Channel: Local – NBC10 Philadelphia
Mark channel Not-Safe-For-Work? cancel confirm NSFW Votes: (0 votes)
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel.
Previous Article Next Article

Find It on 10: Today's Links


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


Dottie’s Serenade Service


Humane Society of Ocean City


Johnson’s Locust Hall Farm


Toast to Tenacity to celebrate Women’s Equality Day


The Wall Cycling Studio


Vote in the Doodle 4 Google contest

Chef Jeff’s Hot Meals to-Go


The Clay Studio


NBC10 Responds: National Plant Board

Action Wellness

Champions in Action

School District of Philadelphia: Office of Family and Community Engagement


Rittenhouse Dentists


Green Smart Products


One Liberty Philadelphia Observation Deck


If you have received a suspicious message about Economic Impact Payments from someone claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service, report it to the IRS by emailing phishing@irs.gov or calling 800-366-4484 (toll free).

Sofitel Philadelphia


Sugar Bar Salon




City Hydration Philadelphia


Help for People at Risk of or Experiencing Homelessness

Sesame Place


Flyers’ Hometown Assist


Mt. Cuba Center


French Toast Bites by Lokal Artisan Foods




Peddler’s Village


ACCT Philly


Elite Climbing


Linvilla Orchards


List of Rite-Aid COVID testing sites

Camden small business grants (applications launch July 23)


Artist RA Friedman

Philly Real Estate Week


Any Garment Cleaners


Historic Crystal Cave


First Class Pharmacy


Three Suns Auto Care


Coronavirus Transmission Rates

Càphê Roasters

This Is Main Street’


‘”The Wedding Planner’ Gina Sole


Delaware Art Museum


Apply for rental or mortgage assistance through CARES

Parx Casino


Longwood Gardens


Shofuso Gardens

Main Event Arcades

What Is the Reopening Plan for Schools in Philly and the Suburbs? Here Are Answers


Whether it’s all-virtual, a hybrid model or in-person learning, school districts across southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware are releasing plans for the next school year.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for parents, teachers and students to figure out what they’ll need to do for a September start to the 2020-2021 year. NBC10 has built a map of all the public school districts in the region. Some districts’ plans are still being added, while some districts already listed on the map may change their plans in the days and weeks ahead. Please check back frequently for the most up-to-date plans.

We are also working to add plans for private schools and public charter schools. The Philadelphia Archdiocese on July 29 announced a hybrid opening for its Catholic high schools across the Philadelphia region that includes some in-person schooling and some virtual schooling. The archdiocesan grammar schools will be fully in-person, the archdiocese said.

Hybrid openings include partial in-person instruction and partial virtual learning. The “parents choose” option is being offered in some districts, and allows parents to pick between full virtual learning or another option that includes in-person instruction. In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy has mandated that all districts offer an all-virtual option.

Public School Districts’ Reopening Plans in the Philadelphia Region

Hundreds of school districts across southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware are scrambling to prepare for the new school year starting in September amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are plans for each district. This map is still being updated.

Data: NCES, School Districts
Credit: Sara Smith, Brian X. McCrone, Elizabeth Both, Nina Lin/NBC 10 Philadelphia

Are you a parent, a student, or teacher or administrator thinking about the looming school semester ahead? Tell us how you’re feeling about the impending school semester, and what you think should be the right thing for school districts to do in the survey being conducted by NBC Owned Television Stations.

Your answer may be collected and published by this site and NBC Owned Television Stations. See our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Notice: JavaScript is required for this content.
var formDisplay=1;var nfForms=nfForms||[];var form=[];form.id='13';form.settings={"title":"School Reopening Survey","created_at":"2020-07-27 19:45:40","form_title":"School Reopening Survey","default_label_pos":"above","show_title":"0","clear_complete":"1","hide_complete":"1","logged_in":"0","seq_num":null,"objectType":"Form Setting","editActive":"1","wrapper_class":"","element_class":"","key":"","add_submit":"1","currency":"","unique_field_error":"A form with this value has already been submitted.","not_logged_in_msg":"","sub_limit_msg":"The form has reached its submission limit.","calculations":[],"conditions":[{"collapsed":"1","process":"1","connector":"all","when":[{"connector":"AND","key":"are_you_a_parent_a_student_or_an_educator_1595861553232","comparator":"equal","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"when"}],"then":[{"key":"are_you_likely_to_go_back_to_school_if_it_reopens_in_person_1595863078889","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"are_you_likely_to_resume_teaching_in_person_if_schools_reopen_in_the_fall_1595863086383","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"are_you_likely_to_send_your_child_or_children_to_school_depending_on_the_decision_made_by_your_school_district_1595863227503","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"can_nbc_contact_you_for_future_stories_on_school_reopenings_1595863187463","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"city_1595863113771","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"do_you_feel_safe_going_back_to_school_to_teach_in_person_with_the_school_s_proposed_covid-10_precautions_in_place_1595862971541","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"do_you_feel_safe_with_the_school_s_covid-10_precautions_in_place_sending_your_child_to_school_1595862888956","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"how_effective_was_virtual_learning_for_your_school_district_in_the_spring_1595862763441","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"please_leave_your_name_and_phone_number_or_email_1595863208116","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"state_1595863130400","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"what_do_you_think_schools_can_do_to_make_it_safer_for_you_and_your_students_1595862974817","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"what_do_you_think_schools_can_do_to_make_it_safer_from_covid-19_for_your_child_or_children_1595862919735","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"what_do_you_think_schools_can_do_to_make_you_feel_safer_1595862963937","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"what_grade_are_you_in_1595862405477","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"what_grade_is_your_child_or_children_currently_in_1595862333794","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"which_grades_do_you_currently_teach_1595862443819","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"will_you_feel_safe_if_you_go_back_to_school_with_the_school_s_covid-10_precautions_in_place_1595862959937","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"would_you_consider_home-schooling_if_your_district_reopens_1595862948955","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"submit_1595863539772","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"}],"else":[]},{"collapsed":"1","process":"1","connector":"all","when":[{"connector":"AND","key":"are_you_a_parent_a_student_or_an_educator_1595861553232","comparator":"equal","value":"parent","type":"field","modelType":"when"}],"then":[{"key":"what_grade_is_your_child_or_children_currently_in_1595862333794","trigger":"show_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"how_effective_was_virtual_learning_for_your_school_district_in_the_spring_1595862763441","trigger":"show_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"do_you_feel_safe_with_the_school_s_covid-10_precautions_in_place_sending_your_child_to_school_1595862888956","trigger":"show_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"what_do_you_think_schools_can_do_to_make_it_safer_from_covid-19_for_your_child_or_children_1595862919735","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"would_you_consider_home-schooling_if_your_district_reopens_1595862948955","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"are_you_likely_to_send_your_child_or_children_to_school_depending_on_the_decision_made_by_your_school_district_1595863227503","trigger":"show_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"city_1595863113771","trigger":"show_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"state_1595863130400","trigger":"show_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"can_nbc_contact_you_for_future_stories_on_school_reopenings_1595863187463","trigger":"show_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"please_leave_your_name_and_phone_number_or_email_1595863208116","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"are_you_likely_to_go_back_to_school_if_it_reopens_in_person_1595863078889","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"are_you_likely_to_resume_teaching_in_person_if_schools_reopen_in_the_fall_1595863086383","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"do_you_feel_safe_going_back_to_school_to_teach_in_person_with_the_school_s_proposed_covid-10_precautions_in_place_1595862971541","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"will_you_feel_safe_if_you_go_back_to_school_with_the_school_s_covid-10_precautions_in_place_1595862959937","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"what_do_you_think_schools_can_do_to_make_it_safer_for_you_and_your_students_1595862974817","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"what_do_you_think_schools_can_do_to_make_you_feel_safer_1595862963937","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"what_grade_are_you_in_1595862405477","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"which_grades_do_you_currently_teach_1595862443819","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"submit_1595863539772","trigger":"show_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"}],"else":[]},{"collapsed":"1","process":"1","connector":"all","when":[{"connector":"AND","key":"do_you_feel_safe_with_the_school_s_covid-10_precautions_in_place_sending_your_child_to_school_1595862888956","comparator":"equal","value":"no","type":"field","modelType":"when"}],"then":[{"key":"what_do_you_think_schools_can_do_to_make_it_safer_from_covid-19_for_your_child_or_children_1595862919735","trigger":"show_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"would_you_consider_home-schooling_if_your_district_reopens_1595862948955","trigger":"show_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"}],"else":[]},{"collapsed":"1","process":"1","connector":"all","when":[{"connector":"AND","key":"are_you_a_parent_a_student_or_an_educator_1595861553232","comparator":"equal","value":"student","type":"field","modelType":"when"}],"then":[{"key":"what_grade_are_you_in_1595862405477","trigger":"show_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"how_effective_was_virtual_learning_for_your_school_district_in_the_spring_1595862763441","trigger":"show_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"will_you_feel_safe_if_you_go_back_to_school_with_the_school_s_covid-10_precautions_in_place_1595862959937","trigger":"show_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"what_do_you_think_schools_can_do_to_make_you_feel_safer_1595862963937","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"are_you_likely_to_go_back_to_school_if_it_reopens_in_person_1595863078889","trigger":"show_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"city_1595863113771","trigger":"show_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"state_1595863130400","trigger":"show_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"can_nbc_contact_you_for_future_stories_on_school_reopenings_1595863187463","trigger":"show_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"please_leave_your_name_and_phone_number_or_email_1595863208116","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"submit_1595863539772","trigger":"show_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"are_you_likely_to_resume_teaching_in_person_if_schools_reopen_in_the_fall_1595863086383","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"are_you_likely_to_send_your_child_or_children_to_school_depending_on_the_decision_made_by_your_school_district_1595863227503","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"do_you_feel_safe_going_back_to_school_to_teach_in_person_with_the_school_s_proposed_covid-10_precautions_in_place_1595862971541","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"do_you_feel_safe_with_the_school_s_covid-10_precautions_in_place_sending_your_child_to_school_1595862888956","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"what_do_you_think_schools_can_do_to_make_it_safer_for_you_and_your_students_1595862974817","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"what_do_you_think_schools_can_do_to_make_it_safer_from_covid-19_for_your_child_or_children_1595862919735","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"what_grade_is_your_child_or_children_currently_in_1595862333794","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"which_grades_do_you_currently_teach_1595862443819","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"would_you_consider_home-schooling_if_your_district_reopens_1595862948955","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"}],"else":[]},{"collapsed":"1","process":"1","connector":"all","when":[{"connector":"AND","key":"will_you_feel_safe_if_you_go_back_to_school_with_the_school_s_covid-10_precautions_in_place_1595862959937","comparator":"equal","value":"no","type":"field","modelType":"when"}],"then":[{"key":"what_do_you_think_schools_can_do_to_make_you_feel_safer_1595862963937","trigger":"show_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"}],"else":[]},{"collapsed":"","process":"1","connector":"all","when":[{"connector":"AND","key":"are_you_a_parent_a_student_or_an_educator_1595861553232","comparator":"equal","value":"teacher","type":"field","modelType":"when"}],"then":[{"key":"which_grades_do_you_currently_teach_1595862443819","trigger":"show_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"how_effective_was_virtual_learning_for_your_school_district_in_the_spring_1595862763441","trigger":"show_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"do_you_feel_safe_going_back_to_school_to_teach_in_person_with_the_school_s_proposed_covid-10_precautions_in_place_1595862971541","trigger":"show_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"what_do_you_think_schools_can_do_to_make_it_safer_for_you_and_your_students_1595862974817","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"are_you_likely_to_resume_teaching_in_person_if_schools_reopen_in_the_fall_1595863086383","trigger":"show_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"city_1595863113771","trigger":"show_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"state_1595863130400","trigger":"show_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"can_nbc_contact_you_for_future_stories_on_school_reopenings_1595863187463","trigger":"show_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"please_leave_your_name_and_phone_number_or_email_1595863208116","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"are_you_likely_to_go_back_to_school_if_it_reopens_in_person_1595863078889","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"are_you_likely_to_send_your_child_or_children_to_school_depending_on_the_decision_made_by_your_school_district_1595863227503","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"do_you_feel_safe_with_the_school_s_covid-10_precautions_in_place_sending_your_child_to_school_1595862888956","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"do_you_feel_safe_with_the_school_s_covid-10_precautions_in_place_sending_your_child_to_school_1595862888956","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"what_do_you_think_schools_can_do_to_make_it_safer_from_covid-19_for_your_child_or_children_1595862919735","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"what_do_you_think_schools_can_do_to_make_you_feel_safer_1595862963937","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"what_grade_are_you_in_1595862405477","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"what_grade_is_your_child_or_children_currently_in_1595862333794","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"will_you_feel_safe_if_you_go_back_to_school_with_the_school_s_covid-10_precautions_in_place_1595862959937","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"would_you_consider_home-schooling_if_your_district_reopens_1595862948955","trigger":"hide_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"},{"key":"submit_1595863539772","trigger":"show_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"}],"else":[]},{"collapsed":"1","process":"1","connector":"all","when":[{"connector":"AND","key":"do_you_feel_safe_going_back_to_school_to_teach_in_person_with_the_school_s_proposed_covid-10_precautions_in_place_1595862971541","comparator":"equal","value":"no","type":"field","modelType":"when"}],"then":[{"key":"what_do_you_think_schools_can_do_to_make_it_safer_for_you_and_your_students_1595862974817","trigger":"show_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"}],"else":[]},{"collapsed":"","process":"1","connector":"all","when":[{"connector":"AND","key":"can_nbc_contact_you_for_future_stories_on_school_reopenings_1595863187463","comparator":"equal","value":"yes","type":"field","modelType":"when"}],"then":[{"key":"please_leave_your_name_and_phone_number_or_email_1595863208116","trigger":"show_field","value":"","type":"field","modelType":"then"}],"else":[]}],"formContentData":["are_you_a_parent_a_student_or_an_educator_1595861553232","what_grade_is_your_child_or_children_currently_in_1595862333794","what_grade_are_you_in_1595862405477","which_grades_do_you_currently_teach_1595862443819","how_effective_was_virtual_learning_for_your_school_district_in_the_spring_1595862763441","do_you_feel_safe_with_the_school_s_covid-10_precautions_in_place_sending_your_child_to_school_1595862888956","what_do_you_think_schools_can_do_to_make_it_safer_from_covid-19_for_your_child_or_children_1595862919735","would_you_consider_home-schooling_if_your_district_reopens_1595862948955","will_you_feel_safe_if_you_go_back_to_school_with_the_school_s_covid-10_precautions_in_place_1595862959937","what_do_you_think_schools_can_do_to_make_you_feel_safer_1595862963937","do_you_feel_safe_going_back_to_school_to_teach_in_person_with_the_school_s_proposed_covid-10_precautions_in_place_1595862971541","what_do_you_think_schools_can_do_to_make_it_safer_for_you_and_your_students_1595862974817","are_you_likely_to_send_your_child_or_children_to_school_depending_on_the_decision_made_by_your_school_district_1595863227503","are_you_likely_to_go_back_to_school_if_it_reopens_in_person_1595863078889","are_you_likely_to_resume_teaching_in_person_if_schools_reopen_in_the_fall_1595863086383","city_1595863113771","state_1595863130400","can_nbc_contact_you_for_future_stories_on_school_reopenings_1595863187463","please_leave_your_name_and_phone_number_or_email_1595863208116","submit_1595863539772"],"drawerDisabled":"","changeEmailErrorMsg":"Please enter a valid email address!","changeDateErrorMsg":"Please enter a valid date!","confirmFieldErrorMsg":"These fields must match!","fieldNumberNumMinError":"Number Min Error","fieldNumberNumMaxError":"Number Max Error","fieldNumberIncrementBy":"Please increment by ","formErrorsCorrectErrors":"Please correct errors before submitting this form.","validateRequiredField":"This is a required field.","honeypotHoneypotError":"Honeypot Error","fieldsMarkedRequired":"Fields marked with an * are required","ninjaForms":"Ninja Forms","fieldTextareaRTEInsertLink":"Insert Link","fieldTextareaRTEInsertMedia":"Insert Media","fieldTextareaRTESelectAFile":"Select a file","fileUploadOldCodeFileUploadInProgress":"File Upload in Progress.","fileUploadOldCodeFileUpload":"FILE UPLOAD","currencySymbol":"$","thousands_sep":",","decimal_point":".","siteLocale":"en_US","dateFormat":"m\/d\/Y","startOfWeek":"1","of":"of","previousMonth":"Previous Month","nextMonth":"Next Month","months":["January","February","March","April","May","June","July","August","September","October","November","December"],"monthsShort":["Jan","Feb","Mar","Apr","May","Jun","Jul","Aug","Sep","Oct","Nov","Dec"],"weekdays":["Sunday","Monday","Tuesday","Wednesday","Thursday","Friday","Saturday"],"weekdaysShort":["Sun","Mon","Tue","Wed","Thu","Fri","Sat"],"weekdaysMin":["Su","Mo","Tu","We","Th","Fr","Sa"],"currency_symbol":"","beforeForm":"","beforeFields":"","afterFields":"","afterForm":""};form.fields=[{"objectType":"Field","objectDomain":"fields","editActive":"","order":1,"type":"listselect","label":"Are you a parent, a student, or an educator? ","key":"are_you_a_parent_a_student_or_an_educator_1595861553232","label_pos":"above","required":1,"options":[{"errors":[],"max_options":"0","order":"0","new":"","options":[],"label":"- Select One -","value":"","calc":"","selected":"0","settingModel":{"settings":"","hide_merge_tags":"","error":"","name":"options","type":"option-repeater","label":"Options Add New

Indoor Dining, Gyms Closing Friday as Philly Coronavirus Restrictions Take Effect


As Philadelphia, the state of Pennsylvania and the nation see continued spikes in cases of the coronavirus with high positivity rates, restrictions on Philly’s restaurants, gyms and gatherings went into effect 5 p.m. Friday.

Also closed are theaters, museum and library buildings, and the Philadelphia Eagles will no longer have fans in the stands at Lincoln Financial Field.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said Monday that city leaders do not enjoy putting the restrictions in place, but that saving lives is paramount.

“Obviously, we don’t enjoy doing this, but we cannot ignore the numbers and we have to take these precautions in order to get us back to a healthy situation,” Kenney said.

City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said contact tracing is showing that the virus is “spreading a little bit everywhere.”

Left unmitigated, Farley and Kenney said the city could see more than 3,000 new infections per day and that hospital capacity will be overrun by the end of the year.

The number of people hospitalized in the city on Monday is higher than it was in April – three weeks into a total shutdown at that time.

What’s still allowed?

Outdoor dining is still allowed, though not every space is equipped with heaters or other options to shelter customers from the weather. Restaurants can still serve food through takeout and delivery.

Libraries can still serve readers but only for book pickups.

Retail stores can stay open, but with reduced density.

Religious worship can continue, but with reduced occupancy.

Can restaurants survive?

A group called Save Philly Restaurants wrote: “We are going to see a far worse wave of business closures this winter than we have seen so far, because we have used all of our resources to get through the spring and summer. …As the cases continue to grow, and the weather grows colder, we fear for our businesses’ survival.”

The few months of indoor dining largely didn’t make up for the hit to revenue from spring closures – with capacity restrictions there were not many diners inside. And many owners are in debt after taking out millions loans earlier this year, our partners at the Philadelphia Business Journal reported.

And for some restaurants, takeout is not a large component of their business.

Winnie Clowry, the owner of Winnie’s in Manayunk, had a tough conversation with her staff, she told NBC10 Friday.

“What we did yesterday was get together and ask if anyone could take a voluntary layoff. No. Our plan now is they’re all coming together and they’re going to try and split up the hours, so that everybody gets a little bit of money,” she said.

Also of concern is whether customers will want to dine outside in cold weather.

“I’m not planning on, this is probably the last time I’m going to go out,” restaurant customer Megan Cloughey told NBC10 as she sat an outdoor table surrounded in a bubble this week. “I’m going to try to stay home as much as possible, it’s cold. You don’t really need to be outside.”

The last several months of aid talks in Washington have not materialized into gains for workers or financially struggling business owners.

Supporting your neighborhood

As the closures take effect, restaurants will need to rely more on takeout orders for revenue. That’s one option to support your favorite few places.

“I feel badly about restaurants losing business,” the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, recently told CNN. “And I feel it’s almost a neighborly obligation to keep neighborhood restaurants afloat.”

Another option is to buy a gift card, giving them some needed revenue now – cash in later when it’s safe to dine out comfortably again.

You could also make an effort to buy holiday gifts – like those restaurant gift cards – all locally. Consider straying from big box or online retail behemoths that have billions in assets and can survive this crisis.

You could also encourage your friends and family to support local businesses, the city suggested on its website.

Cops Fatally Shoot Man in Upper Darby, Release No Details


A man was killed by police gunfire in Upper Darby, just outside Philadelphia, shortly after noon on Friday, the Delaware County district attorney’s office confirmed.

But neither the district attorney’s office nor the police department had released any details to the shooting by 11 p.m.

The shooting occurred somewhere around Pennock Avenue and Parkview Road, an intersection which borders the McCall Golf Club and Karakung Golf Course in the Highland Park section of Upper Darby.

A large police presence surrounded the area, and the shooting may have spilled over into one of the golf courses.

“I can confirm that there has been an officer involved fatal shooting in Upper Darby,” a spokeswoman for the Delaware County district attorney’s office said in an email. “An independent investigation will be conducted by the District Attorney’s office, led by Deputy District Attorney Doug Rhoads.”

Two People Killed, Others Seriously Hurt in Grays Ferry Fire


Two people were killed in a row home fire in Philadelphia’s Grays Ferry neighborhood early Saturday, while others had to jump out of windows to escape the flames.

The fire was reported at about 1:15 a.m. Saturday. Firefighters responded within two minutes, but the row home was consumed by fire when they arrived.

Three people had to jump out of windows to escape. Fire crews rescued two others from the home, but one of those rescued died at the hospital.

Firefighters found another person dead inside the home.

Some of those hospitalized are in “extremely critical” condition, said Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel.

It’s not yet known if the home had working smoke detectors.

“It’s really important to have smoke alarms in your home, on every floor,” Thiel said at the scene. “Please help us help you. Remember that fire is everyone’s fight.”

NJ Lawmakers Still Can't Agree on the Rules of Legal Cannabis


A New Jersey Assembly voting session that had been scheduled for Monday and was to include a measure setting up the new recreational marijuana market has been canceled, Speaker Craig Coughlin said Friday.

Coughlin, a Democrat, said it was clear the legislation wouldn’t get final approval because of differences between his chamber’s bill and one in the Democrat-led Senate.

“The Assembly’s approach for producing fair and responsible legislation is to be thoughtful and deliberative,” he said in a statement.

The Senate had also planned a Monday session but it was canceled late on Thursday, with lawmakers citing the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

Lawmakers had aimed to fast-track the legislation after voters overwhelmingly approved legalizing recreational marijuana for those 21 and older in the Nov. 3 election.

Committees in both chambers passed measures on Thursday, but they differed. Lawmakers must iron out those differences before a final vote.

So far, a deal on legislation has eluded legislative leaders and Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy.

A key sticking point is whether the number of licenses for cultivators should be capped. The Senate legislation calls for zero caps, but the Assembly is seeking to have 37, which is up from 28 in an earlier version of the bill.

Another sticking point has been whether to include an excise tax, but legislators seemed to move beyond that stumbling block on Thursday. Both versions of the measure included language saying the Cannabis Regulatory Commission may levy such a tax, which was a late addition. Both chambers also want to levy another tax they say amounts to increasing the state’s 6.625% sales tax to 7%.

A sticking point for the influential Legislative Black Caucus has been over programs aimed at helping Black communities, which have been hard-hit by marijuana prohibition. Black residents are likelier to be arrested on marijuana charges than white residents, for example.

Senate President Steve Sweeney said late Thursday he and other lawmakers would introduce a bill to dedicate money raised by marijuana taxes to social equity programs aimed at helping Black communities in particular.

There’s also disagreement between the two legislative houses over how to approach decriminalizing marijuana-related crimes. A bipartisan majority in the Senate has passed a bill, but it’s still pending the Assembly.

Democratic state Sen. Teresa Ruiz wants to see the decriminalization bill move before the legislation setting up the new marketplace and expressed frustration that the Assembly hasn’t acted yet.

Coughlin said Friday he would continue to work to provide “long-sought social justice reforms.”

The constitutional amendment approved by voters goes into effect on Jan. 1.

Boy, 12, Killed After Being Shot Through Front Door of Frankford Home


A 12-year-old boy is dead after he was shot overnight Sunday while attempting to answer the door at a home in Philadelphia’s Frankford neighborhood, police said.

The shooting happened around 2:45 a.m. along the 5000 block of Ditman Street.

Deputy Commissioner Melvin Singleton said there was a knock at the door and that the shooter fired a single shot through the door’s window. The bullet hit the boy in the head.

Police arrived within minutes of the shooting to find the boy bleeding from his mouth, Singleton said. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene just after 3 a.m.

The boy was at home with his grandmother and his 10-year-old sister. None are believed to be the intended target, the deputy commissioner said.

“[The shooter] could not have had any idea of who is on the other side of that door,” Singleton said.

Distraught family members arrived at the home overnight. Crying and wails of anguish could be heard throughout the early morning hours along the block.

The boy’s killing is the 437th homicide in Philadelphia in 2020 – that’s 118 more deaths than the same time last year.

Police hope to obtain surveillance video from nearby homes to aid in their investigation. They currently do not have a description of the shooter, but did recover a shell casing from the porch.

NJ Voting Session Canceled Amid Cannabis Bill Disagreements


A New Jersey Assembly voting session that had been scheduled for Monday and was to include a measure setting up the new recreational marijuana market has been canceled, Speaker Craig Coughlin said Friday.

Coughlin, a Democrat, said it was clear the legislation wouldn’t get final approval because of differences between his chamber’s bill and one in the Democrat-led Senate.

“The Assembly’s approach for producing fair and responsible legislation is to be thoughtful and deliberative,” he said in a statement.

The Senate had also planned a Monday session but it was canceled late on Thursday, with lawmakers citing the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

Lawmakers had aimed to fast-track the legislation after voters overwhelmingly approved legalizing recreational marijuana for those 21 and older in the Nov. 3 election.

Committees in both chambers passed measures on Thursday, but they differed. Lawmakers must iron out those differences before a final vote.

So far, a deal on legislation has eluded legislative leaders and Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy.

A key sticking point is whether the number of licenses for cultivators should be capped. The Senate legislation calls for zero caps, but the Assembly is seeking to have 37, which is up from 28 in an earlier version of the bill.

Another sticking point has been whether to include an excise tax, but legislators seemed to move beyond that stumbling block on Thursday. Both versions of the measure included language saying the Cannabis Regulatory Commission may levy such a tax, which was a late addition. Both chambers also want to levy another tax they say amounts to increasing the state’s 6.625% sales tax to 7%.

A sticking point for the influential Legislative Black Caucus has been over programs aimed at helping Black communities, which have been hard-hit by marijuana prohibition. Black residents are likelier to be arrested on marijuana charges than white residents, for example.

Senate President Steve Sweeney said late Thursday he and other lawmakers would introduce a bill to dedicate money raised by marijuana taxes to social equity programs aimed at helping Black communities in particular.

There’s also disagreement between the two legislative houses over how to approach decriminalizing marijuana-related crimes. A bipartisan majority in the Senate has passed a bill, but it’s still pending the Assembly.

Democratic state Sen. Teresa Ruiz wants to see the decriminalization bill move before the legislation setting up the new marketplace and expressed frustration that the Assembly hasn’t acted yet.

Coughlin said Friday he would continue to work to provide “long-sought social justice reforms.”

The constitutional amendment approved by voters goes into effect on Jan. 1.

Eagles Are Proving to Be Loyal to a Fault in 2020


Eagles are proving to be loyal to a fault in 2020 originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The Eagles have a loyalty problem.

In the real world, being loyal is admirable. To a certain extent, it’s admirable in the football world too. Players want to play for coaches who are loyal.

But the NFL is a results driven business. At least it should be.

The Eagles are being loyal to the wrong guys.

And they’re paying for that in the 2020 season with a 3-6-1 record. Doug Pederson and Jim Schwartz have shown too much loyalty to “their guys” and it has stripped the organization of its ability to hold players accountable for subpar play.

Pederson won’t even consider benching Carson Wentz. Of course, Jason Peters goes back to left tackle. Gotta get Alshon Jeffery his snaps. Can’t take Jalen Mills or Nate Gerry off the field. Better hand Avonte Maddox the CB2 job and keep him there no matter what.

At every turn this season, Pederson and Schwartz continue to give their favorite players chance after chance. This is the same organization headed by Howie Roseman, who not that long ago warned against sentimentality.

This organizational flaw is most apparent in the way the Eagles have handled Peters and Jeffery this season. Neither will be here next year, yet the Eagles continue to favor them during this miserable season.

Peters played so poorly on Sunday that it looked like perhaps Pederson had finally benched him. But after the game, Pederson said the ancient left tackle came out of the game because of an injury. So you can expect the 38-year-old to be back out there next Monday night as 23-year-old Jordan Mailata watches from the bench, missing valuable snaps that could help him improve.

With Jeffery, everyone knows he’s gone next season. But since Roseman foolishly guaranteed his contract for this season, the Eagles are hellbent on getting something out of him. In his two games back, Jeffery has been targeted three times. He doesn’t have a catch and so terribly mistimed a jump on Sunday night that he was nowhere near a position to prevent an interception. It’s not like the Eagles have a ton of great options at receiver but why even play Jeffery at this point?

With Wentz, Pederson looked shocked that there were questions about possibly benching the franchise quarterback. But Wentz’s play has directly led to those very fair questions. No one is saying a benching has to be permanent, but it would certainly be warranted. And maybe it’d even help.

See, it’s not a crazy thought.

It’s not just the offense either. Schwartz loves his guys too.

It’s why until Gerry suffered an injury and went on IR, the Eagles kept trotting him out there game after game and defending him the following week. Remember, the Eagles did draft two linebackers this year and those guys are still having trouble finding the field without four-linebacker sets. And before Gerry got hurt, Alex Singleton couldn’t get in a game. Since the injury to Gerry, he’s been their best linebacker.

It’s also why Jalen Mills doesn’t leave the field, whether he’s playing as a below average safety or a below average corner. He’s versatile … but is he good? Mills is on a one-year deal so the Eagles aren’t even invested in him as a long-term solution at safety. I don’t know if Will Parks or K’Von Wallace would be any better, but maybe it’s time to try some other options. Parks is on a one-year deal too, but I’d want to find out if he’d be worth keeping around. And, sure, Wallace was a fourth-rounder, but he has shown some promise. Let’s see if he can play.

Then there’s Maddox, who is so clearly playing out of position. He just doesn’t look like an outside cornerback and the Eagles never even really gave anyone else a chance to win that job during training camp. Eventually, they even cut Rasul Douglas and Sidney Jones, who have gone on to have decent levels of success elsewhere.

Pederson always says he doesn’t want to make knee-jerk reactions, he doesn’t want to make changes for the sake of making changes. But haven’t we reached a point with this team where they can’t keep doing the same things anymore? Haven’t we reached a point where the Eagles realize their loyalty to certain players is negatively affecting them on the field?

Because I’ve reached that point. And they need to soon.

Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast:

Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | Watch on YouTube

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

Should Doug Pederson Bench Carson Wentz?


Pederson has to bench Wentz now originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

It’s time. Maybe it’s past time. Time to end the insanity. Time to hold the quarterback accountable. Time to take drastic action before it’s too late.  It’s time to bench Carson Wentz. It’s the only way the Eagles can salvage the season. Because it’s 10 weeks now. And nothing has changed.  Ten weeks of Wentz bumbling around in the pocket, throwing into double coverage, taking needless sacks, turning the ball over at record pace, missing open receivers. If anything, Wentz is getting worse. If that’s possible. He makes mistakes and then compounds them with more mistakes, and week after week you can just see him losing confidence as the mistakes add up. The quarterback we saw face the Browns Sunday was a lost cause. There’s no way to watch that guy and think this is someone on the brink of turning things around. Someone who’s one big play away from finding his lost form. He’s lost. And the coach and his staff have shown zero ability to get things turned around. Wentz has played 10 games. Seven have been terrible. Three have been barely average.  There’s something terribly wrong here that’s not being fixed and what Wentz needs now is a chance to step away, catch his breath and try to recapture the magic that made him the NFL’s 6th-ranked QB over the last three years. Because continuing to send him out there right now is giving up on the season. Even though Pederson says the opposite.

And as awful as the Eagles have been, the standings still say they’re in first place, and Pederson owes it to his team to do anything he can to keep them there. I don’t even think this is all Wentz’s fault. Pederson has been a bad play caller, the offensive line has been shaky, his receivers haven’t always made the plays they should have. Doesn’t matter.  Wentz is broken right now. And it’s not just a few weeks. We’re heading into Week 12.  So let him sit and watch. I don’t know what the Eagles have in Jalen Hurts, but they drafted him in the second round for a reason and they elevated him to No. 2 in Week 2 for a reason and they’ve been getting him snaps every week for a reason.

He’s had 2 ½ months now to learn the offense, develop chemistry with the receivers and get a feel for the speed of the NFL game. He can’t be any worse than Wentz and who knows, maybe he’ll inject some life into the offense? 

What do you have to lose? It doesn’t mean Wentz will never start another game for this team. It just means the offense needs a jolt of electricity and Wentz needs to stand on the sidelines and see things from a different perspective.

Because the current one sure as heck ain’t working. Quarterbacks get benched. It happens. It’s not the end of the world. Donovan McNabb got benched in 2008 after taking this team to four NFC Championship Games, bounced back a week later and led the Eagles to a fifth. It’s year 5 for Carson, and I don’t care how many million dollars he’s earning or how high a draft pick he was. Sending him out there every Sunday to play like crap doesn’t do anybody any good. If Hurts plays poorly, you can always go back to Wentz at some point. If he plays well? Maybe you win enough games to get to the playoffs. If he plays lights out? Too bad for Carson. He’s staying on the bench. If I saw any sign whatsoever that Wentz was about to turn things around, I’d never suggest this. But the guy we’re watching play quarterback for the Eagles right now has no confidence, no instincts, no answers. He’s got to sit. Now. Doug has no choice.

Eagles' Struggles Continue in 22-17 Loss to Cleveland Browns


Roob’s observations after Eagles’ embarrassing loss to Browns originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Another catastrophe for Carson Wentz. Another coaching abomination for Doug Pederson. Another organization-wide embarrassment. 

Browns 22, Eagles 17.

Six weeks to go.

Because I don’t care who’s in first place today in the NFC East, the Eagles are not winning this division.

Here’s our 10 Instant Observations off a gruesome loss to a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in 18 years.

1. It’s not a question of whether Carson or Doug is responsible for this train wreck of an offense. It’s both of them. Terrible quarterback. Terrible head coach. And it keeps happening and nothing is changing and this team is an embarrassment right now. Carson has lost all sense of pocket awareness, isn’t seeing the field and continues making terrible decisions. And Doug has no sense for getting Wentz into a rhythm, calling the right plays at the right time or balancing the run and pass. Injuries are no longer an excuse. There are no excuses for this disaster. If Doug won’t give up play calling, Jeff Lurie needs to make him give it up. This is like something out of a Dana Bible nightmare. This can’t be allowed to continue. It’s not going to change on its own.

2. Quarterbacks have a salary cap hit. Coaches don’t. Sitting here on Nov. 22, 2020, I don’t know how Doug survives this.

3. If one play symbolizes the Eagles’ offensive struggles this year it’s Wentz standing there in the end zone and waiting and waiting and waiting and — OOF, getting sacked for a safety. How a guy in his fifth year can take a safety in that situation instead of unloading the football is unfathomable. WHAT ARE YOU DOING???

4. I can’t stop thinking about Wentz’s NFL debut against the Browns on opening day of 2016. Here’s a 23-year-old kid out of a football championship subdivision school, he had missed a good chunk of training camp, had mediocre wide receivers, had barely played in the preseason, was the No. 3 QB two weeks before the opener. And then he goes out there and is 22-for-37 for 278 yards, 2 TDs and 0 INTs and a 101.0 passer rating in a 29-10 win. What on Earth HAPPENED?  

5. Seven 1st-half points against the Cowboys, three against the Giants last week and none against the Browns on Sunday. First time since 2012 – Andy Reid’s last year – the Eagles have gone three straight games scoring seven or fewer 1st-half points. When a team manages just 10 first-half points in a three-game stretch, that’s a team that’s simply not prepared, and that falls squarely on the head coach. The Eagles have had one halftime lead in their last six games. Tough way to win. For this team, an impossible way to win. 

6. I’m on the record as saying that when Jason Peters came back, it made the most sense to play him at left tackle and sit Jordan Mailata. Never mind. J.P. can’t play anymore. That may have been the worst game of his career. Imagine if the Browns had Myles Garrett? Jordan Mailata at least will give you an honest effort, and he’s got some upside. I just can’t watch Jason Peters try to play left tackle anymore. You know what? Cut him. 

7. The defense only gave up 13 points, and that should be enough to win a football game. But for crying out loud, how often do we have to see this unit give up points as soon as the offense scores? Both Cleveland scores followed Eagles scores, and I don’t care how many points you allow, if you all of a sudden go soft right when your team needs you the most, you’re not a good defense. The Eagles closed to within two points on a Jake Elliott field goal early in the third quarter, they’ve got some momentum, and three plays later, there goes Nick Chubb for 54 yards and a couple plays later the Browns score and make it a two-possession game again. Why do I feel like if the Eagles scored 38 points, the defense would have given up 41? 

8. This one stat pretty much tells you about the two head coaches, their philosophies, their play calling and their approach: 

  • Eagles rushing yards: 19-for-96 in the first half, 6-for-10 in the second half
  • Browns rushing yards: 13-for-18 in the first half, 27-for-119 in the second half 

For crying out loud, if you’re going to commit to the running attack, you have to commit to it for more than ONE SERIES. 

9. The Eagles came out on their first drive with a good scheme, a smart game plan, lots of Miles Sanders and Boston Scott, picking up 71 yards and four first downs. It ended with Sanders fumbling on the 4-yard-line, but the disturbing thing is how as the game went on, the offense steadily began to deteriorate. The crispness and execution we saw on that first drive disappeared. Browns defensive coordinator Joe Woods adjusted and Pederson had no answers. Averaging netting 71 yards on their first drive and 53 on their next, the Eagles averaged 13 yards on their next 11 drives before some garbage time yards. At one point the Eagles had two first downs in the span of seven drives. Inexcusable. 

10. A couple positives. Alex Singleton, who didn’t even start getting regular defensive reps until Week 6, is a player. Active, tough against the run, around the ball. It’s been a while since a homegrown Eagles linebacker helped this team. Jordan Hicks for a couple years. Mychal Kendricks before that. And Richard Rodgers has really given the Eagles a lift with Zach Ertz out. This is a veteran tight end who caught 13 passes from 2017 through 2019, but he had 4-for-52 with a TD Sunday and is now 23-for-296 since getting his first offensive snaps in Week 3. Rodgers wasn’t even in training camp with the Eagles, but he’s a smart, crafty veteran with good hands, and if Ertz isn’t here next year the Eagles would be in good shape with Dallas Goedert and Rodgers.

Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast:

Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | Watch on YouTube

Trump Appeals Rejection of Effort to Block Pennsylvania Vote


President Donald Trump is appealing a federal judge’s dismissal of his campaign’s effort to block the certification of votes in Pennsylvania.

The president and other plaintiffs filed notice of appeal to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Sunday, a day after the judge issued a scathing order shooting down claims of widespread irregularities with mail-in ballots.

The case was always a long shot to stop President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, but given Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes at stake, it was the campaign’s best hope to affect the election results through the courts. Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, appeared in court for the first time in decades to argue the case this past week.

U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Brann wrote in his order that Trump had asked the court to disenfranchise almost 7 million voters. In seeking such a “startling outcome,” he said, a plaintiff could be expected to provide compelling legal arguments and “factual proof of rampant corruption” — but “That has not happened.”

The campaign also filed a motion Sunday night asking for an expedited hearing Wednesday as they seek to amend the Pennsylvania lawsuit that Brann dismissed before the state certifies its election results next month.

Doug Pederson Didn't and Isn't Considering Benching Carson Wentz


Pederson didn’t and isn’t considering benching Wentz originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Doug Pederson gave a perplexed look on Sunday evening when asked if Carson Wentz would start next Monday night against the Seahawks.

Eventually he said, “Yes.” 

That answer was accompanied by a look of, “Duhhh…” 

“He’s our starter,” Pederson continued. “Yeah, no questions about it. He’s our starter.” 

For what it’s worth, Pederson said he also never considered benching the franchise quarterback during the Eagles’ 22-17 loss to the Browns on Sunday despite another awful game for Wentz. 

In this one, Wentz completed 21 of 35 passes for 235 yards with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. One of his touchdowns came when he was gifted a short field from a turnover and the other game with 30 seconds left. His first interception was taken 50-yards to the house. 

Despite all that, Pederson was always going to stick with Wentz. Despite the fact that the Eagles drafted a quarterback in the second round in April, Pederson clearly still thought Wentz gave the Eagles their best chance to win on Sunday. 

“With the way the game was going and the elements and we were just really a score from putting ourselves back into this football game, I did not consider that,” he said. 

On Sunday, Wentz actually got off to a pretty good start but things seemed to unravel after his pass to Miles Sanders was picked off and returned for a touchdown by Sione Takitaki early in the second quarter. 

Wentz has now thrown 14 interceptions this season, tying a career-high he set as a rookie. The Eagles still have six games left to play in 2020. 

A little later in his press conference on Sunday afternoon, Pederson was asked if he even had the full authority to bench Wentz during a game, as that would obviously be a major decision. While he didn’t answer that question directly, he did give some insight into why he won’t bench his quarterback during a game or to start a game. 

“Look, I think if you get to that spot whether you don’t start him or you bench him, I think you’re sending a wrong message to your football team that the season’s over and that’s a bad message,” Pederson said. 

“We have to work through this. When times get tough, sometimes that might be the easy thing to do. This business is about work, this business is about detailing, having ownership, things I talk about with the team. That’s what we gotta do. That’s coaches and players. That’s not one guys. It’s bigger. This sport is bigger than one guy. We all have a hand in it and we all have to fix it.”

Of course, the Eagles have many more problems than just Wentz but you can certainly make the case that he’s been one of the biggest problems in 2020. 

Wentz has turned the football over in nine of 10 games this season. The Eagles were counting on him having a Pro Bowl-type of season and he has been one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL through 11 weeks. 

Wentz on Sunday was asked about the talk of possibly benching him. 

“First of all, media, you guys can ask whatever questions you want,” Wentz said. “I know that’s part of the deal. I know that’s always a scrutinized position, playing quarterback and that’s what I signed up for when I came out and played quarterback going back to high school. I can wear it.” 

The Eagles are married to Wentz for a couple more seasons because of his contract, so they’d obviously like to see him play his way out of his slump. But it’s hard to imagine a switch suddenly flipping this deep into the season. 

The questions on Sunday about benching Wentz were warranted by his play. Even if Pederson isn’t ready to entertain them seriously. 

Bryce and Kayla Harper Welcome Their Second Child, a Baby Girl


Bryce Harper, wife Kayla welcome second child, a girl originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

We’ve got another Harper!

Bryce Harper and his wife Kayla Harper have welcomed their second child, the Phillies right fielder announced Sunday afternoon.

Harper, 28, posted a photo of the two proud parents and their newborn daughter, Brooklyn Elizabeth Harper, on his Instagram:

You just love to see it. Brooklyn’s a really sweet name.

The couple welcomed their first child, their son Krew, in August 2019. They announced that baby No. 2 was on its way this past June, while Major League Baseball was in its months-long stoppage because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

On the field, Harper is entering the third year of his 13-year deal with the Phillies, which is intended to keep him in Philadelphia until 2031, when he’ll be 39. Harper said when he signed with the Phils that he wanted to sign a long-term deal so he could put down roots and build a family, and it’s awesome to see that he and Kayla are doing just that.

Subscribe to the Phillies Talk podcastApple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | Watch on YouTube

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

Trump Campaign Legal Team Distances Itself From Powell


Perhaps Sidney Powell has gone too far for even Rudy Giuliani this time.

The Trump campaign’s legal team moved to distance itself Sunday from the firebrand conservative attorney after a tumultuous several days in which Powell made multiple incorrect statements about the voting process, unspooled unsupported and complex conspiracy theories and vowed to “blow up” Georgia with a “biblical” court filing.

“Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own. She is not a member of the Trump Legal Team. She is also not a lawyer for the President in his personal capacity,” Giuliani and another lawyer for Trump, Jenna Ellis, said in a statement.

There was no immediate clarification from the campaign and Powell did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

The statement hints at further tumult for a legal team that has lost case after case in contested states as it works to overturn the results of the Nov. 3 election. Law firms have withdrawn from cases, and in the latest blow, a federal judge dismissed on Saturdaynight the Trump campaign’s effort to block the certification of votes in Pennsylvania in a blistering ruling that described the arguments as “strained” and “unsupported by evidence.”

Trump had heralded Powell’s role as one of his lawyers, tweeting on November 14 that she was part of a team of “wonderful lawyers and representatives” spearheaded by Giuliani.

But the terse Sunday evening statement was the latest sign of wariness over her approach even within some conservative circles. Fox News host Tucker Carlson said on his show last week that his team had asked Powell for evidence to support her claims, but that Powell had provided none.

Powell made headlines with her statements at a Thursday news conferencewhere, joined by Giuliani and Ellis, she incorrectly suggested that a server hosting evidence of voting irregularities was located in Germany, that voting software used by Georgia and other states was created at the direction of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and that votes for Trump had probably been switched in favor of President-elect Joe Biden.

In a subsequent interview with Newsmax, she appeared to accuse Georgia’s Republican governor, Brian Kemp, and its Republican secretary of state of being part of a conspiracy involving a voting-system contract award that she contends harmed Trump’s reelection bid.

“Georgia’s probably going to be the first state I’m going to blow up and Mr. Kemp and the secretary of state need to go with it,” she said, later adding that a court filing she hoped to submit this week involving the state would be “biblical.”

The status of that lawsuit was unclear Sunday night.

Chris Krebs, who was recently fired by Trump as director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, tweeted Sunday night that “any claims of vote count manipulation” in Georgia “were nonsense from day 1” since the systems in the state had paper records that were validated in the recount.

Powell, a former federal prosecutor, took over last year as the lead lawyer for Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Since then, a federal judge rejected her claims of prosecutorial misconduct and has responded quizzically to some of her arguments, including her suggestion at a hearing several weeks ago that her conversations with Trump about the Flynn case were privileged.

She has supported a Justice Department motion to dismiss the Flynn prosecution, a request that remains pending before U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan.


Follow Eric Tucker at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP

Gunman Kills Young Man, Injures Twin and 3rd Man in Southwest Philadelphia


A young man was killed while his twin brother and a third man were injured following a triple shooting in Southwest Philadelphia Sunday night. 

A 21-year-old man, his twin brother and a 25-year-old man were on the 2500 block of South Alden Street at 8:48 p.m. when an unidentified gunman opened fire. 

The 21-year-old man was shot in the head and taken to Presbyterian Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 9:15 p.m.

The victim’s twin brother was shot once in the abdomen and was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania where he is in stable condition. 

The 25-year-old was shot multiple times throughout his body and was also taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania where he is in critical condition.

Police recovered a weapon but no arrests have been made and they have not yet released information on any suspects. 

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

Chris Christie Tells Trump to End Election Lawsuits, Calls His Legal Team ‘National Embarrassment'

  • Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Sunday that the president should end his legal fights challenging the results of the election and concede to president-elect Joe Biden.
  • “You have an obligation to present the evidence, the evidence has not been presented,” Christie said.
  • Christie described Trump’s legal team as a “national embarrassment” and Powell’s explosive claims as “outrageous conduct.”
  • Trump has alleged that the U.S. presidential election was riddled with “massive improprieties and fraud” and has therefore rejected the results.

President Donald Trump’s confidant former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said Sunday that the president should end his legal fights challenging the results of the election and concede to president-elect Joe Biden.

“Listen, I’ve been a supporter of the president, I voted for him twice but elections have consequences and we cannot continue to act as if something happened here that didn’t happen,” Christie explained on “This Week with George Stephanopoulos.”

“They allege fraud outside of the courtroom but when they go inside the courtroom they don’t plead fraud and they don’t argue fraud,” Christie said, adding “you have an obligation to present the evidence, the evidence has not been presented.”

Trump has alleged that the U.S. presidential election was riddled with “massive improprieties and fraud” and has therefore rejected the results. Other top administration officials, such as Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have publicly insisted that the election is not over. The Trump campaign continues to question the integrity of the election through a series of legal actions across battleground states.

On Saturday a federal judge in Pennsylvania dismissed a lawsuit by Trump’s campaign that sought to block that state’s certification of millions of votes. The judge’s decision is another brick in the crumbling edifice that is Trump’s already long-shot bid to invalidate enough ballots in enough states to reverse Biden’s victory in the election.

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said in a statement that the judge’s ruling confirms “Joe Biden won the 2020 election and will become the 46th President of the United States.”

“I congratulate President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on their victory. They are both dedicated public servants and I will be praying for them and for our country,” Toomey added.

The Trump campaign and its allies now have lost or withdrawn more than 30 lawsuits that were part of that effort.

Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell listed a slew of allegations of fraud during an interview on Newsmax TV on Saturday. Powell alleged that Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp may have been involved in kickbacks to public officials but gave no details.

“Sidney Powell accusing Governor Brian Kemp of a crime on television yet being on unwilling to go on TV and defend and lay out the evidence that she supposedly has” is “outrageous conduct,” Christie said.

The former governor and federal prosecutor slammed Trump’s legal team as a “national embarrassment.”

CNBC’s Dan Mangan contributed to this report.

NJ Bill to Protect Judges' Personal Info Becomes Law After Judge's Son Was Killed


What to Know

  • New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has signed a bill into law that protects the personal information of judges and other law enforcement personnel from being publicly available.
  • Daniel’s Law is named after Daniel Anderl, the son of U.S. District Judge Esther Salas who was slain at the family’s home in July by a disgruntled attorney who had targeted Salas and other judges.
  • The law imposes penalties on anyone who publishes personal identifying information such as home addresses or phone numbers. Similar legislation has been proposed in Congress that would apply nationwide.

A federal judge whose son was slain at their home by an attorney who had stalked her invoked his memory Friday at the signing of a New Jersey law aimed at protecting judges’ personal information from being publicly accessible.

“With today’s bill signing, I believe, symbolically, Daniel is doing what he did for his father and I — he is protecting the lives of countless judicial officers,” U.S. District Judge Esther Salas said as she choked back tears.

Twenty-year-old Daniel Anderl was shot on July 19 by an assailant dressed as a FedEx deliveryman as he answered the door at the family’s New Jersey home. Salas, who sits in federal court in Newark, was in another part of the house and wasn’t injured, but her husband, Mark Anderl, was shot and seriously wounded. He attended Friday’s bill signing with Salas.

The gunman was identified as Roy Den Hollander, a self-described “anti-feminist lawyer” who had a case before Salas involving a woman who wanted to register for the men-only military draft. Among thousands of pages of often racist and misogynistic screeds posted online, Den Hollander derided the judge as having traded on her Hispanic heritage to get ahead.

Den Hollander was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot the day after the ambush. Authorities later concluded he also shot and killed a fellow attorney in California in the days before the attack at Salas’ home.

Den Hollander had a document with information about a dozen female judges from across the country — half, including Salas, Latin — with him when he was found dead, two people with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press at the time. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the case.

Daniel’s Law, signed Friday by Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy, imposes penalties on anyone who publishes personal identifying information such as home addresses or phone numbers for active and former federal, state, county and municipal judges and their family members, as well as prosecutors and law enforcement officers.

Portions of documents containing an address, for example, would be excluded from the definition of “government record” under public open records laws.

Posting home addresses or unlisted phone numbers online could be punished by up to five years in prison depending on the circumstances.

Similar legislation has been proposed in Congress that would apply nationwide.

Shop Owner Shot as He Was Closing Up for the Night


A gunman shot a North Philadelphia shop owner in the head as he closed his market Sunday night.

Police officers arrived to the store near 25th Street and Ridge Avenue around 10 p.m. to find an unresponsive man in his 50s slouched against the door of the market, Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small said. The man had been shot in the head.

The shop owner was rushed to the hospital where he was listed in extremely critical condition, Small said.

The investigation showed that the man, who family members said has owned the store for several years, had just walked out and was pulling down the gates to the store when at least one gunshot was heard, police said. He then collapsed, bleeding on the sidewalk.

Investigators were retrieving video in hopes of getting a description of the gunman. The motive wasn’t immediately clear.

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

No Singing? NJ Shares Guidelines for Safe Thanksgiving Events (If You Must Hold One)


What to Know

  • New Jersey recommends against large holiday gatherings; for those who won’t heed that advice, here are the state’s guidelines
  • The Garden State also revealed COVID-19 guidelines for long-term health facilities for the holidays; officials recommend not taking a loved one out of a care facility for any holiday celebration
  • The guidelines were revealed the same day that Gov. Phil Murphy imposed new statewide indoor and outdoor capacity limits

New Jersey officials — like others in the tri-state — have urged residents not to travel and advised against gatherings of any size during the upcoming holidays. For those who won’t heed that advice, the state shared guidelines for safe Thanksgiving gatherings in their homes. Among those: Don’t allow singing.

“This will not be a normal Thanksgiving. With the alarming surge in our cases, we all need to be vigilant, and take all of the public health precautions that helped us limit the spread of the virus last spring. Our lives and the lives of our loved ones depend on it,” New Jersey’s Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said during Gov. Phil Murphy’s coronavirus press briefing Monday, Nov. 16. “[The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] has put together guidance on holiday celebrations that residents should follow to protect their health and the health of their loved ones. Everyone should only celebrate with members of their immediate household.”

While the upcoming holiday season is causing concern by tri-state health officials as the region continues its fight against an alarming increase in coronavirus cases, they are cognizant that some residents won’t heed their warnings and will travel out of the state or host gatherings. Knowing this, New Jersey has revealed certain guidelines individuals should take into consideration this holiday season. They include:

  • Limit the number of attendees to allow people from different households to remain at least six feet apart;
  • Plan ahead and ask guests to avoid contact with people outside of their households for 14 days before the gathering. “Thanksgiving is 11 days away, so if you haven’t started doing that, start limiting your interactions today,” Persichilli said Nov. 16 when she went over the guidelines;
  • Guests should avoid direct contact, including handshakes and hugs with others outside their household;
  • The best option is to host outdoors rather than indoors as much as possible;
  • Wear masks. Even outdoors requires guests to wear masks when not eating or drinking;
  • If you do host indoors, increase your ventilation by opening windows and doors or placing central air and heating on continuous circulation;
  • If you are hosting provide attendees with supplies to help everyone stay healthy. These include extra masks, perhaps, and hand sanitizer and tissues, and stocking bathrooms with enough hand soap and single use towels;
  • Remind attendees to wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol;
  • Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces or shared items, such as serving utensils. Use single-use options or identify one person to share shareable items, like salad dressing or food containers, plates, utensils and condiments;
  • Encourage guests to avoid singing or shouting – especially indoors;
  • Keep music levels down so people don’t have to shout or speak loudly to be heard.

“Please keep safety in mind while celebrating the holiday. We cannot let our guard down because we know that gatherings provide an opportunity for COVID-19 to spread,” Persichilli said.

Additionally, New Jersey revealed COVID-19 guidelines for long-term health facilities for the holiday season. To protect the health of this vulnerable population, the department strongly recommends against families taken residents out of the facilities for holiday celebrations or gatherings.

“Individuals at increased risks of severe illness from COVID-19 should avoid gatherings of individuals that they don’t live with. Small family gatherings are a significant driver of increase in cases,” Persichilli said. “Residents of long-term health facilities are particularly susceptible. Bringing your loved ones home could put them at risk.”

Instead of family visits outside the facility, the department recommends visitation outdoors or possibly indoors in facilities that meet the requirements for indoor visitation.

Additional, guidelines for long-term facilities during the holiday season include:

  • Long-term facilities should plan to accommodate increased virtual communications for residents and their loved ones during the holidays;
  • Residents who leave the facilities for holiday family celebrations must quarantine on their return back. If a resident lives in a private residence or room, the resident may be quarantined in their private residence or room. If the resident has a roommate, the resident should be quarantined in a separate observation room for 14 days. If an observation room is not available in the facility, the facility must notify the family that the resident will not be permitted back until a room is available, or until the facility is otherwise able to cohort returning residents in compliance with current CDC and Department of Health guidance and/or directives;
  • Long-term facilities must develop a plan for holiday visits and as part of that preparation they need to estimate how many residents can be cohorted for a 14-day quarantine period based on their current census and their projected census from Nov. 25 through to Dec. 31;
  • Long-term healthcare facilities should create a reservation process for residents who want to leave and visit families for the holiday. Reservations should be tied to the number of individuals the facility can quarantine on their return. Reservations and any change to reservations must be confirmed 36 hours before the resident leaves the facility;
  • Facilities should create a waiting list for residents who request a reservation after they establish a limit has been reached and residents and families should be informed of the possibility that if a resident leaves without a reservation or on the waiting list they may not be guaranteed readmission to the facility until a bed is available;
  • Residents and families must certify that they are aware of the dangers of exposure to COVID-19. They must follow masking, social distancing and hand hygiene and they will notify the facility of anyone present at the holiday gathering tests positive for COVID-19 or exhibits symptoms within 14 days of the resident’s visit.

“We are still very concerned about the outbreaks we are seeing in long-term care. So we need to be especially vigilant to protect this population,” Persichilli said.

The guidelines were revealed the same day that Murphy announced he would lower indoor and outdoor capacity limits in New Jersey in the coming days, potentially one outcome of an emergency weekend summit convened by Gov. Andrew Cuomo with other Northeast governors, many of whom rolled out new protocol over the last week to stem their states’ soaring rates of virus spread. More restrictions may follow.

Five percent of New Jersey’s cumulative COVID case total since March, have come in just the last few days, a sober Murphy said Nov. 16. The state’s positivity rate has soared well above 9 percent. ICU patient counts are up.

Amid that swell, indoor gatherings will be capped at 10, down from 25. Indoor weddings, religious services, funeral services and performances can continue to operate under the prior 25 percent capacity limit (up to a maximum of 150 people).

Indoor sports practices and competitions can exceed the 10-person limit only for essential game personnel like players, coaches and referees. In most cases, where the number of essential parties top 10 people, no spectators are allowed.

“We think those are steps coupled with some of the other steps we’ve taken, which will hopefully begin to shave these numbers down,” Murphy told MNSBC, referring to the new curfews. “It’s gotten worse and it’s going to get worse … particularly with the cold weather, with the holidays, this is going to get worse.”

He reserved the right to take additional actions, calling out youth hockey in his briefing Monday as a key source fueling new COVID cases — and one where about 60 percent of those involved have refused to cooperate with contact tracers.

“I know you think you’re invincible. Maybe you think that people aren’t getting sick anymore, or going to the hospital, or dying anymore. Maybe you think you’re the victim of some witch hunt,” Murphy said to those who refuse to comply. “We already had to shut the garage doors in March. If we have to, we’ll do it again.”

The developments come after New Jersey broke its own single-day pandemic case record, reflecting the struggles of the nation amid a COVID surge that has left no state untouched.

GM to Recall 7M Vehicles Globally to Replace Takata Air Bags


General Motors will recall about 7 million big pickup trucks and SUVs worldwide to replace potentially dangerous Takata air bag inflators.

The announcement came Monday after the U.S. government told the automaker it had to recall 6 million of the vehicles in the U.S.

GM says it will not fight the decision, even though it believes the vehicles are safe. It will cost the company an estimated $1.2 billion, about one third of its net income so far this year.

The automaker had petitioned the agency four times since 2016 to avoid recalls, contending the air bag inflator canisters have been safe on the road and in testing. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration on Monday denied the petitions, saying the inflators still run the risk of exploding.

Owners complained to the NHTSA that the company was placing profits over safety.

Exploding Takata inflators caused the largest series of auto recalls in U.S. history, with at least 63 million inflators recalled. The U.S. government says that as of September, more than 11.1 million had not been fixed. About 100 million inflators have been recalled worldwide.

Takata used volatile ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion to fill air bags in a crash. But the chemical can deteriorate when exposed to heat and humidity, and they can explode with too much pressure, blowing apart a metal canister and spewing shrapnel.

Twenty-seven people have been killed worldwide by the exploding inflators, including 18 in the U.S.

Monday’s decision by NHTSA is a major step in drawing the Takata saga to a close. It means that all Takata ammonium nitrate inflators in the U.S. will be replaced, NHTSA said. Earlier this year the agency decided against a recall of inflators with a moisture-absorbing chemical called a dessicant. NHTSA said it would monitor those inflators and take action if problems arise.

GM will recall full-size pickup trucks and SUVs from the 2007 through 2014 model years, including the Chevrolet Silverado 1500, 2500 and 3500 pickups. The Silverado is GM’s top-selling vehicle and the second-best selling vehicle in the U.S. Also covered are the Chevrolet Suburban, Tahoe and Avalanche, the Cadillac Escalade, GMC Sierra 1500, 2500 and 3500, and the GMC Yukon.

It took the agency more than four years to arrive at its decision, which comes toward the end of President Donald Trump’s four-year term.

NHTSA said in a prepared statement that it analyzed all available data on the air bags, including engineering and statistical analyses, aging tests and field data.

“Based on this information and information provided to the petition’s public docket, NHTSA concluded that the GM inflators in question are at risk of the same type of explosion after long-term exposure to high heat and humidity as other recalled Takata inflators,” the agency said.

The company has 30 days to give NHTSA a proposed schedule for notifying vehicle owners and starting the recall, the statement said.

GM said that although it believes a recall isn’t warranted based on the factual and scientific records, it will abide by NHTSA’s decision.

Spokesman Dan Flores said Monday that none of the inflators have blown apart in the field or in laboratory testing. But he said GM wants to avoid a drawn-out fight with the government.

“Although we are confident that the inflators in the GMT900 vehicles do not pose an unreasonable risk to safety, continue to perform as designed in the field and will continue to perform as designed in line with the results of our accelerated aging studies, we will abide by NHTSA’s decision to maintain the trust and confidence of customers and regulators,” he said in an email.

In a 2019 petition to NHTSA, GM said the inflators were designed to its specifications and are safe, with no explosions even though nearly 67,000 air bags have deployed in the field. The inflators, it said, have larger vents and steel end caps to make them stronger.

But Takata declared the GM front passenger inflators defective under a 2015 agreement with the government.

In its petition, GM said that Northrop Grumman tested 4,270 inflators by artificially exposing them to added humidity and temperature cycling, and there were no explosions or abnormal deployments.

However, NHTSA hired air bag chemical expert Harold Blomquist, who holds 25 air bag patents, to review the data, and he concluded that the GM air bags were similar to other Takata inflators that had exploded.

Test results for the GM inflators included abnormally high-pressure events “indicative of potential future rupture risk,” NHTSA said in documents. “These findings illustrate that GM’s inflators have a similar, if not identical, degradation continuum” to other Takata inflators that have exploded, the agency wrote.

Shares of GM rose nearly 3% in Monday morning trading to $44.29. The company said the recalls will be phased in based on replacement inflator availability, and will cost $400 million this year.

Drivers can check to see if their vehicles have been recalled by going to https://www.nhtsa.gov/recalls and keying in their 17-digit vehicle identification number.

The recalls drove Japan’s Takata into bankruptcy and brought criminal charges against the company. Eventually it was purchased by a Chinese-owned auto parts supplier.

When Will Rain Likely Be Falling This Thanksgiving?


What to Know

  • Rain is likely on Thanksgiving, so what’s the timing?
  • The rain is most likely in the morning with some clearing likely in the afternoon.
  • Temps will be above average Thursday so you won’t need to bundle up.

With families weighing Thanksgiving plans and looking to gather outside amid coronavirus concerns and warnings from local, state and federal governments and health experts, this Thursday’s weather forecast is as critical as ever.

It looks like we’re going to be off to a rainy start on Thanksgiving Day. However, we will see some improvement Thursday afternoon and temperatures will be mild.

A slow-moving storm system will head across the plain states and the Midwest spreading clouds into the Philadelphia area late Wednesday.

The chances for rain begin Wednesday night, with temperatures in the lower 50s. For Thanksgiving Day, rain is most likely in the morning with some gradual afternoon clearing. Unfortunately some lingering showers in the afternoon can’t completely be ruled out.

Although we’ll start with temperatures in the low 50s, Thanksgiving afternoon will warm into the low 60s, about 10 degrees above average for this time of year.

Clouds will clear out Thursday night and with partly sunny skies Friday we will warm to near 60 in the afternoon.

NJ Gov. Murphy Reiterates Call for Small Thanksgiving Gatherings Amid COVID-19


With Thanksgiving fast approaching and people being urged not to gather indoors for large extended family meals, Gov. Phil Murphy is urging people to take precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus and offering help for those dealing with stress.

“This Thanksgiving, we hope that you and your loved ones have made plans to remain safe this year so we can look forward to bigger celebrations next year,” the first-term Democrat said at his Monday coronavirus news briefing.

Indoor private gatherings in New Jersey are capped at 10 people in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19, especially during the holiday season where extended groups of people traditionally gather for meals.

New Jersey has laid out guidelines for celebrating Thanksgiving amid the pandemic. The state health department suggests any gatherings be outdoors, that family groups are spread out and that people remain masked as much as possible.

“If you are going to get together with a big group this Thanksgiving, please do so outside where social distancing can be better ensured and you can better protect your loved ones from this deadly virus,” Murphy said Monday, which will be his only coronavirus briefing this week.

New Jersey first lady Tammy Murphy weighed in on Monday, as well, by asking people to show gratitude by staying home for the holiday.

Gov. Murphy urged people to not gather with large extended family and friends because this isn’t a normal year.

“We know that this Thanksgiving is not what we’re used to – nor what we any of us want to do,” he said. “We know that there are those who are so yearning for normalcy that they’re willing to risk their family’s health for a big Thanksgiving. We urge you to think beyond this holiday.”

Gov. Murphy noted that the holidays could bring on new stresses for people and reminded New Jerseyans that help is available for those in need.

Coronavirus cases have rapidly increased this month in New Jersey as the state broke 300,000 confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic this weekend. The state reported 3,592 new cases on Monday to bring the statewide total to nearly 310,000.

Hospitalizations have also been on the rise in recent weeks. Nearly 2,700 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 heading into Monday. More than 500 coronavirus patients were in ICUs.

The positivity rate for tests as of Thursday was 8.65%, with a statewide rate of transmission at 1.32, Murphy said.

With 11 new deaths reported Monday, at least 14,960 people have died from coronavirus-related complications with another about 1,800 deaths suspected to be related to the virus.

Murphy said that enough people have already died and left empty spaces at Thanksgiving tables this year.

“The last thing we want is for anyone’s Thanksgiving to lead to empty spots in their homes for the celebrations to come,” Murphy said. “Plan for a small gathering. Be safe and smart.”

Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli said that the vast majority of deaths from the virus have been people 65 and older but that recently 19 to 49 year olds are making up many of the recent cases. She said that shows that younger people are unwittingly spreading the virus to older relatives.

On Sunday, Murphy signed an order to extend the public health emergency another 30 days as needed with the virus still spreading.

“These declarations, unless extended, expire after 30 days,” Murphy said Monday. “We’re in the midst of the second wave, and we can’t let our guard down.”

There is a glimmer of hope, however. last week, New Jersey spoke of hundreds of thousands of doses of vaccines by early 2021. On Monday, Persichilli said that the state should get around 1.1 million monthly doses on a rolling basis.

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

15 Reputed Mobsters in Philly, South Jersey Face Charges


Fifteen alleged members and associates of the South Philadelphia and South Jersey organized crime family face federal racketeering and related charges.

According to a superseding indictment unsealed Monday, the defendants engaged in racketeering conspiracy, illegal gambling, loansharking, extortion and drug trafficking.

Federal prosecutors allege the crime family sought to use its “reputation and influence to exercise control over criminal rackets, like bookmaking and loansharking, in Philadelphia and southern New Jersey, particularly Atlantic City.”

“The Philadelphia mob isn’t what it used to be, and thank God for that,” said U.S. Attorney McSwain in a statement. “But it is still a problem and is still allegedly committing serious federal crimes.”

Ten of the defendants are accused of engaging in racketeering and collecting unlawful debts. The remaining five are accused of running an illegal gambling business, conspiring to make extortionate extensions of credit and conspiring to distribute controlled substances.

‘Reaching New Heights': Bars Ordered Closed 5 PM on Thanksgiving Eve


New restrictions on public life in Pennsylvania will take effect this week, including a one-night shutdown on alcohol sales Wednesday evening, as COVID-19 cases continue to increase in the state.

Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine announced the new restrictions and recommendations as she said “transmission of COVID-19 is reaching new heights.”

Among those restrictions will be a temporary shutdown of all alcohol sales on Thanksgiving Eve, which is traditionally a night that many people return to their hometowns and go out drinking with childhood friends.

“The biggest day for drinking is the Wednesday before Thanksgiving,” Gov. Wolf said at the same press conference. “When people get together in that situation, it leads to an exchange in fluids which leads to an increase in infections.”

The governor asked that everyone forgo drinking on Thanksgiving Eve “this one time” in order to help stop the spread of the virus.

Levine and the Centers for Disease Control have urged people not to travel for Thanksgiving.

“As our hospitals and health care system are facing greater strain, we need to redouble our efforts to keep people safe,” Gov. Tom Wolf said. “If our health care system is compromised, it isn’t only COVID-19 patients who will suffer. If we run out of hospital beds, or if hospital staff are over-worked to the breaking point, care will suffer for every patient – including those who need emergency care for illnesses, accidents, or chronic conditions unrelated to COVID-19.”

WATCH LIVE: The press conference is being livestreamed on this page in the video player above.

In the most recent press conference by Levine last Thursday, she noted that coronavirus cases exploded in the last several days. They reached 7,126 last week, a single-day record for new cases. It was 500 cases more than the previous single-day record earlier in the week.

The 14-day rolling average for new daily hospitalizations jumped more than 1,200 since the end of September, Levine said last week.

Also last week, Philadelphia announced a citywide ban on indoor dining, fitness centers and public gatherings of more than 10 people.

Levine said projections estimate daily new cases in Pennsylvania could eventually reach 20,000.

County by County, Pennsylvania Officials Report Vote Results


County election boards across Pennsylvania faced a deadline Monday to certify election results to the Department of State, an important milestone in the tabulation of votes for the presidential contest and other races.

A Department of State spokesperson declined to say which counties have reported, and it was unclear whether an update would be issued at day’s end.

“The Department of State continues to work closely with and support all 67 counties as they work to complete the election certification process,” spokesperson Wanda Murren said in Monday morning email to reporters.

The boards in two populous counties split along party lines in votes taken Monday, with majority Democrats in both places voting to certify the results.

Allegheny County, which gave a majority to Democrat Joe Biden, voted 2-1, and Luzerne County, which Republican Donald Trump won, approved its results, 3-2. Messages seeking comment were left for Republicans who voted no in both counties.

Several other counties voted unanimously to certify on Monday, as Erie County did late last week, and there were no reports of counties voting against certification.

Meanwhile, the state Supreme Court on Monday said that more than 8,300 mail-in ballots in Philadelphia that had been challenged by the Trump campaign because of minor technical errors should be counted.

A voter’s failure to include a handwritten name, address or date by their declaration on the outer envelope, the court said, does not “warrant the wholesale disenfranchisement of thousands of Pennsylvania voters.”

The decision also went against a Republican state Senate challenger in Allegheny County, Nicole Ziccarelli, who wanted to keep votes without a handwritten date from counting. Ziccarelli is down in AP’s count by a single vote, out of about 133,000 cast, against Democratic Sen. Jim Brewster.

Although all seven justices agreed that handwritten names and street addresses on the outer envelopes are not mandatory, just threesaid the date definitely is not required. Three others, a Democrat and both Republicans, would have required the date.

The seventh justice, Democrat David Wecht, said that the date is clearly required but that it may not have been clear to voters, so in this election, ballots inside an envelope without a date should count.

Wecht wrote that he would not enforce the date requirement this year but considers it mandatory for future elections.

After the counties send certified results to Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar, she must then tabulate, compute and canvass votes for all races. The law requires her to perform that task quickly but does not set a specific deadline.

Boockvar then will inform Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf of the results, and he will list the state’s electors for the Dec. 14 Electoral College meeting on a “certificate of ascertainment” sent to the national archivist. Four years ago, Wolf made that notification Dec. 12.

Biden won the presidency with the help of Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes. His margin in the state currently stands at more than 81,000 out of nearly 7 million cast.

Trump’s federal lawsuit challenging the results was dismissed Saturday by a judge who declined to halt Boockvar’s certification. The Trump campaign has appealed to the Philadelphia-based 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The large number of votes cast by mail, and the large number of provisional ballots that were cast, have been a challenge for vote counters across the state.

In Berks County, which includes Reading, officials do not expect to report to Boockvar until Wednesday, because that is when a five-working day review period will close.

Monday was also a deadline under state law for legal challenges to contest any election to be filed.

In 2016, Green Party candidate Jill Stein moved toward seeking a recount after Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton by about 44,000 votes, but Stein ended that effort.

Need Unemployment? There May Be Better Ways to Get Help Than Calling


Lisa Nunes spent countless hours on the phone trying to reach the New Jersey unemployment office, with no success.

“I called a hundred times a day at one point for days on end. I kept dialing,” said Nunes, from Mantua, Gloucester County. “I tried calling at 7:30 when the office opened at 8. It’s horrible. I don’t know where we’re supposed to go.”

Nunes was recently laid off from her job in accounting at a South Jersey car dealership. Like so many others in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, she now has a new full-time, though unpaid, job: trying to call the state unemployment office.

Nunes was seeking to get help to troubleshoot a problem she encountered while filing for unemployment online. With no luck reaching someone over the phone, Nunes filed an appeal online.

Fortunately, she began receiving unemployment payments days later.

“I feel like they should have been more prepared. You know this is coming and now you have thousands of people who need help,” Nunes said. “A lot of these people have no money.”

Jen Szostek worked as a program specialist with people who have developmental disabilities in Montgomery County until she lost her job in March. She says her efforts to reach the Pennsylvania unemployment office were short-lived.

“It was frustrating and annoying. I never actually got a hold of a person. All I got was a busy signal,” she said. “I tried for a couple hours and tried again and again, until I gave up.”

She is still waiting for her first unemployment check. “I have some good family and friends who are helping me, and my company has given us some paid time-off money to keep me afloat,” Szostek said.

Szostek found some hope and guidance when she reached State Rep. Joe Ciresi’s office. The Norristown woman does not live in his district, which covers western Montgomery County. But Ciresi’s chief of staff Alex Teplyakov says the office has received dozens of calls and emails in the past several weeks about unemployment filing issues and has not turned anyone away.

“We can answer a lot of the questions and help clear up the lines. We’re able to explain technical issues. We can offer peace of mind. We’re able to reassure them and give them the answers they need without them having to reach unemployment, ” Teplyakov said.

And the states recognize their unemployment filing systems are overburdened. So each state has offered other ways of getting through to a representative via email that avoids having to call:

Pennsylvania: uchelp@pa.gov

New Jersey: Fill out this online form

Delaware: uiclaims@delaware.gov

State unemployment websites warn that it can take 12 days to get a response. Representatives with Pennsylvania answered 11,300 emails just on Monday.

Mildred Hill’s experience trying to reach the unemployment office over the phone has been much more positive. She’s nearing retirement now, after taking her first job at age 14. She never thought she would be filing for unemployment.

But COVID-19 related layoffs become her new reality. Hearing the horror stories, she expected the worst when she called Pennsylvania’s unemployment line — but she got through after a 20-minute wait on Monday.

“I just held on and someone actually came on and I was actually surprised,” Hill said. “I had friends who could not get on, so I was very surprised and considered it as a true blessing.”

Not everyone is that blessed, which Teplyakov says is an unfortunate reality.

“My best recommendation is to file online, go onto the unemployment compensation website and look at the updates,” he said. “If you are prompted to reach unemployment by phone but you can’t get through, call your state representative. We’ll work to find a solution.”

US Agency Ascertains Biden as Winner, Lets Transition Begin


What to Know

  • The General Services Administration has ascertained that President-elect Joe Biden is the “apparent winner” of the Nov. 3 election.
  • President Donald Trump, who had refused to concede the election, said Monday that he is directing his team to cooperate on the transition but is vowing to keep up the fight.
  • The move clears the way for the start of the transition from Trump’s administration and allows Biden to coordinate with federal agencies on plans for taking over on Jan. 20.

The General Services Administration ascertained Monday that President-elect Joe Biden is the “apparent winner” of the Nov. 3 election, clearing the way for the start of the transition from President Donald Trump’s administration and allowing Biden to coordinate with federal agencies on plans for taking over on Jan. 20.

Trump, who had refused to concede the election, said in a tweet that he is directing his team to cooperate on the transition but is vowing to keep up the fight.

Administrator Emily Murphy made the determination after Trump efforts to subvert the vote failed across battleground states, citing, “recent developments involving legal challenges and certifications of election results.” Michigan certified Biden’s victory Monday, and a federal judge in Pennsylvania tossed a Trump campaign lawsuit on Saturday seeking to prevent certification in that state.

Murphy, a Trump appointee, has faced bipartisan criticism for failing to begin the transition process sooner, preventing Biden’s team from working with career agency officials on plans for his administration, including in critical national security and public health areas.

“Please know that I came to my decision independently, based on the law and available facts. I was never directly or indirectly pressured by any Executive Branch official—including those who work at the White House or GSA—with regard to the substance or timing of my decision,” Murphy wrote in a letter to Biden.

Trump tweeted shortly after her letter was made public: “We will keep up the good fight and I believe we will prevail! Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.”

“Now that GSA Administrator Emily Murphy has fulfilled her duty and ascertained the election results, the formal presidential transition can begin in full force,” said Max Stier, president and CEO of the nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service. “Unfortunately, every day lost to the delayed ascertainment was a missed opportunity for the outgoing administration to help President-elect Joe Biden prepare to meet our country’s greatest challenges. The good news is that the president-elect and his team are the most prepared and best equipped of any incoming administration in recent memory.”

Pressure had been mounting on Murphy as an increasing number of Republicans, national security experts and business leaders said it was time for that process to move forward.

Retiring Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, who has repeatedly called for the transition to begin, released a new statement Monday saying that Trump should “put the country first” and help Biden’s administration succeed.

“When you are in public life, people remember the last thing you do,” Alexander said.

Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio on Monday called for Murphy to release money and staffing needed for the transition. Portman, a senior member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, also said Biden should receive high-level briefings on national security and the coronavirus vaccine distribution plan.

Alexander and Portman, who have both aligned themselves with Trump, joined a growing number of Republican officials who in recent days have urged Trump to begin the transition immediately. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., also urged a smooth transition, saying in a statement Monday that “at some point, the 2020 election must end.”

Meanwhile, more than 160 business leaders asked Murphy to immediately acknowledge Biden as president-elect and begin the transition to a new administration. “Withholding resources and vital information from an incoming administration puts the public and economic health and security of America at risk,″ the business letters said in an open letter to Murphy.

Separately, more than 100 Republican former national security officials — including former Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge, former CIA Director Michael Hayden and former Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte — said in a statement that Trump’s refusal to concede and allow for an orderly transition “constitutes a serious threat” to America’s democratic process. The officials signing the letter worked under four Republican presidents, including Trump.

The statement called on “Republican leaders — especially those in Congress — to publicly demand that President Trump cease his anti-democratic assault on the integrity of the presidential election.”

Trump had publicly refused to accept defeat and launched a series of losing court battles across the country making baseless claims of widespread voter fraud and seeking to overturn the election results.

Murphy missed a deadline on Monday set by House Democrats to brief lawmakers about the delay in beginning the transition, which is usually a routine step between the election and the inauguration. A spokeswoman for the GSA said that a deputy administrator would instead hold two separate briefings for House and Senate committees on Nov. 30.

In response, the Democratic chairs of four committees and subcommittees said they could reschedule the meeting for Tuesday, but no later.

“We cannot wait yet another week to obtain basic information about your refusal to make the ascertainment determination,” the Democrats said in a letter to Murphy. “Every additional day that is wasted is a day that the safety, health, and well-being of the American people is imperiled as the incoming Biden-Harris administration is blocked from fully preparing for the coronavirus pandemic, our nation’s dire economic crisis, and our national security.”

Portman said it was “only prudent” for GSA to begin the transition process immediately.

“Donald Trump is our president until Jan. 20, 2021, but in the likely event that Joe Biden becomes our next president, it is in the national interest that the transition is seamless and that America is ready on Day One of a new administration for the challenges we face,″ Portman wrote in an op-ed calling for the transition to begin.

Murphy’s ascertainment will free up money for the transition and clear the way for Biden’s team to begin placing transition personnel at federal agencies. Trump administration officials had said they would not give Biden the classified presidential daily briefing on intelligence matters until the GSA makes the ascertainment official.

Among those signing the letter from business leaders were Jon Gray, president of the Blackstone private equity firm; Robert Bakish, president and CEO of ViacomCBS Inc.; Henry Kravis, the co-chief executive of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co., another private equity giant; David Solomon, CEO at Goldman Sachs; and George H. Walker, CEO of the investment firm Neuberger Berman and a second cousin to former President George W. Bush.

The renewed calls for an official transition came as Biden is building out his administration with key picks for national security and foreign policy roles. Former Secretary of State John Kerry will lead the incoming administration’s effort to combat climate change, while Alejandro Mayorkas will be nominated as homeland security secretary.

Biden also plans to nominate veteran diplomat Antony Blinken as his secretary of state.

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

‘Out of Bounds': NJ Governor, Family Dining Outdoors Confronted in Profanity-Ridden Video


Dining outdoors at a restaurant over the weekend, Gov. Phil Murphy and his family were confronted by a pair of women who delivered a profanity-ridden tirade and recorded the exchange on video.

In the video posted to Twitter late Sunday and viewed over 1.5 million times, two women are heard off camera targeting first the governor and then turning their attention to the rest of the family.

“Oh, my god, Murphy, you’re such a <expletive>,” one of the hecklers is heard saying to the governor, within spitting distance.

The women are asked by someone off camera to wear a mask, to which they responded: “You can go <expletive> yourself, how’s that?”

The exchange captioned in the 36-second video doesn’t deliver a clear motive behind the public confrontation. As for the Murphy family, they appeared to be dining appropriately based on the state’s health guidance. No one at the table was wearing a mask in the video, which is allowed when eating.

“I’m a big boy,” Murphy said when questioned about the video at his coronavirus briefing Monday. “I have thick skin, that doesn’t impact me at all. I would say this though, our kids are not part of that.”

The governor confirmed the authenticity of the video and its timeline. The family was dining at a restaurant in Red Bank when the two women approached with little notice, Murphy said. A third woman who appeared to be affiliated with the other two eventually pulled them away, he added.

“There’s more stress in our state and our country than any of us has ever seen,” he added during his briefing. “Let’s all keep each other in our prayers right now because it’s an extremely stressful time right now.”

State elected leaders from both sides of the aisle condemned the harassment of Murphy’s family late Sunday after the video was first posted to social media. Several state senators agreed on the need for healthy public debate and criticism, but the choice to target a family was “out of bounds.”

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

Schuylkill Expressway in Montgomery County Reopened After Serious Wreck


Drivers were backed up for more than an hour due to a crash that shut down a portion of the Schuylkill Expressway in Montgomery County Tuesday morning.

At least one person was hurt in the wreck in the eastbound lanes of Interstate 76 between Gulph Mills and the Blue Route (Interstate 476).

The crash happened around 3:30 a.m. and initially some traffic got by, but Pennsylvania State Police then closed all lanes. Traffic remained backed up for miles well into the morning rush.

All lanes were reopened after 7 a.m.

Route 23, Ridge Pike and Germantown Pike can be used as alternate routes to get onto I-76 eastbound from the Blue Route.

Initially, there was also a lane closure westbound, but that was eventually cleared.

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

SEPTA, Losing $1M in Revenue a Day, Faces Uncertain Financial Future


SEPTA is in a $350 million hole. 

That’s the depth of a budget shortfall the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority is projecting for its fiscal 2021 year ending in June as Covid-19 bludgeons its revenue and government support for the transit system withers. SEPTA is now weighing cutting service lines, closing stations and raising fares as it struggles to plug the gap in its operating budget, and it could take years before ridership figures approach anywhere close to pre-Covid levels.

More than 20 million passengers rode SEPTA each month before the pandemic but ridership collapsed in the spring as people were cautioned to stay inside their homes. Ridership on the country’s seventh-largest transit system plummeted close to 90% in April and May, leaving buses and rail cars empty but costing SEPTA for each stop they made.

For the 2020 fiscal year, the transit authority took in $403.4 million in revenue, 24% less than the $527.8 million projected. SEPTA is now losing about $1 million each day in revenue, SEPTA General Manager Leslie Richards said.

“We would be collecting around $40 million a month, and we were lucky to get about $4 million this summer,” Richards said.

Ridership picked up slightly as some Greater Philadelphia restrictions eased over the last eight months and people gradually returned to work.

Richard Burnfield, SEPTA’s deputy general manager, predicts it will take until the end of 2022 to get anywhere close to pre-pandemic ridership levels, or reaching 80% to 90% of the 20 million passengers per month. 

Covid-19 has also created an unprecedented reversal of SEPTA’s financial situation: Its capital budget is stable while its operating budget is in jeopardy.

Funding for the $1.53 billion operating budget stems from passenger revenue and state subsidies. Some transit agencies take funds from their capital budget in case of an operating budget shortfall, but that practice isn’t in the cards for SEPTA.

“We have never done that, and we don’t plan on doing it,” Richards said, adding that SEPTA prides itself on having a balanced budget.

‘It’s a project you would see in Brooklyn’: $52M redevelopment planned for vacant Sears in Philadelphia

The transit system received $644 million in federal CARES Act funding and has spent $149.6 million of it to cover passenger revenue gaps through Oct. 24. SEPTA spends about $30 million a month drawing down those funds, Burnfield said, and it’ll get SEPTA through to the end of calendar year 2021.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission will also move forward with providing funding to PennDOT for public transit for fiscal year 2021. Those funds will help secure SEPTA’s capital budget, which is typically in flux from year to year, Richards said.

Adding more reason for concern, the commission’s funding won’t last forever, as its annual $450 million payment to PennDOT — of which SEPTA gets $178 million — will drop to just $50 million per year as of fiscal 2022. SEPTA has long been staring down the barrel of a funding decline, and the transit system has been advocating for more dollars.

“We’ll be faced with some really tough decisions starting next year as to what we’re looking at in terms of how we can continue to operate a service and what changes we can make to continue to operate our system with the resources we will have available,” Burnfield said.

Everything is on the table now, including fare increases. The transit agency approved a fare restructuring program this year that slightly increased prices on several transit passes but eliminated the controversial $1 transfer fee, allowed children under 12 to ride for free and added a three-day pass.

Richards, however, said it may not be enough.

SEPTA Broad Street Line train
A SEPTA Broad Street Line subway train pulls into a station in Philadelphia.

“I don’t, at this time, anticipate that that is going to be the answer to get us out of the financial challenge that we’re in, but we’re not at a point right now to say that we’re not going to look at certain options,” she said.

SEPTA is also assessing whether it would need to cut service for some lines and stations. Bringing lines and stations back online once the pandemic ends or the money returns is no small task, Richards said. 

“When we reduce or eliminate any type of service, the ability to bring it back is extremely costly as well as very slow,” Richards said. “It’s not like you can flip a switch and reduce transit agency service, nor can you flip it back on and restart.”

SEPTA is not alone in seeing ridership and revenue dive. The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which serves Boston’s metropolitan area, reported subway ridership is down more than 75% from pre-Covid levels, and commuter rail is down nearly 90%. For San Francisco’s Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART, ridership fell 87% year-over-year in October when compared to the same month in 2019.

But the difference between SEPTA and its sister transit systems is that it doesn’t have nearly the budget of its peers, Richards said. Richards has bemoaned the discrepancies in funding for SEPTA compared to other public transit systems since the beginning of her tenure in January 2020.

SEPTA’s capital budget for fiscal 2021 is set to total $640.22 million. For comparison, BART’s capital budget will be more than $1.5 billion, and the 2021 capital budget for Washington, D.C.’s Metro totals $1.8 billion. Boston’s MBTA will have a $1.75 billion capital budget in 2021.

“We’re trying to play catch-up here, but the issue is that you can’t really catch up when you’re under budget every year,” Richards said.

She reiterated earlier sentiments that getting SEPTA the funding it needs can help support Pennsylvania’s economy as a whole, not only its commuters. Pennsylvania saw millions of people apply for unemployment compensation at the start of the pandemic. If SEPTA had a more robust capital budget, it could support infrastructure projects that provide jobs and improve the growing Southeastern Pennsylvania region, she said. 

“Everybody always says that infrastructure is a good investment and they understand and they want the projects associated with it, but it’s very hard for them in decision-making roles, the legislators, to agree on a way to raise those funds,” Richards said.

Read more business news at the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Pennsylvania Certifies Nov. 3 Election Results, Gov. Wolf Says


Pennsylvania’s results from the Nov. 3 general election were certified by the Secretary of State on Tuesday, according to Gov. Tom Wolf, which puts a procedural bow on a process going through the final stages of litigation.

The normally ho-hum event, required by law each election, essentially finalizes the outcome and begins the endgame of awarding Joe Biden the state’s 20 electoral college votes.

President Donald Trump, who lost Pennsylvania by some 81,000 votes, has yet to concede the re-election race he lost to Biden and still has an appeal pending in the Third Circuit court asking judges to halt Pennsylvania’s certification.

That appeal has been widely cited as having little to no chance of succeeding.

On Monday afternoon, 20 days after the election and 16 days after every major news organization in the United States called the presidential race for Biden, the General Services Administration of the federal government finally acknowledged Biden’s victory.

The acknowledgement by the GSA allowed for the transition to officially begin ahead of the Jan. 20 inauguration.

Trump has yet to concede the race, setting a modern precedent by failing to acknowledge the seamless transition of power that has been a hallmark of American democracy.

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

Philly Leaders Urge ‘Immediate Household' Only at Your Thanksgiving Celebrations


There were some bright spots in Philadelphia’s latest update about the coronavirus pandemic Tuesday, but the main message stayed the same: pleading with residents to stay home as much as possible to help prevent spreading the virus.

Leaders urged caution heading into the Thanksgiving holiday and told residents to hold out for a brighter 2021, with vaccines for the virus on the way.

“Please, please celebrate Thanksgiving only with members of your immediate household. You don’t want to spread COVID to your elderly grandmother or to that cousin of yours that may have a chronic medical condition, might make him severely ill if he got the infection,” City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley said.

Earlier in the day, a group of gym owners and employees outside the Municipal Services Building protested city restrictions on indoor dining, gyms and other indoor activities. The restrictions went into effect at 5 p.m. Friday to help prevent the spread of the virus. The full scope of the restrictions is spelled out here.

Superintendent Dr. William Hite also urged parents to limit their Thanksgiving celebrations this week.

Most data shared Tuesday showed continued increases from previous weeks. Hospitalizations are up citywide and statewide and reached new highs. 42 nursing home residents have been transferred into the city COVID relief unit, which cares for COVID-positive nursing home residents away from other nursing home residents who haven’t contracted the virus.

One possible bright spot was the positivity rate. For the week ending Nov. 21, it was 11.8%, same as the week before, Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley told reporters.

“So there is some leveling trend here, a leveling trend could just be a pause before we see another increase. It could be the beginning of a reversal. No way of telling right now,” he said.

Despite that, it wasn’t cause for celebration: “The number of daily cases we’re seeing is still extremely high and there’s going to be consequences of that,” Farley said.

Later Tuesday, look for our report on business and gym owners reacting to the city restrictions put in place Friday.

Philly Gyms Are Closed Until January, but Owners Want to Come Back Now


Days after Philadelphia enacted new restrictions to combat the spread of the coronavirus, some affected gym owners and employees worked out near City Hall, urging leaders to reconsider.

The restrictions that went into effect at 5 p.m. Friday halted indoor dining and closed gyms, among other restrictions. The group of fitness business owners said their outdoor workout Tuesday was a demonstration to remind the city of the financial hit they would take from the closures.

“if this continues, it will be a death blow to an already decimated industry, said Gavin McKay, a co-founder of UNITE Fitness and part of the Philadelphia Fitness Coalition that organized the demonstration Tuesday.

The restrictions last for six weeks, ending in January 2021.

“It’s not just six weeks, it’s our livelihoods,” said coalition member Jaime Sutton of J’aime Fitness in Fairmount.

The closures come at a time when there is little aid in sight for businesses forced to close to prevent spread of the virus. In a news conference about the virus Tuesday, Mayor Jim Kenney said the city doesn’t have funding to provide for every business affected by the restrictions.

“That should be coming from the federal government, it should be coming from the Congress of the United States. … We don’t have it. I have a $750 million deficit and a $650 million school district deficit.”

He expressed hope that the incoming Biden administration and Congress could pass a relief bill helping fund the business owners. But despite the tough effects it was having on businesses, the city passed the restrictions at the recommendation of public health officials.

The coalition said they did tracing of their members and found a small number of cases but no evidence of spread within gyms.

“For the entire time of this pandemic, we have and I have been following the advice of public health professionals, and that’s what I’ll continue to do,” Kenney said. “All due respect to them and their data and their tracing, they are not public health professionals. And our public health professionals tell us this is the best thing to do to keep people safe.”

“The more people we can keep from getting sick or dying, I think that should be the paramount issue,” Kenney added.

City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley was also asked to respond to criticism for shutting down gyms. One of the common criticisms is that workers and members were keeping their masks on while working out, but getting shut down anyway.

“People aren’t always wearing masks in gyms. Many people are uncomfortable wearing a mask when they exercise, and so it’s difficult to enforce mask use,” Farley said. He also referenced a PhillyMag article showing a gym with many people not wearing masks. There are also studies showing that during workouts, one breathes more heavily – releasing more droplets into the air and taking more in.

Kenney said time will tell what’s to come next with the restrictions, and defended the city’s decision to leave the Christmas Village open while closing the gyms and other indoor activities. Both he and Farley stressed that it was able to stay open because it was outdoors and less risk; Farley said the city would have shut down the Christmas Village, too, if it were slated to be held indoors.

“We believe that these regulations are putting people in the right distance and with masks on,” Kenney said. “You can go to every single example, I mean, we could be here forever going from example to example. This is what we think, based on the science and medicine, what is the appropriate thing to do at this particular time. It could change, it could get stricter, it could get more loose after six weeks.”

Farley said the way to make it through into 2021 was for everyone to do their part now and avoid gatherings, including large family Thanksgiving dinners.

“We are, in the big picture, close to the end of this. We’ve been through this almost nine months now. I’m very optimistic of where we’re going to be in 2021. However, we need to get there safely. If we act responsibly now, we can save many lives over the next few weeks, until we get to the next phase where a vaccine is available,” Farley said.

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

Girl, 9, Fighting for Her Life After Being Beaten by Mom's Boyfriend, Police Say


What to Know

  • Dimitrios Moscharis, 34, of West Chester, Pennsylvania, was arrested and charged with attempted homicide, strangulation, aggravated assault, possessing an instrument of crime, endangering the welfare of a child, and false imprisonment. 
  • Police said Moscharis repeatedly abused his girlfriend’s 9-year-old daughter after the child’s mother said she needed “discipline.”
  • The child was found unresponsive Monday morning and taken to the hospital where she remains in critical condition.

A 9-year-old girl is fighting for her life after she was beaten by her mother’s boyfriend causing her injuries that a seasoned detective described as the worst he had ever seen in his career, investigators announced Tuesday. 

Dimitrios Moscharis, 34, of West Chester, Pennsylvania, was arrested and charged with attempted homicide, strangulation, aggravated assault, possessing an instrument of crime, endangering the welfare of a child, and false imprisonment. 

Dimitrios Moscharis

Early Monday morning, a woman told police that while she was driving for Lyft in Northeast Philadelphia she received a text from her boyfriend, who investigators identified as Moscharis, telling her to return to her home in Westtown Township immediately. Moscharis had been babysitting her 9-year-old daughter at the time, according to investigators. 

When the woman arrived, she found the home in disarray, indicating a struggle. She then found her daughter unconscious, wet and fully clothed inside the bathtub. The woman and Moscharis pulled the girl out of the tub, performed CPR and called 911. 

When Westtown-East Goshen police arrived, they found the girl unresponsive inside the bathroom. EMS removed her clothes and found bruising all over her body that appeared both old and new. 

The girl was taken to Nemours/A.I. DuPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware, where she was placed in critical condition. Doctors said the girl suffered life-threatening injuries to multiple organs, extensive bruising all over her body, and likely brain damage due to oxygen deprivation for an extended period. 

Investigators said the injuries indicated the girl had been strangled and suffocated. They also said the bruising on the child’s body was consistent with objects police found in the bathroom, including a curtain rod and hanger. 

The girl’s mother told police she and Moscharis had been dating for about two months. She said she told Moscharis her daughter needed “discipline” after he observed her struggling to control the child. Police said the woman then allowed Moscharis to hit her daughter with a curtain rod or baton whenever the child acted out or didn’t listen. 

Police also said Moscharis would force the girl to walk up and down the stairs with her arms outstretched for hours at a time and lock her in the closet for extended periods. The girl’s mother claimed she would tell Moscharis to stop whenever his actions became “too excessive.”

Before alerting his girlfriend Monday, Moscharis allegedly failed to call 911 for help despite knowing that the child had stopped breathing for at least ten minutes. When his girlfriend arrived and finally called 911, Moscharis told her to lie and tell police that the child’s biological father had injured the girl, investigators said. 

“What this child endured is unconscionable. The defendant’s depravity is beyond words and comprehension,” Chester County District Attorney Deby Ryan said. “It is the kind of criminal action that is devastating to our community and parents alike. A seasoned child abuse detective said that the child’s bruising all over her body was the worst he’s ever seen in his career. My office vows to seek full justice for the victim child with maximum punishment for the defendant.” 

Moscharis is being held without bail at Chester County Prison. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 30.

Ryan said that while officials have seen less reports of child abuse amid the pandemic, they don’t believe the decrease is due to fewer actual cases but rather because of less oversight. 

“The highest number of ChildLine reports overwhelmingly come from our educators on the frontlines protecting our children every day,” she said. “We implore everyone to stay vigilant and check in on our most vulnerable population. They rely on us to keep them safe.” 

Anyone with information on the incident should call Chester County Detectives at 610-344-6866 or Westtown-East Goshen Detective Russel Weaverling at 610-692-9600. If you suspect child abuse, contact ChildLine at 800-932-0313.

Risk Map: Your Chance of Encountering the COVID-19 at an Event This Thanksgiving


The best way to avoid spreading or contracting the coronavirus this holiday season is to stay home, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But despite the warning from public health officials, millions of Americans are traveling this week to visit family for Thanksgiving, potentially heading into hotspots.

The Transportation Safety Administration reported screening over three million travelers at U.S. airport security checkpoints over the weekend, the highest number of passengers since the start of the pandemic. It comes as new cases of the virus in the U.S. have rocketed to all-time highs, averaging more than 170,000 per day, and deaths have soared to over 1,500 a day, the highest level since the spring. The virus is blamed for more than a quarter-million deaths in the U.S. and over 12 million confirmed infections.

Experts have warned the coronavirus’ third wave may build momentum during the holiday season, starting with Thanksgiving and continuing with Christmas and New Year’s Eve as people gather indoors due to colder weather.

It’s forcing many Americans to face a risk calculation: cancel travel plans at the last minute or blow off recommendations and socialize anyways.

Depending on where you are, your chances of encountering someone who has COVID-19 at an event, such as a family gathering, differ greatly. 

Your Chances of Encountering the Coronavirus at an Event This Thanksgiving

This map, based on a model by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, uses real-time data to show the risk of attending an event given its size and location. The risk level refers to the probability of encountering at least one COVID-19 positive individual, and the model assumes there are at least five times more cases than are being reported.

Source: COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool
Amy O’Kruk/NBC

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology built a model over the summer that uses real-time data to show the risk of attending an event given its size and location.

While a person may only have a 40% chance of encountering at least one COVID-19 positive individual at a 10-person event in New York City, that probability jumps to over 90% in many counties in North Dakota right now.

The model assumes there are at least five times more cases than are being reported, although it may be higher in places with less available testing. The researchers recommend several measures to reduce spread, including wearing a mask, social distancing and gathering outdoors in small groups. 

A Look Inside the Freezers That Will Store the COVID-19 Vaccine in Philly


We may be just weeks away from Pfizer’s approved COVID-19 vaccine. The pharmaceutical company is waiting for the FDA to review its emergency use authorization. 

While Pfizer said their vaccine is 90 percent effective, it will be difficult to store, demanding temperatures near 100 degrees below zero. The NBC10 Investigators found out how Philadelphia plans on storing the vaccine once it’s available. 

The CDC and the Philadelphia Health Department gave the Investigators an exclusive look at the city’s brand new ultra cold freezers, which cost about $10,000 a piece. The freezers come from B Medical Systems, one of the five major ultra cold medical freezer makers in the world. 

“Our factory in Luxembourg is at maximum capacity from a production standpoint right now,” Matt Tallman, the Head of Sales for B Medical Systems, told NBC10. 

Once the 320,000 doses of Pfizer’s vaccine are stored inside, the two freezers will be locked. Only four people will have the keys and anyone opening them will have to wear gloves. Security around them is tight and officials will not reveal where the freezers are located. 

Keeping the location secret is part of an effort to keep the vaccine secure. The Industry Association for Global Cold Storage was unable to tell NBC10 how many ultra cold medical freezers our region or country have. 

“So it’s really a worldwide phenomenon where the demand for ultra cold storage is so high right now and I think anyone who is going to be storing the COVID-19 vaccine is looking to get their hands on something like this,” Tallman said. 

Delaware purchased an ultra cold freezer to store the vaccine as well. 

“That was definitely a twist compared to other vaccines that we’ve dealt with,” Dr. Rick Hong, Delaware’s State Medical Director, told NBC10. 

Dr. Hong said his staff won’t have a problem storing Pfizer’s vaccine but moving it, thawing it and injecting it in rural parts of Delaware will be a race. 

“The redistribution plan is very challenging because once you tap into the vaccine you have six hours to use it all,” Dr. Hong said. 

For security and speed, the U.S. military will ship the Pfizer vaccine in dry ice sealed containers where it can last for as long as ten days. 

“We would be in deep trouble if we hadn’t been told we were getting a vaccine that required ultra cold storage,” Dr. Caroline Johnson of the Philadelphia Vaccine Advisory Committee said. 

Ultra cold storage works in dense cities like Philadelphia and its surrounding suburbs. Dr. Johnson plans to stock extra vials in Philly so that the health department can resupply hospitals or health clinics without having to wait to reorder them from the federal government. 

“It’s geography,” Dr. Johnson said. “We’re a city that can drive the vaccine where it needs to go.” 

Officials plan to use the freezers like an airline uses an airport hub. By the time the vaccine arrives, the air inside the freezers will be 100 degrees colder than it is outside. They’re currently plugged in, cooling down and waiting for the FDA’s approval. The FDA is scheduled to meet in two weeks to review Pfizer’s vaccine. 

Pennsylvania Senator Drinks a Victory Beer After State Certifies Biden Win


Pennsylvania formally certified its election results on Tuesday, a step closer to formally awarding Democratic candidate Joe Biden the state’s 20 electoral votes, a huge piece of his path to the presidency.

Amid all the articles about the Keystone State’s vote certification, a group of internet sleuths hopped onto a case.

Democratic Senator Bob Casey, who represents Pennsylvania, tweeted a short video of himself drinking shortly after the certification news broke.

“The votes are in. The count is certified. @JoeBiden has won the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (again). And that’s a wrap on the 2020 election here in the Keystone State,” Casey tweeted.

Internet speculation frothed up almost immediately: what was the senator drinking at 11 a.m. on a Tuesday? A light blue label and a suspicion of locally origin were all we had to go on.

Some surmised the somewhat grainy video showed the senator cradling a Sam Adams Winter Ale, which despite its Massachusetts flair is mostly brewed in Pennsylvania. (This is likely not common knowledge due to the psychic damage it would cause to Patriots fans, whose beloved team lost Super Bowl LII 45-33.)

Others suggested it could be a Keystone, which does feature plenty of blue in its designs.

The question was nagging us, so we asked Casey’s spokesperson for more details. She confirmed the beer was from Victory, which has its corporate headquarters and flagship brewery in Downingtown, though the bulk of the brewing has since moved to Parkesburg.

“Senator Casey enjoyed a Victory Brewing HopDevil IPA,” Press Secretary Natalie Adams wrote in an email. “He is an ardent supporter of Pennsylvania craft breweries.”

Perhaps a bit heavy for our taste that early, but luckily, election result certifications come in moderation.

To all who guessed it was Golden Monkey or insisted there was no chance it was a Victory beer, thanks for playing.

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

4 Teens and Preteen Accused of Beating Homeless Man to Death in Camden


Months after the arrests of two teenagers, two more teens and a preteen have been charged with beating a homeless man to death in Camden, New Jersey, over the summer. 

Police announced Tuesday that a 12-year-old, 13-year-old and 14-year-old were all charged in the death of Bobby Hill Jr., 63. 

On June 25, shortly after midnight, police responded to the 1100 block of Kaighn Avenue in Camden for a report of an unresponsive man in an alleyway. When they arrived they found Hill, who was homeless, suffering from multiple injuries to the head. 

Hill was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. A medical examiner determined he died from blunt force trauma. 

At the time, a 17-year-old girl and 15-year-old boy were charged in connection to Hill’s death. 

Following statements from witnesses as well as surveillance footage, police determined three more suspects, who were 11, 12, and 13 at the time, were also involved in the incident. 

The three additional suspects are each charged with first-degree murder and second-degree conspiracy to commit aggravated assault. 

Police have not released the identities of the five suspects due to their ages. They are all awaiting court proceedings. 

Girl, 8, Shot in the Leg While Getting Off SEPTA Train in Kensington


An 8-year-old girl is recovering after she was shot in the leg while getting off a SEPTA train with a relative in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood Tuesday night. 

The girl and her relative were leaving a Market-Frankford Line train on Kensington and Allegheny avenues around 8 p.m. when a gunman opened fire, striking the child once in her left leg. 

Police said the girl walked home after the shooting. Her mother then took her to St. Christopher’s Hospital where she is currently in stable condition. 

No arrests have been made and a weapon has not been recovered.

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

How to Enjoy Thanksgiving Treats While Not Losing Sight of Fitness Goals


Thanksgiving is a holiday dedicated to good food and overindulging, but NBC10’s Sheila Watko spoke to a fitness expert from Jabz Boxing to get some tips on how to enjoy the holiday treats without completely veering off course when it comes to fitness goals.

Looking to give Jabz a try? Sign up for a virtual class here.

Philadelphia Reaches 3rd Highest Annual Homicide Number in 60 Years


Philadelphia reached a grim milestone on Wednesday as four deadly shootings over the course of a few hours marked the city’s third highest annual number of homicides in 60 years.

The deceased were all men ranging in age from 21 to 50 years old, and they were shot in various parts of the city, police said.

The eldest was shot in the stomach on the 5600 block of N. 4th Street, in the Olney neighborhood, shortly before 9 p.m. Tuesday. Police rushed him to Albert Einstein Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead just before 9:30 p.m.

In the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood, two men, aged 44 and 45, were shot on the 3100 block of Arizona street a little after 9 p.m., police said. The 44-year-old died after sustaining gunshots to the chest and both legs. The second man was shot in the buttocks, chin and thigh and was taken to Temple University Hospital in unknown condition, police said.

Just a few hours later, shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday, a 21-year-old man was shot in the head and died at the scene near the intersection of S. 53rd Street and Willows Avenue in the Kingsessing neighborhood. Philadelphia Police Department Chief Inspector Scott Small said the man was gunned down just two doors down from his house. Detectives found four spent shell casings from a semiautomatic gun, and they were working to get footage from private surveillance cameras.

In North Philadelphia, a 29-year-old man was shot in the head on the 3100 block of Rosewood Street around 2 a.m. and died at the scene. Small said the man lived several miles away, and detectives were hoping to get surveillance video for more clues.

The fatal shootings took the city’s homicide number to at least 445 this calendar year, according to statistics by the Philadelphia Police Department. That represents a 37% jump in homicides since the same time last year.

It’s also the city’s third largest homicide number since 1960, surpassing 444 homicides in 1974, according to the annual Uniform Crime Report, which is data Philadelphia police share with the FBI each year. Only 1989 and 1990 had higher numbers within that 60-year span with 476 and 500 respectively.

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

Woman Gets Shot, Careens Into Family Van With 5 Kids


A woman careened into a family van carrying five young children, causing their vehicle to flip onto its side, after she was shot in the back and torso in West Philadelphia Wednesday morning.

The shooting left the 34-year-old woman critically wounded as she crashed her sedan into the van near the intersection of 51st and Market streets just before 1 a.m., Philadelphia Police Department Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

Inside the van were a husband and wife, as well as their five children, who range in age from 3 to 11 years old, Small said. All five were taken to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia but did not suffer serious injuries, the chief inspector said.

The woman who struck them was undergoing emergency surgery at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center. Her vehicle was riddled with bullet holes, with Small saying at least a dozen shots were fired.

Police did not immediately make any arrests, but they were reviewing nearby surveillance video as they investigated the shooting and looked for a suspect.

Why Are Homicides in Philadelphia Near an All-Time High? Here Are Some Factors


When Jerry Ratcliffe was a British police officer in the 1980s, he carried a homemade device in his cap that allowed him to open a locked car door in the event of an emergency.

“I could do it in 15 seconds. It was like magic. But then, they started making it so the door lock recedes below the door frame. They changed the design. It became harder to break into cars,” said Ratcliffe, now one of Philadelphia’s top criminologists and a professor at Temple University. “You see less car thefts because opportunity has gone away.”

Fast forward to Philadelphia in 2020. Homicides on Wednesday reached the third-highest single-year total in the last 60 years of record-keeping. Shootings are up 60% year over year. Yet most other types of violent and property crime have fallen.

Ratcliffe believes that opportunity is one of the biggest drivers of crime.

In Philadelphia this year, he points to a convergence of factors that has presented more opportunities for using firearms while providing less chances to commit other types of illegal activity.

“The best way to understand crime is the change in opportunity, which has come about by wholesale changes during the course of 2020,” Ratcliffe said in an interview with NBC10 on Wednesday.

Here are some factors that Ratcliffe believes may be contributing to the increase in shootings and slayings:

  • Less police presence: Philadelphia officers are less present on the streets because of COVID-19 cases in the ranks, more cops assigned to handle protests and civil unrest, and a shift away from community-based policing in recent years.
  • Less proactive policing: Many officers may be less willing to risk their job to make a stop or arrest with their occupation in the spotlight more than ever.

    “‘Why would I engage in pro-active work when people are looking for me to make a mistake?'” Ratcliffe said of thoughts cops may be having. “‘Why do a stop and have 10 cameras come out looking for me to get fired?'”

    He added that legislation in Philadelphia City Council that would make it harder to make certain traffic stops could also have a chilling effect.

    “A whole range of signals, some more significant than others, that officers are receiving says that we don’t want the police to engage in as much pro-active work,” Ratcliffe said.
  • More confidence when illegally carrying a gun: Those who are already the most likely to carry a firearm illegally in Philadelphia are likely receiving signals themselves these days, Ratcliffe said, stemming from fewer police stops both on the corner and in cars. That would lead to those people feeling more emboldened to carry a gun.

    “Just the access to firearms increases the chances of using it,” he said. “For instance, a person goes down to the corner store. They’re not thinking about using their gun. But now, they’re more likely to have it on them when they run into someone they have a beef with. The opportunity structure that we’re really talking about here is if people don’t feel any consequences to carry firearms, they’ll carry firearms and then they’ll use them.”

The logic also applies to a crimes like a residential burglary, he said. That type of crime is down 25% in Philadelphia this year compared to 2019.

“Residential burglaries are down because more people staying at home. Generally, burglars don’t like to break in to homes when people are home,” Ratcliffe said. “Conversely, commercial burglary is way up. More businesses are closed so they are easier to break in.”

He added that the steep increase in commercial burglaries in Philadelphia could also likely be attributed to the looting that occurred in the city during periods of civil unrest this year stemming from the police shootings of George Floyd and Walter Wallace Jr.

“COVID-19 has largely changed the structure of our society,” Ratcliffe said. That has changed the opportunity structure, which is the one big cause of crime.”

Shootings are also going unsolved in Philadelphia at a high rate, and it’s been like that for years. Just one in four shootings have led to arrests since 2016, according to department statistics.

Separating out fatal shootings, and the percent of cases ending in an arrest drops to 16%, the statistics show.

Philadelphia Police Deputy Commissioner Ben Naish said police are overwhelmed with the surge in shootings. He too blames COVID-19 and the summer’s civil unrest.

“I think it’s fair to say there became this sense of lawlessness,” Naish said. 

The city’s Office of Violence Prevention is trying to revitalize the relationship between authorities and the community. Shondell Revell, the office’s executive director, said the work is slow but steady.

“We can’t solve all the violence but what we can do and what I think we are doing well is empowering people – one block at a time,” Revell said in a recent NBC10 interview.

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

NJ AG Wants Marijuana Cases Put on Hold


New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal has asked all prosecutors in the state to postpone their marijuana cases as state legislators work out a bill to formally decriminalize the drug.

New Jersey voters passed a ballot measure to legalize marijuana on Election Day, but implementing the will of the people has taken some time. Despite some advocates’ hope, the state did not have a decriminalization bill ready to go before Election Day, and it is still legal for New Jersey police to arrest people for marijuana possession.

No dispensaries have opened yet, so anyone holding weed (unless it’s part of their medical marijuana prescription) could still be charged with possessing “unregulated” marijuana.

Guidance from Grewal issued Wednesday says that for marijuana cases already in the courts, prosecutors should seek an adjournment until Jan. 25, 2021 – if the only charges are marijuana possession or something related, like possessing a pipe.

“Fairness and justice require that we, as prosecutors, not move forward with charges that the Legislature may foreclose in the near future,” Grewal wrote.

In cases that may involve other crimes but also include marijuana possession charges, he told prosecutors to “use their discretion.” The prosecutors could either postpone the entire case, or dismiss the possession charges and move forward with the rest of the case.

The guidance issued Wednesday does not let drug dealers off the hook, and does not allow delays for charges of possession with intent to distribute.

Legislators in Trenton are still working out how many dispensaries will be licensed in the state, whether or not to impose an excise tax (instead of just state and town taxes), and how they could direct proceeds toward communities of color.

The justice issue

One group that advocated for the ballot measure this year supported Grewal’s decision but urged the Garden State to make a change beyond just the courts.

In a statement Wednesday, New Jersey American Civil Liberties Union head Amol Sinha called the guidance “a welcome development” but said the state needed to end police arrests for possession as well.

“While adjourning prosecutions for pending charges is a step in the right direction, arrests for marijuana possession are still happening daily,” Sinha wrote. “The Legislature must immediately pass legislation to decriminalize cannabis to fully end prosecutions, eliminate arrests, and limit police interactions with community members, which disproportionately impact Black and brown New Jerseyans, who are 3.5 times more likely to be arrested for possession than white residents. Until decriminalization is enacted and in place, we need further guidance to deprioritize marijuana-related arrests statewide, and for police chiefs to take steps to stop marijuana arrests within their municipalities. Then, we will be closer to equitable and racially just legalization, which is what New Jersey voters overwhelmingly approved.”

Ahead of Election Day, prominent figures like Gov. Phil Murphy and many others framed the marijuana ballot measure as a move toward social justice.

But – like the other legislative details about licenses, taxes, and where the revenue will go – the decriminalization of the drug has not been signed into law yet, and legalization may have added to confusion.

“Some may misinterpret or misunderstand the consequences of the
Amendment and possess or use marijuana right away, assuming that it is lawful,” Grewal wrote Nov. 4, before reminding cops they had “broad discretion” when making arrests for low-level pot charges.

Man Accused of Stalking and Harassing Women in Old City


Philadelphia police arrested a man accused of stalking and harassing women in Old City in separate incidents. 

Steve Ditty, 32, is charged with stalking, simple assault and harassment. 

Steve Ditty

On Nov. 12, Ditty approached a woman on 9th and South streets and tried to speak with her, investigators said. He then allegedly followed her as she jogged away but stopped after a bystander yelled at him. 

Ditty allegedly approached a different woman on Nov. 14. He asked her if he could use her phone but she declined, investigators said. Ditty refused to leave the woman alone despite her telling him repeatedly to do so, according to police. Ditty allegedly made unwanted physical contact with the woman and continued to follow her as she walked away. 

On Nov. 23, Ditty approached the same woman he had harassed back on Nov. 12, investigators said. This time, Ditty spotted her on 3rd and Arch streets and once again tried to speak to her. After seeing posts on social media from other women describing similar incidents with Ditty, the woman reported him to Philadelphia police. 

Ditty had been incarcerated for ten months for a similar offense and his most recent arrest violated his probation, the Philadelphia District’s Attorney’s Office said. 

Officials continue to investigate several reported incidents Ditty was allegedly involved in over the past month and more charges are possible. If you were a victim of DItty or know someone who was, call Philadelphia police at 215-686-TIPS.

Rainy Start to Thanksgiving, But Things Dry Up in Time for Dinner


It won’t be the most ideal start to Thanksgiving as rain blankets the Philadelphia region, but there’s some good news: your dinner and after-dinner activities should be dry.

Overnight rain continued to fall Thursday morning, but there was much less of it than the previous night, with mostly just scattered showers lingering. The moisture should be mostly gone by early in the afternoon, with the added bonus of sunshine and not-too-cold temperatures sticking around.

Philadelphia and neighborhoods north of the city can expect things to dry out around 1 p.m. as temperatures reach highs in the low-60 degrees.

Delaware and South Jersey can expect similar temperatures, though those areas might have to wait a little longer for the rain to clear out – around 2 p.m.

From there, things should stay dry for all neighborhoods through the weekend.

Man Charged Over Motorcycle Chase That Left Cop Hurt in Fiery Wreck


Police in Bucks County arrested a man who they say led a motorcycle chase that left one officer hurt after his patrol vehicle rolled over and hit a tree.

Christopher Troupe, 35, was arrested Thursday morning and charged with fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, a third-degree felony, as well as related charges in connection to the Aug. 22 chase.

A criminal complaint said Troupe was wanted for reckless driving after driving onto an oncoming traffic lane and toward oncoming vehicles in order to pass other cars in front of him. During the chase, Falls Township Police Department Officer Jeffrey Rhodunda’s patrol cruiser rolled over and hit a tree, causing him to be trapped in the burning wreckage, according to the complaint.

Rhodunda was seriously injured in the crash, department Chief Nelson Whitney said.

Police arrested Troupe after a lengthy investigation and with the help of anonymous tipsters. It was unclear if he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

Appeals Court Rejects Trump Challenge of Pennsylvania Race


President Donald Trump’s legal team suffered yet another defeat in court Friday as a federal appeals court in Philadelphia roundly rejected the campaign’s latest effort to challenge the state’s election results.

Trump’s lawyers vowed to appeal to the Supreme Court despite the judges’ assessment that the “campaign’s claims have no merit.”

“Free, fair elections are the lifeblood of our democracy. Charges of unfairness are serious. But calling an election unfair does not make it so. Charges require specific allegations and then proof. We have neither here,” 3rd Circuit Judge Stephanos Bibas, a Trump appointee, wrote for the three-judge panel, all appointed by Republican presidents.

The case had been argued last week in a lower court by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who insisted during five hours of oral arguments that the 2020 presidential election had been marred by widespread fraud in Pennsylvania. However, Giuliani failed to offer any tangible proof of that in court.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Brann, another Republican, had said the campaign’s error-filled complaint, “like Frankenstein’s Monster, has been haphazardly stitched together” and denied Giuliani the right to amend it for a second time.

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals called any revisions “futile.” Chief Judge D. Brooks Smith and Judge Michael Chagares were on the panel with Bibas, a former University of Pennsylvania law professor. Trump’s sister, Judge Maryanne Trump Barry, sat on the court for 20 years, retiring in 2019.

“Voters, not lawyers, choose the president. Ballots, not briefs, decide elections,” Bibas said in the opinion, which also denied the campaign’s request to stop the state from certifying its results, a demand he called “breathtaking.”

In fact, Pennsylvania officials had announced Tuesday that they had certified their vote count for President-elect Joe Biden, who defeated Trump by more than 80,000 votes in the state. Nationally, Biden and running mate Kamala Harris garnered nearly 80 million votes, a record in U.S. presidential elections.

Trump has said he hopes the Supreme Court will intervene in the race as it did in 2000, when its decision to stop the recount in Florida gave the election to Republican George W. Bush. On Nov. 5, as the vote count continued, Trump posted a tweet saying the “U.S. Supreme Court should decide!”

Ever since, Trump and his surrogates have attacked the election as flawed and filed a flurry of lawsuits to try to block the results in six battleground states. But they’ve found little sympathy from judges, nearly all of whom dismissed their complaints about the security of mail-in ballots, which millions of people used to vote from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trump perhaps hopes a Supreme Court he helped steer toward a conservative 6-3 majority would be more open to his pleas, especially since the high court upheld Pennsylvania’s decision to accept mail-in ballots through Nov. 6 by only a 4-4 vote last month. Since then, Trump nominee Amy Coney Barrett has joined the court.

“The activist judicial machinery in Pennsylvania continues to cover up the allegations of massive fraud,” Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis tweeted after Friday’s ruling. “On to SCOTUS!”

In the case at hand, the Trump campaign asked to disenfranchise the state’s 6.8 million voters or at least “cherry-pick” the 1.5 million who voted by mail in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and other Democratic-leaning areas, the appeals court said.

“One might expect that when seeking such a startling outcome, a plaintiff would come formidably armed with compelling legal arguments and factual proof of rampant corruption,” Brann, a member of the conservative Federalist Society, wrote in his scathing ruling on Nov. 21. “That has not happened.”

A separate Republican challenge that reached the Pennsylvania Supreme Court this week seeks to stop the state from further certifying any races on the ballot. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration is fighting that effort, saying it would prevent the state’s legislature and congressional delegation from being seated in the coming weeks.

On Thursday, Trump said the Nov. 3 election was still far from over. Yet he said for the first time he would leave the White House on Jan. 20 if the Electoral College formalizes Biden’s win.

“Certainly I will. But you know that,” Trump said at the White House, taking questions from reporters for the first time since Election Day.

On Twitter Friday, however, he continued to baselessly attack Detroit, Atlanta and other Democratic cities with large Black populations as the source of “massive voter fraud.” And he claimed, without evidence, that a Pennsylvania poll watcher had uncovered computer memory drives that “gave Biden 50,000 votes” apiece.

All 50 states must certify their results before the Electoral College meets on Dec. 14, and any challenge to the results must be resolved by Dec. 8. Biden won both the Electoral College and popular vote by wide margins.


Follow Maryclaire Dale on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Maryclairedale

Previous Article Next Article

Man Rescued After Falling Into Basement of Home Under Construction


Philadelphia firefighters on Friday rescued a man after he was injured as he fell about 10 feet into the basement of a home under construction.

The man fell into the basement, which was uncovered at the time, around 1 p.m. near the intersection of Fairmount Avenue and 18th Street, in the Fairmount neighborhood.

Firefighters and paramedics climbed down into the basement as they put a neck brace on the man and loaded him onto a stretcher before pulling the stretcher up a ladder using what appeared to be a rope and hook.

The man’s condition was not immediately known as paramedics loaded him into an ambulance and drove him to a hospital.