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Introducing The Lineup, a New Newscast on Roku and Apple TV from NBC10

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We’re proud to introduce The Lineup, NBC10’s new newscast on Roku and Apple TV!

Hosted by NBC10’s Erin Coleman and Keith Jones, The Lineup is a quick way to catch up on the news you need – and the news you’ll be talking about – all day long.

New episodes of The Lineup will premiere on the NBC10 Roku or Apple TV app at 9 a.m. Monday through Friday, but you can watch any time that you need to get up to speed.

To watch The Lineup, search “NBC10” on in the app store on your Roku or Apple TV. Download our app, and you’ll see The Lineup.

man and woman in studio
Keith Jones and Erin Coleman

On The Lineup, Keith and Erin give you a quick summary of the most important local news and the national news that affects you. They get a chance to discuss and reflect. And you can join the conversation too, by following Keith and Erin on Facebook and Instagram.

And while you are in our Roku and Apple TV apps, make sure to check out the always-updated weather forecast and local news – plus NBC10’s special reports.


How to Watch the Wawa Welcome America Concert: on NBC10, Streaming & More

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Can’t make it to Philadelphia for the Wawa Welcome America Concert? Here’s how you can watch from home — or anywhere you are!

How to Watch:

There’s no reason to miss out on Wawa’s 4th of July festivities this year. NBC10 and Telemundo62 invite guests to watch our coverage of Wawa Welcome America any of these ways:

The live concert and fireworks coverage will also be live streamed NBC10’s YouTube and Facebook page.

If you want to watch in Spanish, join “Wawa Welcome America Philly’s 4th of July Concert” at 7 p.m. on TeleXitos, Telemundo62.com, the Telemundo62 Roku and AppleTV apps or the Telemundo62 mobile app.

When to Watch:

Sunday, July 4:

“Celebration of Freedom Ceremony”: 6 p.m. on NBC10, NBC10.com and the NBC10 mobile and connected TV apps

First Lady Dr. Jill Biden will appear at the ceremony, which also features remarks by Mayor Jim Kenney and a variety of guest speakers. The events all take place at Independence Hall.

The show will feature an inspiring reading of the Declaration of Independence from “The Voice” star Cam Anthony, the presentation of the Mayor’s Magis Award, Wawa Foundation Hero Award, and Freedom Mortgage’s Celebrate Freedom Award as well as musical performances by the Philly POPS.

This event is presented by Freedom Mortgage, one of the nation’s largest full-service mortgage companies, and supported by Visit Philadelphia.  

“Wawa Welcome America Philly’s 4th of July Concert”: 7 p.m. on NBC10, NBC10.com and the NBC10 mobile and connected TV apps

Broadcast live on NBC10, TeleXitos, CoziTV, NBC Sports Philadelphia+, and LX from the TD Pavilion at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts. Hosted by Jim Rosenfield, Jacqueline London, Erin Coleman, and Keith Jones, the program will feature live performances by Cam Anthony and the Philly POPS; pop artist Bebe Rexha, and top-selling rap artist, Flo Rida.  

“Wawa Welcome America Philly’s 4th of July Fireworks”: 9:30 p.m.

From 9:30 p.m. to 10 p.m., watch the complete fireworks spectacular live from the iconic Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

“Best of July 4th Celebration”: Monday, 7:30 p.m.

Stay tuned on Monday, July 5 for NBC10’s coverage of the festival’s highlights, to relive the fireworks and celebrations all over again!

Find It on 10: Today's Links

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Looking for more information about a subject you saw featured on NBC10 News? Find it here!

MONDAY, JULY 5

Tyson Foods Chicken Recall

MONDAY, JUNE 28

Philadelphia TSA Officer Job

FRIDAY, JUNE 25

Camp Jamison

THURSDAY, JUNE 24

TSA jobs: here or here

The Veterans Group

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 23

ACCT Philly

Garces Foundation

TUESDAY, JUNE 22

Philadelphia Police Athletic League

Smoke & Mirrors Magic Theater

MONDAY, JUNE 21

ABC Men

Child Tax Credit information

Moss Rehab Livestream Featuring Ali Stroker

Wawa Foundation Hero Award

FRIDAY, JUNE 18

Survey for Percent for Art at Mann Rivera Center

THURSDAY, JUNE 17

Philadelphia 2026

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 9

Unity in the Community 215

New Egypt High School Business Academy

TUESDAY, JUNE 8

Women’s Animal Center

MONDAY, JUNE 7

All Faiths Vaccination Campaign

SATURDAY, JUNE 5

Dino Stroll

FRIDAY, JUNE 4

Garbage Bag Gala 2021

THURSDAY, JUNE 3

Einstein Healthcare Network’s Pride Program

LBGTQ+ & Health

Pride Month with the Free Library of Philadelphia

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 2

Phillies Charities

TUESDAY, JUNE 1

CF Charities

NAMI Bucks County

Positive Coaching Alliance

Public Vote for Penn’s Landing Art Project

MONDAY, MAY 31

Get help with benefits from BenePhilly

Opera Philadelphia’s “Soldier Songs”

FRIDAY, MAY 28

Virtual Poppy Wall

WEDNESDAY, MAY 26

The Zac Foundation

Army Veterans, Already Ill From Burn Pits, Now Fear COVID-19

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Philadelphia Latino Film Festival

MONDAY, MAY 24

Birds, ‘Boys and Bad Blood

Raising Brains book

FRIDAY, MAY 21

LowTides beach chairs

Songlorious

THURSDAY, MAY 20

Yardbird

WEDNESDAY, MAY 19

Bethesda Project

TUESDAY, MAY 18

Freedom Apothecary

MONDAY, MAY 17

Center City Restaurant Week

Corinne Sikora Wellness & Support Center

SAGE Design-Build

FRIDAY, MAY 14

Huntingdon Valley Library

THURSDAY, MAY 13

Philadelphia Lifeguard Information

Virtua Care After COVID

TUESDAY, MAY 11

Attic Brewing Co.

MONDAY, MAY 10

The Herbal Zen

FRIDAY, MAY 7

Ardmore Restaurant Week

DePaul’s Table

East Passyunk Avenue

THURSDAY, MAY 6

Craft Tea

WEDNESDAY, MAY 5

Rental help:

Mann Center Events

Dad Vail Regatta

TUESDAY, MAY 4

Boys & Girls Clubs of Philadelphia

Dine Latino Restaurant Week

Mixto Restaurante

MONDAY, MAY 3

Tails & Trails 5K

Freebies for COVID vaccines

FRIDAY, APRIL 30

Red Rabbit

THURSDAY, APRIL 29

Augusto’s of Madison

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 28

Woodford Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge

TUESDAY, APRIL 27

March for Babies

MONDAY, APRIL 26

DART Stuff the Bus

Never Grow Up Vacations

Philadelphia Summer Camps

FRIDAY, APRIL 23

COVID-19 Vaccine hotline for people 60 and older: 1-800-424-4351

Drug Takeback Day

THURSDAY, APRIL 22

Flyers’ ‘Take Your Shot’ Campaign

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21

Bryn Athyn Orchestra

TUESDAY, APRIL 20

Girls Know How book series

Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work

MONDAY, APRIL 19

Philly Theatre Week

Latest stories about cicadas:

Fish ‘Filet Mignon’: Cicadas Are Coming to Pennsylvania

‘Brood X’ Cicadas Set to Make Noisy Emergence After 17 Years

Cicadas, Lanternflies Could Cause a Tricky Summer for the Bug-Averse

SUNDAY, APRIL 18

Philadelphia Distance Run

FRIDAY, APRIL 16

Philadelphia Laser & Industrial Design (PLAID)

Sunday TODAY With Willie Geist

THURSDAY, APRIL 15

Independence Blue Cross Blue Crew

Musicopia

Ready. Set. Philly!

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 14

Salus University Charity

Clean Air Council

Philadelphia pools need lifeguards

Run for Clean Air

TUESDAY, APRIL 13

Women’s Animal Center

SUNDAY, APRIL 11

Email for free self-defense classes:  logicjiujitsu@gmail.com

FRIDAY, APRIL 9

Boarding House in Cape May

Parks on Tap

THURSDAY, APRIL 8

Pennsylvania’s Office of Advocacy and Reform

Philadelphia School District’s Summer 2021 Academic Programming

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 7

Two Locals Brewing Company

TUESDAY, APRIL 6

Homeward Bound Pet Adoption Center

MONDAY, APRIL 5

Delaware’s “Recyclopedia” — what to recycle and how

Latitudes and Longitudes

TUESDAY, MARCH 30

Schedule a vaccine appointment in Delaware

The Monkey’s Uncle

FRIDAY, MARCH 26

CrossFit Main Line

Sign-a-Riffic

THURSDAY, MARCH 25

‘Big Time: Life in an Endangerous Age’ at the Philadelphia Zoo

Citizen’s Bank Park Career Fair

Lisa’s Army

Canceling NJ Vaccination Appointments

Virtua: Try to cancel via MyChart app; Visit https://www.virtua.org/cancel/ to request a cancellation; or call 888-VIRTUA-3

Camden County College: Cancel via the MyCooper platform or call 856-549-0530

Rowan Medicine Site: Cancel at this website: https://rowanmedicine.com/vaccine/cancel.html

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 24

Ready. Set. Philly.

Widener University’s High School Leadership Awards

TUESDAY, MARCH 23

Brandywine Valley SPCA

MONDAY, MARCH 22

Independence Seaport Museum

SUNDAY, MARCH 21

Black Diamond Queens: African American Women and Rock and Roll

SATURDAY, MARCH 20

Philadelphia zip codes where residents can get walk-up vaccinations

FRIDAY, MARCH 19

NBC10 Responds: Amazon Impersonators

Boxed Sourcing

THURSDAY, MARCH 18

Visit Philly Jobs

Chinese Immigrant Family Wellness Initiative

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 17

Brittingham’s Pub

TUESDAY, MARCH 16

Find a Blood Drive

St. Patrick’s Day ‘Stew Thru’

Philadelphia’s public meetings on water and sewer rates

MONDAY, MARCH 15

The list of 35 Philadelphia School District schools that will open March 22 is:

  • Bache-Martin School
  • Clara Barton School
  • James G. Blaine School
  • Bridesburg School
  • George W. Childs School
  • James Dobson School
  • Paul L. Dunbar School
  • Edwin Forrest School
  • Anne Frank Elementary School
  • Stephen Girard  School
  • Samuel Gompers School
  • Avery D. Harrington School
  • Jenks Academy for Arts and Sciences
  •  Francis S. Key School
  • Eliza B. Kirkbride School
  • Anna L. Lingelbach School
  • James R. Lowell School
  • James R. Ludlow  School
  • Alexander K. McClure School
  • William M. Meredith School
  • Robert Morris School
  • Motivation High School
  • George W. Nebinger School
  • Joseph Pennell  School
  • Richmond School
  • Roosevelt Elementary School
  • William Rowen School
  • Solomon Solis-Cohen School
  • South Philadelphia High School
  • Spring Garden School
  • James J. Sullivan  School
  • John H. Taggart  School
  • George Washington High School
  • S. Weir Mitchell Elementary School
  • William H. Ziegler School

Little Miss Moffitt Baker

FRIDAY, MARCH 12

AL DÍA Women of Merit

Pennsylvania COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program (CHIRP)

THURSDAY, MARCH 11

Teach in Philly

The Trouble I’ve Seen: COVID-19 Portraits

NBC10 Responds — Here are some links for those who want to file an unemployment claim or speak with a claims specialist, by state:

Here are community legal aid programs:

Pennsylvania:

New Jersey:

Delaware:

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 10

Bridal Gown Giveaway

With Love Philly Notes

TUESDAY, MARCH 9

Mama’s Meatballs

MONDAY, MARCH 8

Poke Burri

FRIDAY, MARCH 5

Comcast RISE

THURSDAY, MARCH 4

Autsome Brushes

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 3

Providence Animal Center

TUESDAY, MARCH 2

Shipmate Fulfillment

MONDAY, MARCH 1

Gross McCleaf Gallery

Project Tamale

FRIDAY, FEB. 25

Tilton Park by Sug Daniels

Six Flags Great America Job Fair

THURSDAY, FEB. 25

Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 24

Lucky Dawg Animal Rescue

TUESDAY, FEB. 23

Her Daughters Cafe

MONDAY, FEB. 22

Makers Off Main

FRIDAY, FEB. 19

Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium

Pennsylvania SPCA

ReAnimator Coffee Roasters’ Puppy Love Blend

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 17

Trunc

TUESDAY, FEB. 16

DIY Kit Creations

MONDAY, FEB. 15

National Constitution Center

FRIDAY, FEB. 12

Small Business Administration

New small business grants

Chef Big Rube’s Kitchen

THURSDAY, FEB. 11

Bucks County vaccine preregistration: 1-800-383-0371 or click here

Taqueria Amor

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 10

Neuchatel Swiss Chocolates

Vote for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees

TUESDAY, FEB. 9

Pennsylvania’s “Your Turn” website to check on vaccine eligibility

Marks Jewelers

MONDAY, FEB. 8

Farrell’s Florist

SUNDAY, FEB. 7

Academy of Notre Dame de Namur’s 48th Annual Virtual Fine Art Show & Sale

SATURDAY, FEB. 6

PlowPHL map, tracking Philly’s snow-plowing progress

FRIDAY, FEB. 5

Go Red for Women

THURSDAY, FEB. 4

Karma Cat and Zen Dog Rescue Society

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 3

Meatball U:

Sun Reys Beach Rentals

FRIDAY, JAN. 29

Earned Income Tax Credit

La Famigilia Restorante

Simeti’s Gymnastics Academy

THURSDAY, JAN. 28

More on Philly’s Restaurant and Gym Relief program

Marriott Courtyard Philadelphia South at The Navy Yard

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 27

The Philadelphia Citizen

TUESDAY, JAN. 26

The Wellness Collective

MONDAY, JAN. 25

Simpson House Tea Room

FRIDAY, JAN. 22

Buddha Babe Boutique

THURSDAY, JAN. 21

Sugartown Soaps

TUESDAY, JAN. 19

TerraVida Holistic Centers

MONDAY, JAN. 18

Forgotten Angels Equine Rescue

SATURDAY, JAN. 16

Bensalem Unity Week

The Giving Tree

FRIDAY, JAN. 15

Cornerstone Bed & Breakfast in Philadelphia

THURSDAY, JAN. 14

Hilton Garden Inn Camden Waterfront

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 13

Delaware County Citizens Corps

Chris’ Jazz Cafe

TUESDAY, JAN. 12

Black Doctors Consortium

Hawthornes

Pivot Coffee & Soupery

MONDAY, JAN. 11

Bungee Brand

SUNDAY, JAN. 10

Build your path to a new job with the Occupational Mobility Explorer

FRIDAY, JAN. 7

Bison Coffee Company

THURSDAY, JAN. 6

Shawnee Mountain Ski Area

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 6

Old City Canning Co.

TUESDAY, JAN. 5

Harth Builders

MONDAY, JAN. 4

KP Aesthetics

FRIDAY, JAN. 1

The Federal Stimulus Bill Explainer webinar from the Urban League of Philadelphia, U.S. Rep. Dwight Evans and Pa. Sen. Vincent Hughes
(Note: This link does not work well in Chrome; if it does not work for you, try another web browser.)

THURSDAY, DEC. 31

Bethesda Project

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 30

Animal Rescue League of Berks County

TUESDAY, DEC. 29

Bald Birds Brewing Co.

MONDAY, DEC. 28

Historic King George II Inn

THURSDAY, DEC. 24

Delaware Humane Association

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 23

Brandywine Valley SPCA

TUESDAY, DEC. 22

Providence Animal Center

Holiday Movie Night at Bar Lucca

MONDAY, DEC. 21

Itri Wood Fired

Mental Health Resources in Pennsylvania

FRIDAY, DEC. 18

Bristol Riverside Theatre

CHOP toy drive

THURSDAY, DEC. 17

B101 Christmas Choir Competition Voting

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 16

PA 511 for road conditions

Naked Brewing Company

TUESDAY, DEC. 15

MVP Recovery Now

MONDAY, DEC. 14

ACCT Philly

TODAY teams up with Feeding America

SUNDAY, DEC. 13

“Dolls for Daughters” toy drive

The “Illegal is the Project” documentary

FRIDAY, DEC. 11

The Joy of Giving

Moderna at Rittenhouse

U.S. Construction Inc.

THURSDAY, DEC. 10

Curiosity Doughnuts

Pennsylvania SPCA Animal Cruelty Line

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 9

Cunningham Piano Company

TUESDAY, DEC. 8

Salon Glam

MONDAY, DEC. 7

Noble Earth

The Wardrobe

SUNDAY, DEC. 6

Musicopia

FRIDAY, DEC. 4

COVID testing at PHL

And more COVID testing at PHL

American Red Cross Blood Drives

Burlington County Sheriff’s Department Toy Drive

This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

What's Killing the Songbirds in Pennsylvania?

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Hundreds of young songbirds have died in the last month — and wildlife experts don’t know why.

A mysterious illness is causing a high number of songbird deaths across Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Local wildlife experts first became aware of the unknown health condition in late May, and have since seen it spread throughout the area.

Scientists have ruled out a number of causes — such as West Nile Virus and avian influenza virus– but they still haven’t found the culprit. Diagnostic laboratories, including a collaboration between The Pennsylvania Game Commission and the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine’s Wildlife Futures Program, are trying to determine what’s going on.

“At this early stage, we do not know what is causing the illness. Diagnostic tests are pending,” Penn Vet Communications Director Martin Hackett wrote in a statement to NBC10. “Investigations of newly emerging wildlife diseases are always a challenge due to all the unknowns – and it takes time.

Symptoms of the illness include crusty and swollen eyes that make it difficult for the birds to see. Neurologic issues that cause the birds to stumble, fall over or have erratic flight patterns are also common. 

The disease has killed songbirds including blue jays, robins, common grackles, starlings, cardinals and finches. It is most common in young birds who have just left the nest.

The occurrences appear to be concentrated where the borders of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware meet. 

Pennsylvania has the highest number of reports from the Southeast Region counties. New Jersey has received the most reports from counties hugging the Pennsylvania border, including Mercer, Somerset, Middlesex, Hunterdon and Warren. New Castle county in Delaware, which is located in the north of the state, has seen the highest number of reports.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission believes about 500 bird deaths are associated with the mysterious illness statewide.

Nicole Lewis, a wildlife veterinarian at the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife,  said she has received around 30 carcasses of birds killed by the health condition, as well as around 50 emails each day from New Jersey residents reporting dead or deceased birds. 

Wildlife biologist Jordan Terrell, who works for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, said she suspects about 100 birds have died from the illness in Delaware.

Delaware and Pennsylvania are recommending that people take down their bird feeders and bird baths for the time being to stop birds from gathering and potentially spreading the illness. 

“Since we’re not sure what it is, we can’t guarantee how it spreads, so just eliminating a lot of those areas in which birds would not normally congregate naturally is the first step to take,” Terrell said. 

New Jersey is only recommending that you take down and clean bird feeders and bird baths if you find dead or deceased birds on your property. To properly clean your bird feeder, use a 10% bleach solution and then let it air dry.

Jason Weckstein, the associate curator of ornithology at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, said that it is probably smart to take a conservative approach and ask people to take their bird feeders down. He added that not all of the affected species are feeder birds, pointing to the American Robin.

He believes it is possible there is more than one problem that is causing the mortality event, and said more sampling must be performed on the birds to determine what’s going on.

“There’s a lot of missing information and I think throwing birds out is going to make it hard to get that information,” Weckstein said.

If you see a dead or diseased bird in New Jersey, you can email Lewis at nicole.lewis@dep.nj.gov with all of the information you have, including the county or township and any photos. Lewis recommends wearing gloves, double bagging the bird and disposing of any dead birds in your regular garbage. If the bird is alive, you can take it to your local wildlife rehabilitator or call animal control.

In Pennsylvania, you can report occurrences to the Wildlife Futures Program online. The state is also advising people to dispose of dead birds with household trash to prevent disease transmission to other birds and wildlife.

In Delaware you can call the Division of Fish and Wildlife at 302-735-3600 to report a dead bird, with information about the species, color and size, as well as the address where it was found. If you see a live bird that appears sick in Delaware you can call the Tri-State Bird Rescue at 302-737-9543. 

If you find a dead bird in Delaware, you should bury it or throw it in the trash, Terrell said. But if it’s a fresh carcass that shows symptoms of the unknown illness, Terrell might be interested in sending it to the lab as a sample.

“This mortality event we’re relying heavily on the public to help us out — removing those feeders, those bird baths and making those reports is really crucial,” Terrell said. “The public has been a great help because obviously we can’t have eyes everywhere in the state.” 

Lyft to Restart Shared Rides in Philadelphia

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The cheapest option when ordering a Lyft will return to Philadelphia on Monday as the company once again begins to allow people to share rides.

The news comes as COVID-19 pandemic restrictions continue to ease in many parts of the country. However, some pandemic restrictions will still apply, like mask-wearing for all and a limit on the number of riders.

To maximize space between riders, each vehicle will be limited to two riders plus the driver, meaning users won’t be able to book a shared ride for two people, Lyft spokesman Ryan Phillips said in a press release. In addition, the front and middle seats must remain empty, and neither eating nor drinking will be allowed during the ride.

On the plus side, the shared ride option will have new features like being able to schedule a ride up to 30 minutes in advance. The new shared ride routes will now also be fixed, meaning riders won’t be hit with unexpected route changes or pickups for other riders.

Lyft plans to continue reinstating shared rides in other cities over the next few months. The option is set to roll out in Chicago and Denver on July 26.

Kenney Won't Declare a Citywide Emergency for Philly's Gun Violence

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What to Know

With the city on pace to have its deadliest year on record, Mayor Jim Kenney said he doesn’t plan on declaring a citywide emergency for Philadelphia’s surging gun violence, arguing that a declaration would have no impact in strengthening his administration’s current anti-violence initiatives.

More than 300 people have been killed in Philadelphia in 2021. Over the weekend, dozens of people, including a 1-year-old boy, were injured in at least 37 separate shootings. 

Last year, city council approved a resolution introduced by councilmember Jamie Gauthier (3rd District) calling for Mayor Kenney to declare a citywide emergency due to the gun violence crisis.

After Governor Andrew Cuomo issued the first-in-the-nation Executive Order declaring gun violence in New York as a Disaster Emergency earlier this month, some wondered if Kenney would follow suit and declare one of his own for Philadelphia. 

In a letter sent to Gauthier on Monday however, Kenney wrote that he would not make the declaration. 

“I agree with you that the public deserved greater transparency and communication about the administration’s commitment to anti-violence and I’m pleased that these are now occurring,” Kenney wrote. “But, after serious consideration I believe the simple declaration of some emergency or disaster akin to that signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo for the state of New York is not a solution that will demonstrably change conditions in Philadelphia for several reasons.”

While Kenney acknowledged that calls for a disaster or emergency declaration are meant to unlock additional resources, he also said the city had already done so by allocating over $150 million to gun violence prevention in the recently approved 2022 budget. 

“This money is independent of the hundreds of millions of dollars the City already spends on solving some of the deeper root causes of violence,” Kenney wrote. “The funding does include over $20 million in money for community-based organizations working to intercede and stop violence before it occurs, and substantial new funding for job opportunities for those at the highest risk of committing or being a victim of violence.”

Kenney also said he’d welcome additional state resources and changes to regulations that “stem access and the flow of illegal guns.” 

“I have discussed this with the Governor directly, and my Administration is working closely with Attorney General Shapiro on the issue of illegal guns,” Kenney wrote.

Kenney also refuted arguments that an emergency declaration would lead to a more coordinated response to gun violence. 

“The reality is that our Administration has been working to address violence in a coordinated fashion for several years, dating back to the release of the first Roadmap to Safer Communities in 2019, with further refinement with the updated Roadmap release this past April,” he wrote. “Every week I meet with a team of officials from the Philadelphia Police Department, Managing Director’s Office, Office of Children and Families, Philadelphia Department of Public Health, and other departments to hear directly about our on the ground work and our progress and setbacks.”

Kenney also acknowledged that there were areas to improve and that he planned on deepening the Philadelphia Department of Public Health’s coordination and reporting role in their efforts against gun violence. 

“That said, a disaster or emergency declaration would have no discernible impact on strengthening what is already a highly collaborative and innovative approach to addressing this public health crisis,” Kenney wrote.

Kenney also addressed Philadelphia’s participation in a national initiative made up of 15 cities across the country that would see participating municipalities collaborate on violence intervention strategies.

“I have spoken personally with President Biden on the urgent need for new and enhanced approaches, and Philadelphia is participating in the White House’s Community Violence Intervention (CVI) Collaborative,” Kenney wrote. 

Read Kenney’s entire letter here.

There are additional resources for people or communities that have endured gun violence in Philadelphia. Further information can be found here.

Storms With Damaging Wind and Hail to Hit Region on Wednesday

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A FIRST ALERT will be in effect for our region Wednesday afternoon through the early evening due to scattered thunderstorms capable of producing damaging winds and hail. 

WHEN: Wednesday, 2 p.m. – 8 p.m.

WHERE: Entire area

While the storms will impact the entire region, areas north and west of Philadelphia are at a lower risk. The Philadelphia area along with South Jersey are expected to be impacted the most and an isolated tornado is possible. 

While brief and heavy rain is likely, Wednesday’s storms will be more progressive than what we’ve seen recently and the flood risk is lower. 

Download the NBC10 app and stay with the NBC10 First Alert Weather team for the latest updates on the storms.

Delaware Lawmaker Apologizes for Making Anti-Asian Slur in Email

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A Democratic lawmaker in Delaware has apologized for using a racist and sexist slur to refer to sex workers, saying he “dehumanized an entire culture.”What to Know

  • A Democratic lawmaker in Delaware has apologized for using a racist and sexist slur to refer to sex workers, saying he “dehumanized an entire culture.”
  • State Rep. Gerald Brady of Wilmington made the comments in a June 27 email he inadvertently sent to an advocate for decriminalizing prostitution.
  • The News Journal of Wilmington reported that the advocate had sent Brady a Princeton University study that suggested the presence of strip clubs led to a decrease in sex crimes in a New York City police precinct.

A Democratic lawmaker in Delaware has apologized for using a racist and sexist slur to refer to sex workers, saying he “dehumanized an entire culture.”

State Rep. Gerald Brady of Wilmington made the comments in a June 27 email he inadvertently sent to an advocate for decriminalizing prostitution.

The News Journal of Wilmington reported that the advocate had sent Brady a Princeton University study that suggested the presence of strip clubs led to a decrease in sex crimes in a New York City police precinct. The person connected the study to a 30-year period in Rhode Island during which indoor prostitution in massage parlors and strip clubs was decriminalized, and called on Delaware lawmakers to do something similar to protect sex workers.

The study sent to Brady did not directly mention Asian women in relation to sex work and strip clubs. It contained a single reference citation to a 2018 analysis of sex crimes and prostitution in South Korea in a publication called “Asian Development Perspectives.”

“Is the dude basically saying, if we provide free (sex acts) for Uncle Pervie there will be few rapes and few (a slur for Chinese women) will be shipped in CONEX containers to the Port of Wilmington??” Brady replied from his official government email address.

The message was intended for a private citizen whom Brady knows, asking the person to read and summarize the study, according to Drew Volturo, spokesman for the House Democratic Caucus. Instead, Brady hit “reply” and emailed the original sender.

Delaware lawmakers have exempted their emails and the emails of legislative staff from Delaware’s Freedom of Information Act, but Brady’s email was shared with The News Journal.

“There is no excuse I can offer that explains my embarrassing and shameful words that insulted, stereotyped and dehumanized an entire culture while making light of a serious human rights crisis,” Brady wrote in a statement issued through a spokesman.

Brady, who is executive director of the Delaware AFL-CIO, has served in the state House since 2006, following a decade on the Wilmington city council. His legislative biography describes him as “soft-spoken but direct” and known for his “honesty, kindness, and willingness to work with and lead others.”


Biden to Nominate Comcast Executive David L. Cohen as Ambassador to Canada

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President Joe Biden has announced plans to nominate Comcast executive David L. Cohen to serve as ambassador to Canada.

Cohen previously served as senior executive vice president of Comcast, and is currently a senior advisor to the CEO. Comcast is the parent company of NBC, including NBC10 and Telemundo62.

Many Philadelphians know Cohen for his political leadership in the city. In the 1990s, he served as former Mayor Ed Rendell’s chief of staff and top adviser, helping the city avoid municipal bankruptcy during Rendell’s first term.

Cohen is also a force in national politics; he hosted the first official fundraiser for Biden’s presidential campaign in April 2019 at his home in Philadelphia.

Cohen served as chair of the Board of Trustees at Penn until July 1.

Biden has close ties to the university, where he formerly held an honorary professorship. Penn paid Biden more than $900,000 since he left the White House for a role that primarily involved campus appearances.

Biden has also announced plans to nominate Penn President Amy Gutmann to serve as ambassador to Germany.

Some Fear More Deaths as Atlantic City Council Votes to End Needle Exchange

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What to Know

  • In a 7-2 vote Wednesday night, Atlantic City council members voted to pass an ordinance championed by Council President George Tibbit that will end its 14-year-old needle exchange program and consequently its ancillary treatment services.
  • Tibbit and other supporters of scrapping the exchange program have painted their position as one of public safety amid stray needles and people from outside Atlantic City coming in for services.
  • The decision drew criticism from New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy who wrote in a statement that he was “deeply disappointed.”

Atlantic City is ending its 14-year-old needle exchange program, a decision that some fear could have devastating consequences.

In a 7-2 vote Wednesday night, city council members voted to pass an ordinance championed by Council President George Tibbit that will end the exchange program and consequently its ancillary treatment services.

The decision drew criticism from New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy who wrote in a statement that he was “deeply disappointed.”

“This action will endanger some of the city’s most at-risk residents and contradicts my Administration’s comprehensive, data-driven strategy to end the opioid crisis,” he wrote.

Prior to the vote, Carol Harney, the CEO of the South Jersey AIDS Alliance, which operates the needle exchange program out of the Oasis center on Tennessee Avenue, expressed concern over ending the program.

“The problem is what’s going to happen is if we close in 30 days, people are still going to be using syringes and there’s going to be no incentive for them to dispose of them properly,” she said.

Tibbit and other supporters of scrapping the exchange program have painted their position as one of public safety amid stray needles and people from outside Atlantic City coming in for services.

“You see our streets, we gotta take our streets back,” Tibbit said. “This is a family destination. It’s a tourist attraction, and we can’t have what’s going on.”

In a letter published in The Press of Atlantic City, Council Vice President  Kaleem Shabazz acknowledged the “severity of the opioid and drug crisis” in Atlantic City and the country, but argued it was not fair for his municipality to be one of only seven across the state to have exchange programs.

“The solution is not to leave Atlantic City alone to deal with this very serious health, social and quality of life problem,” he wrote.

Harney rejected the claim that a large number of out of-town drug users are coming into the city for the needle exchange program. Though the way the law is structured prevents the AIDS Alliance from collecting people’s address, Harney said a small sampling of around 100 people showed 90% of those who availed themselves to Oasis’ services lived within two miles of the center.

Needle exchange programs not only help reduce transmission of blood-borne diseases, but they are also proven to help reduce addiction and increase public safety by reducing the number of discarded needles in communities, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Harney said the percentage of people who return used needles at Oasis is in the 90s.  

New needle exchange program users are also five times more likely to enter drug treatment and three times more likely to stop using drugs than those who don’t use the programs, the CDC found.

Harney said the real reason council members want to end the program in Atlantic City is redevelopment.

“One of the things that the city consistently says is that folks are coming to Atlantic City for social services and in reality, that’s not what we see. People are coming here for economic development,” she said.

In fact, the South Jersey AIDS Alliance would not mind moving from the Oasis center as long as a new location would still be easily accessible to people who walk, as is currently the case, she said.

However, she added, the AIDS Alliance has been rebuffed when proposing different sites, with Council members seemingly intent on moving the group to a non-permanent location in favor of redevelopment projects and at the expense of organizations that offer social services.

“I expect that there will be other social services after us that will be targeted for removal from Atlantic City because the current government doesn’t believe that there should be social services in Atlantic City,” she said.

Repealing the needle exchange program will also hurt the AIDS Alliance’s other services, which include free drug treatment; medical, housing and food assistance; and free distribution of the overdose-reversing drug naloxone, she added.

“We know at least 50 people in the last year that our services had prevented overdoses for, and we think that is probably the most emergent and serious implication that will happen with us closing the doors,” Harney said.

Asked if she fears ending the program would lead to people dying on the street, Harney was blunt in her response.

“Absolutely,” she said.

Despite disagreeing with the decision, Gov. Murphy also said he shared the council’s vision for a “healthy and vibrant Atlantic City.”

“Now, more than ever, because of the increase in opioid-related deaths, is the time to push forward and continue in our broader efforts to expand harm reduction centers across the state,” Murphy wrote. “Individuals struggling with addiction deserve access to the critical, compassionate services they need to stay alive, recover, and thrive.”

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WATCH: Seagull Flies Into Teen's Face on Jersey Shore Amusement Park Ride

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Seagulls aren’t afraid to get up close and personal with humans as anyone who’s had their slice of pizza swiped while on a Jersey Shore boardwalk can attest to. Yet one teen girl had an especially close encounter with the bold bird while on a ride at a Wildwood theme park. 

Kiley Holman, 13, of Weatherly, Pennsylvania, was celebrating her friend Georgia Reed’s 14th birthday at Adventure Pier back on July 6. The teens decided to go on the Springshot ride which Kiley had been on before. 

As the girls screamed while being launched more than 75 feet into the air, Kiley noticed a seagull flying toward her. 

“It was going the opposite way and came right back at me,” she told NBC10. 

Video captured the bird flying into Kiley’s face and momentarily latching onto her. She said the bird’s wings were on the ride while its beak was on her neck. 

“I didn’t want to fall out of the ride so I waited for it to spin over once and then I quickly grabbed it and threw it off,” Kiley said.

Kiley quickly threw the bird off of her and continued to enjoy the ride. Thankfully neither Kiley nor the bird were seriously hurt. 

Afterwards, Kiley and Georgia bought the video. Georgia’s father then posted it on YouTube and it quickly went viral. 

“A lot of people shared it and asked if I was okay and if the bird was okay,” Kiley said. 

Kiley told NBC10 her love for animals helped her keep calm.

“I always wanted to catch a seagull,” she said. “I guess that’s my way of catching it.”

Time to Go Back to Mass: All PA Bishops Reinstate Obligation to Attend in-Person

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Catholics throughout Pennsylvania will once again be obligated to attend in-person Mass on Sundays and Holy Days beginning on Aug. 15.

Bishops lifted the obligation in March 2020 due to the pandemic, and they are now reinstating it because the impact of the pandemic has been “considerably reduced,” Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez, who represents the Philadelphia Archdiocese, wrote in a news release Thursday.

Philadelphia already resumed in-person Mass in early June with precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19, though parishioners were not obligated to return.

COVID-19 cases have fallen dramatically in the state as more Pennsylvanians received their COVID-19 vaccine.

The reinstatement does not apply to anyone who is seriously ill, has a serious health risk or has serious anxiety about worshipping in a large group. Those who care for others who cannot attend Mass in person are also exempt, Archbishop Pérez’s statement read.

There still will be a broadcast version of the Mass for people who cannot attend in person.

New Jersey bishops lifted their orders that allowed Catholics to skip in-person services in early June. Exemptions apply for those who are ill or have underlying health conditions.

The Diocese of Wilmington reinstated the obligation June 26.

“As Bishops, we welcome this moment of the reinstatement of the obligation for all Catholics in Pennsylvania,” the news release reads. “This is a moment to thank God anew for the great gift of the Mass and the Real Presence of Jesus to us in his Holy Body and Blood as well as the joy of gathering together as people of faith.”

Wawa Hero Award Winner The Veterans Group Will Receive $50K Grant

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This year’s Wawa Foundation Hero Award is going to The Veterans Group!

The organization is a homeless facility serving veterans in the Philadelphia area, with an emphasis on those whose service resulted in mental or physical health issues. The Veterans Group will receive $50,000 to expand their efforts.

The group has two University City homes that offer lodging, three nutritional meals each day, assistance with finding a job and help with obtaining DL214, which is required for gaining medical benefits.

Vince Papale, a former Philadelphia Eagle and the honorary chair person for The Veterans Group Operation Invincible, said the group would use the prize money to pay for food and water for the vets, as well as necessary roof repairs.

“$50,000 would go a long, long way in order to repair the roof and make the things that makes it really comfortable for the vets to be a part of that shelter,” Papale said in an interview before the winner was announced.

The Wawa Foundation gives out the Hero Award annually as part of its Wawa Welcome America celebration.

The runners up, Able Body Christian Men, Garces Foundation and Philadelphia Police Athletic League, will each receive a $10,000 grant.

“[The Veterans] have done so much for the community and this would be just the best thing for them,” Papale said ahead of the announcement.

Masks Will Be Required for Philly Public School Students in the Fall

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NBC10 is one of dozens of news organizations producing BROKE in Philly, a collaborative reporting project on solutions to poverty and the city’s push toward economic justice. Follow us at @BrokeInPhilly.

Philadelphia public school students and staff will be required to wear face masks when they go back to in-person classes in the fall.

New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggested it’s safe for fully vaccinated students and teachers to go without masks indoors. However, School District of Philadelphia Superintendent William Hite said the district will keep its mask requirement, based on the CDC’s recommendation that students be kept at least three feet apart and that unvaccinated people keep wearing masks.

“Until that guidance changes, we will still be asking individuals to be in masks and subject to testing,” Hite said, referencing the district’s rapid COVID-19 tests, for which parents must fill out a consent form. Hite said the district will perform weekly testing for adults, as well as random tests on 20% of students every week.

Currently, vaccines are approved only for people age 12 and older, meaning millions of kids younger than that cannot get vaccinated.

District officials on Thursday also unveiled new surface and air purifiers that will be placed in every school in every instructional place, as well as in larger spaces that accommodate more people.

Reggie McNeil, the district’s chief operating officer, said the machines have been shown to eliminate 99.9% of airborne COVID-19 viruses, and that when tested in an enclosed setting, the purifiers “deactivated” the virus within three minutes.

The new tech, which McNeil said cost some $4.5 million and which Hite said is being paid for with federal stimulus dollars, comes after the district’s previous ventilation plans were roundly criticized earlier this year.

Philadelphia’s return to classrooms is slated for Aug. 31. Hite said the district is currently working on updating its back-to-school guidance.

NFL Teams Face Potential Forfeits for COVID-19 Outbreaks

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NFL teams have been warned they could forfeit a game due to a COVID-19 outbreak among non-vaccinated players, and players on both teams wouldn’t get paid that week.

“As we learned last year, we can play a full season if we maintain a firm commitment to adhering to our health and safety protocols and to making needed adjustments in response to changing conditions,” Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday in a memo sent to clubs that was obtained by The Associated Press.

Goodell says the league doesn’t anticipate adding a 19th week to accommodate games that can’t be rescheduled within 18-week regular season.

However, forfeits are among the consequences.

“If a game can’t be rescheduled and is canceled due to a COVID outbreak among non-vaccinated players on one of the competing teams, the team with the outbreak will forfeit and will be deemed to have played 16 games for purposes of draft, waiver priority, etc,” Goodell says in the memo.

For purposes of playoff seeding, the forfeiting team will be credited with a loss and the other team will be credited with a win.

The league says more than half its teams have COVID-19 vaccination rates greater than 80% of their players, and more than 75% of players are in the process of being vaccinated.

Nearly all clubs have vaccinated 100% of their Tier 1 and 2 staffs. Teams have appropriate protocols set up for staffers who have not been vaccinated, consistent with the guidance given last April.

Among the other key points in the memo:

  • If a vaccinated person tests positive and is asymptomatic, he or she will be isolated and contact tracing will promptly occur. The positive individual will be permitted to return to duty after two negative tests at least 24 hours apart, and will thereafter be tested every two weeks or as directed by the medical staffs. Vaccinated individuals will not be subject to quarantine as a result of close contact with an infected person.
  • If an unvaccinated person tests positive, the protocols from 2020 will remain in effect. The person will be isolated for a period of 10 days and will then be permitted to return to duty if asymptomatic. Unvaccinated individuals will continue to be subject to a five-day quarantine period if they have close contact with an infected individual.
  • Anyone who had a previous COVID-19 infection will be considered fully vaccinated 14 days after they have had at least one dose of an approved vaccine.

Argument Between Eagles and Giants Fans Led to Deadly Shooting Outside Pat's

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An argument between an Eagles fan and a Giants fan in line for a late night cheesesteak ended in one man shooting the other to death at iconic Pat’s King of Steaks in South Philadelphia.

Witnesses told Philadelphia police that an Eagles fan and Giants fan began fighting just before 1 a.m. Thursday outside the cheesesteak shop at 9th and Wharton streets (right off Passyunk Avenue), Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said. There were six or seven people waiting in line for food at the time.

The one man — who has red hair and was wearing a Philadelphia Eagles jersey — then shot the other at least once on the sidewalk area near where people can sit at picnic tables before hopping into a van driven by a woman and driving off, Small said.

“All I heard was ‘pop,’ and all I saw was everybody running,” one witness told NBC10.

The gunman left the 23-year-old gunshot victim bleeding on the ground, police said. Officers rushed the man to the hospital where he died a short time later.

Police later got a call that the suspected shooter was turning himself in near Independence Hall in Old City.

The man was taken into custody for questioning. His description matches the description given by multiple witnesses, Small said.

The woman who was driving was not located as of Thursday morning.

Pat’s is known for its cheesesteaks at all hours of day and night, sitting across the street from rival Geno’s Steaks. Both are huge draws for locals and tourists alike.

No one from Pat’s has commented at this point about the shooting.

There are additional resources for people or communities that have endured gun violence in Philadelphia. Further information can be found here.

Pa. Supreme Court Deals Blow to Outdated Claims of Child Sex Abuse

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Pennsylvania’s high court on Wednesday dealt a blow to victims of child sexual abuse, throwing out a lawsuit by a woman whose lower court legal victory had given hope to others with similarly outdated claims who’d sued in the wake of a landmark report that documented decades of child molestation within the Catholic church in Pennsylvania.

The 5-2 decision ended plaintiff Renee Rice’s legal effort to recover damages from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown for allegedly covering up and facilitating sexual abuse she said had been inflicted on her by a priest in the late 1970s.

Rice sued in 2016, but the court majority said that was too late under the Pennsylvania statute of limitations.

A Superior Court panel in 2019 had ruled there were enough facts to let a jury decide if Rice had been prevented from learning about the alleged cover-up of her abuse.

As a child, Rice had been brought in to clean the living space of her alleged attacker, Rev. Charles F. Bodziak, and was a church organist. Bodziak has denied the allegations.

The Supreme Court majority said the two-year statute of limitations began to run when Rice was last assaulted by Bodziak, purportedly in 1981, although it may have expired in 1987, when she turned 20. Rice did not pursue her claims until a 2016 grand jury report into abuse in the diocese.

“We need not resolve the issue as it is clear the statute of limitations expired decades ago,” wrote Justice Christine Donohue for the majority.

Donohue said that whether “courthouse doors should be opened for suits based on underlying conduct that occurred long ago is an exercise in line drawing that includes difficult policy determinations” and that courts are “ill-equipped to make that call.”

Rice’s lawyer, Alan Perer, said the high court’s decision ends his client’s lawsuit.

“Once a child knows they’ve been assaulted by a priest, it puts them on notice that they should have suspected and investigated whether or not the diocese was aware of this priest conduct, concealed it, hid it from the parishioners, including the plaintiff,” Perer said.

The diocese’s lawyer, Eric Anderson, hailed the decision.

“They’re going to apply the statute of limitations the way it should be applied in Pennsylvania,” Anderson said. “It’s been the law, established law, for a long period of time. There’s nothing unique or different about this case.”

The lower court ruling on Rice’s side had generated a slew of new casesfiled within two years of a landmark August 2018 grand jury report that detailed the sordid history of hundreds of abusive priests across the state over seven decades.

Anderson and Perer both said those cases are probably not going to succeed, given the new decision.

“This is going to have a significant impact on the viability of those cases,” Anderson said.

Victims’ hopes to overcome the time limits on civil litigation now rest in the Pennsylvania Senate, where Majority Leader Kim Ward, R-Westmoreland, has signaled no interest in moving legislation similar to a bill that passed the House in April. The proposal would allow now-adult victims of child sexual abuse to sue the perpetrators or institutions that did not prevent it when it happened years or decades ago.

A constitutionalamendment to provide a two-year litigation window was badly fumbled by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration earlier this year, putting it years behind schedule.

Many childhood victims of sexual assault lost the right to sue in Pennsylvania when they turned 18 or were young adults, depending on state law at the time.

The Associated Press typically does not name people who say they are victims of sexual assault unless they want to be identified, as Rice has indicated she does.

Rice alleges Bodziak abused her at St. Leo’s Church in Altoona, including attacks in the choir loft, a car and a cemetery.

Pennsylvania Defends New, No-Bid Deal for Contact Tracing

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Pennsylvania health officials on Wednesday defended their decision to award another no-bid deal for COVID-19 contact tracing after a serious data breach involving the state’s previous vendor, calling it an urgent priority with cases rising and schools preparing to reopen for fall.

The Department of Health awarded a contract to Public Consulting Group that state officials expect to run around $9 million but could balloon to $34 million if the coronavirus becomes widespread again. Health officials hired the Boston-based company through an emergency procurement, allowing them to bypass normal contracting procedures.

That’s the same process that state officials used to hire the first vendor, Atlanta-based Insight Global, which the Health Department fired in May after company employees compromised the private data of more than 70,000 residents. Both Insight Global and the Health Department are facing litigation over the breach.

Contact tracers identify people who have been exposed to the coronavirus so they can quarantine.

At a hearing Wednesday, Senate Republicans questioned the need for another no-bid contract, given that most Pennsylvania adults have been vaccinated and cases remain comparatively low. GOP lawmakers said the administration of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf has made excessive use of emergency contracts during the pandemic, with the Health Department alone awarding 39 contracts valued at more than $200 million.

Such contracts come with “very little oversight, very little transparency and very little accountability,” said GOP Sen. Michele Brooks of Mercer County.

Health Department officials pushed back, saying all vendors are held to the same standards regardless of how they are hired. They said they had to move fast to get a new company in place to perform contact tracing in time for the beginning of the school year.

“Contact tracing is more important now than ever given the limited mitigation that’s currently in place, and the threat of the delta variant,” the more contagious strain of COVID-19 that issweeping across the U.S., said Alison Beam, the state’s acting health secretary.

Statewide, new virus cases are up 135% over the past two weeks, to an average of about 382 per day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

That’s still a fraction of the COVID-19 infections that Pennsylvania was reporting in December, at the height of the pandemic and before vaccines became widely available. But state health officials said contact tracing is vitally important to keep a lid on new outbreaks.

“We can talk about the cost of this contract but … I want to make sure everyone recognizes that we are talking about saving people from dying of COVID,” said Democratic Sen. John Kane of Chester County.

Health Department officials said that Public Consulting Group won high marks from other states where it performs contact tracing, and has shown an ability to safeguard sensitive data. Officials said the company will use the state’s internal, secure contact tracing and management system.

“We are taking steps to earn Pennsylvanians’ trust,” Beam told senators.

The state moved to replace Insight Global after that company’s employees used unauthorized Google accounts — readily viewable online — to store names, phone numbers, email addresses, COVID-19 exposure status, sexual orientations and other information about residents who had been reached for contact tracing. Insight Global has acknowledged it mishandled sensitive data and apologized.

NJ Requires Lead Pipe Inventory, Replacement Over 10 Years

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Hundreds of public water systems in New Jersey must take inventory of their lead pipes and replace them over the next decade under a new law Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signed Thursday.

The law makes New Jersey the latest state, along with California, Illinois, Michigan and Ohio, to call for an inventory of how many lead pipes carry drinking water to residents. Lead is not safe at any level to ingest and leads to developmental problems for children.

“This is a crisis that has been building for decades, and in some cases, centuries,” Murphy said Thursday, and noted that two-thirds of housing stock in New Jersey predates 1980, several years before lead-based solder was banned in plumbing.

More than 225,000 New Jersey children were diagnosed with elevated blood lead levels between 2000 and 2015, said Sean Jackson, CEO of Isles, a Trenton-based nonprofit community development and environmental organization.

The issue made headlines in 2019, with Newark and Trenton beginning to identify and replace lead service lines. Newark embarked on an aggressive program and is on the verge of completing replacement of about 20,000 lead service lines. But with the COVID-19 pandemic preoccupying government and residents alike over the last year and a half, lead remediation declined in visibility.

It’s back in the spotlight because of the new law, which sets several benchmarks for water systems to meet. Supporters of the bill — which passed without any opposition in the Legislature — say it’s about time that lawmakers move forward with tracking and replacing lead pipes.

One persistent criticism, though, has been a provision of the law that allows water systems to pass at least part of the cost of the job onto customers. The price tag is yet to be determined, but nonpartisan legislative analysts estimated the initial inventory could cost local water systems $29 million and replacement could tally $2.65 billion.

Gary Brune, a policy manager at the nonprofit, nonpartisan New Jersey Future group, said the law’s authorization that customers carry some of the cost is a big, concerning issue for cities and towns with poorer residents.

The bill sets several benchmarks: Within 30 days of enactment, an initial inventory of lead service lines and unknown pipes must be compiled; that initial inventory must be sent to the state Department of Environmental Protection within six months, with a more detailed report in a year and follow-up reports two years after enactment until all the lead pipes are replaced. The goal is to have all lead service lines replaced within 10 years.

Customers must also get notification if their pipes contain lead, no later than 30 days after the initial inventory. And no later than one year from enactment, water systems must give the DEP a plan to replace the lead plumbing, which would be updated annually.

There are nearly 600 community water systems in the state, with about 2.4 million total pipes.

Public records obtained by the Associated Press show that an inventory requested by DEP is already underway. Those records show responses from about 450 of the systems, with about 850,000 pipes of unknown substances. About 145,000 have lead or galvanized metals, which are slated for replacement under the new law. The DEP records identify about 960,000 lines for replacement — a category that includes the unknown lines.

Vaccinated People Should Wear Masks in Indoor Public Spaces, Philly Officials Say

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What to Know

  • Concerns about the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19 delta variant among the unvaccinated prompted city officials to issue new indoor face mask guidance.
  • Philadelphia’s acting health commissioner said the city is seeing a small, but disturbing increase in hospitalization among children who cannot currently get a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Unvaccinated Philadelphians are urged to avoid crowded public spaces and, if they cannot, to wear two face masks to protect themselves and others.

If you’re visiting a public space in Philadelphia, you should wear a face mask whether you’re vaccinated or not, according to new guidance issued by the Philadelphia health department on Thursday.

Officials said they “strongly recommend” wearing a mask, but stopped short of requiring them. Unvaccinated people are encouraged to double mask to protect themselves and others.

Philadelphia ended its mask mandate on June 11.

A rise of the COVID-19 delta variant has led to an increase in infections across the United States. The highly contagious viral mutation has fueled a threefold increase in new infections over the past two weeks. A majority of new hospitalizations are among people who are younger and have not been vaccinated. Southern states have been hardest hit in the latest wave.

As of this week more than 1 million people have received at least one dose of a vaccine in Philadelphia, Mayor Jim Kenney said in a statement. That total translates to 60.8% of adults being fully vaccinated and 73.9% having received at least one dose, according to the Philadelphia Department of Health. The city opened vaccinations to all residents on April 19.

“We will continue to vaccinate anyone who is ready, and encourage them to join the million-plus people who received this life-saving vaccine in Philadelphia,” Kenney said.

Despite being fully vaccinated, someone can still become infected with the coronavirus, but the disease’s effects are severely blunted. Vaccinated individuals who acquire a so-called “breakthrough infection” are very unlikely to require hospitalization or die. That’s why public health officials worldwide stress the importance of vaccination. (If you still need to be vaccinated, here’s a tool to find the closest vaccination provider to your home.)

In addition to the public indoor mask guidance, city officials recommended people avoid crowded indoor spaces.

While Philadelphia is asking people to take new precautions, the city’s infection rate is far lower than in previous months.

As of Thursday, five people were admitted to city hospitals with COVID-19 and one was on a ventilator. In April 2020, nearly 850 people were hospitalized with severe infections. The city averaged 64 newly reported daily cases over the past two weeks, the health department said. That same average in mid-November 2020 sat at 7,362 positive cases.

Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole said officials are seeing a “small but disturbing increase” in hospitalizations among children with cases doubling as of late.

Currently, the COVID-19 vaccines are not approved for children under the age of 12. Federal health officials said approval may not come until the winter of 2022.

“It’s time for all of us to do what we need to do to protect our city’s kids. That means  getting fully vaccinated if you haven’t yet, and it means all of us going back to wearing masks in public,” Bettigole said in a written statement.

Since the pandemic was declared in March 2020, 3,763 Philadelphians have been killed by COVID-19-related illness. Another 146,142 residents contracted the virus, some of whom continue to suffer lingering health effects.

Delaware County State Rep Charged With Stealing From Pa.

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A Delaware County state representative has been charged with stealing from the state of Pennsylvania by lying about out-of-pocket expenses.  

State Rep. Margo Davidson (D-164th District) was allegedly reimbursed by the state for out-of-pocket expenses, despite the fact that her campaign had already reimbursed her, the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office said in a press release.

“State Representatives swear an oath to use their office for public service — not fraudulent personal gain,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. “We will uphold the laws of the Commonwealth without bias, and we will continue to uncover corruption wherever it is found.”

Representatives are entitled to be reimbursed for out of-pocket-expenses incurred during official trips and events, but Davidson, 58, also filed to be reimbursed for expenses that she had not incurred at all, the AG’s office said.

She also asked a witness to lie during the investigation, the attorney general’s office said.

Davidson was charged with misdemeanor theft, solicitation to hinder apprehension and election code violations. She waived her preliminary hearing and has paid $6,925 in restitution, Shapiro said.

Officers Shoot and Kill Gunman Who Fired at Crowd During Brawl, Police Say

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Philadelphia police shot and killed a man who they say fired a gun into a crowd during a large fight in Kensington Thursday evening. 

Undercover officers were working a drug detail in the area when a brawl broke out along the 3000 block of North Water Street around 6:30 p.m.

When the officers hopped out of their vehicle and tried to break up the fight, an unidentified man fired shots at the crowd, investigators said. The officers then fired at the man, shooting him in the shoulder and stomach.

The man was taken to the hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Police have not yet revealed his identity. No other injuries were reported. 

Both officers involved in the shooting are on administrative leave as police investigate.

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Philly DA Larry Krasner Sues Pa. AG Josh Shapiro Over National Opioid Settlement

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What to Know

  • Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner is suing Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro over the proposed $26 billion national opioid settlement.
  • With Philadelphia pursuing its own, potentially more lucrative litigation against the opioid industry, Krasner denounced the national agreement and asked a state court to declare that Shapiro has no authority to bind the city to it.
  • Krasner blasted Shapiro, a fellow Democrat, for acquiescing to a settlement that he said fails to hold opioid distributors and manufacturers sufficiently accountable for the damage they have caused in Philadelphia and elsewhere.

In the first big challenge to the proposed $26 billion national opioid settlement, the Philadelphia district attorney on Thursday sued Pennsylvania’s attorney general over the deal, saying the city stands to get only a pittance to cope with an epidemic that is killing more than 1,000 people a year.

With Philadelphia pursuing its own, potentially more lucrative litigation against the opioid industry, District Attorney Larry Krasner denounced the national agreement and asked a state court to declare that Attorney General Josh Shapiro has no authority to bind the city to it.

Krasner blasted Shapiro, a fellow Democrat, for acquiescing to a settlement that he said fails to hold opioid distributors and manufacturers sufficiently accountable for the damage they have caused in Philadelphia and elsewhere.

“We are not going to accept a settlement that is a sellout,” Krasner said in a news conference. “And from what I see, this is a sellout. The money is too low, the payments are too slow, and the money may never show.”

Shapiro’s spokesperson accused Krasner of “misrepresenting the facts to Pennsylvanians.”

The national settlement “is the only way to jumpstart a billion dollars’ worth of treatment for communities in need any time soon,” said the spokesperson, Molly Stieber. “The alternative is to make families wait years for an uncertain outcome that could leave them with nothing.”

The state’s top prosecutor and expected 2022 gubernatorial candidate has previously acknowledged the opioid epidemic’s cost is “far more than this deal” but said it would provide an infusion of funds for treatment and addiction and put in place significant controls on the industry. Shapiro’s office said the settlement already gives local governments the ability to sue if they opt out of the national deal.

The settlement is part of the ongoing effort to address the nationwide opioid addiction and overdose crisis. Prescription drugs and illegal ones like heroin and illicitly produced fentanyl have been linked to more than 500,000 deaths in the U.S.since 2000. The number of cases reached a record high in 2020.

If approved, the settlement will likely be the largest of many in the opioid litigation playing out nationwide. It’s expected to bring more than $23 billion to abatement and mitigation efforts, with the money to come in 18 annual installments.

Krasner said Philadelphia would get only $5 million to $8 million per year out of the agreement, with loopholes that he said could allow the companies to pay less or nothing at all. He said the city plans to continue pursuing its own lawsuits, predicting enormous legal awards that would dwarf what the city would receive under the national settlement.

“We are expecting a number that looks, frankly, enormous, compared to this number,” Krasner said.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney declined comment on Krasner’s suit, but agreed that Philadelphia would get too little money out of the settlement and said the city and other hard-hit communities weren’t given a “meaningful voice and opportunity to participate” in the negotiations.

The proposed national settlement would deliver about $1 billion to Pennsylvania — but that assumes full participation by local governments, which have five months to decide.

The companies — the drugmaker Johnson & Johnson and major drug distribution companies AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health and McKesson — can back out of the settlement if they don’t think enough state or local governments sign on. The fewer that sign on, the less the companies would pay.

Philadelphia’s lawsuits “cannot and should not be extinguished by the Attorney General’s settlement,” said Krasner’s lawsuit against the attorney general. “Simply put, the Attorney General cannot and should not allow the Big 3 to name their own price for the Philadelphia lives they took.”

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Rubinkam reported from northeastern Pennsylvania. Associated Press reporter Geoff Mulvihill in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, contributed to this story.

From Philly to Tokyo: Perry Baker Goes From Eagles' Prospect to Rugby Star

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Two-time Team USA rugby Olympian Perry Baker is on his way to Tokyo to represent Team USA in Men’s Rugby Sevens. 

Before he was a rugby star, Baker’s journey took him to the Philadelphia Eagles’ roster.

Here’s a look at his Philly to Tokyo story.

Education

Baker attended Spruce Creek High School in Port Orange, Florida, before attending and graduating from Fairmont State University located in Fairmount, West Virginia, back in 2010.

Baker played collegiate football while attending Fairmont State University before he joined the NFL as a prospect with the Philadelphia Eagles. 

Brief Stint With Philadelphia Eagles

Baker went undrafted, but was signed by the Eagles. His NFL career was cut short before he had a chance to fly due to a knee injury, his Team USA profile says.

Family Life

Baker is the son of Dallas Baker and Lolita McGraw and has one brother named Dallas.

Both Baker’s brother and uncle played in the NFL.

Baker now lives in the San Diego area where he holds rugby camps for youths.

Records

Named World Rugby’s Rookie of the year in the 2014-15 campaign and with well over 200 tries in Men’s Rugby Sevens, Baker ranks first among Americans and ranks in the Top 10 among all the players in the world. 

These accomplishments earned Baker the established title as one of the best rugby sevens players in the world. 

Coach

Mike Friday coaches the U.S Men’s Rugby Sevens team.

Sponsorships

Baker is sponsored by doTerra, Medallia, Kor Shorts, Bose, Dude Products, Golden Eagles U.S. Rugby, Tiger Rugby and USA Rugby.

Teammates

Baker will be playing for the U.S. Men’s Rugby Sevens Team along with 11 other starters.

The U.S. Men’s Rugby Sevens Team competes against Kenya, July 26 at 11:30 a.m. JST in Tokyo (July 25 10:30 p.m. EDT)

Tokyo Olympics: NJ Triathlon Competitor Has Memory of Brother As Motivation

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For one New Jersey native competing in the Tokyo Olympics, the games will be bittersweet.

Morgan Pearson had envisioned the moment he would qualify for the Olympic triathlon for years — but it was a moment that earlier in the race looked as if might have slipped away. Pearson had fallen behind the lead pack after what he said was a bad transition, and said he tried not to think about it too much — especially after falling short in 2016 and missing the Rio Olympics.

That failure led him to accepting and re-evaluating his future as a runner in 2017.

“It’s like Happy Gilmore: He wants to be a hockey player, but he knows he’s better at golf!” Pearson said.

His frame and his focus were a perfect fit for the triathlon. His older brother, Andrew, thought so, too.

“My older brother, that was a big reason I got into running and swimming,” Pearson said.

USA triathlon recruited Pearson, and he was back on a path toward the Olympics. He was able to come back in the race, ultimately finishing third as he punched his ticket to Tokyo.
It was a moment he hoped to share with his brother. But it wouldn’t happen.

Ten weeks before the qualifying race, Andrew was gone. He died in his sleep on March 1. 

“He’s with me every day, every hour,” Pearson said. “It was never hard. Maybe that was him keeping me on the gas – that’s what big brothers do.”

Pearson called it a “big moment” for his family when he qualified, and that it was the “first positive thing that happened since my brother passed.”

His life’s biggest moment awaits now in Tokyo. And in his mind, Pearson knows he won’t be alone.

“I don’t want to be put on a pedestal. We’re people, everyone deals with life,” he said.

DOJ Won't Investigate How Pennsylvania Handled Nursing Homes Amid COVID-19

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What to Know

  • The Justice Department says it has decided not to open an investigation into whether Pennsylvania violated federal law by ordering nursing homes to accept residents who had been treated for COVID-19 in a hospital.
  • Thursday’s letter comes 11 months after the agency told the governors of Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Jersey and New York that it wanted information to determine whether orders there may have resulted in the deaths of nursing home residents.
  • The orders by the four governors were criticized for potentially fueling the spread of the virus. In Pennsylvania, it is far from clear that the policy led to an outbreak or death.

The Justice Department told Gov. Tom Wolf’s office on Thursday that it has decided not to open an investigation into whether Pennsylvania violated federal law by ordering nursing homes to accept residents who had been treated for COVID-19 in a hospital.

The letter comes 11 months after the department told the governors of Pennsylvania, Michigan, New Jersey and New York that it wanted information to determine whether orders there “may have resulted in the deaths of thousands of elderly nursing home residents.”

The one-page letter, from Steven H. Rosenbaum, chief of the department’s special litigation section, said they had reviewed information supplied by Pennsylvania, as well as “additional information available to the department.”

Michigan received an identical letterThursday. But New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s office said it had not received one while New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s spokesperson Richard Azzopardi said he was checking to see if that administration had received one.

Separately, the Justice Department last October requested data from New Jersey and New York about their nursing home deaths, and launched a formal investigation into care at New Jersey’s veterans homes after receiving what it described as incomplete answers to its request for data.

This year, federal prosecutors in Manhattan were probing how Cuomo’s administration has handled data on nursing home deaths. The status of those probes are unclear.

In spring 2020, nursing homes and long-term care homes struggled to contain the virus, many lacking the trained staff, testing supplies and personal protective equipment in the early going that could have helped them slow the spread, public health experts said.

Across the country, tens of thousands of COVID-19 patients were accepted by nursing homes, more than 250,000 in the 12 months through March 1, according to federal data.

The number in Pennsylvania was relatively unremarkable, about 12,300. That was eighth in the country for a state that is fifth in population, with one of the nation’s highest proportions of residents who are 65 and over.

The orders by the four governors’ administrations — all Democrats — were criticized for potentially fueling the spread of the virus and drew the attention of then-President Donald Trump’s Department of Justice in the midst of the presidential campaign.

In Pennsylvania, the order was the subject of particularly sharp criticism from Republican lawmakers and candidates, but it is far from clear that the policy led to an outbreak or death.

No investigation or report has thus far pointed to the policy as a cause of death or outbreak.

The American Health Care Association, a national nursing home trade group, has pointed to research that it says shows the location of a nursing home, asymptomatic spread and availability of testing were determining factors in COVID-19 outbreaks.

Meanwhile, nursing home trade associations in Pennsylvania say they are not aware of a nursing home that was forced to accept a COVID-positive patient against its will, or that the order led to death or an outbreak. No nursing home has come forward to make that claim, either.

At the onset of the virus, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had advised nursing homes to create a plan for managing readmissions of residents who contracted the virus as well as admissions of new residents who were infected.

Nursing homes were told to place those residents in a single-person room, or in a separate observation area to be monitored for evidence of the virus.

The American Health Care Association advised nursing homes in March 2020 to create separate wings, units or floors, as well as staff, to handle admissions from the hospital.

Associated Press reporters Bernard Condon in New York City and Marina Villeneuve in Albany, New York, contributed to this report.

WATCH: Wrong-Way Driver Flips in Residential Philly Street

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Philadelphia police believe a wrong-way driver who flipped after striking a parked truck may somehow be connected to a nearby shooting and robbery attempt.

Surveillance video captured the sedan traveling the wrong way down the 4200 block of Salem Street in the Frankford neighborhood and then clipping the truck before flipping onto its roof just after 3 a.m. When police officers arrived, they found a 39-year-old woman trying to crawl out through the passenger window, Philadelphia Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

The woman told police a male acquaintance was driving her rental car and another man and woman were in the backseat, but all three ran away after the crash, Small said.

The woman had minor scraped and bruises and declined medical treatment.

The crash happened about a block away and just a few minutes before shooting in which a 34-year-old man was shot in the shoulder and thigh. He was taken by police to Temple University Hospital and was listed in stable condition, Small said.

The man told police he was in front of his ex-girlfriend’s house when he was shot.

Because the shooting and crash happened so close together, Small said police were investigating the possibility that both incidents were related.

Detectives were working to get surveillance video from cameras near the shooting.

From Philly to Tokyo: Record-Breaking Track Star Sydney McLaughlin Runs for Gold

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From her early days as a high-school GOAT at Union Catholic to breaking world records during the Olympic Trials, 21-year-old Olympic hurdler and New Jersey native Sydney McLaughlin is one of the biggest stars expected to strive for a gold medal in Tokyo.

NJ Roots

Jersey born and raised, McLaughlin was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, before being raised in Dunellen. She attended Union Catholic High School in Scotch Plains before attending college at the University of Kentucky.

Records

McLaughlin holds a record for the women’s 400m hurdles at Union Catholic High School with a time of 1:04.4 seconds and holds the national high school freshman record for her time of 55.63 seconds.

In 2016, at just 16, McLaughlin became the youngest track and field athlete to make the U.S. Olympic team since 1980. She now, at age 21, holds the world record in the women’s 400m hurdles with a time of 51.90 seconds. 

Family Life

McLaughlin is the daughter of Willie and Mary McLaughlin. She has two brothers, Ryan and Taylor, and one sister, Morgan.

Education

McLaughlin graduated from Union Catholic High School in 2017 and graduated from the University of Kentucky in 2021.

Coach

McLaughlin is coached by Bobby Kersee. Kersee has coached a handful of gold medal Olympians, including his wife, Olympic gold medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

Sponsorships

McLaughlin is sponsored by New Balance and Gatorade.

Teammates

This Olympics, McLaughlin will go toe-to-toe with long time teammate Dalilah Muhammad. Muhammad, 31, competed against McLaughlin in the Rio Olympics and was able to bring home gold for Team USA in the women’s 400m hurdles. 

McLaughlin has broken Muhammad’s existing record for women’s 400m hurdles, making her the only woman in history to run the event in under 52 seconds.

The women’s 400m takes off on Friday July 30 at 9 a.m. JST in Tokyo (8 p.m. EDT).

Man Charged With Murder in Pat's King of Steaks Shooting After Fight Over Parking

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A Berks County man has been charged with killing a 23-year-old during a fight at Pat’s King of Steaks in South Philadelphia.

Reading resident Paul Burkert, 36, is charged with murder, firearms violations, possession of an instrument of crime, reckless endangerment, tampering with evidence and conspiracy, the Philadelphia Police Department announced Friday.

Witnesses told Philadelphia police that an Eagles fan and a New York Giants fan began fighting just before 1 a.m. Thursday outside the cheesesteak shop at 9th and Wharton streets (right off Passyunk Avenue), Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

The fight may have begun over a parking space, witnesses said.

There were six or seven people waiting in line for food at the time. Burkert shot the 23-year-old at least once on the sidewalk area, near where people can sit at picnic tables, before hopping into a van driven by a woman and fleeing, Small said.

The victim has been identified as David Padro of the 2700 block of Federal Street in Camden, New Jersey.

“All I heard was ‘pop,’ and all I saw was everybody running,” one witness told NBC10.

Burkert left the victim bleeding on the ground, police said. Officers rushed the man to the hospital, where he died a short time later.

Police later got a call that Burkert was turning himself in near Independence Hall in Old City.

Police did not immediately provide an update on the woman allegedly driving the getaway van.

Pat’s is known for its cheesesteaks at all hours of the day and night, sitting across the street from rival Geno’s Steaks. Both are huge draws for locals and tourists alike.


Expert: DNA From NJ Girl Slain After Mistaken Uber Ride Was Under Suspect's Nails

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A forensic scientist testified Friday that DNA found under the fingernails of the South Carolina man accused of killing a woman who mistook his car for her Uber ride is almost definitely the victim’s.

Prosecutors called several law enforcement experts to the witness stand at the end of the first week of trial for Nathaniel Rowland, who faces murder and kidnapping charges in the death of 21-year-old Samantha Josephson.

The University of South Carolina student from Robbinsville, New Jersey, disappeared from Columbia’s Five Points entertainment district one night in March 2019. Her body was later found in remote woods some 65 miles (105 kilometers) from Columbia.

Her body had more than 100 wounds to the face, neck and other parts of the body — a death that turned a national spotlight on ride-hailing safety and led to some changes, including more prominent displays of driver license plates.

Prosecutors have argued that Rowland trapped Josephson in the back seat of his black Chevrolet Impala using the backseat childproof locks. Investigators said they subsequently found the victim’s blood and cellphone in Rowland’s vehicle.

Ryan Dewane, a forensic scientist with the State Law Enforcement Division, said there was “very strong support” that DNA found under Rowland’s nails belonged to Josephson.

The victim’s DNA also was likely found on a sock and a bandanna belonging to Rowland, as well as on a bladed multitool alleged to be the murder weapon, Dewane told jurors.

Both Rowland and Josephson’s DNA were likely identified on gloves found in a trash can at the home of Rowland’s girlfriend at the time, Dewayne said.

Though Josephson’s fingernails also were swabbed, testing did not indicate Rowland’s DNA was present, the forensic scientist said. The tests did indicate DNA belonging to two male individuals under some of the victim’s fingernails.

Rowland’s attorneys have said that although Josephson appeared to fight back against her attacker, none of Rowland’s DNA was found on her body, and no visible marks were found on Rowland after his arrest.

SLED agent Eric Grabsky testified earlier Friday on cellphone data showing Rowland’s phone connected with cell towers in the Five Points area at the time of Josephson’s disappearance. The data showed Rowland’s phone then moved toward the area where Josephson’s body was eventually found.

Man Hid Cams at KOP Mall Dressing Rooms, Spied on Teens, Cops Say

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A man has been charged with using hidden pen cameras to record unsuspecting victims, including teens, while they were changing in two separate stores at the King of Prussia Mall.

Smyrna, Delaware, resident Joseph Stevenson, 26, was charged with numerous counts of invasion of privacy, disorderly conduct and interception, disclosure or use of wire communications.

The investigation began July 3, when a 14-year-old girl found a hidden pen camera in the dressing room of a Hollister store at the King of Prussia Mall, Upper Merion Township Police Department Lt. Paul Cooper said. The girl turned the camera over to management.

Stevenson returned later to try and claim the camera, but employees refused to give it back, according to court documents. He left, but not before purchasing something with his store loyalty card, which police used to track Stevenson after store management had contacted them, the court documents show.

Police found images of seven people – six female and one male – in various stages of undress on the camera, Cooper said. All victims have been identified and notified of the investigation.

During the investigation, police identified a person of interest and learned the man had also been inside an Urban Outfitters store. Management there told police that an employee had found another pen camera while checking the fitting rooms.

That camera contained images of two females. Police are trying the identify the pair, who were inside the Urban Outfitters between 2:20 p.m. and 2:55 p.m. on July 3, Cooper said.

Court documents indicate the majority of the victims were teen girls, with the youngest being 13. Victims also include a 17-year-old boy a 29-year-old woman, according to the court documents.

Police don’t think images of any of the victims were disseminated.

Stevenson was released on $10,000 bail. He was ordered to refrain from going to malls and to stay away from the victims or their families.

Lee Cicarrelli, a lawyer representing Stevenson, said his firm is reviewing the charges and is “intent on well representing” him and his interests “in a just fashion and in a way that is fair for all parties concerned.”

‘Predator of the Worst Kind': Man Pleads Guilty to Killing Young Amish Woman

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What to Know

  • Justo Smoker pleaded guilty in Lancaster County to third-degree murder, kidnapping and other offenses in the death of 18-year-old Linda Stoltzfoos.
  • She was last seen walking home from church in the Bird-in-Hand area on June 21, 2020.
  • Smoker was sentenced to 35 1/2 to 71 years in prison. The DA calls it an effective life sentence.

A man who led authorities to the remains of a young Amish woman in Pennsylvania pleaded guilty Friday to kidnapping and killing her.

Justo Smoker, 35, pleaded guilty in Lancaster County to third-degree murder, kidnapping and other offenses in the death of 18-year-old Linda Stoltzfoos, who was last seen walking home from church in the Bird-in-Hand area on June 21, 2020.

Smoker was sentenced to 35 1/2 to 71 years in prison. He faces an additional sentence of more than 17 years for violating parole from a previous series of burglaries and robberies.

“This effectively is a life sentence for Smoker,” District Attorney Heather Adams said at a news conference after the hearing.

Authorities said they believe Smoker killed Stoltzfoos within a few hours of kidnapping her, buried her in one location where her stockings and bra were later found, then moved her body to another grave, on railroad property behind a business where he worked. A coroner said she was strangled and stabbed.

Smoker led authorities to her remains in April as a condition of his plea agreement, Adams said.

LNP newspaper reported that Smoker apologized to Stoltzfoos’ family in court, saying he had “robbed the family of time and memories.” President Judge David Ashworth called Smoker a “predator of the worst kind.”

Smoker was on parole from a string of armed robberies he committed in 2006. He was released from prison in February 2019, 16 months before Stoltzfoos was killed.

Candidate for Governor Investigated in Fatal Accident; Says He Didn't Cause It

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Charlie Gerow, a Republican who announced his candidacy for governor last month, said Friday that he is cooperating with a police investigation into an accident in which a motorcyclist was killed, and that shut down the Pennsylvania Turnpike for seven hours.

Gerow apparently drove for several miles with the motorcycle stuck to the front of his car, according to a witness. In a statement through a spokesperson, Gerow said he did not cause the accident and he was not injured.

Pennsylvania State Police have released little information about the accident Wednesday night just before 10 p.m., saying only that it involved a motorcycle and a car that a Gerow spokesperson identified as the one Gerow was driving.

The turnpike was closed for seven hours after the accident in the westbound lanes in Chester County, just west of the King of Prussia interchange, police said in a news release.

The Chester County coroner’s office identified the victim as Logan Carl Abbott, 30, of Bradford County. The cause of death is multiple blunt impacts and toxicology tests on the victim are pending, Chester County Coroner Christina VandePol said.

It is not clear whether other vehicles were involved, or how the accident happened.

A highway construction worker told Spotlight PA/The Philadelphia Inquirer that he was working on the turnpike’s eastbound lanes Wednesday night when he saw a Mercedes pass by with a motorcycle wedged into its grill.

The worker, Nicholas Forgette, who works for a traffic control company in Pottstown, said sparks were flying from the car and that it was traveling at a high rate of speed. He and his crew, he said, watched in disbelief.

“It was a big motorcycle, too,” Forgette said. “There were a bunch of sparks. And it was very loud.”

As construction workers moved down the highway, Forgette said he saw that state police had pulled over the Mercedes several miles after where he had first seen it drive by with the motorcycle still attached.

The motorcycle “was sitting upright, with the side stuck into the front of the car,” Forgette said.

Gerow, 66, runs a communications and marketing firm in Harrisburg with offices two blocks from the state Capitol, where he is a familiar face.

In the statement, Gerow said he “looks forward to the State Police completing their investigation and is confident that the investigation will confirm that he was not the cause (of) the accident.”

Gerow said he was advised not discuss the matter further until the investigation is complete.

This is Gerow’s first statewide campaign after running unsuccessfully for Congress and the state Legislature in the past.

Before he announced his candidacy in June, Gerow had toured the state GOP’s event circuit for months, speaking to audiences as a potential candidate.

He is vice chairman of the American Conservative Union, a national political organization, and a rank-and-file state party committee member. He got his start in politics volunteering — and later as a paid staffer — on the presidential campaigns of Ronald Reagan.

He is also known to Sunday morning television audiences in central Pennsylvania for appearing for more than two decades as a political commentator on “Face the State,” a public affairs show on the local CBS affiliate.

Two Teens Shot in Northeast Philadelphia; One in Critical Condition

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A 13-year old boy and a 14-year-old boy were shot in Philadelphia Friday night — and the 14 year old was left in critical condition.

The shooting happened in the 1100 block of Knorr Street in Northeast Philadelphia at about 7:45 p.m.

The 14 year old boy was shot in the abdomen, arm and hand and sent to Jefferson-Torresdale Hospital. The younger boy was shot in the elbow; he was taken by a private vehicle to Jeanes Hospital, but was being moved to St. Christopher’s Hospital.

No weapon has been recovered, and no arrest has been made.

There are additional resources for people or communities that have endured gun violence in Philadelphia. Further information can be found here.

Firefighter Dead, 2 Others, State Trooper Hurt By Suspected Drunk Driver

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A firefighter died and two colleagues, plus a Pennsylvania state trooper, were hurt when an out of control, possibly drunk, driver struck them as they were responding to another DUI crash on Interstate 76 in Montgomery County Saturday morning.

The first responders were out of their vehicles, with two fire trucks blocking the right lane and shoulder, as they investigated a two-car crash on the westbound lanes of the interstate in Lower Merion shortly after 3 a.m., a state trooper at the scene told NBC10.

The first crash was not serious, but as one of the trucks from the Belmont Hills Fire Department started to pull away, a woman driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee on the right shoulder rounded one of the trucks and plowed into the first responders, the state trooper said.

The Lower Merion Township Fire Department confirmed one of the responding firefighters died of his injuries after going into cardiac arrest. The other two firefighters were airlifted to a hospital and were undergoing surgery.

The state trooper was taken to a hospital in an ambulance, but his condition was not immediately known.

Lower Merion Chief Fire Officer Chas McGarvey identified the fallen firefighter as 49-year-old Thomas Royds. Royds, who had been a firefighter in multiple area departments since 1988, left behind three college-age children, McGarvey said.

“I used to work at this fire house years ago. I knew Tommy’s family. His dad was a fireman, and his grandfather was a fireman when they first started this fire company,” said Bill Coleman, a former Belmont Hills firefighter.

Royd’s death was another gut punch to area firefighters, who just a few weeks ago had to witness another one of their own be laid to rest after 35-year-old Sean W. DeMuynck, a volunteer working his last shift before moving back to his native Canada, died while responding to a fire on July 4th in Wynnewood.

“We know it’s dangerous and, God, you never think something like this is going to happen. We got it twice – twice in less than three weeks,” McGarvey said.

Jacquelyn Walker, of Pemberton, New Jersey, was charged with homicide by vehicle and related charges in Royds’ death.

McGarvey said Royds came from a family of firefighters and loved the profession. “He’s just a fun guy to be around, he’d do anything you asked him. We’re going to miss him,” McGarvey said.

McGarvey also had a pointed message to drivers.

“I can’t tell you how many times we’re up there where we’re at a scene and people are just flying by and not paying attention, and I’m just begging people to slow down,” he said.

“This didn’t have to happen. It didn’t have to happen,” he added.

School Graduation Forced to Relocate After Gas Spill in Delco

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A gas spill at the Gas N Go pump station in a Delaware County, Pennsylvania, town not only damaged a nearby creek this weekend, but has now forced a nearby school graduation to relocate, officials said Tuesday.

The spill of more than 4,000 gallons of gasoline seemed to be caused by overfilling after a gasoline shipment at the Gas N Go on the corner of Coebourn Boulevard and Edgmont Avenue in Brookhaven.

The gasoline spilled into the tributary of Chester Creek and a nearby retention pond of Coebourn Elementary School, with various people reporting a strong gasoline smell around 7 a.m. Saturday.

The school was forced to go virtual Monday and Tuesday because of the spill, and school officials now say a kindergarten graduation planned for this week has been moved to the municipal center, officials said.

The entire school is likely to remain virtual for the rest of the week, officials said.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is investigating the spill and performing remediation of ground soil to remove the contaminated dirt. Local authorities also said this week that the spill is now part of an ongoing investigation.

Investigators will focus on whether the gas station had precautions in place that would have prevented overfilling.

“The plan is that we’re gonna spend all the money we need to do to make the area safe and then go after recovery and not wait for a funding to come in but somebody is going to be responsible for the cost,” Delaware County Emergency Services Director Tim Boyce said.

Fred Terpolilli, the general manager of Lee Transport Systems LLC, told NBC10 that the company has hired a third party group to “investigate and determine the root cause of the spill incident” and that it was premature to speculate on what happened.

“I can tell you that it is a very intensive investigation and every possible scenario is being aggressively investigated,” he said.


5 to Watch: The ‘GOAT', US Softball Go for Gold; USWNT, Lloyd Look to Advance

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The women of Team USA take center stage Monday night into Tuesday morning at the Tokyo Olympics.

The GOAT herself, Simone Biles, will look to lead U.S. women’s gymnastics to another all-around team gold. The U.S. women find themselves in a strange place heading into the final, second place.

The U.S. women’s softball team is guaranteed a medal, but will it be gold as they face Japan?

The U.S. Women’s National Team, led by Megan Rapinoe and New Jersey’s Carli Lloyd, will look to ensure that they advance as they play Australia in soccer.

Plus, a triathlete with ties to the Philadelphia region will be trying for her first gold.

Here are 5 to watch in Tokyo, and how to watch all the action.

Simone Biles leads USA Gymnastics into women’s team final

The GOAT of gymnastics will have her first chance to earn a medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and add to her collection of Olympic hardware.

Simone Biles earned the top all-around score in qualifying, but there’s work to be done if she wants to come out on top in the women’s team final, which begins at 6:45 a.m. ET on Tuesday. Team USA finished with an overall score of 170.562 in qualifying, good for second place behind the Russian Olympic Committee’s 171.629. China, France and Belgium finished qualifying in third, fourth and fifth, respectively.

Biles will be joined by 20-year-old Jordan Chiles, 18-year-old Suni Lee and 18-year-old Grace McCallum in the team event. Lee finished third in qualifying with an all-around score of 57.166, while McCallum and Chiles finished 13th and 40th, respectively. While the U.S. owns two of the top three spots for all-around scores, ROC has the fourth, fifth and sixth-highest scores on its team.

Watch the women’s gymnastics team final live on the Olympic channel from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. You can stream full coverage or with the Team USA tracker. You can also wait to watch in primetime.

NJ’s Carli Lloyd, USWNT wrap up group play against Australia

The U.S. women’s national soccer team got a much-needed victory over New Zealand on Saturday following a stunning defeat against Sweden to begin the tournament. Now, New Jersey native Carli Lloyd, fellow Garden Stater Tobin Heath, Julie Ertz, Megan Rapinoe, Alex Morgan and Co. will take on Australia at 4 a.m. ET on Tuesday looking to clinch an automatic spot in the quarterfinals.

The USWNT and Australia both have three points in the Group G table through two games. Sweden, with wins over the USWNT and Australia, already clinched one of the two automatic quarterfinal spots. Two third-place teams will also make it to the quarterfinals, so there is a chance the loser of this match will advance anyways.

The USWNT is looking to return to the podium in Tokyo after missing it for the first time in the event’s history at the Rio Games.

Watch the game on USA Network from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. or stream it live.

Undefeated Team USA takes on Japan in softball gold medal game

After a walk-off win against Japan on Sunday, Team USA will once again face the host nation in the softball gold medal game at 7 a.m. ET on Tuesday.

Both teams were 4-0 entering Sunday’s matchup and had clinched their spots in the gold medal game before facing one another in the final game of round-robin play.

The Americans have been led by outstanding pitching from Cat Osterman and Monica Abbott. Neither pitcher conceded a run over the first three games of the tournament. The team has also seen some timely hitting, as Amanda Chidester walked it off with a two-run single in the eighth inning against Australia on Saturday and Kelsey Stewart hit a walk-off home run against Japan on Sunday.

The game is a rematch of the 2008 gold medal game at the Beijing Olympics, where Japan became the first and only team to keep Team USA off the top of the podium in softball.

Keep an eye on the weather as rain could impact the matchup.

Watch the game live on NBCSN from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. or stream it

Two American world record holders headline swimming finals

Lilly King and Ryan Murphy will look to defend their Olympic crowns Monday night.

King will race in the final for the women’s 100m breaststroke, an event where she set the world record in 2017. She finished with the third-fastest time in Sunday’s qualifying, trailing fellow American Lydia Jacoby and South Africa’s Tatjana Schoenmaker, who broke King’s Olympic record with a time of 1:04.82.

Murphy, on the other hand, set the world record in the men’s 100m backstroke at the 2016 Rio Olympics. After finishing tied for seventh overall in Sunday’s heats, he posted the top time in the semifinals, putting him in line to repeat in the event.

The women’s 100m backstroke will also be an intriguing final after the Olympic record was broken in three consecutive heats on Sunday. Canadian Kylie Masse and American teenager Regan Smith each owned the record for exactly one heat before Australian Kaylee McKeown raised the bar in the final race.

The other final taking place on Monday is the men’s 200m freestyle. Kieran Smith, who already won bronze in the men’s 400m freestyle, will battle against Great Britain’s Duncan Scott.

Monday night’s action will also feature semifinal races for the women’s 200m freestyle, men’s 200m butterfly and women’s 200m individual medley. Also, keep an eye out for New Jersey native Nic Fink in preliminary heats for the men’s 200m breaststroke starting around 6:50 a.m. Tuesday.

Watch live in NBC’s Monday primetime coverage, or stream swimming live.

Villanova alum Summer Rappaport swims, bikes and runs for gold in triathlon

Summer Rappaport’s journey to the Tokyo Olympics included an impressive collegiate career at Villanova University where she swam and did cross-country. She has since added biking to resume to round out her triathlon skills.

The Colorado native competed in her first Games Monday night as the women dove in for a 1,500m swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run.

She ended up finishing in 14th. Fellow American Katie Zaferes finished in third to earn a Bronze medal while Taylor Knibb finished in 16th.

Teen Dead, 2 Men Hurt in North Philadelphia Shootings

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Students at Temple University were told to use caution after at least two shootings happened near the North Philadelphia campus overnight, leaving a teenager dead and at least two men hurt.

The shootings took place around 3 a.m. Monday at N 16th Street and Cecil B Moore Avenue and 16th Street and Montgomery Avenue, Philadelphia police said.

The shootings are believed to involve separate gunmen, but believed to be connected, police said.

Two people were shot at 16th and Montgomery, police said. Down the block at Cecil B Moore, another person was shot. A young woman, believed to be around 18, died after being shot in the head. A 28-year-old man shot in the arm and a 20-year-old man shot in the chest were listed in stable condition at the hospital.

The scenes are right off Temple’s campus, near where some students live. Temple tweeted out an alert telling students about the shooting asking them to “use caution” and “avoid the area.”

As an NBC10 news crew pulled up to the scene, you could see a lot of young people out in the street as police started their investigation.

Investigators hope surveillance video helps them track down the shooters.

There are additional resources for people or communities that have endured gun violence in Philadelphia. Further information can be found here.

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Del. Lawmaker Won't Seek Re-Election After Anti-Asian Slur

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What to Know

  • A Democratic lawmaker in Delaware has apologized for using a racist and sexist slur to refer to sex workers, saying he “dehumanized an entire culture.”
  • Rep. Gerald Brady of Wilmington said he would not seek re-election, but will serve out the 18 months remaining in his current term.
  • State House leaders have so far declined to investigate Brady for ethics violations.

Democratic House leaders in Delaware have indicated that they have no plans to initiate an ethics investigation that could lead to the ouster of a fellow Democrat who used a racist and sexist slur to refer to sex workers.

Amid public backlash and calls for his resignation, Rep. Gerald Brady of Wilmington said in a statement issued Monday that he would not seek reelection after his current term expires.

“I cannot in good conscience ask the voters to put their faith in me again after I betrayed theirs,” said Brady, who is executive director of the Delaware AFL-CIO and was elected to the House in 2006.

Brady made the racist comments in a June 27 email he inadvertently sent to an advocate for decriminalizing prostitution. Thinking he was forwarding an email from an advocate to another person from whom he was seeking input, Brady instead mistakenly hit “reply” and sent his comments to the advocate.

“Is the dude basically saying, if we provide free (sex acts) for Uncle Pervie there will be few rapes and few (a slur for Chinese women) will be shipped in CONEX containers to the Port of Wilmington??” Brady wrote from his official government email address.

Democrat House leaders directed Brady last week to complete sensitivity training and reach out to members of the Asian-American community in an effort to regain their trust. But they indicated in their own statement Monday that they are not interested in initiating disciplinary proceedings that could lead to Brady’s suspension or expulsion from the House.

“We want to be clear about something we have heard from residents this past week: As a duly elected official, only Rep. Brady can make a decision about his political future. House leadership cannot unilaterally take action,” House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf, Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst and Majority Whip Larry Mitchell said in a joint statement.

That’s not true, however.

Schwartzkopf, Longhurst and Mitchell are members of the House Ethics Committee, which is chaired by Longhurst and includes Republican Minority Leader Danny Short and minority whip Tim Dukes. House rules authorize the committee to investigate complaints that a lawmaker has violated the rules of legislative conduct.

Among the rules of legislative conduct: “A member shall not engage in conduct which the House determines (i) brings the House into disrepute or (ii) reflects adversely on the member’s fitness to hold legislative office.”

Ethics Committee rules state that any House member, including any member of the committee, can file a complaint. If a majority of the committee decides that the complaint has been proven, the committee can then, again by majority vote, recommend that the House take “appropriate action,” up to and including expulsion of the offending lawmaker.

Despite describing Brady’s remarks as “reprehensible, racist, sexist and indefensible,” Democratic leaders indicated that, instead of an Ethics Committee investigation, they would make sensitivity training available to all members of the House.

“While we do not believe our colleagues harbor such views, it would be beneficial for them to learn of any microaggressions or other attitudes or actions that negatively impact the Asian American community, and how we all can take steps to improve our relationships with the community,” they said.

These Philly-Area ZIP Codes Received the Most Restaurant Revitalization Fund Grants

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Businesses in Center City ZIP codes were approved for the most aid in Greater Philadelphia via the federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund, a Business Journal data analysis found.

The U.S. Small Business Administration approved nearly 2,000 relief grants totaling more than $607 million for restaurants and other food businesses across the five-county Philadelphia area (1,511 grants), South Jersey (191 grants) and Northern Delaware (280 grants). ZIP codes encompassing parts of Center City, Old City, West Chester, Wilmington and Riverton, New Jersey, were among the areas in Greater Philadelphia that reeled in some of the largest lump RRF grant totals, reaching multimillion-dollar territory. 

The Business Journal’s analysis examined RRF grants approved in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Delaware, Chester and Bucks counties in Pennsylvania; Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties in New Jersey; and Kent and New Castle counties in Delaware. The data used was released by the SBA on July 12 as part of a national Freedom of Information Act request.

Click HERE for the rest of the Philadelphia Business Journal’s in-depth look, by zip code and the overall region, where the program’s funding was approved for businesses.

Bucks County Cop Among 4 Charged With Attempted Child Luring in Atlantic City

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A Bucks County police officer is among the four men charged with attempted child luring in Atlantic City, New Jersey, after concerned citizens posed as underage children online.

Central Bucks Regional Police Cpl. Clifford Horn, 54, of Chalfont, Pennsylvania, Eugene Pulley, 49, of Philadelphia, Sambatrimiaina Raminoson, 26, of Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Jose Machuca, 51, of Hyattsville, Maryland, are all charged with luring and enticing a child by various means.

Atlantic City Police said the arrests began on July 22 with the help of concerned citizens who posed as underage children on various social media websites. The citizens confronted the suspects and then reached out to police, providing the officers with screenshots of conversations and detailed information, according to investigators.

Officials also confirmed Horn is a corporal with the Central Bucks Regional Police Department.

“Our office has assigned personnel to assist New Jersey authorities in any capacity, and to investigate and prosecute any criminal activity that may have occurred in Bucks County,” Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub said. “This office protects all victims, regardless of whether the accused perpetrator is an officer of the law or not. No one is above the law. Our office will begin the process of evaluating all Bucks County criminal cases in which Cpl. Horn was involved.”

Anyone with additional information on the suspects should call Atlantic City Police at 609-347-5766.

Philly's ‘All Hands on Deck' Initiative Thwarts Murder-for-Hire Plot, Officials Say

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A collaborative anti-violence initiative between local and federal authorities helped thwart a murder-for-hire plot in Philadelphia, officials announced Monday.

Darnell Jackson, also known as “Major Change,” 47, of Philadelphia, was arrested and charged with murder-for-hire and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. 

On July 19, Jackson contacted another person in order to arrange the killing of an intended victim, police said. Jackson allegedly sent a photo of the intended victim and indicated he was willing to pay $5,000 for someone to commit the murder. Police also said Jackson mentioned that he was interested in locating the close friends of the intended victim so that they could be harmed as well. 

Once Jackson’s contact told him that he had located the intended victim, they agreed that the murder would take place on the night of July 21, investigators said. 

That same night, the contact told Jackson that the intended victim had been killed, which was false, police said. Jackson allegedly told the contact he would meet him in order to pay for his services. 

A few minutes later, Jackson was stopped by police while driving along 65th Street and Guyer Avenue in Southwest Philadelphia. Police said Jackson was in possession of a Glock-style “ghost gun” loaded with 16 live rounds of ammunition. They also said he didn’t have $5,000 in his possession despite telling his contact he’d pay him that amount. 

Jackson was arrested and appeared in federal court on July 23. He is scheduled for a detention hearing on August 3. 

During a press conference, officials credited Philadelphia Police, the FBI and the Safe Streets Gang Task Force with thwarting the attempted murder as part of their collaborative “All Hands on Deck Initiative.”

“It is no stretch of the imagination to conclude that law enforcement thwarted multiple alleged attempted murders by the defendant last week,” Jennifer Williams, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, said. “But there are hundreds of families in this city for whom this news means very little, because their loved ones were already gunned down this year.”

With 315 homicides as of Sunday night, Philadelphia is on pace to have its deadliest year on record.

City leaders, including councilmember Jamie Gauthier (3rd District) have called for Mayor Jim Kenney to declare a citywide emergency due to the gun violence crisis.

Kenney wrote a letter to Gauthier stating he doesn’t plan on declaring one because it would have no impact in strengthening his administration’s current anti-violence efforts. 

Those efforts include allocating over $150 million to gun violence prevention in the recently approved 2022 budget, weekly meetings with Philadelphia police and other agencies to help find solutions and participating in a national initiative made up of 15 cities across the country to collaborate on violence intervention strategies.

There are additional resources for people or communities that have endured gun violence in Philadelphia. Further information can be found here.

Officers Detain 5 Stowaways on Ship at Penn Terminals in Delaware County

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Five stowaways on a container ship were detained after they jumped into the water in an attempt to flee officers at the Penn Terminals in Eddystone, Delaware County, officials said. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers boarded the AS PETRA, a container ship sailing under the Liberian flag, on Monday afternoon as part of an enforcement boarding. While searching the ship, the officers spotted a stowaway, officials said. 

When the officers spoke to him, the man and four other stowaways tried to flee by jumping into the water and swimming onto the dock, according to officials. The five stowaways were then detained and given medical attention.

Officials have not yet revealed their conditions.


‘Destructive Damage' to Be Added to National Weather Service Cell Phone Alerts

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New cell phone alerts warning of potentially “destructive” thunderstorms will begin appearing when storms meeting certain criteria are approaching, federal officials said Monday.

The alerts will become available to local National Weather Service stations starting Aug. 2, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA), which oversees the NWS.

“The National Weather Service will better convey the severity and potential impacts from thunderstorm winds and hail by adding a “damage threat” tag to Severe Thunderstorm Warnings, similar to our Tornado and Flash Flood Warnings,” NOAA said in a release on its website.

The two new categories are “destructive damage” and “considerable damage” threats. The Mount Holly station of the National Weather Service, which covers most of the Philadelphia region, tweeted out the criteria for when a push alert to cell phones would be issued.

About 10% of all thunderstorms — one in 10 — nationwide produce hail and high winds that reach the “destructive damage” category, NOAA said.

“Most of these storms are damaging wind events such as derechoes and some of the larger, more intense thunderstorms, called “supercell” storms that can typically produce very large hail in their path,” NOAA officials said. “The new destructive thunderstorm category conveys to the public urgent action is needed, a life-threatening event is occurring and may cause substantial damage to property. Storms categorized as destructive will trigger a WEA to your cell phone.”

This is an example of what the new cell phone alert will look like when a warning for a “destructive damage” thunderstorm is issued by the National Weather Service. (NOAA)

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Man Convicted of Murdering LGBTQ Advocate in North Philadelphia in 2019

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What to Know

  • Troy Bailey was convicted of shooting and killing Michelle “Tamika” Washington in North Philadelphia in May 2019.
  • Bailey initially claimed he was an eyewitness but later admitted to the murder, police said.
  • Washington was a transgender woman and LGBTQ advocate.

A Philadelphia man was convicted last week in the shooting death of a transgender woman and LGBTQ advocate in North Philadelphia in 2019.

Troy Bailey, 28 at the time of the shooting two years ago, was sentenced to 25-to-50 years in prison for the murder of Michelle “Tamika” Washington in the woman’s home on North 11th Street in May 2019.

The shooting was reported shortly after 5 a.m. in the 3400 block of North 11th Street. Police officers who arrived at Washington’s house found her suffering from multiple bullet wounds. She died a short time later.

Photos of Michelle “Tamika” Washington. See full-sized photo here.

Bailey initially told detectives that he witnessed the murder and provided a false description of a suspect. Investigators later identified Bailey as the suspect and arrested him.

Bailey eventually allegedly admitted to police that he shot Washington in the head and torso following a dispute over the sale of a firearm. Bailey and Washington were captured on surveillance video walking together prior to the shooting.

“Law enforcement also linked the bullets used in Washington’s murder to live rounds found in Bailey’s home after the execution of a search warrant,” the city district attorney’s office said Monday.

Washington was a longtime advocate for Philadelphia’s transgender community.

“Tragically, violence continues to disproportionately impact our transgender siblings, especially trans people of color,” Mayor Jim Kenney said two years ago following Washington’s death. “We must speak up when these acts strike our communities and demand an end to the violence and discrimination our transgender siblings face.”

Troy Bailey. See full-sized photo here.

4 Women Stabbed in Philadelphia's Olney Neighborhood

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A woman is fighting for her life while three other women are recovering after they were all stabbed in Philadelphia’s Olney neighborhood Monday night. 

The women were on North Marshall Street and West Nedro Avenue when they were each stabbed by an unidentified suspect. 

One woman is in critical condition while the three other victims are stable. 

No arrests have been made and police have not released a description of any suspects. 

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

3 Dead, 2 Hurt in 3 Separate Shootings in Wilmington, Delaware

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Three people were killed while two others were hurt in three separate shootings in Wilmington, Delaware, on Monday.

The first shooting occurred shortly after 7 p.m. on the 600 block of North Monroe Street. A gunman shot a 32-year-old man and a 33-year-old man. Both victims were taken to the hospital where the 32-year-old died from his injuries. The 33-year-old is in stable condition.

Shortly before 10 p.m., another shooting occurred at a house on 2nd and Van Buren streets. At least two people were killed in the shooting. 

Finally, around 10:40 p.m., a person was shot on East 23rd and Jessup streets. The victim was taken to the hospital in extremely critical condition. 

No arrests have been made in any of the shootings and police have not released descriptions of any suspects.

Expert: NJ Woman Stabbed Up to 120 Times by Man She Mistook for Uber Rider in SC

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There were more than 100 stab wounds on a South Carolina university student from New Jersey who was allegedly killed by a man who attacked her after she mistakenly thought his car was her Uber ride, a pathologist testified Monday.

There was also so little blood left in 21-year-old Samantha Josephson’s body — 20 milliliters (1.3 tablespoons) when a body typically has at least 4 liters (1 gallon) — that workers at her autopsy struggled to get enough blood for routine testing, said Dr. Thomas Beaver, who conducted the examination of the woman after her death.

The murder and kidnapping trial of Nathaniel Rowland entered its second week Monday as Beaver spent an hour methodically detailing the roughly 120 separate stab wounds on Josephson’s body. He said he didn’t have an exact number because there were so many.

“It gets to a point where it really doesn’t add much to the report,” said Beaver, a pathologist at the Medical University of South Carolina.

Beaver said almost all the stab wounds were to Josephson’s head, arms, chest and back — and several of the wounds would have penetrated into her brain or neck and been fatal. He took 170 photos and 13 X-rays.

“There were a lot of injuries,” Beaver said.

Josephson got into Rowland’s car in March 2019 thinking it was her Uber ride back to her house, prosecutors said. Instead, the University of South Carolina student from Robbinsville, New Jersey, found herself trapped in the back seat because Rowland had the childproof lock on, investigators said.

Prosecutors have taken a methodical approach to the entire trial. Before Beaver took the stand, they linked Josephson’s blood to areas all over Rowland’s Chevrolet Impala, a knife with two blades and cleaning supplies in the trash behind his girlfriend’s home and on a sock and bandana owned by Rowland.

The prosecution has introduced a mountain of other scientific evidence, from matching a footprint found on a rear window of Rowland’s vehicle to Josephson, to cellphone data showing he was in the area where her body was found some 65 miles from where she was last seen in Columbia’s Five Points entertainment district.

Another witness said DNA found under Rowland’s fingernails matched Josephson’s genetic material.

In previous testimony, Rowland’s attorneys have pointed out scientists weren’t absolutely certain Rowland’s DNA was on the knife and his genetic material wasn’t in other places it might be expected.

Their questioning has also shown that while Josephson appeared to fight her attacker — she had several stab wounds that went all the way through her hands — none of Rowland’s DNA was found on her or under her fingernails and no visible marks were found on Rowland after his arrest.

Beaver testified he was certain the knife with two blades taken from the trash can of Rowland’s girlfriend was used to kill Josephson. But on cross-examination, Beaver told a defense attorney that he Googled hundreds of pictures of knives after the autopsy to figure out what could have caused the unique wounds and sent investigators a photo of a different-looking weapon.

Rowland faces up to life in prison if convicted. Prosecutors did not choose to seek the death penalty.

Josephson’s death turned a national spotlight on ride-hailing safety and led to some changes, including more prominent displays of driver’s license plates. It is being streamed across the country by Court TV.

Lawyer Says Pa. Governor Candidate Struck Motorcycle, Not Driver

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What to Know

  • The lawyer for Charlie Gerow, a Republican candidate for governor, says it appears Gerow didn’t hit the motorcyclist who was killed on the Pennsylvania Turnpike last week.
  • Lawyer Joseph P. Green Jr. also says Gerow wasn’t driving impaired. Green says it appears that the motorcycle was lying in the roadway when Gerow hit it, impaling it on his Mercedes.
  • The accident shut down the Pennsylvania Turnpike for seven hours and left motorcyclist Logan Carl Abbott dead.

The lawyer for a Republican candidate for Pennsylvania governor said Monday his client apparently did not hit the motorcyclist who was killed on the Pennsylvania Turnpike last week, but rather hit the downed motorcycle in the road.

The candidate, Charlie Gerow, was not driving impaired and voluntarily gave a blood sample, attorney Joseph P. Green Jr. said.

An attendee at the political fundraiser Gerow had been attending in suburban Philadelphia last Wednesday evening said she never saw him drinking and that he seemed sober when he left.

Gerow apparently drove for several miles with the motorcycle stuck on the front of his car before pulling over, according to a construction worker who saw the car speed by.

State police have said little about what they have found in their investigation into the crash, which shut down the turnpike overnight and left motorcyclist Logan Carl Abbott dead.

They have not identified Gerow as the driver of the Mercedes 300 involved in the crash, described how it happened or disclosed whether another vehicle was involved.

Gerow, 66, has said through a spokesperson that he is cooperating with police and that he did not cause the crash.

In the statement Monday, Green said “preliminary information” suggests the motorcyclist had been involved in a collision with another vehicle first and that Gerow hit a disabled motorcycle lying in the road.

“There is no evidence that Mr. Gerow struck the motorcyclist or that Mr. Gerow struck an operating motorcycle,” Green said.

The wreck closed the turnpike for seven hours in the westbound lanes in Chester County, just west of the King of Prussia interchange, police have said.

Montgomery County’s Republican Party chair, Liz Preate Havey, said Monday that Gerow seemed “stone sober” at about 9 p.m., when she saw him leaving a county party fundraiser at a private residence in Ambler.

Havey said no one she talked to who attended the event recalls seeing Gerow drink anything that evening. Gerow’s spokesperson, Kevin Harley, said Gerow does not drink alcohol.

A highway construction worker told Spotlight PA/The Philadelphia Inquirer that he was working on the turnpike’s eastbound lanes Wednesday night when he saw a Mercedes pass by with a motorcycle wedged into its grill.

The worker, Nicholas Forgette, who works for a traffic control company, said sparks were flying from the car and that it was making a loud noise and traveling at a high rate of speed.

As construction workers moved down the highway, Forgette said, the Mercedes was pulled over by a police cruiser several miles down the road.

Abbott’s hometown newspaper, the Daily Review of Towanda, in northern Pennsylvania, published an obituary Sunday.

Abbott, 30, of Wysox, had just finished 14 straight days of 12 hour shifts at his job in the oil and gas industry “and was looking forward to his 14 days off and camping with his family,” it said.

Gerow “was heartbroken to learn that the driver of a motorcycle was fatally injured and is praying for him and his family,” Green’s statement said.

Person Reportedly Trapped in Wall Collapse at Amazon Warehouse Site in Philadelphia

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Firefighters in Philadelphia are trying to extricate a person reportedly trapped after a wall collapsed Tuesday morning, authorities said.

It is unclear what caused the collapse along the 700 block of Ramona Avenue in the Feltonville section of the city.

That’s the location of a planned 94,000-square-foot Amazon distribution facility, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported in January. The online retailer leased a portion of a formerly vacant warehouse at 700 Ramona Avenue.

Check back for more information on this breaking news story as details become known.






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