close libraries

January 7, 2009

Philadelphia's government watchdog agency supports the mayor's authority to close 11 libraries despite a recent court ruling. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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SEPTA tests new quiet car on the R5

January 7, 2009

Beginning Monday SEPTA will offer a designated quiet car on the R5 rail line. Riders are discouraged from using cell phones, radios, or engaging in loud conversations in the lead car during rush hours. WHYY's Peter Crimmins found out many riders welcome the idea.

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Three new eyes for traffic Big Brother

January 7, 2009

The city of Philadelphia has three new red light cameras that are up and running. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports the program has done exactly what it was supposed to do.

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PA makes the grade in ESL

January 7, 2009

Pennsylvania ranks above the national average when it comes to teaching english as a second language in public schools. That is according to a report issued by the trade journal "education week." Philadelphia area schools are facing tougher state standards in teaching foreign-language students. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Stimulus package stimulates questions

January 7, 2009

With the inauguration of President-Elect Barack Obama on the horizon, a stimulus program won't be far behind. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports there are questions about just what should be a part of the program.

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Pizza delivery dangers loom in Newcastle County

January 7, 2009

Newcastle police report after seeing more than 40 robberies last year, there have been four more already - only six days into 2009. WHYY's Kyle Schmoyer reports.

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Analyst: Corzine cuts a challenge for NJ GOP

January 7, 2009

Republican lawmakers say it's about time Governor Corzine made cuts to state departments. But the political battle to balance the budget may not be over yet. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story.

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Citgo pump for the poor dries up

January 6, 2009

A program that brought discount fuel oil to thousands is becoming a victim of the difficult financial times. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.


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Mayor, unions begin arbitration

January 6, 2009

The Nutter administration has made a proposal to the Police and Firefighters unions as part of the arbitration process. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports both sides are on opposite ends of the spectrum in their demands.

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Libraries stay open, but changes are still underway

January 6, 2009

The Nutter administration lost its effort in court to defend closure of 11 city library branches. Now the Mayor is making widespread changes in the library system to save money in the faltering budget. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Philadelphia judges under fire

January 6, 2009

Several Philadelphia area judges are making news for a recent string of unrelated legal actions and accusations lodged against them. On Monday the state Court of Judicial Discipline suspended a Philadelphia Municipal Court Judge for issuing a fake "stay-away" order on behalf of an acquaintance. In a separate case, yesterday Pennsylvania's judicial watchdog panel filed a misconduct charge against a Philadelphia Judge for using his judicial office to help manage his real-estate holdings. WHYY'S Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Scheduled closings of Philly fire companies proceed

January 5, 2009

It's the end of the line for five engine companies and two ladder companies in the city of Philadelphia's fire department. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports they were the victim of the budget-cutter's axe.

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Nutter: financial outlook gets bleaker

January 5, 2009

The city of Philadelphia's fiscal situation is worsening. WHYY's Tom MacDonald report Mayor Michael Nutter says there could be even more cuts to city services.

Caption: Mayor Nutter at African American History Museum earlier today.

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Philadelphia says goodbye to hero doctor

January 5, 2009

Hundreds of mourners gathered at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul today to pay their final respects to Dr. John Pryor. The leader of the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania's trauma team was killed during his second tour of duty in Iraq on Christmas Day. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

Caption: Frank Thompson salutes Maj. John Pryor.

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New Christmas tree recycling program

January 5, 2009

The last of the holiday wrappings, wreaths, and Christmas trees are heading to the curb. Many communities have recycling programs for the greenery. Philadelphia's Christmas tree recycling program starts today and runs through Saturday January 17. This is also the start of weekly recycling, city-wide. WHYY's Bill Hangley reports.

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day of service

January 5, 2009

The anniversary of the birthday of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King will be marked with a day of service. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

Caption: Martin Luther King Jr. addresses a crowd from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the Aug. 28, 1963, march on Washington, D.C., Credit: Courtesy: U.S. Navy

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Republican lawmaker pushes for stronger parole reform plan

January 6, 2009

While Governor Rendell will push for a tougher sentencing law for repeat violent offenders, Northeast Philadelphia's Republican lawmaker, John Taylor, is pushing his own parole reform plan. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.


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City touts first days of 3-1-1 hotline

January 2, 2009

Philadelphia city officials are declaring the launch of a new non-emergency number a success. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Electricity service out for homes on New Year's Day

January 2, 2009

Talk about your New Year's hangover. WHYY's Denis Devine has the cold-hard-facts on homes waiting to get their electricity service back after a wind-blown holiday.

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New safeguards against carbon monoxide in Philadelphia

January 2, 2009

With the new year comes new mandates to safeguard Philadelphia residents from the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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A new Post for D.A. Lynn Abraham?

January 2, 2009

Philadelphia D.A. Lynn Abraham finishes her term in office at the end of this year. WHYY's Tom MacDonald says her name is being mentioned for two important posts.

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DA: Don't ring in New Year with gunshots

December 31, 2008

Philadelphia's District Attorney is sending out a stern holiday warning for people to holster their firearms. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

District Attorney Lynne Abraham and shooting victim Joe Jaskolka.

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Mayor Nutter Will Appeal Judge's Order

December 31, 2008

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter says he will appeal a judge's order keeping 11 public library branches open to the public. Nutter says he's required to balance the city's budget and ordered the closings to save about $8 million a year. But, WHYY's Tom MacDonald talked to library patrons who are thrilled with court decision.

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Police Make Progress in Crack Down Against Possession of Illegal Guns

December 31, 2008

The "stop and frisk" tactic used by Philadelphia police to crack down on those carrying guns illegally has resulted in a 60% increase in pedestrian stops over last year, though the number of guns seized is up only 1.5%. Mayor Michael Nutter says the widely publicized program has made the city safer by succesfully cut down on criminals carrying guns on city streets - and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey reveals plans to build on statistics showing a 15% drop in homicides in 2008. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Controller's plan for budget savings called "stunt" by mayoral administration

December 31, 2008

Philadelphia officials say city controller Alan Butkovitz's plan to save the city almost half a billion dollars is more of a publicity stunt than a blueprint for success. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Judge stops city from closing libraries

December 30, 2008

A Philadelphia Judge has issued an order preventing the closing of 11 city libraries for now. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports a suit by taxpayers and members of City Council prompted the special order.

Caption: Councilman Bill Green celebrates with a library supporter.

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New state law on child safety

December 30, 2008

In West Philadelphia. Safeguarding children from preventable tragedies is the intent of Pennsylvania state law that takes effect next week. WHYY's Denis Devine has the story.

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Philly crime down in 2008

December 30, 2008

It's been a difficult year for police officers in Philadelphia. Four officers were killed in the line of duty. But Philadelphia police have delivered on Mayor Michael Nutter's promise to reduce the number of homicides. The Police Department managed to cut violent crime 3 percent and the murder rate fell by 15 percent this year. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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More information:
It's Our City: Share your thoughts - Would you consider Mayor Nutter and Commissioner Ramsey's strategies on crime to be successful so far?


Nutter suggests library branches become "Knowledge Centers"

December 30, 2008

While the possible fate of 11 Philadelphia library branches slated to close plays out in court again today, Mayor Nutter offers an alternative solution - to reopen the branches as "knowledge centers." Nutter's proposal was met with boos when it was announced yesterday at a news meeting. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Investigations into Philadelphia charter schools reveals need for oversight

December 30, 2008

With at least three Philadelphia charter schools under federal investigation for financial misdeeds, a growing number of education officials are calling for stronger state oversight. WHYY's Bill Hangley reports.

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What's the 3-1-1? City to find out Wednesday

December 29, 2008

Caption: Agents keep score of callers and wait times.

Need a pothole filled? Need to know when to put out recycling? Need help with a barking dog? If you live in Philadelphia, soon you'll be dialing 3-1-1. Philadelphia's new system will provide one-stop-shopping for information on city services and is set to launch this Wednesday. In a city that has a bad reputation when it comes to customer service, a large part of the launch involved training city workers on phone etiquette. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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More information:
It's Our City: In response to this story, we ask - what questions will YOU have for 3-1-1 when it starts on Wednesday?


Olde City Retailers Experience Slow Sales

December 29, 2008

From Sears to Circuit City, major retailers are reeling from slow sales this holiday season. In Olde City Philadelphia, owners of much smaller shops worry they may have it even worse. WHYY's Sarah Whites-Koditschek reports.

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Mayor to be "indicted" over library closures

December 29, 2008

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is expected this afternoon to announce a program to save some library services in the neighborhoods where eleven branches are set to close. This comes as hearings on a lawsuit filed to halt the closings begin today in Common Pleas Court. Nutter wants to close the branches to help stem a growing budget deficit. But one group of angry library users says that unless today's announcement means the libraries stay open, they won't be satisfied. They plan to issue what they call a "people's indictment" of the mayor and may use civil disobedience to prevent the closures. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Mummers Parade is Almost Ready

December 29, 2008

Thousands of participants are making sure every costume feather and sequin is in place as they prepare to strut in the 2009 Mummers Day Parade. The Franklin Institute forecasts a sunny New Year's Day - high 38 degrees for the throng expected to line Broad Street to cheer on the golden slippered comics, String bands, fancies and brigades. WHYY's Bill Hangley looks at some serious challenges facing members and organizers of the more than century old Philadelphia tradition.

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Doubt about Mummers, fireworks means good hotel deals

December 29, 2008

In Philadelphia, there is room at the inn. Good viewing spots are plentiful for the Mummers Parade and New Years Eve Fireworks. WHYY's Tom MacDonald says uncertainty over whether the events would take place has left rooms available.

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New policy for recycling collection

December 26, 2008

What's good for environment is also good for the municipal budget. That's the hope of Philadelphia officials, who hope to boost city recycling by changing to a weekly collection policy starting with the new year. WHYY's Bill Hangley reports.

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Retired captain uses navy skills as teacher

December 26, 2008

The math and science skills retired Navy Captain Richard Colonna relied on as a ship commander are now coming in handy in a high-school classroom. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports.

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Another holiday tradition: the Christmas Bird Count

December 26, 2008

Among the holiday traditions - bird lovers across the country are scanning the skies as part of the Audubon Society's Annual Christmas Bird Count. The month-long effort wraps up January 5th, so there's still time for Philadelphia-area birders to get in on the ornitho-logical action. WHYY's Denis Devine has the story.

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Can Public-Private Partnerships save Philly's libraries?

December 24, 2008

The city's budget crunch has book lovers looking for ways to keep 11 library branches open, reaching out to foundations, individuals and corporations. Mayor Michael Nutter says an announcement about a partnership is imminent. But options may be limited for Philadelphia residents hoping to save their neighborhood libraries. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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More information:
To see photos and engage in a discussion about this story, go to the It's Our City Blog.


Montgomery County to Privatize Assisted Living Services

December 24, 2008

The Montgomery County Assisted Living Services is looking for private facilities to house their elderly residents. Pennsylvania's only County-run facility is slated to close next year due to budget cuts, and the Board of Commissioners say they can save one million dollars a year by seeking out the private sector. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Hearing on Library Closures

December 24, 2008

Patrons and employees at 11 Philadelphia library branches slated to close hope a hearing Monday will lead to an injunction keeping the facilities open. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Lawsuit Against Community Organizing Group Dropped

December 24, 2008

More than seven weeks after the election, Pennsylvania State Republican officials have dropped a lawsuit accusing a community organizing group of gathering phony voter registrations. WHYY's Bill Hangley reports.

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Toyota Dealer Remains Optimistic

December 24, 2008

Domestic and foreign automakers are being hit by the downturn in the economy. Even as Toyota this year is expected to eclipse General Motors as the world's largest car company, the president of Toyota reportedly plans to step down amid a forecasted fiscal year operating loss of more than one and a-half billion dollars. Nonetheless, WHYY's Tom MacDonald found a local car dealer who remains optimistic.

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Reaction to the Fort Dix Five verdict

December 23, 2008

Sentencing is scheduled in April for the Fort Dix five convicted of conspiring to carry out an attack on soldiers at Fort Dix. They were found not guilty of attempted murder. More from WHYY's Peter Crimmins on reaction to the verdicts read in federal court in Camden.

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Last minute shoppers will face big crowds

December 23, 2008

'Tis the season for procrastinators. The final shopping days before Christmas have retailers extending hours and in some cases staying open 24 hours until the big day. WHYY's Tom Macdonald reports people who've waited till the last minute could be fighting crowds to get some big deals.

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Memorial for 83 homeless dead in Philadelphia

December 23, 2008

A national day to remember homeless people who've died on the streets took place at Love Park Monday. WHYY's Tom Macdonald reports 83 homeless people died in the city in the past year.

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Federal investigations into Philly Core Scholarship Program

December 23, 2008

Philadelphia School District and city officials haven't decided how they'll replace the core philly scholarship program, which Congressman Chakah Fattah abruptly ended two weeks ago. Federal investigators are now taking a close look at a program that once provided city students with thousands of college scholarships every year. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Fort Dix Five found guilty of plotting, not guilty of attemping to attack

December 22, 2008

The five young men charged with conspiring to attack Fort Dix in New Jersey showed little emotion when their guilty verdict was read in Camden Federal Court today. Their families reacted with tears and anger. They could all face life sentences. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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State agency halts French Creek project

December 22, 2008

State environmental officials have ordered a halt to a development project near French Creek State Park in Chester County. The builders say they thought they already had the state permits they needed. They say red tape from the agency has already put them well behind schedule. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Mayor Doug Palmer, no plans to work for White House, committed to reviving New Jersey

December 22, 2008

Trenton faces a looming deficit and Mayor Doug Palmer says he and other mayors are asking President-elect Obama for a helping hand. Despite rumors of a new job at the White House, Palmer says he's more invested in this state's capitol. WHYY's Mary Fuchs talked to the mayor and has this report.

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Remembering a fallen police officer one month later

December 22, 2008

Religious leaders, city officials, police officers, and family members of Sargeant Timothy Simpson gathered Monday to remember the fifth Philadelphia police officer killed in the line of duty in just over a year. The group gathered at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, one month after Sargeant Simpson was killed when his patrol car was struck by another vehicle. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Code Blue for city's homeless

December 22, 2008

A dangerous dip in the mercury has city of Philadelphia officials trying to keep the homeless warm and safe. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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National Homeless Day observed in Philadelphia

December 22, 2008

A wave of winter weather that has dumped snow and ice from Seattle into New England, reminds many of people who live on the streets. More than 80 homeless people died this year in Philadelphia. National Homeless Memorial Day is marked today with a noontime ceremony in Love Park. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Travel down for holidays

December 22, 2008

Travel is again expected to be down during the long holiday break. While gas prices have plumetted in the past few months amid the sinking global economy. Nationwide, travel is expected to be down 2-percent. Travel by airline could be down 10-percent this season. WHYY's Elizabeth Fieldler reports.

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Vigil against closure of Northeastern Hospital

December 22, 2008

A vigil is expected to take place tonight outside Philadelphia's Northeastern Hospital in an effort to keep the facility open. Maternity care advocates are especially concerned about mothers who would otherwise rely on the hospital for local, affordable care. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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National Guard soldiers from 56th Strker Brigade celebrate holidays at home

December 22, 2008

Pennsylvania National Guard soldiers from the 56th Stryker Brigade head home to their families today for a final visit before being deployed to Iraq in mid-January. This will be the Pennsylvania's largest guard deployment to Iraq. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Illegal poultry in motion downstream

December 19, 2008

The owner of a former poultry plant in Bucks County about 40 miles northwest of Philadelphia was charged today with repeatedly dumping chicken parts, grease and blood into a tributary of the Schuylkill River over two years. WHYY's Denis Devine has the story.

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Consumer Advocate calls for change of power

December 19, 2008

Pennsylvania's Consumer Advocate is calling for a re-thinking of how electricity is generated. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Donald Trump sues Pennsylvaina gaming control board

December 19, 2008

Donald Trump is suing the Pennsylvania gaming control board, adding another layer of complexity to the struggle over the building of casinos in Philadelphia. Trump filed the lawsuit in federal court in Harrisburg on Thursday. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Mummer's post-parade party in question

December 19, 2008

The Mummers are planning to strut around city hall on New Year's day for the 107th time, but the unofficial party after the parade is still in question. The mummers' march back to their culbhouses on second street attracts thousands of revelers. The city says it can't afford that. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Mixed reactions to Bush's car company bailout

December 19, 2008

President Bush unveiled his plan to aid struggling auto companies earlier today. His strategy includes $13.4 billion in emergency loans to prop up General Motors and Chrysler, then an additional $4 billion. The car companies must undergo major reorganization, and prove that they can become profitable. The President said he didn't want to step in to help the car manufacturers, but he had no choice, given the country's serious economic problems. WHYY's Elizabeth Fieldler reports.

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Possible human-trafficking case in Upper Darby

December 18, 2008

Police are trying to find a group of young, Liberian women who may be caught up in a human-trafficking operation. The case drew the attention of Upper Darby police after a girl said she and other girls were brought from Liberia by a woman who posed as her mother. While police dig deeper, some immigration professionals say the case could draw much needed attention to the plight of human trafficking victims. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Restaurant menus must have labels

December 18, 2008

In a city once labeled as the fattest in the country, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has signed legilsation that will require fast food and chain restaurants to label menus with nutritional information, including calories, fat content, carbohydrates and salt. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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City could face lawsuit over library closures

December 18, 2008

The Nutter administration will face angry library users again tonight at the final town hall meeting scheduled to address budget cuts. Activists eager to keep open the 11 libraries Mayor Nutter slated for closure plan to hold a rally tonight at Martin Luther King High School. The Mayor could also face a class action lawsuit over the issue. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

Caption: Josina Guess, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuits, holding her daughter.

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Assessing impact of Center City casino

December 18, 2008

The Foxwoods Casino was slated for construction along the Delaware Waterfront. Now officials are considering the Gallery Mall in Center City in part because it's close to transportation and tourist hubs like Chinatown, and the Convention Center. Gamblers and gaming experts alike are considering what's at stake. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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More information:
See video interviews of Gallery patrons and nearby workers as they give their perspectives on the potential casino.


Independence Hall "free" from tyranny of bike rack barricades

December 18, 2008

Security at Independence Hall is changing and getting very high tech and almost invisible. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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A new community center opens in North Philadelphia

December 18, 2008

A new community center going up in North Philadelphia promises to offer a host of amenities to the impoverished community that surrounds it. Officials gathered today for the groundbreaking of the Ray and Joan Kroc family center. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports.

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City Planning Commission wants to create a separate advisory board to review land development projects

December 18, 2008

The city planning commission is taking its first steps toward changing how it reviews large development projects. The commission wants to create a separate advisory board that would focus on how proposed buildings look and how they fit into their neighborhoods. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Deleware Budget gap has dropped 560 million dollars

December 17, 2008

With state revenue dropping in Delaware by another 100 million dollars, the budget gap now stands at about 560 million dollars for the current and upcoming fiscal years. How do they get out of it? One paper clip at a time, says the woman nominated by governor-elect Jack Markell to head the budget process. WHYY's Bill Cook has the story.

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Toys-for-Tots searching for aid in tough season

December 17, 2008

A program to help make the holidays happy for children is in need of some help itself. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Two charged in bilking nursing home patients

December 17, 2008

Two nurse's aides are accused of stealing from their patients, including wheelchair-bound and elderly veterans. Philadelphia Police says the pair stole money from patients at the Veterans Nursing Home on Civic Center Boulevard. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Lawsuit by firefighters to delay station closings

December 17, 2008

Philadelphia Firefighters continue their fight this afternoon to keep stations on a closing list open. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

Caption: Caption: Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers.


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Number of homes without power or heat worsens

December 16, 2008

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission released its Cold Weather Survey on Tuesday. The annual tally of homes heading into winter without utility power was expected to be high this year, and the Philadelphia region always has the lion's share. But this year, it's even worse. WHYY's Denis Devine reports.

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Rendell to Philadelphia: No state money for your libraries

December 16, 2008

Pennsylvania's Governor says there's no state money available to save libraries in Philadelphia set to be closed under budget cuts mandated by the Nutter administration. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Walmart steps in with grant for teachers

December 16, 2008

Caption: Governor Rendell and Mayor Nutter accept check on behalf of schools.

An area retailer is helping teachers in some of the city's schools buy supplies for students. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Attorney General's office investigates Fumo charity

December 16, 2008

While the Pennsylvania Attorney General's office is investigating a charity at the center of the ongoing corruption trial of former State Senator Vince Fumo, the organization's former accountant is testifying that he was misled about expenses at the non-profit. Federal prosecutors accuse Fumo of illegally using the group to pay for political polling, shopping sprees, and other personal items. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Fattah announces nationwide scholarship program

December 16, 2008

A local US Congressman says he wants to help students pay for their college education. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.


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Fort Dix 5 arguments end today

December 16, 2008

Today defense lawyers are expected to present closing arguments to the jury in the Fort Dix case. Five foreign-born Muslim men are accused of planning to attack a New Jersey army base. Yesterday the prosecution laid out its arguments, as did one of the defendants' lawyers. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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More on the National Lampoon's securities fraud

December 16, 2008

The CEO of the company responsible for the Animal House and National Lampoon's Vacation movies could be facing jail for securities fraud. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Survey reveals numbers of no-heat households

December 15, 2008

A report due out today will reveal how many Pennsylvanians are going into winter without gas or electric heat in their home. The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission's Cold Weather Survey comes a few days after it released a related list: a grim tally of all the deaths since 1989 in homes whose electric or gas service had been cut. Both lists are expected to grow this year, with the recession making it harder for Pennsylvanians to pay their utility bills. WHYY's Denis Devine has the story.

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A week in South Street bridge shutdown, no major delays

December 15, 2008

The city is one week into a $67 million bridge reconstruction project that's expected to take up to 2 years. Last Monday, the city shutdown the 85-year-old South Street bridge that connected University City to Center City. While commuters are forced to find another way to get to work, officials say so far - so good. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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National Lampoon executives, others charged with securities fraud

December 15, 2008

The head of National Lampoon is among those who aren't laughing and could be facing jailtime if some federal charges stick. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

Caption: U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Laurid Magid and Dan Hawk, Director of the Security and Exchange Commission's Philadelphia regional office.

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Lack of library-closure hearings angers some

December 15, 2008

A delay on the hearings surrounding the closure of city libraries has many upset. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Closing statements in Fort Dix trial

December 15, 2008

Jurors hear closing statements today in the trial of five men charged with plotting to attack soldiers at Fort Dix. The jury in federal court in Camden heard 26 days of testimony including audio tape from two FBI informants and video recorded by the defendants. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Crowded primary field for new District Attorney

December 15, 2008

There could be a croweded primary field in the race for a new Philadelphia Distric Attorney. WHYY's Tom Macdonald reports.

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A report on the number of Pennsylvanians without heat this winter

December 15, 2008

A report coming out today will detail how many Pennsylvaninas could go through winter without heat in their homes. Another Pennsylvania P-U-C report last week showed since 1989 the number of deaths in homes where electric and gas service had been but. WHYY's Denis Devine reports the recession could make things worse.

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Council approves zoning for new skyscraper

December 12, 2008

Philadelphia's skyline could get taller. City Council gave approval to zoning changes that paves the way for a 1500 foot sky-scraper at 18th and Arch streets. The building would be one of the highest in the world. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Two million dollars worth of narcotics seized in Philadelphia

December 12, 2008

Authorities are hailing a major heroin bust as a prime example of law enforcement cooperation. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Torsella steps down as Constitution Center CEO

December 12, 2008

The head of the National Constitution Center says two terms is enough and is stepping down to look for his next professional opportunity. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Controversy between non-profits to come to Philadelphia

December 12, 2008

A fundraising event for an animal-rights group to be held in Philadelphia tomorrow has pitted non-profit groups against each other. One organization is being called a terrorist group, the other a corporate shill. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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NJ may once again delay implementing paper ballots

December 12, 2008

In New Jersey, votes are counted only one way - electronically. According to a law passed three years ago, the state was supposed to have machines including a paper trail by January first 2009. But WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports a bill to extend that deadline is swiftly moving through the legislature.

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Council postpones Verizon deal again

December 11, 2008

A Philadelphia City Council committee delayed, for the second time, voting on a bill that would allow Verizon to offer pay TV service in the city. The contract with Verizon was fast-tracked by the Nutter administration, but remains stuck in council committee. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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The Fumo trial continues

December 11, 2008

As the corruption trial of former State Senator Vince Fumo continues into its eighth week, the former head of the Pennsylvania Convention Center and fumo ally Al Mezzaroba is expected to testify today. On Wednesday, Fumo's former English butler told the jury that employees from the non-profit Citizens Alliance performed multiple tasks at his Greene Street mansion. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Council debates city moneymaking ventures

December 11, 2008

Philadelphia City Council is discussing potential revenue enhancements to close the city budget gap. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Teachers stay home in support of gay rights

December 11, 2008

Since California voters banned same-sex marriages last month, gay communities across the country have seen a new wave of activism. In Pennsylvania, gay-rights advocates are focusing on passing anti-discrimination and hate-crimes laws. WHYY's Denis Devine has the story.

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New report bolsters case for gay marriage in New Jersey

December 11, 2008

New Jersey may have taken a step closer to legalizing gay marriage on Wednesday. The state's Civil Union Commission released a report yesterday that says the only way same sex couples will be granted equal rights is through gay marriage. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Calling all Girl Scouts, leaders wanted

December 10, 2008

The Girl Scout Research Institute has developed a series of leadership training programs for girls and volunteers. The project stems from a report showing both boys and girls have a difficulty wrapping their heads around leadership roles. WHYY Morning Edition's Brenda Jorett talked with Dr. Michael Conn, Vice President of the Girl Scout Research Institute. There's more information at www.gsep.org.

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Montessori students hold read-in to protest library cuts

December 9, 2008

Mayor Michael Nutter's planned budget cuts have drawn criticism from some government officials and citizens. On Tuesday, more than 30 preschool through 4th grade students protested at West Philadelphia's Charles Durham branch - one of 11 libraries that's slated to close. The students don't have a library at their school, so they held a read-in and march to show their concern. The story from WHYY'S Elizabeth Fiedler.

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New Jersey businesses hoping for piece of stimulus package

December 9, 2008

Industry leaders in South Jersey want to be first in line when a new federal economic stimulus package is approved by President-elect Barack Obama. A dozen South Jersey banking, industry and labor leaders met with Congressman Rob Andrews yesterday to discuss ways in which South Jersey can rebound from the economic crisis. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Rep. Murphy eyed for Senate run

December 9, 2008

A US Congressman could be looking towards higher elected office. Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy says he's been approached to run for U.S. Senate. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports he isn't committing to anything just yet.

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New Chancellor for Philadelphia Bar Association

December 9, 2008

The Philadelphia Bar Association welcomed its incoming chancellor at an Annual Meeting and Luncheon yesterday. The Bronx native has worked for decades as a personal injury lawyer in Philadelphia, and has also made a name for herself as a television analyst on well known cases including the O.J. Simpson trial. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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New Jersey introduces information website

December 9, 2008

How much does New Jersey spend and where does that money go? You might be able to find that out soon if New Jersey creates a searchable public information website. Republican lawmakers in Trenton are trying to do just that. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story.

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Councilman: More water main breaks on the way

December 9, 2008

The break of a major water main is just a small part of a major infrastructure problem in Philadelphia. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Report: Delaware Valley vulnerable to bioterror

December 9, 2008

A new report says Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware would still have problems dealing with a bioterrorism attack. WHYY's Tom MacDonald has the details.

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PA Government weighs possibility of new taxes

December 8, 2008

Many Pennsylvania lawmakers oppose tax hikes to patch Pennsylvania's budget deficit. But Governor Ed Rendell and others say new taxes may be necessary to balance the books. WHYY's Jen Rehill reports.

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Program aims to put disabled veterans in financial jobs

December 8, 2008

A Philadelphia firm is doing more than just offering financial assistance to veterans who are returning seriously injured from the battlefield. It is training them for a new career. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Doubts about New Jersey state aid for poor

December 8, 2008

Poverty rates were rising in New Jersey two years ago and are continuing to rise in the current economic climate. Legal Services of New Jersey, which released those statistics in a report, says the state has a unique position to help the poor, if they can find the money. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story.

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New Jersey remembers Pearl Harbor

December 8, 2008

The attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec 7, 1941 was commemorated Monday morning at the Battleship New Jersey at the Camden waterfront. It was the 18th annual ceremony organized by New Jersey Congressman Rob Andrews. WHYY's Peter Crimmins was there.

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South Street Bridge closes today for two year reconstruction

December 8, 2008

Commuters who usually travel the 85 year old South Street bridge between University City and Center City, now have to find an alternate route. Starting today, and for the duration of the $67 million bridge reconstruction project, which is expected to take up to 2 years, South Street will be closed to all traffic from 27th Street to Convention Avenue. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Court ruling on Fox Chase expansion this week

December 8, 2008

A ruling that will determine the future of a Northeast Philadelphia landmark is expected this week. Park supporters went to Orphans Court to stop the city from selling part of Burholme Park to a neighboring hospital. WHYY's Bill Hangley reports.

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Bucks County gets federal funds to fight gangs

December 8, 2008

A federal grant will be used to address crime in Bucks County. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports the money will be spent on both prevention and enforcement.


Caption: Bucks County District Attorney Michelle Henry


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Consumer Reports

Options for your holiday electronics shopping

Dec. 5, 2008

Electronic items top most people's holiday gift lists - both for giving and receiving. The question, though, is where to shop? Consumer Reports Electronics Editor, Paul Reynolds, has the answer.

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Council rejects ban on leaflets littering city doorways

December 5, 2008

If you're sick and tired of unwanted advertising on your doorstep, city officials say they can help. But they've rejected a bill in city council that would have banned the leaflets altogether. WHYY's Bill Hangley reports.

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Congressman returns scholarship effort to city

December 5, 2008

After failing to meet his own fundraising goals, Congressman Chakah Fattah is putting millions in scholarship funds in the hands of the city. City officials say they've seen this money before. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Council considers ways to boost local economy

December 5, 2008

City Councilman Darrell Clarke introduced a package of bills this week aims to stimulate the local economy by adjusting real estate taxes. But one real estate economist says it could have the opposite effect. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Controller keeps heat on school district over TransPass-crime link

December 5, 2008

Philadelphia City Controller Alan Butkovitz says the School District is avoiding the spike in subway crime caused by its Transpass program, and he's upset about the situation. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Adults talk about easing kids' transition to Kindergarten

December 5, 2008

A conference in Philadelphia is working to link children to the proper pre-schools so they can make a smooth transition to Kindergarten. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

Caption: State Education Secretary Gerard Zahorchak

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Library fans prepare for big rally Saturday

December 5, 2008

Library advocates are gearing up for a major rally outside the Central branch Saturday. They're opposing Mayor Michael Nutter's plans to close 11 libraries across the city to fill a budget gap. Organizers says after the rally the group will march to City Hall to drop off petitions protesting the closures. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Local Business with Frank Devlin
Good things can come in small packages

December 5, 2008

The banking sector in the region is reinventing itself as some smaller banks capitalize on their long histories and stability. Here's Frank Devlin of the Philadelphia Business Journal-dot-com.

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Council asks Nutter to halt library closures

December 4, 2008

City Council passed a nonbinding resolution today asking the Nutter administration to delay closing libraries until the council holds hearings on the issue. But Mayor Nutter is digging his heels in on the library closures, and even some councilmembers say the resolution sends the wrong message. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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NE Philly prison going solar

December 4, 2008

The Riverside Correctional Facility on State Road in Northeast Philadelphia is turning towards the sun to help cut costs. WHYY's Tom MacDonald had a look at what is being billed as the first prison in the country to be partially powered by solar energy.

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Verizon grant helping South Philly's young readers

December 4, 2008

The Philadelphia School District has a new grant to help with literacy. WHYY's Tom MacDonald traveled to South Philadelphia to see a reading program funded by the grant in action.

Caption: Mayor Michael Nutter, School Superintendent Arlene Ackerman and Verizon Pennsylvania President Gale Given speak to children at George Washington Elementary School.

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Pennsylvania budget shortfall steeper than expected

December 4, 2008

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell announced today he will make more cuts to the state budget in anticipation of a multi-billion dollar deficit by June 30th. WHYY's Jen Rehill reports.

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Local businessman alledged to run prostitution ring

December 4, 2008

A Richboro Businessman with US and Russian citizenship is facing charges he traveled to Russia to have sex with underage girls. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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City lights Christmas Tree

December 4, 2008

The city of Philadelphia turned on the lights to its official Christmas Tree last night. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Students make biodiesel fuel

December 4, 2008

A group of junior high students at Wissahickon Charter School in North Philadelphia are filling up gas tanks with their own batch of biodiesel. For a science project they built a biodiesel processing system that converts fryer oil into fuel for cars. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Camden County anticipates rise in food stamp applications

December 4, 2008

Federal jobless benefits may have been extended but Camden County officials say that's the only thing preventing food stamp applications from soaring there. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Markell taps private sector for appointments

December 4, 2008

Delaware's Governor-Elect is reaching into the private sector to help guide the First-State's finances through some rough water. WHYY's Mark Eichmann reports.


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Council delays vote on Verizon cable franchise

December 4, 2008

Philadelphians will have to wait for the new year to find out if they'll get fresh competition in the local cable tv market. Last night a city council committee chose not to vote on a proposal to award a cable franchise to Verizon. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Nutter hopes cities get Federal help as well

December 3, 2008

The country's governors have delivered their wish lists to President-elect Obama. At a meeting in Philadelphia yesterday, the heads of states asked for help with their budget problems. Mayor Michael Nutter also made some requests of the next president. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Philly politico raves about Richardson nomination

December 3, 2008

Today President-elect Barack Obama officially announced his secretary of commerce will be New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. A local political consultant who headed Richardson's presidential campaign in Pennsylvania says he is the right man for the job. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.



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Nation's governors meet in Philadelphia to ask Obama for help

December 3, 2008

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell says he's optimistic President-Elect Barack Obama will heed his and other governor's advice when it comes to rebuilding the economy. Obama met with more than 40 governors Tuesday in Philadelphia. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine was once considered a candidate for Treasury Secretary in President-elect Barack Obama's administration. But on Tuesday, he joined his fellow governors to discuss the states' responses the economic crisis. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports Corzine made his case for a federal stimulus package.

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Specter, auto industry discuss bailout

December 3, 2008

US Senator Arlen Specter met Tuesday with people connected to a possible auto industry bailout to talk about the problem. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.


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Council advances tallest skyscraper plan

December 3, 2008

As early as next week, City Council could give full approval to a plan to build one of the nation's tallest buildings in downtown Philadelphia. Today a council committe approved zoning changes that would clear the way for the 63 story American Commerce Center proposed for 19th and Arch Street. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Penn's Landing fireworks show preserved

December 3, 2008

An almost two-decade long Philadelphia tradition is preserved by some last minute funding. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.



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FBI informant continues testimony in Fort Dix case

December 3, 2008

Federal prosecutors are presenting evidence suggesting 5 young men from Cherry Hill accused of plotting to attack Fort Dix were immersed in radical Islamist propoganda. Videos siezed from computer hard drives celebrate military violence in the name of Holy War. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Hunting Park shooting results in one death

December 3, 2008

Philadelphia Police are seeking a suspect in a fatal Hunting Park shooting. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Two from Wilmington were in Mumbai during attacks

December 3, 2008

Two businessmen from Delaware who were at the Taj Hotel in Mumbai as terrorists went on a killing spree last Wednesday are back home now. WHYY's Mark Eichmann has their story.

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Former U.S. Treasury Secretary weighs in on the economy

December 2, 2008

WHYY's Dave Heller talks about the state of the economy with Paul O'Neil - former U.S. Treasury Secretary during President George W. Bush's 1st term in office.

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Families with foreclosing homes will get New Jersey money

December 2, 2008

Twelve million dollars in state aid will go to New Jersey families facing foreclosure. And even though the state will have to make more cuts to pay for legal counseling and mediation, Governor Jon Corzine says he hopes to help nearly thirty thousand homeowners in two years. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Fort Dix informant testifies

December 2, 2008

The trial of the alleged Fort Dix terrorist conspiracy has entered a new phase as the second FBI informant took the stand. Jurors are hearing audio recordings secretly taken of the 5 young men accused of plotting to kill U.S. military at the New Jersey base. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Kids seeking help to be witnesses to history

December 2, 2008

A North Philadelphia Youth Group is seeking funding to give some deserving students a trip the historic inauguration of the nation's first African American president. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Lehigh to train administrators with new grant

December 2, 2008

Officials at Lehigh University say they're ready to help the Philadelphia school district tackle one of its toughest problems. A new federal grant will help them train principals for the city's comprehensive high schools. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Gamblers try to keep themselves out of casinos

December 2, 2008

While the debate over two casinos slated for the city grinds forward, some gamblers are asking the government to keep them out of the state's gaming halls. More than 450 gamblers have added their names to Pennsylvania's self-exclusion list - preventing themselves from collecting winnings, recovering losses, and putting themselves at risk of arrest for entering a casino. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Chester breaks ground on soccer stadium

December 2, 2008

Construction is officially underway for a new professional soccer stadium in Chester. WHYY's Tom MacDonald was there as the first official shovels of dirt were turned.

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Utility shutoff moratorium underway

December 1, 2008

The winter moratorium is underway and utilities are barred from shutting off service to the poor. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports if you are having trouble paying your bills, you shouldn't neglect them altogether.

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Superintendent to get input from parents, teachers

December 1, 2008

Officials at the Philadelphia School District expect a full house when they host their first strategic planning meeting tomorrow night. Over 150 teachers, principals, advocates and parents have signed up to help the first-year superintendant chart a fresh course. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Clang, clang, clang went the (late) trolley

December 1, 2008

SEPTA is having a difficult time working out some bugs on the Subway-Surface Lines WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports on the problem that's causing delays for trolley riders.

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Car dealers tuned in to auto bailout

December 1, 2008

Pennsylvania car dealers are paying close attention to the national debate on whether Ford, General Motors and Chrysler should be bailed out by the federal government. WHYY's Jen Rehill spoke with a dealer from northern Pittsburgh about the implications for his family-run business.

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Governors, Obama to meet at Independence Hall

December 1, 2008

The nation's governors will be meeting with President-Elect Barack Obama in Philadelphia on Tuesday. Obama is expected to give details of his economic recovery plan and seek input from the governors. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Specter most popular pol in PA

November 29, 2008

Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter is the most popular politician in the Commonwealth, according to a new poll. And as WHYY's Jen Rehill reports from Harrisburg, that could spell bad news for Democrats hoping to topple him from office.

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Holiday spending advice from ING Direct founder

November 28, 2008

On this Black Friday, Wilmington, Delaware based ING Direct founder and co-author of 'The Orange Code' Arkadi Kuhlmann argues for resisting the call to spend, spend spend today.


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Ice rinks get private funding; remain opened

November 26, 2008

Three Philadelphia ice rinks that were on the chopping block will open as scheduled on Monday thanks to a deal the city struck with a local youth hockey foundation. Its the first public private partnership agreement since Mayor Nutter announced service cuts to plug the $1 million dollar budget gap. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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To have turkey, many will travel

November 26, 2008

The busiest travel day of the year will have people headed to the highways in the quest for Thanksgiving fun. Tom MacDonald reports.

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Development and preservation on the Delaware

November 26, 2008

The Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers are a major focus of projects underway. The Pennsylvania Environmental Council is in the midst of several pieces of the development and preservation. WHYY Morning Edition's Brenda Jorett talked with PEC Senior Vice President Patrick Starr.

Caption: The Tidal Delaware Water Trail Map, developed by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.

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Nutter gets earful at first town hall

November 26, 2008

Mayor Michael Nutter met the public last night in the first of 8 town-hall meetings scheduled throughout the city. About 400 people filled the South Philadelphia high school auditorium to hear the mayor explain the cuts to services that are part of the city's response to a projected 108 million dollar deficit. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Trouble in toy land

November 25, 2008

Toys made with a dangerous chemical compound phthalates will still line the shelves this holiday season despite a new law banning their manufacture. That's the word from an annual review of toy safety released today by the Public Interest Research Group. WHYY's Bill Hanley has more.

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Mendte gets probation, house arrest

November 25, 2008

Former CBS news anchor Larry Mendte was sentenced to 6 months of house arrest and 3 years probation yesterday. He pleaded guilty to hacking into co-anchor Alycia Lane's email account 500 times in a 5-month period. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Clinics primary care source, report says

November 25, 2008

Outpatient clinics are siphoning off patients from larger hospitals in Pennsylvania, according to a new report. It is creating a network of spcialized clinics but leaving large hospitals in the red. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Biden advisor to take senate seat

November 25, 2008

Delaware's newest senator has been officially named. WHYY's Mark Eichmann has more on Ted Kaufman: the man who will take over the senate seat of Vice-President Elect Joe Biden.

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Nutter prepares for an earful at town hall meeting

November 25, 2008

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter was preparing to face some angry residents in South Philadelphia tonight at the first of eight town hall meetings on the city's budget crisis. But Nutter says that residents who oppose his budget cuts should suggest alternative cuts that can deliver long-term savings. WHYY's Susan Phillips has the story.

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First town hall on budget cuts tonight

November 25, 2008

Tonight Mayor Michael Nutter explains his decision to make some controversial budget cuts at the first of a series of town hall meetings at South Philadelphia High School. Mayor Nutter has come under fire for plans to close some libraries, swimming pools, fire companies, and suspend planned tax reductions to deal with a one billion dollar budget gap anticipated over the next 5 years. WHYY'S Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Rendell sounds off on Philadelphia budget cuts

November 25, 2008

Governor Ed Rendell is giving his opinion on Mayor Michael Nutter's budget cuts, as Mayor Nutter prepares to face the public. Tonight at the first in a series of town hall meetings, Mayor Nutter defends his plans to address a one billion dollar budget gap anticipated over the next 5 years. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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ACORN calls for halt to foreclosures

November 25, 2008

Local housing advocates are hoping to convince one of the nation's largest banks to put a hold on housing foreclosures. Wachovia Bank has so far declined to take up the offer. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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New Jersey Pension Fund in decline

November 25, 2008

New Jersey's pension funds lost nine billion dollars in investments in October. That has some state senators convinced that the state pension board needs more oversight on the investments it makes. But Governor Jon Corzine disagrees. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Funeral for Philadelphia Police Sgt. Timothy Simpson

November 24, 2008

Hundreds turned out at the funeral of a slain Philadelphia Police officer in a show of support. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.



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Listen to the final police radio call for Philadelphia Police Sgt. Timothy Simpson


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Zebra mussels found in Susquehanna

November 24, 2008

Pennsylvania environmental officials are calling on the states boating and fishing enthusiasts to help stop the spread of a very unwelcome guest. The invasive zebra mussel has been spotted in the lower Susquehanna River, bringing the threat of both environmental and economic damage. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Mendte to be sentenced today

November 24, 2008

Former CBS-3 TV news anchor Larry Mendte is scheduled to be sentenced today in federal court for hacking into the emails of former colleague Alycia Lane. He could face 6 months in prison. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Police and firefighters honored at school luncheon

November 24, 2008

Even as the city remembers one of its fallen heroes, an elementary school in Frankford is preparing to celebrate the living. The Smedley School's annual Heroes Luncheon has become a neighborhood Thanksgiving tradition. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Juvenile delinquency down in New Jersey

November 24, 2008

Since 2003, fewer children are being arrested and detained in New Jersey and the program responsible for the reform has been so successful, the state is expanding it. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Salle Mae to set up shop in Newark, Delaware

November 21, 2008

The world's leading provider of student loans is moving to Delaware and bringing with it more than one thousand job opportunites. WHYY's Phil Andrews has more.


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Hospitals not immune from economic downturn

November 21, 2008

Many economists claim Philadelphia is largely recession-proof because so much of the local economy is based on the health care industry. But a new report shows that even hospitals are beginning to feel the economic downturn. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Community College expansion underway

November 21, 2008

Officials at the Community College of Philadelphia say they're moving ahead with a major expansion plan despite a recent round of unexpected budget cuts. The college broke ground today for a 56 million dollar renovation to its downtown campus. WHYY's Bill Hangley was there.

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Philadelphians trade guns for food vouchers

November 21, 2008

Trading guns for groceries was the mission of a gun buy back program in Philadelphia. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

Caption: S.W.A.T. officer Ed Quintana holds one of the guns traded in today.

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Season's first snow should prompt car checkup

November 21, 2008

A winter weather wakeup today is a good reason to check to see if you are ready for what is to come. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Lawmakers press auto bailout

November 21, 2008

A Philadelphia Congressman says a bailout of the auto industry is an absolute necessity. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.


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Charges in major fraud case

November 21, 2008

Six people are charged in connection with a major fraud scheme that resulted in a 40 million dollar haul before they were caught. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Young readers rally behind their libraries

November 21, 2008

Citizens, councilmembers, and other city officials have weighed in on Mayor Michael Nutter's proposed budget cuts, which include some libraries and swimming pools. Some young library patrons made the trip to city council yesterday to make their opinions heard too. The story from WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler.

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Educators push for more school safety

November 21, 2008

State education officials say it's time for a collaborative approach to school safety. Thursday the board of education announced that it's launching a statewide working group charged with strengthening the bonds between students and their schools. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Council tries to bury the hatchet

November 20, 2008

Discussions between city councilmembers were calmer today - the day after a lively and sometimes tense debate between councilmembers, about Mayor Michael Nutter's budget cuts. The buzzwords today were "cooperation" and "together." WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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PA senators seek to expand Philadelphia foreclosure program

November 20, 2008

Pennsylvania Senators Bob Casey and Arlen Specter are moving to expand a widely-praised foreclosure prevention program launched right here in Philadelphia. They're asking the federal reserve to help send in the lawyers. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Tension between mayor and some council members over budget cuts

November 20, 2008

There is still some debate over whether or not Mayor Michael Nutter consulted with City Council enough over his budget cuts. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Looming cuts for Pennsylvania budget

November 20, 2008

A top Pennsylvania official says more budget cuts are being planned as the state's economy slides into recession. WHYY's Jen Rehill reports.

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Emergency Fund struggles to offer help this winter

November 20, 2008

As the temperature drops, the Emergency Fund for Older Philadelphians may not survive the winter. The amount of money in the fund is lower than the projected need. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Council moves toward approving delay in tax cuts

November 20, 2008

Philadelphia City Council took a step toward approving Mayor Michael Nutter's plan to delay tax cuts, which the mayor says will help fill 20 percent of the city's $1 billion dollar budget gap. But the approval did not come easy. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Mt. Holly residents angry over displacement

November 20, 2008

Redevelopment continues to be a point of contention in New Jersey. Some say it ruins communities because lower-income residents are forced to relocate when they can't afford the price of newer properties. That's the case in Mount Holly. Since 2002, more than three hundred homes have been bought by the township. Remaining residents say they have no where to go and only legislators to turn to. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story.

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North Philly gets green

November 20, 2008

A home improvement retailer is donating a million dollars to help create environmentally sustainable communities in Philadelphia. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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eHarmony forced to offer same-sex matching

November 20, 2008

The online dating site eHarmony will offer same-sex matching, after a settlement in a discrimination case filed in New Jersey. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Students lace up their running shoes for the Philadelphia marathon events

November 20, 2008

Caption: Student Run Philly Style participants in the broad street run.

The non-profit mentoring and training organization Students Run Philly Style has dozens of teenagers lacing up their running shoes for the Philadelphia marathon events Sunday. WHYY Morning Edition's Brenda Jorett talked with executive director Heather McDanel and student Alisa Footes about the program.

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Police get help in grieving fallen colleague

November 19, 2008

Philadelphia Police are teaming up with mental health professionals to help the men and women of the force cope with the death of another one of their own, the 24th district's Sgt. Timothy Simpson. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Police recruits undeterred by fallen officers

November 19, 2008

The death of six Philadelphia Police Officers in just over a year hasn't had an effect on recruitment. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Gang membership on the rise in New Jersey prisons

November 19, 2008

More than half of the twenty five thousand inmates in New Jersey state prisons are gang members. Experts say that their numbers are growing, and that prison bars are barely slowing down their criminal behavior. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story.

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As NJ jobs disappear, state official offers advice

November 19, 2008

Six thousand New Jersey residents lost their job in the month of October, according to new numbers released by the state's Department of Labor and Workforce Development. And Department Commissioner David Socolow had some tips for those looking for a job. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story.

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American car manufacturers on the brink

November 19, 2008

The Big 3 US Automakers are struggling for survival and an expert on the industry says they should have seen their problems coming. WHYY's Tom MacDonald has more on the issue.

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City officials defend budget cuts

November 19, 2008

Officials from the fire department and the Free Library explained new cuts in services at a public forum called Phillystat yesterday. They defended their decisions to close 7 engine and ladder companies, and 11 library branches in an effort to meet a growing city deficit. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Slain police officer's funeral set

November 19, 2008

The funeral for a police officer killed in the line of duty has been set for Monday at the Cathedral in Philadelphia. Questions remain as to why the man involved in a fatal accident that killed a police officer was on the streets at the time of the crash. WHYY's Tom MacDonald has the details.

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Fugitives invited to turn themselves in at NJ church

November 19, 2008

New Jersey fugitives can turn themselves at a Camden's Antioch Baptist Church today, Wednesday, Nov. 19, through Saturday, Nov. 22. More than 1,000 fugitives turned themselves in at a recent Fugitive Safe Surrender program in a South Philadelphia church. WHYY'S Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Acting New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram leads indictment of a New Jersey dentist

November 19, 2008

A dentist accused of dumping medical waste that washed up on the beaches of Avalon, New Jersey, in August, has been indicted. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.


Caption: Acting New Jersey Attorney General Anne Milgram.

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Former councilwoman dies

November 19, 2008

Former Philadelphia City Councilwoman Carol Ann Campbell, the first disabled member of council and a woman whose political influence was larger than her short time in office, has died. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Panel to discuss Pennsylvania and national politics

November 19, 2008

Pennsylvania may lead the nation when it comes to growing christmas trees and mushrooms, but one thing the keystone state does NOT produce is strong presidential candidates. A panel at the Pennsylvania HIstorical society tonight takes a close look at a state whose leaders don't often rise to the top. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

Credit: Photo Courtesy of the James Buchanan Foundation, Lancaster, PA.

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New Jersey considers lowering drinking age

November 18, 2008

Three New Jersey college presidents were part of a group that called this summer for lowering the drinking age. The state's Senate Education Committee held a special hearing Monday focusing on underage and binge drinking, and whether a lowered age limit is a solution New Jersey should consider. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Shelter to open doors to Philadelphia youth

November 18, 2008

The largest teen shelter for homeless and runaway youth in the Philadelphia area, opens its doors to the community tonight in recognition of National Runaway Prevention Month. Each year hundreds of 12 to 18 year olds head to Youth Emergency Service at 1526 Fairmount Avenue for immediate shelter and support services, medical care, and academic enrichment programs. The story from WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler.

Caption: Willie Little and Raheem Harvey.

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More information:
Find out more about Raheem Harvey's Urban Entrepreneur business at www.urbanentrepreneurs.org.


Police once again grieve for one of their own

November 18, 2008

The black bands are again encircling police badges in Philadelphia as a sign of mourning for a fallen officer. WHYY's Tom MacDonald has the details.


Captions: Sgt. Timothy Simpson (top), William Foster (left) and Deputy Police Commissioner William Blackburn (right).

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Fumo's ex-girlfriend testifies against him

November 18, 2008

Defense attorneys in the corruption trial of State Senator Vincent Fumo are expected to begin cross examination of the senator's ex-girlfriend today. The witness, who is cooperating with the prosecution, testified Monday about the senator's lavish spending habits. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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District Attorney unhappy about cuts to her office

November 18, 2008

Philadelphia's District Attorney is upset about how her office is being treated by the city as it cuts department budgets. WHYY's Tom MacDonald sat down with her and talked about her budget.

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Tightened New Jersey budget has legislators nervous about future

November 18, 2008

As New Jersey faces a budget deficit that Governor Jon Corzine said last week was $1.2 billion and growing, state legislators are debating where the money will come from for his economic stimulus package. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story.

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City offers forum for feedback on budget cuts

November 18, 2008

Mayor Nutter has announced a series of town-hall style meetings to discuss the city's budget crisis and what can be done about it. He says he wants residents to learn about the economic situtation directly from city officials. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Libraries may get outside help

November 17, 2008

A group is offering the city of Philadelphia help to save its soon to close libraries. WHYY's Tom MacDonald has more on the offer.

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Phillystat meeting postponed

November 17, 2008

Philadelphia city officials have postponed a public data-sharing meeting scheduled today. It's a decision that's sure to disappoint the firefighters who wanted to hear city officials make their case for a series of proposed firehouse closures. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Economists paint grim picture of U.S. finances

November 17, 2008

As Japan officially slips into recession, a study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia says America has already been in a recession for many months. A quarterly survey of financial forecasters confirms the economy will worsen before it gets better. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Local Business with Frank Devlin:
Slowdown in new housing starts

November 17, 2008

Area homebuilders are mired in the economic downturn. Here's Frank Devlin of the PhiladelphiaBusinessJournal.com.

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Bob Brady introduces rescue bill for cities

November 17, 2008

A local congressman is proposing a bailout for major cities, including Philadelphia. WHYY's Tom Macdonald reports if the proposal becomes law, it could give Philadelphia a major infusion of federal dollars.

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Pennsylvania taxes get good grade

November 17, 2008

A new report from a non-partisan policy research group finds that Pennsylvania ranks favorably when compared to the nation and to competitor states in overall tax and spending levels. The report is designed to help explain the state budget and taxes to the general public. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Fugitive killed in police shootout

November 14, 2008

A fugitive is dead after opening fire on police in Philadelphia. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Arrest could shake up school-parent picture

November 14, 2008

Education advocates say the arrest of the head of the Philadelphia Home and School Council could offer a chance to take a fresh look at the school district's parent groups. Council President Greg Wade is out on bail after allegedly stealing more than 60,000 dollars from his own organization. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Shuttle Commander has local roots

November 14, 2008

The Commander of the Endeavor Space Shuttle flight expected to lift off today has Philadelphia roots. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Cutbacks in store for New Castle County

November 14, 2008

Declining revenue for Delaware's most populous county is leading to spending cuts. WHYY's Mark Eichmann reports.

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Mayor and Council at odds on Fire Company closures

November 14, 2008

Philadelphia City Council passed a resolution asking the mayor to commission an independent study of the budget cutting move, taking five engine companies out of service. Mayor Michael Nutter plans to eliminate the companies as part of his plan to plug the $1 billion dollar budget gap over the next five years. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports council is concerned about the impact on public safety.

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Verizon poised to compete with Comcast

November 14, 2008

Philadelphia residents could finally have a choice when it comes to cable tv service. Verizon Communications has cut a deal with the city to offer FiOS in Philadelphia, which could end the near monopoly held by Comcast Cable. A bill was introduced in City Council on Thursday. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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New Jersey may delay implementing paper ballots...again

November 14, 2008

Three years ago the state passed a law with a deadline for voter-verifiable paper ballots. That means two ways to submit your vote - one electronically, and one on a piece of paper. The state has since extended that deadline twice and may do it a third time. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Philadelphia Council votes to move casino

November 13, 2008

Philadelphia City Council took a step today toward approving a new site for a slots parlor in Center City at the Gallery shopping mall. But Chinatown residents are angry the process is moving so fast. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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School district considers its financial future

November 13, 2008

As costs rise and student enrollment shrinks, officials say they're ready for a citywide discussion about the future of the Philadelphia School District. They want parents and advocates to be part of a long-term planning process that starts next week. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Philadelphia releases list of tax delinquents

November 13, 2008

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is enlisting the help of the city Sheriff's Department to go after individuals who owe business taxes. The city published a list of about 90 businesses and individuals who together owe more than $27 million dollars. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Home and School President charged with embezzling

November 13, 2008

The head of the Philadelphia Home and School Council is out on bail after allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from his own organization. School officials say they're still not sure just how bad the damage is. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Mayor Nutter hesitant to move casino

November 13, 2008

The mayor of Philadelphia is in no rush to approve a bill to give the zoning for a casino in the Gallery Shopping Mall. WHYY's Tom MacDonald has the details.

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Catherine Baker Knoll remembered for breaking glass ceiling

November 13, 2008

A trailblazer, Kennedy-esque, a consummate politician -- those are just a few adjectives used by those who knew Lieutenant Governor Catherine Baker Knoll. WHYY's Jen Rehill reports on the life and legacy of Pennsylvania's departed second-in-command.

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Astronaut from Philadelphia speaks to local students

November 13, 2008

A Philadelphia born astronaut came home to speak at the public school that bears his name. WHYY's Tom MacDonald has more.


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Pennsylvania Lt. Governor Catherine Baker Knoll dies

November 13, 2008

Pennsylvania's first female lieutenant governor has lost her battle with cancer. WHYY's Tom Macdonald has more.

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Officials from across the state are reacting to Knoll's death with shock and sadness. From WITF in Harrisburg, Scott Detrow reports.

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Catherine Baker Knoll is being remembered as a dedicated public servant who was passionate about helping Pennsylvanians. From WITF in Harrisburg, Scott Detrow reports.

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Council to vote on Foxwoods Casino move

November 13, 2008

Philadelphia City Council is expected to approve zoning legislation today. That could pave the way for re-locating a planned South Philadelphia slots parlor in Chinatown. Chinatown residents who oppose the casino say council is jumping the gun. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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In New Jersey, calls for enhanced transit plan

November 13, 2008

There's been a lot of talk in Trenton about transportation, including highways and bridge repair. Members of the business community and transit advocates now say more needs to be done to revamp the state's outdated development plans. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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FCC Commissioner visits Philadelphia, talks digital transition

November 13, 2008

A FCC Commissioner came to Phialdelphia to talk about an important television transition. WHYY'S Tom MacDonald reports it could mean a blank set for some people next year if they don't pay attention.


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Rendell seeks federal help for state budget gap

November 12, 2008

With national debate underway on how to jump start the economy, Governor Rendell hopes for some federal help to ease the state's money crunch. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Corzine considers NJDOT source of jobs, with federal help

November 12, 2008

New Jersey's Department of Transportation is pushing for a stimulus package from the federal government. Last month, Governor Jon Corzine said road construction would create new jobs. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports the state needs those dollars in order to make that happen.

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Open space referendums in New Jersey will be funded by taxpayers

November 12, 2008

New Jersey voters in fourteen counties approved ballot measures to fund open space preservation in last week's election. But environmentalists say it's not enough because state funds may still run out in six months time. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Pennsylvania Revenue Secretary resigns

November 12, 2008

Pennsylvania Revenue Secretary Tom Wolf has resigned his post in the Rendell administration. WHYY's Jen Rehill reports from Harrisburg.

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Zoning code reform looks for citizen input

November 12, 2008

The Philadelphia Zoning Code Commission is moving on with plans to rewrite its outdated guidelines. Tonight, the public gets the chance to learn about rules on building in the city, and offer opinions to Mayor Michael Nutter and members of the panel. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Questions and concerns remain about South Street Bridge new design

November 12, 2008

When the South Street Bridge is demolished in December, a completely new bridge will be built on the old foundations. The city and community groups have agreed on pedestrian lanes on the deck, but the final bridge design is still not complete. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Feds offer vouchers to aid homeless veterans

November 12, 2008

Homeless veterans have housing vouchers under a new federal-city cooperative program. WHYY's Tom MacDonald has the details.

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Blight on agenda as PA House returns

November 12, 2008

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives returns to session today in Harrisburg. And as Jen Rehill reports from the Harrisburg, one of the first items on the agenda is a vote on legislation to get rid of blight across the state.

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Veterans Day at Delaware Memorial Bridge

November 12, 2008

Delawareans remembered the service of our veterans - at the Memorial Bridge ceremony which has been a First State tradition since 1951. WHYY's Phil Andrews has more.

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Despite controversy NJ WWII monument celebrated

November 11, 2008

Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars is still needed to finish the state's World War II memorial in Trenton. While acknowledging that controversy, veterans still heralded its unveiling today. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports on how recent and past arguments were briefly forgotten.

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Veterans remembered in Philly ceremony

November 11, 2008

Traditional Veterans Day ceremonies were held at the Tomb of the Unknown Revolutionary War Soldier in Philadelphia. WHYY's Tom MacDonald was there.

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Comparing Philly budget bind to other large cities

November 11, 2008

Some city residents are criticizing Mayor Michael Nutter's budget cuts. With a $1 billion budget gap looming over the next five years, city officials say tough choices had to be made. As WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports, Philadelphia isn't the only city in an economic bind.

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School district crunches to tackle annual teacher vacancy routine

November 11, 2008

Philadelphia school officials say they still have over a hundred vacant teaching positions. Tomorrow's meeting of the School Reform Commission will feature an update on the District's latest attempts to solve a perennial problem. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Chesco drivers to get delay information on road side

November 11, 2008

Commuters in Chester County will have a new way of knowing how long they'll be stuck in traffic. Starting next week PennDOT will start displaying travel times on signs along routes 202, 30 and 100. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Fumo trial watch: Consultant claims political work on Senate payroll

November 11, 2008

A political consultant for State Senator Vince Fumo says the bulk of the work he did while on the senate payroll was political campaign work. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Low income heating help expands but may still fall short

November 11, 2008

Last year more than 300,000 Pennsylvanians got help with home heating bills through a state's program for lower income residents but the available funding wasn't enough to help everyone who qualified. As Jen Rehill reports from the Harrisburg, the program will assist more residents this year, although state officials aren't sure how many that will be.

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Maryland's approval of slots could be a drain on Delaware

November 11, 2008

Some results on Maryland's ballot last week may have an effect on the First State. Voters in Maryland approved legalizing slot machines in several counties over the next few years. WHYY's Bill Cook looks at whether Maryland could draw Delaware gamblers over the border.

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Budget cuts proposed, but are they enough?

November 11, 2008

Philadelphia plans to cut hundreds of jobs and salaries, close swimming pools and libraries, and suspend planned tax reductions. Mayor Michael Nutter says the moves are necessary given a $1 billion budget gap expected over the next 5 years. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler spoke to one budget watcher who applauds the mayor's moves but thinks that even more could be done.

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Doubling down on Center City metered parking

November 11, 2008

Philadelphia officials say that by doubling the cost of downtown parking meters, they'll actually make it easier to park. They're hoping that City Council approves the increase before the end of the year. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Getting to know the real James Bond

November 11, 2008

As the new James Bond film, Quantum of Solace hits the theatres, turns out the Academy of Natural Sciences was the workplace home of the "real" James Bond; A Chestnut Hill resident who spent his life and career in Philadelphia. WHYY Morning Edition's Brenda Jorett talked with academy researcher and writer Robert Peck who knew the real Bond.

Captions: Academy of Naural Sciences researcher and writer, Robert Peck (top). The "real" James Bond, the Academy of Natural Sciences ornithologist (left), and Bond with James Bond author, Ian Fleming when the two met in 1964 in Jamaica (right).

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Nutter announces plans for South Street Bridge

November 11, 2008

Mayor Michael Nutter announced Monday, that the city is moving forward with the reconstruction of the 85-year-old South Street Bridge. The $67 million project is set to start in December 2008 and will be financed with 80% federal, 15% state, and 5% city dollars. As WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports the mayor used this project as an example of the huge amount of infrastructure that requires government attention.

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Comparing Philly budget bind to other large cities

November 11, 2008

Some city residents are criticizing Mayor Michael Nutter's budget cuts. With a $1 billion budget gap looming over the next five years, city officials say tough choices had to be made. As WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports, Philadelphia isn't the only city in an economic bind.

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Budget cuts proposed, but are they enough?

November 11, 2008

Philadelphia plans to cut hundreds of jobs and salaries, close swimming pools and libraries, and suspend planned tax reductions. Mayor Michael Nutter says the moves are necessary given a $1 billion budget gap expected over the next 5 years. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler spoke to one budget watcher who applauds the mayor's moves but thinks that even more could be done.

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While core of jobs is secure, Philly starting to feel unemployment

November 10, 2008

While the nation's unemployment rate is at its highest since 1994, experts say Philadelphia's main industries - including health care and legal services - are immune to market fluctuations. But the region's temporary employment agencies indicate the job market is weakening. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Rendell wants lame duck action on health care

November 10, 2008

Pennsylvania's governor is pushing for a lame duck session of the assembly to get healthcare legislation approved. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports it's in the hands of the state senate leadership to make a decision.

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Concerns arise over sewage, pollution of North Delaware casino

November 10, 2008

Northern Liberties residents are fighting the plan put forth by a riverfront casino to handle its sewage. WHYY's tom macdonald reports the group thinks a casino could cause pollution and flooding problems.

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Fishtown to rally to save threatened library

November 10, 2008

A rally tonight at the Fishtown Library is designed to send a message to the city that residents don't want their neighborhood sanctuary shut down due to budget cuts. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Lower Merion school redistricting irks pedestrian advocates

November 10, 2008

A growing number of Narberth residents with children in Lower Merion public schools in Montgomery County are challenging the district's redistricting proposal, saying it overlooks one thing - the value of walking over taking the bus. WHYY's Jennifer Lynn reports.

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Perzel angling for return to power in State House

November 10, 2008

All four parties will hold new caucus elections later this month - but in recent years the House contests have been the most volatile. As Jen Rehill reports from the Harrisburg, this year it's possible former Republican leader John Perzel could try to retake that post.

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While core of jobs is secure, Philly starting to feel unemployment

November 10, 2008

While the nation's unemployment rate is at its highest since 1994, experts say Philadelphia's main industries - including health care and legal services - are immune to market fluctuations. But the region's temporary employment agencies indicate the job market is weakening. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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As temperature drops, winter weather tips

November 10, 2008

Winter's winds are soon going to be blowing full force, and now is the time to prepare to keep the heat in and the cold out. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Local Business with Frank Devlin:
State troopers seeking diversity

November 10, 2008

A new effort is underway in Pennsylvania to boost the number of minority state troopers. Here's Frank Devlin of the Philadelphia Business Journal-dot-com.

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Nutter: Obama must make cities a priority

November 8, 2008

The same week the country elected a new president, Philadelphia city officials announced drastic cutbacks in light of a $1 billion budget gap expected over the next 5 years. In addition to lay-offs and service cuts, Mayor Michael Nutter says the city needs help from the country's next leader. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Public housing agency reacts to mayor's cuts

November 8, 2008

The Philadelphia Housing Authority is coming to grips with Mayor Michael Nutter's budget cuts, even though they get very little funding from the city. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Job losses in New Jersey come with one small benefit

November 7, 2008

Job losses in New Jersey have reached twenty thousand so far this year. The state has yet to release its unemployment figures for the fall. But one man who represents business employers says there may be a very thin silver lining. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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A visit to a city library on the chopping block

November 7, 2008

The city plans to close 11 libraries as part of a plan to address a $1 billion budget gap expected over the next five years. Mayor Michael Nutter made the announcement yesterday, and is already drawing criticism from library patrons. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler paid a visit to one of particularly vital branch in South Philadelphia to hear from users of the Fumo Family branch.

Caption: Library patrons Quinn Sowell and Lewis Lepow

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For Nutter, the day after the big cuts

November 7, 2008

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter is dealing with the fallout of budget cuts. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Business and charities react to budget cuts

November 7, 2008

Representatives of Philadelphia's business and philanthropic communities say they're ready to do their part to help the city through its latest budget crisis. But they'll also have their own bottom lines to worry about. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Trial in Danieal Kelly murder gets underway

November 7, 2008

The preliminary hearing continues in the trial of Danieal Kelly, the 14 year-old girl with cerebral palsy who died from neglect under the watch of the Department of Human Services. Both Kelly's mother and the DHS caseworker are being tried for murder. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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To close an historic budget gap, Nutter proposes cuts to libraries, rec centers

November 7, 2008

With a $1 billion budget gap expected over the next 5 years, Mayor Michael Nutter is slashing the city's spending. Yesterday the mayor announced lay-offs, pay cuts, and the closing of 68 pools and 11 libraries. Mayor Michael Nutter said that the library cuts would be especially painful for him, but are necessary given the city's financial predicament. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Return Day in DE starring the new vice-president elect

November 7, 2008

Delaware's Joe Biden was only part of the story. As Governor-elect Jack Markell said, return day is a time to set partisanship aside. Or as others call it - to bury the hatchet. WHYY's Bill Cook has more from Georgetown, in Sussex county.

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Math in NJ economic aid bills not adding up

November 7, 2008

Measures intended to help New Jersey's economy have been racing through the legislature. But some say lawmakers aren't doing the math to make sure those bills will help the state rather than hinder it. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Deceased State Senator wins re-election, special election looms

November 7, 2008

A number of candidates are being considered for the state senate seat of the late James Rhoades. He held a senate spot in northeastern Pennsylvania. WHYY's Jen Rehill reports from the Capitol.

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Local Business with Frank Devlin:
Prospects for minority business in Philly brighten

November 7, 2008

Good news for minorities who want to do business with the city of Philadelphia. More from Frank Devlin.

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Consumer Reports:
The best double-A batteries to power your life

November 7, 2008

When everyone is posed and saying cheese, you might use stronger language if your camera's batteries have died. Consumer Reports Electronics Editor, Paul Reynolds, has the latest on double-A batteries.

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Reactions to Obama election from two local journalism icons

November 7, 2008

This week's election of Senator Barack Obama to be the first African American president has some of journalism's trailblazers in Philadelphia excited about the future. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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With PA Dems claiming victory in house, attention turns to leadership

November 6, 2008

House Democrats are claiming a new, larger majority in the state House of Representatives, even as several elections in the Philadelphia area remain too close to call. But, as WHYY's Jen Rehill reports from Harrisburg, it remains to be seen if the embattled current majority leader will be re-elected when the caucus holds its private elections later this month.

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Latest on City budget cuts

November 6, 2008

A mid-year revision of epic proportions. That's what Mayor Michael Nutter calls a new budget plan designed to slash the city's discretionary budget and salvage his five-year spending plan. WHYY's Bill Hangley has the early update.

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Prominent black journalists recall difficult times in the profession

November 6, 2008

Two legendary African American journalists were honored during a luncheon in Philadelphia today. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports they remember a time when it was difficult to do their jobs.

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Conservation preached for public housing residents

November 6, 2008

The Philadelphia Housing Authority is trying to encourage its residents to cut energy use to battle the increasing costs. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports from their energy fair in North Philadelphia.

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In NJ, ballot questions split on state legislature power

November 6, 2008

The fate of New Jersey's two statewide ballot questions has some puzzled. Both were designed to take some power away from legislators and give it to residents. But only one question was successful in the voting booth. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Nutter to announce budget cuts today, City Controller has suggestions

November 6, 2008

Mayor Michael Nutter plans to release details today about major budget cuts designed to address a projected $850 million dollar deficit. The mayor's office is mum on the details, but Nutter is already getting some unsolicited financial advice. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Pennsylvania's role in Obama victory could mean a lot for state

November 6, 2008

Voters from cities and suburbs around Philadelphia turned out in large numbers for president-elect Barack Obama and other Democrats. The election results may leave the Keystone State in the spotlight for the next presidential administration. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Rendell hesitant about possible cabinet post

November 6, 2008

Don't expect to see Pennsylvania's governor moving into a post in the Obama administration. WHYY's Tom MacDonald asked the state's chief executive if he would be open to a cabinet post.

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Rendell speculates about Obama priorities

November 5, 2008

Pennsylvania's governor says with the election over, it's time to look ahead to the priorities of the Obama administration. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Some merchants running for cover during World Series parade

October 31, 2008

It's party time in Philadelphia as hundreds of thousands of people are expected to line Broad Street today for the Phillies' victory parade. Some business owners along the route suffered smashed windows and other damage Wednesday night but as WHYY's Susan Phillips reports, some are planning to close while others are looking forward to the business the parade will bring.

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Chinatown anti-casino activists gear up for tough fight

October 31, 2008

Community activists from Chinatown will visit City Council tomorrow to try to stop the Foxwoods Casino from opening on Market Street East. But city officials say casino opponents don't stand much of a chance. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Psychological impact of World Series win

October 31, 2008

The Phillies' World Series victory is good for the economy and for hungry fans who waited 28 years for the title. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports that the championship may also improve the city.

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Parade planning proves difficult

October 31, 2008

It's time for a Phillies party, and WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports it's a logistical nightmare to deal with the thousands who will pack the parade route.

Photo Caption: Commissioner Ramsey discusses police efforts to prevent further damage.

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Championship gear flies off the shelves

October 31, 2008

With a champion home team, baseball fans are suiting up in a whole new set of clothes. Phillies merchandise is in high demand right now and stores are having a hard time keeping up. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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City rebuilds after a night of World Series partying

October 30, 2008

The joy of the Phillies championship series last night turned into headaches for some Center City merchants now left with cleaning up the mess. Fans toppled light poles, smashed bus stops, set trees on fire and broke windows last night along Broad Street. Police arrested 88 people for everything from burglary to disorderly conduct. Twelve were charged with assaults on police officers. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

Photo Caption: Streets Department workers rebuild a light post in the sports complex.

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Could parade attract a million?

October 30, 2008

Philadelphia police are expecting a million people or more could line the streets of Philadelphia for a victory parade. As WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports, Mayor Nutter has a strong warning.

Photo Caption: Mayor Nutter looks on as Phillies President Dave Montgomery addresses reporters.

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Fans dig deep to buy a piece of Phillies history

October 30, 2008

The hometown champs are causing people to open their wallets today. Stores are mobbed with fans picking up t-shirts, hats, pennants, flags, anything they can find with World Champs printed on it. WHYY Peter Crimmins reports.

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Ballpark turns into one big party...

October 30, 2008

Celebrations across the city erupted when the Phils won the World Series last night. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports from the one at the ballpark.

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...that spreads to neighborhood streets

October 30, 2008

Phillies fans took to the street right after the final out to celebrate a Phillies victory. WHYY's Tom MacDonald spoke to several fans along the route.

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Defense in Fumo trial gets crack at Fumo kin

October 30, 2008

Cross examination of State Senator Vince Fumo's estranged son-in-law continues Thursday in a federal courthouse in Center City Philadelphia. Fumo and an aide, Ruth Arnao, are charged with defrauding the State Senate, the nonprofit Citizen's Alliance and the Independence Seaport Museum of more than $3.5 million. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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PA town's anti-immigration laws get heard in court

October 30, 2008

A federal appeals court in Philadelphia will hear arguments Thursday on the constitutionality of Hazleton, Pennsylvania's anti-immigration laws. The decision will be closely watched across the country as a test of whether or not local municipalities can regulate immigration. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Fort Dix Five trial continues with informant-produced recordings

October 29, 2008

The trial of the Fort Dix Five continued today with hours of secretly recorded conversations between an FBI informant and one of the young men accused of plotting to attack the New Jersey military base. Both the prosecution and defense attorneys say the recordings support their respective arguments. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Bike parking added to B.F. Parkway institution

October 29, 2008

A Philadelphia cultural institution is the first in the city to add bicycle parking under a new program. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Bring out the dogs? Police prepare for post-game possibilities

October 29, 2008

Philadelphia police are ready to handle any post-game Phillies celebrations. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Pouring rain keeps World Series-related cash pouring in

October 29, 2008

While baseball fans are frustrated by the delays in the World Series, some local businesses are cashing in. Retail, hotels, and sports bars are seeing tremendous sales, but it may be too much of a good thing. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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If Phillies win, City passes on costs of parade

October 29, 2008

If the Phillies win tonight, a victory celebration could be privately financed, but there won't be any name attached to it. WHYY's Tom MacDonald explains.

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City Council fights handicapped parking abuse

October 28, 2008

The abuse of handicapped parking in Philadelphia was the subject of a Philadelphia City Council hearing. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Nutter backs MLB decision to postpone game

October 28, 2008

Game Five of the World Series remains suspended. Major League Baseball has decided not to play the rest of the game tonight due to bad weather. While calling the game disappointed many fans, one of the biggest Phillies fans is behind the decision of Major League Baseball to suspend last night's game. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Phillies-Rays brace for un-baseball-like conditions

October 28, 2008

The Phils and Rays have a chance of completing their rain shortened game at Citizens Bank Ballpark. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports that the forecast for tonight won't be the best for the players, or the fans.

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Fumo trial continues as witness describes Vince's "king-like" lifestyle

October 28, 2008

Testimony resumes tomorrow in the federal corruption trial of Pennsylvania State Senator Vince Fumo. A prosecution witness describes Fumo as a powerful politician living like a king in a 33-room mansion with state-paid underlings to carry out his orders. Fumo and an aide, Ruth Arnao, are charged with defrauding the State Senate, the Philadelphia Independence Seaport Museum and a nonprofit group of more than $3.5 million. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Fort Dix Five face government's star witness

October 28, 2008

The federal prosecution's star witness is expected to take the stand in Camden today in the case of the Fort Dix Five. Paid FBI informant Mahmoud Omar used a concealed microphone to capture conversations with the five alleged conspirators from Cherry Hill. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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New Jersey passes economic stimulus bills

October 28, 2008

New Jersey Assembly members approve more than two dozen economic rescue bills in a busy day at the Trenton Statehouse. Yesterday's votes were part of lawmakers' focus on easing financial hardships facing Garden State residents and businesses. The bills include aid for some homeowners facing foreclosure, a cash infusion to food pantries and more generous tax write-downs for businesses. Lawmakers promise the bills will become law and help residents quickly. Though it has yet to be determined where the funding will come from. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Phillies fans put hopes on hold

October 28, 2008

When the weather clears and play resumes — Phillies fans who endured soaking rain to cheer the team on last night will return with the knowledge that a delayed victory is all the sweeter when it results in a World Series title. WHYY's Tom MacDonald has the details.

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Teachers union contemplates a strike

October 28, 2008

With just days to go before its contract expires, the Philadelphia Teachers union has called a special membership meeting for tomorrow night. The members could accept a new contract, or they could authorize a strike. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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School District lunch program threatened with federal cuts

October 28, 2008

Some of the region's top elected officials say they'll fight hard to protect the Philadelphia School District's universal feeding program. The federal government wants to end a free lunch policy that supporters say is both efficient and effective. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Among weekend's sports winners: SEPTA

October 27, 2008

SEPTA set a record over the weekend for people using mass transit to go to the sports complex. WHYY's Tom MacDonald has the details.

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Philly police prepare for Game 5

October 27, 2008

Extra philadelphia police are being called in to handle any post-Phillies game celebrations. WHYY's Tom MacDonald has the details.

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Nutter treads lightly on the "P" word

October 27, 2008

Philadelphia's mayor is suffering from a case of Phillies fever. WHYY's Tom MacDonald says this is one disease that is good for the city.

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Local Business with Frank Devlin:
Your tax dollars not at work any more?

October 27, 2008

Government spending is among the many casualties of the financial crisis. How might this affect you? Here's Frank Devlin of the PhiladelphiaBusinessJournal.com.

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Philly weathering economic crisis well

October 27, 2008

The head of the Center City district says Philadelphia is faring well in these tough economic times. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Bracing for a traffic storm in South Philadelphia

October 26, 2008

South Philadelphia and fans of the Phillies, Eagles and rock group, The Who, are bracing for a harmonic convergence of traffic trouble today. WHYY's Tom MacDonald has the gory details.

Photo Caption: Deputy Commissioner Steve Johnson warns of a traffic tsunami

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More information about parking and transit:
SEPTA Regional Rail, bus and trolley routes provide convenient connections with the Broad Street Line in Center City and weekend parking at SEPTA Regional Rail stations is free. The Philadelphia Parking Authority will also have parking lots available for commuters on game day who want to park in Center City and take SEPTA. Commuters may park at any of the lots for $5.00 and purchase SEPTA tokens ($2.90) from parking lot attendants. The parking lots are all located near City Hall Station on the Broad Street Line including:


AutoPark - JFK Plaza Garage - 15th & Arch Sts.
AutoPark - Center City Lot - 15th & Arch Sts.
Gateway Garage - 15th & Vine Sts.
AutoPark - Gallery Mall - 10th & Filberts Sts.
AutoPark - Jefferson - 10th & Ludlow Sts.
Parkway Lot - Broad & Race Sts.
Parkway Lot - Broad & Wood Sts.
Parkway Lot - Broad & Callowhill Sts.


Nutter hosts World Series trophy

October 24, 2008

The World Series trophy made a visit to Philadelphia City Hall. WHYY's Tom MacDonald says Mayor Michael Nutter hopes it stays in the city, but also is sending a stern warning to Phillies fans.

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Low local foreclosure rate cited as model for country

October 24, 2008

Philadelphia's foreclosure prevention program should be a model for the nation. That's the word from Pennsylvania Senators Bob Casey and Arlen Specter, who held hearings on foreclosures at City Hall today. WHYY's Bill Hangley was there.

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What's that smell? Check New Jersey

October 24, 2008

A smoky smell in the Philadelphia area is because of a New jersey forest fire. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Phillies World Series means city on a world stage

October 24, 2008

The City of Philadelphia is gaining benefits from the Phillies entry into the World Series. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports that it's not all financial.

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Fumo trial gets personal as family takes the stand

October 24, 2008

Testimony in the federal corruption trial of State Senator Vincent Fumo continues Monday when Fumo's estranged son-in-law is is back on the witness stand. Fumo faces a 139-count indictment. He is charged with misusing almost $3.5 million dollars and turning his staff into personal servants and political operatives. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Affordable "green" housing comes to Philadelphia

October 24, 2008

Habitat for Humanity is putting the final touches on the first set of affordable housing built to certified Green housing. Low-income families will begin moving into these energy-efficient and sustainably constructed row homes next week. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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NJ moves to fund low-income aid organizations

October 24, 2008

The state is moving right along with legislation to help the economy. At least that's what some Budget Assembly Committee members say. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Delaware's Chrysler Plant announces closing

October 24, 2008

Delaware's economy takes another big hit. The Chrysler plant, running just one shift since 2006, will be shut down a year earlier than expected. WHYY's Bill Cook reports.

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Local Business with Frank Devlin:
Big business in depression treatment

October 24, 2008

A Chester County company is making strides in a treatment for depression. Here's Frank Devlin of the PhiladelphiaBusinessJournal.com.

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Consumer Reports:
The cost of deferred car maintenance

October 24, 2008

When budgets are tight, it can be tempting to save money by putting off scheduled maintenance on your car. While this can save money in the short term, it can cost much more in the long run. Here's Consumer Reports Automotive Editor, Rik Paul.

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Business leader Cohen: Slow down tax cuts

October 23, 2008

The new chairman of the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce says businesses need more than tax cuts. Legendary mover and shaker David L. Cohen has an ambitious agenda for the city's leading business association. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Former Phils on Phillies bandwagon

October 23, 2008

Some former Phillies are feeling good about the chances of the home team in the World Series. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

Photo Caption: Former Phillies pitcher Ricky Bottalico

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Campus Philly announces plans for retaining graduates

October 23, 2008

The effort continues to keep college students in Philadelphia after they graduate. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

Photo Caption: Campus Philly Director Jon Hermann

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Fallen police honored with street renaming

October 23, 2008

Fourteen city streets will be renamed after seven of Philadelphia's fallen police officers. The city will permanently change the street names where the officer both lived and died. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Crime stopping citizens honored by Center City improvement group

October 23, 2008

Civilians and police who helped stop crime have been honored by the Center City District. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.



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Testimony in Fumo trial focuses on staff time

October 23, 2008

Testimony continues today in the federal corruption trial of State Senator Vincent Fumo. Fumo faces a 139-count indictment. He is charged with misusing almost $3.5 million dollars and turning his staff into personal servants and political operatives. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Treasury program aims to get more to open bank accounts

October 23, 2008

The recent Pew poll estimates that over 81,000 Philadelphians do not have bank accounts. Now Philadelphia has been chosen to be part of a U.S. Treasury pilot program to get more people to use financial services. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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New Jersey counties racing to get new voters on the books

October 23, 2008

With less than two weeks to go, counties around the state are putting new voters' names in the system and on the books as fast as they can. But even if every county makes it, there will still be longer lines and probably confusion at the polls WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Formerly flood-ravaged towns along Delaware get relief

October 23, 2008

Residents of Yardley, Pennsylvania can expect less damage after future storms than in the past. Two years ago floods wreaked havoc with the borough's sewer system. It's only now recovering financially from the disaster. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports.

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Teen drivers still refusing to buckle up

October 23, 2008

It's National Teen Driver Safety Week, but Pennsylvania's youngest drivers still aren't buckling up like they should. That's the word from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, which is trying to convince teenagers to stick with a healthy habit. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Opening statements lay out the Fumo case

October 23, 2008

Testimony in the federal corruption trial of State Senator Vincent Fumo began yesterday. Attorneys for both sides wrapped up their opening statements this afternoon at the courthouse in downtown Philadelphia. Fumo faces a 139-count indictment and is charged with misusing almost $3.5 million dollars. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Council grills Philly Finance Director on deficit

October 22, 2008

The City Finance Department came before City Council's Financial Stability Committee to explain why the original budget deficit projection may nearly double in 5 years. The Finance Director heard suggestions on how to trim city expenditures. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Report: NJ employees abuse state vehicles

October 22, 2008

State cars are still being misused by New Jersey state employees. A report by the State Auditor shows that workers are not reporting mileage backlogs and are driving cars that are months overdue for service. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Delaware Food Bank gets creative in seeking donations

October 22, 2008

As the holidays approach the need for food donations are greater than ever. The Food Bank of Delaware kicked off its annual holiday food drive. WHYY's Stella Payne has more on the story.

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Inquirer sportswriter Jim Salisbury on the Phillies

October 22, 2008

The Phillies World Series journey is underway against the Tampa Bay Rays. WHYY Morning Edition's Brenda Jorett talked with Inquirer sportswriter Jim Salisbury.

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Mayor Nutter's environmental agenda attracts praise

October 21, 2008

Environmental groups are giving Mayor Michael Nutter high marks for making good on his promises during his first ten months in office. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Rendell lifts parole moratorium but keeps violent offenders locked up

October 21, 2008

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell is lifting a three-week-old moratorium on paroles for state prisoners, but only for non-violent offenders. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports.

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Dunkin Donuts bandits strike in West Philly and Upper Darby

October 21, 2008

Police say a group of armed robbers are targeting convenience stores in and around Upper Darby and West Philadelphia. They want shoppers and store clerks throughout the western part of the region to be on the lookout for four men considered armed and dangerous. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Fort Dix Defense: Five guilty of machismo not terror

October 21, 2008

In their opening statements in the Fort Dix trial, federal prosecutors say they have hours of audio recordings from a wiretapped FBI informant that proves the five young men who lived in Cherry Hill conspired to kill American soldiers at Fort Dix. Defense attorneys say they will use those same recordings to prove their innocence. WHYY's Peter Crimmins.

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Local 98's fine seen as victory for city's ethic board

October 21, 2008

Local good government advocates say the city's Board of Ethics has proved it has real teeth by fining a local union for illegal campaign activities. But the size of the fine leaves them wondering whether those teeth are sharp enough. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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NJ prosecutes fraudulent "rent-to-own" schemers

October 21, 2008

Thirty-seven mortgage lenders across the state may spend time in court with Attorney General Anne Milgram. In a scheme to make money off of foreclosures, these lenders allegedly walked away with $13 million dollars and $3 million in home equity. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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New Councilmembers suggest ways to cut city's shortfall

October 20, 2008

As Philadelphia city government considers ways to deal with a potential $850 million shortfall over the next five years, three freshman council members are suggesting the city trim the fat before cutting major programs. They call is losing the "freshman 15." WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports.

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More information:
It's Our Money: Freshman 15: 15 ways to save $50 million


Rendell continues support for statewide high school graduation exam

October 20, 2008

Governor Ed Rendell says he's not giving up the fight to create mandatory graduation exams for all Pennsylvania high school seniors. The governor spoke today a conference on workforce development sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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PA State Senator killed in weekend car accident

October 20, 2008

Pennsylvania Schuylkill County State Senator Jim Rhoades died Saturday following a car accident Friday night. As WHYY's Jen Rehill reports, Rhoades served 28 years in the Senate, and used his chairmanship of the Education Committee to improve schools across the Commonwealth.

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Fort Dix 5 trial begins

October 20, 2008

The trial against the 5 men who allegedly ploted to attack Fort Dix in New Jersey began today in Camden with opening statements by federal prosecutors and defense attorneys. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Population loss leads to uneven use of Philly public schools

October 20, 2008

According to a new study, decades of population loss have left the Philadelphia School District with thousands of extra seats. But some parts of the city still suffer from chronic overcrowding. WHYY's Bill Hangley reports.

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Fumo jury selection to wrap up today

October 20, 2008

Jury selection in the federal corruption trial of Pennsylvania State Senator Vince Fumo is expected to wrap up today followed by opening statements on Tuesday. The powerful state senator faces a 139-count indictment. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Truancy centers evaluated, some cut

October 20, 2008

A major initiative of the John Street administration is being scaled back under Mayor Michael Nutter. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Local Business with Frank Devlin
The good news: one bank that is doing just fine

October 20, 2008

One Pennsylvania-based bank is faring well despite the credit crisis. Here's Frank Devlin of the Philadelphia Business Journal.com.

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Feds wiretap jail toilet for the straight dirt on a suspect (seriously!)

October 18, 2008

A unique method of communication was used by a suspect to coerce witnesses. WHYY's Tom MacDonald says the U.S. Attorney used a unique wiretap in this case.

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Investment clubs look for silver lining in Wall Street turmoil

October 18, 2008

A month that has made financial history on Wall Street has one Delaware investment club taking action. WHYY's Megan Pinto reports.

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Rendell enacts tough gun law to protect PA police

October 17, 2008

As of today, twenty years in prison is the mandatory sentence for annyone who fires a gun at a police officer in Pennsylvania. But even as Governor Ed Rendell signed the bill into law, he said it doesn't do enough to stop gun violence. The NRA, on the other hand, claims it goes too far. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Jocelyn "Bonnie" Kirsch gets 5 years despite pleas of mental illness

October 17, 2008

The former Drexel student convicted of identity fraud was sentenced to 5 years in prison today. Jocelyn Kirsch faced a federal judge and said that she is sorry for using the identities of 50 friends and neighbors to steal over 100,000 dollars. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Despite more access to food aid, prices may lead to more hunger in the region

October 17, 2008

City and state officials say that changes to the food stamp program mean thousands more Philadelphians will be eligible. But advocates worry that rising food prices mean a hungry winter in still in store for the region. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Local food charity gears up for annual "Pie-in-the-Sky" fundraiser

October 17, 2008

This is the 12th year that the Philadelphia organization MANNA is baking up gourmet desserts for its Thanksgiving "Pie-In-The-Sky" fund raiser. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports on the scrumptious way to help people in need. The deadline to order is November 19th.

Photo Caption: A MANNA volunteer shows off his organization's famous product

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Top economic development official leaving Rendell's cabinet

October 17, 2008

Pennsylvania's top economic development official is departing the Rendell administration. As Jen Rehill reports from Harrisburg, Department of Community and Economic Development Secretary Dennis Yablonsky leaves the post next week.

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Governor Corzine reveals plan to bail out New Jersey

October 17, 2008

In a highly anticipated joint legislative session, Governor Jon Corzine offered an economic plan to solve the state's woes. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports some money will go to the state's neediest while legislators continue to slash the budget.

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GOP and Dems in NJ react to Corzine's plan

October 17, 2008

Both sides of the aisle applauded Governor Jon Corzine's economic plan. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports there was still grumbling in the State House halls, but not much.

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Casino legislation moves forward for Center City location as Chinatown asks for a say

October 16, 2008

Chinatown residents are angry that City Councilman Frank DiCicco introduced zoning legislation that could pave the way for a slots parlor at the Gallery. Councilman DiCicco introduced the bill at a council session this morning. He says the proposal to move the planned Foxwoods Casino from South Philadelphia to Center City is far from a done deal. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Prison program teaches fruit and vegetable raising to inmates

October 16, 2008

The harvest season is drawing to a close at Philadelphia's county prison. A program through the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is giving inmates the chance to grow organic vegetables for area food pantries. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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School District announces new discipline system to combat violence

October 16, 2008

Philadelphia school officials say they're toughening up their approach to violence in public schools. Yesterday the district announced that it's streamlining a disciplinary system that critics have long held is cumbersome and ineffective. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Cyber crimes on the rise as economy tanks

October 16, 2008

The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania warned people to watch out for cyber criminals looking to take advantage in this economy. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

Photo Caption: U.S. Attorney Laurie Magid sounds alarm on cyber criminals.

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NJ GOP argue for economic plan

October 16, 2008

Thirty-nine hundred jobs were lost in the state in September but Republican state lawmakers say their economic plan won't create new jobs but keep the ones residents already have. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Help on the way for rising energy bills

October 15, 2008

Governor Ed Rendell has announced an additional $87 million of state and federal money to keep Pennsylvania warm this winter. A program to help low-income people pay their heating bill is being extended to moderate-income people. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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School Reform Commission expected to revoke school charters

October 15, 2008

The future of a Northwest Philadelphia charter school hangs on a vote by the School Reform Commission today. The school could become the first Philadelphia charter to lose its access to public school dollars. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Nutter endorses ballot measure for Parks-Recreation merger

October 15, 2008

Mayor Michael Nutter has put his support behind a ballot measure that would combine the Department of Recreation and Fairmount Park. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Officers cleared in recent shootings

October 15, 2008

Two Philadelphia police officers have been have been cleared in two separate shootings. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.


Photo Caption: Over 155 separate casings and bullet fragments were found at the scene of 1711 and 1713 N. 59th Street.



Photo Caption: District Attorney Lynne Abraham (left) says her office will not pursue criminal charges against police officers involved in recent shootings. More shell casings at the basement entrance to 1713 N. 59th Street.

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Parking Authority cops to issue refunds for wrongful red-light tickets

October 15, 2008

The Philadelphia Parking Authority is sending out thousands of refunds to people who actually ran red lights and got caught by the city's red light camera system. WHYY's Tom MacDonald explains why the refunds are being issued.

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Mayor Nutter talks baseball

October 15, 2008

Philadelphia's number one fan isn't trying to jinx anything when it comes to the Phillies advancing beyond the National League Championship Series. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.


Photo Credit: Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter on the mound at the Phillies' home opener, Monday, March 31, 2008. AP Photo by Matt Rourke

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NJ GOP explores cutting revenue from sales tax

October 15, 2008

This year's sales tax is supposed to bring in nearly nine billion dollars for the state's budget. But Republicans say New Jersey's already high tax will keep shoppers from buying this holiday season. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports state legislators are trying to predict who will buy and why if they bring the tax down to three point five percent.

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Campbell's breaks ground on new facility in Camden

October 14, 2008

Campbell's Soup has begun building a new employee center in Camden, New Jersey, on Tuesday. City and New Jersey state leaders are banking on the project attracting new businesses to one of the poorest cities in the country. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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City expects no danger to funds due to bank failures

October 14, 2008

A wave of bank consolidations doesn't have the City of Philadelphia worried. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Suspect arrested in I-76 shooting

October 14, 2008

Philadelphia police have arrested a South Philadelphia man in an apparent road rage shooting that left a man in critical condition. The victim's eight-year-old daughter was also in the car. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports.

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Princeton professor, NYT columnist Krugman wins Nobel Prize in economics

October 14, 2008

His contributions to economic theory have aided policy makers, educated young economists, and are read religiously by followers of his column. Princeton Professor and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman was awarded the Nobel Prize yesterday. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story.

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New Jersey hosts conference on treatment of brain-injured veterans

October 14, 2008

Thousands of Iraq War soldiers have sustained major brain injuries from road side explosions. And an international conference in Paterson this week will look at just how to treat those veterans. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports that both medical professionals and Congress members say they have a stake in this research.

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Mayor appoints ethics, campaign finance reform task force

October 13, 2008

A new task force in Philadelphia is looking into reform the rules on ethics and campaign financing. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Despite today's gains, stock market future uncertain

October 13, 2008

The stock market is up today, but some local experts say it's too early to tell whether the market has really bottomed out. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Photo Caption: Bear, DE resident 8-year-old Michael Anderson (left) and Bensalem resident Sam Breustedt (right)


Phillies Fever

October 13, 2008

Phillies fever is sweeping the area, as the team heads into tonight's game 4 showdown with the Los Angeles Dodgers. It's been decades since the Phils won the World Series. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler spoke with some fans who say this just might be the year the city finally wins a championship.

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More information:
Join in the fun on WHYY's sports blog, Unobstructed View


Police have clue in Schuylkill Expressway shooting

October 13, 2008

Philadelphia police have new information in the quest to find the person responsible for a Schuylkill Expressway shooting. Police have a picture of the vehicle of interest as it pulled away from the tolls after coming into Philadelphia on the night of the shooting. Poice Lieutenant Frank Vanore said that the driver of the charcoal gray Ford F-150 (pictured above) might have seen the shooting that occurred on October 4th near Passayunk Avenue. A full description of the truck: super cab with two regular sized doors and two smaller doors. Anyone with information about the truck or the identity of the driver should call South Detectives at 215-686-3013 or the Philadelphia Police tip line at 215-686-TIPS.


City grapples with rapidly expanding budget deficit

October 13, 2008

Most city office are closed for Columbus Day today, but the city finance department has a big problem looming over it. The expected $450 million city deficit over 5 years may grow to be almost twice that much, and city officials saw it coming. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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The psychology of a winning baseball team

October 13, 2008

The troubled economy and what some call the dirty politics of the ongoing presidential race have some people struggling to figure out how to pay the bills and for whom to vote. Part of the answer to making sure cooler heads prevail may lie with the Philadelphia Phillies. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler explains.

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Wildwood boardwalk undergoing environmentally friendly facelift

October 13, 2008

A multi-million dollar replacement program begins today for the Wildwood Boardwalk. WHYY's Tom MacDonald says the project isn't using hardwood from the Brazilian rainforest.

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Schuylkill Expressway begins weekend closures

October 11, 2008

This is the first weekend of a closure of portion of the Schuylkill Expressway as part of a redecking project. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports that state officials say the best thing to do is avoid the area.

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For region's Wachovia employees, future remains uncertain

October 10, 2008

After announcing a merger with New York's Citibank less than two weeks ago, Wachovia Bank has agreed to be purchased instead by San Francisco's Wells Fargo Bank. Today, federal antitrust officials approved the $12-billion deal, which means an uncertain future for hundreds of Wachovia employees in the region. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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City's emergency prep efforts recruit universities

October 10, 2008

Philadelphia officials are looking to universities to assist in preparing for disasters. Today the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Preparedness is joining professors from around the country to discuss how to use academic theory in disaster planning. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Consumer Reports
Avoid costly confusion and loss of service from conversion to digital television signals

October 10, 2008

With the switch to all-digital TV coming in February, cable companies seem to be capitalizing on confusion about the transition as a chance to boost the bills of cable customers. So says Consumer Reports Electronics Editor Paul Reynolds.

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Local Business with Frank Devlin
Could economic downturn put the brakes on building in Philly?

October 10, 2008

Building projects in Philadelphia could be the next casualty of the faltering economy and credit crisis. Here's Frank Devlin of the PhiladelphiaBusinessJournal.com.

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Photo Caption: New Philadelphia Police Sergeants


Slain officer promoted along with 11 other new Sargeants

October 10, 2008

Twelve members of the Philadelphia Police Department have been promoted to the rank of sergeant. Among them was the posthumous promotion of Officer Patrick McDonald who was killed in the line of duty last month. The promotion was the first of its kind in the history of the department. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Captions: Mayor Nutter with Pat McDonald's family (left), and Police Chief Ramsey with Pat Mc Donald's parents (right).


Mayor touts job expansion by city company

October 10, 2008

The city of Philadelphia is proud about securing a major financial company's nod to expand in town. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.


Photo Caption: Aberdeen U.S. CEO with Mayor Michael Nutter at announcement of job moves to Center City

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More information:
Read more and comment about this story on It's Our City: The Flip Side of City's Latest Job Acquisition Announcement


Temple students face eviction as North Philly neighborhoods strike back

October 9, 2008

Some students at Temple University have received warnings from the city that they may be evicted. The city's zoning code makes much off-campus student housing illegal. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Photo Caption: The Phillies Phanatic stopped traffic earlier today to prepare fans for the National League Championship Series


Phillies Fans go Phanatical at afternoon rally

October 9, 2008

Phillies fever is sweeping the City of Brotherly Love and it's turning people red with hope of a trip to the World Series. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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More information:
Join in the fun on WHYY's sports blog, Unobstructed View: Let's get ready to rumble!


In face of utility company opposition, Rendell considers continuing caps on electric rates

October 9, 2008

Governor Rendell says he may extend rate cap on electricity prices in the Commonwealth, if negotiations with utility companies on the issue do not progress. WHYY's Jen Rehill reports from Harrisburg.

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Tough economic times make open space preservation difficult in NJ

October 9, 2008

Although funding for open space in New Jersey will dry up by June, environmentalists say there are still ways to preserve land amid tough economic times. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Schools with "temporary" charters seek decision from School District

October 9, 2008

A group of aspiring Philadelphia charter schools called for the School District to release them from what they described as "bureaucratic limbo." District officials said that a decision on the permanent status of those schools will have to wait. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Deplorable conditions at city nursing home sparks protest

October 9, 2008

Members of the city's disabled community came to City Hall complaining about conditions at the Philadelphia Nursing Home. WHYY's Tom MacDonald was there.

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Nutter appoints LGBT advisory panel

October 9, 2008

Mayor Michael Nutter has appointed members to a panel who will advise him on issues in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Work rules at issue in contract talks between teachers and district

October 9, 2008

There have been no talks for the past month between the union representing Philadelphia public school teachers and the School District. Another session is expected this week. WHYY's Bill Hangley reports that the two sides are still miles apart.

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Photo Caption: Mayor Nutter with finance team Chief of Staff Clay Armbrister, Managing Director Camille Barnett, Budget Director Stephen Agostini, (not pictured: Finance Director Rob Dubow)


Earlier city deficit projections appear to be rosy compared to latest picture

October 9, 2008

Another day, another development in the global economic crisis. The European central banks are offering $120 billion to prop up lending between banks but investor enthusiasm for that move was tempered by the ongoing credit crisis. The Bush administration is considering taking ownership stakes in some banks to deal with the credit crunch. On the local front, Philadelphia city government coffers are dwindling. Mayor Michael Nutter painted a new picture of shrinking city revenues announcing yesterday that the city's budget deficit for the next five years will be well beyond the $450 million that he projected in September. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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More information:
It's Our Money: Ben Waxman explains consequences of credit crunch for city finances

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Hopes for innovative Philly teachers contract fade as time passes

October 8, 2008

About six weeks have passed since Philadelphia school officials and representatives for the Philadelphia teacher's union last sat down for face-to-face contract talks. The two sides will meet later this week, but some observers worry that it's already too late to carve out a truly innovative deal. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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PA offers some low-cost help to local gov'ts for road repairs

October 8, 2008

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is offering assistance to local municipalities in fixing their roads. WHYY's Tom MacDonald says the assistance comes in the form of education.

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Payback time: New Orleans recognizes Philly's Katrina aid

October 8, 2008

The City of Brotherly Love welcomed refugees from Hurricane Katrina three years ago. Now a group of ambassadors from the Crescent City came to town spreading some New Orleans charm and seeking partnerships for the future. WHYY's Tom MacDonald has the details.

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Private firm offers rehab in new facility for short-term prisoners

October 8, 2008

A new detention facility is officially open in Philadelphia. WHYY's Tom MacDonald says this one is run by a private company and is much different from the other city jails.

Photo Caption: Hoffman Hall Alumni Coordinator Altorice Frazier

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Healthy eating advocates lobby Council for menu labeling

October 8, 2008

Teams of nutrition supporters will be blanketing City Hall today. National and local advocates from the "Label That Menu" campaign will be visiting City Council members as they try to build support for a bill requiring fast food restaurants to post complete calorie counts for all their products. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Blood on the rise on Delaware highways

October 8, 2008

Motorcycle accidents in Delaware are on the rise so some highway safety campaigns are aiming to save lives. WHYY's Stella Payne has more.

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Business lessons from "the happiest place on earth"

October 8, 2008

Former Disney executive Dennis Snow has seen Goofy and Mickey taking a "smoking" break at Disney World and venting about annoying guests. WHYY Morning Edition's Brenda Jorett talked with Snow about his management techniques that create a place for constructive criticism and a more positive work atmosphere which ultimately create better customer service.

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City's environmental efforts continue with new sustainable food program

October 7, 2008

Tonight the city unveils its new Food Charter at Center City's Reading Terminal Market. The Food Charter creates a framework for improving food access and sustainability, along with the region's health, economy and environment. The story from WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler.

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Safety plan for one of city's most dangerous roads announced

October 7, 2008

Today officials announced the start of a vehicle and pedestrian safety campaign for Roosevelt Boulvevard in Northeast Philadelphia. The Boulevard carries nearly 100,000 vehicles every day, and officials say many drivers treat the 12-lane, 12-mile stretch of road more like a highway than a city street that they share with bicyclists and pedestrians. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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As stockmarket down another 500, advice for near retirees

October 7, 2008

Downturns in the stockmarket have retirees and people preparing to retire worried. WHYY's Tom MacDonald spoke to a financial advisor who says this is a time to think about your future choices.

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City to engage in home fire drills tonight

October 7, 2008

Sirens will sound throughout the City of Philadelphia tonight. WHYY's Tom MacDonald says they are a signal to execute a home fire drill. In this report, MacDonald talks to Commissioner Lloyd Ayers who has some fire prevention and escape tips for city's residents.

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New Jersey legislators differ on effects of economic downturn

October 7, 2008

Both the Assembly and the Senate Budget Committees met Monday but not to talk about the budget even though Governor Jon Corzine said last week that the state will have to cut more after the bailout bill was decided in Congress. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports it may be longer before the state takes action.

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Home foreclosure help continues to stall in New Jersey Assembly

October 7, 2008

Legislation to help foreclosures in the state may have already come through with the Save New Jersey Homes Act. But Assembly member Bonnie Watson Coleman says even more must be done. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports on Coleman's bill that has languished in the Assembly for six months.

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Alleged romantic affair between City Councilman, aide sparks ethics questions

October 7, 2008

Questions continue to circulate about an aide to City Councilman W. Wilson Goode, Jr. and her boss. Tom MacDonald reports that a political watchdog group — The Committee of Seventy - is calling for an investigation. Despite this, Council doesn't seem to be in a rush to investigate one of their own.

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Wachovia an example of "survival of the fittest" in banking industry

October 7, 2008

The fight for Wachovia is a sign that a new round of consolidation in banking is underway. WHYY's Tom MacDonald talked to one local finance professor who says it's a fight for survival.

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Philly tour guides safe from history tests - for now

October 6, 2008

A federal judge has blocked a Philadelphia law that would require all tour guides to be certified by the city. Opponents of the law won a six-month extension before it goes into effect. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Legislators talk about tax increases as state faces enormous budget deficit

October 6, 2008

Some Pennsylvania lawmakers are warning of a tax increase to address a budget deficit that could approach $3 billion dollar this fiscal year. As WHYY's Jen Rehill reports, such a deficit would far eclipse the previous record set over 15 years ago.

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Public access television closer to reality in Philadelphia

October 6, 2008

Philadelphia's Public Access Corporation has met for the first time. WHYY's Tom MacDonald says it's a meeting a quarter century in the making.

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Wells, Citi battle over Wachovia

October 6, 2008

As Wachovia Bank continues to struggle under the weight of some poor past decisions, a new fight has begun between two of the financial industry's biggest firms. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports it could be sliced up and parceled out to the two competitors if an agreement can't be reached.

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Local Business with Frank Devlin:
New facility at Penn Health makes health care more customer friendly

October 6, 2008

The Penn Health System has a new center. Here's Frank Devlin of the PhiladelphiaBusinessJournal.com with more on that story.

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Wintertime tips for saving energy and money

October 6, 2008

Even though the weather doesn't feel like it fall is here and winter is coming around the corner. WHYY's Tom MacDonald has a few energy saving tips from a local utility.

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Houses passes bailout, Sestak warns of further "bumps"

October 3, 2008

After a failed house vote Monday and days of negotiation, the House gave final approval to the government's $700 billion bailout of failing financial institutions this afternoon. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports.

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Philly welcomes landscape architects for "green" convention

October 3, 2008

Landscape architects from across the world are heading to the Pennsylvania Convention Center for their annual gathering, which runs through Tuesday. The focus this year is "green" -- including topics from green roofs and tree selection, to municipal storm water management, and promoting public health through community planning. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Discovering a faster way to the Phillies

October 3, 2008

A hidden mass transit gem in Philadelphia isn't getting enough business. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Around the blogosphere:
SEPTA Watch: Go Phils!
Atrios: If You Build Acres Of Parking, They Will Drive
Market Watch Press Release: SEPTA to Provide Enhanced Broad Street Subway Service to Phillies Playoff Games


PA legislators pushing for tougher sentences

October 3, 2008

A group of area lawmakers is calling for tougher sentencing regulations to keep violent offenders behind bars. It's part of a wave of law-and-order proposals that follows the recent death of a police officer at the hands of a repeat offender who was out on parole. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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PA election officials take the vote to overseas soldiers

October 3, 2008

Pennsylvania's Secretary of State has spent most of the week traveling overseas in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait to make sure the Commonwealth's enlisted personnel can vote in the upcoming election. Jen Rehill reports from Harrisburg.

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NJ takes steps to shut down diploma mills

October 3, 2008

Even though Freehold Superintendent James Wasser's faux Ph.D. was discovered months ago, the dispute continues at the State House. Now Senators Dick Codey and Jennifer Beck are trying to make sure educators in the state are getting their diplomas from accredited universities. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Philly D.A. nets two with insurance fraud unit

October 3, 2008

Two are facing charges in unrelated insurance fraud cases. Tom MacDonald reports that the arrests include one suspect who promoted herself from paralegal to lawyer.

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NJ Republican questions state's investment practices

October 3, 2008

Republicans in Congress may have become notorious this week for conservative economic theories and hands-off approaches. But that has not stopped State Senator Joe Pennacchio from weighing in on recent state investments — and losses — in Lehman Brothers. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Local Business with Frank Devlin:
As some banks close doors, others planning grand openings

October 3, 2008

Despite the faltering economy, two specialty banks are planning openings in Philadelphia. Here's Frank Devlin of the PhiladelphiaBusinessJournal.com.

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Controller Butkovitz has bleak forecast for city economy

October 3, 2008

Philadelphia's City Controller says the economic problems are hitting home in the city. Tom MacDonald has the details.

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Consumer Reports:
What you can do about environmentally damaging excessive packaging

October 3, 2008

Good things may come in small packages, but should small things come in huge ones? Some mail-order companies seem to think so and Consumer Reports wants to know why. Here's Consumer Reports Editor Kim Kleman.

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More information:
You can find out more at ConsumerReports.org


Mayor Nutter reads to kindergarten as part of literacy project

October 2, 2008

Mayor Michael Nutter joined a kindergarten class in the city's Fairmount section today to highlight the importance of reading. He was hosted by a school that's getting extra help from the federal government in the fight to improve early childhood education. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Disabled seek state support for home care help

October 2, 2008

Disabled and elderly Pennsylvania residents want more say when it comes to choosing and managing their home care attendants. They're asking the state to establish a board to protect the rights of those requiring long-term care. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Phillies fans hopeful after playoff opening win

October 2, 2008

Philadelphia Phillies fans are riding a high after a win Wednesday, and WHYY's Tom MacDonald talked to many fans who want this feeling to continue right through to the World Series.

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Saying their final good byes: A city pays tribute to a fallen officer

October 2, 2008

It has been a difficult week for members of the Philadelphia Police Department. On Tuesday, the men and women in blue buried Sergeant Patrick McDonald, who was killed last week during a foot pursuit in North Philadelphia. Sergeant McDonald was the fourth officer to die in the line of duty in the last 12 months and city officials asked citizens to come out to the funeral to show their support for the grieving police force. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler spoke with some Philadelphia-area residents who made the trip to Center City's Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul.


Captions: Ina and Venard Johnson (top), Dave Price (left), and Mary and Georgeann Marie Goodman (right).


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Analysis: Local businesses feel the credit crunch

October 2, 2008

The ongoing drama over how to fix the nation's economic crisis could be resolved soon. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports that the resolution can't come soon enough for local builders and developers for whom credit is key.

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Nutter replaces embattled Minority Business Enterprise Council

October 2, 2008

Fulfilling an early campaign promise to abolish the dysfunctional and oft-criticized MBEC, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has reorganized and repurposed several government entities to expand the use of minority contractors in the city. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports on a series of executive orders that are designed to help make the effort become reality.

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Local housing activists skeptical of new federal foreclosure aid program

October 1, 2008

A new federal program designed to keep families out of foreclosure officially starts today. It allows lenders to forgive some of the debt of borrowers faced with rising mortage payments. But local advocates say those borrowers will probably fare better with some of the region's homegrown programs. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Nutter announces new efforts at minority business aid

October 1, 2008

In an event that spilled into the hall outside the Mayor's Reception Room, a new era of minority participation in the City of Philadelphia began today. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Continuing conversation with Sen. Casey on economic crisis

October 1, 2008

Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey says a solution needs to be reached to free up borrowing. Here is more about Tom MacDonald's conversation with Senator Casey regarding the ongoing financial crisis.

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Bethlehem, PA to borrow big for security cameras

October 1, 2008

Surveillance cameras may be going up in the city of Bethlehem next year. A $3 million bond measure is going before City Council to pay for a network of cameras in public parks and streets. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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DHS goes to the people with series of town hall meetings

October 1, 2008

The Philadelphia Department of Human Services is beginning a series of town hall meetings tonight. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports that the effort is designed to give the agency a feel for needed changes and improve its beleaguered image in the eyes of the community.

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City mourns fallen officer

September 30, 2008

Today the city mourns the death of Police Officer Patrick McDonald, who was shot during a foot pursuit last week in North Philadelphia. Earlier today citizens, police officers, and officials joined family and friends of Officer McDonald for his funeral at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in Center City. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.


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Viewing for officer McDonald recalls his Northeast Philly roots

September 30, 2008

Thousands of Philadelphians are expected to turn out to honor Officer Patrick McDonald at his funeral in downtown Philadelphia today. Monday night the officer was remembered at a viewing near his alma mater of Archbishop Ryan High School in Northeast Philadelphia. WHYY's Bill Hangley was there.

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Governor calls for parole board review

September 30, 2008

In the wake of Officer McDonald's death, questions are being asked about the shooter who was released after serving 10 years of a 12-year sentence. The murder prompted members of the police to call for a review of the sentences handed down by Philadelphia's judicial system, and the decisions made by the Commonwealth's parole board. On Monday, the president of the police union and the Police Commissioner called for a moratorium on the release of violent offenders until the parole board's actions are reviewed. Now Governor Ed Rendell has ordered a review of the state's parole board, and says he's waiting to see the results before making any drastic decisions. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Senator Casey says final deal should come soon for Wall St. bailout

September 30, 2008

Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey says he's seeing a light at the end of the financial bailout tunnel. Here is the first part of Tom MacDonald report on his conversation with the senator about a bailout timetable.

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City takes taxpayer-funded cars away from several employees

September 30, 2008

The City of Philadelphia is cutting down its vehicle fleet, and people who need to do business at City Hall and the Municipal Services Building will benefit. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Photocredit: AP Photos/Morry Gash


Quest for the World Series begins with the Brewers

September 30, 2008

The Philllies are in their second post season in as many years. WHYY Morning Edition's Brenda Jorett talked with Phillies President and General Partner Dave Montgomery on the eve of the playoffs against the Milwaukee Brewers.

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Free Library goes green

September 29, 2008

Mayor Michael Nutter cut a green ribbon earlier on Monday, officially unveiling the first green roof on a city-owned building. Made up of 5,000 square feet on the roof of the Free Library's central building on Vine Street, the green roof includes 100 cubic feet of soil and more than 5,400 plants. More from WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler.

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Funding to combat domestic violence comes through for city

September 29, 2008

A grant designed to help Philadelphia police deal with domestic violence situations has been extended. WHYY's Tom MacDonald has the details.

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Area Congressional delegation part of debate over bailout

September 27, 2008

Congress continues to debate the terms of a $700 billion federal bailout of some of the nation's largest financial institutions. This week, another failing bank, Washington Mutual, was saved from liquidation by J.P. Morgan, which bought the company for $1.9 billion. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports.

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Court to Milton: Go directly to jail

September 27, 2008

Former State Senator Milton Street has been sent to jail immediately to start serving his two and a half year sentence for not filing his taxes. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports that along with jail time, Street faces the prospect of having to pay back an enormous restitution amount.

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Philabundance, other food banks suffer through tough economy

September 27, 2008

The economic crisis is not just hitting Wall Street. It also means local food banks are feeling the pinch. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports on just how bad it is getting.

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State court denies City attempt to regulate firearms

September 26, 2008

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court has ruled that state law pre-empts the city from passing its own gun laws. Earlier today the court released its decision on a lawsuit brought last fall by Philadelphia City Councilmembers. They claimed the state general assembly created a "state of danger" by refusing to act on city gun ordinances they had passed that required state approval. The ordinances require the reporting of lost or stolen weapons and limit gun purchases to one a month. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Milton Street begins sentence

September 26, 2008

The brother of a former mayor is in federal prison for failing to pay his income taxes. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Aide to Councilman Goode to apologize for accusations of racism

September 26, 2008

Forgive and forget. That's the sentiment of Philadelphia City Councilman Wilson Goode, Jr. Goode's legislative aide has been embroiled in controversy after referring to a television news reporter as a member of the Ku Klux Klan and calling his station racist. WHYY's Paul Jackson spoke with Goode who now says his aide intends to apologize.

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Rendell not hopeful for turnpike lease, transit funding

September 26, 2008

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell says he's not giving up on his plan to lease the Pennsylvania Turnpike, even though Republican leaders who control the State Senate have said they won't move the legislation this year. WHYY's Jen Rehill reports.

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Rendell orders review of release of cop killer

September 26, 2008

City and state officials continue to mourn the death of Philadelphia Police Officer Patrick McDonald who was killed earlier this week. Governor Ed Rendell says his office is reviewing why the man accused of the officer's murder and wounding of another officer, was released from prison early. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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United Way's new CEO moves forward despite uncertain economic times

September 26, 2008

United Way's annual campaign is underway. Hundreds of non-profit organizations will benefit from grants that will focus on improving education and health care in the region. WHYY Morning Edition's Brenda Jorett talked with new CEO Jill Michal.

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New Jersey bills seek to create "business friendly" state

September 26, 2008

It was mere coincidence that bills before the Assembly yesterday were meant to aid the state's economy. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports that didn't stop legislators from promoting or passing the bills.

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Rendell wants a new "New Deal" with bailout

September 26, 2008

Governor Rendell is calling on Congress to enact a $100 billion dollar economic stimulus package for the American economy in addition to the $700 billion bailout for Wall Street. Jen Rehill reports from the Harrisburg.

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Consumer Reports:
How much can a used car save you?

September 26, 2008

In these tough economic times, many car buyers are searching for the best value. As Consumer Reports Automotive Editor, Rik Paul, tells us the real values will be found among used cars.

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Local Business with Frank Devlin:
Boutique health care means great service - if you can afford it

September 26, 2008

Doctors in private practice sometimes consider changing the way they do business. Here's Frank Devlin of the PhiladelphiaBusinessJournal.com.

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Philly City Council ends a newsworthy, if not productive, week

September 25, 2008

Philadelphia City Councilman Wilson Goode, Jr. spoke for several minutes today in the Council's last session of the week. His topic: the recent controversy with one of his aides. Last week, Latrice Bryant held up signs during a session of Council accusing a Fox 29 reporter of racism. This week, Goode took a jab at the press in general. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Governor Rendell skeptical of bailout ideas

September 25, 2008

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell was quick to react to a deal to bail out the nation's financial system. WHYY's Tom MacDonald has the details.

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Gun violence task force cracks down on straw purchasers

September 25, 2008

City and state law enforcement officials are calling the gun violence task force a success. Today, District Attorney Lynne Abraham and Attorney General Tom Corbett announced since it began in December 2006, the task force has opened more than 700 investigations involving the illegal transfer of firearms, made 216 arrests, and seized 450 firearms. Whyy's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Philly Fugitives turn themselves in

September 25, 2008

Mayor Michael Nutter has called for an investigation after the Tuesday afternoon murder of Philadelphia police officer Patrick McDonald. The Mayor says he wants to know why the man accused of killing officer McDonald was on the streets despite outstanding warrants for his arrest. Last week 1,200 non-violent fugitives turned themselves in during Fugitive Safe Surrender. The U.S. Marshalls program set up makeshift courtrooms inside a South Philadelphia church. The goal was to clear some of the city's 38,000 outstanding misdemeanor warrants. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler spoke with some of the fugitives who turned themselves in at the True Gospel Tabernacle church.


Volunteers welcome fugitives to the church, and one fugitive, Tiffany Wilder, turns herself in.


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NJ Cong. Andrews has his own federal bailout plan

September 25, 2008

The proposed $700 billion federal bailout of failing financial institutions has Congress calling for more oversight on Wall Street. But one local congressman is putting his own plan forward. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports.

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Philly: Harbor a fugitive, go to jail

September 25, 2008

The City of Philadelphia is planning to step up prosecutions of people who harbor fugitives after Tuesday's slaying of a city police officer. Tom MacDonald reports.

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Delaware coast braces for severe weekend storms

September 25, 2008

According to weather reports, up to 4 to 5 inches of rain could fall on Delaware by the end of the weekend. For low-lying areas that means the possibility of flooding and contaminated water supplies. As WHYY's Bill Cook reports, the National Guard is standing by, ready to take fresh water where it's needed.

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Commissioner Ramsey, cops deal with death of colleague

September 25, 2008

After the death of one of their own Tuesday, Philadelphia's Police Commissioner says tempers are short and nerves are frayed. WHYY's Tom MacDonald has the details.

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Old cell phones help against domestic violence

September 25, 2008

Groups fighting domestic violence in Philadelphia are looking for a little assistance and a gadget gathering dust in your house could make a lifesaving difference. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports on the efforts of one Pennsylvania state senator who is herself a former victim of domestic violence.

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Corzine pushes for greater campaign finance limits in New Jersey

September 25, 2008

The Clean Election program has been abandoned but that has not stopped Governor Jon Corzine and other legislators from trying to control wheeling and dealing inside the State House. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports from Trenton.

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PA legislature takes steps to insure smooth election in November

September 25, 2008

The Pennsylvania House State Government Committee is holding a meeting later today on Pennsylvania's preparations for the November 4th election. They will seek to solve any problem areas that need to be remedied now. WHYY's Jen Rehill reports from Harrisburg.

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As ban on offshore oil drilling ends, local Dems regroup for new alternative energy strategies

September 25, 2008

The decades old ban on offshore oil drilling has quietly expired. Now, Democrats who had supported the ban are trying to make the best of the situation. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov spoke to one congressman who thinks the onus should be on the oil companies to drill in areas already open to them.

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Frankford's black community seeks answers in shooting of 14-year-old robbery suspect

September 25, 2008

A candlelight vigil will take place tonight to remember a boy shot and killed by a retired policeman a month ago. The African-American community in Frankford is threatening legal action against the Philadelphia Police Department for what they say was an inadequate investigation. WHYY Peter Crimmins reports.

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Continuing coverage of police officer death:
Cop killer walked the streets despite extensive record

September 24, 2008

Philadelphia city officials cannot believe why a man who killed Officer Patrick McDonald was on the streets of the city. WHYY's Tom MacDonald has the details.

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Mayor Nutter expresses outrage over cop death

September 24, 2008

The Mayor of Philadelphia is continuing to vent his anger in the killing of a Philadelphia Police Officer and the wounding of a second. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Murder of cop reignites gun legislation debate

September 24, 2008

The murder of 30-year-old highway patrolman Officer Patrick McDonald has some gun control advocates and criminologists pointing their fingers at lawmakers. McDonald is the fifth Philadelphia police officer to give his life in the line of duty since 2006. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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PA state officials look to shore up state against financial market woes

September 24, 2008

As Congress considers ways to rescue out the nation's troubled financial markets, Pennsylvania's Banking Secretary and state Treasurer are making plans to help the Commonwealth weather the storm. For WHYY, Jen Rehill reports from the Harrisburg.

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PennDOT faces winter short of salt

September 24, 2008

A nationwide shortage of road salt doesn't have PennDOT worried. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Corzine, NJ Republicans debate job creation strategies

September 24, 2008

State legislators are trying to control collateral damage caused by last week's economic turmoil. While both sides of the aisle agree new jobs need to be created, some say high paying private sector employment is more important than new blue collar jobs. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Philly cop gunned down in the line of duty

September 23, 2008

A Philadelphia Police Officer has been shot in the line of duty today. Officer Patrick McDonald, of the Philadelphia Highway Patrol, was killed in an exchange of gunfire in a North Philadelphia neighborhood. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Convention Center expansion spurs new wave of hotel building

September 23, 2008

The expansion of the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Center City is prompting renovations to existing hotels, and a boom in new hotel projects. According to new numbers from the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association, Philadelphia hotels have recently spent, or are budgeted to spend, more than $231 million in renovations and new hotel developments. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Ben Franklin paint job nears completion

September 23, 2008

Crews are out on the Ben Franklin Bridge putting the final touches on its $87 million dollar paint job. The project sandblasted more than 25 layers of lead paint put on over the last 80 years. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Bank bailout or social programs? Both?

September 23, 2008

A group of Pennsylvania community leaders want Congress to expand the bank bailout to include social programs. WHYY's Tom MacDonald has more.

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Orchestra ends neighborhood concert season at City Hall

September 23, 2008

The Philadelphia Orchestra has a unique venue for its final neighborhood concert tonight. Tom MacDonald has the details.

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Philly Ex-Offender office expanding services

September 23, 2008

The Mayor's Office for the Re-Entry of Ex-Offenders is expanding its network of services. The office that helps ex-convicts re-integrate into society is helping local organizations attract grant money. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Corzine convenes summit to deal with New Jersey's stake in economic crisis

September 23, 2008

In a closed-door meeting, New Jersey's Governor Jon Corzine spoke with business leaders, academic experts, and labor organizations around the state as a way to try and reduce the effects of last week's economic downfall. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Dems in PA legislature push for confirmation of top environmental official

September 23, 2008

Supporters of acting Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger are pressing the Senate to move forward with the confirmation process. Jen Rehill reports from Harrisburg.

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Phila. homeless voting bloc gears up for election

September 23, 2008

Philadelphia's homeless community marched through the streets of Philadelphia in an effort to get out the vote for the presidential election. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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EZpass makes it EZ to go after scofflaws in NJ

September 23, 2008

The South Jersey Transportation Authority is proactively going after EZpass drivers who do not pay tolls on the Atlantic City Expressway. Some delinquent accounts add up to tens of thousands of dollars. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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New Jersey legislature explores effects of economic collapse on Garden State

September 22, 2008

Playing catch up, legislators in the state's Labor Committee met today and tried to better understand how last week's events will affect New Jersey's economy. After testimony from experts and local leaders the results were less than optimistic. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Congressman Murphy proposes scholarship for children of fallen police, firefighters

September 22, 2008

A Philadelphia-area congressman wants to establish a scholarship program for the children of slain police and firefighters nationwide. The bill is named for the fallen police officer at the heart of the Mumia Abu-Jamal case. WHYY's Tom Mac Donald reports.

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Local Business with Frank Devlin:
Philly autism treatment center expands

September 22, 2008

A center for autistic children in northwest Philadelphia has expanded meaning a faster road to treatment for many autistic children and their families. Here's Frank Devlin of the PhiladelphiaBusinessJournal.com.

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Inquirer packaged-DVD on "radical Islam" attracts concern of Human Rights Commission

September 22, 2008

A controversial documentary DVD that was distributed as a newspaper insert in the Philadelphia Inquirer is causing concern among some Arab-Americans. The 1-hour video draws parallels between Radical Islam and Nazism. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Safe Surrender the beginning of long slog through warrants

September 22, 2008

According to city officials, last week's church-based surrender program successfully rounded up hundreds of fugitives. It's only the beginning of the effort to clear out the thousands backlogged arrest warrants. WHYY's Tom MacDonald reports.

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Trouble for Philabundance, other charities hits hard on city's children

September 22, 2008

As Americans struggle to cut expenses in the troubled economy, charities are seeing fewer donations, and experts say things won't be getting better soon. The hunger relief agency Philabundance announced last week that it will be cutting its program to provide milk for after school and daycare agencies due to fewer donations. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports.

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Seniors in Delaware could lose their rides

September 21, 2008

People in Kent County, Delaware who rely on a certain government-supported transportation service could eventually have to find another way to get around. WHYY's Amy Szutowicz has more on cuts to a program that serves seniors.

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Flooding at Rehoboth attracts state attention

September 21, 2008

Flooding is causing major problems for people living along Rehoboth Bay in Dewey Beach. Officials are prepared to spend thousands of dollars to repair the town's storm drainage system in the next two years. WHYY's Stella Payne reports.

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Councilmembers Goode, Kelly trade barbs over minority representation requirement

September 20, 2008

Philadelphia City Council could have some rocky weeks ahead as the fall session is underway. City lawmakers have to address a mounting 5-year projected deficit that is hitting 450-million dollars. There's also some resistance to ethics reform and a proposal to eliminate one of the guaranteed Republican at-large council seats. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports on a particular battle between two at-large council members.

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Philly Council introduces cell phone ban for more than just cars

September 20, 2008

Drivers in Philadelphia may have to hold off on text-messaging, emailing or speaking on a cell phone without a head-set. A bill introduced in City Council on Thursday would regulate cell phone use in the city. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports that drivers wouldn't be the only cell users affected.

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Transgender lawsuit could end gender ID on SEPTA passes

September 19, 2008

SEPTA may have to remove gender-identifying stickers from TransPasses. A case of a transgender person trying to get on a bus has escalated into a power struggle between SEPTA and the city. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Senator Casey: Economic crisis "worst in a generation"

September 19, 2008

A Pennsylvania senator says quick action must be taken to avoid a bank collapse. WHYY's Tom MacDonald caught up with Senator Bob Casey at 30th Street Station after a briefing with the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernacke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

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PA lawmakers prepare for budget crisis of their own

September 19, 2008

A state revenue shortfall in the wake of national economic uncertainty has some lawmakers concerned about meeting state expenses this year. For WHYY, Jen Rehill reports from Harrisburg on their plans.

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Fugitive Safe Surrender sees some success

September 19, 2008

The conversion of a church into a surrender mecca is working. WHYY's Tom MacDonald has an update on the Fugitive Safe Surrender Initiative inside the True Gospel Tabernacle Church at 16th and Mifflin Streets.

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Huge Mexico-Philly crystal meth ring busted

September 19, 2008

Pennsylvania's state Attorney General has announced the break-up of a multimillion dollar crystal methamphetamine ring which operated between Mexico and Philadelphia. As WHYY's Paul Jackson reports the alleged traffickers smuggled their drugs in most unusual containers.

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Phila. City Council off to contentious start over ethics legislation

September 19, 2008

It's a bumpy start for Philadelphia City Council, which began its fall session Thursday with a full plate. Council will have to contend with a newly discovered budget deficit, wrestle with the casino controversy, and take up a package of ethics bills that may not be so popular. As WHYY's Susan Phillips reports one victim of a possible backlash against Councilman Frank Rizzo's ethics legislation could be his airing of problems with police and fire communications equipment.

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Senator Casey pushing for aid to Iraqi refugees

September 19, 2008

Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey wants the federal government to do more to help refugees from the Iraq War. Thursday the senator introduced legislation that is intended to help millions of Iraqis help themselves. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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State legislator takes up foreclosure assistance bill

September 19, 2008

Pennsylvania homeowners facing foreclosure could get substantial help from the state to avoid that outcome, if a new measure before the state House of Representatives is enacted. For WHYY, Jen Rehill reports from the Capitol.

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Local Business with Philadelphia Business Journal's Frank Devlin:
Planned transformation for West Market corridor

September 19, 2008

More retail space is planned in Center City Philadelphia... without a new building going up. The new space could turn a section of the city that's very busy in the daytime into a popular evening destination. Here's Frank Devlin of the PhiladelphiaBusinessJournal.com.

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Consumer Reports:
Are your pensions and Social Security safe from creditors?

September 19, 2008

If you're buried in debt or worried you might be soon you may be wondering if creditors can seize your pension funds to repay what you owe. Consumer Reports Money Adviser Senior Project Editor Mandy Walker has the answer.

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For more information check the Consumer Reports website.


Disabled in PA oppose new standards for assisted living facilities

September 18, 2008

Some disabled Pennsylvanians may be forced to live in non-accessible rooms, if new regulations from the Department of Public Welfare are adopted. As Jen Rehill reports from the Capitol, the House Committee on Aging held a public hearing on Thursday on proposed standards for assisted living residences.

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Wall St. crisis forces Wachovia to look for options

September 18, 2008

Hoping to deliver a counter-punch to the global credit crisis, the Federal Reserve today pumped billions of dollars into financial markets in the U.S. and abroad. But as WHYY's Paul Jackson reports, the roller coaster ride on Wall Street has already had major implications for the Philadelphia region's largest financial institutions.

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New SDP plan for charter schools concerns advocates

September 18, 2008

Supporters of Philadelphia's charter schools aren't thrilled with a new oversight plan from the School District of Philadelphia. They worry that district employees won't be able to avoid what they see as a basic conflict of interest. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Nutter joins Council during opening session

September 18, 2008

Philadelphia City Council began their fall session today with a visit from Mayor Michael Nutter... who handed out lapel pins. Nutter will be giving Council a revised budget next month in an effort to plug an unexpected deficit. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Hunting the wild pig in New Jersey

September 18, 2008

Wild hogs were once only a problem in about a dozen states, but now there are feral swine in 39 even New Jersey. They're living in the Pinelands in a rural part of Gloucester County. But the state wants them out and has called in the "Feds" to get rid of the pigs. Eugene Sonn has the story.

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Council back in session finds major budget shortfall on its agenda...

September 18, 2008

Philadelphia City Council is back in session today. Council will have much on its plate this session including the work to close the newly discovered $450 million dollar city budget gap over the next five years. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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...along with bills on cell phones, ethics and student behavior

September 18, 2008

In addition to the budget shortfall, Council will take up several bills, including a ban on cell phone use while driving, a package of ethics bills, and an effort to get Temple students living off campus to behave better. WHYY's Susan Phillips has the story.

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School District, Union continue wrangling over new contract

September 18, 2008

With new one-year contracts in hand for three of its five unions, officials at the Philadelphia School District say they want to strike a similar deal with the 16,000-member teachers union. But the teachers say they're still holding out for a long term deal. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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PA constitution one step closer to a re-write

September 18, 2008

Pennsylvania may have a state constitutional convention if any of three bills approved Wednesday by a Senate Committee are made law. WHYY's Jen Rehill reports from the Capitol.

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"Empowerment schools" get special attention of Philly School District

September 17, 2008

The Philadelphia School District says it has a plan to raise performance at its worst performing schools. Starting tomorrow, district officials will be paying the first of many visits to dozens of schools that have failed to meet state academic targets for five years or more. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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"Safe Surrender" nets several fugitives on first day

September 17, 2008

Fugitives have been heading into a South Philadelphia church today, hoping to settle up their legal issues. Today through Saturday, city officials and religious leaders are welcoming people with outstanding non-violent warrants to a makeshift courtroom set up inside the True Gospel Tabernacle Church at 16th and Mifflin streets. Officials say around 100 fugitives came to the church in just the first few hours this morning many leaving with new court dates. The story from WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler.

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Port official: no connection between higher tolls, decreased traffic

September 17, 2008

Just a week and a half after an increase in bridge tolls from 3 to 4 dollars on four area bridges, the CEO of the Delaware River Port Authority says traffic volume has gone down. But, he says, it's probably not because of higher tolls. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports.

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Nutter announces effort to get seniors the benefits coming to them

September 17, 2008

Thousands of older Philadelphians will be getting letters and phone calls from Mayor Michael Nutter in the upcoming weeks, urging them to sign up for state and federal benefits. The initiative targets residents who are missing out on prescription drug benefits, food stamps, and property tax rebates. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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To learn more about BenePhilly or how to enroll in benefit programs, please contact the City or call one of the numbers below:
BenePhilly assistance: 800-236-2194, M-F 9am-5pm
Food Stamps assistance: 215-430-0556, (Coalition Against Hunger Hotline)
Economic Stimulus checks: 866-234-2942, (Deadline is October 15; IRS Hotline)
Energy Assistance (LIHEAP): 800-692-7462.


PA takes up crusade against employment of illegal immigrants

September 17, 2008

A Pennsylvania lawmaker has introduced legislation that would crack down on illegal immigrants and their employers. Opponents say national immigration reform, not piecemeal state-by-state legislation, is needed. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Opening the legislation bottleneck in PA legislator

September 17, 2008

A resolution in being introduced in the House of Representatives that will change the way bills are introduced... in the House of Representatives. State Representative David Steil of Bucks County is proposing new rules to loosen the legislative bottleneck. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Anti-puppy mill legislation gains momentum in Harrisburg

September 16, 2008

Major's changes to the state law regarding commercial dog breeders could be approved before the end of the month. Some of the dog owners spoke with WHYY's Jen Rehill who reports that the bill is expected to pass the House, but until today its fate in the Senate was uncertain.

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As hundreds of dogs and their owners rallied today at the state for more humane treatment of animals at large commercial kennels, the sides of the debate outline their positions. Rehill also reports on the major changes to Pennsylvania's dog law and what each side wants from the process.

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Murder suspect on the lam for a decade returns to Philly custody today

September 16, 2008

After a decade on the loose, a murder suspect is expected to be taken into custody in philadelphia today. Former Montgomery County resident David Nam fled to South Korea in 1998 to avoid trial for the murder of an elderly Olney man. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Innovative supermarket for 31st and Girard to be unveiled tonight

September 16, 2008

Communities around 31st street and Girard Avenue in North Philadelphia may be moving a step closer to getting a grocery store in their neighborhood after years of trying. Tonight architects who volunteered their time will unveil a final and very dramatic design. "Infill Philadelphia" is a five-year initiative of the Community Design Collaborative. It provides community groups with pro bono design services from a network of 700 local archiects, planners, and design professionals. Check back here for Elizabeth Fiedler's full story about this new development for Girard Avenue, available later this morning.


Discussing the supermarket plans (from left) Community Deisgn Collaborative Executive Director Beth Miller, Girard Coalition interim Executive Director Angel Coleman, Westrum Development Vice President John Dean, Interface Studio architect Brian Phillips.

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Nutter joins other PA mayors for gun legislation

September 16, 2008

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter will be joining mayors from seven other eastern and central Pennsylvania cities who plan to introduce gun legislation. The mayors will gather in Reading, a smaller city with its share of gun violence, for the announcement. Their goal is modest: local laws requiring the reporting of lost and stolen weapons. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Regional banks mostly safe from Wall Street troubles

September 16, 2008

While financial institutions on Wall Street are going through hard times, experts say regional commercial banks are largely immune to their trouble. The smaller institutions are often better equipped to survive turbulent economic crises. In fact, according to one local economics professor, the current crisis could open the door to future opportunities. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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New poll: Citizens favor limits on presidential power

September 16, 2008

With just over six weeks remaining in the presidential campaign, a new survey from the National Constitution Center finds that Americans remain very cautious about granting presidents too much power. The Center released the survey to help kick off a new exhibit called "Headed to the White House" that opens this Wednesday. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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PA makes overseas voting easier

September 15, 2008

The commonwealth of Pennsylvania has just made it a little easier for members of the military deployed overseas to vote in November's election. Jen Rehill files this report from the Harrisburg.

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More information about absentee voting is available at the State Department website votesPA.com


Nutter announces city's bike friendly efforts

September 15, 2008

During Bike Philly festivities over the weekend, Mayor Michael Nutter announced that the city would be installing 1400 new bicycle racks throughout Philadelphia. The mayor outlined a number of steps that the city will take to make the city more bicycle friendly. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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PA lawmakers get to work on very short session

September 15, 2008

Energy independence, government reforms and universal health care are just a few of the items on lawmaker's wish lists for the session which begins today. But as Jen Rehill reports from Harrisburg, it remains to be seen how much gets done in the short nine-day session before the election.

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Gallery architect: building is set for Foxwoods expansion upwards

September 15, 2008

Foxwoods officials say there's still a lot of work to be done, before deciding whether to locate a casino in Center City or stick with their original site along Delaware Riverfront. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler spoke to the original architect of The Gallery mall. He says the building is ripe for high rise expansion if necessary.

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Pennsylvania and New Jersey set for separate trials of State Senators

September 15, 2008

In Philadelphia, jury selection in the federal corruption trial of Pennsylvania state Senator Vince Fumo is expected to wrap up today followed by opening statements. The powerful senator faces a 139-count indictment. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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While in Trenton, the corruption trial for NJ St. Sen. Bryant begins today after selection of a jury of ten women and seven men wrapped up in U.S. District Court. WHYY's Mary reports.

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Bidder to name new Giants Stadium pulls out

September 15, 2008

The Giants are already having trouble with bids for naming the new stadium. Allianz, a German based insurance company that helped fund Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime more than seventy years ago, may have been one of the top choices. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports Allianz is no longer in negotiations with the Giants owners and they say it has nothing to do with their past. Others in the community were ready with opposition to such a selection.

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Infant mortality decreasing in Delaware

September 15, 2008

Delaware mothers are giving birth to healthier babies. The First State previously ranked among the worst in infant mortality rates. But, as WHYY's Andrea Boyle reports, advocates hope that's a mantle the state will soon shed.

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Consumer Reports:
Choosing protection for your computer

September 15, 2008

When it comes to security software, it's best to look into a suite. Suites provide better overall protection against viruses, spyware, and spam and cost less than buying a full complement of stand-alone commercial programs. Consumer Reports Electronics Editor Paul Reynolds has more.

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Embattled PA higher ed. agency to be reorganized

September 13, 2008

The Pennsylvania State Auditor General says the IRS has given the green light to his proposal to shake up the state student loan agency. The agency was the subject of a blistering audit released earlier this week. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Delaware EMS team places 3rd in international competition

September 12, 2008

The Sussex County EMS Paramedics team returned today as 3rd place winner in a competition that drew teams from around the globe. WHYY's Stella Payne talked with the team about their impressive performance.

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Funeral for 3rd fallen Philly officer in 10 months

September 12, 2008

Police officers, firefighters, family and friends paid their respects to fallen police officer Isabel Nazario today. The 18-year police veteran killed in the line of duty was remembered at a funeral service at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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I-80 tolls rejected, Rendell pushes Turnpike lease again

September 12, 2008

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell is pushing state lawmakers to take a serious look at a $12.8 billion potential Turnpike lease. The federal government yesterday rejected the state's proposal to toll Interstate 80. That leaves a $450 million funding gap in the state's plan to raise funds for bridges, roads, and mass transportation. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Rendell, State Senate disagree on low-income health care plans

September 12, 2008

Governor Ed Rendell says expanding state health insurance to include more low-income Pennsylvanians is his number one priority this fall. But as Jen Rehill reports from Harrisburg the Democratic Governor and his allies in the state House have very different ideas from the Republican Senate leaders on how to make that happen.

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Nutter puts education plan into action

September 12, 2008

The Philadelphia School District is hiring more than a hundred new special assistants to help parents keep their children in school. That's just one of a wide range of new initiatives announced last night by Mayor Michael Nutter, who wants to cut dropout rates, boost college attendance, and improve education across Philadelphia. WHYY's Bill Hangley was there.

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Philly budget hole may force layoffs

September 12, 2008

The same problems that have plagued the national economy are hitting Philadelphia government. Mayor Michael Nutter announced Thursday that the city faces a $450 million funding shortfall over the next five years because of lower than expected Business Privilege Tax revenues and poor performance by the city pension fund. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Comment on this story!
It's Our Money blog: City faces $450 million shortfall


I-80 toll plan rejected, Turnpike lease recommended by Governor

September 12, 2008

The federal government is rejecting Pennsylvania's plan to add tolls to Interstate 80. As Jen Rehill reports from Harrisburg, Governor Ed Rendell says it's time to seriously consider leasing the Turnpike instead.

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Foxwoods to Center City gets mixed reception

September 12, 2008

The recent proposal to locate a slots parlor in Center City at The Gallery mall has community groups up in arms. But others say it could be a boon to the Market East business district. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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NJ State Senator puts foot down on lower drinking age idea

September 12, 2008

Montclair State University, Stevens Institute of Technology, and Drew University have joined with more than a hundred other schools across the country that want to lower the drinking age. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports Senator Dick Codey says he will not have it, not in his state.

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NJ emergency management expert: disaster preparedness is a mindset

September 12, 2008

National security is still on the minds of many seven years after 9/11. But how safe is New Jersey from a hurricane, terrorist attack, or biological weapon? WHYY's Mary Fuchs spoke to Hank Straub, a retired Air Force Colonel who now helps businesses prepare for natural or man-made disasters.

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More information:
BENS (Business Executives for National Security)


Philadelphia national leader on dealing with Foreclosures

September 12, 2008

There've been lots of efforts to deal with the housing crisis at the federal level, but those measures don't necessarily keep people in their homes. As WHYY's Alex Schmidt reports, the city of Philadelphia has been taking matters into its own hands.

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Chinatown activists plan for casino opposition

September 11, 2008

Community activists in Chinatown are already gearing up for a fight over a planned casino in Center City at The Gallery, even though the plan was announced just yesterday. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports that the Foxwoods casino and elected officials may have missed a crucial step again - consulting the neighborhoods.

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Guilty pleas in Boeing helicopter vandalism case

September 11, 2008

A Bucks County man faces jail time after pleading guilty to vandalizing an Army helicopter at a Boeing plant in Ridley Township last spring. The defendant was a disgruntled employee who chose the wrong place to vent his frustration. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Examining Philadelphia's disaster preparedness plan

September 11, 2008

Across the country, people are taking a moment today to remember the victims of September 11th, 2001. The tragic events prompted many cities to step up their emergency preparedness plans. Philadelphia officials responded to a report that made over 200 recommendations to improve preparedness by increasing the capacity of its Office of Emergency Management. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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More information:
To view the city's evacuation plan go to: www.Phila.Gov/ready


City's first responders memorialized at September 11th

September 11, 2008

Firefighters and first-response rescue workers were honored today at a ceremony marking the 7th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. WHYY's Peter Crimmins was there and has this report.

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9/11 Education Curriculum begins in NJ

September 11, 2008

Commemorating 9/11 comes in all different forms of monuments and memorials. And some say the best way to honor those who died is by telling stories and memories to those who may be too young to remember the days' events. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports on new curriculum for high school students that is meant to do just that.

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PECO: pay a little more now before you have to pay a lot more later

September 11, 2008

PECO energy wants Greater Philadelphia's electricity customers to pay a little more now in order to pay a little bit less later. The utility wants to help ease in the impact of electric rate deregulation, but officials with the Rendell administration say they're skeptical. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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Memories of 9/11 remain strong even as number of ceremonies dwindle

September 11, 2008

In memory of the attacks on September 11, 2001, firemen and other rescue workers will be honored in two ceremonies in Philadelphia today. There will be a procession from the Fireman's Hall Museum to the Betsy Ross House, and the Boy Scouts will honor Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers later in the afternoon. But on the 7th anniversary of the attacks, there are fewer memorials in the Greater Philadelphia region than in previous years. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Lawmakers reconsider multiple exemptions to PA indoor smoking ban

September 11, 2008

Approximately 700 businesses in Pennsylvania have applied for exemption from the state's indoor smoking ban, which went into effect today. Jen Rehill reports from Harrisburg.

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State agrees with advocates' on foster care problems

September 11, 2008

A new report from a Pennsylvania child advocacy group points to series of shortcomings in the foster care system. The Commonwealth's welfare department, doesn't dispute the findings. WHYY's Jen Rehill reports.

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Foxwoods could be on the move...

September 10, 2008

Slot machines could be ringing just a few blocks from Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and the site where Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence. City and state officials are working out a deal with Foxwoods Casino to relocate their planned slots parlor from the South Philadelphia Delaware waterfront to Center City. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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...but new site could come with its own controversy

September 10, 2008

As Foxwoods works out the details of a possible move to Center City with Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, they may find their new location to come with just as much resistance as the old. WHYY's Susan Phillips talked to one community organizer who compared the move to Chinatown's resistance to a new stadium for the Phillies.

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Residents seek more advanced notice of aerial mosquito spraying

September 10, 2008

Pennsylvania health and environmental officials stand behind their last minute decision last month to spray for mosquitoes to minimize the risk of West Nile Virus in suburban Philadelphia. WHYY's Jennifer Lynn reports a town meeting in Lower Merion Township on aerial spraying has Montgomery County residents calling for improved notification of spraying in the future.

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Report: PA has potential for 86,000 new "green" jobs

September 10, 2008

The country's manufacturing industries could be revived if the federal government invests in renewable energy sources, says a new report presented by two non-profit institutes. The report outlines a plan to stimulate the economy by investing $100 billion over a 2-year period in wind energy, solar power, biofuels and mass transit. Pennsylvania would be in line for a health chunk of that investment and the jobs that would come with it. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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More information:
Read or download the report Green Recovery - A Program to Create Good Jobs and Start Building a Low-Carbon Economy
-Political Economy Research Institute
-Center for American Progress
-Natural Resources Defense Council


End of electricity rate caps means big profits for utility companies

September 10, 2008

Gov. Ed Rendell says he's will intervene if Pennsylvania lawmakers don't act quickly enough to pass legislation to blunt the impact of rising electricity rates that are expected when state imposed rate caps expire in 2010. Rendell is responding to a misplaced internal communication from one utility company touting a potential new windfall. WHYY Paul Jackson reports.

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Fort Dix Six seek delay in trial

September 10, 2008

The trial of five men accused of plotting an attack on Fort Dix will begin as scheduled at the end of the month. Defense lawyers wanted to delay the federal trial because an expert witness for their clients is an army reservist who is being called up this month for active duty in Iraq. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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New Jersey GOP legislators propose plan for transportation, road woes

September 10, 2008

As the state scrambles to find a suitable transportation plan and fund state roads, Republican legislators are pointing the finger and the blame at Governor Jon Corzine. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Build here, build now: NJ Republicans make unusual suggestions for affordable housing sites

September 10, 2008

Nearly three hundred towns are suing the state over the Affordable Housing law, and now Republican legislators are making their own suggestions to the landmark bill that was supposed to end housing segregation in the state. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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More information:
NJ Council on Affordable Housing
My Central Jersey.com: Hunterdon assemblywoman to hold forum on state's revised affordable-housing rules


Lawmakers seek remedy for smoke ban loopholes

September 10, 2008

Pennsylvania's new indoor smoking ban goes into effect tomorrow. But as Jen Rehill reports from Harrisburg, some lawmakers already want to rewrite the law.

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Taking a year off before college

September 10, 2008

The "Gap Year" is catching on among more students who want to take a break from academics and learn more about life before starting college. WHYY Morning Edition's Brenda Jorett talked with Holly Bull, President of the Center for Interim Programs in Princeton and Lizzie Mulvey, starting at Princeton University after taking a year off following high school.

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Nutter tours school facility for former dropouts

September 9, 2008

Mayor Michael Nutter is touring traditional and alternative schools across the city this week to gain insight into how to improve the city's education system. Today Mayor Nutter stopped in to talk with some students at an E3 center in West Philadelphia. E3 Power Centers serve young people who have dropped out of school or who are returning from juvenile placement. The centers provide GED and job readiness preparation, and life skills like personal finance and anger management. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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PENNDOT paints grim picture of state's highways for legislators

September 9, 2008

PENNDOT presented a laundry list of projects to the The Pennsylvania House Transportation Committee, displaying pictures of deteriorating bridges and roadways in the Philadelphia area. As WHYY Paul Jackson reports, many of those projects may have to be delayed or even eliminated because of an unfolding highway funding crisis now facing the state.

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Muslim Philadelphia takes fight for headscarf to court

September 9, 2008

A Philadelphia police officer is continuing to fight for the right to wear a Muslim headscarf while on duty. Patrol Officer Kimberly Webb appeared in the U.S. Court of Appeals today to say her constitutional right of free speech and religious expression were violated when the Philadelphia police department did not approve her request to wear a hijab. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Lower Merion School District redistricting plan gets public hearing

September 9, 2008

Construction of two new high schools of equal enrollments in Lower Merion Township is the driving force behind a redistricting plan unveiled last night by school officials. WHYY's Jennifer Lynn reports now it's time for residents to make sense of what's on the table.

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More information:
Watch a recording of last night's redistricting announcement in Lower Merion on the school district's website (Click on "Redistricting")


Catching a culprit: Cause of Rehoboth fish kill revealed

September 9, 2008

A Rehoboth Bay fish kill last week has been blamed on low levels of oxygen. WHYY's Stella Payne reports.

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Philly fugitives implored to surrender through new church-based program

September 9, 2008

Philadelphia and federal authorities are partnering with city religious leaders to urge fugitives to turn themselves in at a South Philadelphia church. Yesterday Mayor Michael Nutter, acting U.S. Attorney Laurie Magid, and District Attorney Lynne Abraham held a press conference inside the True Gospel Tabernacle Church to announce that next week the city will participate in the Fugitive Safe Surrender Program. The initiative of the U.S. Marshals Service gives non-violent fugitives the chance to answer to outstanding warrants in a less-threating atmosphere. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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PA Hit-and-Run drivers could face increased jail time

September 9, 2008

Drivers in hit and run accidents will face stiffer penalties if a new proposal before the state House Judiciary Committee becomes law. Jen Rehill reports from Harrisburg.

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Corzine displeased with Turnpike toll hike plan

September 9, 2008

As the toll hike plan moves forward with the Turnpike Authority, many are watching Governor Jon Corzine for his response. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports he has the ultimate veto power to prevent the plan and he just might use it.

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Day 1 of Fumo jury selection comes to a close

September 8, 2008

Jury selection in the federal corruption trial of State Senator Vince Fumo continues tomorrow. The powerful senator faces a 139-count indictment. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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NJ Supreme Court marks sixty years

September 8, 2008

It has been sixty years since the Supreme Court first began in the state. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports it is a milestone for many, especially Justice James Coleman Jr., the first African American judge to sit on the state bench.

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What does Fed takeover of Fannie and Freddie mean for Pennsylvanians?

September 8, 2008

Pennsylvanians facing foreclosure or looking to buy a house for the first time could see some benefit from the federal takeover of mortgage lenders Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac. WHYY's Jen Rehill reports from Harrisburg.

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Long-anticipated Fumo trial starts today

September 8, 2008

Jury selection in the federal corruption trial of State Senator Vince Fumo begins today. The powerful state senator faces a 139-count indictment. The trial will showcase a number of high profile witnesses. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports on how picking a jury in such a case may be a lengthy process.

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Iranian professor bound for Penn jailed in home country

September 8, 2008

An Iranian scholar scheduled for a year-long residency at the University of Pennsylvania has been detained in Iran. No charges have been filed and his colleagues at Penn say there has been no communication with him. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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NJ farmers look forward to fall season

September 8, 2008

Summer may be almost over but farmers in New Jersey say the season for fresh produce is only halfway done. Many are also adapting to more sustainable farming techniques by marketing their products closer to home. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Local Business with Frank Devlin:
Business takes on high health care costs with a unique partnership

September 8, 2008

One Philadelphia business is taking steps to try to control health care costs for the company and employees. Their plan includes an innovative partnership with a local hospital. Here's Frank Devlin of PhiladelphiaBusinessJournal.com.

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Police step up patrols in at University of Delaware

September 6, 2008

More police are hitting the streets in Newark, Delaware, home to the University of Delaware. The city's police force is closely monitoring areas where three robberies have occurred in the past three weeks. WHYY's Andrea Boyle has the story as well as some advice from police for students.

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Strike continues as Souderton teachers, school district remain far apart

September 5, 2008

Talks on the ongoing teachers strike at the Souderton School District ended after just one hour on Friday, when a state mediator deemed the process fruitless then pulled the plug on negations indefinitely. WHYY's Paul Jackson reports.

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Former high school dropouts completing degrees offer Mayor Nutter advice on schools

September 5, 2008

Some Community College of Philadelphia students took a break from their nutrition class today to give the mayor some advice. They told him why they dropped out of the city's public schools and how they've managed to get back on track through enrollment in CCP's Gateway to College Initiative. The 110 high school dropouts in the program work simultaneously toward a high school diploma and an associate's degree or certificate. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Nutter give go ahead to President's House memorial

September 5, 2008

Mayor Nutter has finally authorized the construction of a memorial on the site of the first presidential house where President George Washington kept slaves. The projected $7 million price tag for the project is less than half met but as WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports, Nutter and former mayoral rival Congressman Bob Brady are working together to make the memorial a reality.

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Delaware prepares for Hanna in Rehoboth...

September 5, 2008

The possibility of big surf and strong rip currents has the Rehoboth Beach Patrol warning people to watch from a distance. WHYY's Kyle Schmoyer reports.

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...and along the rest of the coast

September 5, 2008

Delaware authorities are cautioning people living along the coast to keep an eye on weather reports. Tropical storm Hanna is moving up the eastern seaboard and some form of it is expected to hit the area on Saturday. WHYY's Bill Cook reports that state environmental officials and coastal residents hope this weather event will not be a repeat of a major storm that hit Delaware just a few months ago.

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Thinking locally, group tackles PA greenhouse gas emission

September 5, 2008

The first meeting of the state's new Climate Change Advisory Committee was today. The group was formed to figure out what Pennsylvania can do about excessive greenhouse gases. Taunya English reports from Harrisburg.

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NJ Turnpike toll hike still on the table

September 5, 2008

Even though the 800% toll hike is "dead, dead, dead," a new Turnpike Authority plan still wants to raise them. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports on how tolls may go up next year and the legislature won't be able to stop it.

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Councilman Goode suggests shrinking City Council

September 5, 2008

With just two weeks until Philadelphia City Council begins its fall session, one city councilman says the legislative body should shrink from 17 members to 15. No, he's not proposing to be on of the two. Councilman Wilson Goode, Jr.'s idea would eliminate the two guaranteed Republican at-large seats. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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Chestnut Hill hospital to close maternity ward

September 5, 2008

One more area hospital is getting out of the baby business. Chestnut Hill hospital will close their obstetrical unit in early November. The move leaves the northwest, northeast and south sections of Philadelphia without facilities to deliver babies. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports.

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State shames businesses in paying delinquent taxes

September 5, 2008

The state has added 26 businesses to its internet list of tax delinquents. State officials say they are intent on collecting more than $6 million from the 210 businesses on the list. Since the state started posting the web list two years ago, 65% of the debtors who have appeared on it have settled up, committed to deferred payment plans, or gone out of business. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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More information:
The complete PA tax delinquent list is available at: www.Revenue.State.Pa.Us


Philly school district copes with annual teacher vacancies

September 5, 2008

Thousands of Philadelphia schoolchildren will start the year with substitute teachers. District officials say some teaching vacancies are inevitable, but critics say the District could do more. WHYY's Bill Hangley reports.

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Philadelphia's new regional produce market finds a site

September 4, 2008

Thursday, business and government officials announced that they have found a new site and funding for the city's regional produce market after a seven-year search. Thanks to a public/private partnership it looks like this time the fruit and vegetable distributors will get a brand new 667,000 square foot state-of-the-art home nearly twice the size of their current site. The total development cost is more than $218 million and the Commonwealth has agreed to release $152 million to support the project. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Public students return to class in Philadelphia

September 4, 2008

The summer of 2008 is now officially just a memory for young Philadelphians. Almost two hundred thousand public and charter school students started class today. City and district officials launched the new school year with a traditional bell-ringing ceremony at a new school in West Philadelphia. WHYY's Bill Hangley was there and has this report.

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School District representative helps grieving families cope

September 4, 2008

The 200,000 students who attend Philadelphia's public and charter schools are heading back to school today. District officials say about 25 of their students die each year from illness, accidents and violence. One district representative is charged with reaching out to the surviving family and classmates. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler spoke to Dr. Victoria Yancey.

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Children's Hospital employee charged in noose incident

September 4, 2008

An employee at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is being charged with a hate crime in federal court. 62 year-old William Gould is accused of threatening racist violence. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.

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Facebook and New Jersey team up to fight abuse

September 4, 2008

New Jersey is the first state to team up with social networking websites like Facebook so that users can report online abuses. Attorney General Anne Milgram says the new icon will make it even easier. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports from Trenton on how one such abuse report may have prevented a tragedy.

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"Kinship approach" to foster care gaining acceptance in PA

September 3, 2008

Pennsylvania Family Court judges and social workers are in training this week learning new ways to find families for abused and neglected children. WHYY's Taunya English reports.

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Immigration status illegally used by NJ schools

September 3, 2008

The American Civil Liberties Union New Jersey chapter finds almost 200 schools in the state are asking for illegal information about immigration status when a new student registers. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports.

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Foster child abuse numbers questioned in NJ

September 3, 2008

The number of cases of foster child abuse in New Jersey corroborated by investigators last year was down from the prior year. But state officials say that's because of better investigations, not a drop in the number of cases reported. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports the new figures has child advocates calling for answers from the Department of Children and Families.

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Nutter's "Education Week" starts with trip back to catholic school

September 3, 2008

With classes set to start for public and parochial school students across the city, Mayor Michael Nutter is using this week to highlight the importance of all the city's schools. He started this morning with a visit to a catholic school in Northeast Philadelphia. WHYY's Bill Hangley was there.

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Philly School District, teachers continue quiet contract negotiations

September 3, 2008

Classes start tomorrow for students in the Philadelphia School District and their teachers will start the new academic year without a new contract. The district's 16,000 teachers are working under a contract extension, but both sides are not being very forthcoming on the results of their negotiations. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.

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PECO building to get state's largest green roof

September 3, 2008

Prodded by parent company Exelon, PECO has put its efforts to go green into high gear. The energy company has announced plans to build the largest green roof in Pennsylvania. WHYY's Paul Jackson has the details and talked with high level PECO officials on the symbolic benefit of this effort.

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School still out for summer as teachers strike in Souderton

September 2, 2008

It's day one of a teacher strike at Souderton Area School District in Montgomery County. After six hours of talks yesterday, the parties were deadlocked. Today, as teachers across the area head back to school, Souderton teachers hit the pavement. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Body Parts thieves plead guilty

September 2, 2008

The gruesome tale of a fraternal pair of profiteering funeral directors took another turn today as the accused thieves pled guilty. Officials say the Garzone brothers helped steal body parts from almost 250 bodies. The bones and tissue were then sold for use in surgery patients. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Help for Katrina victims continues

September 2, 2008

New Orleans was spared the worse of Hurricane Gustav yesterday. Meanwhile, a volunteer relief effort helping to repair/restore homes of displaced residents following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 is still going on. WHYY's Dave Heller talks with Liz McCartney, the director of St. Bernard Project.

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Philly schools superintendent prepares for new year

September 2, 2008

School Superintendent Arlene Ackerman will tour a handful of Philadelphia public schools today in advance of classes getting underway Thursday. The new superintendent's first academic year comes with plenty of challenges. WHYY's Bill Hangley reports.

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Short session leaves little room for PA lawmakers

September 2, 2008

Pennsylvania lawmakers have just nine session days scheduled in Harrisburg before the November election meaning that some issues may not be addressed before a new session begins in January. WHYY's Taunya English reports from Harrisburg.

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Temple U wants their students to learn from the city

September 2, 2008

Temple University undergraduate students will be the first to experience a new program this fall -- that's been five years in the making. The new general education curriculum required for all new bachelor's degree candidates is replacing Temple's core curriculum, which was last modified in the 1990s. The theme of the new classes? Let students learn from the city that surrounds the school. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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Philly-area Red Cross readies for Gustav

August 29, 2008

The Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania has volunteers in the Gulf Coast ready to assist should Hurricane Gustav come ashore and cause major damage. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports. Listen to the mp3 »


GAO faults FAA for Philly International flight plan change

August 29, 2008

The fight continues over whether the Federal Aviation Administration can implement a plan to redirect flight patters across the country. South Jersey Congressman Rob Andrews has been vocal in his opposition to the plan, which would see planes redirected over his district. Now, the United States Government Accountability Office says the FAA plan is lacking in a number of areas. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Fight over Burlholme park continues in court

August 29, 2008

Testimony continues today in a case that could decide the future of what city officials call an unprecedented land deal. Residents of Northeast Philadelphia are challenging the city's right to lease 19 acres of the park to the Fox Chase Cancer Center. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more. Listen to the mp3 »


Mass killing of puppies spurs action on Dog Protection Bill

August 29, 2008

State lawmakers have just nine session days scheduled before the November election, but it looks like they may tackle the hotly debated dog law bill. Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


PECO to lower prices for natural gas

August 29, 2008

PECO energy will lower its natural gas rates by 5 percent beginning next month. The move is a reaction to falling natural gas prices over the past few months. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Church closings in Camden has Diocese thinking radically

August 29, 2008

Opposition to Camden Diocese church closings has not gone unnoticed. Now Bishop Joseph Galante - or at least his spokesman - is using a word not often associated with the Catholic Church. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports on their new use of the "c" word. Listen to the mp3 »


Local Business with Bernie Dagenais:
Philly area enjoys healthy tourist season

August 29, 2008

The summer travel season is ending and it has not been a bust for the region. Here's Bernie Dagenais of PhiladelphiaBusinessJournal.com. Listen to the mp3 »


Consumer Reports:
SUV options that are budget friendly

August 29, 2008

The term SUV has become synonymous with gas-guzzling excess for many people. With today's wide range of models on the market, Consumer Reports Automotive Editor, Rik Paul, says you can often find one that meets your needs without draining your bank account when you fill 'er up. Listen to the mp3 »


AIDS activists protest Rendell's acceptance of "abstinence only" funding

August 29, 2008

Local aids activists are up in arms about Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell's move to accept $1.7 million in federal funds for abstinence only sex education. The group picketed this morning outside the Bellevue hotel in Philadelphia, where the governor keeps an office. A spokesman for the governor argues that acceptance of the money does not signal a change in state policy. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Philly taxi drivers unite, city looks for better service

August 28, 2008

City officials hope a new association of taxi drivers can help strengthen the city's tourism industry. The Unified Taxi Workers Alliance held a pre-Labor Day rally yesterday, marking the merger of two competing driver's groups. Their choice for president, however, is facing some legal troubles of his own. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more. Listen to the mp3 »


PA considers mandatory paid sick days

August 28, 2008

Pennsylvania's House of Representatives Labor Committee is considering whether to mandate paid sick days in the state. The committee heard testimony on and debated the measure yesterday as WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Aerial spraying for mosquitoes in Philly region continues tonight

August 27, 2008

Aerial spraying to control West Nile Virus in the region continues tonight. Planes will be releasing pesticides over parts of Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties in an effort to reduce the highest rates of infected mosquitoes ever measured in the state. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more. Listen to the mp3 »


Philly Free Library introduces support for non-English speakers

August 27, 2008

More than 150,000 immigrants use the Free Library of Philadelphia and about 34,000 of them do not speak English. A new program is aimed at helping librarians communicate with these residents. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Unisys sign on Two Liberty denied

August 27, 2008

The Philadelphia Zoning Board of Adjustment has ruled unanimously that the Unisys Corporation cannot hang two large illuminated corporate logos from its new headquarters at Two Liberty Place. The decision leaves the company's plan to move to Center City up in the air. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more. Listen to the mp3 »


New Jersey Democrats at Convention leave ghost town at State House

August 27, 2008

With Democratic legislators and the Governor gone to the Convention, it is even quieter at the State House than usual even for the August doldrums. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports. Listen to the mp3 »


DE sees increase in motorcycle fatalities

August 27, 2008

Officials with the state police say they can't remember anything like the current, statewide rash of fatal motorcycle accidents. Troopers say most of the crashes have a single common factor - speed. WHYY's Bill Cook reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Wilmington suspends issuance of handicap parking

August 27, 2008

Anyone seeking a handicapped parking space in Wilmington can't get one for 90 days. As WHYY's Andrea Boyle reports that complaints from neighbors prompted a moratorium on new spaces. WHYY's Andrea Boyle reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Senior citizen meal program losing funding

August 27, 2008

Officials at the Cheer Center of Sussex County say they may have to start turning seniors away. Their senior meal program is in jeopardy because of fewer donations and grants. WHYY's Stella Payne has more. Listen to the mp3 »


Philadelphia PD receive Taser training

August 26, 2008

The Philadelphia Police Department's newly launched Crisis Intervention Team received the very latest training in none-lethal weapons. As WHYY's Paul Jackson reports, the officers will soon carry Tasers while on-duty. Listen to the mp3 »


Gift card expire too soon? New law could change that

August 26, 2008

A Montgomery County lawmaker wants to improve the shopping and gift-giving experience for Pennsylvania residents. Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


Implications for race relations in dispute over NJ affordable housing requirement

August 26, 2008

Thirty four towns in New Jersey claim that they have no more room for low-income housing and are suing the state. But supporters of the recent bill say they are prepared to fight, even if it gets ugly. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Bounty hunting in NJ now requires a license

August 26, 2008

The days of unlicensed bounty hunting in New Jersey are over. According to state police detectives, that means safer streets, fewer kidnappings, and fewer felons posing as officers. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Preventing future child welfare tragedies

August 25, 2008

Philadelphia's Department of Human Services is struggling to reform itself after some of its workers were blamed for the death of a 14-year-old girl. Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania are working on a pilot program that could have prevented Danieal Kelly's 2006 starvation death. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


RecycleBank experiment comes to a close in Philly

August 25, 2008

Through an experimental 4-year program, some residents of Chestnut Hill and West Oak Lane have been able to receive coupons to local businesses for their recycling efforts. The pilot program ends this week but many thought it was a great idea. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports that the city won't be picking up the program - at least for now - because it may be too expensive. Listen to the mp3 »


Tough equation for DE schools - costs up, state funding down

August 25, 2008

School is underway in some districts across the Greater Philadelphia region. WHYY's Bill cook reports that the shaky economy could have effects on classrooms in Delaware this year -- and beyond. Listen to the mp3 »


Local Business with PBJ's Frank Devlin:
Hope on the waterfront for Gloucester City

August 25, 2008

Efforts are underway to revitalize Gloucester City, NJ. Here's Frank Devlin of the PhiladelphiaBusinessJournal.com. Listen to the mp3 »


School officials looking for more pre-K funding from state

August 23, 2008

As children across the area prepare to head back to school, some of the region's youngest students are stuck on waiting lists. This year's state budget includes an $11 million increase for pre-kindergarten but some school officials say they need more. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Sussex County prepares for disaster

August 23, 2008

Emergency medical services and school districts in Sussex County are prepared for disaster. WHYY's Stella Payne takes a look. Listen to the mp3 »


Small college in Delaware counsels financial aid in tough market

August 23, 2008

Times are tough for some college students getting ready for a new academic year. Tuition is up and the national credit crisis is making it difficult for many students to get a loan. At one college campus in Delaware, financial aid officers are telling students: don't worry. WHYY's Bill Cook reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Surfers work with state to save Del. dunes

August 23, 2008

Delaware officials and surfing groups are working together to protect sand dunes on the shoreline. WHYY's Stella Payne has more. Listen to the mp3 »


PA helps out Ambler condo project with toxic clean-up funding

August 23, 2008

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has contributed $4 million dollars to an Ambler developer Friday to help build a 288-unit condominium and office project. WHYY's Paul Jackson has the details. Listen to the mp3 »


PA OK but still affected by national economic woes

August 22, 2008

A new report from The Keystone Research Center confirms that the Commonwealth is touched by the slowing national economy even if Pennsylvania is faring better than other parts of the country. Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


NJ Professor:
Vice presidential pick only matters when it's a bad one

August 22, 2008

As the build up for Obama's Vice Presidential pick reaches its zenith, some say it's not really that big of a deal. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports. Listen to the mp3 »


New methods for bilingual teaching

August 22, 2008

A pair of New Jersey teachers are putting their language skills to work and leading by example when teaching Spanish-speaking students. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story. Listen to the mp3 »


Center City trees victimized by hacker

August 22, 2008

An unknown assailant has damaged a row of young trees along Walnut Street in Center City Philadelphia. City officials say they might not survive the attacks. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Fumo remains optimistic despite recent legal setbacks

August 22, 2008

State Senator Vince Fumo says he's optimistic about his upcoming federal corruption trial, despite the recent guilty pleas of his two co-defendants. Two former Fumo aides have agreed to cooperate with the prosecution but the Senator says he's definitely heading to trial. WHYY's Susan Phillips caught up with the embattled state senator earlier this week and filed this report. Listen to the mp3 »


Could preservation be lost if Convention Center over budget?

August 22, 2008

The Convention Center expansion is expected to go at least $90 million over its estimated $700 million budget. Yesterday, Convention Center officials announced "Keating Joint Venture" is the apparent low bidder for the final phase of expansion construction. With the new bid in hand, officials say they have to crunch the numbers to come up with the final budget for the project. Hanging in the balance could be a $1 million preservation fund. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Foxwoods considers moving from Delaware waterfront

August 22, 2008

There may be movement in the battle over one of two casinos slated for the Delaware River waterfront. After a meeting yesterday with Governor Ed Rendell, Mayor Michael Nutter and Senator Vince Fumo, Foxwoods casino representatives revealed that they are looking at sites other than the controversial spot in South Philadelphia. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports.
Listen to the mp3 »


AMTRAK needs new trains to keep up with demand

August 22, 2008

AMTRAK is making the case for more rail cars. The train service says it has nearly surpassed last years ridership mark and desperately needs more capacity to keep pace with booming demand. WHYY's Paul Jackson has the story. Listen to the mp3 »


Local Business with Frank Devlin:
Mistakes will cost some hospitals

August 22, 2008

Insurance companies in the area are joining a trend of withholding reimbursement for treatment of illnesses and injuries due to preventable medical errors. Here's Frank Devlin of the PhiladelphiaBusinessJournal.com. Listen to the mp3 »


Consumer Reports:
Credit scores only one part of lender decisions

August 22, 2008

Companies that sell credit scores claim lenders use these numbers to decide whether to lend you money and at what interest rate. But these might not be the only numbers lenders use. Here's Consumer Reports Finance Editor, Noreen Perrotta. Listen to the mp3 »


NorthStar Mortgage company closed down by state

August 22, 2008

The Commonwealth is closing down a Pennsylvania mortgage broker - NorthStar Mortgage - and state officials say the case spotlights the need for a new law that increases oversight of Pennsylvania's mortgage industry. Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


More information:
Pocono Record: Mortgage broker loses Pennsylvania license


PATCO ridership skyrockets

August 22, 2008

The numbers are in. Ridership on the PATCO high speed line is up nearly 9% from this time last year. Officials cite rising gas prices for the dramatic increase. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports. Listen to the mp3 »


PA Lt. Gov. Knoll announces cancer

August 22, 2008

Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor Catherine Baker Knoll is participating in meetings by phone and working from home while she undergoes treatment for a rare form of cancer. WHYY's Taunya English reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Convention Center contracts awarded

August 22, 2008

Officials opened bids for a major part of the Convention Center expansion on Thursday morning. The numbers include basic figures for the interior, walls, roof, and plumbing. The expanded Center's opening has already been delayed a year from the original date of 2010, and is expected to be $90 million over the $700 million estimated budget. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Sports author talks with Brenda Jorett about the Little League World Series

August 22, 2008

The Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA is a well-focused goal for children, parents and coaches around the world. WHYY Morning Edition's Brenda Jorett talked with ESPN contributor and author Mark Kreidler. His book is "Six Good Innings: How One Small Town Became a Little League Giant." Listen to the mp3 »


Philly D.A.'s office designated prosecutor for animal abuse

August 21, 2008

A prosecutor at the Philadelphia District Attorney's office is now dedicated to pursuing animal crimes. District Attorney Lynne Abraham has designated assistant district attorney Barbara Paul to handle all cases of abuse and neglect. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Rendell, Nutter to meet with casino developers

August 21, 2008

Governor Ed Rendell will meet with Foxwoods Casino operators today to try to persuade them to move their slots parlor away from the Delaware River waterfront. The effort comes after the courts have consistently ruled in favor of the casinos but neighborhood opposition continues. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


School District under fire for eliminating arts administrators

August 21, 2008

Some of region's biggest cultural institutions have come to the defense of two Philadelphia School District arts administrators. They want the pair to stay in the jobs that the new school boss eliminated earlier this summer. WHYY's Bill Hangley reports that the cuts could threaten some sources of funding for the District. Listen to the mp3 »


Bids to be opened for Convention Center expansion

August 21, 2008

Bids are expected to be opened today for a significant part of the Convention Center expansion project. The construction bids include the walls, roof, and plumbing. The expanded center's opening has been delayed a year from the original date of 2010. In part because the project has been weighed down by the rising price of construction materials, it's already $90 million over the $700 million estimated budget. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


NJ environmental group rates U.S. Congress members

August 21, 2008

How green is your US Congress member? Environment New Jersey scored Senator Bob Menendez and other U.S. legislators on their votes for or against the environment, new energy resources, and global warming. WHYY's Mary reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Corzine sees property tax relief in federal housing bill

August 21, 2008

The federal housing rescue law passed last month may not bring a whole lot of relief to New Jersey homeowners affected by the mortgage crisis. But Governor Jon Corzine and others say the bill will unexpectedly lighten property taxes for some state residents. WHYY's Mary reports from Trenton. Listen to the mp3 »


Metal thefts up in Delaware

August 21, 2008

Metal thieves steal a railing alongside a busy Claymont, Delaware roadway. Metal thefts have been on the rise and police now say the criminals are getting bolder, putting themselves and the public in danger. WHYY's Andrea Boyle reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Unique summer camp brings together kids within LGBTQ families

August 21, 2008

As much as we hate to admit it summer is almost over and camps are letting out. Mountain Meadow Summer Camp is only one of a handful like it in the nation. It represents a safe haven for the kids, ages 9-17, that it serves. The camp is unique because it allows campers, who are all part of families that identify with the LGBTQ community, to connect with each other. WHYY's Alexis Newton Landis has more. Listen to the mp3 »



Listen OnlineClick here to view slideshow »



Report: Investments in pre-K dramatically cuts crime

August 20, 2008

A report released on Wednesday pinpoints pre-kindergarten as a method for increasing high school graduation rates and lowering crime. The Pennsylvania branch of the national group Fight Crime: Invest in Kids includes more than 200 police chiefs, prosecutors, and violence survivors. They say they'll use the new numbers to push for more pre-k funding. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler has more. Listen to the mp3 »


Bridge tolls rise, senior discounts enacted

August 20, 2008

Local bridge tolls will be going up by a dollar next month. This morning the Delaware River Port Authority approved a toll hike, at the same time phasing out one discount and implementing another. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports. Listen to the mp3 »


The science teacher's challenge

August 20, 2008

Classes start in less than three weeks in the Philadelphia School District as the search is still on for dozens of high school math and science teachers. Officials say these are difficult-to-fill positions. Current teachers say that's no surprise. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more. Listen to the mp3 »


West Nile Virus increasing in PA

August 20, 2008

The latest news from Pennsylvania's West Nile Encephalitis Surveillance program is far from good. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection says nearly 70 percent of the state's infected mosquitoes are right in our backyards. WHYY'S Paul Jackson reports. Listen to the mp3 »


More information:
Fewer than than 1 percent of all people actually infected by mosquitoes will get West Nile disease. The disease affects the lining of the brain. Symptoms include high fever, headaches, paralysis and coma. There is currently no treatment.


West Philly student finishes second in nation debate

August 20, 2008

A high school senior from West Philadelphia has placed second with a $50,000 dollar prize in a national debate contest. Malik Neal placed behind a Texas student vying for a spot at the national constitution center podium. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports. Listen to the mp3 »


See the announcement of the winner on Fox News' Fox and Friends:


Corzine's finance background comes in handy

August 20, 2008

Governor Jon Corzine made his first move to lower state debt by $600 million yesterday. He says this will give the state more money in the future for health care, schools, and municipal aid. WHYY's Mary reports. Listen to the mp3 »


NJ schools wonder if 6% increase is enough

August 20, 2008

This year's state budget gives schools six percent more in funding. But will that be enough for books, buses, and superintendent's salaries in harder economic times this fall? WHYY's Mary reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Del. private and parochial students to pay for driver's ed.

August 19, 2008

For students at Delaware Catholic and private schools it's the start of a new - and more expensive - school year. The state will save a half million dollars by eliminating driver's education funding and another $750,00 by cutting the transportation subsidy. WHYY's Bill Cook reports from Delaware where students, parents and administrators are not happy. Listen to the mp3 »


Philadelphia's Nicetown neighborhoods sees bright future for Budd Factory site

August 19, 2008

News of a community center at the abandoned Budd Factory in Nicetown has residents and activists cheering. The plot of land was once the object of controversy over whether to put a casino in the neighborhood. That plan was eventually scrapped. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports. Listen to the mp3 »


More information:
Workshop of the World: Budd Co.
When I Look Out My Window: An Exploration of Philadelphia's Nicetown-Tioga Neighborhood


Activists to city: Get out of the nursing home business

August 19, 2008

A group of disability activists are staging a sit-in in front of the Philadelphia Nursing Home on Girard Avenue. They have pledged to remain there until the mayor agrees to close the facility. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Burholme Park neighbors win one in dispute over Cancer Center expansion

August 19, 2008

Park supporters in Northeast Philadelphia have won a key victory in the fight to protect Burholme Park. A judge ruled Monday the park's neighbors have legal standing needed to fight the city's plan to help a large, nationally known cancer research and treatment facility expand onto park land. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more. Listen to the mp3 »


DHS punishes 3 more employees over starvation case

August 19, 2008

Two Department of Human Services workers have been disciplined and one forced into retirement as a result of fallout from the tragic starvation death of 14-year-old Daniael Kelly. The action is in response to an investigation by the city's Inspector General. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Georgian Jews get help from New Jersey

August 19, 2008

As the conflict continues, Georgia officials say Russia has not started to pull out despite their announcement. In the meantime, one of Georgia's oldest communities is getting help from Jewish residents in New Jersey and quickly finding a way to safety in Israel. WHYY's Mary reports. Listen to the mp3 »


State lawmakers find faults with PA Gaming Control Board

August 19, 2008

Members of the state legislature are closely scrutinizing the operations and oversight of the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


Suspect named in Frankford sexual assaults

August 18, 2008

Philadelphia Police have identified a suspect in a series of sexual assaults in the city's Frankford neighborhood. There have been 5 assaults in the past seven says in that area, including 2 attempted rapes on Sunday night and early Monday morning. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Lawyers in Kelly wrongful death suit seek to clear names

August 18, 2008

Lawyers representing the estate of 14-year-old Daniael Kelly say they've been unfairly portrayed in the media as money grubbing ambulance chasers. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports that these lawyers have hired their own high powered attorney and are trying to explain their side of the issue. Listen to the mp3 »


Bamboo bikes reduce carbon footprint

August 18, 2008

As many look to save money and gas by biking to work, a handful of Princeton University students are making cycling even greener - with bikes made out of bamboo. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports. Listen to the mp3 »


PA borrowing questioned during slow economy

August 18, 2008

State lawmakers have authorized another $2.85 billion dollars in debt for the Commonwealth. Some conservatives question the prudence of borrowing big when then the economy is slowing. WHYY's Taunya English reports from Harrisburg.
Listen to the mp3 »


Case against Fumo could strengthen with another related guilty plea

August 18, 2008

The federal case against State Senator Vince Fumo could get a boost tomorrow morning when a second former computer technician who worked for Fumo pleads guilty to federal corruption charges. Mark Eister is accused of destroying evidence when he deleted several files and emails. It will mark the second plea in the case against the powerful state senator. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


SEPTA marketing campaign gets into gear

August 18, 2008

Philadelphians can expect to hear a lot more from SEPTA in the weeks to come. The agency is rolling out major marketing campaign designed to highlight the ten-million dollar expansion plan announced last week. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more. Listen to the mp3 »


Lawyers for Kelly parents respond to criticism of lawsuits

August 18, 2008

A lawyer representing the estate of 14-year-old Daniael Kelly hopes to clear his reputation today. A grand jury report released last month faults the teen's parents, Department of Human Services workers, and a subcontractor for the girl's 2006 starvation death. Many public officials criticized the parents' decision to sue the city for not helping their daughter but lawyers for the parents say they've been unjustly criticized. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


PA prepares for electric rate hikes

August 18, 2008

A new guide from the Pennsylvania Utility Commission estimates how much residential customers would pay if they were charged market rates instead of the artificially low prices that most people pay now. WHYY's Taunya English reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Landmark apartments on City Ave. for sale - $83 million and it's yours

August 18, 2008

Philadelphia Business Journal.com's Frank Devlin takes a look at how the slowing housing economy has actually improved the market for apartment complexes and other rental housing. After one City Ave. building sold quickly earlier this year another is now on the market just a few years after changing hands. Listen to the mp3 »


2008ConshoFire_0089

Conshohocken residents seek answers about apartment fire

August 15, 2008

Victims of this week's devastating apartment fire in Conshohocken are trying to see where things stand as far as damage and personal loss go. WHYY's Paul Jackson has a closer look.
Listen to the mp3 »


Photo credit: Flickr user Vincent J. Brown for use under a Creative Commons License.


Nutter, white collar workers reach 1-year deal

August 15, 2008

The city's white collar workers will soon take a look at a deal union leaders have struck with the city. Yesterday Mayor Michael Nutter announced the tentative one-year agreement with the 3,300 workers in District Council 47. The contract includes a $1100 bonus, a continuation of the current health care plan and is similar to the deal struck 3 weeks ago for the city's blue-collar workers. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Photo caption: Mayor Michael Nutter stands with unions leaders to announce a 1 year deal with district council 47. To his left is D.C. 47 President Kathy Scott.


Riders react to SEPTA service expansion

August 15, 2008

After years of service cuts and fare hikes, SEPTA officials are implementing the largest expansion of public transportation in the agency's history. The effort aims to reduce crowding on buses, trolleys and trains. WHYY's Susan Phillips chatted with regional rail passengers and riders of SEPTA's 23 bus route. They say that until the service expansion begins in the fall, they'll continue to put up with some pretty serious overcrowding. Listen to the mp3 »


Officials consider ownership transfer of Pittsburgh slots parlor

August 15, 2008

State gambling regulators are considering a restructured ownership deal that could rescue the stalled slots casino project in Pittsburgh. Taunya English reports from Harrisburg where the Gaming Commission heard from supporters and opponents of the Pittsburgh project. Listen to the mp3 »


Corzine health care plan benefits public health centers

August 15, 2008

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine put his support of health care into action this summer when he signed a bill that would ensure all children in the state are insured by 2011. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports that some of his biggest fans are health centers for uninsured and underinsured. She brings us this story from New Brunswick. Listen to the mp3 »


No toll hikes in Jersey

August 15, 2008

State Treasurer David Rousseau says Governor Jon Corzine's toll hike plan is dead. But Corzine says with his transportation plan still in the works, he is not making any promises. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports from Trenton. Listen to the mp3 »


Delaware camp introduces kids to military life

August 15, 2008

A youth camp at Bethany Beach is giving kids a close up look at the military at a time when many of their parents are serving in it and are deployed far from home. WHYY's Stella Payne talked with some of the campers. Listen to the mp3 »


Public gets say over Unisys Two Liberty signage

August 15, 2008

A public hearing yesterday could help decide whether Unisys should be allowed to put two red signs on the glass facade of Two Liberty Place. Last month, the Zoning Board of Adjustments heard from Unisys officials about the sign's design. Unisys representatives say the signs are an important part of their corporate rebranding campaign and was a significant factor in their decision to move their global headquarters to the city. Neighboring residents remain skeptical. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Port Authority attempts increase in minority contractors

August 14, 2008

Philadelphia officials will release a report on minority participation in city business next month. But while the city has set goals for minority contractor participation, there are no such requirements for private companies or other institutions like the Delaware River Port Authority. Despite this, the DRPA is making an effort to reach out to businesses owned by women and minorities. WHYY's Susan Phillips attended a DRPA minority contractor event on Wednesday and filed this report. Listen to the mp3 »


Cuts to student SEPTA passes avoided

August 14, 2008

Thousands of Philadelphia public school students have one less thing to worry about as the first day of classes draws near. School officials say they've reached an agreement with SEPTA that will prevent any cuts to the District's free TransPass program. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more. Listen to the mp3 »


Group pushes for state energy conservation measures

August 14, 2008

A Pennsylvania environmental group wants lawmakers to sign a pledge promising to work for legislation to mandate or encourage energy conservation measures. It's a push to get consumers ready for price hikes that may occur when electricity caps expire. WHYY's Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


State House continues to lag in financial accounting measures

August 14, 2008

Five months after an advisory commission suggested a series of changes to tighten up financial operations at the state House - many of those recommendations have NOT been implemented. WHYY's Taunya English reports that some lawmakers are growing impatient. Listen to the mp3 »


Rediscovering colonial Trenton

August 14, 2008

If you've passed by the State House in Trenton recently you might notice what looks like an archaeological dig. Well, you would be right. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports that a new park plan surrounding the state's capitol building is just part of a move to uncover Trenton's colonial history. Listen to the mp3 »


Federal Farm Bill could help preserve NJ open space

August 14, 2008

Farmland conservation has been the responsibility of state and local governments for years. But WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports that the new Federal Farm Bill may give farmers in the Garden State more options than the state has had in the past. Listen to the mp3 »


Development along Rt. 202 in Delaware sparks congestion concerns

August 14, 2008

The last undeveloped plot of land on Concord Pike is creating quite a struggle. A developer envisions retail and residential space. Civic organizers wish for something else. WHYY's Andrea Boyle reports on another fight over dwindling open space in Delaware. Listen to the mp3 »


New Sussex County building subject of disagreement among officials

August 14, 2008

The purchase of property for a new administrative complex in Georgetown has split Sussex County Council members. Plans are to build a new administrative building complex on U.S. 113 south of Georgetown. WHYY's Stella Payne talked with both Democrats and Republicans about the plan. Listen to the mp3 »


Philly home values decline but rest of nation is worse

August 13, 2008

Nationwide, about one-third of homeowners who bought within the last five years owe more than their homes are worth. A new report issued by an online real estate site that tracks home prices shows that the Philadelphia market (.xls) is doing much better. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


More information:
Inquirer: Philadelphia-area home sales down, prices mixed


Legislators examine mental health treatment in PA

August 13, 2008

A Pennsylvania House panel is hosting a series of hearings to discuss mental health treatment across the state. WHYY's Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


Del. parents open wallets for back-to-school

August 13, 2008

Soon you'll hear the school bells ringing once again. But before that happens something else will be ringing - cash registers. Back-to-school shopping costs can really add up. WHYY's Andrea Boyle tells us how parents are coping. Listen to the mp3 »


Break-in leads to church closer in Georgetown, DE

August 13, 2008

The Diocese of Wilmington ordered a Catholic church in Georgetown to close after vandals broke into a church and destroyed property inside during a weekend robbery. WHYY's Stella Payne takes a look at the damage. Listen to the mp3 »


New cancer center coming to Dover

August 13, 2008

Bayhealth is opening a new cancer institute at Kent General Hospital in Dover. The institute promises to offer enhanced care, increased clinical research and cancer education and prevention. WHYY's Kyle Schmoyer spoke with the doctor who will lead the Institute. Listen to the mp3 »


Tragic beating threatens to tear small PA community apart

August 12, 2008

Today, on the one month anniversary of the murder of an undocumented Mexican immigrant, many residents of Shenandoah, a small town about 105 miles northwest of Philadelphia, are struggling to move on. Four white teenagers are charged in connection with the fatal beating, igniting racial tensions in an already tense atmosphere. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler talks to residents who say that relations between younger Latino and white residents have worsened as the new and old residents compete for work.

  • In this report, Fiedler talks with Reverend Brunilda Martinez of Shenandoah's First United Methodist Church. Listen to the mp3 »

  • Doreen Whiney of the state Human Relations Commission explains to Fiedler what the Commission is doing to prevent future incidents. Listen to the mp3 »

More information:
Wikipedia: Shenandoah, PA
Find Shenandoah on the map


Taking in the hay

August 12, 2008

Driving through countryside this summer, you might notice the farmland dotted with bales of hay; the tall grass farmers harvest as feed for livestock. Hay Baling, or "making hay" is an important and labor intensive process for many farms. Producer John Sheehan recently spent some time on a small farm outside of Scranton to learn more. Listen to the mp3 »


Listen OnlineClick here to view slideshow »



District to put more resources into worst performing schools

August 12, 2008

Philadelphia school officials say they're making good on a promise to put more resources into the city's toughest schools. Monday they released details of a plan that keeps those schools under district control - at least for this year. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more. Listen to the mp3 »


Plea deal helps government in case against Fumo

August 12, 2008

The government's case against State Senator Vince Fumo got a boost on Monday. A technician working for the indicted senator admitted to destroying years worth of state senate computer records to thwart an FBI investigation of the powerful Democrat. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Clean-up, crack down underway in West Rehoboth, DE

August 12, 2008

Residents in West Rehoboth are joining forces to clean up their neighborhood in an effort to combat drugs and crime. WHYY's Stella Payne talked with neighbors about what can be done. Listen to the mp3 » | Read more and watch video of this story »


Brandywine Zoo closed after storms

August 12, 2008

No visitors at Wilmington's Brandywine Zoo. Sunday's strong storms snapped tree limbs, littered pathways, damaged buildings, and crushed a cage. The zoo's residents were unharmed by the storm. WHYY's Andrea Boyle takes us inside the clean up effort. Listen to the mp3 »


NJ Rep. Garrett invites gas price criticism to DC

August 12, 2008

One New Jersey Congress member wants more than just complaints from his constituents. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports on Congressman Scott Garrett who wants voters to come to the Capitol and give their two cents on lowering gas prices. Listen to the mp3 »


Port Authority's free rides come under scrutiny

August 12, 2008

Perks for Port Authority employees include free rides on the Hudson River and Staten Island crossings. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports those perks may sound better than the payoff. Listen to the mp3 »


Trial coming soon in DHS death case

August 11, 2008

The gruesome starvation of 14-year old Danieal Kelly case is slowly moving through the legal system. Prosecutors now say the case against Kelly's parents, their friends, and several Department of Human Services social workers, is ready for trial. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Skeptical of success, Rendell pushes on for meeting with casinos

August 11, 2008

Governor Ed Rendell is preparing to meet with local politicians and casino officials to see if he can broker a deal between the parties. Last week University of Pennsylvania design group Penn Praxis released a design critique of the gaming sites and found the casino's plans unfit for the Delaware Riverfront. The story from WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler. Listen to the mp3 »


Guilty plea could mean more info for prosecutors in Fumo trial

August 11, 2008

A computer technician who worked for State Senator Vince Fumo is scheduled to plead guilty to federal corruption charges today. Leonard Luchko is accused of destroying evidence. It will mark the first plea in the case against the powerful state senator. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Philadelphia Business Journal's Frank Devlin:
New Master's Program Focuses on Church Management

August 11, 2008

As the number of ordained nuns and priests continues to dwindle, many churches have come to depend on the laity for management. One local university is filling a need to train these often inexperienced employees. Here's Frank Devlin of the Philadelphia Business Journal.com. Listen to the mp3 »


New Jersey looks to get what it can from federal housing Bill

August 11, 2008

The Housing Rescue Bill signed into law at the end of July is designed to stop foreclosures from happening across the country. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports on how the bill may not help New Jersey residents in the short term but may help poorer neighborhoods in the future. Listen to the mp3 »


Communities in Jersey cope with hospital closures

August 11, 2008

Recent health care reforms passed by the New Jersey State Legislature are too late to save two of the state's hospitals. Listen to the mp3 »


Anticipating rate hikes, PUC examines PA electric companies

August 10, 2008

State regulators want a closer look at the sales and operations of Pennsylvania electric companies. Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


Design group hands Mayor casino critique

August 8, 2008

The debate over two casinos slated for the Delaware waterfront has produced a long papertrail -- it's grown even more so now that Penn Praxis has released design recommendations. WHYY'S Elizabeth Fiedler reports the study by the University of Pennsylvania design group came-about during a meeting of transportation and sustainability experts. Listen to the mp3 »



Union protests detainment of immigrant workers in Montgomery County

August 8, 2008

About 100 union members and immigrant activists rallied at the Montgomery County courthouse in Norristown on Thursday. They were protesting the arrest of 42 immigrant office cleaners for violating federal immigration laws. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Eminent domain attempt shot down by NJ courts

August 8, 2008

Under current state law, towns can take away private property for redevelopment if the land is "blighted" - meaning abandoned or run-down. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports on a new court ruling that says towns can not just bulldoze any house to build larger, more expensive ones. Listen to the mp3 »


Carbon County, PA to become "solar" county with new energy plant

August 8, 2008

Pennsylvania decided to make a mega investment in the alternative energy sector this summer. State officials say the Commonwealth is beginning to see returns on that decision. WHYY's Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


More information:
Philadelphia Inquirer: Massive solar plant proposed in Carbon County

"Green banking" helps socially-conscious put their money where their beliefs are

August 8, 2008

A group of local entrepreneurs are creating a new way of banking. "Green banking" will offer savings accounts and loans based on environmentally responsible investments. Some doubt that the venture will be successful. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports. Listen to the mp3 »


PA Hispanic population growth continues rapid pace

August 8, 2008

Pennsylvania's Hispanic population is still growing, according to new estimates from the US Census Bureau. WHYY's Taunya English has this report. Listen to the mp3 »


More information:
Scranton Times Tribune: Hispanic population soars

Philly's Chinese-Americans hopeful for native country's performance

August 8, 2008

Today's Olympic opening ceremony in China will be viewed by people across the world. Many Chinese-Americans living in Philadelphia will pay special attention to the games, hoping their home country's elaborate display is well received by the rest of the world. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Rutgers prof. explains economic benefits for China

August 8, 2008

Talk about the Olympics has focused on competing athletes as much as global politics. Yesterday the Chinese government countered President George Bush's criticism that they had violated human rights laws by saying Bush should not interfere. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports on one Rutgers professor who says despite the back and forth things will come out on top for the China, at least economics-wise.
Listen to the mp3 »


Local Olympians comment on choice of China for games

August 8, 2008

As the Beijing Olympics take place, Philadelphia area athletes who have competed at past games have views on the Chinese communist government and its effect on the games and U.S. competitors. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Del. scientist hope magnet research can attract federal funding

August 8, 2008

University of Delaware scientists say they could help improve hybrid car engines -- with magnets. They're working to develop smaller magnets with twice the power, but first, the university needs to expand its research with hopes for federal funds. WHYY's Andrea Boyle reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Child advocates rally in protest of DHS

August 8, 2008

A dozen mothers and child advocates rallied in front of Department of Human Services headquarters yesterday. Most of the women have children who are under the supervision of DHS. They're calling for reform in the wake of a grand jury report released last week that faulted DHS workers for the 2006 death of 14-year-old Daniael Kelly. The story from WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler. Listen to the mp3 »


Local Business with Philadelphia Business Journal's Frank Devlin:
Saving a cheesecake factory

August 8, 2008

A local cheesecake business in Philadelphia's Juniata Park neighborhood is rescued by a larger local operation. Here's Frank Devlin of the Philadelphia Business Journal.com with the story. Listen to the mp3 »


Consumer Reports:
Best ways to fight sleeplessness?

August 8, 2008

Trouble falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, and awakening too early afflict a lot of Americans these days. For many, the problems happen repeatedly. Consumer Reports Editor, Kim Kleman has more on the sleepless in America and some possible suggestions. Listen to the mp3 »


New Jersey towns get creative to fund state trooper patrols

August 7, 2008

Rural towns are pushing back after receiving six-figure bills for state trooper patrolling. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports on how one town among 89 with similar plights might solve the problem. Listen to the mp3 »


Riverfront Assault Raises Questions About Safety

August 7, 2008

A woman was attacked in broad daylight near the shops at Wilmington's riverfront - a focal point for growth and development. WHYY's Kyle Schmoyer reports on what's being done to keep the area safe. Listen to the mp3 »


Read more and see video of this story from Delaware Tonight.


One of Wilmington's Oldest Stores to Close Down

August 7, 2008

This fall Mitchell's Trains, Toys and Hobbies will shut its doors. The popular shop has been a constant along Delaware's Route 202 for half a century. WHYY's Andrea Boyle was there, as the going out of business sale got underway. Listen to the mp3 »


Read more and see video of this story from Delaware Tonight.


Parking Woes Hit Dewey Beach Businesses

August 7, 2008

Dewey beach, Delaware officials are trying to find parking alternatives as business owners along the Route 1 corridor say a lack of parking is costing them customers. WHYY's Stella Payne reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Read more and see video of this story from Delaware Tonight.


Program Prepares Inmates to Re-Enter Society

August 7, 2008

Preparing inmates to re-enter society as productive citizens has been a challenge for as long as there have been prisons. The Delaware Department of Corrections is involved in a program that is showing off its results. WHYY's Dover Bureau Chief Bill Cook reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Read more and see video of this story from Delaware Tonight.


U.S. mayors gather in Philly to plan against crime

August 7, 2008

Dozens of mayors and police chiefs from across the country came to Philadelphia yesterday for the first in a series of forums organized by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Today's gathering focused on drawing up recommendations on crime and safety to be delivered to the country's next president. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Immigrant raid sparks protest in Montco

August 7, 2008

Immigrant advocates are rallying today in Montgomery County to protest a recent round-up of about 40 immigrant workers accused of violating federal immigration laws. The immigrants worked as cleaners for a large janitorial service. WHYY's Susan Phillips talked to an official from the company as well as a leader of the labor union seeking to organize the janitors. Listen to the mp3 »


Local lawyer becomes watchdog of attorney misconduct

August 7, 2008

The newest appointee to the Pennsylvania disciplinary board for attorneys says there needs to be a continued emphasis on educating young lawyers about misconduct. Gabriel Bevilacqua is a partner at the Saul, Ewing Law Firm in Philadelphia, focusing on commerical litigation. He was previously Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports. Listen to the mp3 »


PA lawmakers want to put state constitution in citizen hands

August 7, 2008

A growing number of lawmakers say they've lost confidence that they and their colleagues will make changes to stomp out government corruption. Many say it's time to turn that job over to ordinary Pennsylvanians. Taunya English reports from the state capital. Listen to the mp3 »


I-80 toll idea would spare short distance travelers

August 7, 2008

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission says it's devised a toll collection system for Interstate 80 that would allow local motorists to pay a lot less than long distance travelers. Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


Aide to Philly Councilman Kelly indicted for corruption

August 6, 2008

An aide to City Councilman Jack Kelly is expected to turn himself in to federal authorities this afternoon. A grand jury has indicted Christopher Wright for allegedly taking bribes from two developers and their lawyer while serving as chief of staff to Republican Councilman-At-Large Jack Kelly. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Priest with ties to Philly high schools accused of sexual abuse while at Salesianum School

August 6, 2008

Four former students at Wilmington's Salesianum school are claiming in a lawsuit they were abused by a priest who taught there and say that Catholic officials didn't do enough to stop him. The lawsuit alleges the abuse occurred between 1983 and 1987, when the Rev. Dennis Killion was a teacher at the school. His order has placed him on administrative leave. WHYY'S Andrea Boyle reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Penn docs consult on blood use, safety in China

August 6, 2008

Doctors in Beijing are preparing for the Olympics by learning to better manage their blood supply. Chinese doctors have called upon health professional at the University of Pennsylvania Hospital to help them deal with chronic shortages of blood for surgeries. Penn doctors are training them to use less. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Poll: PA residents are bipartisan in disgust with state legislature

August 6, 2008

Pennsylvanians are fed up with scandal in the General Assembly and they're spreading the blame pretty evenly, according to a new survey of voters. Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


NJ program eases transition for non-English young students

August 6, 2008

Fifty-two percent of pre-school to third grade students in the state are learning English as a second language. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports a new program out of Thomas Edison State College is helping students and teachers meet each other across a linguistic divide. Listen to the mp3 »


Delaware pedestrians put selves in harm's way

August 6, 2008

Delaware State Police have a warning for pedestrians, beware of dangerous crossings. There have been six pedestrian related crashes in New Castle County alone in the last three weeks, two were fatal. WHYY's Kyle Schmoyer hit the road today to see who's crossing where, illegally. Listen to the mp3 »


Del. officials crack down on dumping

August 6, 2008

Illegal dumping complaints are piling up in Delaware. State environmental officials say they've seen an increase in people dumping garbage and waste on back roads and in empty lots. WHYY's Stella Payne takes a look at the problem. Listen to the mp3 »


Eagles' Andrews opens up about depression

August 5, 2008

Philadelphia Eagles guard Shawn Andrews says he's struggling with depression. His absence from this year's Eagles training camp had been the object of speculation before Andrews broke the silence yesterday and spoke candidly about his personal issues. Andrews' willingness to seek treatment may be a sign of a change in professional athletes' attitude towards mental illness, as WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports. Listen to the mp3 »


District Attorney insists on major DHS reform

August 5, 2008

Mayor Michael Nutter is meeting with Department of Human Services employees today to tell them he won't tolerate poor performance. Mayor Nutter says he'll hold the workers accountable for their actions. After a grand jury report released last week by District Attorney Lynne Abraham, linked DHS employees with the death of a 14 year-old-girl in 2006. Earlier today WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler sat down with DA Abraham to ask if she's satisified with the Mayor's response. Listen to the mp3 »


Nutter's message to DHS workers: Be prepared to work or be prepared to leave

August 5, 2008

Mayor Michael Nutter plans to meet with Department of Human Services employees today to lay out his expectations for the future. Yesterday Mayor Nutter announced that seven more employees were suspended, after a grand jury report released last week placed much of the blame for a 14-year old's death in 2006 on a few negligent DHS workers. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Listen to the Mayor's speech in its entirety here, and visit It's Our City for more on city government.


In AC, economic woes for casinos and some smaller businesses

August 5, 2008

In the second part of his reporting from Atlantic City for WHYY, Brad Linder talks a little more with a long time small business owner who says that 2008 has been the worst he's seen in 37 years. Tourism is down this year thanks to increased competition from slots parlors in states like Pennsylvania and a tendency for folks to stay closer at home due to rising gas prices. Atlantic City Casinos brought in about 11 percent less money in June than the same period last year. Brad also talks to one business that is doing unusually well this summer. Listen to the mp3 »


Taking back the streets tonight

August 5, 2008

Town watch groups across the nation will take to the streets tonight for the 25th annual National Night Out. The program seeks to empower citizens to stand up to crime and take back their neighborhoods. Philadelphia's community groups will be out in full force tonight, as WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports. Listen to the mp3 »


For information on how to participate visit National Night Out 2008


Bonusgate Coverage:
Shapiro calls for Majority Leader Deweese to step down

August 5, 2008

A rising star in Harrisburg politics is asking the state House Majority Leader to step down and make way for reform at the state Capitol. Responding to allegations of widespread public corruption in the House Democratic Caucus, state Representative Josh Shapiro says Bill DeWeese should give up his position as the face of the party. Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


Brenda Jorett talks to Mayor Nutter
Nutter explains next steps in clean up of DHS

August 5, 2008

In wake of the stunning grand jury report on the 2006 starvation death of 14-year-old Danieal Kelly, who was in the care of the Philadelphia Department of Human Services at the time, Mayor Michael Nutter is taking some serious steps. DHS staffers who were named but not charged in the grand jury report have been suspended as reforms are intensifying. This morning, Mayor Nutter intends to lay out his expectations to the DHS staff. Before doing that, Mayor Nutter joined WHYY Morning Edition's Brenda Jorett. Listen to the mp3 »


For more information on the mayor's administration and the direction of the city, visit WHYY's It's Our City a partnership with the Philadelphia Daily News.


New Jersey state colleges face challenges from budget cuts

August 5, 2008

Officials at New Jersey state colleges and universities say they can do more with less state funding. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Delaware test underwater turbines for clean electricity

August 5, 2008

Delaware regulators approved an electricity-generating wind farm off the coast of Rehoboth Beach last month. Now, a Frankford company is promoting water turbines as a way to convert fast moving water to electricity. The Delaware Green Energy Fund has awarded the underwater electric kite company, or UEK, a federal grant to test one of the turbines at the Indian River power plant. WHYY's Stella Payne reports on the technology.
Listen to the mp3 »


Historic Del. cemeteries in line for facelifts

August 5, 2008

Thanks to a state grant, some of Delaware's run-down cemeteries could soon get a fix-up. WHYY's Andrea Boyle has the story. Listen to the mp3 »


Housing woes force pet owners into tough decisions

August 5, 2008

While the story of a Voorhees woman who called an animal shelter to rescue her 44-pound cat when her house was in foreclosure has been on the front page of newspapers and the big story on morning news shows, tough economic times are forcing some owners of less notable pets to give them up. WHYY's Megan Pinto reports from Kent County, Delaware. Listen to the mp3 »


Competition, energy prices mean "snake eyes" for Atlantic City

August 4, 2008

High gas prices and a slumping economy are taking a toll on Atlantic City tourism at a time when casino owners are trying to fend off competition from new slots parlors in Pennsylvania. For WHYY News, Brad Linder reports. Listen to the mp3 »


In wake of charges, Nutter suspends 7 more at DHS, pledges more vigilance

August 4, 2008

Seven more city workers are under suspension after being named in the District Attorney's report from last week for their role in the death of 14-year-old Daniael Kelly. The grand jury report faulted the girl's parents and two workers from the Department of Human Services who had already been suspended with intent to dismiss. Nutter discussed several changes that have taken effect at DHS since he came to office and pledge even more going forward. This story is from WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler. Listen to the mp3 »


Hear Mayor Michael Nutter's complete speech about DHS reform Listen to the mp3 »


More information: Philadelphia Inquirer: DHS suspends 7 employees following report


Casinos dig in against move, prepare for meeting with Rendell

August 4, 2008

The controversial plan to build two casinos along the Delaware waterfront could come to a head later this month when Governor Ed Rendell plans to convene a meeting with local politicians and casino officials to reach some common ground on the issue. He says he wants the issue put to rest so tax dollars from the casinos can start to roll in. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Just in time for the holidays, 311 arriving in Philadelphia

August 4, 2008

Plans for Philadelphia's 311 call system are chugging toward the targeted opening at the end of this year. While callers will still have a place to get their routine questions answered, WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports that the initial system will likely fall short of the city's original plan. Listen to the mp3 »


NJ property tax rebates seen as lacking

August 4, 2008

The state is cutting rebate checks for property owners but some say it's more for show than for serious economic stimulation. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports. Listen to the mp3 »


FCC slaps down Comcast attempts to regulate downloads

August 4, 2008

A divided Federal Communications Commission has ruled that Comcast Corporation violated federal policy when it blocked internet traffic for some subscribers and has ordered the cable giant to change the way it manages its network. The landmark decision by the FCC in a 3-2 vote on August 1, guarantees open access to the internet and helps the cause of "net neutrality." WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Local Business with Philadelphia Business Journal's Frank Devlin: Boomers driving changes in region's hospitals

August 4, 2008

Hospitals are making capital changes to deal with the changing population. New departments are coming on-line to deal with the needs of older patients. Here's Frank Devlin of the Philadelphia Business Journal.com. Listen to the mp3 »


Charges against DHS lead to call for state takeover

August 1, 2008

Two suspended Philadelphia Department of Human Services employees now face charges for failing to protect a child in their care. Yesterday District Attorney Lynn Abraham said as a result of grand jury findings, she's charging nine people in connection with the August 2006 death of disabled teenager Danieal Kelly. D.A. Abraham says that's not enough. She wants the state to takeover DHS. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


A year after Minn. bridge collapse, Philly spans are still deficient

August 1, 2008

A year ago today the Interstate 35 bridge in Minneapolis collapsed, killing 13 and injuring nearly 100 people. Back home, the disaster called attention to Pennsylvania's 22,000 bridges. Last May, Governor Ed Rendell released a list of more than 1,000 bridges needing immediate attention with 91 of those structures located in the Greater Philadelphia region. WHYY's Susan Phillips toured two of the bridges with PennDOT officials. Listen to the mp3 »


In a nation of bad bridges, New Jersey's among the worst

August 1, 2008

While transportation is on the tip of legislators' tongues this summer, a new study shows that roads and bridges in New Jersey are the worst in the nation. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story. Listen to the mp3 »


Parking Authority gets a little more bike friendly

August 1, 2008

The Philadelphia Parking Authority is lending a helping hand to the city's cyclists. Authority officials announced yesterday that they're installing bike racks in four Center City parking lots. Bicycle advocates say the new racks are a welcome addition to a streetscape that isn't always bicycle-friendly. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more. Listen to the mp3 »


Weapons in car lead to traffic shutdown, federal investigation

August 1, 2008

An incident that shut down Sixth Street for about an hour yesterday morning has turned into a federal investigation. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Profile of a New Jersey public servant

August 1, 2008

Not every state worker who took Governor Jon Corzine's Early Retirement Incentive Package considered themselves working for the state. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports on how 1 one of the 1,500 retiring spent 27 years as a video engineer for the New Jersey Network. Listen to the mp3 »


Big Brothers, Big Sisters

August 1, 2008

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeastern Pennsylvania is recruiting what they hope will be dozens of men to be matched up with boys and young men throughout the region. WHYY Morning Edition's Brenda Jorett talked with agency vice president Uva Coles and Steve Cromity Jr., a big brother since 2005 from Lansdowne. There's more information at www.bbbssepa.org. Listen to the mp3 »


With new housing money, comes great responsibility for City Hall

July 31, 2008

Philadelphia housing advocates say the new housing bailout legislation signed by the president could bring a major influx of money to help ward off foreclosures. They also say with new funding comes new responsibilities that could test City Hall. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more. Listen to the mp3 »


Chester County opens coffers for open space

July 31, 2008

Twenty-eight acres of Chester County forest will remain open space. The state and county have a more than three million dollar deal to buy the privately owned land. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Summer break brings debate over wine shipments in PA

July 31, 2008

State lawmakers often use the summer break to revisit issues that don't ever seem to get resolved when the General Assembly is in session. Yesterday, a state House panel took up the problem of how to regulate direct-to-consumer wine shipments. Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


PA ballot access easing is target of new bill

July 31, 2008

A Republican lawmaker says he wants to give minor-party candidates an opportunity to compete in statewide elections. He says it will give voters more choice at the polls. WHYY's Taunya English talked to the legislator who wants to "level the playing field" for third party choices. Listen to the mp3 »


Corzine steps up aid for the hungry in New Jersey

July 31, 2008

Food Banks across the state will see fuller pantries for hungry residents since Governor Jon Corzine cut the first quarter check for the State Food Purchase Program. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports from Trenton. Listen to the mp3 »


Lautenberg wants EPA head out for lying about environment

July 31, 2008

Senator Frank Lautenberg is calling for E.P.A. Administrator Stephen Johnson to resign because he letting politics take precedence over sound environmental policy. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Deaths of Del. pedestrians sparks response from state

July 31, 2008

Pedestrian deaths are up in Delaware by 30 percent compared to this time last year. The state Highway Safety Office is using billboards along with stepped up police enforcement as part of the new "walk smart" campaign. WHYY's Stella Payne reports that state officials are zeroing in on the cause of pedestrian accidents. Listen to the mp3 »


Customers "crabby" over price of local catch

July 31, 2008

With the economy raising costs throughout the production process, the Delaware blue crab - a popular menu item in Delaware - is seeing a steep increase in price. WHYY's Bill Cook reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Casino sites to be evaluated for fit into riverfront plan

July 30, 2008

Local and national transportation, traffic, and sustainability experts are meeting today at a conference being convened by Penn Praxis, the clinical arm of the Penn Graduate School of Design, to discuss two casinos sites along the Delaware River. Last month Mayor Michael Nutter asked the design group to figure out whether the Foxwoods and Sugarhouse plans fit into Penn Praxis' recently released plan for the Delaware Riverfront. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Murder of Mexican immigrant sparks response by Latino groups

July 30, 2008

After the beating death of a Mexican man in Shenandoah, Schuylkill County this month, state advocacy groups are working to reaffirm the contributions of Latino immigrants. Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


Video poker could be coming to an Elks Club near you

July 30, 2008

State lawmakers are gathering opinions on a bill that would allow fraternal and service clubs to install video poker machines in order to raise money for charity. Taunya English reports from the state capital. Listen to the mp3 »


Obesity among New Jersey low-income children near top in country

July 30, 2008

Chronic disease in the state is not only hurting local economy but also its youngest residents. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Beach home owners, NJ argue over dune building

July 30, 2008

With this year's hurricane season under way some say a recent court ruling has prevented adding much needed sand to Long Beach Island's coast. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports that's only one side of the story in an ongoing battle between local government and property owners. Listen to the mp3 »


Pollution continues to threaten Delaware beaches

July 30, 2008

Environment American reported last year that beach closings and warnings in Delaware increased because of pollution in the water. The organization would like to see more testing done. WHYY's Stella Payne takes a look at the problem. Listen to the mp3 »


DE modular home owners won't get the land pulled out from under them

July 30, 2008

There could be as many as fifty thousand manufactured homes in the State of Delaware. A bill signed into law Tuesday now gives residents in those homes unprecedented protection. WHYY's Bill Cook explains. Listen to the mp3 »


Blighted Wilmington neighborhood turns a corner

July 30, 2008

A long-blighted section of north Wilmington is getting a facelift thanks to neighborhood revitalization projects on vacant land acquired from the federal government. WHYY's Kyle Schmoyer reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Major lender targeted by advocacy group over foreclosures

July 29, 2008

As the national mortgage crisis continues, the national homeowner advocate group ACORN is targeting one lender it says has not been forthcoming with its financials. The Philadelphia chapter of ACORN picketed outside the local office of National City, the seventh largest lender in the country. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Northeast Philly man charged in immigration scam

July 29, 2008

Federal authorities have charged a Russian native with bilking almost 400 immigrant asylum seekers in an immigration application scam. The man posed as an immigration lawyer, promising his clients their applications would be approved. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Schuylkill clean up commences after tugboats sink

July 29, 2008

Two abandoned tug boats remain at the bottom of the Schuylkill River in South Philadelphia after spilling about 2000 gallons of oil into the river. The moth-balled vessels sank Monday just west of the Girard Point Bridge. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Wheels turning in Nutter administration on choice of bike czar

July 29, 2008

With gas prices rising, the idea of traveling on two wheels may be tempting for some Philadelphians. Once Mayor Michael Nutter appoints a bike and pedestrian coordinator, they may find the streets even more inviting. The mayor's office says negotiations are ongoing and the mayor hopes to fill the position by the fall. Bike and pedestrian advocates are already making a to do list. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Greater Philadelphia markets small towns to residents, businesses

July 29, 2008

A handful of local suburban townships are banding together to attract new residents. The Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission has created a marketing campaign called Classic Towns of Greater Philadelphia -- that will encourage new residents and businesses to relocate to the area. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports. Listen to the mp3 »

More info:
Delco Times: Lansdowne, Media are Classic Towns
Daily Local: A true 'classic'
Phillyburbs.com: 2 Bucks towns called 'classic'
Inquirer: Campaign will market older towns

Child porn charges lead to resignation of NJ Assembly member

July 29, 2008

Four days after child pornography was allegedly found on Assembly member Neil Cohen's legislative office computer, he has announced his resignation. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports. Listen to the mp3 »


As bridges crumble, state puts pressure on the feds

July 29, 2008

Almost half of Pennsylvania's bridges are in need of major repairs. That's according to a new report from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. State officials say only a major influx of federal funding can solve the problem. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more. Listen to the mp3 »


Crime in Philly is down, but why?

July 28, 2008

The city's murders, shootings, and violent crime numbers are down compared to last year. The Philadelphia Police Department is looking for help from local colleges and universities to figure out why some strategies are working better than others. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Rutgers professor goes to ends of the earth for... worms?

July 27, 2008

Some spend their summers at the shore or the lake and take it easy for a change. But one biology professor at Rutgers University in Camden will be taking a different tack. He's traveling to two different extreme destinations - the Amazon in Brazil and the Mt. McKinley range in Alaska - to study worms. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Turnpike privatization may need plan "B"

July 27, 2008

The plan to privatize the Pennsylvania Turnpike got a rocky reception from some lawmakers this summer, but there's a Plan B in the works to persuade the General Assembly to approve the deal. WHYY's Taunya English reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Child porn charges could mean big penalties for NJ lawmaker

July 26, 2008

New Jersey Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce says Democratic Assemblyman Neil Cohen should resign and be prosecuted if allegations he possessed child pornography are true. Charges have yet to be brought against Cohen - but a Seton Hall legal expert the serious allegations come with with severe penalties if he's proven guilty. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports from Trenton. Listen to the mp3 »


Unisys sign on Two Lib sparks designer ire

July 25, 2008

Philadelphia's zoning board heard testimony from Unisys this week about why the company wants to put two illuminated signs on the Two Liberty Place building. No final decision was made and opponents of the signage are expected to make their case before the board in the fall. Unisys officials have said they'll reconsider moving their global headquarters into the building if they're forbidden from putting up the signs. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler tried to find out why some design professionals are so opposed to the 6 red letters. Listen to the mp3 »


NJ Shore evacuation plans criticized

July 25, 2008

New Jersey Senator Jeff Van Drew says the state's emergency evacuation plans are not up to snuff especially for its coastal towns and areas. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports from Trenton. Listen to the mp3 »


McCain NJ supporter Kean disagrees on offshore drilling

July 25, 2008

In a teleconference on McCain's energy plan, Senator Kean says he supports the candidate but had a few ideas of his own on how to improve the state's energy resources. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story. Listen to the mp3 »


Financially shaky Pittsburgh casino trouble for gambling chief

July 25, 2008

Pennsylvania's chief gambling regulator say she'll consult with her lawyer and consider withdrawing herself as a decision maker on a financially troubled casino project in Pittsburgh after a questionable phone call from State Representative Dwight Evans. WHYY's Taunya English reports from the state capital. Listen to the mp3 »


Nader weighs in on "Bonusgate" scandal

July 25, 2008

Consumer advocate Ralph Nader was in Harrisburg this week. He contends his 2004 presidential campaign was hurt by Democrats caught in the public corruption probe at the statehouse. WHYY's Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


Del. gov. candidate Lee backs off drivers licenses for illegal immigrants

July 25, 2008

One of Delaware's gubernatorial candidates recants a statement he made in support of drivers licenses for illegal immigrants. WHYY's Dover Bureau Chief Bill Cook has more. Listen to the mp3 »


Elsmere, DE cops using "jump outs" to stop crime

July 25, 2008

A controversial police tactic yields results in one Delaware town. Elsmere butts up against Wilmington's eastern edge. The new police chief in the town of sixty thousand says "jump outs" are making life more livable there. WHYY's Andrea Boyle reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Del. work-release inmates fleeing the program

July 25, 2008

Inmates are walking away from work release programs in increasing numbers. The Sussex Correctional Institution is making it a priority to find these inmates and put them back behind bars. WHYY's Stella Payne takes a look at the program. Listen to the mp3 »


Consumer Reports: Is your property tax assessment too high?

July 25, 2008

Assessments have been mailed to homeowners throughout the region. Homeowners who want to appeal those assessments have several options depending on how their borough, township or city arrives at the assessed values. Consumer Reports Senior Project Editor Mandy Walker lets you know what you can do if your assessment seems too high. Listen to the mp3 »


More Information:
It's Our Money Blog: Weigh in on "Actual Value" assessment plan


Philadelphia Forward: Focus on Real Estate Tax Reform

McCain a target of "Wake Up Walmart" movement

July 24, 2008

Today some union members launched a campaign to get out the word about Senator John McCain's position on taxes, and how much it will benefit big companies like Walmart. The United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1776 is leading the local effort as part of a 24-city national "Wake Up Walmart" movement. The story from WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler. Listen to the mp3 »


Mumia Abu-Jamal denied new trial, granted new sentencing hearing

July 24, 2008

A federal appeals court says it won't reconsider a decision it made last march to deny death-row inmate Mumia Abu Jamal a new trial. The former reporter was convicted of the 1981 murder of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Surveillance cameras offline?

July 24, 2008

The much-anticipated city-wide camera surveillance system has hit a snag that could set the crime-fighting initiative back significantly. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Unisys argues for Two Liberty signs

July 24, 2008

Philadelphia zoning officials say they'll have to wait until fall to hear from the opponents of two large illuminated corporate signs proposed for Two Liberty Place. Wednesday, attorneys for the Unisys Corporation spent two hours trying to convince the zoning board that what's good for the company is good for Philadelphia. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more. Listen to the mp3 »


Philly collects hazardous waste today

July 24, 2008

If you have old batteries, half-empty cans of paint, and pesticides you want to get rid of, today is the day. The Streets Department will be collecting residential chemical and electronic waste for free at a drop-off point in Northeast Philadelphia. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Jersey residents refusing Delaware River dredge

July 24, 2008

The dispute over the Delaware River project has not ended even though the dredging has been approved and planned for the future. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports on how one small town along the river says enough is enough. Listen to the mp3 »


NJ Highlands development has potential for long term harm

July 24, 2008

Environmentalists are arguing that development in the Highlands is endangering the state's water resources and in turn its economy. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story. Listen to the mp3 »


Rendell calls on rest of state legislature to open up the books

July 24, 2008

While the House Democratic Caucus is dealing with allegations that lawmakers and staff diverted millions of dollars away from state business, Governor Ed Rendell says the legislature should open up its books to help restore public confidence. WHYY's Taunya English reports from the state capital. Listen to the mp3 »


Telephone records available through Pa. legal loophole

July 24, 2008

A Montgomery County lawmaker says he will introduce new legislation Thursday to change the state's wiretap law and protect the privacy of telephone records. WHYY's Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


Voters gear up for Delaware's primary

July 24, 2008

The Delaware primary is about seven weeks away, but the deadline to register to vote is August 16th. WHYY's Dover Bureau Chief Bill Cook reports on easier ways to sign up. Listen to the mp3 »


Police radio failure

July 23, 2008

Police and city officials say last night's widespread failure of police radios shouldn't happen again. 3 back-up systems also failed - leaving police to rely on a fourth back-up system, 3 radio bands, and their cell phones. More from WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler. Listen to the mp3 »


Bridge toll, fare hikes raise ire of Jersey residents

July 23, 2008

New Jersey residents are expressing anger and frustration over the Delaware River Port Authority's plan to raise bridge tolls and fares on the PATCO speed line. South Jersey residents got the chance to voice their opinions in the first of two public hearings on the plan last night at Rutgers-Camden. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports. Listen to the mp3 »


PA marriages by internet church in question

July 23, 2008

Several couples in Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties are asking the courts to confirm the legality of their marriages. The cases stem from confusion over Pennsylvania's marriage law. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


GPS tracking of sex offenders proposed

July 23, 2008

The state Auditor General is pushing for wider use of global positioning satellite technology to track the location of sex offenders. WHYY's Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


Track your PA tax dollars

July 23, 2008

The state Treasurer says Pennsylvania's new, online database of government contracts makes it easier for residents to monitor state spending. WHYY's Taunya English has more from the state capital. Listen to the mp3 »


Organ donor bill makes donating easier in Jersey

July 23, 2008

A new organ donor bill has been signed by state Senator Dick Codey acting on behalf of Governor Corzine who is in the Middle East. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story. Listen to the mp3 »


Giants fans deal with the dreaded "Personal Seat License"

July 23, 2008

Eagles fans take heart. Those Giants fans are scrapping for tickets with one New Jersey lawmaker trying to step in over the seat license controversy in the team's new stadium. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports from heart of Giants territory. Listen to the mp3 »


Cold oceans in Delaware have some asking questions

July 23, 2008

It took weeks for the ocean temperature to get to around 70 degrees last week but a shift in the surf has led to a big chill in the waves this week. WHYY's Stella Payne put a toe in the water and has this report. Listen to the mp3 »


Recent murder in Wilmington subject of community meeting

July 23, 2008

A public meeting takes place in Wilmington tonight to address a spike in violent crime in Wilmington. The latest murder happened Monday afternoon leaving a 27-year-old mother dead. WHYY's Andrea Boyle reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Attendance down as Delaware State Fair feels the heat

July 23, 2008

A day trip in the region could take you to the Delaware State Fair in Harrington. The event lasts into the weekend and WHYY's Bill Cook reports that more than three hundred thousand people are expected to have attended when the 10-day event closes - if the temperature cooperates. Listen to the mp3 »


Schools search for healthy meal options

July 22, 2008

Food service professionals from across the country are at the Pennsylvania Convention Center this week for the School Nutrition Association's annual conference. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports school food service directors are searching for healthy breakfast and lunch options that won't break the bank. Listen to the mp3 »


Gerlach targeted again in 6th Congressional election

July 22, 2008

An election battle is underway in the 6th Congressional District. The area covers a diverse swath of Chester, Berks, Montgomery, and Lehigh counties. Incumbent Congressman Jim Gerlach has survived three tight elections and fund raising figures show he's already raised $1.8 million. Democratic challenger Bob Roggio has raised less than half that amount. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


More Info: Allentown Morning Call: Reps. Dent, Murphy, Gerlach lead foes in money battles


Puppy mill in Chester County raided by state cops

July 22, 2008

Twenty-six animal cruelty charges were filed yesterday against a dog kennel in Chester County. Limestone Kennel in Cochranville was raided last week and 23 dogs with severe health problems were seized by the Pennsylvania SPCA. The SPCA says the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement is partly to blame. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports. Listen to the mp3 »


More historic buildings threatened as Conv. Center budget rises

July 22, 2008

A historic preservation fund might fall victim of the Convention Center's expansion ballooning budget. Convention officials say the rising cost of construction will force them to spend less to protect historic buildings around the expansion site. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more. Listen to the mp3 »


Bonusgate Coverage:
State House gets legal advice

July 22, 2008

In the wake of deception and conflict of interest charges leveled against several State House workers, House employees now have a new person to speak with if they have questions about ethics or integrity. Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


It's Our City:
Philly curfew centers may be targeting wrong hours

July 22, 2008

Philadelphia officials are taking a closer look at a program designed to reduce violence. After spending millions of dollars on curfew centers designed to keep kids off the streets late at night, city officials are starting to ask whether the program achieved its goals. Brad Linder reports. Listen to the mp3 »


More Info: It's Our City


Corzine in Israel to drum up some business for Jersey

July 22, 2008

Governor Jon Corzine is meeting with top Israeli officials and members of the business community there to both campaign for Obama and promote commerce in the state. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story. Listen to the mp3 »


U.S. diplomatic efforts to Iran criticized at New Jersey rally

July 22, 2008

A rally against the Bush administration's recent diplomatic efforts to end Iran's uranium enrichment program shows that Americans may not always be getting the full story about Iran. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story. Listen to the mp3 »


Sprawl in Delaware sparks debate over planned shopping center

July 22, 2008

A land development fight is brewing in one part of New Castle County. Some residents of Hockessin are trying to block a zoning change that would allow a shopping center in their neighborhood. WHYY's Kyle Schmoyer reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Larry Mendte's legal woes continue

July 21, 2008

(Pictured Left: Acting U.S. Attorney Laurie Magid and FBI Special Agent-In-Charge Janice Fedarcyk)

The U.S. Attorney's office announced today that its filing a felony count against former KYW-TV employee Larry Mendte accusing him of illegally accessing coworker Alycia Lane's email account. The station fired Lane for allegedly hitting a police officer in New York, then let Mendte go after FBI agents searched his computer. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Yuengling still going strong after 180 years

July 21, 2008

American brewing behemoth Anheuser-Busch's announcement last week that it accepted a buyout offer from Belgian brewer InBev has implications for a Pennsylvania brewery. Yuengling, in Pottsville, is now the second-largest American-owned brewing company, following the brewer of Sam Adams. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov took a tour of the Schuylkill County brewery. Listen to the mp3 »


Bike tour of urban farms passes through Philly

July 21, 2008

Over the weekend a pack of 80 bicyclists toured though Philadelphia neighborhoods to learn about the areas urban farms. Cyclists explored little-known neighborhoods where small plots of farmland are hidden. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Rising costs taking toll on Philly hotel bookings

July 21, 2008

The Philadelphia Convention And Visitors Bureau releases their annual report tomorrow and the city's tourism officials say that while Convention Center bookings are doing well into the future, hotel bookings are down due to high fuel costs. They are calling for new strategies to keep pace. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


PA expands funding for biodiesel

July 21, 2008

A new law is giving the state's burgeoning biodiesel industry a boost. Taunya English reports from Harrisburg.
Listen to the mp3 »


Local Business Report:
Lenders wary as businesses look for capital

July 21, 2008

Business loans are tougher to come by in these tough economic times. Frank Devlin of the Philadelphia Business Journal.com. Listen to the mp3 »


Trenton transit station gets major upgrades

July 20, 2008

Legislators say the state's capital has been waiting for a transit hub for years and it couldn't come at a better time for commuters. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports from Trenton. Listen to the mp3 »


"Fresh Air Fund" links urban kids with rural families

July 21, 2008

Each summer the Fresh Air Fund sends thousands of inner city children on free vacations. They spend time with families living in more rural areas. WHYY's Andrea Boyle has one story. Listen to the mp3 »


$17 million headed to B.F. Parkway improvements

July 18, 2008

The Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia will be spruced up over the next three years, thanks to $17 million dollars in state, city and private money announced Thursday. The project is a result of a public private partnership. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


More Info: Comment about this story on WHYY's It's Our Money blog


Affordable housing law means big changes in New Jersey

July 18, 2008

It was the bill that almost held up the budget this year and a long time coming for many state residents and legislators. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports on the affordable housing legislation signed into New Jersey law yesterday. Listen to the mp3 »


NJ GOP plans its own energy conservation agenda

July 18, 2008

While public hearings were held on the Governor's Energy Master Plan this week, Republican legislators were working on an agenda of their own to inspire energy conservation in the state. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports from Trenton. Listen to the mp3 »


Community college become the "practical" alternative

July 18, 2008

The sluggish economy is pushing many college-bound students to think economically about how to earn a bachelor's degree. Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


Malpractice insurance discounts expire in Pennsylvania

July 18, 2008

Pennsylvania doctors and other health care providers will pay more for malpractice insurance coverage this year. Taunya English reports from the state capital. Listen to the mp3 »


Delaware assesses value of statewide student testing

July 18, 2008

Delaware student testing scores are in. WHYY's Bill Cook reports that just as the reading, writing and math scores are scrutinized, so is the actual test. Listen to the mp3 »


Local Business Report:
Philly Archdiocese sees financial potential in property reuse

July 18, 2008

A shuttered school brings a new use and investment for the Philadelphia Archdiocese. Here's Frank Devlin of the Philadelphia Business Journal.com. Listen to the mp3 »


Consumer Reports:
How to block cell phone spam

July 18, 2008

Since 2005, the CAN-SPAM Act has prohibited commercial e-mail and text messages from being sent to cell-phones without expressed prior authorization. But the law has loopholes. Consumer Reports Electronics Editor, Paul Reynolds, has more. Listen to the mp3 »


More Info: visit the Consumer Reports website


"Actual Value" property assessment moves forward in Philadelphia

July 17, 2008

Philadelphia is one step closer to a overhauling its system of property tax assessment system. The Board of Revision of Taxes passed a resolution today approving a so-called "actual value" system for measuring property values. The new system's supporters say it will correct years of inequities, but it will also put homeowner protection in the hands of the mayor and City Council. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more. Listen to the mp3 »


More Info: It's Our Money blog: Weigh in on "Actual Value" assessment


Foxwoods takes their case to Supreme Court

July 17, 2008

The battle over the waterfront slots parlors entered a new phase Wednesday as one casino operator went back to the State Supreme Court to ask them to step in and force the city to issue building permits. Foxwoods casino officials say the Nutter Administration is uncooperative and engaging in delay tactics. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Taser in use by PA State Police

July 17, 2008

When Pennsylvania State Police are on patrol they now carry a taser alongside their gun. The Police Commissioner says the device is proving to be a good alternative to deadly force. Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


Dalai Lama visit greeted with protests

July 17, 2008

Photo Credit: Guano, Creative Commons License

The Dalai Lama was in Philadelphia yesterday, speaking to a capacity crowd at the Kimmel Center. The exiled leader of Tibetan Buddhism was optimistic about a resolution with China, and said world peace can be attained with knowledge and emotional discipline. But his presence also attracted protests. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Say good-bye to Delaware's last drive-in

July 17, 2008

Delaware's lone drive-in movie theater goes dark in November. The Diamond State Theatre near Felton will shut down - not for lack of business - but because of skyrocketing property values. WHYY's Bill Cook explains. Listen to the mp3 »


Study: Bleak economic future for Garden State

July 17, 2008

Rutgers economists predict New Jersey will continue to decline into a recession in the next few years even more so than the national economy. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story. Listen to the mp3 »


WHA plans energy efficiency to cut costs

July 17, 2008

The Wilmington Housing Authority presented its plans to cut energy costs. The Agency is spending $6 million in upgrades at buildings in need of renovation, like Crestview Apartments in Wilmington. The hope is that these upgrades will pay for themselves in the future. WHYY's Andrea Boyle explains. Listen to the mp3 »



American Commerce Center pits young vs. old

July 16, 2008

Image courtesy of Walnut Street Capital and Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates

A proposed record-breaking skyscraper got a hearing Tuesday before the City Planning Commission Tuesday. Lawyers and architects for the developer laid out their case for the 1500 foot high rise planned for 18th and Arch streets in Center City. Neighbors are divided along generational lines. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


More Info: American Commerce Center website


Hello Dalai! Tibetan leader visits Philadelphia

July 16, 2008

The Dalai Lama is in Philadelphia today. The spiritual leader of the Tibetan government in exile will speak at the Kimmel Center at noon about how Buddhism can be a force for peace and dialogue in the 21st century. According to the Tibetan Association of Philadelphia, there are fewer than 100 Tibetans in the area. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Corzine energy plan open to wind, solar or nuclear

July 16, 2008

Energy companies in New Jersey are looking for new energy sources including wind turbines or even a new nuclear power plant under Governor Jon Corzine's Energy Master Plan. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story. Listen to the mp3 »


Bonusgate Coverage: New scandal brings renewed interest to PA legislative elections

July 16, 2008

As the dust settles on last week's legislative misconduct revelations, government watchers say this year's political candidates are probably happy the election is still four months away. Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


Bank failures: should you be worried?

July 16, 2008

The collapse of Indymac last week is the second largest bank failure in recent history. WHYY's Heather McClain reports on what consumers should know about bank failures. Listen to the mp3 »


Corzine pushes agenda for business leaders

July 16, 2008

Governor Jon Corzine courted his constituency at the Business Trade Council meeting in Atlantic City and says he will need support for issues like the Arc Tunnel in the fall. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports from AC. Listen to the mp3 »


95 expansion brings little relief to Delaware

July 16, 2008

A fifth lane of traffic on I-95 in Delaware is expected to only make a dent in Delaware traffic congestion. WHYY's Andrea Boyle talked with highway and transportation planning experts. Listen to the mp3 »


Rip tides wreak havoc on Del. beaches

July 15, 2008

Three people died in New Jersey this weekend from strong rip tides. And life guards were busy at Rehobeth Beach this weekend with over fifty medical emergencies reported. WHYY's Stella Payne takes a look at how the high rip currents affected the beaches. Listen to the mp3 »


PA opens forests to natural gas, oil drilling

July 15, 2008

Bids are now open to oil and gas companies interested in drilling in three state forests in north central Pennsylvania. State officials announced the lease sale Monday after ending a five-year moratorium on new drilling earlier this year. Environmentalists say the move jeopardizes natural habitat in some of the state's most wild forests. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Fightin' Phils mid-season report

July 15, 2008

Baseball's All-Star game at historic Yankee Stadium marks mid-season. WHYY Morning Edition's Brenda Jorett talked with Inquirer sportswriter Jim Salisbury about the Phillies season ahead. Listen to the mp3 »


Old Ben Frank gets a paint job

July 15, 2008

The final phase of a 9-year repainting process on the Ben Franklin bridge starts this week. WHYY's Heather McClain has the story. Listen to the mp3 »


Statewide graduation tests opposed by school districts

July 15, 2008

Pennsylvania education officials say they're pushing forward with plans for statewide high school graduation exams. This year's state budget includes millions to develop the exams, which face stiff opposition from local school districts who don't like the one-size-fits-all solution. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more.
Listen to the mp3 »


Rendell holds off on ethics session

July 15, 2008

Governor Ed Rendell says he won't consider a special legislative session on ethics, until the General Assembly has completed its unfinished work. Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


NJ towns go to 4-day weeks

July 15, 2008

The four-day work week is becoming an attractive option for towns and counties in the state looking to cut costs because of rising gas prices and this year's budget cuts. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story. Listen to the mp3 »


NJ turns tide in war on gypsy moths

July 15, 2008

Gypsy moths have killed thousands of acres of trees in the state in the past three years but the Department of Agriculture says it's finally getting a handle on them. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports from Trenton. Listen to the mp3 »


Wilmington promotes CPR prep with recent success story

July 15, 2008

A Wilmington jogger owes his life to first responders - and two bystanders. He got his chance to thank them at an event raising awareness for CPR preparedness. WHYY's Andrea Boyle was there. Listen to the mp3 »


City pushes through contract negotiations with its unions

July 14, 2008

Last week the city marked one union off the list, when an arbitration panel awarded the fraternal order of police a 1-year contract. Contract wrangling continues with 3 unions the firefighters are legally barred from striking, but if the white and blue collar union heads find themselves deadlocked... they may hesitate to call a strike. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Who can move the riverfront casinos?

July 14, 2008

Pennsylvania officials are arranging a meeting with Philadelphia's casino operators to talk about re-siting. Governor Ed Rendell says that legally speaking, it's the casinos that hold all the cards. But casino opponents claim that the governor has more leverage than he lets on. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more. Listen to the mp3 »


Nation's governors come together in Philadelphia

July 14, 2008

Thirty-five of nation's governors were in Philadelphia over the weekend for the annual conference of the National Governor's Association. Although the vice-presidency was on everyone's mind, the governors stuck to discussing a range of policy issues such as energy, education, and term limits. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports. Listen to the mp3 »


$400 million to bring water to rural PA

July 14, 2008

In November Pennsylvania residents will decide if they want the Commonwealth to borrow $400 million to pay for water projects around the state. WHYY's Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


Delaware highway threatens wooded land

July 14, 2008

A highway widening project in Sussex County, Delaware, is threatening some trees that mean a lot to some residents in Millville. WHYY's Stella Payne reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Volunteer fire companies in Delaware facing budget crunch

July 14, 2008

A new law in Delaware will require annual audits of volunteer fire departments. That will change the way fire departments look at their books and possibly change the way the public looks at their local fire department. WHYY Dover Bureau Chief Bill Cook reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Popular swimmin' hole in Dover open for business

July 14, 2008

Dover's Silver Lake is one of the most popular places to cool off in the summer. In recent years, officials have been battling high levels of bacteria to keep the swimming area open. Efforts are paying off as weekly testing has led to the all-clear sign. WHYY Dover Bureau Chief Bill Cook reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Local Business: Big bucks for law partners? Not so fast

July 14, 2008

The business models for law firms is changing. Here's Frank Devlin of the Philadelphia Business Journal.com.
Listen to the mp3 »


"Bonusgate" Coverage: Reach of the bonus scandal uncovered

July 12, 2008

A public corruption probe has uncovered alleged statehouse misconduct that stretches far beyond the bonuses-for-campaign work scheme that was first reported last year. WHYY's Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


Casinos in Atlantic City starting to crap out

July 12, 2008

Some say it doesn't look good for Atlantic City's casinos after an 11% decrease in revenues last month. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story. Listen to the mp3 »


"Bonusgate" Coverage:
Indicted officials have their first day in court

July 11, 2008

Facing wide-ranging charges tied to an alleged legislative bonus scheme, several elected officials and government workers are scheduled to appear in a Harrisburg court today. WHYY's Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


"Bonusgate" Coverage:
Scandal could shift balance of power in Harrisburg

July 11, 2008

State Attorney General Tom Corbett says more charges could be filed relating to "Bonusgate." On thursday he announced the indictments of a Democratic Pennsylvania State Representative, a former lawmaker and 10 others for doling out $4 million in secret legislative bonuses. So far, no local lawmakers are implicated. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Governor signs hotel tax bill to promote tourism

July 11, 2008

Visitors to Philadelphia might be paying more for their hotel stays in the near future. Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell today signed a bill authorizing the city to impose a tax on rooms in order to promote tourism. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Governor helps out alternative energy, warns about electricity hikes

July 11, 2008

Biofuels can be for Pennsylvania what corn-based ethanol is for Iowa. That was the message from Governor Ed Rendell Thursday. The governor was in Plymouth Meeting to sign a bill that is intended to give Pennsylvania a chance to compete in the alternative energy business. But he warned that the high cost of gas isn't the state's only worry. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more. Listen to the mp3 »


Cracking down on identity theft in Philadelphia

July 11, 2008

The Philadelphia U.S. Attorney's office says a new locally based program promises to help crack down on identity theft, one of the nation's fastest growing crimes. The National Identity Crime Law Enforcement Network, or NICLE, is an effort to make information relating to identity theft instantly accessible to all law enforcement. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports. Listen to the mp3 »


More Info: Know Your Rights: A Guide for Victims and Witnesses of Crime


Uncertain future for affordable housing in some NJ communities

July 11, 2008

The New Jersey measure that ended Regional Contract Agreements is leading local governments to evaluate how they will build affordable housing within local budget limits. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story. Listen to the mp3 »


NJ business conditions bad according to think tank

July 11, 2008

Most New Jersey business leaders surveyed think the state isn't doing enough to make energy, health coverage, taxes or the cost of living affordable. Nearly half think the business climate will deteriorate. Results of the survey, done for the New Jersey Business & Industry Association, were released Thursday. The business association is recommending what it calls "prosperity policies" to boost business conditions. With 11,000 jobs lost in New Jersey this year, business association says bad business conditions are a problem only the legislature can fix. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Market-Frankford el reconstruction project begins

July 11, 2008

The final stage of the Market-Frankford el reconstruction project begins today, and many of the el stops will be closed for over a week. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Local Business Report:
Going green could mean more green for you from new bank

July 11, 2008

New bank looks to offer financial incentives for living in an environmentally sustainable way while acting responsibly itself. Here's Frank Devlin of the Philadelphia Business Journal.com. Listen to the mp3 »


Consumer Reports:
Cola War takes to the water

July 11, 2008

A recent tv commercial for Propel Fit, a vitamin-infused water from the maker of Pepsi, slams a product resembling Coca Cola's Vitamin Water for having 125 calories per bottle. The commercial warns: "You'd have to do 492 sit-ups to burn those babies off." With more on this cola-war redux, here's Consumer Reports editor Kim Kleman. Listen to the mp3 »


Nutter announces the deal between the city and the Fraternal Order of Police

July 10, 2008

An arbitration panel has awarded the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of police a one-year contract that includes a 3.5 percent wage increase for officers, and a 10 percent health care savings for the city. The deal will also create a new labor-management committee to work on future health-care savings. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Nutter employs zoning, licensing procedures to push casino relocation

July 10, 2008

In the battle over the riverfront slots parlors, Mayor Nutter is ramping up the pressure on casino operators to re-locate. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Nutter: Lose your gun, call 9-1-1

July 10, 2008

Gun owners in Philadelphia will have to start reporting lost or stolen guns within 24 hours of finding them missing or face up to a $1900 fine. Mayor Nutter says this is essential for getting guns off the street but lawyers for the NRA say they are heading to court to prevent any enforcement. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Steal at the pump: credit card thieves target gas station card readers

July 10, 2008

Police in Delaware are searching for two men suspected of skimming credit card information from gas pumps. The crimes represent an increasingly common scam. Authorities have advice for how consumers can protect themselves. WHYY's Andrea Boyle reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Tourism in PA surviving gas price increases... for now

July 10, 2008

Pennsylvania's top tourism official says, so far, summer travelers are hitting the roads and booking hotels in the Commonwealth. WHYY's Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


NJ environmentalists pushing for more "green" from Gov. Corzine

July 10, 2008

Environmental lobbyists say Governor Jon Corzine hasn't done enough for creating clean energy in the state. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story. Listen to the mp3 »


Big pharma layoffs tarnish NJ stem cell image

July 10, 2008

1100 layoffs will be made by pharmaceutical companies Johnson and Johnson and Schering Plough this summer and some say it doesn't look good for stem cell research in the state. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports from Trenton. Listen to the mp3 »


Governor visits Upper Darby to sign budget

July 9, 2008

Governor Ed Rendell says that as one battle for education funds ends, another begins. The Governor was in Upper Darby Tuesday to offically sign a 2009 eductaion budget that provides $274 million in new funding, along with a per-student distribution formula that advocates say sets a historic precedent. The Governor called the budget a hard-fought, bipartisan success, but he also warned that nothing is guaranteed beyond this year. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more. Listen to the mp3 »


Potential casino move has unclear effects on profits

July 9, 2008

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell is expected to meet with casino operators within the next couple of weeks in an attempt to convince them to relocate their planned slots parlors away from the riverfront. There is some disagreement over the effects of such a move on projected business for the facilities. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


PA steps in to regulate mortgage industry

July 9, 2008

Despite a bill to offer relief to troubled borrowers winding its way through the Senate in Washington, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell yesterday signed into law five measures that will regulate the state's mortgage industry. WHYY's Alex Schmidt reports. Listen to the mp3 »


PA State Police Chief heads to the NFL

July 9, 2008

The NFL has hired Pennsylvania's state police chief for a new position that will cover all aspects of stadium security, from fan behavior to signal stealing. The league has appointed Colonel Jeffrey Miller to the new post of director of strategic security. WHYY's Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


Universal health care on the horizon in New Jersey

July 9, 2008

Governor Jon Corzine signed a bill yesterday that may be the first step towards universal healthcare in New Jersey. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story. Listen to the mp3 »


Low-income New Jerseyans lobby for continued progress on health care

July 9, 2008

As Governor Jon Corzine signed legislation making healthcare more affordable for low-income state residents, lobbyists in Trenton say there's still more work to be done. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports from Trenton. Listen to the mp3 »


Dunes rebuilt at a Delaware beach

July 9, 2008

The Bethany Beach replenishment project, nearly washed out by a spring storm, is on track to be complete by next week. WHYY's Stella Payne reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Delaware cracking down on speeders

July 9, 2008

Speeding is second only to DUI as the leading cause of traffic deaths in Delaware. The highway safety office is continuing to press its message for motorists - stop speeding before it stops you. WHYY Dover Bureau Chief Bill Cook has the story. Listen to the mp3 »


Crime fighting money comes to Sparrow Run in Delaware

July 9, 2008

Residents in the notoriously crime-ridden Sparrow Run, Delaware, neighborhood are getting a boost thanks to a local foundation. The wachovia regional foundation will donate a total of $475,000 over 5 years. WHYY's Andrea Boyle reports from New Castle County. Listen to the mp3 »


Philabundance on the food shortage for the needy in the Delaware Valley

July 9, 2008

The struggling economy is deeply affecting families who, in some cases, have never had to reach out for help before. WHYY Morning Edition's Brenda Jorett talked with Philabundance president and executive director Bill Clark about the food shortage for the needy in the Delaware Valley. Listen to the mp3 »


Nutter reinvigorates Human Relations Commission

July 8, 2008

Philadelphia's eight new human relations commissioners took their posts today. The Commission seeks to enforce civil rights in the city. Mayor Michael Nutter says the newcomers bring change to the beleaguered Commission. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports. Listen to the mp3 »


"Bonus-gate" engulfs Harrisburg

July 8, 2008

With Pennsylvania's budget now complete, eyes in Harrisburg are beginning to turn to what could be the next big Capitol drama. Indictments are expected as early as this week in the so-called "Bonus Scandal" in which state legislators allegedly used public money to fund political work. The scandal could undermine the Democrats' control of the state House and Governor Rendell's ability to accomplish his legislative agenda. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more. Listen to the mp3 »


U.S. Attorney Meehan announces resignation

July 8, 2008

United States Attorney Patrick Meehan is stepping down next week after almost seven years on the job. Highlights of his career include the 2003 City Hall public corruption scandal during which an FBI listening device was discovered in Mayor John Street's office. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Del. State Police on look out for donated food

July 8, 2008

A food drive by the Delaware State Police aims to round up 57,000 pounds of food for food banks and pantries. WHYY's Stella Payne reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Wilmington employment program working for at-risk students

July 8, 2008

In Wilmington's Southbridge and Eastside neighborhoods only one in eleven students graduate high school. A handful of students are working this summer to beat the odds. WHYY's Andrea Boyle reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Oil drilling off New Jersey coast split along party lines

July 8, 2008

Congressional Republicans are pushing to lift a moratorium on offshore drilling while New Jersey Democrats like Governor Jon Corzine are putting their foot down. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story. Listen to the mp3 »


Turnpike leasing plan still faces legislative hurdles

July 8, 2008

The head of the state House Transportation Committee says the Pennsylvania Turnpike lease proposal has been fully vetted and he's ready to move on to other things - without calling for a vote. WHYY's Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


Single stream recycling completes spread throughout city

July 7, 2008

Single stream recycling in Philadelphia goes citywide today. All residents can put their recyclable materials - including paper, plastic, glass bottles, cardboard and metal cans - into one bin for curbside pickup. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports on the implications for the city's budget. Listen to the mp3 »


State education funding formula called "historic"

July 7, 2008

Local education advocates hail Pennsylvania's new education budget as an historic victory for schools. The new budget includes not only $275 million in new education funding but also a distribution formula that, according to supporters, sets an important precedent. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more. Listen to the mp3 »


Fuel prices take toll on Delaware River recreation

July 7, 2008

The classified ads and eBay are flooded with listings for "Boats for Sale" this year. The price of gas is forcing people to sell off their recreational motorboats or use them less frequently. This is having an effect on people working the marinas along the Delaware River. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Fumo, Evans join to move casinos

July 7, 2008

Leaders in the state House and Senate say they have united to force two casino developers away from Philadelphia's Delaware riverfront. From Harrisburg, WHYY's Taunya English reports. Listen to the mp3 »


High fuel prices slow down road repairs

July 5, 2008

Drivers may be affected by rising gas prices in more ways than they expect. The New Jersey and Pennsylvania Departments of Transportation say they may have to cut back on some road re-paving projects because of sky rocketing prices for fuel and asphalt. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler has more. Listen to the mp3 »


Police want to make sure the 4th is a safe holiday

July 3, 2008

Visitors from across the country are pouring into the city this holiday weekend to celebrate the 4th of July in the nation's birthplace. Every year as people flock to historic sites around Center City for a few days of tours and celebrations, the police department steps up its presence too. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Daily News, Inquirer to merge some jobs

July 3, 2008

Owners of the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Philadelphia Daily News are considering consolidation of some newsroom functions in a bid to cut costs. Newspaper industry watchers say this could be a good way to save money, but it could also compromise the independence of the two papers. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


More Info: Philadelphia Will Do: Inquirer Wackiness Continues


Paying wage taxes in PA now easier

July 3, 2008

Lawmakers say tax legislation signed into law Wednesday will unburden Pennsylvania business, help residents and save money for the state. WHYY's Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


Shift on gay marriage by Garden State Rep.

July 3, 2008

New Jersey Congressman Steven Rothman says he's changed his mind about gay marriage and his political position. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story. Listen to the mp3 »


Tests for tour guides face test in court

July 2, 2008

Three Philadelphia tour guides say a new city law regulating their work violates their free speech rights. They filed a lawsuit in federal court today seeking to overturn a new ordinance that requires guides to pass a history test and be licensed. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Possible city worker strike in two weeks

July 2, 2008

Philadelphia's white collar workers union says civility is not getting results when it comes to the current contract talks with the Nutter Administration. Members of AFCSME District Council 47 voted Tuesday evening to grant their leadership the authority to call a strike if they deem it necessary. The contract expired on Monday but the union agreed to a two week extension. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Gas prices put a damper on weekend holiday travel

July 2, 2008

Prices at the pumps are leading many people to reconsider a long, expensive, trip away from home over the long holiday weekend this year. AAA Mid-Atlantic reports for the second holiday weekend travel by air and car will be down across the tri-state region. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


State health care agency shuts down

July 2, 2008

A state agency that monitors hospital data and health care practices in Pennsylvania is caught in a tug-o-war between Governor Ed Rendell and Senate Republicans. The Senate's Appropriations committee is set to consider a bill to extend the agency's authorization today. WHYY's Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


Electric bills in PA likely to skyrocket

July 2, 2008

Democrats in the state Senate are sending up an alarm about looming electricity rate increases. WHYY's Taunya English reports on an issue that could mean big changes for your household budget. Listen to the mp3 »


Minimum wage increase in New Jersey sees no progress

July 2, 2008

As the cost of living increases in the state, lobbyists say minimum wage workers are struggling to make ends meet. Their solution: a raise that only the state can mandate. From Trenton, WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story. Listen to the mp3 »


Car thefts up for unsuspecting Delaware beach goers

July 2, 2008

The tourist town of Lewes, Delaware is seeing a spike in car thefts including 12 in the past two weeks. WHYY's Stella Payne reports on some simple advice to prevent loss. Listen to the mp3 »


WHYY's Brenda Jorett talks with Mayor Michael Nutter

July 1, 2008

Contracts for Philadelphia's Police and Firefighers unions as well as contracts for the 9400-member District Council 33 and 3400-member District Council 47 expired June 30 at midnight. City residents woke up this morning to find that the white and blue collar workers had not gone on strike. Tonight, District Council 47, representing the professional service employees, is scheduled to hold a membership meeting to take a strike authorization vote. That and many others were on Mayor Michael Nutter's plate this morning when he joined WHYY's Brenda Jorett for a look at some of the issues of the day. Listen to the mp3 »


Philly students continue gains on standardized tests

July 1, 2008

The results are in and test scores for Philadelphia public school students are up for the sixth straight year. District officials released the results of their 2008 tests on Monday as evidence that investments in the district are leading to the steady progress. But the announcement came too late to stop legislators from cutting over $30 million from the Governor's request for next year's Philadelphia School District budget. WHYY's Bill Hangley reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Stay-at-home mom pushes for ocean protection legislation

July 1, 2008

Summer break for a Medford Lakes stay-at-home mom is taking her on a journey. She set sail Monday on a mission to push congress to consider ocean protection legislation before they adjourn for their own summer vacation. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


More Info: To read Margo Pellegrino's blog about her trip, or to send a save-our-seas note to congress, click here »


City puts a million towards low income winter heat

July 1, 2008

The city has allocated $1 million to assist low income Philadelphia Gas Works customers this coming winter. The Philadelphia Utility Emergency Services Fund hopes the money will help supplement a lacj of federal assistance funding. Heather McClain has more on the story. Listen to the mp3 »


New Jersey Budget coverage:

Corzine give seal of approval to new budget

July 1, 2008

New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine has signed the budget with no last-minute changes. This comes as a relief to some but still a burden to many. Listen to the mp3 »

Transportation aid left out of New Jersey budget

July 1, 2008

One budget issue that flew under the radar during New Jersey's recently completed negotiations was transportation. While fuel prices rise, an attempt by some Republican legislators to continue fighting for state transit funding is being opposed by others in the GOP. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the latest on the budget from Trenton. Listen to the mp3 »


Communities working together to fight crime

June 30, 2008

Philadelphia's new crime plan targetting the 25th police district is underway. Observers say the "Communities Working Together" initiative has the potential to significantly decrease violent crime across the city. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports. Listen to the mp3 »


PA budget deal averts shutdown...

June 30, 2008

Governor Rendell says the deal involves a compromise on energy policy and will result in $350 million spent this year to fix about 400 of the state's most dangerous bridges. The deal will also result in $800 million going to water and sewer upgrades. The budget accord was announced less than 24 hours before the end of the current fiscal year. WHYY's Taunya English reports from Harrisburg on the spending plan. Listen to the mp3 »


...and results in big win for alternative energy

June 30, 2008

The alternative energy sector in Pennsylvania came out a big winner in the budget lottery. WHYY's Taunya English has more from the state capital. Listen to the mp3 »


Taxpayers lose out as Rx drug spending plan lags

June 30, 2008

With lawmakers having passed the state budget in Harrisburg late last night, another year has passed by with no progress on an attempt to streamline prescription drug benefits and save taxpayers $100 million. WHYY's Alex Schmidt reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Contracts for city workers unlikely by deadline

June 30, 2008

Contracts for city workers expire at midnight tonight. Talks are expected to continue beyond the deadline. This round of negotiations are unique in that details from both sides are scarce. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Local Business Report: Supply of vacant suburban office space expected to rise

June 30, 2008

"FOR LEASE" signs could be up as some suburban Philadelphia companies try to unload extra office space. Here's Frank Devlin of the PhiladelphiaBusinessJournal.com. Listen to the mp3 »


Personal Finance with Jeff Brown: Buying a home to take advantage of a down market?

June 30, 2008

With housing prices down by more than 14 percent nationwide, this can be a great time to buy a home - so long as you don't have to sell one first. Here's personal finance expert Jeff Brown. Listen to the mp3 »
Visit Jeff's website at jeffbrownfinance.net


Knowing your taxpayer-supported advertising in PA

June 29, 2008

A bill is advancing in the Pennsylvania legislature that would require disclosure on state spending in advertising. WHYY's Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


Supreme Court decision could affect Millionaire's Amendment in Philly finance laws

June 28, 2008

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of a federal campaign finance law this week. The regulation sought to level the playing field when a self-financed candidate enters a race. The decision could have an impact locally on Philadelphia's own version of the so-called "Millionaire's Amendment." WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Nutter throws support behind Central Delaware plan

June 27, 2008

Mayor Michael Nutter says an ambitious plan to redevelop the Delaware Waterfront has his full support. The plan was unveiled last night at Penn's Landing. Spearheaded by the nonprofit group Penn Praxis, it calls for seven miles of parks and residential development stretching from South Philadelphia to Port Richmond. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more. Listen to the mp3 »


Related stories: Daily News: Nutter: No more secrets on the river after Penn's Landing plan
Inquirer: Nutter endorses PennPraxis waterfront plan


Despite SCOTUS ruling, Mayor to press on with gun regulations...

June 27, 2008

Philadelphia officials say Thursday's Supreme Court ruling on gun ownership will not impact the city's recently passed gun control legislation. But those familiar with constitutional law say some of the measures will be tougher to defend in court. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


...while in NJ, gun control advocates not concerned

June 27, 2008

A Supreme Court ruling found that Washington D.C.'s gun ban was unconstitutional. But gun control lobbyists in New Jersey say that won't change current gun laws in the state. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports. Listen to the mp3 »


NJ lawmaker takes on high food price, ethanol connection

June 27, 2008

The cost of living for state residents continues to rise. And while some say it's time for a change - whether in food or fuel consumption - some New Jersey legislators want to reverse a federal law that encourages ethanol production instead. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story. Listen to the mp3 »


Details of Turnpike lease plan revealed to wary legislators

June 27, 2008

The House Transportation Committee on Thursday heard from members of the team that submitted the top $12.8 billion bid to operate the roadway. Rendell's consultant calls the bid "a terrific deal" but legislators had questions about the financial and operational details. The deal requires legislative approval and a final vote isn't expected to occur until fall. WHYY's Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


Delaware food bank opens up the cupboard

June 27, 2008

The food bank of Delaware is opening its warehouse to the public to meet the increased demand for food. Lines formed outside of the food bank in Milford. WHYY's Stella Payne reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Consumer Reports:
Dealing with the kids when the nest isn't empty anymore

June 27, 2008

Just when you were getting used to your empty nest, they're baaaccckkk - boomerang children. Before they come knocking at your door, deputy editor of Consumer Reports Money Adviser Noreen Perrotta tells you what you and your partner need to think about in advance. Listen to the mp3 »


Local Business:
Big move for surgical weight loss center

June 27, 2008

Surgical weight loss is a growing business at area hospitals. Here's Frank Devlin of the Philadelphia Business Journal.com. Listen to the mp3 »


Destination of dredge waste still unclear

June 27, 2008

Environmentalists are riled about plans to dredge the Delaware River after it was revealed this week the Army Corps of Engineers would not abide by the suggestion that 26 million cubic yards of river dredge stay in Pennsylvania. WHYY's Alex Schmidt reports. Listen to the mp3 »


PA education funding plan has dim future

June 27, 2008

With just days to go before Harrisburg's budget deadline, education advocates across Pennsylvania are keeping a close eye on Governor Ed Rendell's education proposals. At stake is a multi-year spending plan that advocates say could reverse the effects of years of underfunding to school districts statewide. But as budget talks continue, aides to two key legislators say the funding plan's prospects aren't looking good. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more. Listen to the mp3 »


New head of Philly Free Library promises improvements

June 26, 2008

Philadelphia's incoming library director says the city has a premiere library system, but that doesn't mean there isn't some room for improvement. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Vision for Central Delaware Waterfront unveiled tonight

June 26, 2008

Debate of the future development of the Delaware waterfront from Oregon Avenue in the south to Allegheny Avenue in the north takes another step today. The Civic Vision for Waterfront Development was released last November. Tonight, at the Independence Seaport Museum on Penn's Landing the same group releases its 10-point action plan at a public forum. PennPraxis Executive Director Harris Steinberg has been leading months of meetings as well as public sessions leading to this point. He joined WHYY's Brenda Jorett in the studio this morning to talk about the process and the plan. Listen to the mp3 »


More Info: PlanPhilly: An Action Plan for the Central Delaware: 2008-2018
PlanPhilly: Central Delaware Riverfront Planning Process
PlanPhilly: A Civic Vision for the Central Delaware


Free TransPasses for students subject to cuts

June 26, 2008

The Philadelphia School District is considering restricting its free SEPTA TransPass program for students. After two public forums, City Council is now weighing in. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports. Listen to the mp3 »


New Jersey building some schools on dirty sites

June 26, 2008

With the budget passed and $2.9 million going to build schools in urban districts, some say cleaning up after the School Construction Corporation and contaminated school sites has only just begun. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story. Listen to the mp3 »


Corzine popularity suffers from budget process

June 26, 2008

Governor Corzine has passed the budget but hasn't signed it yet. A Fairleigh Dickinson poll says state residents aren't happy with Corzine or his final budget plan. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports from Trenton. Listen to the mp3 »


More Info:
Fairleigh Dickinson Poll Results


Disabled vets find therapy on horseback

June 26, 2008

Horseback riding can be challenging, even more so if your are disabled. One group of disabled veterans saddles up for a weekly ride that's both tough and therapeutic. WHYY's Andrea Boyle reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Consumers warned about unusally high summer oil prices

June 26, 2008

Despite extremely high oil prices, people who lock in a price for their winter home heating oil now may have taken a huge gamble by the time the heating oil is needed. WHYY's Heather McClain reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Corzine following through on reducing state gov. workforce

June 25, 2008

As promised, Governor Corzine is laying off state employees with this year's budget, cutting 2,000 employees from the state's payroll through a buyout called the Early Retirement Incentive Plan. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story. Listen to the mp3 »


PA government borrowing worries state GOP

June 25, 2008

State house Republicans are worried about a proposal to borrow hundreds of millions of dollars to pay for large scale improvements across the state. Lawmakers are debating just how much debt the Commonwealth can shoulder. WHYY's Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


New Jersey budget passes despite Republican opposition...

June 24, 2008

WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports that Republicans in the Assembly joined forces to vote against the budget yesterday saying that Democrats were pulling the wool over taxpayers eyes.
Listen to the mp3 »
This made for a tense day in Trenton as bills lined up to be passed in both chambers before the final vote on the budget.
Listen to the mp3 »


...while PA budget may still miss the June 30 deadline

June 24, 2008

State social service workers were at the Capitol on Monday, urging lawmakers to get the budget completed on time. WHYY's Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


Bracing for higher electric bills in PA

June 24, 2008

With a decade-old rate cap set to expire in a couple years, state lawmakers are debating how much customers will have to pay for electricity in the future. WHYY's Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


Guv, enviros debate impact of Delaware dredging

June 24, 2008

A controversial project to dredge the Delaware River's shipping channel took another step forward on Monday. Pennsylvania port officials signed an agreement allowing the Army Corps of Engineers to deepen the channel from forty to forty-five feet. The project's supporters say a deeper channel means bigger ships and thousands of jobs. Environmental opponents remain committed to stopping it. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more. Listen to the mp3 »


Nutter meets with nation's mayors to discuss domestic policy issues

June 24, 2008

The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) Annual Meeting just wrapped up in Miami. Senator Barack Obama and other prominent speakers addressed the nation's mayors at the conference. Led by Conference President and Trenton, NJ Mayor Douglas H. Palmer and host Miami Mayor Manuel A. Diaz, hundreds of mayors gathered to weigh in on a number of domestic policy issues that impact America's metropolitan areas. WHYY's Dave Heller spoke to Mayor Michael Nutter while he attended the the conference about the lessons he took away from other big city mayors. Listen to the mp3 »


More Info:
Philly Clout: Nutter wows mayors conference


Economy is turning drivers into bikers

June 24, 2008

Bike commuting used to be mostly for die-hard cyclists, but record high gas prices are driving people to bike for financial reasons. WHYY's Eugene Sonn introduces us to one of the new two-wheeled commuters and gets some tips from a veteran who's been biking to work for 20 years. Listen to the mp3 »


City worker contract negotiations coming down to the wire

June 23, 2008

Contracts for city workers expire one week from today. The talks between the city's four municipal unions and the Nutter administration are considered a big test for the mayor. The main issues are pension benefits and health care coverage. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports that both sides are keeping things close to the vest. Listen to the mp3 »
To learn more about past city worker contracts, their impact on the city budget and the major issues in the current round of talks, visit It's Our Money.


Schools on edge as state budget approaches deadline

June 23, 2008

With one week until the state budget deadline, educators statewide will watch Harrisburg closely as legislators negotiate over Governor Ed Rendell's proposed public school budget. The battle lines were drawn last week when the state Senate passed a budget that cuts Rendell's plan by almost forty percent, while leaving a critical funding question unanswered. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more. Listen to the mp3 »


Business News:
City loan program fails to attract business interest

June 23, 2008

Loans with a catch are keeping applicants away. One proponent says of the program, meant to help some of the city's small businesses through the credit crunch, "there's no such thing as free money." Frank Devlin of the PhiladelphiaBusinessJournal.com reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Personal Finance:
Inflation has investors looking for options

June 23, 2008

As inflation jumps, many investor are looking for ways to offset high prices. Personal finance expert Jeff Brown says that some traditional inflation protection instruments may not always work out. Listen to the mp3 »
For more information visit JeffBrownFinance.net


Rising gas prices push drivers to take the train

June 23, 2008

The rising price of gas is causing headaches for many drivers, but local mass transportation systems are seeing a silver lining. The slowing economy is adding to the need to pinch pennies and recent transit numbers show that after years of drivers saying they would cut back on driving because of rising gas prices, it looks like it's actually happening. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Samuel Evans Memorial Services

June 20, 2008

A viewing and memorial services are being held today (Friday) for Samuel Evans - the Philadelphia civil rights leader, classical music promoter, and founder of the American Foundation for Negro Affairs. Evans died Friday at the age of 105. More from WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler. Listen to the mp3 »


Despite questions, Council votes to privatize city biosolids treatment

June 20, 2008

Philadelphia City Council ended its spring session Thursday, passing several measures that had been blocked during the Street administration. One of these is a plan to restructure Fairmount Park and a deal to privatize the city's biosolids treatment plant. Unionized members of the plant have concerns that the deal doesn't pass the smell test. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. More information: Heard in the Hall: Partners have paid. Will they play? Listen to the mp3 »


New Jersey legislature at it again over budget

June 20, 2008

New Jersey lawmakers will try again today to resolve differences over several key spending bills when the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee reconvenes this afternoon. Here's a look at the status of the state budget with WHYY's Mary Fuchs. Listen to the mp3 »


A Tale Of Two Charter Schools

June 19, 2008

Philadelphia School District students are out for the summer after today. To mark this event, WHYY brings you the story of two charter schools as they wrap up classes for the year. To their supporters, the independently run, taxpayer funded schools represent the future of public education. But ten years into the charter experiment, some are thriving while others struggle. WHYY's Bill Hangley talked to students and officials at two schools on the opposite sides of this divide. Listen to the mp3 »


Related story:
School District cancels contracts for some private managers

June 19, 2008

The Philadelphia School District is taking schools back from private management companies. On Wednesday, the School Reform Commission voted to cancel six of its 38 contracts with for-profit and nonprofit school managers. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more. Listen to the mp3 »


More Info:
Daily News: Private managers lose 6 schools


Report illustrates struggle of poor families in Philadelphia

June 19, 2008

A family of four needs at least $53,000 per year to live in Philadelphia without going into debt. A report released Wednesday shows more than half of Philadelphia residents are struggling to make ends meet. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Council puts radical change for parks on final session agenda

June 19, 2008

Philadelphia City Council meets today for their last session before a three-month summer break. On the agenda is a bill that could change how Fairmount Park's been run for the past 140 years. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Countdown to state budget deadline marches on

June 19, 2008

11 days. The governor and state legislature have 11 days to pass the 2009 budget or risk a government shutdown if there's no extension. The Senate has approved a Republican version of the budget that would cut Rendell's spending plan by about $400 million. The biggest single item that Republicans would pare is the 6-percent increase proposed for operations and instruction in public schools. They propose a 3.5-percent increase over last year. A spokeswoman for the House Democrats, who hold a one-vote majority, says the caucus won't accept less than what Rendell proposed. WHYY's Taunya English reports from the state capital. Listen to the mp3 »


Statewide high school exit exams continue to generate controversy

June 19, 2008

The state Secretary of Education was at the Capitol on Wednesday to defend a plan to develop a new series of high school exit exams. From Harrisburg, WHYY's Taunya English reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Future of New Jersey state budget still unclear

June 19, 2008

In Trenton, Governor Corzine's budget continues to move forward. Lawmakers on either side of the political spectrum have divergent views on whether the budget will be passed before the deadline. WHYY's Mary Fuch's has more. Listen to the mp3 »


Meanwhile, Governor Corzine's new budget proposal is giving money back to nursing homes but at a public hearing held for the budget, some said it's still not enough. Listen to the mp3 »


No kids allowed: Curfew imposed at Del. mall

June 19, 2008

Christiana Mall in Delaware becomes one of 54 malls around the nation to institute a policy that attempts to clamp down on teenagers trolling the mall. WHYY's Kyle Schmoyer reports on reactions to the disruption of a popular teenaged right of passage. Listen to the mp3 »


Communtiy groups call on new wi-fi owners to bridge the digital divide

June 18, 2008

A local group of investors is hoping to turn the city's troubled wi-fi system into a profitable network. Yesterday they announced they'd bought the system from Earthlink which had technical and customer service challenges. With the system now under new management, some of the new owners are meeting with media and community groups tonight at Temple University to talk about Wireless Philadelphia's future. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Blighted properties attract attention of state legislature

June 18, 2008

Lawmakers in the the state Senate are looking for ways to hold owners accountable for run-down and abandoned properties. WHYY's Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


New Jersey goes after mortgage fraud offenders

June 18, 2008

The state of New Jersey filed three lawsuits in an alleged racketeering scheme involving fraudulent mortgages. The suits target 15 corporations and 21 individuals. All are accused of convincing investors to buy property at grossly inflated values through mortgage loans obtained using false information. Some defendants are also accused of offering loans on false terms, then informing the defrauded consumer at closing that it was too late for them to get out of the transactions. Others are accused of luring victims with bogus "rent-to-own" deals. State Attorney General Anne Milgram says New Jersey is doing its part to help the subprime mortgage crisis. WHYY's Mary Fuchs has the story. Listen to the mp3 »


Record sting nets over 600 in Garden State

June 18, 2008

Local police and federal marshals rounded up and arrested nearly 600 fugitives in the state's Operation Falcon. WHYY's Mary Fuchs reports that officials are calling it the largest effort to date. Listen to the mp3 »


North Philly police raid raises questions about motive

June 18, 2008

A police raid that included federal law enforcement agents in the Francisville section of North Philadelphia has residents wondering whether it was politically motivated. Four community activists have been evicted from their homes after being arrested and let go without charges. Police say they were following up on a simple case of vandalism. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Mayor Nutter makes a big splash just in time for the summer

June 18, 2008

Mayor Michael Nutter makes the first plunge at the Bridesburg Recreation Cente. Beginning Tuesday, the city is opening its pools for the summer. All city pools will be open by June 30. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports.
Listen to the mp3 »



Local investors buy Wireless Philadelphia

June 17, 2008

A group of local investors announced today they're taking over the city's wireless internet network. Wireless Philadelphia was set-up under former Mayor John Street's administration and was billed as a potential model for cities across the country. Since then the system's been plagued by a lack of customers and equipment troubles. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Big stretch of I-76 is getting a major 4-month facelift

June 17, 2008

A 12 mile stretch of Interstate 76 in Montgomery County is getting a face lift over the next 4 months. Monday, PennDOT announced that starting Monday June 23rd, crews will begin an $8.1 million re-surfacing of the road that PennDOT estimates handles up to 186,000 vehicles a day. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


New GI Bill faces questions on funding

June 16, 2008

A vote could come in the House this week on a G.I. Bill that would cost the government more than $5 billion a year for the next ten years. The president is threatening a veto if the bill passes with the increased G.I. benefits and other domestic spending. Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy is caught between increasing education benefits for veterans and trying to bring down the national debt. For WHYY, Jodi Breisler reports from Capitol Hill. Listen to the mp3 »


City is waist deep in contract negotiations

June 16, 2008

The city is deep in contract negotiations with its 4 municipal unions including the firefighters, police, and blue collar and white collar workers'. The current contracts expire June 30th. Mayor Michael Nutter has offered to set aside $400 million to pay for union wage and benefits increases and borrow $4.5 billion to fund the city's pension plan. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Smaller Delaware cities make efforts to save on fuel costs

June 16, 2008

Many smaller municipalities in Delaware are cutting back because of the high cost of fuel. Fenwick Island, DE officials hope that adjusting some habits will result in huge savings. WHYY's Stella Payne reports on how 4-wheel beach patrols via All-Terrain vehicles are saving money for the city. Listen to the mp3 »


Personal Finance: Teaching a savings habit at an early age

June 16, 2008

This uncertain economy is making it even trickier to teach good money habits to a child. Here's personal finance expert Jeff Brown with a suggestion. Listen to the mp3 »


Local Business: Phila. hospitals taking efforts to increase kidney donors

June 16, 2008

With a little innovation, some local health care institutions are taking steps to increase availability of donor kidneys. Frank Devlin of PhiladelphiaBusinessJournal.com has more.
Listen to the mp3 »


Year long contract dispute ends

June 13, 2008

While SEPTA police duked it out with the city of Philadelphia over a new contract, one local agency quietly resolved a year long contract dispute that both sides describe as civil. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Philly is number one when it comes to stolen bikes

June 13, 2008

Philadelphia is the number one city in the nation for bicycle theft. A recent survey ranks the city above the usual hotbeds for stolen bikes - Chicago and New York City. The summer months are the worst. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports. Listen to the mp3 »


How to protect your bike:
Mike McGettigan, owner of Trophy Bikes in University City and Northern Liberties, gives tips on how to protect your bike on the mean streets of Philadelphia Listen here »


Officials are sketchy on the details of when tolls on area bridges will increase

June 11, 2008

As expected, the Delaware River Port Authority will raise tolls on area bridges. Details about the increase could soon emerge, though officials won't say exactly when. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Some city residents have no choice but to deal with the heat

June 9, 2008


Extreme temperatures are prompting early school dismissals and health warnings for the elderly and very young. Forecasters say today's 99 degree peak could be the hottest of the heat wave so far. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler spoke with some city residents who have no choice but to deal with the heat. Listen to the mp3 »


Manna opens newly renovated headquarters

June 9, 2008

Manna, the non-profit that provides meals to those in need throughout the region, is beginning its next chapter. The organization opened the doors of its newly renovated headquarters today. But tough economic times could spell trouble for Manna, as WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports. Listen to the mp3 »


High temperatures could prove deadly for elderly

June 9, 2008

As temperatures climb into the 90s, many Philadelphians are closing their windows and turning up their air conditioners. But there are plenty of elderly area residents who struggle to deal with the heat every summer, and that number could rise over the next few months. It's been 15 years since the deadly summer of 1993, when a severe heat wave in the city killed more than 100 people... many of them elderly. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


National unemployment numbers increase

June 6, 2008

New national unemployment numbers that have just been released show the country's unemployment rate spiked to 5.5% in May - the biggest monthly jump in decades. Some Philadelphia economists are anxiously waiting for the release of new local numbers in about two weeks. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


City students are getting ready to "Run the Monk 5K"

June 6, 2008

Students from across the city are preparing to run in tonight's "Run the Monk 5K" through the streets of Springfield. It's part of Students Run Philly Style. The marathon training and mentorship program helps 12 to 18 year olds from some of the city's toughest neighborhoods train for November's Philadelphia Marathon, and more. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


More info: Visit the site: Students Run Philly Style


Nutter says gun control measures will start immediately

June 5, 2008

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter says the city will start immediately enforcing three gun control measures upheld by common pleas court this week. The National Rifle Association challenged five gun bills signed by the Mayor earlier this year. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Rendell continues to push for energy legislation

June 5, 2008

Temperatures keep rising and so do energy costs leaving many area residents wondering how to keep cool and get to work without breaking the bank. Today Governor Ed Rendell is continuing his push for energy legislation and is meeting with homeowners at the Ridley Township Community Center in Folsom PA to talk about two pieces of proposed energy legislation that could help counter sky-rocketing energy costs. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


City stalls when it comes to processing tax checks

June 5, 2008

Philadelphia's finance director says the Department of Revenue is taking steps to streamline its practices when it comes to depositing tax checks. That following a report from the city controller's office saying the city has wasted millions in lost interest by not processing those checks sooner. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports. Listen to the mp3 »


City steps in with plan for home foreclosures

June 5, 2008

A plan to deal with Philadelphia's mounting foreclosures has been in the works for months and details have just been announced. WHYY's Alex Schmidt reports. Listen to the mp3 »


PA state Senate rejects latest smoking ban effort

June 5, 2008

The state Senate has rejected a compromise bill to ban smoking in most workplaces and public spaces in Pennsylvania. The chamber voted 31-19 against the measure after Democratic senators complained that is does not let Allegheny County and Scranton enforce stronger ordinances. Those two jurisdictions approved local bans but the current bill would bar any local government from passing its own ordinance with the exception of Philadelphia. The next step for the bill is unclear but the Senate may reconsider it next week. WHYY's Taunya English has more from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


Education funding reform takes another step in PA

June 5, 2008

A House panel has approved a bill that would overhaul the way Pennsylvania allocates money to public schools. WHYY's Taunya English has more. Listen to the mp3 »


Outside interests weigh in as deadline for NJ budget draws near

June 5, 2008

New Jersey lawmakers have about three weeks to wrap up the budget process. Lobbyists have just days to weigh in on the last round of budget negotiations. In New Jersey, WHYY's Jen Poyant reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Delaware troops return home to raucous greeting

June 5, 2008

The largest group of soldiers deployed from Delaware since World War II is back home today. 148 members of the Delaware Army National Guard are reunited with their families after a year in Iraq. WHYY's Andrea Boyle reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Tourism officials in Delaware hopeful despite gas prices

June 5, 2008

The slumping economy has Delaware tourism officials thinking outside the box this travel season. WHYY's Bill Cook reports. Listen to the mp3 »


The future of the city's 311 call system.

June 4, 2008

Philadelphia's managing director says the city's 311 call line will be up and running by the end of the year. The center will respond to non-emergency calls and forward them to the relevant city departments. But there's still much work to be done, as WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Mayor Nutter talks issues with WHYY's Brenda Jorett

June 3, 2008

Earlier today on Morning Edition, Brenda had a conversation with Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter to discuss a few of the issues on his plate today. Their wide ranging discussion included the Mayor's outreach to the region's other elected officials, summer recreation programs and their role in his anti-crime plan, and advances in the city government's customer service in anticipation of the oncoming 3-1-1 complaint and information line. You can listen to the entire conversation here. Listen to the mp3 »


Nutter names new head of Human Services

June 3, 2008

Mayor Michael Nutter named Anne Marie Ambrose as the new commissioner of the city's Department of Human Services. The Department has struggled to reorganize and move on after charges that DHS workers failed to protect dozens of children who died despite being known to the system. As the new DHS commissioner, Ambrose will have plenty of internal and external challenges to tackle. Her colleagues in the field are not hesitating to give her some advice on where to begin. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler has more. Listen to the mp3 »


Mayor, school CEO call for support of new school funding plan

June 3, 2008

Philadelphia's new public school chief wants the District to rethink the way it funds individual schools. On Monday, Arlene Ackerman joined Mayor Nutter and a host of education and business leaders to support Governor Ed Rendell's proposed education budget, which would boost funding for Philadelphia schools by almost 10 percent. Regardless of how much the District gets, Ackerman is already thinking about new ways to share the wealth. WHYY's Bill Hangley reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Nanticoke River gets some help from Delaware and Maryland

June 3, 2008

Officials in Delaware and neighboring Maryland are teaming up to protect the historic Nanticoke River. They gathered along the river in Sussex County to sign a special agreement which will bring aid from the National Park Service. WHYY's Kyle Schmoyer was there and has this report. Listen to the mp3 »


A success story amid the home mortgage crisis

June 3, 2008

With the ongoing saga of home foreclosures, there is at least one uplifting story of a single mom becoming a first-time homeowner through a federal program. WHYY's Megan Chiplock has the story. Listen to the mp3 »


Department of Human Services gets a new Commissioner

June 2, 2008

The city's Department of Human Services has been criticized, and reviewed, and a major overhaul is underway after charges that DHS workers failed to protect dozens of children who were known to the system. Today Mayor Michael Nutter named Anne Marie Ambrose as the new DHS Commissioner after what he called, "the toughest, most extensive search he's been involved in" to fill a position on his team. Ambrose succeeds acting DHS Commissioner Arthur Evans who was simultaneously serving as the director of the Department of Behaviorial Health. More from WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler. Listen to the mp3 »


High gas prices may lead to better air quality

June 2, 2008

As gas prices rise, and drivers start to consider mass transportation or car-pooling, experts are warning that there's another reason not to drive those gas-guzzling machines around town... air quality. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


More info: For the The Air Quality Partnership's daily air quality forecasts go to: www.dvrpc.org


New school district CEO starts today

June 2, 2008

Philadelphia's new school chief, Arlene Ackerman, officially starts her job today. Ackerman is the former head of districts in Washington DC and San Francisco. The man she is replacing says Ackerman is taking over Philadelphia's schools just in time to make some tough decisions about the future of reform. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more. Listen to the mp3 »


Local Business Report:
State efforts to help homeowners

June 2, 2008

Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering mortgage loan measures to help struggling homeowners. From the Philadelphia Business Journal.com, Frank Devlin has this report. Listen to the mp3 »


Personal Finance with Jeff Brown:
Rethinking savings bonds

June 2, 2008

Millions of Americans have U.S. Savings Bonds, but you might want to think twice about buying them now. Personal finance expert Jeff Brown explains why. Listen to the mp3 »


More info: Have a question? Contact Jeff at jeffbrown@jeffbrownfinance.net or visit his website.


A recent report by Amnesty International charges the United States, Russia, and China with failing to act on human rights problems

May 30, 2008


In an exhibit this weekend, the group hopes to draw attention to the confining conditions of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay with a cell replica. The interactive traveling display is outside City Hall starting today [Friday] through Sunday.....In honor of Amnesty International's June "Torture Awareness Month." More from WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler. Listen to the mp3 »


Republican leaders want to re-vamp the party image

May 30, 2008

Republican leaders in the US House want to re-vamp the party image in order to stave off a Democratic landslide this year. Some Republicans in the tri-state area say the agenda is fine, but others say it needs some tweaking. Matt Laslo reports from Washington. Listen to the mp3 »


State program brings more grocery shopping options to Philadelphia

May 30, 2008

With the price of food and gas rising, many city residents are thinking about saving money at nearby grocery stores. Many low income neighborhoods lack a close grocery store but a statewide program called the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative is working to change that. When the program started 4 years ago, Philadelphia had one of the fewest numbers of supermarkets per capita of any major American city. So far FFFI has given $38.9 Million in grants and loans for everything from bodega renovations to brand new supermarkets. That's funded 52 projects across the state - including 18 in Philadelphia. Thanks to that program, as of tomorrow some West Philadelphia residents will have a new shopping option...and more. More from WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler. Listen to the mp3 »


Grocery store owner Jeff Brown, and employee Al Ford with his stepson Elgin.


Produce trucks' prices jump

May 29, 2008

As the cost of food is rising and people are learning shopping smarter, many are buying fruits and vegetables out of the back of a truck. For years Philadelphians have known the cheapest food in town comes from produce trucks parked in neighborhoods around the city, but in the past few weeks their prices have jumped. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Cost of drug offender incarceration subject of scrutiny in New Jersey

May 29, 2008

How much does it cost to lock up drug offenders? A lot more than we once thought according to a report released in Trenton. WHYY's Jen Poyant reports. Listen to the mp3 »


More info: Newark Star Ledger: Lawmakers launch effort to reduce mandatory prison terms
New Jersey Voices Editor's Blog: Should NJ reform drug laws for nonviolent offenders?


Campaign for NJ Senate Seat heats up with Tuesday's Democratic Primary

May 29, 2008

With Republicans not having won a U.S. Senate seat in New Jersey since 1972, you could forgive Democrat Frank Lautenberg if earlier this year he thought he would have a fairly easy road to re-election. But that road took a detour when at the last-minute, South Jersey Congressman Rob Andrews challenged Lautenberg for the Democratic nomination. The two-month campaign ends with Tuesday's primary. For WHYY, here's Eugene Sonn. Listen to the mp3 »


Boy Scouts fight eviction as violation of 1st Amendment

May 28, 2008

The long-running dispute over gay rights that pits the City of Philadelphia against a local Boy Scout council has moved to federal court. The scouts filed a lawsuit seeking to stop the city from evicting them from their Center City headquarters. According to the city, eviction proceedings will proceed as scheduled on Saturday. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Subscription fruits and vegetables in Delaware

May 28, 2008

These aren't like your traditional "fruit of the month clubs." Community Supported Agriculture allows small farmers in and around Delaware to get a little boost while residents enjoy locally-grown, competitively-priced produced. WHYY's Andrea Boyle took a tour of one such farm and has this report. Listen to the mp3 »


More info: USDA: Community Supported Agriculture
Gardens.com: Find your local CSA


Delaware beaches brace for hurricane season

May 28, 2008

The Atlantic hurricane season begins in less than a week, with up to 16 named storms predicted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and up to nine brewing into hurricanes. Delaware Emergency Management are urging people to be prepared. WHYY's Kyle Schmoyer reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Former Philadelphians react to city gun control bills

May 27, 2008

A judge could rule as early as this week on a package of 5 city gun control bills. Last week the city defended the bills' legality against a lawsuit from local gun store owners and the National Rifle Association. The ordinances would require gun owners report lost or stolen weapons, limit handgun purchases to one a month, and restrict the sale and posession of assault weapons. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler caught up with some former Philadelphians to ask what they think of the bills. Listen to the mp3 »


Auction planned for historic artifacts

May 27, 2008

The state Historical and Museum Commission plans to auction off about 300 pieces of Pennsylvania history. From Harrisburg, WHYY's Scott Gilbert reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Local Chinese Americans are working hard to help earthquake victims

May 26, 2008

While Chinese government officials struggle to deal with the earthquake that's left tens of thousands dead, missing, or injured, local Chinese Americans are working hard to raise money to send back home. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


SEPTA, cops call in reinforcements for contract negotiations

May 26, 2008

Pennsylvania state mediators will be meeting with SEPTA officials this week to attempt to hammer our a labor agreement with the transit system's police officers. SEPTA police have been working without a contract for two and a half years and are threatening to strike. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Rendell continues to push energy proposals

May 26, 2008

Governor Ed Rendell is urging lawmakers to take up his Energy Independence Strategy package of bills. WHYY's Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


A region remembers this Memorial Day

May 26, 2008

WHYY's Peter Crimmins and Bill Hangley traveled to various parts of the Greater Philadelphia area to find out how the region's residents planned to spend their Memorial Day. Area residents remembered the men and women who fought and died in the nation's armed forces.
In downtown Philadelphia, a few hundred gathered in Schuylkill River Park to join a ceremony honoring three fallen Navy seals. Hangley has that story. Listen to the mp3 »
Meanwhile, Crimmins took a tour of the city's various war memorials including some which are often overlooked. Listen to the mp3 »


Memorial Day kicks off grilling season

May 26, 2008

Memorial Day kicks off grilling season. But don't think you are limited to steaks, burgers and hot dogs. WHYY's Lari Robling spoke with Steven Raichlen, the master of food and fire, about putting a vegetarian spin on your grill. Listen to the mp3 »


Building demolition shuts down North Broad Street

May 23, 2008

Starting this morning and continuing for the next eight days, North Broad Street will be closed to all vehicles between City Hall and Arch Street as workers tear down the old Odd Fellows Temple building at Broad and Cherry Streets. It's one of just two buildings remaining on the site of the Pennsylvania Convention Center's expansion. WHYY's Bill Hangley donned a hard hat to get this story. Listen to the mp3 »


Nutter unveils plan to fight prison overcrowding

May 23, 2008

The Nutter Administration has a plan to reduce Philadelphia's prison population by targeting low bail inmates and those with mental health problems. In a report released this week, Nutter promises to improve staff morale and implement programs that will reduce recidivism. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


More info: It's Our City blog: Comment about Nutter's prison plan


Recession could take toll on region's vacation plans

May 23, 2008

Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial beginning of the summer, which means it's vacation season. Hotels and retailers at the Jersey Shore and in Philadelphia are getting ready for less money flowing out of the pockets of tourists. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Giving higher gas prices the "scoot" in Delaware

May 23, 2008

With budgets being pinched by prices at the pumps, alternate modes of transportation are being considered. WHYY's Kyle Schmoyer reports that some people are option for two wheels and about 150 cc's of power. Listen to the mp3 »


Consumer Reports: Evaluating cell phone navigation

May 23, 2008

If you need directions only occasionally, a cell phone with navigation capabilities might be a good alternative. Here's Consumer Reports electronics editor Paul Reynolds. Listen to the mp3 »


More info: You can find out more at consumerreports.org


Perzel takes aim at parole violators

May 22, 2008

For years the city's politicans and police officers have been calling on judges to keep violent criminals in prison for full sentences. Now some local lawmakers say they're renewing that call - in light of the recent murder of sargent Stephen Liczbinski by three men with extensive criminals records. More from WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler. Listen to the mp3 »


Being "Green" expected to mean more green($) for PA

May 22, 2008

So called "Green Collar" jobs have become a major selling point for Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell's Energy Independence Strategy. From Harrisburg, WHYY's Taunya English reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Area drivers react as Big Oil profits examined by Congress

May 22, 2008

Oil prices on Wednesday blew past $130 per barrel for the first time and kept on rising. Meanwhile, Big Oil executives faced tough questionning on Capitol Hill as they defended their record profits.
Exxon Mobil executive vice president Stephen Simon testifed that his company and the nation's four other top oil companies have had huge profits in "absolute terms" but he explained to a a Senate committee that what he called "current up cycle" profits are needed to cover investments when profits are down.
Senator Arlen Specter pressed for an explanation for why Exxon Mobil's annual profits have increased from $11.5 billion to more than $40 billion in the past five years. Specter pointed out that drivers in his state are feeling the pinch, now paying over $4.00 per gallon. WHYY's Susan Phillips spoke to drivers who were trying to fill up at the tank. Listen to the mp3 »


Charter schools in danger from District cuts

May 22, 2008

Charter school advocates are disappointed that the School District of Philadelphia can't find more funds to support charters. On Wednesday, the School Reform Commission approved charters for seven new schools but denied six other applicants because of budget constraints. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more. Listen to the mp3 »


Combatting lead poisoning in New Jersey

May 21, 2008

Camden city officials are taking steps to stop lead poisoning in the city. That move follows a report showing that cities in New Jersey have disproportionately high incidences of lead poisoning. WHYY's Shai Ben-Yaacov reports. Listen to the mp3 »


More info: Getting The Lead Out: The Lead Poisoning Crisis in New Jersey


Suspect charged in vandalism at Boeing

May 21, 2008

An assembly line worker is charged with vandalizing a military helicopter at Boeing's suburban Philadelphia factory. In Part One of this story, WHYY's Susan Phillips reports that federal prosecutors are still trying to determine who damaged a second helicopter at the plant. Listen to the mp3 »

Meanwhile, the lawyer appointed to represent the accused says her client is "very concerned and very remorseful." In Part Two, Phillips reports that prosecutors, led by U.S. Attorney Pat Meehan say that the alleged vandal could be in for a lengthy jail sentence if convicted. Listen to the mp3 »


City, NRA face off in court over gun laws

May 21, 2008

The court case about the legality of the city's gun control laws is quickly moving towards a ruling. On Monday, the city and plaintiffs - including local gun store owners and the National Rifle Association - agreed to submit their legal positions in writing rather than hashing them all out in court. On Tuesday, the parties met in the courtroom of Judge Jane Cutler Greenspan who questioned whether the plaintiffs have legal standing to challenge three of the ordinances. More from WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler. Listen to the mp3 »


New Jersey towns fight cuts to state funds

May 21, 2008

In a last-ditch effort to protect funding for municipalities in the state budget, about 125 New Jersey mayors headed to Trenton to meet with lawmakers. WHYY's Jen Poyant has the story. Listen to the mp3 »


Diversity the focus among students in New Jersey

May 21, 2008

Hundreds of New Jersey High School students are gearing up for a special education program that focuses on diversity. From the Garden State, WHYY's Jen Poyant has more.
Listen to the mp3 »


Push is on to improve PA biz conditions

May 21, 2008

Business owners from across the state were at the Capitol on Tuesday to ask lawmakers to improve Pennsylvania's business climate. WHYY's Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


Salvation for the Salvation Army in Delaware

May 21, 2008

Facing hard times, now the Salvation Army is making a temporary home more like home - with major renovations. WHYY's Andrea Boyle reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Auto break-ins net another arrest in Dover

May 21, 2008

Dover police make another arrest in a connection with a rash of car break-ins throughout the city. Police say thieves hit more than 130 cars in just three months. WHYY Dover Bureau Chief Bill Cook reports that the ring appears to have been broken up thanks to a single phone call. Listen to the mp3 »


DA adds to investigation of cop beating

May 20, 2008

The Philadelphia District Attorney says it's very likely she will use a grand jury to investigate whether criminal charges should be filed in the police beating case. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


"Next of Kin" connects police, victims

May 20, 2008

Last night marked the first session of Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey's new initiative - Next of Kin. The program facilitates meetings between relatives of homicide victims and the detectives working on their cases. WHYY's Alex Schmidt reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Testimony in city gun hearing continues

May 20, 2008

The city, local gun store owners, and the National Rifle Association are expected back in court today to argue whether the city's gun control laws are legal. Yesterday the defendants and plaintiffs met in court and agreed to some time-saving measures. More from WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler. Listen to the mp3 »


Police Commissioner takes swift action on cop beating, FOP responds

May 20, 2008

The Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police say they will challenge the firing of four officers involved in a police beating caught on tape two weeks ago by a television news camera. Four other officers were also disciplined for the incident, which made national headlines. WHYY's Susan Phillips reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Delaware beaches recover from storm blasts

May 20, 2008

The race is on to assess - and repair - damage done to Delaware's beaches, which are still recovering from last week's Nor'easter. With Memorial Day weekend just days away, the Department of Natural Resources is trying to get the beaches back to normal. WHYY's Dover Bureau Chief Bill Cook has the latest. Listen to the mp3 »


Liberty Bell guards continue fight to unionize

May 20, 2008

Officials at the Wackenhut Corporation say they have no plans to recognize the union that wants to represent the men and women who guard the Liberty Bell. Union officials were joined by Congressmen Chaka Fattah and Patrick Murphy on Independence Mall yesterday to announce a national push to organize the 40,000 security guards working for Wackenhut across the country. WHYY's Bill Hangley has more. Listen to the mp3 »


Wilmington, DE streets a dangerous place for vendors

May 20, 2008

Citing recent tragic incidents, one Wilmington councilman wants to take steps to regulate vendors - including newspaper sellers - who sell their wares from the middle of Wilmington's streets. WHYY's Andrea Boyle reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Presentation of evidence in city gun hearing speeds up

May 19, 2008

Today the city started defending it's passing of 5 gun control bills against a lawsuit from local gun store owners and the National Rifle Association. The plaintiffs say the ordinances infringe on constitutional rights and on the state's right to regulate firearms. The testimony and presentations of evidence could have gone on for hours between the city's firearms and medical experts and the plaintiff's gun owners and NRA witnesses. Instead, today the parties decided to fast track the trial. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports. Listen to the mp3 »


City Gun Hearing Begins

May 19, 2008

Today's just the beginning of what's expected to be a contentious legal battle between the administration and the National Rifle Association and local gun stores owners. The city is defending 5 gun control ordinances Mayor Michael Nutter signed into law last month. Local gun store owners and the National Rifle Association promptly sued - calling the legislation unconstitutional. They successfully petitioned a judge not to let the city enforce the laws until a final ruling came down from the hearing that begins today. More from WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler. Listen to the mp3 »


Delaware non-profits feeling the pinch

May 19, 2008

Tight economic times have taken a toll on area non-profits. One clinic is about to close its doors, another is changing its staff to meet the needs of a changing demographic. WHYY's Megan Chiplock has more on how groups that help the youn and old, disabled and poor, are just trying to survive.
Listen to the mp3 »


Pennsylvania looks to donors to help sick and uninsured

May 19, 2008

Pennsylvania has created a prescription drug donation program that may benefit uninsured cancer patients. WHYY's Taunya English reports from Harrisburg. Listen to the mp3 »


"Stop snitching" continues to frustrate law enforcement

May 19, 2008

The single most difficult obstacle to prosecuting violent criminals in Philadelphia is the refusal of witnesses to testify in court. Last Friday, Mark Gilson, Assistant District Attorney for the City of Philadelphia, talked about his own experiences at a panel discussion about the city's Stop Snitching culture. WHYY's Peter Crimmins reports. Listen to the mp3 »


Gun store owners are up in arms over proposed city gun legislation

May 16, 2008

The city is getting ready to face off with local gun store owners and the National Rifle Association in court on Monday. In mid-April Mayor Michael Nutter signed 5 city gun bills into law including ones that would require gun owners to report lost or stolen weapons to police within 24 hours, one that would ban possession or sale of assault weapons within city limits, and another that would limit firearm purchases to one a month. The groups opposing the bills say they break the law, and won't solve the city's crime problem. More from WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler. Listen to the mp3 »


What it's like to bike to work

May 16, 2008

Today is "National Bike to Work Day" and riders including Mayor Michael Nutter are hopping on their two wheeled machines and heading out the door. They're capping off a week of events designed to get more commuters to bike to work and ease fears about safety. WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler hit the road to ask some seasoned bikers what it's like.
Listen to the mp3 »


State of Center City

May 15, 2008

Today the Center City district released its annual "State of Center City" report. It shows some big positives: office occupancy is up, hotel rates and residential rents are rising, and crime is down for the 15th year in a row. As WHYY's Elizabeth Fiedler reports, there are still plenty of changes and challenges awaiting people who live, work, shop, and eat, downtown. Listen to the mp3 »


More info: View the full report


Tourism Expectations

May 15, 2008

The tourism industry in the United States could be holding its collective breath with the summer season upon us. The flagging economy could be pinching vacation budgets for many people. WHYY Morning Edition's Brenda Jorett talked with NJ Travel and Tourism Division Executive Director Nancy Byrne and Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation CEO Meryl Levitz about the outlook for the vacation season. Listen to the mp3 »