Channel: Local – NBC10 Philadelphia

When Will You Be Able to Get the Coronavirus Vaccine? Determine Your Spot in Line


As the federal government rolls out coronavirus vaccines to states and cities in a phased vaccination programs, many people are wondering when they will be able to get the vaccine. Use this calculator to get an idea of when you might get a vaccination.

When Could I Get the Vaccine?

Answer the questions to calculate your risk profile and see where you fall in your county’s and state’s vaccine lineup. This estimate is based on a combination of vaccine rollout recommendations from the CDC and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

For a more detailed breakdown of who is included in each priority group, see this methodology.
Source: the Vaccine Allocation Planner for COVID-19 by Ariadne Labs and the Surgo Foundation
Interactive by Amy O’Kruk/NBC

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


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

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

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

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

man and woman in studio
Keith Jones and Erin Coleman

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

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

Find It on 10: Today's Links


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


The Monkey’s Uncle


CrossFit Main Line



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

Citizen’s Bank Park Career Fair

Lisa’s Army

Canceling NJ Vaccination Appointments

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

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

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


Ready. Set. Philly.

Widener University’s High School Leadership Awards


Brandywine Valley SPCA


Independence Seaport Museum


Black Diamond Queens: African American Women and Rock and Roll


Philadelphia zip codes where residents can get walk-up vaccinations


NBC10 Responds: Amazon Impersonators

Boxed Sourcing


Visit Philly Jobs

Chinese Immigrant Family Wellness Initiative


Brittingham’s Pub


Find a Blood Drive

St. Patrick’s Day ‘Stew Thru’

Philadelphia’s public meetings on water and sewer rates


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

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

Little Miss Moffitt Baker


AL DÍA Women of Merit

Pennsylvania COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program (CHIRP)


Teach in Philly

The Trouble I’ve Seen: COVID-19 Portraits

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

Here are community legal aid programs:


New Jersey:



Bridal Gown Giveaway

With Love Philly Notes


Mama’s Meatballs


Poke Burri


Comcast RISE


Autsome Brushes


Providence Animal Center


Shipmate Fulfillment


Gross McCleaf Gallery

Project Tamale


Tilton Park by Sug Daniels

Six Flags Great America Job Fair


Amalgam Comics & Coffeehouse


Lucky Dawg Animal Rescue


Her Daughters Cafe


Makers Off Main


Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium

Pennsylvania SPCA

ReAnimator Coffee Roasters’ Puppy Love Blend




DIY Kit Creations


National Constitution Center


Small Business Administration

New small business grants

Chef Big Rube’s Kitchen


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

Taqueria Amor


Neuchatel Swiss Chocolates

Vote for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees


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

Marks Jewelers


Farrell’s Florist


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


PlowPHL map, tracking Philly’s snow-plowing progress


Go Red for Women


Karma Cat and Zen Dog Rescue Society


Meatball U:

Sun Reys Beach Rentals


Earned Income Tax Credit

La Famigilia Restorante

Simeti’s Gymnastics Academy


More on Philly’s Restaurant and Gym Relief program

Marriott Courtyard Philadelphia South at The Navy Yard


The Philadelphia Citizen


The Wellness Collective


Simpson House Tea Room


Buddha Babe Boutique


Sugartown Soaps


TerraVida Holistic Centers


Forgotten Angels Equine Rescue


Bensalem Unity Week

The Giving Tree


Cornerstone Bed & Breakfast in Philadelphia


Hilton Garden Inn Camden Waterfront


Delaware County Citizens Corps

Chris’ Jazz Cafe


Black Doctors Consortium


Pivot Coffee & Soupery


Bungee Brand


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


Bison Coffee Company


Shawnee Mountain Ski Area


Old City Canning Co.


Harth Builders


KP Aesthetics


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


Bethesda Project


Animal Rescue League of Berks County


Bald Birds Brewing Co.


Historic King George II Inn


Delaware Humane Association


Brandywine Valley SPCA


Providence Animal Center

Holiday Movie Night at Bar Lucca


Itri Wood Fired

Mental Health Resources in Pennsylvania


Bristol Riverside Theatre

CHOP toy drive


B101 Christmas Choir Competition Voting


PA 511 for road conditions

Naked Brewing Company


MVP Recovery Now


ACCT Philly

TODAY teams up with Feeding America


“Dolls for Daughters” toy drive

The “Illegal is the Project” documentary


The Joy of Giving

Moderna at Rittenhouse

U.S. Construction Inc.


Curiosity Doughnuts

Pennsylvania SPCA Animal Cruelty Line


Cunningham Piano Company


Salon Glam


Noble Earth

The Wardrobe




COVID testing at PHL

And more COVID testing at PHL

American Red Cross Blood Drives

Burlington County Sheriff’s Department Toy Drive

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

When Can I Get my Vaccine? Pa., Philly, NJ and Del. Expand Eligibility


As states in the Philadelphia region ramp up their vaccine programs to meet President Joe Biden’s goal of eligibility for about 90% of American adults by April 19 and all adults by May, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware are expanding who can sign up for the vaccine this week.

Starting Monday, Philadelphia began offering vaccines to some workers in Phase 1C, Pennsylvania expanded its vaccine availability to everyone in Phase 1B and New Jersey opened up eligibility to everyone 55 and older and people in real estate, sanitation and other professions.

Starting Tuesday, Delaware opens up its vaccine program to everyone in the state who is 16 and older.

Here is who is now eligible for the vaccine in the tristate area:

What Is the Vaccine Eligibility in the Pennsylvania Suburbs?

As of Monday, every person in Pennsylvania’s Phase 1B became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. That group includes first responders, certain people in congregant settings not previously eligible, people receiving at-home care, clergy, and workers in postal service, manufacturing, education, public transit, adult care and child care.

A subsection of people in the 1B group – specifically law enforcement workers, firefighters, grocery store employees and food and agriculture workers – became eligible last week.

Anyone 65 and older is already eligible for the vaccine in Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania will move into Phase 1C — which includes other essential workers — on Monday, April 12. Everyone then becomes eligible on April 19.

Click here to visit Pennsylvania’s Coronavirus vaccine site.

Vaccines are being given out at mass vaccines sites, pop-up vaccine events and pharmacies. Be patient as demand is expected to increase as more people become eligible to make an appointment.

Who Is Eligible for the Coronavirus Vaccine in Philadelphia?

Four new groups of Philadelphians are now eligible for the vaccine, city health, as the vaccination rollout officially entered Phase 1C.

Those newly eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine are:

  • Sanitation workers
  • Maintenance and janitorial staff
  • Utility workers
  • Postal and package delivery workers

Phase 1C will begin roughly four weeks after the city entered Phase 1B. Healthy Philadelphians ages 65 and older are already eligible for the coronavirus vaccination in the city.

People in the expanded age group should register on the official vaccine interest form to be added to the vaccination queue. After registering, they’ll receive notification from the city in the coming days or weeks when it is time to schedule their first vaccination appointment.

There are now over 220 locations, including pharmacies, hospitals and the FEMA mass vaccination site at the Pennsylvania Convention Center where vaccine doses are now available.

Philadelphia’s top health official, Dr. Thomas Farley, has implored all eligible residents, particularly those 65 and older, to get the vaccine as soon as possible because the city’s case count continues to rise amid a possible new spike of the pandemic.

Who Can Now Get a Coronavirus Vaccine in New Jersey?

Anyone 55 or older and people 16 and older with a slew of health conditions are eligible to sign up for their vaccine in New Jersey. Click here to register.

The newly eligible as of Monday include higher education educators and staffers, along with communication support workers, including engineers and members of the media.

Real estate, building and home service workers are also permitted to get shots, along with sanitation workers and bank tellers, accountants and other financial industry employees. Laundry service workers, utility workers and librarians round out the “1C” category.

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy has set a goal of fully vaccinating 4.7 million people, or 70% of the adult population, by July.

Who Can Sign-Up for Coronavirus Vaccine in Delaware?

If you are 16 or older in Delaware you can sign up to get a dose as of Tuesday.

Democratic Gov. John Carney announced the expansion of the state’s coronavirus vaccine registration to all adults and older teens last week.

The shots will be given at pharmacies and community and state vaccination sites.

Starting at 10 a.m. on April 6, anyone 16 and older can register for the vaccine waiting list at vaccinerequest.delaware.gov.

“Invitations to state vaccination events will be contingent on supply and prioritized based on age and other risk factors, including pre-existing medical conditions,” the state said in a news release.

How Effective are Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca Vaccines? Is the One-Shot Vaccine Available in NJ, Pa., Del.?

For more answers on the coronavirus vaccine rollout, including the effectiveness of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, check out our Q&A. And check out this Q&A about the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine.

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

What Do Riders Really Think of SEPTA? Answers Are a Huge Challenge for Transit Agency


What to Know

  • SEPTA’s ridership fell 88 percent in the early days of the pandemic, and is now at only 35 percent of pre-pandemic levels.
  • Riders in a new NBC10 survey say they are worried about cleanliness and safety.
  • But most respondents say they would return to SEPTA once vaccinated.

SEPTA riders are candid about what they see on buses, subways and the Market-Frankford elevated line.

And some of them say what they have seen has made them reluctant to ride right now – which is a huge problem for a transit agency that gets hundreds of thousands of people to work daily.

“Dirty trash. I’ve seen empty needles,” said Charles Williams of West Philadelphia.

“It was filth everywhere, said Mona Scruggs of Northeast Philadelphia. “I had to buy a newspaper every day, just so I could sit on the newspaper, because I didn’t want to sit on the seat.”

Cleanliness on the system grabbed headlines this year, when SEPTA had to close the Somerset Station on the Market-Frankford line due to a litany of problems. The station had piles of trash as well as urine and feces in it. So many needles had been thrown into the elevator – and the elevator had been urinated on so often – that it was unusable.

“The mechanics have been damaged by urination, by discarded needles being jammed into floorboards,” said Leslie Richards, SEPTA’s general manager.

The problem is, SEPTA’s finances rely on ridership. And a new NBC10 survey shows that some riders have been turned off for good.

Some have stopped riding because of the pandemic, including working from home and worries about getting sick. But plenty of people also said they are turned off by trash, smell and feeling unsafe.

More than one in four of our survey’s respondents say they have stopped using SEPTA altogether.

“I just think it’s at its worst now,” said Quan Harvin, a SEPTA rider.

More than a thousand people took our NBC10 SEPTA survey last month, which focused on riding during the pandemic. Even with ridership dramatically lower than a year ago, the majority of respondents said they still need and use buses or the Market-Frankford line to get around.

It’s the second time NBC10 has done this survey. When asked about the experience on SEPTA before the pandemic, the majority in our survey said it was neutral or positive.

Now, the majority is negative.

SEPTA’s Richards said she knows that it will be a challenge to get people to ride again. “We definitely have a challenge in front of us, right?” she said.

This is a critically challenging time on many fronts for the transit agency, which is losing one million dollars a day during the pandemic due to low ridership. At the beginning of the pandemic, in April, the agency saw an 88 percent drop in ridership compared to the year before. That number has risen slightly – now, ridership is at 35 percent – but still is far below normal levels.

And Richards, for one, is not convinced that ridership will return to pre-pandemic levels. That means SEPTA, which is relying on a federal grant to stay open and avoid layoffs now, will have to change for good.

SEPTA has already stepped up its cleaning and security, including hiring 60 unarmed guards to patrol the Market Frankford line. The agency is working to clean another Market-Frankford station, the much larger Allegheny, without closing it.

SEPTA is talking to city officials, including the managing director’s office, about ways to re-house people who have been sheltering in stations.

“We have not figured out this larger societal problem, which is those who are using our system as shelter, those who are urinating, defecating on our system,” Richards said.

And SEPTA is rethinking that system, including redesigning bus routes. It’s even planning a marketing campaign to bring riders back.

“We are reevaluating everything we do,” Richards said. “And I can tell you, SEPTA is not going to look the same as we did pre-pandemic.”

There may be hope for the transit agency in the near future.

When asked about returning to SEPTA, most of NBC10’s survey recipients said they are at least somewhat likely to ride again – once more people are vaccinated.

“I think if SEPTA implements a plan and do the things they need to do, like cleaning the trains, addressing mental illness, homelessness, I think people will come back,” said SEPTA Train Operator Kim Ricketts. “I think they will.”

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

Man Accused of Attacking and Yelling Racist Remarks at Asian Man in Chinatown


What to Know

  • Police arrested a man accused of attacking and yelling racist remarks at an Asian man in Philadelphia’s Chinatown neighborhood Tuesday night. 
  • Police said they received multiple calls reporting a suspect attacking a 64-year-old Asian male while shouting anti-Asian remarks at him.
  • Responding police officers used a Taser on the suspect and then took him into custody.

Police arrested a man accused of attacking and yelling racist remarks at an Asian man in Philadelphia’s Chinatown neighborhood Tuesday night. 

Police said they received multiple calls reporting a suspect attacking a 64-year-old Asian male while shouting anti-Asian remarks at him. Responding police officers used a Taser on the suspect and then took him into custody. Police then transported him to Jefferson University Hospital for an evaluation. They have not yet revealed his identity or the charges he’ll face. 

The victim was not hurt during the incident. Police continue to investigate. 

The incident was the latest anti-Asian crime in Philadelphia. Last month, police investigated two acts of racist vandalism in South Philadelphia and Chinatown. Also last month, two Indonesian teenage girls reported they were attacked by a group of four other teen girls at the City Hall SEPTA station. 

Rallies for Asian Americans have occurred in city’s nationwide, including Philadelphia, in the aftermath of the Atlanta shootings that left eight people dead, including six Asian women. 

Over roughly the last year, despite hate crimes being down overall, anti-Asian attacks have become much more prevalent, with Pennsylvania and New Jersey among the states with the highest number of such attacks, according to data from groups that track these types of incidents.

From March of last year to Feb. 28 of this year, physical assaults, verbal harassment, civil rights violations and online harassment against Asian Americans were up across the board, according to a study by the Stop AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) Hate group.

Pennsylvania saw 97 such attacks, while New Jersey had 59. In addition, Philadelphia, specifically, was responsible for six anti-Asian hate crimes in 2020, a 200% increase from the year prior, according to an analysis released by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.

Philadelphia Police Department Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said that walking through the city’s Chinatown, she has noticed palpable fear among people, even before the Atlanta shootings.

“In personally going out and doing a walking tour, specifically in Chinatown, there was a lot of anxiety expressed around crimes against those who either are perceived, or are, of Asian descent because of the pandemic, and that there was maybe some fear of reporting said crimes,” Outlaw said.

Earlier this year, the department said it was temporarily bolstering police patrols around Asian communities and businesses in light of the Atlanta attack.

Deadly Shooting of Boy, 15, Underscores Rising Killings of Philly's Kids


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

After a 15-year-old boy died caught in the crossfire Tuesday in North Philadelphia, community members are worried about the rising number of killings involving kids in the city.

As of April 6 of this year, there have been 16 homicides involving youths under 18 years old in Philadelphia, according to Officer Miguel Torres, a Philadelphia Police Department spokesman. That number is greater than the four homicides involving youths recorded during the same time last year, and on pace to surpass the 35 such homicides seen in all of 2020.

Gun violence, specifically, has been rising in cities across the U.S. since early last year, said Jason Gravel, an assistant professor at Temple University’s Department of Criminal Justice. Even factoring for that, though, Philadelphia’s gun problem is outsized.

“It’s pretty high, even compared to other cities,” Gravel.

In 2020, there were 23 fatal and 174 nonfatal shootings involving children and teenagers, according to crime statistics from Philadelphia’s Office of the Controller. That represented nine more deadly shootings and 70 more nondeadly shootings involving youths than in 2019.

Meanwhile, 2021 has seen nine fatal and 38 nonfatal shootings involving youths.

Among the dead are not only the 15-year-old in North Philadelphia but a slew of other kids, including 11-year-old Harley Clarence, who was similarly caught in the crossfire while riding his motorized bike in the Oxford Circle neighborhood late last month.  

“I wish that these people would put down these guns and stop shooting our children,” said Keisha Hunter, a mother who lives in the vicinity where the 15-year-old was killed Tuesday. “We don’t need this. We are already going through enough with this pandemic and the economic crisis that everybody is suffering.”

But while the coronavirus pandemic “probably has something to do” with the rising gun crimes, it doesn’t tell the whole story, Gravel said.

He noted that while people in poorer neighborhoods have more acutely felt the effects of rising crime during the pandemic, the underlying issues were present even before 2020. He pointed to the availability of guns as a bigger driver of violence.

 “I think guns are not particularly hard for people to get if you know where to look,” Gravel said. “Guns are everywhere in this country, so even if we have strict gun laws today, it’s not going to reduce tomorrow the stock of guns that are on the street.”

Reducing the availability of guns could prove a long-term solution, but passing laws making bullets more difficult to get could have a more immediate impact, he said.

In addition, more resources need to be provided for social workers and people who go out within their communities to mediate conflicts and stop violence before it happens, Gravel said.

“I think there are more complicated and more fundamental things that need to be done in terms of making sure that resources are brought to the communities – not just nice words and catchphrases but actual changes,” he said.

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

Unemployed NJ Electrician Accused of Being at Forefront of US Capitol Siege


What to Know

  • An out-of-work electrician with a 2-month-old child has become the latest tri-state area arrest in connection to the deadly U.S. Capitol siege that took place Jan. 6, according to federal prosecutors.
  • Christopher Quaglin was arrested by the FBI Wednesday morning and was charged with attacking multiple Capitol Hill police officers during the violent events that unfolded more than three months ago.
  • During Quaglin’s court appearance Wednesday, the judge called the nature of the charges “horrific” but agreed to let Quaglin be released on home confinement with an ankle bracelet. For now, however, he remains behind bars as prosecutors want 24 hours to appeal, asking for detention saying Quaglin’s actions show he is a danger.

An out-of-work electrician with a 2-month-old child has become the latest tri-state area arrest in connection to the deadly U.S. Capitol siege that took place Jan. 6, according to federal prosecutors.

Christopher Quaglin was arrested by the FBI Wednesday morning and was charged with attacking multiple Capitol Hill police officers as well as attempting to corruptly obstruct, influence, and impede a Congressional proceeding during the violent events that unfolded more than three months ago.

Dressed in red, white and blue, Quaglin allegedly used a chemical spray, hitting one officer in the face at close range.  Prosecutors say he also stole a police shield and used it to ram other officers as the crowd tried to breach Capitol Hill.

Prosecutors say there are social media and police body cam videos showing Quaglin was at the front of the line (see affidavit photo below), inviting others to join him.

According to the affidavit, the North Brunswick resident was captured on body worn cameras outside the U.S. Capitol during the siege. The documents state that seemingly unprovoked, Quaglin shouted at Metropolitan Police Department officers: “You don’t want this fight. You do not want this f—ing fight. You are on the wrong f—ing side. You’re going to bring a f—ing pistol, I’m going to bring a f—ing cannon. You wait! You wait! You wait! Stay there like a f—ing sheep! This guy doesn’t know what the f— is going on.” Several seconds later, Quaglin allegedly grabbed onto the fence and appears to shake it and push against it while the MPD officers are on the other side of the fence.

Additionally, according to the affidavit, Quaglin pushed a number of officers (see affidavit photo below), while aggressively shouting at them. He also allegedly assaulted numerous officers including spraying one officer with bear spray in the face as well as grabbing a shield and striking an officer with it.

Prosecutors allege that Quaglin went to Washington D.C. to attend the Jan. 6 rally in support of former President Donald Trump with a bear spray mask and booked several hotel rooms. He allegedly encouraged others to attend.

He was a “man prepared for war” prosecutors said.

According to the federal criminal complaint, Quaglin allegedly posted a photo online (see below) a couple of weeks before the riot of guns and weapons saying: “I have been planning this since Bush left office and Obama came in” and after the riots, he said he had a great time storming the Capitol.

Quaglin’s lawyer says he plans to plead not guilty and speculated Quaglin got caught up in the moment. During a hearing Wednesday, the judge scoffed at that notion — sarcastically asking if he happened to just find a helmet and bear spray in some nearby bushes or did he in fact plan for battle.

The judge called the nature of the charges “horrific” but agreed to let Quaglin be released on home confinement with an ankle bracelet. For now, however, he remains behind bars as prosecutors want 24 hours to appeal that decision, asking for detention saying Quaglin’s actions show he is a danger.

Local FBI officials continue to help Washington, D.C. officials search for numerous others from the tri-state area who took part in the Jan. 6 riots. Additional arrests are expected in the days and weeks ahead.

This latest development follows a myriad of arrests and charges against a number of tri-state residents in connection to the violent events that unfolded early January when a mob of former President Donald Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol. 

More than three months after the siege, the FBI continues to make arrests throughout the country. Since the violent riot, a number of tri-state residents have been arrested and charged with various crimes in connection to the deadly event, including a New York City sanitation worker, the brother of a retired NYPD officer, an MTA worker and an Upper West Side community leader.

Additionally, a man who surrendered at the FBI’s Hudson Valley office in February to face charges in connection with the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol siege is a retired NYPD officer who had been assigned for a time to work perimeter security at City Hall and at Gracie Mansion, the mayor’s official residence.

Defrocked Pa. Priest Revered in East Timor Accused of Abuse


It was the same every night. A list of names was posted on the Rev. Richard Daschbach’s bedroom door. The child at the top of the roster knew it was her turn to share the lower bunk with the elderly priest and another elementary school-aged girl.

Daschbach was idolized in the remote enclave of East Timor where he lived, largely for his role in helping save lives during the tiny nation’s bloody struggle for independence. So, the girls never spoke about the abuse they suffered. They said they were afraid they would be banished from the shelter the 84-year-old from Pennsylvania established decades ago for abused women, orphans, and other destitute children.

The horrors of what they said happened behind closed doors over a period of years is now being played out in court — the first clergy sex case in a country that is more solidly Catholic than any other place aside from the Vatican. The trial was postponed last month due to a coronavirus lockdown, but is expected to resume in May.

At least 15 females have come forward, according to JU,S Jurídico Social, a group of human rights lawyers representing them. The Associated Press has spoken to a third of the accusers, each recalling their experiences in vivid detail. They are not being identified because of fears of retribution.

They told AP Daschbach would sit on a chair every night in the middle of a room holding a little girl, surrounded by a ring of children and staff members praying and singing hymns before bed.

“The way that you determine who sits on his lap is by the list that he’d have on his door,” one accuser said. “And that meant that you were the little girl that was going to go with him.”

Later in his room, they said Daschbach would strip down to white boxer shorts and a T-shirt and then undress the girls, giving them deodorant to put on before fondling them and quietly guiding their hands to touch him. Then, they said, there would often be oral sex. One accuser also alleged she was raped.

He would sometimes ask the children with him on the lower bunk to switch places with one or two others sleeping on the mattress above, they said, adding abuse also occasionally occurred during afternoon naps.

Daschbach faces up to 20 years in prison if found guilty. He and his lawyer declined to be interviewed by the AP.

The church defrocked Daschbach in 2018, saying he had confessed to sexually abusing children. But he maintains strong political ties and is still treated like a rock star by many, especially at the Topu Honis shelter, which means “Guide to Life.”

Former President Xanana Gusmao attended the trial’s opening in February. A month earlier, the independence hero visited Daschbach on his birthday, hand-feeding cake to the former priest and lifting a glass of wine to his lips, as cameras flashed.

Daschbach’s lawyers have not made their legal strategy public, and court proceedings are closed. But documents seen by AP indicate that they will argue he is the victim of a conspiracy.

In January, however, the former priest appeared to be preparing his supporters for the worst. He told local reporters that his message to the children who remain in the orphanage is this: “Be patient. We won’t meet again because I will be detained for life, but I will still remember you and you have to be happy there.”

The son of a Pittsburgh steelworker, Daschbach began his religious studies as a teenager. In 1964, he was ordained by Divine Word Missionaries in Chicago, the Catholic church’s largest missionary congregation, with around 6,000 priests and brothers serving in more than 80 countries.

When he arrived in Southeast Asia a few years later, the nation now known as East Timor was under Portuguese control. That colonial rule would last until 1975 when the country was almost immediately invaded by neighboring Indonesia. A bloody, 24-year independence struggle followed, leaving as many as 200,000 people dead — a quarter of the population — through fighting, famine, and starvation.

Daschbach started the shelter in 1992 and earned his reputation during the conflict. He often told visitors about defending the women and children living in Topu Honis and surrounding areas, sheltering them in a cave, and leading a ragtag group armed with spears to stave off attackers.

Stories about the charismatic priest who joined in traditional dances with bells on his ankles, spoke local languages fluently, and gave mass where he blended Catholicism with the area’s customs and animist beliefs, spread far beyond East Timor.

Foreign donors, tourists, and aid workers who made the three-hour hike up the steep, narrow jungle path to Kutet village were met by the grandfatherly priest who was often surrounded by laughing kids playing hopscotch in matching uniforms. In many photographs of Topu Honis taken by visitors and posted online, young girls are seen by Daschbach’s side, on his lap, or with his arm pulling their tiny shoulders against him.

Some visitors stayed on the mountain for weeks or even months, so impressed by what they saw that they sent tens of thousands of dollars to support the shelter or pay for college scholarships.

Jan McColl, who helped fund Topu Honis, said she was devastated after she and another longtime Australian donor, Tony Hamilton, flew to East Timor and asked Daschbach point-blank whether he was a pedophile.

“He said, ‘Yes. That’s who I am. And always have been,’” said McColl, adding he responded calmly while continuing to eat his lunch. “So, we just got up and left the table. We were just absolutely distraught.”

Hamilton said the exchange was jarring and surreal, and he has struggled to make sense of it while continuing to support some of the children. He and McColl have given affidavits.

“I think in some crazy way, he recognizes that what he has done is a crime,” he said. “But he reconciles it somehow with the good that he’s done.”

The global clergy sex abuse scandal that has rocked the Catholic Church for more than two decades, has led to billions of dollars in settlements and the establishment of new programs aimed at preventing further abuse. But experts have seen a growing number of victims coming forward in developing nations like Haiti, Kenya, and Bangladesh, where priests and missionaries deployed by religious orders often operate with little or no oversight. Even if they’re caught, they rarely face consequences. For some, the idea of ever jailing a priest, no matter the crime, seems blasphemous.

Many supporters in East Timor insist the accusations against Daschbach are lies and part of a bigger plot to take over the shelter and other property, including a beachside boarding school. After the trial’s opening, dozens of mostly women and children waited outside the courtroom, wailing as the ex-priest waved goodbye to them from a vehicle.

“Law enforcers must see which one is better: Omitting one person or eliminating the future of many?” said local resident Antonio Molo, one of the doubters, who worries that hundreds of children may lose a chance at a better life if Daschbach is gone.

Though the Vatican acted swiftly to investigate and remove the priest when accusations were leveled three years ago, the local archdiocese was more accommodating.

It agreed to lodge him under informal house arrest at a church residence in the town of Maliana. But Daschbach still moved around with relative ease, including taking an overnight ferry to Oecusse enclave where he returned to the children’s home, infuriating accusers and their families. Despite being stripped of his priestly duties, local media reported he continued to perform mass while there.

Monsignor Marco Sprizzi, Vatican ambassador to East Timor, stressed that Daschbach should not be allowed to be among children, but said there’s little the church can do now.

“Once he’s defrocked … he’s no more a priest. He is no part of the clergy,” he said. “And, of course, that house for children was not — since the beginning — was not belonging to his religious congregation. He did it by himself, and it was in his own name.”

Zach Hiner, executive director of the U.S.-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, said the church had a moral responsibility to do more and should have recalled Daschbach to the U.S. before laicizing him.

“We fear for the vulnerable children that he may still have access to,” he said.

But Daschbach still has strong support within factions of the church, locally.

Late last year, the Archbishop of Dili sacked the president of the church’s “Justice and Peace Commission” and publicly apologized following the publication of a report naming the victims and implying prosecutors, police, and NGOs investigating the allegations had sexually abused the accusers, themselves, by carrying out forensic exams. The report also alleged human trafficking, referring to seven accusers who had been moved to a safe house.

Former donors and the accusers were outraged, saying the report put the lives of those who came forward in danger. Threats of violence have been made against anyone who speaks out against Daschbach.

The ex-priest faces 14 counts of child sexual abuse, one count of child pornography and one count of domestic violence. He also is wanted in the U.S. for three counts of wire fraud linked to one of his California-based donors, which accused him in a court case of violating an agreement to protect those under his care. An InterpolRed Notice has been issued internationally for his arrest.

The accusers who spoke to AP described systematic abuse and inappropriate behavior, including Daschbach regularly overseeing the girls’ showers. They said all of the children removed their clothes and stood together around a large concrete water basin outside, with the nude priest going from girl to girl shampooing their hair and splashing water on their private parts. They said he also took photos of them naked as they played in the rain, and that some girls were told he didn’t want them to wear underwear.

His accusers said they were filled with hope when they arrived at the shelter. For the first time, they, along with many others, had clean clothes, time to play, and an emphasis on school. Most importantly, they had food. The meals were basic but steady.

The adoration and respect for the white American missionary was so commanding, the accusers said they did whatever he wanted without question.

One recalled first arriving at the shelter still distraught after her father had died and said the priest raped her that same night. She said he continued to do so frequently the entire time she was there.

She said he would lock the door and pull the curtains, telling her they had to be careful and that no one could know. She said he typically chose young children, but for those like her who were nearing puberty, Daschbach exercised caution.

“He would pull out and say, ‘I have to stop, otherwise you’ll be pregnant,’” she said.

Now, accusers say they struggle to process how someone who appeared so kind and selfless could ask them to do things that felt so wrong.

“When I was getting abused, I was like, ‘Is this sort of like the payment?’” one accuser said. “That’s what I was computing in my head … ‘this must be the price that I have to pay to be a part of this.’ You know, like those shiny little dresses that these girls are wearing to church. That’s not free. This is the price tag.”

Associated Press reporter Raimundos Oki contributed to this report from East Timor.

Contact AP’s global investigative team at Investigative@ap.org

Man Killed, Officer Hurt as Gunman, Cops Shoot Each Other After Traffic Stop


A gunman was killed and an officer is recovering from a gunshot wound after a traffic stop led to both the man and police to open fire on one another in Philadelphia’s Olney neighborhood, officials said.

The ordeal began at 6:45 p.m. Wednesday on the 1500 block of Somerville Avenue when two police officers pulled over a blue Kia Optima with three men and a woman inside.

The officers learned that at least two people inside the car had outstanding warrants and called for backup, officials said.

Six officers then walked toward the car and ordered one of the passengers, a 24-year-old man, to get out. That man allegedly leaned back in his seat, pulled out a gun and opened fire at the officers.

The man then ran out of the car and allegedly fired another shot at the officers. The officers fired back, shooting the man multiple times in the torso. One of the officers was also shot in the foot, though investigators have not yet revealed if he was shot by the suspect or hit by friendly fire.

The suspect was taken to the nearby Einstein Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 7 p.m. The injured officer was also taken to the hospital, where he is in stable condition. Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw spoke with the officer and his family. She said the officer has been with the department since 2016.

None of the other officers involved nor the three other people who were inside the car were injured. Those three people were taken into custody for questioning. Police also recovered the gunman’s weapon, officials said.

A witness told NBC10 he heard several shots and then spotted police pulling someone out of the car.

“Ain’t nothing new here,” the man said in reference to the shooting. “I don’t mean to cuss on TV but the s— ain’t nothing new.”

Police have not yet revealed the reason for the initial traffic stop or the identity of the suspect.

Editor’s Note: Police initially told NBC10 a woman had also been shot. The story has been updated to reflect that the officer and the 24-year-old man were the only two people who were struck during the shooting.

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

‘All Hands on Deck': Feds, Philly Police Team Up to Tackle City's Gun Violence Crisis


A large contingent of local federal agency leaders are announcing a broad partnership with the Philadelphia police to try lowering the number of shootings in the city as residents are feeling the brunt of one of the worst years for gun violence in decades.

Homicides reached the second-highest total in 60 years in 2020, and the number of deaths is actually well above last year’s pace in 2021.

“Night after night after night, shots are fired until people are killed or injured,” Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams said at the press conference. “At this rate we are on pace to pass 600 homicides here in Phillly. That is shocking.”

More than a dozen leaders of local units for federal agencies like the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI gathered alongside Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw at 11 a.m. in front of Independence Hall in Old City.

Williams and the brigade of her fellow federal officials vowed to apply the weight of the federal government on those partaking in gun violence in Philadelphia. Commissioner Outlaw said she welcomes their help.

“Our federal partners have pledged their talent, technology and resources to stem the tide of this violence,” Outlaw said.

The “all hands on deck” initiative, as Arbittier Williams described it, comes the same day President Joe Biden will talk about a six-point approach to tackling gun violence nationally.

Biden is speaking at 11:45 a.m. at the White House, and his address and question-and-answer session with reporters can be seen LIVE AT THIS LINK.

Those six points that make up Biden’s plan are:

  • The Justice Department, within 30 days, will issue a proposed rule to help stop the proliferation of “ghost guns.”
  • The Justice Department, within 60 days, will issue a proposed rule to make clear when a device marketed as a stabilizing brace effectively turns a pistol into a short-barreled rifle subject to the requirements of the National Firearms Act.
  • The Justice Department, within 60 days, will publish model “red flag” legislation for states.
  • The Administration is investing in evidence-based community violence interventions.
  • The Justice Department will issue an annual report on firearms trafficking.

Shootings are also on pace in 2021 to set an all-time record, according to city records. Recent violence included the shooting death of a 15-year-old, who was the 16th person under 18 killed already this year.

A 25-year-old man was also killed this week in an execution-style hit outside one of James Beard Award winner Stephen Starr’s restaurant, Buddakan. Starr lashed out at Mayor Jim Kenney following the shooting for not providing enough leadership.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as new details become available.

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

Philly School District Offering In-Person Summer Classes, Rec Activities


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

The School District of Philadelphia will provide in-person and digital classes, as well as extracurricular programming, for all of its students this summer.

Wednesday’s announcement from district officials means most students who opt in will be able to attend in-person summer school for the first time since 2019, after the coronavirus pandemic forced all summer programming to be digital last year.

“Providing summer programs for students is proven to play a huge role in narrowing academic achievement gaps and helping students achieve and maintain grade-level performance in reading and in math,” Superintendent William Hite said.

In addition, the school district will also provide breakfast and lunch, as well as transportation to schools, and students will receive a backpack with supplies on their first day. The health and safety protocols will be identical to the ones already in place.

At first, classes will be available in 24 schools across the city, but if enough students enroll, administrators are prepared to open up to 39 schools, said Malika Savoy-Brooks, the district’s Chief Academic Supports Officer.

Here’s a breakdown of how classes will be administered for all the grade levels.

Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten: Digital only. Classes will be approximately 90 minutes long and be offered either Monday and Tuesday or Wednesday and Thursday. Students can still pick up meals at one of various district sites across the city.

First through 8th grade: In-person. Instruction will begin at 9 a.m. and continue through 12:45 p.m. Extracurricular activities, provided in partnership with Philadelphia’s Office of Children and Families, will run from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Ninth through 12th grade: In-person, digital and hybrid.

Extended School Year students: In-person and digital. Classes for these students, which include those with special needs, will be offered three days per week between 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

To find out how to register for summer school, click here and navigate to the corresponding grade level in which you wish to enroll your student. The link also provides a further breakdown regarding specific programming that will be available for each grade level.

Classes begin June 28 and run five to six weeks.  

Syrup Spills on Highway After Trucks Collide Under Overpass in West Conshohocken


Two tractor trailers, one of them carrying syrup, collided underneath an overpass in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania, causing the sticky substance to spill over the roadway. 

The crash occurred around 1 p.m. Thursday on the ramp off of I-476 northbound near Matsonford Road. The ramp was closed as crews worked to clean up the syrup. No injuries were reported.

Look at the Digital Speed Limit: How Fast You Can Go on I-76 Will Soon Be Changing


What to Know

  • The speed limit on the Schuylkill Expressway between King of Prussia, Montgomery County, and Philadelphia can now be changing.
  • PennDOT on Thursday marked the activation of variable
  • Around 130,000 drivers use the 14-mile stretch of I-76 daily, PennDOT says.

The speed limit could soon be changing as you drive along the crowded Schuylkill Expressway.

PennDOT officials marked the activation of 72 variable speed limit (VSL) signs over a 14-mile stretch of Interstate 76 from King of Prussia, Montgomery County, to the U.S. Route 1 Interchange in Philadelphia.

The signs, starting next month, could vary the speed limit between 35 mph and 55 mph on the busy highway that serves around 130,000 drivers daily.

During a testing period lasting until May 10, the speed limits will remain static (55 in Montgomery County and 50 in Philly) eastbound and westbound as PennDOT analyzes data from a Queue Detection and Warning (QDW) system that was also installed, PennDOT said.

The monthlong testing period will also give drivers time to adjust to electronic signs that will deliver lane closures and other slowdowns.

“These devices will help reduce congestion and greatly improve safety by warning drivers of changing conditions based on real-time expressway, traffic and weather events,” PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian said Thursday. “This is one of the ways we are using operational strategies and technologies to actively manage travel and traffic flow along this critical corridor.”

The goal of lessening stop-and-go traffic could help reduce rear-ended crashes that plague I-76.

“According to PennDOT data, there were 2,580 reportable crashes on I-76 in Montgomery County from 2015 through 2019,” the agency said in a news release. “Of those, 1,741 were rear-end crashes. VSL deployments in other states have been shown to reduce crashes by as much as 30%.”

Don’t think that you can ignore the speed limit if it dips below the establish 55 mph or 50 mph.

“Speed limits posted to the new VSL signs on I-76 will serve as enforceable, regulatory speed limits, not recommended speed advisories,” Pennsylvania State Police Captain Robert Krol said.

The project, which is part of the Transform 76 plan, began in 2018 and cost an estimated $10.5 million, PennDOT said. The next phase of the plan includes using the shoulder of the highway as an extra lane.

NJ Settles Misconduct Claims With Inmates at State's Only Female Prison for $21 Million


New Jersey and women incarcerated in the state’s only women’s prison have reached a nearly $21 million settlement over longstanding allegations of abuse and harassment at the facility, embattled Corrections Commissioner Marcus Hicks told lawmakers on Thursday during a hearing.

Hicks also said the Department of Corrections has reached a “tentative” agreement with the the U.S. Department of Justice over reforming the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women in Clinton, though the details of the deal aren’t public yet. Hicks added that a federal monitor at the prison would likely be part of the agreement.

The settlement covers 20 lawsuits filed by current and former inmates who say they were direct victims of sexual misconduct as well as all inmates incarcerated since Jan. 1 2014. The state will provide $20,835,600 in damages and attorney’s fees to the women in what the Department of Corrections called an “unprecedented” amount of compensation aimed at providing relief from well-documented culture of accepting abuse.

“My administration is ushering in a new era in corrections with safety and rehabilitation at its core to maintain safety within our facilities,” Hicks told the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Thursday, his first public testimony since state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced in February he charged prison guards at Edna Mahan with misconduct in an attack on inmates.

The women’s attorneys said in a statement that the negotiations were protracted and difficult, but added that the settlement along with other reforms will allow them “to turn the page on this difficult chapter.”

Not probed during the hearing in any detail were the events of the Jan. 11 and 12 attack on inmates, as described by Grewal, because of an ongoing criminal investigation that so far has resulted in charges against eight prison guards — all but one of them men — and spurred calls for Hicks’ resignation.

Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy, who has the authority to remove Hicks, has declined to weigh in beyond condemning the attack described by Grewal. He has hired an attorney to conduct what he’s calling an independent investigation into what happened.

Invoices obtained Thursday through the state’s open records law show taxpayers have been billed roughly $64,000 for the work of attorney Matt Boxer, of Lowenstein Sandler, since Murphy announced the investigation.

Hicks said Thursday his administration is cooperating with the investigation. He also disavowed those involved in the attack, saying they violated the department’s zero-tolerance policies.

“No one deserves the horrific treatment these women endured,” he told lawmakers.

His defense didn’t convince some lawmakers, though.

“Clearly something has gone wrong, so there’s a failure,” said Republican Assembly member Nancy Munoz.

According to Grewal, late on Jan. 11 and into the early hours of Jan. 12, about two dozen guards entered part of the prison and began to remove inmates. A motive hasn’t been given, but Grewal has said more information would be coming out.

One victim was pepper sprayed before the team of guards entered her cell, according to Grewal, and was then punched about 28 times in and near her face, even though she had her arms up and was trying to protect herself.

There were at least six victims in the January attack, Grewal has said.

The guards also tried to coverup the attack by filing false reports, according to a charging affidavit brought by the state.

Attorneys for many of the guards have said their clients plan to plead not guilty. Attorneys for some have not responded to requests for comment or haven’t yet been identified.

The January attack followed an April 2020 report by the U.S. Justice Department documenting a “culture of acceptance” of misconduct. The scathing report about the prison, located more than 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of New York City, documented that five guards and one civilian worker at the prison pleaded guilty or were convicted of sexually abusing more than 10 women from 2016 to 2019.

The report found that there were insufficient cameras, and that one storage room without a surveillance camera had a a mattress lying in it.

Guards regularly called prisoners disparaging names, graphically commented on their appearances and remarked on their sexual inclinations.

The report also found that when inmates reported abuse, the response could be retaliatory, with inmates being subjected to body orifice scanners and then being placed into solitary confinement.

On Thursday, Hicks outlined what he cast as reforms at the prison, including the implementation of body cameras, as well as filling all leadership positions at the prison with women.

The January incident led the state Senate to pass a resolution seeking Hicks’ ouster, and an impeachment resolution has been drafted in the Assembly, where it has gotten bipartisan support.

Hicks defended his tenure, citing a career in public service and efforts to make “real changes” at the department, where he became commissioner in 2018.

After Reports of Fire, Verizon Recalls Mobile Hotspots Distributed in NJ


Verizon has issued a recall for one of its mobile hotspot products after reports that the devices overheated and caused fire, according to to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The recall specifically involves about 2.5 million units of the Ellipsis Jetpack mobile hotspots that were distributed in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, CPSC said. Verizon said that it has received at least 15 reports of the lithium-ion battery in the devices overheating and six reports of fire damage. At least two reports involved burn injuries.

The company advised consumers to turn off the product, unplug it from its power sources and return it. If it can’t be returned immediately, consumers should store it in a fire-safe place away from kids.

Some schools provided the recalled mobile hotspots to students, according to CPSC. They have been contacted by Verizon with instructions to get free replacement hotspots, but amid the pandemic, many people are still working from home and students still need internet access for school. In the case that internet access is a constant necessity, Verizon said that consumers should update the product’s software and turn it off while it’s not in use.

Families that received the Ellipsis Jetpack from their schools are advised to contact their school for instructions on how to receive a free replacement device and return the recalled product, CPSC said.

The recalled Jetpacks can be identified by their dark navy color and plastic oval shape that’s about 3.5 inches wide and 2.25 inches tall. “Verizon” is printed below the digital display window on the front of the device and its charger should have a sticker on it that states: “Compatible: FWC MHS900L, Model: FWCR900TVL, DC151030.”

NJ Man Linked to 5 Killings in 2 States Makes Court Appearance


What to Know

  • A man considered a person of interest in the deaths of his ex-wife and two other people in New Mexico and a separate killing in New Jersey appeared in court on Thursday
  • Sean Lannon appeared by videoconference in Gloucester County, New Jersey, where he was charged last month with murder in the beating death of Michael Dabkowski
  • Authorities arrested Lannon in St. Louis a few days after Dabkowski was killed. Lannon’s attorney didn’t comment after Thursday’s proceeding

A New Jersey man facing murder charges in two states made a brief court appearance Thursday and remained jailed awaiting a possible indictment.

Sean Lannon appeared by videoconference before a judge in Gloucester County, New Jersey, where he was charged last month with murder in the beating death of Michael Dabkowski. An affidavit alleged Lannon broke into the 66-year-old Dabkowski’s home and beat him to death with a hammer.

Lannon told investigators that Dabkowski had sexually abused him as a child and that he had gone to the home to retrieve sexually explicit photos. Prosecutors were investigating that claim.

Lannon also is charged with murder in New Mexico in the slaying of his ex-wife and two of her friends whose decomposed bodies were found in a pickup truck parked at an Albuquerque airport. Police said the three were lured to their deaths over a period of weeks before they were dismembered and their remains stuffed into plastic bins.

Lannon is suspected in the death of a fourth person who was also found dead in the truck, but hasn’t been charged.

The bodies of Jennifer Lannon, Jesten Mata, Matthew Miller and Randal Apostalon were found in early March. Dabkowski was killed on March 8 and his body was discovered in his home in East Greenwich, New Jersey, about 20 miles south of Philadelphia, by officers performing a well-being check, according to the Gloucester County prosecutor’s office. Authorities arrested Lannon in St. Louis on March 10.

Thursday’s court appearance in New Jersey was procedural in nature since Lannon hasn’t been indicted by a grand jury, and he didn’t enter a plea. His attorney, Ronald Appleby, didn’t comment after the proceeding.

During a court appearance in New Jersey last month, a prosecutor said Lannon had told a relative he had killed a total of 16 people. Investigators haven’t publicly substantiated those claims.

Amazon to Open Its First Grocery Stores on the East Coast

  • Amazon plans to open four grocery stores on the East Coast, the company confirmed Thursday.
  • It’s unclear if the stores, which will be based in Washington, D.C., northern Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland, will mirror Amazon’s Fresh grocery chain.
  • Amazon opened its first Fresh grocery store in California in September and it has since expanded rapidly.

Amazon is opening its first grocery stores on the East Coast, the company confirmed Thursday, in the latest sign of its efforts to upend traditional supermarkets.

The company plans to open two grocery stores in the Washington, D.C., area. One will be in the city’s Logan Circle neighborhood and the other will be in the northern Virginia town of Franconia, not far from Amazon’s second headquarters, dubbed HQ2, which is in the Crystal City section of Arlington.

Two other grocery stores are planned for the Philadelphia suburb of Warrington, Pennsylvania, and for Chevy Chase, Maryland, Amazon confirmed Thursday.

The company declined to comment on whether the four stores will be Fresh stores or when the locations will open.

“We’re thrilled to bring two Amazon grocery stores to the Washington, D.C. and northern Virginia area, creating hundreds of new job opportunities for residents living in the region,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. “We can also confirm that we’re hiring for Zone Leads for an Amazon grocery store in the Warrington, PA and Chevy Chase, MD area.”

In September, Amazon opened its first Fresh grocery store in Los Angeles’ Woodland Hills neighborhood. It has since opened a handful of other locations throughout Southern California and in several suburbs of Chicago.

Amazon’s Fresh stores look like a traditional supermarket, but also feature some high-tech touches, such as smart Dash Carts that let shoppers skip the checkout line, and voice-activated Echo Show displays. However, unlike Amazon-owned Whole Foods, Fresh stores are meant to appeal to a broader array of shoppers, by offering products at lower price points than the upscale grocer, as well as traditional staples including Coca-Cola drinks and Kellogg’s cereal. There’s also a dedicated store area for shoppers to pick up and return Prime packages.

Amazon now has 11 Fresh stores in operation. Last month, Bloomberg identified at least 28 more Fresh locations that are in the works. The company is also testing its “Just Walk Out” cashierless technology at a Fresh store in Illinois, according to Bloomberg.

Since acquiring Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in 2017, Amazon has expanded its ambitions of cracking open the $900 billion U.S. grocery industry, striking fear in the likes of Walmart, Kroger and Albertsons. In addition to the Fresh stores, Amazon also operates a number of cashierless Go convenience and Go Grocery stores.

With its Fresh stores, Amazon appears to be going after “a squarely middle income customer who may shop at both discounters and conventional grocers already,” Morgan Stanley analysts said in a note on Tuesday. Morgan Stanley said the Fresh stores offer “nothing too special” compared to typical supermarkets, but their real value may be as “nodes of fulfillment” that are close to consumers.

“As consumers increasingly demand same day grocery fulfillment (both for delivery and pickup at store), Fresh stores could therefore fill a previously missing hole in AMZN’s grocery fulfillment process while also building AMZN’s brand in food retail,” the analysts wrote.

More Police, Substation Eyed for AC Boardwalk in Wake of Store Owner's Death


What to Know

  • Atlantic City officials plan to increase police patrols on the Boardwalk, and are considering locating a police substation on the walkway after the death of a store owner last week.
  • Mehmood Ansari collapsed after a confrontation with two youths who are charged with robbing his store on April 1.
  • The security measures include the hiring this week of nine new police officers, and the scheduled hiring next week of 15 others. Both those measures had been planned before last week’s incident.

Atlantic City officials plan to increase police patrols on the Boardwalk, and are considering locating a police substation on the walkway after last week’s death of a store owner who collapsed after a confrontation with two minors now charged with robbing his store.

James Sarkos, the officer in charge of Atlantic City’s police department, outlined the steps during a community meeting Thursday at a mosque a few blocks from the Boardwalk.

They include the hiring Wednesday of nine new police officers, and the scheduled hiring next week of 15 more; both those measures had been planned before last week’s incident that led to the death of Mehmood Ansari, 65, who collapsed and died after the altercation at his store City Souvenirs. An additional 24 officers will be hired later this year.

“We just want to be safe,” said Amer Kashmiri, president of the Atlantic City Merchants Association. “We are asking the police for more patrols and more officers on the Boardwalk.”

The April 1 incident began when police were summoned to Ansari’s store on a report of a male suspect threatening people with a knife, according to the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office. Personnel at the Atlantic City Police Surveillance Center told officers that multiple juveniles were damaging the store and assaulting people.

While attempting to steal items, a 12-year-old boy brandished a knife and threatened the store owner, the prosecutor’s office said.

Police arrested a 12-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl. Shortly after officers arrived at the store, Ansari collapsed and stopped breathing. A bystander began cardiopulmonary resuscitation, which was taken over by a police officer, and then by medical personnel. Ansari was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The children are charged with robbery, assault and other offenses.

The incident struck a familiar chord with Boardwalk merchants, many of whom have their own tales of being threatened or robbed.

“I would have situations where juveniles would come in, take stuff, five or six of them in a group,” Kashmiri said.

“To see what happened to that business owner on the Boardwalk is a tragedy,” said Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo, who represents Atlantic City. “It’s your livelihood, how you put food on the table and support your family. To go to work and not feel safe is a scary thing.”

In addition to the extra police patrols, the department is considering opening a police substation on the Boardwalk so that officers can be stationed there and more quickly respond to incidents on or near the walkway. Point Pleasant Beach, a popular shore town about 75 minutes north of Atlantic City, has such a substation on their boardwalk.

Sarkos said Atlantic City’s substation proposal is in “its very early stages.”

Girl, 16, Wounded as Gunman Opens Fire on Car Next to West Philly Playground


A teenage girl was injured when a gunman opened fire on a vehicle with multiple people inside that was parked next to a playground on a West Philadelphia street Thursday night.

The 16-year-old and at least three other girls or women were sitting in the car on the 500 block of N. 51st Street when at least one gunman walked up and fired more than two dozen shots at them a little before 10:30 p.m., striking the girl in the shoulder, Philadelphia Police Department Chief Inspector Scott Small said.

No one else was hurt, he said.

Witnesses said the gunman stood right in front of the car when he or she opened fire, and police found at least 25 spent shell casings from two different caliber bullets, Small said, adding that it appeared to be an intentional attack.

Both the girl and the others in the car were lucky to escape with their lives, the chief inspector said.

Police did not immediately make an arrest.

The girl’s shooting came just hours after local and federal agency leaders vowed an “all-hands-on-deck” initiative to combat rising gun violence in Philadelphia.

As of April 8, the city had already seen 132 homicides in 2021, according to Philadelphia Police Department crime data. That is a 33% increase from the same time last year, which was already a year that ended with the second-highest homicide total that the city had seen in six decades.  Meanwhile, statistics from the Office of the Controller show 422 nonfatal shootings as of April 7 of this year.

The violence has not excluded children, either. Earlier this week, a 15-year-old boy died when two gunmen opened fire in North Philadelphia. As of April 7, 47 children and teens under 18 had been shot in the city, according to Office of the Controller data. That figure does not include the 16-year-old girl shot in West Philadelphia.

“Night after night after night, shots are fired until people are killed or injured,” Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams said Thursday. “At this rate we are on pace to pass 600 homicides here in Philly. That is shocking.”

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

Pa. Drops Teleworking Mandate, Now Only ‘Highly Encourages'


Pennsylvania and Philadelphia have lifted their mandates for many businesses to telework, with state officials now saying the practice is only “highly encouraged” as the commonwealth continues to make strides against COVID-19, the Philadelphia Business Journal reports.

In easing its restrictions, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health recommends office workers continue to work at home when possible and has outlined a series of guidelines that must be followed when employees are in the office.

Some of those protocols involve requiring employees and visitors to wear masks with some exceptions, notably when someone is working alone in a separate office and as necessary to eat or drink. The city also continues to prohibit employees from eating together in a shared space such as a lunchroom or conference room among other measures.

The restrictions were eased on April 4 and are welcomed by Philadelphia landlords and economic development experts who view the return of office workers as certain to help reinvigorate Center City, its restaurants and retailers who have suffered during the pandemic.

Read more about the easement of the telework mandate at PBJ.com.

Keep up with all things business at the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Rock on: The Wells Fargo Center Plans to Pack the House for Concerts This Year


What to Know

  • South Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center is planning on packing the house for concerts before 2021 comes to an end.
  • “… You can hear the music at the end of the tunnel, and we can’t wait to once again host world-class entertainers here in Philadelphia in front of full capacity crowds,” Wells Fargo Center President of Business Operations Valerie Camillo said.
  • Dude Perfect, Justin Bieber, Banda MS and Eric Church are among the first shows scheduled in the arena on South Broad Street.

The big joint in South Philadelphia has plans to pack the house for concerts later this year.

The Wells Fargo Center on Thursday announced six new concerts from five different bands with the plan of full capacity. The shows include Banda MS on Sept. 4, Eric Church on Oct. 9, Andrea Bocelli on Dec. 8 and 2022 concerts by Kane Brown and Roger Waters. (Ticket info is on the WFC’s website).

These shows are in addition to already schedule (or rescheduled) shows by Dude Perfect (June 25), Justin Bieber (July 11), My Chemical Romance (Sept. 8), Dan + Shay (Sept. 14) and Harry Styles (Sept. 17).

WFC normally fits between 14,000 to 17,000 fans for the average concert.

The last concert to take place at WFC was Celine Dion in February 2020. Dan + Shay were scheduled to play but the show was postponed as venues quickly closed last March.

“Finally, though, you can hear the music at the end of the tunnel, and we can’t wait to once again host world-class entertainers here in Philadelphia in front of full capacity crowds,” Wells Fargo Center President of Business Operations Valerie Camillo said.

The revival of live music at the arena has a major caveat that coronavirus-related restrictions are lifted.

In a normal year, around 3 million guests enter the arena for events. Currently fans are allowed inside for 76ers and Flyers games, but capacity is severely limited and safety measures like masking and blocked off seating are in place. The arena lays out its safety measures on BacktoBroadStreet.com.

The WFC said that the air in the arena’s bowl is replace once every 30 minutes thanks to an $11 million upgrade to the arena’s HVAC and air filtration systems.

There is currently no timetable given for when coronavirus-related capacity limits could be lifted in Philadelphia. Vaccines are going into arms, but the virus continues to spread.

WFC isn’t the only big venue in town with concerts on the event calendar. Live Nation has concerts scheduled this summer for the Met Philadelphia and BB&T Pavilion in Camden, New Jersey. Live Nation, has not revealed any part of its reopening plans.

‘Losing Life Even When People Don't Die': In Philly, Nondeadly Shootings Rising


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

The rising number of killings in Philadelphia has understandably garnered widespread media attention in recent months, but as homicides have risen, so too have nonfatal shootings.

As of April 8, there were 388 nonfatal shootings in Philadelphia this year, according to data from the District Attorney’s Office. That is a 42% increase from the same time in 2020, but even before then, nonfatal shootings had been rising since 2017.

Data from the city Controller’s Office shows 967 nondeadly shootings in 2017; 1,136 in 2018; 1,165 in 2019; and 1,838 in 2020, the start of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. Thursday night, just hours after leaders announced yet another anti-violence initiative, a 16-year-old girl escaped with a gunshot to her shoulder when a gunman fired at least 25 bullets as she was sitting in a car parked next to a West Philadelphia playground.

For these survivors of gun violence, the consequences can be devastating and lifelong, said Jason Gravel, an assistant professor at Temple University’s Department of Criminal Justice.

“Nonfatal shootings mean that someone is still around and has to deal with the impacts of the shootings on their lives more mentally, physically. And that drains these individuals’ resources, but also eventually the city’s and the society’s,” Gravel said.

He noted that people who survive gun violence may become permanently disabled, hindering their ability to work or be involved in efforts to improve their communities.

Moreover, survivors can serve as physical manifestations of what people in high-crime areas already fear.

“Sometimes you lose a life even if the person doesn’t die, and that’s an immense cost for a lot of people in communities where violence is very prevalent. It’s a daily reminder of what might happen when you’re scared and when you don’t feel safe,” Gravel said.

It’s important to think of shootings not only as involving offenders and victims; rather, there is often a lot of overlap, Gravel said.

In a high-crime community, people may pick up a gun not because they plan to shoot somebody but because they live in fear and feel they need the gun to defend themselves, he said. That proliferation of guns can then cause what would otherwise be a conflict ending in a fight to become one ending in a shooting.

This week, local and federal leaders proposed some solutions to the gun violence.

On Thursday, officials announced an “all-hands-on-deck” approach that would add federal resources to prosecute gun crimes. Former Mayor Ed Rendell even floated the idea of bringing back retired police officers.

But Gravel said these proposals, the former which could be just one piece of the solution, miss the mark.

Right now, shootings are so numerous that they may eventually taper off naturally, and adding police officers would only coincide – but not be the cause of – that natural drop, he said.

“Policing is not a long-term solution to this. It’s just not. If that was the case, we would know about this by now,” Gravel said. “If we think that more policing, more aggressive policing is a solution to anything in America, I think we haven’t learned anything.”

Leaders should instead be focusing on underlying issues like poverty and devote money and resources to social workers and trusted community members and groups, Gravel said.

For example, he posited, Philadelphia could set up centers where community members who want to work on anti-violence initiatives can gather to exchange ideas or even receive training from psychologists, social workers and professionals from some of the city’s many universities. In that way, the city would be acting as a “broker” in the distribution of resources and helping people to stop shootings before they happen.

“If you can reduce the violence, if you can show the community that it really is becoming more safe, then instances where someone might be just carrying a gun for their safety, there might be a chance to leave their guns at home for a little bit,” Gravel said.

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

2 Dead, 6 Wounded in 5 Separate Philadelphia Shootings


Two people died and six were wounded, including three in a triple shooting, as gunfire rang out across Philadelphia Friday night into Saturday.

The victims, who range in age from 19 to 33 years old, were struck in five separate shootings that happened in North Philadelphia, South Philadelphia and Olney, said Officer Tanya Little, a Philadelphia Police Department spokeswoman. Police did not immediately make any arrests in any of the shootings.

In Olney, a 20-year-old and a 22-year-old had walked to a convenience store on the 5900 block of N. Front Street to buy some food and cigars around 10 p.m. Friday when gunfire rang out, Little said. Police responded to reports of the shooting and found the 20-year-old man on the street with multiple gunshots throughout his body. Officers rushed him to Albert Einstein Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 10:47 p.m.

The 22-year-old also had multiple gunshot wounds, and police rushed him to the same hospital, where he underwent surgery and was in critical condition, Little said.

In North Philadelphia, police responded to a shooting around midnight Saturday and found an unconscious 24-year-old man with gunshots to the head and upper body on the 2000 block of W. Dauphin Street. He died less than 15 minutes later at Temple University Hospital. Little said police were looking for two suspects: a man with braided hair and a short man wearing all black clothing, both of whom were last seen running south on Lambert Street toward Susquehanna Avenue.

Shortly after 2 a.m., police found a 32-year-old man with multiple gunshots to the chest and arms on the 2200 block of W. Toronto Street. He was listed in critical condition at Temple University Hospital.

Shortly before 7 a.m., three more men were shot on the 2100 block of Ridge Avenue at what Little said was an illegal after-hours club.

One of the victims was a 21-year-old security guard who managed to return fire but was struck various times in the right leg. He was in critical but stable condition, Little said. A 33-year-old man was shot once each in the left arm and both legs and was also in critical but stable condition. A 25-year-old man was hit in the left elbow but was in stable condition at Pennsylvania Hospital.

In South Philadelphia, a 19-year-old man walked into Mercy Catholic Medical Center with a gunshot to the abdomen shortly after 4 a.m., Little said. He told police he had begun walking to a store when he heard gunshots in the area of the 1400 block of S. 4th Street. The man started running but felt pain in his abdomen and stopped to sit down and call his friend, who took him to the hospital. He was transferred to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center, where he was in stable condition.

The shootings come despite local and federal leaders announcing this week an all-hands-on-deck approach to combating gun violence and finding and prosecuting offenders.

They also come as the city continues to see increased shootings, both deadly and nondeadly.

As of April 9, the PPD had reported 132 homicides in the city. During the same time last year, which ended as the deadliest Philadelphia had seen in six decades, there were 100 homicides. As of April 8, the District Attorney’s Office had reported 388 nonfatal shootings.

Neither the PPD’s nor the DAO’s figures reflected the violence that unfolded Saturday.

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

Kobe Bryant's Legacy Continues on One Year After His Tragic Death


If you close your eyes and open your heart, you’ll hear it fill your ears.

It’s a familiar sound. One you’ve probably heard hundreds of times inside the confines of Staples Center over the course of the last 20 years.

It’s an unmistakable sound that only a chorus of 20,000 people can combine to make. Close your eyes, open your heart, and listen. Do you hear it? Let it slowly rise and reach its crescendo.

“Kobe… Kobe… Kobe! Kobe! Kobe!”

I remember the last time I heard it.

The day — Feb. 24, 2020 — was a symbolic day combining both Gianna and Kobe Bryant’s jersey numbers with the 20 years he played for the Lakers. Showered in purple, and with spotlights shining on his two gold jerseys hanging in the rafters, thousands gathered inside and out on the corner of Chick Hearn Court and Figueroa Street for a celebration of life.

Surrounded by 33,643 red roses—one for each and every point he scored in his 20-year NBA career—athletes, musicians, actors, and adoring fans all gathered together.

Comedian Jimmy Kimmel, WNBA superstar Diana Taurasi, Connecticut Women’s Basketball Coach Geno Auriemma, NBA Hall of Famers Shaquille O’Neal, and Michael Jordan all spoke. Alicia Keys, Christina Aguilera, and Beyoncé all performed.

Every major television network around the world carried the event live, and millions across the globe watched with tears in their eyes.

This was not the send off of any mere mortal. This was not the send-off a former president, or famous movie star, no; this was the send off for Kobe Bean Bryant.

One year after a tragic helicopter crash took the lives of Bryant, his daughter, Gianna, and seven other people on board, we reflect back on the year that was, and the legacy he leaves behind.

Everyone remembers where they were on Jan. 26, 2020 when they heard the news. Whether you received a phone call, got an alert on your phone, or saw it on the television, the words hit like a punch to the gut.

Kobe Bryant was dead.

Nobody wanted it to be true. Hoping upon hope that the headlines were wrong, that the reports were a mistake, or that social media was once again circulating another fake death rumor.

But in the hours after the accident, as fans across the Southland flocked to the crash site, walking miles just to catch a glimpse, reality finally began to set in. With that reality, came the heartbreaking news that 13-year-old Gianna Bryant was also on board, as were seven others.

“God knew they couldn’t be on this earth without each other,” said a tearful Vanessa Bryant during the celebration of life ceremony at Staples Center. “He had to bring them home together.”

In the days that followed the tragedy, Staples Center and L.A. Live transformed into a makeshift memorial. Mourners from across the country gathered to leave flowers, cards, jerseys, basketballs, and personal messages.

But Bryant’s death was not just felt in Los Angeles. Around the world, tributes appeared in the form of murals and memorials. From China to India to Italy to the Philippines. It didn’t matter that Kobe only played for the Lakers, he was a global icon, and the world grieved accordingly.

Kobe Bryant Reportedly Killed In Helicopter Crash In Calabasas Hills
A mural credited to artist Jules Muck, memorializing former NBA star Kobe Bryant and his daughter, is seen on Jan. 27, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. The mural was completed within hours of the death of the two in a helicopter crash along with seven other people Jan. 26 in Calabasas, California. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

“I knew he was known and popular, but I didn’t know how impactful he was worldwide,” said current Lakers’ forward Anthony Davis reflecting back on that day one year later. “He inspired so many people, and that’s why so many people feel the pain the basketball community felt last year. As we approach his one-year anniversary, it saddens our hearts to actually come to the realization that he’s gone.”

I knew he was known and popular, but I didn’t know how impactful he was worldwide.

Lakers’ forward Anthony Davis

Kobe Bryant may be physically gone, but his impact on the world lives on. His aura, larger than life when he walked the earth, is now immortal. Bryant has manifested the truth of Babe Ruth’s famous idiom, “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.”

His legacy lives on in the Lakers, the franchise he spent 20 years shaping into his own. In the wake of his death, the Lakers painted the numbers 8 and 24 on the court. The team wore their “Black Mamba” designed jerseys with a special “KB” patch to honor him throughout the season.

During the Western Conference Finals, Davis shouted “Kobe!” after he drained a three-pointer at the buzzer to down the Denver Nuggets. A few weeks later, LeBron James honored Kobe in the best way possible: by winning a championship.

“There’s a saying that goes: ‘Time heals all,'” said James, reflecting back on the one-year anniversary of Bryant’s death. “As devastating as it all was and is, it all takes time. Everyone individually is different and everyone grieves differently. We do whatever we can to live his legacy on. There’s a lot of things that die in this world, but legends never die, and he’s exactly that.”

The Lakers continue his legacy on to this very day. Back on the floor at Staples Center — albeit, without fans still — they break each and every huddle with “Mamba on three!” And on their championship rings, reminders of Bryant’s memory and legacy are everywhere.

But Bryant’s legacy goes beyond the basketball court. He retired from the sport at the age of 37, and even though his second chapter of life was just beginning, it was nonetheless still impactful.

Kobe Bryant Reportedly Killed In Helicopter Crash In Calabasas Hills
A fan photographs a mural memorializing former NBA star Kobe Bryant, who was killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, near the Staples Center on Jan. 27, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. Nine people died in the crash, among them Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

In the few short years that followed his illustrious basketball career, Bryant became somewhat of a secular saint by traveling the globe sharing his gifts with the world. In the next chapter of his life, Bryant became a filmmaker and won an Oscar. He became a storyteller and published a plethora of books. He became a philanthropist and established the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation. But most of all, he became the greatest “Girl Dad” to four beautiful daughters, even coaching Gianna’s youth basketball team. In fact, on the day he died, he was traveling to a basketball tournament to coach Gianna and her teammates.

“Kobe gave every last ounce of himself to whatever he was doing,” said Michael Jordan last February. “After basketball, he showed his creative side. In retirement, he seemed so happy. He found new passions and continued to give back as a coach to his daughters. More importantly, he was an amazing dad and an amazing husband. He loved his daughters with all his heart.”

In writing this article, I went back and watched the entirety of that celebration of life ceremony. I was fortunate enough to be there in person, but had never watched it on television until recently.

Over the course of his 41 years of life, Kobe made many friends, vanquished many foes, and didn’t care who he offended along the way. Yet in his death, he brought each and every one of them back together inside the very venue where his most difficult obstacles and illustrious accomplishments occurred. He united us all inside Staples Center to share our memories, to try and heal our grief, and to live his life again.

For a little over a decade, Bryant was arguably the greatest basketball player on the planet. From 2000 to 2010, he won five championships, two Finals MVPs, and one NBA Most Valuable Player Award. Bryant’s unbelievable basketball story was already legendary in and of itself, but it took everyone gathered together in the wake of his death to finally tell the whole story.

It’s no secret that Kobe loved storytelling. It’s what he was passionate about. So to hear his friends, family, mentors, and teammates retell his story only made me realize that Bryant remained very much a human being throughout it all.

“You were taken away from us way too soon,” said Shaquille O’Neal, who was Bryant’s teammate for three of his five championships. “Your next chapter in life was just beginning. But now it’s time for us to continue your legacy. It’s now time to raise from the anguish and begin with the healing.”

As we reflect back on Kobe Bryant’s legacy on the one-year anniversary of his death, it is not one that can be carried on with just championships or jewelry. No, it’s a legacy that must live on through us, and through storytelling.

Bryant once said that it’s the journey that’s the dream, not the destination. Therefore, it is by heeding that message along the pathway of our own journey that we carry on his legacy.

Bryant’s legacy will live on each and every time we crumple up a piece of paper and throw it toward the trashcan and shout, “Kobe!”

Bryant’s legacy will live on if we attack each and every day with the same mamba mentality that he did.

But most importantly, Bryant’s legacy will live on by supporting his young daughters as they grow up embodying that very legacy in their daily lives.

So the next time we can all gather safely again, when the sellout crowd rises to their feet to celebrate another Lakers victory. I want you to close your eyes, open your heart, and carry on Kobe’s legacy by filling Staples Center with a vociferous chant that is long overdue.

“Kobe! Kobe! Kobe!”

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Cold Case Solved: Boyfriend Accused of Killing Teen Girlfriend 44 Years Ago


Evelyn Colon’s mother imagined her daughter living happily surrounded by her own family and children.

She was spared the heartbreaking news that her beautiful, green-eyed daughter never lived to see her 16th birthday or the birth of her own baby girl, who shared her mother’s tragic fate.

Colon, who was known for more than four decades in Northeast Pennsylvania as Beth Doe, was brutally murdered and dumped off an Interstate 80 bridge in East Side borough in December 1976.

Her then-boyfriend, Luis Sierra, who is now 63, of Ozone Park, New York, was arrested last month for criminal homicide after DNA testing proved to be the break in the case investigators sought.

He is being held without bail and awaiting extradition to Pennsylvania in Colon’s murder.

Colon’s family didn’t know what happened to her, as they lost all contact with her in late 1976 when she was eight or nine months pregnant with Sierra’s baby, said her niece, Miriam Colon-Veltman, on Friday.

The young couple had an apartment together in Jersey City, New Jersey, where their families lived.

But the apartment was abandoned when Colon’s family went to visit in mid-December and then they received a letter from Connecticut that she was happy, had the baby and was with her boyfriend, Veltman said.

The letter said that she’d contact them if she needed anything.

She apparently chose to live her life apart from them — a fact they accepted with great sadness, Veltman said. So, no missing persons report was ever filed, she said.

Her family never stopped thinking about her, wondering how she was, where she was and how her family may have grown over the years with additional children or grandchildren, Veltman said.

Veltman’s grandmother never gave up hope that she would see her daughter again, but passed before the family learned Evelyn’s true fate.

Veltman, who was born 11 years after her aunt vanished, grew up with stories about her, as they shared the same birthday, April 17.

“Every year, my father would tell me, ‘Happy Birthday,’ and say, ‘You were born on your aunt’s birthday,’” she recalled.

Evelyn would have been 60 years old in a few weeks, she said.

“She was the aunt I never got to meet, but I always felt a deep connection to her,” said Veltman, who lives in New Albany, Indiana.

‘He’s the family hero’

Veltman’s brother, Luis Colon Jr., gets the credit for providing the link that finally gave Beth Doe her true name back and gave investigators the break they sought for decades.

Luis Jr. had his DNA tested, in the hopes that his profile would link him with close family members — Evelyn’s children and his cousins — reuniting the heartbroken family, Veltman said.

“He’s the family hero,” she said, as his DNA profile was a 99.9% match to Evelyn, leading investigators to him a few weeks ago.

Her brother confirmed that his aunt disappeared in the 1970s, and put them in touch with his father, Luis Sr., who gave investigators additional information about his sister’s boyfriend, Sierra.

He hadn’t seen Sierra, who was older than him and went by “Wiso,” in high school, since his sister disappeared, he told them. Their family lived next door to his family in Jersey City, he said.

Other family members told investigators about finding the young couple’s apartment empty, and that Sierra was abusive and jealous towards Evelyn, keeping her locked inside the apartment.

Evelyn, herself, told her mother that she feared her boyfriend and that if anything happened, he was likely involved, investigators learned.

The family’s last contact was the letter in 1977 that told them of a birth of a 9-pound son, Luis Sierra Jr. Investigators did not think Evelyn authored the letter, according to court papers.

Evelyn’s family continues to reel over the details of her death — strangled, shot, dismembered, stuffed into suitcases and tossed like trash over a high bridge onto the banks of the Lehigh River.

Her unborn daughter, who the family has now named Emily Grace, was cut from her womb, and Evelyn’s nose, ears and breasts had been removed.

Reality overwhelming, heartbreaking

The reality has been overwhelming and heartbreaking for a family that had hoped one day to reconnect, said Veltman, who started a GoFundMe page for a memorial for her aunt.

They want now to connect with the then-teenager who found her body, Kenneth Jumper Jr., dogged investigators and people in Northeast Pennsylvania who mourned her death in absence of her own family and kept her memory alive all of these years, she said.

The family has no photographs of Evelyn, Veltman said, as they suffered a devastating fire in 1975 that took all of the cherished family mementos. They continue to seek them out, she said.

The family was also amazed at the likeness of composite sketches investigators created after her body was exhumed in 2007. Veltman immediately saw the resemblance to her niece and sister.

Her grandmother described her as the most beautiful girl in the family with hazel-green eyes, light skin and long, long dark hair, she said. She always imagined an equally beautiful life for her long ago, lost daughter, Veltman said.

“Now, we know she didn’t leave,” she said. “She was killed. She was taken away from us.”

Her grave in rural Carbon County now bears her name. A block of wood with the name, Evelyn Colon, lays at the foot of a white cross reading Beth Doe. Flowers and a child’s toy also adorn the grave.

Veltman can’t express the gratitude her family has for all of the concern, caring and tears others shed for Evelyn and Emily Grace.

“Carbon County adopted her,” she said. “It’s incredible. You all kept her memory alive, knowing about her and praying for her. That’s so powerful that this county was praying for my family and how you loved someone you didn’t know.”

The GoFundMe page raised nearly $2,600 at that point, and the case has attracted international attention, Veltman said.

A reporter from France has contacted the family, and a donation from Vienna, Austria, is among the more than 60 so far for the memorial.

“We’re so thankful for all of you,” Veltman said. “You’re all family now, too.”

Explore Philly This Spring By Visiting These 10 Beautiful Murals


Read the article in Spanish here.

Philly, the City of Brotherly Love, despite being one of the most historic cities in the entire country, is also well known for its distinguished murals.

Being Dubbed the “Mural Capital of the World”, Philly has hundreds of community-based murals that are scattered across the city.

Now that spring has arrived, and temps are becoming increasingly warmer, here are 10 different murals to visit across the town:

1. Personal Melody

Photo by Steve Weinik.

This incredible mural was painted by the Spaniards How & Nosm in 2012 with the help of Mural Arts students.

According to Mural Arts, the nation’s largest public art program that organizes artists across the country to paint murals in Philadelphia, the work of both brothers has been featured in newspapers like the New York Times and the New Yorker.

Location: 13th and Drury in Center City.

2. MaskUp PHL Latinx

Mask Up Philadelphia press concerence at the Julia de Burgos Elementary School in the Fairhill neighborhood of North Philadelphia, October 1, 2020. Photo by Steve Weinik.

The Mask Up Latinx Philadelphia mural was painted by artist Danny Torres at the Julia de Burgos Elementary School north of the city.

This mural is part of the “Latinx Heroes” collection that pays tribute to different Hispanic figures such as the Puerto Rican poet Julia de Burgos.

Location: Julia de Burgos Elementary School, 401 West Lehigh Ave.

3. How to Turn Anything Into Something Else

How to Turn Anything into Something Else by Miss Rockaway Armada. Photo by Steve Weinik.

This colorful mural is located in Center City and required the collaboration of 13 artists from all over the country.

The project had the participation of different art students between 10 and 15 years old who each drew parts of the mural together.

According to Aly Perry, one of the artists of the project, the mural is composed of small drawings of animals which were then folded and drawn over by other students.

“When the head was finished, they folded the paper down until only the neck of their drawing was visible. Then the paper was then passed to the next student to draw a torso and the folding and passing was repeated until an entire invented creature was drawn on the paper,” she said.

4. Autumn Revisited

Autumn Revisited by David Guinn. Photo by Steve Weinik.

This long and colorful mural is located in a park in the southeast of the city.

Painted by artist David Guinn in 2012, this piece covers two walls of the Fleisher Art Memorial Park. The largest part of the piece shows a forest in the fall, and a deer grazing the grass.

The park is ideal for taking photos and sitting on one of the several benches available.

Location: 719 Catharine St, Philadelphia, PA 19147

5. Floating Dogwood

Floating Dogwood © 2021 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Polly Apfelbaum & Michele Tremblay, 1102 Chestnut Street. Photo by Steve Weinik.

One of the most recent in the city, this mural was painted by artist Michele Tremblay in January 2021 and its located right across from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

Tremblay was inspired by her battle with cancer. Since those on the oncology wing are not allowed flowers, the artists wanted to provide beauty to them in a different way, according Mural Arts.

“The mural includes ladybugs hiding everywhere as a way to continually entertain those who are admitted to the hospital,” notes Mural Arts.

Location: 1102 Chestnut Street

6. Convergence

Convergence © 2019 City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Rebecca Rutstein, 27th and South Street. Photo by Steve Weinik.

This modern and futuristic mural created by artist Rebecca Rutstein is located right next to the Schuylkill pedestrian bridge across from University City.

Created in 2019, this mural represents the different connection routes that University City has with Center City.

Location: 1102 Chestnut Street

7. The Phillies Mural

The Phillies Mural by David McShane. Photo by Steve Weinik.

The mural was painted by artist and team fan David McShane and depicts the two World Series victories the team had in 1980 and 2008.

“Mural Arts has created a mural that captures the passion of the fans and reflects how the Phillies have been tightly woven into the fabric of Philadelphia’s culture and spirit”, says the organization.

Location: 24th and Walnut streets

8. Water Gives Life

Water Gives Life by Eurhi Jones and David McShane. Photo by Steve Weinik.

This incredible and imposing mural is located in the heart of the city. Created by artists Eurhi Jones and David McShane, this mural seeks to celebrate Philadelphia’s connection to the waterways and the Delaware River.

“Water Gives Life reinvents McShane’s 1998 mural in the same location, building on a history of working with Pennsylvania’s Horticultural Society to open discussions on sustainability and the urban landscape”, says Mural Arts.

The mural was completed in 2018 and includes paintings of flowers and blue all over its canvas next to a building.

Location: 13th y Arch Street

9. Sanctuary City

Sanctuary City, Sanctuary Neighbohood © CIty of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program / Betsy Casañas & Ian Pierce, Providence Center, 5th and Huntingdon. Photo by Steve Weinik.

Latino artists Betsy Casañas and Ian Pierce painted this mural in West Kensington to honor the Hispanic presence in the neighborhood.

The mural depicts a Caribbean woman with Central American and Mexican touches.

This colorful piece was painted on top of what was a 2000 mural of the Virgin Mary in a dress of the Puerto Rican flag when the building served as the neighborhood’s Puerto Rican education center.

Location: 2557 N 5th St.

10. No Title by MOMO

untitled, Sonesta Philadelphia, 1800 Market Street. Photo by Steve Weinik.

This incredible mural painted on the side of a skyscraper features various geometric shapes and different colors.

According to Mural Arts, the author, MOMO, used the technique of Practical Geometry, a technique used by masons and carpenters, to render these fluid geometric shapes in this mural of 2015.

The artist painted the mural together with art students and used his characteristic geometric figure technique to come up with this modern and abstract piece of art.

Location: 1800 Market Street

Mural Arts offers several walking tours divided in sections and neighborhoods for those interested in getting to see these and other murals across town.

The tours last generally an hour and a half and Mural Arts lists on their website the upcoming dates of the next tours.

You can by tickets for a public or private tour here

Child Unharmed in NJ Home After Husband, Wife Found Stabbed to Death


A New Jersey man stabbed his wife to death before he was found dead himself in a home in which a young child was found unharmed, authorities said.

Prosecutors in Bergen County said Friday a neighbor called North Arlington police shortly after 5:30 p.m. Wednesday to report that she had looked through the mail slot in the front door and had seen two people lying on the floor in the living room area.

Police entered the home and found 33-year-old Balaji Rudrawar, and his wife, 31-year-old Aarti B. Rudrawar, deceased, both with multiple stab wounds. “A young child was also located in the apartment but had not been harmed,” prosecutors said.

Prosecutors said the man is believed to have been responsible for multiple stab wounds that killed his wife. Prosecutors said he also died of multiple stab wounds, but the manner of his death remains “undetermined pending the completion of an autopsy and investigation.” Authorities said, however, that no one else is believed involved.

NJ.com reported that the man’s father told the Press Trust of India that the woman was pregnant. Authorities Wednesday declined comment on that report.

“My daughter-in-law was seven months pregnant,” Bharat Rudrawar told the news agency. “We had been to their house and were planning another trip to the U.S. to be with them again.”

Gobindsingh Nihalani, who was organizing an online fundraiser, told NJ.com that the husband worked for an information technology company.

Police Now Say Boy, 10, Was Cut But Not Shot in North Philly


A 10-year-old boy was recovering in a hospital from cuts to the arm and stomach, though police now say it was not from a gunshot, as they initially indicated.

The child was at a family gathering on the 1300 block of W. York Street when someone reported a person with a gun shortly after 10:30 p.m., police said. They initially believed he was grazed by a bullet, but later said physicians determined the cuts were not the result of gunfire.

He was taken to St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and listed in stable condition.

Police were trying to determine what happened. They said they found a weapon in the area but were still investigating whether it had anything to do with the child’s injuries.

This year, at least nine kids have died by gunfire and at least 39 others have been wounded as of April 8, according to the Philadelphia Office of the Controller.

The shootings come despite local and federal leaders announcing this week an all-hands-on-deck approach to combating gun violence and finding and prosecuting offenders.

They also come as the city continues to see increased shootings, both deadly and nondeadly.

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

Coast Guard Rescues Man Clinging to Kayak Off New Jersey Beach


The Coast Guard came to the rescue of a kayaker who became stranded in waters off southern New Jersey.

Egg Harbor Township police notified the Coast Guard’s Delaware Bay sector Thursday after getting reports that someone in the water was calling for help in the area of Longport Dog Beach.

A 29-foot rescue boat from the guard’s Atlantic City station soon arrived, and crew members found a man clinging to a submerged kayak, authorities said. They got the man into the rescue boat and brought him to shore. He was taken to a hospital and treated for undisclosed injuries.

It wasn’t clear what caused the kayak to sink.

Ex-NJ Police Chief Sentencing Postponed for Medical Reasons


The sentencing of a former New Jersey police chief, who was convicted of lying to the FBI and is awaiting retrial on hate crime assault and civil rights violation charges, was postponed.

Former Bordentown Township police chief Frank Nucera, 64, had been scheduled for sentencing April 16 on the lone federal conviction. But a federal judge rescheduled the proceedings for May 13, citing “serious medical issues” that hospitalized the defendant for nine days in February.

“I do believe that he is not, at this point, physically well enough to continue,” Kugler said during a brief conference call Thursday.

Nucera’s attorney, Rocco Cipparone Jr., said he has only communicated with his client once by phone and once by email since he was released from the hospital.

“I have had no meaningful substantive communication with him,” Cipparone said.

Nucera was convicted of the count in October 2019 by a jury that deadlocked on two more serious charges — hate crime assault and deprivation of civil rights under color of law. Federal authorities have said they plan to retry him on those charges but the proceedings have been on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those counts stem from a September 2016 incident at a Bordentown Township hotel in which Nucera, who is white, was accused of slamming a handcuffed Black man’s head into a doorjamb. Nucera resigned from the police force in January 2017 upon learning of the federal investigation. He denied committing an assault.

Prosecutors said an officer secretly recorded Nucera’s comments over the course of a year out of concern over what they termed “racist remarks and hostility toward African Americans.” Cipparone had argued that some officers wanted to get rid of Nucera because of his tough disciplinary policies.

Bordentown is a predominantly white town of about 11,000 that is a few miles from Trenton, New Jersey’s capital city that has a large Black population.

Woman Charged in Connection to Death of Missing Pregnant Mom


A woman was arrested and charged in connection to the death of a pregnant Delaware County mother whose body was found in Philadelphia last week.

Tylydiah Garnett was arrested Saturday and charged with arson, criminal conspiracy, use of communication facility, abuse of corpse and other related offenses. The arrest and charges are in connection to the death of 21-year-old Dianna Brice. 

On March 30, Upper Darby Police met with Brice’s mother who told them she was last seen getting into her boyfriend’s gray Ford Fusion at the K Laundry located on 500 Church Lane in Lansdowne, Pennsylvania. 

Dianna Brice
Dianna Brice’s body was found a week after she went missing.

Brice disappeared after telling her mother she was going with her boyfriend, 23-year-old Justin Smith, to pick up a daily medication she takes for a serious medical condition. She later called to say they were driving to Philadelphia. That was the last the family heard from her.

The mother said that hours later she got a hold of Smith who told her Brice took off on foot after an argument. Brice’s father, who did not want to be identified, spoke with NBC10 about that conversation.

“She calls him, and he was like, ‘Oh yeah, me and her was arguing.’ And she got out at 57th and Springfield,” he said. “First of all, as a man, if that’s my lady and she pregnant, I’m not letting you out of the car. And if I do, I’m going to follow you and I’m going to call either your brother or sister or somebody to tell them to come and get you.”

Police began tracking Brice and Smith and determined they were in the West Philadelphia area. On April 5, investigators found Brice’s body in the area of 5800 Eastwick Avenue. They also found Smith’s car on fire in West Philadelphia, near Florence Avenue and 59th Street in West Philadelphia – that’s a little more than 1 mile from where the body was found.

On Tuesday, the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office determined Brice died from multiple gunshot wounds to the head and her death was ruled a homicide.

Photo of Justin Smith

Despite Garnett’s arrest, police continue to search for Smith. If you have any information on his whereabouts, please call Philadelphia Police. 

Correction: Police initially told NBC10 Garnett was arrested on Sunday. The article has been updated to reflect that she was arrested on Saturday.

2-Week Pa. Deer Season Approved, Rifles Banned From Turkey Hunts


What to Know

  • The Pennsylvania Game Commission has approved hunting for antlered and antlerless deer through the duration of the 2021-22 firearms deer season.
  • Last year, 10 of the 23 wildlife management units in the state had two weeks of concurrent buck and doe hunting, while the other 13 had one week of buck-only hunting, followed by a week of concurrent hunting.
  • Commissioners also made what they called a “difficult” vote to ban use of rifles for fall turkey hunting, citing a declining turkey population.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission has approved concurrent hunting for antlered and antlerless deer through the duration of the 2021-22 firearms deer season.

LNP newspaper reports that commission members acknowledged at their spring meeting Saturday that much of the feedback received since the two-week deer season was proposed in January was negative. But executive director Bryan Burhans said that during comment periods “we mainly hear from people who are opposed to things.” Officials said the commission’s 2020 deer hunter survey indicated that 52% of hunters who participated favored the idea.

Last year, 10 of the 23 wildlife management units in the state had two weeks of concurrent buck and doe hunting, while the other 13 had one week of buck-only hunting, followed by a week of concurrent hunting. Commissioner Mike Mittrick said hunters’ fears that a two-week season would mean too many does shot were unfounded.

Commissioners also made what they called a “difficult” vote to ban use of rifles for fall turkey hunting, citing a declining turkey population. They vowed to revisit the issue in a couple of years if data indicates the numbers are rebounding. Hunters can still use shotguns, muzzleloaders, crossbows or archery methods to hunt turkeys.

In other news, commissioners approved the use of digital licenses in place of standard paper licenses.

It Now Costs You More to Cross Some Bridges Between NJ, Pa.


What to Know

  • The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission that operates river crossings connecting New Jersey and Pennsylvania has hiked tolls, the first such increases in 10 years.
  • Starting Sunday, car tolls increased from $1 to $1.25 for drivers with an E-ZPass account and from $1 to $3 for car drivers who pay cash at seven bridges.
  • Officials cited the decline in passenger car traffic and toll revenue caused by the coronavirus pandemic, along with the burden of maintaining 13 toll “free” bridges with revenue from its toll bridges.

The bistate agency that operates river crossings connecting New Jersey and Pennsylvania has hiked tolls, the first such increases in 10 years.

The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission cited last month the decline in passenger car traffic and toll revenue caused by the coronavirus pandemic, along with the burden of maintaining 13 toll “free” bridges with revenue from its toll bridges.

Starting Sunday, car tolls increased from $1 to $1.25 for drivers with an E-ZPass account and from $1 to $3 for car drivers who pay cash at seven bridges:

  • Trenton-Morrisville (Route 1)
  • New Hope-Lambertville (Route 202)
  • I-78
  • Easton-Phillipsburg (Route 22)
  • Portland-Columbia (Routes 611, 46, and 94)
  • Delaware Water Gap (I-80)
  • Milford-Montague (Route 206)

On the new Scudder’s Fall bridge, the E-ZPass rate for passenger vehicles stayed at $1.25, but the cash toll increased from $2.60 to $3.

Here is the full list of new toll prices going into effect.

In 2024, drivers who use E-ZPass would see tolls rise by 25 cents to $1.50, and the Commission’s E-ZPass commuter discount program will be eliminated at all eight of the commission’s toll bridges.

Officials said more than 75% of the Commission’s toll transactions are done by E-ZPass.

Similar to other toll agencies, the commission saw traffic and revenue fall off as travel restrictions were put in place and more residents worked from home. The commission’s net toll revenue for 2020 was $14.48 million less than had been projected in a traffic engineering report, officials said.

Nearly 10,000 Apartments Under Construction in Philly, With More Coming


The Durst Organization’s proposed 26-story, 360-unit apartment project along the Delaware River is among a series of multifamily developments going through the approval process in Philadelphia, underscoring the optimism residential developers have for the city in spite of the pandemic, reports the Philadelphia Business Journal.

A new housing report by Center City District reveals that an area defined as Greater Center City had 9,400 residential units under construction as of the end of last year, which is a 39% increase compared with the 6,762 units under construction at the end of 2019.

Post Brothers is tackling one of the largest multifamily projects currently under development as it continues to transform the Piazza in Philadelphia’s Northern Liberties neighborhood. When it bought the Piazza in 2017, the community had 500 apartments. Another 700 units is in development at a project called Piazza Terminal.

Post Brothers also developed 280 units at the Poplar at Ninth and Poplar streets that is 25% leased.

“Absorption has been incredible,” Matt Pestronk of Post Brothers told PBJ.com. “During the early part of COVID, the market was dead but, across the whole portfolio, we are more leased than we were and at higher rents.”

PBJ.com reports on how developers continue to plan for the future of Philadelphia’s apartment market.

Get the latest business news from the Philadelphia Business Journal.

Pa. Making Everyone 16 and Older COVID Vaccine Eligible on Tuesday, Except in Philly


Pennsylvania is now making every person 16 and older eligible to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine starting Tuesday, Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration announced Monday.

The state, which opened up vaccines to all of the 1C group on Monday, had originally planned to wait until next Monday to open up coronavirus vaccines for all adults. April 19 is the date President Joe Biden called for all states to open up eligibility for vaccines to all adults.

Residents in 66 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties will be eligible for the vaccine starting tomorrow, with the exception being Philadelphia. Health officials in the city say they are still staying with April 19 as the date for expanding eligibility to everyone 16 and older.

The goal is to get as many people vaccinated as possible as COVID variants threaten to slow progress made against the coronavirus.

“We need to maintain acceleration of the vaccine rollout, especially as case counts and hospitalization rates have increased,” Wolf said.

The state is urging every person to sign up and get a vaccine as quickly as possible.

“Everyone needs and should be afforded the opportunity to access the vaccine as soon as possible,” Acting Secretary of Health Alison Beam said. “And, this change provides earlier access for many, including college students increasing the likelihood of completion of two-dose regimens prior to leaving campus for the summer. It also means simpler, streamlined operations for vaccine providers that no longer need to check eligibility of people making appointments.”

Beam and other state officials are expected to speak at a 1 p.m. news conference. More details could be revealed then.

To date, more than 6 million Pennsylvania have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, the state said. Around 2.4 million people are fully vaccinated.

Cases, Hospitalizations Increasing in Pennsylvania

Daily coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania have risen more than 20% over the past two weeks to an average of more than 4,300 per day, but the rate of increase has slowed, according to data from Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering.

Hospitalizations are up 50% over the past three weeks, according to the state Department of Health. Deaths attributed to COVID-19 have remained steady, averaging about 30 per day across the state.

This story is developing and will be updated.

South Philly Barbacoa Helping to Serve Up Food, Social Justice During Pandemic


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

When the coronavirus pandemic first gripped Philadelphia and the rest of the nation, it had a ripple effect on restaurants and individuals alike.

Husband-and-wife restaurateurs Benjamin Miller and Cristina Martinez, owners of the famed South Philly Barbacoa, adapted quickly to deliver takeout service, but they had to lose some staff members, and the picture wasn’t rosy for their friends and community members, either. Some couldn’t access federal stimulus payments because of their undocumented status.

The pair knew they had to act.

“It was definitely devastating and heartbreaking to see a lot of restaurants go and to see our friends suffering, and that’s how our People’s Kitchen project began – through recognizing there’s a big need out there, people are hungry and they need work, too,” Miller said.

In Philadelphia, 21% of the population experiences food insecurity, compared with the national average of 12.9%, according to the Feeding America nonprofit. The People’s Kitchen, a partnership between South Philly Barbacoa and the 215 People’s Alliance, soon began serving restaurant-quality meals for those in need.

Using the space at Martinez and Miller’s El Compadre, the sister restaurant of South Philly Barbacoa, the couple collaborates with other chefs and volunteers to serve anywhere between 215 and 300 meals a day.

Each quarter, different chefs from local restaurants are paid to come in and run the kitchen and the crew on a daily basis, giving work to those who have needed it during the pandemic, Miller said. But the project, which is possible thanks to mostly donated food and funds from World Central Kitchen, has a reach beyond the kitchen.

In Point Breeze, volunteers pick and grow vegetables at a community garden. Delivery drivers also volunteer their own time to distribute some of the food for people who can’t access the restaurant’s physical location.  

The scope of the project, too, stretches far beyond solely feeding people.

“It was also a movement for us to look at what we were missing in the system a little bit too, and how our restaurants excluded certain people,” Miller said. “The best food is being prepared for the wealthier patrons, so how can we get this food and bring it to people who don’t have and try to make a more inclusive community that can enjoy the fruits of our labor?”

That bottom-up focus also includes distributing information. In the largely Latino South Philadelphia corridor, for example, volunteers encouraged people to be counted and participate in last year’s census. They also registered people to vote and partner with community organizations like the Church of the Redeemer Baptist Church and Puentes de Salud, a nonprofit that provides health care to Philadelphia’s Latino immigrant population, to distribute meals.

Miller said the People’s Kitchen has an operating budget of about $25,000 a month. The group is looking for sustaining donors to ensure the collaborative continues beyond the end of the pandemic.

“This is our opportunity to build a restaurant model that is really using our talents in the best way possible,” Miller said.

Amber Alert Issued for 2-Year-Old Missing From Philadelphia


Pennsylvania State Police issued an Amber Alert Monday afternoon for a 2-year-old missing from North Philadelphia who hasn’t been seen since last week.

Byron McDonald, 2, is reported to have been abducted by Byron McDonald II, 28, around 1:30 p.m. Friday from the 2500 block of North Bancroft Street. McDonald is believed to be operating a 2017 red Chevy Malibu with license plate LMD3353 and tinted windows.

Little Byron stands about 2-feet, 2-inches tall and weighs around 30 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.

McDonald — who police initially gave an erroneous first name for — is around 6-feet, 1-inch tall and weighs around 180 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes. He has a beard in a photo supplied by state police.

It is unknown what clothing either person is wearing, police said.

Anyone with information is urged to call 911.

This story is developing and will be updated.

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Man Killed Pregnant Girlfriend, Burned Her Body With Friend's Help, Police Say


Police issued an arrest warrant for a man accused of shooting and killing his pregnant girlfriend and with the help of a friend, loading her body in a car which he later set on fire. 

On March 30, Dianna Brice, 21, of Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, was reported missing. Brice’s mother told police her daughter was last seen getting into a car with her boyfriend, 23-year-old Justin Smith, at the K Laundry on the 500 block of Church Lane in Lansdowne. 

Photo of Justin Smith

Brice told her mother she was going with Smith to pick up a daily medication she needed for a serious medical condition. She later told her that they were driving to Philadelphia. Brice’s mother said that was the last she heard from her daughter. 

Dianna Brice
Dianna Brice’s body was found a week after she went missing.

Hours later, Brice’s mother contacted Smith who told her Brice took off on foot after an argument, investigators said. 

“She calls him, and he was like, ‘Oh yeah, me and her was arguing.’ And she got out at 57th and Springfield,” Brice’s father, who did not want to be identified, told NBC10. “First of all, as a man, if that’s my lady and she pregnant, I’m not letting you out of the car. And if I do, I’m going to follow you and I’m going to call either your brother or sister or somebody to tell them to come and get you.”

Police began tracking Brice and Smith and determined they were in the West Philadelphia area. On April 5, investigators found Brice’s body in the area of 5800 Eastwick Avenue. They also found Smith’s car which had been set on fire near Florence Avenue and 59th Street – that’s a little more than one mile from where the body was found.

After further investigation, police determined Smith had shot Brice multiple times in the head, killing her. Shortly after, Smith’s friend, Tylydiah Garnett, arrived, according to police. Investigators said Garnett was captured on surveillance video buying gasoline before taking it to a garage that Smith either owned or rented. The two then loaded Brice’s body into the trunk of a car and drove it to Florence Avenue and 59th Street where they set the vehicle on fire, investigators said. 

Garnett then fled to Miami, Florida, before she was later arrested Saturday morning, according to police. She is charged with arson, criminal conspiracy, use of communication facility, abuse of corpse and other related offenses.

Tylydiah Garnett

Investigators continue to search for Smith but have not yet revealed any possible whereabouts as the investigation continues. 

The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office said they had asked that Garnett be held without bail, calling her a flight risk, but her bail was set at $75,000 which she eventually posted. 

“It’s unacceptable. This is someone who literally has a dead woman who is pregnant and she’s loading that body into her car, purchasing the gasoline and then fleeing to Florida after,” Chesley Lightsey, the Chief of the District Attorney’s Office Homicide-Non Fatal Unit, said. 

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said Garnett’s release was the result of the failure of the current cash bail system.

“When someone is given a bail of $75,000, you do not have to pay $75,000 to get out, based upon a rule passed in 2019. God knows why,” Krasner said. “Every single case is subject to ten percent bail. It used to be that most of the cases were subject to ten percent bail but now the judges do not even have the option to say you have to pay the full amount. So now we’re down to $7500 gets you out. And if you go to a bail bondsman, most of them will take one third of that.” 

Ex-Chiefs Assistant Britt Reid Charged With DWI After Crash


Former Kansas City Chiefs assistant coach Britt Reid was charged Monday with driving while intoxicated resulting in serious physical injury after a crash that left a young girl critically injured.

The Jackson County prosecutor’s office said Reid’s blood alcohol content shortly after the Feb. 4 crash was 0.113, above the legal limit of .08. He was driving about 84 mph in a 65 mph zone seconds before his truck crashed into two cars stopped on an entrance ramp to Interstate 435 near Arrowhead Stadium, prosecutors said.

One of the vehicles had stalled because its battery was dead and the second was owned by a cousin who had arrived to help, according to the charging documents.

A 5-year-old girl in the second car, Ariel Young, suffered a traumatic brain injury. Her family’s attorney told The Kansas City Star on Monday that she was released from the hospital on April 2 and is being treated at her home. She is unable to talk or walk and is being fed through a feeding tube.

Reid, the son of Chiefs coach Andy Reid, could be sentenced to up to seven years in prison if convicted of the felony charge.

Reid surrendered to Kansas City police Monday afternoon and was released after posting $100,000 bond. As part of his bond release, Reid was ordered to not consume alcohol or visit any establishment where alcohol is the primary item sold. He also must report to a dependency services clinic for pretrial supervision, is subject to random drug testing and must use alcohol and GPS monitoring devices.

Charging documents say Reid told police he had just left work and was looking over his shoulder to see if he could merge onto the interstate when he hit a stalled vehicle on the shoulder of the road and then hit a second vehicle. Reid called 911 shortly after the crash, police said.

A Kansas City police officer who responded said he could smell alcohol and Reid’s eyes were bloodshot and red, according to the documents.

The Chiefs said in a statement Monday the organization “remains steadfast in our concern for all who have been impacted by this tragic accident. Our prayers are focused on Ariel’s continued healing and recovery. The Chiefs are regularly in contact with the family’s designated representative during this challenging time.”

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters-Baker said in a statement that Missouri law limited the charges that could be brought against Reid given the evidence available, but said her office “will vigorously pursue these charges and Reid is not receiving any favorable treatment from Kansas City police or the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office.”

The family’s attorney, Tom Porto, told the Star the charges were “absolutely appropriate under the circumstances. The prosecuting attorney and police department engaged in an extremely thorough investigation that ended with the appropriate charge.”

Britt Reid, the Chiefs’ former linebackers coach, underwent surgery after the crash, which happened the week before the Chiefs played in the Super Bowl. He did not accompany the team to the game in Florida.

He was placed on administrative leave after the crash and his contract was allowed to expire, ending his employment with the Chiefs.


More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

2-Year-Old Girl Wounded in ‘Targeted' New Jersey Shooting


A 2-year-old girl in New Jersey was shot in the hip Monday afternoon in what police have called a “targeted” shooting.

Police in Newark responded to the area near 14th Avenue and South 6th Street for reports of shots fired at 2 p.m. Witnesses said that more than half a dozen gunshots were heard. Officers learned the child had been taken to University Hospital and stay overnight; she was said to be in serious but stable condition, police said.

“Our detectives have determined that this was a targeted incident. Unfortunately, a child has become a victim,” Newark Public Safety Director Brian O’Hara said. “Thankfully, it appears she will recover from her injuries and there is no danger to the community.”

Neighbors in the area said that it was the second shooting on the block in about a week. A Toyota minivan with a bullet hole in the back windshield was towed away from the block.

Officers had the surrounding street blocked off and were still investigating the scene several hours later.

Boy, 9, Shot When Gunman Fires Into Family's Home


A 9-year-old boy was shot as a gunman fired bullets into a Philadelphia home overnight. The shooting is the latest in which a child was shot amid a rise in gun violence.

A gunman approached a Westford Road home near Roosevelt Boulevard in the Olney neighborhood around 10:20 p.m. Monday, Philadelphia police said.

The family was holding a party inside when the gunman recklessly fired into the home.

A bullet that appeared to go through a window struck a 9-year-old boy in the knee, police said. He was rushed to the hospital and was expected to survive.

The shooter fled the scene and police didn’t reveal a description as of Tuesday morning.

This shooting is the latest in what has been a deadly year, so far, in Philadelphia as the city deals with a gun violence crisis.

As of Monday night, the city had already seen 140 homicides in 2021, according to Philadelphia Police Department crime data. That is a 35% increase from the same time last year, which was already a year that ended with the second-highest homicide total that the city had seen in six decades.  Meanwhile, statistics from the Office of the Controller show 422 nonfatal shootings as of April 7 of this year.

The violence has not excluded children, either. Last week, a 15-year-old boy died when two gunmen opened fire in North Philadelphia. Nearly 50 children and teens under 18 have been shot in the city, according to Office of the Controller data.

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

NJ Cannabis Commission Gets Going, Picks Vice Chair, Logo


New Jersey’s new Cannabis Regulatory Commission on Monday inched toward setting up the recreational marijuana market, holding its first meeting, at which it picked a vice chair and a logo.

The five-member commission met remotely, kicking off what Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy has said could be a six-month period until recreational marijuana hits the market.

Chair Diana Houenou said it will take several weeks for staff to be hired and procedures to be developed.

The commission voted to confirm commissioner Sam Delgado, a former Verizon executive, as vice chair.

The panel also voted to approve a logo, which features the letters NJ in shades of blue, with the geographic shape of the state embedded between the letters and over top a gold sunburst. Surrounding that are the words New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission, as well as “Equity” and “Safety.”

“By applying the values of safety and equity, we will center our work around creating and protecting access for patients, promoting the production of safe products, and promoting diversity and inclusion in the industry to develop a national model for sensible, fair oversight,” Houenou said.

Delgado said during remarks that the recreational market won’t move ahead at the expense of the state’s already established medical marijuana establishment, which has 16 dispensaries across the state and 106,000 patients.

Under law Murphy signed in February, the commission must establish regulations for the new recreational marijuana marketplace that voters ratified in an overwhelming vote in November.

Though a marketplace isn’t up and running yet, it’s no long against state law to have 6 ounces (170 grams) or less of marijuana or about three-fifths of an ounce (17 grams) of hashish. It’s not a crime any longer to be under the influence of marijuana or hashish, or to possess marijuana paraphernalia or to be in possession of it while operating a car. The state still has laws against driving under the influence of drugs.

J&J Vaccine ‘Pause' Will Make Finding Vaccine Even Harder in Pa., NJ


It hasn’t been easy to get a vaccine appointment in Pennsylvania, which just expanded vaccine eligibility to everyone 16 and over Tuesday.

Now, the federal government’s decision to stop giving out Johnson & Johnson vaccines will make it even tougher.

Philadelphia and some suburban counties immediately halted giving out the one-shot vaccine as the rare reactions are investigated by the federal government. In New Jersey, health officials also decided to pause any use of the J&J vaccine.

If you have a vaccine scheduled for Tuesday or the rest of this week, be sure to contact the site to make sure it is open. In Philadelphia, for instance, the federally-run vaccination site at the Pennsylvania Convention Center said it would shift to Pfizer doses for the rest of the week.

An email was sent out by the Pennsylvania Department of Health to “COVID Vaccine Providers” that said all J&J vaccines should be paused as the state’s medical team could review the findings.

The FEMA-run site at Esperanza in Philadelphia’s Hunting Park neighborhood, which is aimed at serving the Hispanic community, closed Tuesday to regroup after the J&J pause.

The city’s top health official, Dr. Thomas Farley, said he doesn’t know how long the stoppage on issuing the J&J dose will last, but said it may only be a few days. He said the city would be able to pivot to other vaccines in the days ahead, and would request more Pfizer and Moderna doses from the federal government next week if the halt on J&J doses continues.

Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health said it would follow the federal lead and stopping giving out doses of the J&J vaccine “until we receive further guidance.”

“Details on the specific changes to clinics will be forthcoming, but some clinics will be closed today and others will be switched to other types of vaccine, a PDPH spokesman said in a statement.

Philadelphia’s Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium had told NBC10 they would suspend use of the J&J vaccine at their clinics. They will continue to administer the Moderna vaccine.

In Bucks County, the Warwick Square vaccine site was closed Tuesday. It is the only county site that had the J&J vaccine. All other county mass vaccine sites will continue to give out doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

Nearly 7 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been given in the U.S. to date.

In a joint statement Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said they were investigating unusual clots in six women that occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination. The clots occurred in veins that drain blood from the brain and occurred together with low platelets. All six cases were in women between the ages of 18 and 48.

New Jersey Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli said all of the state’s vaccination sites — about 700 total, officials have said — will cancel or put appointments for the J&J vaccine on hold.

The pause in New Jersey comes just as the supply of J&J vaccines ebbs from more than 130,000 last week to 15,000 this week. Next week just 5,000 doses of the single-shot vaccine are expected, Persichilli said.

The other two authorized vaccines, from Moderna and Pfizer, make up the vast share of COVID-19 shots administered in the U.S. and are not affected by the pause.

Who Should Win the Pa. Government Pandemic Power Struggle? Voters Will Decide


What to Know

  • The pandemic power struggle that’s raged between Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor and its Republican-led Legislature over the year plus of COVID-19 will land on voters’ laps next month.
  • It’s taking the form of two proposed constitutional amendments to limit the length of disaster emergencies. The primary is May 18.
  • There are four statewide ballot questions in all this spring. The others would put anti-discrimination language into the state constitution and give paid fire and rescue departments the same borrowing power that volunteer departments have had for decades.

A pandemic power struggle that has raged for a year between Pennsylvania’s Democratic governor and its Republican-led Legislature will land on voters’ laps next month in the form of two proposed constitutional amendments that could limit the length of disaster emergencies.

There are four statewide ballot questions being decided during the May 18 primary. The others would put anti-discrimination language into the state constitution and give paid fire and rescue departments the same borrowing power that volunteer departments have had for decades.

Republicans wasted little time getting the disaster emergency questions onto the ballot after losing a court ruling in July over a similar resolution that would have ended Gov. Tom Wolf’s disaster declaration. Constitutional amendments must pass both chambers in two consecutive, two-year sessions but do not require the governor’s backing.

GOP leaders have denounced the wording for the referendums, developed by the Wolf administration, as loaded language.

“They clearly wrote it in a way for it to fail,” Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman, R-Centre, said in February, arguing the state’s disaster emergency has gone on too long. “Look, even a benevolent dictator is still a dictator. And when you have unilateral control, one individual, that’s what you have.”

It’s unclear how much of Wolf’s authority would be curtailed by passage of the amendments. Wolf’s aides argue that much of the administration’s authority to impose social-distancing restrictions and shut down buildings or business activity comes from the Disease Prevention and Control Act, not the disaster declarations.

But Republican leaders say that without a disaster declaration, Wolf may not be able to enforce Disease Prevention and Control Act measures, and that regulations that have been waived under Wolf’s direction would return.

“An emergency declaration is meant to give the executive branch the power to triage a crisis, not a vehicle for the governor to enact, amend and suspend laws and regulations for an excessive period of time,” said Senate GOP caucus spokesperson Erica Clayton Wright.

Voters will decide whether disaster emergency declarations should expire after three weeks, rather than three months under existing law. A disaster declaration could only be extended, even in part, with approval by both legislative chambers. Lawmakers could end a disaster emergency with majority votes in each legislative chamber, instead of needing the two-thirds margin required to override a veto.

The proposed constitutional amendments are among efforts in statehouses across the country to rein in gubernatorial powers related to disaster response.

Wolf’s aides warn that putting disaster declarations into the hands of the partisan Legislature could risk federal funding and complicate the state’s ability to respond quickly. Many of Pennsylvania’s emergencies relate to weather and flooding, and they sometimes last more than three weeks.

Administration officials also wonder what might happen if an emergency centered on the Harrisburg were to delay the ability of lawmakers to convene, or if an issue arises in the month between legislative sessions.

“Any impediment to our agility is going to impact the folks that are most severely affected,” said Randy Padfield, director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. Among the examples he cited — authorization to pay the National Guard and flexibility regarding procurement of supplies and services.

To help fight the opioid and heroin addiction crisis, Wolf has renewed a 2018 disaster declaration 13 times. Secretary Jennifer Smith, who heads Wolf’s Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, said the declaration’s effect of cutting regulations and easing purchasing procedures was important in fighting the crisis, but she worries that renewing it may fall by the wayside in the Legislature.

“Although there seems to be general support for this issue, my fear is there are competing priorities with the General Assembly,” Smith said.

An extra “emergency allotment” in federal funding of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program has been critical to keeping people fed during the pandemic, but it currently requires a disaster declaration be in place, said Teresa Miller, Wolf’s human services secretary.

“If we’re no longer able to provide these additional benefits to families to help make sure that they can put food on the table, I worry that we’re just going to see more families hungry,” Miller said.

The third proposed constitutional amendment, bundled together with the disaster emergency changes as they passed the Legislature, would add a section that says equality of rights under the law can’t be violated based on race or ethnicity, paralleling existing federal protections.

As for the ballot question regarding fire and rescue company loans, Republican state Rep. Frank Farry, a longtime Bucks County fire chief, said the fund that provides 2% interest loans to volunteer companies can likely handle additional demand by extending eligibility to paid departments.

Because the original referendum in the 1970s mentioned volunteer companies specifically, Farry said, going back before voters rather than simply passing legislation may help insulate the proposed change against a potential legal challenge.

The money is used to purchase equipment and other capital improvements, and the fund has had a low rate of default on its loans, Farry said.

1 Dead, 1 Hurt in Truck Crash on I-295 in West Deptford, New Jersey


One person was killed while another was hurt in a crash involving a tractor trailer that shut down southbound lanes on I-295 in West Deptford, New Jersey. 

Officials said the tractor trailer and another vehicle were involved in an accident on I-295 southbound near the West Deptford exit Tuesday afternoon. At least one person was killed in the crash while a second victim was flown to the hospital in unknown condition. 

All southbound lanes are blocked at the scene of the accident. 

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

Gunman Kills Woman and Injures 2 Others, Responding Officer Involved in Crash


A gunman killed a woman and injured two others in Wilmington, Delaware, and a police officer responding to the triple shooting was involved in a crash.  

The ordeal began Tuesday around 2 p.m. when a gunman opened fire on the 1000 block of North Pine Street, shooting a 37-year-old woman, 26-year-old woman and 23-year-old woman. 

The 37-year-old woman died from her injuries while the other two women are in stable condition. 

While responding to the shooting, a police officer was involved in a crash on C and Heald streets in Wilmington. Multiple people were hospitalized though officials have not yet revealed their conditions.

If you have any information on the shooting, please call Detective Steven Bender at 302-576-3621. 

Company Must Pay Medical Marijuana Bills, New Jersey Supreme Court Rules


What to Know

  • The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in favor of medical cannabis patients Tuesday, voting unanimously that a construction company must pay for an injured employee’s medical cannabis bills.
  • The decision upheld an appellate ruling from last January that found an employer to be responsible for covering the monthly bill for medical marijuana used by a former employee to treat an injury suffered on the job in 2001.
  • The court found that while private health insurers and government aid programs do not have to cover medical cannabis costs under state law, private employers are not exempt from such workers’ compensation cases.

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in favor of medical cannabis patients Tuesday, voting unanimously that a construction company must pay for an injured employee’s medical cannabis bills.

The decision upheld an appellate ruling from last January that found an employer to be responsible for covering the monthly bill for medical marijuana used by a former employee to treat an injury suffered on the job in 2001.

The court found that while private health insurers and government aid programs do not have to cover medical cannabis costs under state law, private employers are not exempt from such workers’ compensation cases.

The employee, Vincent Hager, sustained a herniated disc that caused back and leg pain when a truck dumped cement on him. According to court documents, he underwent multiple surgeries and took prescribed opioids that he ultimately became dependent on.

The company, M&K Construction, appealed a workers’ compensation judge’s decision arguing that the company could not reimburse a former employee for a substance that is illegal under federal law. The company argued that the action would constitute aiding and abetting illegal activity.

The Supreme Court and appellate court found that the company could not be found guilty of aiding and abetting because the company is not directly purchasing or giving Hager marijuana.

“Reimbursing Hager under court mandate can hardly be interpreted as M&K ‘elect(ing)’ to aid in Hager’s possession of marijuana, contrary to federal law,” the court wrote in the decision. “Rather, it is being compelled to do so by the Order.”

Hager’s attorney was not immediately available to comment. An attorney representing M&K Construction declined to comment on the ruling.

Ex-Bucks Assistant D.A. Resigns After Working as DoorDash Driver While on County Clock


Former Bucks County Assistant District Attorney Gregg Shore has resigned nearly a month after he was demoted for working as a food delivery man while on the county clock. 

The Bucks County District Attorney’s Office confirmed with NBC10 on Tuesday that Shore had officially resigned. 

On March 18, Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub announced that Shore had been demoted to a deputy after it was discovered he was also delivering for the food app DoorDash while working as assistant D.A. 

Shore was making $129,000 a year as the top unelected prosecutor in Bucks County. In a written statement, Weintraub said that Shore “demonstrated very poor judgment.” The county also said Shore had paid back the time he spent delivering for DoorDash with accrued vacation time.

“Nevertheless, his actions were thoughtless and demonstrated a lack of leadership,” Weintraub said. “He also violated the trust that I, the other members of the District Attorney’s Office, and the people of Bucks County place in each of us. I have a duty to hold those who violate that trust accountable. No exceptions.”

At the time, Shore told NBC10 he agreed with the demotion. 

“I do believe the demotion and pay decrease were warranted and I look forward to earning back the trust of my colleagues and community moving forward,” he wrote.

Shore was lead prosecutor for many of Bucks County’s highest-profile cases in recent years, including the notorious farm killings of four young men by cousins Cosmo DiNardo and Sean Kratz near New Hope in 2017.

He had worked for the DA’s office since 2015, and previously worked for the office from 1996 to 2000. He previously worked for the Lehigh County district attorney’s office and the state attorney general’s office.

Weintraub did not say why Shore was working a second job as a food deliveryman.

Deputy DA Jennifer Schorn was promoted to first assistant following Shore’s demotion.

Hundreds March in Center City to Protest Deadly Police Shooting of Daunte Wright


Around 200 people are marching through Philadelphia to protest the deadly police shooting of Daunte Wright in Minnesota. 

The crowd gathered in Center City Tuesday night. So far the march has been peaceful, with no reports of altercations or arrests. Philadelphia police officers have been riding alongside the protesters to monitor. 

The protest is one of many that have taken place across the country following Wright’s death on Sunday. The 20-year-old African American man was fatally shot by Officer Kim Potter during a traffic stop in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. 

Both Potter and the Brooklyn Center police chief Tim Gannon resigned after body camera footage of the incident was released. 

Gannon said he believed Potter mistakenly grabbed her gun when she was going for her Taser. She can be heard on her body camera video shouting “Taser! Taser!” More coverage on the shooting, investigation and nationwide reactions can be found here.