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Updated: 48 min 57 sec ago

The Daily Numbers for Friday, Oct. 31

5 hours 23 min ago
The Daily Numbers: 48 days, how long Eric Frein eluded capture in the woods of northeastern Pennsylvania after police say he fatally shot a state troooper and wounded another. He was captured Thursday.

1st degree murder charge filed against him in the ambush murder of Cpl. Bryon Dickson.

31, age of survivalist Frein.

750,000 grant that will be used to install hundreds of security cameras on Chester streets.

300,000 dollars being put up by Widener University for the project.

50,000 dollars from the city, bringing the total for the project to $1.1 million.

15 square blocks in the city that will be covered by the cameras.

234, union that could strike SEPTA as early as Monday, crippling mass transit in the city.

903,100 people who ride SEPTA buses every day.

71,700 who use SEPTA’s 2 suburban divisions, Victory and Frontier.

126,800 people who ride regional rails every day. They would not be affected by a strike.

1 billion dollar facility proposed at Delaware City being abandoned by PBF Energy, but they will consider a $100 milllion new unit to support cleaner fuel

2 men being sought for high-dollar thefts at CVS stores in 2 counties.

27, age of former AMC Theater employee who pleaded guilty in a robbery at the Marple complex.

2 a.m. Sunday, when we ‘fall back’ to standard time.

1 extra hour of sleep for us Saturday night.

6.2 billion dollars contributed to the Pa. economy by its casinos.

30,000 jobs tied to legalized gambling.

2.4 billion dollars in tax revenue.

12, age of Chester County girl charged with making threats against her school in Kennett.

2 anti-violence activists charged in a brutal attack on a colleague in which the man was beaten.

4 people killed when a small plane slammed into a building shortly after takeoff from an airport in Wichita, Kan.

221 point spike for the Dow Jones yesterday.

3 months on house arrest, 57 months on probation and $200,000 in restitution for state Sen. Leanna Washington. She will resign her seat today, but she gets to keep her pension.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.

Larry Brown vs. Scott O’Neill might be the most entertaining thing about this Sixers season.

I Don’t Get It: Still kind of amazed that it took 48 days to track down Eric Frein. I hope he enjoyed his freedom. It’s going to be a long time before he walks free again.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the move to bring surveillance cameras to the city of Chester. They’re desperately needed.

Quote Box: “He did not just give up because he was tired. He gave up because he was caught.”

- State Police boss Frank Noonan, on capture of Eric Frein.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Our choice in the 26th District state Senate race

6 hours 7 min ago
We've made our choice in the hotly contested 26th District state Senate race.

I knew early on this was going to be one of the most bitter elections in recent Delco history. Control of the state Senate, which currently sits in the hands of the GOP due to a 27-23 margin, was in the balance as half its members sought re-election.

But what made the 26th District race distinct is that it amounted to an open seat, because of the retirement of longtime Sen. Ted Erickson.

Republican Tom McGarrigle and Democrat John Kane went negative early and have not relented.

To steal a line from one ad, the whole thing was just "ugly."

For our pick, CLICK HERE.

We'll offer our choice in the race for governor of Pennsylvania, pitting incumbent Republican Tom Corbett vs. Democrat challenger John Kane, on Sunday.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Chester gets a little safer

6 hours 15 min ago
Chester is about to get a little bit safer.

I can't think of a town that needs it more.

Sen. Dominic Pileggi, R-9, of Chester yesterday announced a $750,000 grant for the city that will be used to install more than 100 security cameras to be mounted on Chester streets.

You can get all the details here.

I know this is something Mayor John Linder has long sought as the city battles to quell the persisten random gun violence that continues to stain too many city streets.

The move is being coordinated by the city, Widener University and the Institute for Economic Development in Chester. Widener is contributing $300,000 and the city will kick in another $50,000, bringing the total tab for the project to $1 million.

Linder stressed this is just one part of a multi-faceted program to make city streets safer. He said plans are underway already to expand the camera program into other parts of the city.

They can't do it quick enough.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Giving Halloween the cold shoulder

6 hours 24 min ago
Somewhere along the line I fell out of love with Halloween.

I used to love Trick-or-Treating when I was a kid. I think it's different when you grow up in a small town. We used to hit just about every house, filling up a pillow case with candy, no doubt to the delight of the dentists in town.

The only thing that slowed us down was several neighbors who insisted on inviting us into their homes as they tried to figure out who we were.

Back then we almost never had store-bought costumes. With a little bit of burned cork, mom would magically turn us into 'hobos' and off we would go.

There's something else that was different back then. We never had adult accompaniment. As usual, mom figured we were in town somewhere, but in reality she had no idea where we were - or what we were up to, which is probably a good thing.

But now Halloween doesn't do a thing for me.

Oh, I will still man the door tonight and hand out candy. But the day has lost its magic for me.

Maybe it's because every kid is accompanied by an adult. Or maybe it's the high schoolers who insist on pushing the age limit.

Actually, I think I know what it is.

I can feel it in the air.

It's not so much tonight, it's what is coming.


Four long months of cold, dreary weather.

We "fall back" this weekend, gaining an hour of sleep Saturday night. The trade-off is that I now get the privilege of driving to work in the dark, and doing the same on the ride home.

Call me in April.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, Oct. 30

Thu, 2014-10-30 07:21
The Daily Numbers: 25, age of West Chester man charged in hit-run after 75-year-old woman was struck on the Conchester in Upper Chichester.

75, age of man killed when the motorcycle he was driving crashed on the Blue Route in Marple.

50 bucks swiped from a woman who had just used the ATM at a Wawa in Upper Chichester.

829,000 dollars, what Wallingford-Swarthmore is looking to trim from its budget.

7-0 vote in Middletown to OK improvement plans on tap at the 650-acre Tyler Arboretum.

1,022 students enrolled at Cheyney University in Thornbury.

22 million deficit at the historically black university. Its backers are filing a racial bias suit against the state.

2 years since Hurricane Sandy battered the Jersey shore.

13,000 employees affected by proposed merger of Abington Health and Jefferson Health System.

300 students at Palmer Charter School in Philly now looking for a new school after Palmer closed its doors.

77 of those kids are seniors.

200 dollar a month cash stipend for the poor that Pa. Democrat gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf says he will restore if elected.

21 day quarantine for troops who do a stint in the Ebola-ravaged regions of Africa, according to ruling by Pentagon.

1 loss for the Sixers, who dropped their opener last night to the Pacers, 103-91.

22 points, 8 rebounds, 7 blocks for Roy Hibbert to lead the Pacers.

22 points for Tony Wroten to lead the Sixers.

6 points, 10 rebounds for Nerlins Noel in his Sixers debut after missing all of last season.

3-2 win for the Giants over the Royals in Game 7 of the World Series.

3 titles in 5 years now for the Giants.

60, age of Chester hoops legend Coach Fred Pickett, who died yesterday after a battle with cancer.

331-80 mark compiles by Pickett’s Chester Clipper teams.

3 state AAAA titles.

5 appearances in the AAAA state title game.

9 District One titles.

8 straight from 2001 to 2008.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.

It’s unlikely anyone will ever surpass the coaching records compiled by Fred Pickett at Chester High. It’s certain no one will do more for the kids of Chester off the court.

I Don’t Get It: Some people insist on taking shots at Chester even in the midst of the passing of an icon such as Fred Pickett. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to all those remembering the coach today for all the right reasons.

Quote Box: “Basketball was only a small part of who he was.”

- Chester assistant basketball coach Derrick Spence, on Fred Pickett.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Another odd claim in an increasingly bitter election season

Thu, 2014-10-30 06:17
Have you heard that the Delaware County Daily Times believes Republican state Senate candidate Tom McGarrigle is a 'hypocrite.'

Yeah, I was a little taken aback at that claim myself.

Let me try to explain.

Earlier this week Democrat John Kane rolled out a new ad bemoaning the nasty tone that has defined the race for the open state Senate seat in the 26th District. I was watching the ad when I was surprised to hear that claim attributed to the Daily Times.

First a voice in the background booms, "Ugly," with that adjective attributed to the Philadelphia Inquirer. Then it's our turn. "He's a hypocrite, slams the Delco Times," according to the narrator. At the same time a single word appears on the screen, in quotes.

"Hypocritical." It's attributed to the Delco Times, dated Oct. 10.

Since I couldn't remember us ever making such a claim, I went back and checked that days' newspaper.

They're right, there was a claim that McGarrigle was being hypocritical in that day's paper.

But it wasn't made by us.

It was part of our reporting on a press conference held in Philadelhpia by union leaders blasting McGarrigle for attacking Kane for accepting money from a union that was in hot water connected with some intimidation tactics.

It certainly did appear in the Daily Times. But it was not anything we said. It was us reporting what the union leaders said.

That suddenly becomes "Hypocritical, slams the Delco Times."

Yes, I think that's misleading.

Yes, I would like the Kane campaign to stop making that claim.

No, I don't expect them to pull the spot.

That's the way politics works these days.

They're not the only ones.

Earlier in this campaign I was taken aback by a TV ad that proclaimed "Vince Rongione is the right man for the job." That also was attributed to the Delaware Count Daily Times.

I didn't recall us offering such an endorsement, at least not yet. Rongione, a Democrat, is locked in a tight battle with Republican Jamie Santora. It also came as news to several county Republican leaders who called and asked if they had missed the endorsement.

They did not.

This also was taken from a story that appeared in the paper in which a group was offering its endorsement for Rongione. Yes, it appeared in the Daily Times. No, it was not us saying that, it was us reporting it.

During his recent interview with our editorial board, I told Rongione I thought the ad was misleading.

I would tell Kane the same thing.

If you are interested in our endorsements, we kick them off today with our picks in the state legislative races, along with our two Congressional races.

And an early confession. I made a glaring typo in the print edition. I said Jamie Santora, the Republican squaring off with Rongione in the 163rd District race to replace Rep. Nick Micozzie, had worked for Joe Sestak. Obviously I meant that reference for Rongione. I know that. Luckily I corrected the online version.

I can admit my mistake.

I wonder if candidates would do the same when they misrepresent what the paper has said?
Categories: Pennsylvania

Fred Pickett: A Chester legend on and off the court

Thu, 2014-10-30 05:37
Fred Pickett won a lot of basketball games.

But if he had not won any, he would still be an icon in Chester for the things he did off the court.

Pickett, the legendary hoops coach at perennial power Chester High, died Wednesday at the age of 60 after a battle with cancer.

But it is his battle off the court - as a mentor and molder of young lives - as a beacon for the children of Chester, for which he will be most remembered.

There are very few people who touched as many lives or did as much good in the city of Chester than Fred Pickett.

That certainly does not diminish what he and the Clippers accomplished on the court.

Pickett's teams won three PIAA AAAA state titles, in 2000, 2005 and 2008. After that final crowning achievement, Pickett retired. Some of the other numbers his teams put together likely will never again be matched. Under his tutelage, Pickett's teams won an astounding nine District One AAAA titles, including eight straight from 2001-2008.

In total his teams won 331 games in 13 years.

Yet those who knew him will tell you that was only a small part of who Fred Pickett was, and the legacy he leaves behind. Assistant Coach Derrick Spence knows that.

"Basketball was only a small part of who he was," Spence told our Terry Toohey. "People have no idea how many lives he touched."

Columnist Jack McCaffery points out that behind the frenzy that always accompanies Clippers basketball, there was the quiet dignity and calm of Fred Pickett.

In a city that demands excellence on the basketball court, Fred Pickett always delivered.

On and off the court.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, Oct. 29

Wed, 2014-10-29 07:03
The Daily Numbers: 49, age of Richard Plotts, charged in the fatal shooting of a worker at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital 3 months ago. He was held for trial on 1st degree murder charges yesterday.

39 additional bullets, what police say Plotts had in his possession when he went to the hospital.

53, age of hospital worker Theresa Hunt, who was killed in the attack.

100 million dollar rebirth in the works at the Granite Run Mall.

319,000 square feet of bnew space in the proposed retail/residential plan to creat a ‘town center’ like atmosphere.

2 luxury apartment buildings in the plan.

225 one-bedroom units, 163 two-bedroom units in the buildings.

1,600 dollar average rentals for the units.

3 anchor stores will remain, but much of the rest of the existing mall will be razed.

17-9 vote by the Penn State Board of Trustees not to take a new look at the Freeh Report that was critical of the school’s role in the Jerry Sandusky saga.

13 point edge for Tom Wolf over Tom Corbett in the latest Franklin & Marshall poll out this morning. They have it at 53-40, with 5 percent saying they don’t know.

18 point lead (50-32, for Wolf among registered voters.

25 percent who say eduction remains the most important issue, with taxes up next at 16 percent.

61 percent of registered voters in Pa. who believe the state is on the wrong track.

30 percent of voters who believe Tom Corbett is doing an ‘excellent’ job.

6 seconds after launch, when an unmanned rocket exploded last night in Virginia.

0 injuries reported in the incident.

5,000 pounds of equipment and experiments lost in the blast that was headed for the manned International Space Station.

7 year high for consumer confidence, which sits at 94.5, not seen since October 2007.

2:36 into overtime, when Brayden Schenn lit the lamp to give Flyers 3-2 over the Kings last night.

38 saves for Flyers goalie Ray Emery.

9 interceptions and 3 lost fumbles so far this year for Eagles QB Nick Foles.

59.2 completion percentage.

80.7 passer rating.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.

The Sixers start their season tonight. They should make it free to get in and charge people to get out.

I Don’t Get It: It’s beginning to look more and more like a rush to judgment at Central Bucks West High School.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Mother Nature for a few final glorious days of beautiful weather. The cold is due to arrive in time for the weekend.

Quote Box: “It’s clear from looking at the evidence that he acted with specific intention to kill.”

- District Attorney Jack Whelan, on the case against suspected Mercy Fitzgerald shooter Richard Plotts.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Delco GOP vs. Vince Rongione

Wed, 2014-10-29 06:15
The Delco GOP must really loathe the thought of losing Upper Darby's other seat in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

They already saw the 164th, manned for decades by Mario Civera, fall into Democrats' hands when Civera left the House to run for County Council. Margo Davidson captured that seat.

Now much the same scenario is playing out in the wake of the decision by longtime state Rep. Nick Micozzie, R-163, to retire. He represented the 163rd for more than three decades.

Democrat Vince Rongione is facing off with Republican Upper Darby Councilman Jamie Santora for the seat.

Both are solid candidates.

But much of the talk in the race has veered away from the key issues facing the district, and instead have zoomed in on Rongione's residency. The county Republican Party has for months now blasted away at Rongione for moving into the district solely so he could run for this seat.

But this week they turned up the heat.

They hired private investigators who have turned up what the GOP claims is evidence that - before he actually moved into his current residence - Rongione actually registered to vote from a house where he didn't live.

They went so far as to accuse Rongione of engaging in voter fraud.

We'll let the courts figure that one out, if they in fact find there is reason to pursue the case.

But it does tell you that the Delco GOP, which was once nearly invincible in Delaware County, is starting to sweat. They've already seen overall Democratic registration numbers overtake their once insurmountable nearly 3-1 edge.

They've seen towns and school boards in what were once solidly Republican areas start voting for Dems.

And they have seen the county consistently going Democratic in statewide and national races.

The next thing you know a Democrat is going to be elected to County Council.

Uh, maybe not. Things probably haven't changed that much.

At least not yet.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A 'rush to judgment' at Central Bucks West

Wed, 2014-10-29 05:45
An overzealous, knee-jerk overreaction.

That's the way legendary Central Bucks West football coach Mike Pettine is now summarizing the actions of the school board there after they quickly scrapped the remainder of the football season in the wake of allegations of hazing of rookie team members that took place during summer practices.

I can't say I disagree with him.

I'm not alone.

Last night hundreds of people packed a school board meeting to show support for the football team, head football coach Brian Hensel and his staff, and slam the school board for what many are calling a rush to judgment.

It's been awhile since I've been in a locker room, but I am guessing things have not changed all that much.

What happened at CBW - guys grabbing other guys genitals over their pants; a towel being placed over a player's head and then putting him in the shower (by the way, I would hardly describe that as 'waterboarding'); and something called "sugar cookie," where fully clothed players were first soaked, then covered in powder.

The events occurred at a summer picnic for the team. It likely was something of a tradition where upperclassmen "welcome" new members of the team. It's part of the special bonding experience that comes with participation in high school sports.

When I first heard about this story, I have to say I was not surprised. In fact, it brought a smile to my face. It's kind of comforting to know - in a world that rarely resembles the one I grew up in - that some things don't change.

It's part of the bonding experience of being a member of a high school sports team.

I know a lot of people are not going to agree, that will believe this is a troubling event that has to be eradicated.

And I will tell you that it has been going on forever, and likely will continue to do so.

It does not appear there were any serious injuries suffered in this incident. The district attorney in Bucks County is asking anyone who believes they were the victim of a criminal act to come forward. I doubt anyone will.

In fact, I will tell you that I doubt that any freshman who went out for the team was surprised at some of the acts they were asked to perform. They probably knew it was part of the team's tradition, the bonding experience.

If you want to brand me a neanderthal, be my guest.

But I'm telling you first to ask any guy who participated in high school sports. I think they will tell you this kind of ritual has been going on forever.

And if they're like me, they will admit they do not see what all the fuss is about.

Instead, they will likely shake their head at the way we react to these kinds of incidents today. School boards now live in fear that someone will file some type of complaint - or even worse a lawsuit - over such conduct.

No doubt someone just might.

That's another thing that has changed.

Parents play a huge role in youth sports these days. That's not always a good thing.

Ask yourself this: When's the last time you saw a group of kids in a field playing sports. No adults, no uniforms, no trophies. Today everything has to be organized and regulated.

The result is the kind of saga that is now playing out at Central Bucks West.

The school board president at Central Bucks West told last night's crowd that he backed the quick decision by school Superintendent David Weitzel to pull the plug on the remainder of the season. He referred to the hazing rites as "intimidating and humiliating." Two other school board members agreed with him.

I'm not going to defend what the kids did. Was it stupid and immature? Sure. Do I think it was a tradition that has been going on forever? Absolutely.

So what makes this different?

I understand that bullying is a problem, in particular among high school kids.

I don't think this was bullying. This was part of the unique experience that goes into forming a football team. There is a bonding that goes on that is often forged in just this kind of hijinks.

Should these kids have been punished for what they did? Maybe.

I haven't heard a word from any of the so-called victims? Do any of them believe the season should have been cancelled?

It's the same problem I have with so much of youth sports today. It's not the kids. They can usually deal with these things just fine. It's when adults get involved that things usually get messy.

And it doesn't get much messier than what occurred at Central Bucks West.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, Oct. 28

Tue, 2014-10-28 07:29
The Daily Numbers: 163rd District state House race, where Republicans continue to lob grenades at Democrat Vince Rongione’s claims to residency.

40-room hotel that will be part of a new development in Swarthmore that will require a roundabout on Route 320. A petition opposing the measure has been withdrawn.

18 age of Glenolden teen and former student at the Haverford School who has admitted his role in pot-selling ring based at the school.

32-2-54, that’s the district court in Springfield, where new Magisterial District Judge James Merkins now presides.

6 month search process under way in Springfield School District to find a new superintendent to replace outgoing boss James Capolupo.

2 handguns, 2 rifles and $100,000 in cash seized in drug raid in Drexel Hill over the weekend.

2 million dollar grant for SAP in Newtown Square. It will upgrade the firm’s data center and help retain 375 jobs.

4,700 SEPTA trolley, bus and subway operators who have authorized their union to call a strike. No work stoppage is planned this week.

1.86 billion dollar sale of Philadelphia Gas Works that has been nixed by City Council.

1,150 PGW workers who are members of Utility Workers Union of America Local 686 opposed the sale.

3.5 million dollars raked in by the city of Philadelphia from its red-light cameras.

6 vehicles operated by the new Uber ride-sharing service seized by the Philadelphia Parking Authority.

64, age of Pa. Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery, who is retiring from the court in the wake of a porn email scandal.

66, age of actress Marcis Strassman, who starred as the wife in the TV sitcom “Welcome Back Kotter” with Gabe Kaplan. She died after battling breast cancer.

20-17 win for the Washington Redskins over the Dallas Cowboys in OT on Monday Night Football.

6-2 mark for the Cowboys, one game up on the 5-2 Eagles in the NFC East.

2 yards and 6 inches, the difference between the Eagles being 5-2 and 7-0. They failed to punch it in from inside the 2-yard-line against both the 49ers and Cardinals. They lost both games.

3-0 mark for Eagles with Jason Kelce at center. They’re 2-2 with David Molk filling in. The Eagles are hoping to get Kelce back in the lineup this week.

3-2 win for Carroll girls over Bonner-Prendergast in Catholic League field hockey playoff tilt. They will face O’Hara for the title.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.

If anyone can figure out what the Knicks and Sixers were doing with that trade yesterday, please let me know.

I Don’t Get It: That kid who opened fire on his classmates at a high school outside Seattle actually invited them to lunch, then sprayed the table with bullets. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to some good folks in Media who banded together to build a ramp for a handicapped neighbor. Well done.

Quote Box: “This is extremely important. This is the Constitution, something we are supposed to uphold and use to make laws.”

- Republican Jamie Santora, on questions about the residency of his opponent, Democrat Vince Rongione, in the 163rd House seat race.
Categories: Pennsylvania

They're all talk - but no debate - in the bitter 26th District state Senate race

Tue, 2014-10-28 06:22
Don't hold your breath waiting for a debate between the candidates in the bitterly contested race for the open 26th District state Senate seat.

It doesn't look like it is going to happen.

Republican Tom McGarrigle has been pushing Democrat John Kane for weeks to debate him. After an initial offer to appear before at a forum hosted and moderated by the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce was rejected by the Dems because the group already had indicated they were endorsing McGarrigle, my name got floated out there as a possible moderator.

I made my role - if any - clear.

I would be happy to serve as moderator, but the ground rules and other parameters would be up to the candidates. To be honest, I had a somewhat selfish motive.

I wanted to have the two men sit down with me last Wednesday for our weekly live-stream Internet show, 'Live From the Newsroom.' But the two sides could not agree on that date.

More emails ensued. (Anyone else wonder who we communicated before email?).

I actually enjoyed the back and forth between Caitlin Ganley, from the McGarrigle camp, and Dylan McGarry, representing Kane. They took turns accusing each other of ducking the debate.

But they still have not agreed to meet, and now it looks like it may not happen.

So in the interest of democracy - and of course of promoting my show - I will make one final offer.

Gentlemen, I am more than willing to host the two of you this Wednesday night for my 'Live From the Newsroom' show. We can do it here in our offices in Primos, or if you can agree on a potential site, just let me know where.

We'll go for a half-hour, or as long as the two of you think you need.

Aside from the governor's race, this is likely the most high-profile, hotly contested race in the state. The people casting their ballots in the 26th District deserve the chance to see the two of you debate the crucial issues, instead of lobbing negative ads at each other.

I await your reply.
Categories: Pennsylvania

How 'bout dem Cowboys!

Tue, 2014-10-28 05:53
Call this one the agony & the ecstasy.

Sort of.

Every year the Eagles have at least one - and sometimes more - games that they have no business losing. Sunday's gut-wrenching defeat in the Arizona desert qualifies as this year's contribution to Birds' fans endless misery.

The die-hards were still trying to digest some of the oddities in that brutal loss when they got a gift from a most odd source.

The Dallas Cowboys.

The lowly Redskins went into Jerry Jones' palace Monday night and knocked off the Cowboys in overtime, 2-0-17. And they did it with their third-string quarterback, Colt McCoy.

I think we can hold off on that stampede by the national media to crown the Cowboys. ESPN analyst Jon Gruden must have been torn last night as he talked glowingly of the Cowboys in the buildup to the game, even though they were facing a team coached by his brother.

Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo spent much of the second half in the locker room after taking a knee to his surgically repaired back. He returned late in the 4th quarter but still could not rally the Cowboys to victory.

The Cowboys are now 6-2, a game ahead of the Eagles at 5-2.

Almost makes that loss to the Cardinals bearable.

Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Monday, Oct. 27 (Eagles Edition)

Mon, 2014-10-27 06:41
The Daily Numbers: 5-2 record for the Eagles after yesterday’s gut-wrenching loss to the Cardinals in the desert.

3 critical turnovers that paved the way for an Eagles loss vs. Arizona yesterday.

62 times Chip Kelly had Nick Foles throw the ball yesterday.

36 of 62 for 411 yards for the QB.

2 interceptions for Foles as well.

1 brutal fumble for rookie wide receiver Josh Hoff that cost the Eagles a TD.

9 interceptions through 7 games. He had 2 all of last year.

12 catches for 187 yards for wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.

521 yards total offense for the Eagles, compared to 400 for the Cardinals.

0-for-3 for the Eagles offense in the red zone, including settling for field goal late in game.

75 and 80 yards TD passes surrendered by the Eagles secondary.

21 penalties call in the game.

7 consecutive games Larry Fitzgerald has scored a TD vs. Eagles.

1 great head-first dive by Maclin across the table loaded with Gatorade on the Cardinals’ sideline. We’ll be seeing that replay forever.

3 penalties for offensive tackle Jason Peters, 2 times for illegal use of hands.

54 yard field goal for Cody Parkey.

3 field goals over 50 yards for Parkey this year.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Somebody needs to tell that refereeing crew that nobody is paying to see them. They totally hijacked the game in the first half, yet still managed to miss a couple of obvious calls later on.

I Don’t Get It: I played safety in high school. There’s just no excuse for John Brown getting behind Nate Allen. Just a brutal blunder.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Jeremy Maclin, who continues to excel in his comeback and make people forget DeSean Jackson. Quote Box: “You can’t turn the ball over and be a successful team.”

- Chip Kelly after the loss.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Eagles post-mortem: Another debacle in the desert

Mon, 2014-10-27 06:11
Weird things happen to the Eagles in the desert.

Things like Chip Kelly deciding to have Nick Foles throw the ball 62 times.

Things like Nate Allen for some unknown reason biting on a pass and allowing rookie John Brown slip behind him for a stunning 75-yard touchdown pass when it seemed like the Eagles were cruising toward a win.

Things like Kelly not challenging what looked to be a possible first down with the Eagles at the Cardinals' goal line, instead meekly opting for a field goal that allowed the Cardinals to win the game with a TD of their own.

Things like a crew of referees who insisted on hijacking the game in the first half, calling everything, then somehow missing a couple of key calls later in the game.

The Eagles have one of these games every season, their own special way of torturing die-hard Eagles fans. The Eagles should have won yesterday's game going away, but instead a couple of crucial turnovers took 14 points off the board for the Birds, foreshadowing the inevitable crushing loss.

Nick Foles threw for 411 yards. Normally, that would be a good thing. Not yesterday.

Foles continues to look shaky in the backfield, consistently drifting backward out of the shotgun and throwing balls off his back foot. That allowed him to make a couple of spectacular throws, but also to throw a killer interception when the Eagles looked like they were going to cash in for seven points.

It was the second time the Birds self-immolated near the Arizona goal line. Earlier it was rookie wide receiver Josh Hoff, who coughed up the ball after a good effort.

The Cardinals came into the game as the top-rated defense in the NFL against the run. Kelly obviously believed it. He decided to take the game out of the hands of Shady McCoy and put it in Foles. It didn't work out.

Kelly also will face scrutiny for failing to ask for a review of whether or not Chris Polk picked up a first down at the Cardinals' goal line late in the 4th quarter. Kelly never threw the flag, instead sending out his field goal team. He just hired a guy to do nothing but advise him on whether or not to challenge.

But without question the one image that will haunt Eagles' fans the most from this debacle in the desert is the sight of Nate Allen taking a couple of steps forward, biting on a play as Cards' wideout John Brown streaked by him. All of it combined to make the Eagles 5-2.

You could make the argument that they should have won both the games that they lost, and that Chip Kelly left more than a little to be desired in both of them.

Then again, they easily could have lost several of the games they won.

In other words, just another Eagles season.

And just another visit to the Arizona desert, where Eagles victories almost always turn out to be little more than a mirage.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The riddle of Tom Corbett

Mon, 2014-10-27 05:47
Gov. Tom Corbett continues to slog along in his uphill fight to fend off Democratic challenger Tom Wolf.

Corbett has been behind in the polls for months.

He might not have faced this monumental task if he'd shown the persona he's used successfully in the recent debates during his first term.

As I said after the very first debate, in which the governor clearly got the better of Wolf and finally put his opponent on the defensive, "Where has this guy been for the past three years."

Instead, Corbett has allowed others to frame him - and the debate.

It might cost him the governor's mansion.

I talk about it today in my Monday print column.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Delco GOP continues to target Rongione

Mon, 2014-10-27 05:36
The Delco GOP continues to have problems with Vince Rongione.

Maybe they're still sore about Joe Sestak. Rongione used to work for him. Now he's running against Upper Darby Councilman Jamie Santora for the 163rd District state House being vacated by the retiring Rep. Nick Micozzie.

Micozzie has kept the seat comfortably in Republican hands for more than three decades.

But it's in serious jeopardy of going over to the Democratic side.

Maybe that's why the county GOP continues to hammer away at what they are trying to paint Rongione as something of a 'carpetbagger' who only moved into the district so he could run for the Micozzie seat.

For his part, Rongione notes that he grew up in Havertown, but also has ties to the Upper Darby neighborhood where his father grew up. The county Republicans this morning are holding a press conference again questioning Rongione's residency and the filing of a couple of complaints. They plan to point out that Rongione registered to vote from his new home on Blanchard Road in Upper Darby in December 2013, while pointing out that the state Constitution requires an individual reside in the district they want to serve for a year prior to their election.

I get the feeling the GOP is complaining too much about this. They must be worried about losing a seat they've held forever.

This is the kind of thing that the public is tired of, that has little or nothing to do with the business that needs to get done in Harrisburg, and instead simply smells of local politics.

Everybody in this race has better things to talk about.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick

Sat, 2014-10-25 06:09
I hate the bye week. Is it just me, or does it seem more like two months since the Eagles played as opposed to two weeks.

Actually, the break probably came at a good time for the banged-up Birds. Mychal Kendricks is expected to be back at linebacker. Darren Sproles, who tweaked a knee in the rout of the Giants, will not miss any time. Even offensive linemen Evan Mathis and Jason Kelce are feeling better, although neither will play on Sunday.

Eagles fans will have to wait until 4 o’clock Sunday as the Birds fly to the desert to meet the Cardinals in Phoenix. Both teams stand at 5-1.

This game likely will rest on the shoulders - or perhaps better stated the right arm - of quarterback Nick Foles. Under former Temple coach Bruce Arians and defensive coordinator Todd Bowles, himself a former Eagles coach, the Cardinals are the stingiest team in the league against the run.

That does not bode well for a big day from Shady McCoy. But the Cardinals are not nearly as efficient against the pass. That means Foles needs to deliver.

Let’s hope Chip Kelly can pull a little Andy Reid magic out of his bag of tricks in terms of this post-bye game. Reid was a master in the game after the week off.

Phoenix is never an easy place to play.

It’s in the hands of Nick Foles. Play well and he could dispel a lot of the doubters. If he struggles and the Birds fall, it’s going to be a long Monday on the phone lines.

I say he delivers.

The Pick: Make it Eagles 24, Cardinals 23. Don’t forget Cody Parkey. He’s been money so far, but this one might come with the game on the line.

Season Record: I certainly didn’t see the Eagles blowing out the Giants to go 5-1. I’m still not sure if the Eagles - especially on defense - are that good, on Tom Coughlin’s team is just lousy this year. That prediction dropped me to 4-2 on the season.

Game by Game: Eagles 27, Giants 0 (My Pick: Giants 31, Rams 26)

Eagles 34, Rams 28 (My Pick: Eagles 35, Rams 19)

49ers 26, Eagles 21 (My Pick: 49ers 33, Eagles 29)

Eagles 34, Jaguars 17 (My Pick: Eagles 31, Jags 16)

Eagles 30, Colts 27 (My Pick: Colts 29, Eagles 23)

Eagles 37, Redskins 34 (My Pick: Eagles 24, Redskins 23)
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Friday, Oct. 24

Fri, 2014-10-24 06:58
The Daily Numbers: 800 doses of Narcan ready to go into police cars in the county on Nov. 29 when new law goes into effect allowing first responders to deliver the drug to someone experiencing a heroin overdose.

19, age of Main Line teen facing charges in heroin overdose death of a friend.

1st degree murder conviction against a Chester man in the July 2010 shooting of a man outside a city business.

70th anniversary for Media Fellowship.

54, age of Community Service supervisor charged with groping two women assigned to his work detail. He will face trial.

36 years in Haverford schools coming to an end. Superintendent Dr. William Keilbaugh is retiring.

182 students at Upper Darby High School who will get a free ACT test after the first one they took got lost in the mail.

59 and 22, ages of men who now face charges in connection with an incident that led to a lockdown at Malvern Prep High School.

2,000 dollar Tiffany bracelet, what the former top judge in Philly Traffic Court is accused of taking from a businessman. She now faces bribery charges.

52, age of former Philly mob boss Joey Merlino, who has been summoned to court this morning for a hearing to see if he violated his parole agreement.

216 point boost for the stock market yesterday.

3.92 percent average rate for a 30-year mortgage.

33, age of doctor in New York City who has tested positive for Ebola virus.

50 percent hike in earnings reported by Comcast. That comes to a cool $16.8 billion.

2 final football games of the season that have been cancelled at Central Bucks West High School amid reports of hazing.

109-103 loss for the Sixers in their final exhibition game to the Pistons.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.The Sixers played their final exhibition game last night. Why do I get the feeling their entire season is going to be an exhibition?

I Don’t Get It: Hazing among high school athletes has entered an entire new area.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to those who gathered last night in Upper Chi to remember those lost to heroin and opioid addiction.

Quote Box: “This is not a club we wanted to join.”

- Tricia Stouch, at last night’s vigil for to remember those who died of addiction.
Categories: Pennsylvania

'Live From the Newsroom' talks some serious politics

Fri, 2014-10-24 06:19
It looks like I might have to go down with the ship alone.

The Tom Corbett ship, that is.

I was one of the very few people in this state who has gone on the record as saying that Tom Corbett would be re-elected. I did that in part because Pennsylvania has never - never - voted out an incumbent governor.

Instead we usually flip-flop parties every eight years. In other words, eight years with a Democrat, followed by eight years of a Republican in the governor's mansion.

But judging by the conversation on last night's 'Live From the Newsroom' show, that may be about to change.

During our monthly visit to the sparkling new TV production facilities at Widener University, Corbett is in serious trouble.

If you missed the show, you can catch the replay here.

I started out by noting that Corbett has been paring what once was an overwhelming lead in the polls for Democrat Tom Wolf. But neither of my guests, Widener political science professor Wes Leckrone, nor columnist Chris Freind believes Corbett is going to win.

We also discussed what is likely the second most high-profile race in the state. That would be the battle for the open state Senate seat in the 26th District, where Republican Tom McGarrigle and Democrat John Kane are doing battle. It's going to set a record for being maybe the most expensive state Senate race in Pennsylvania history. And it's gotten increasingly nasty.

This one looks like it could go down to the wire. Although Democrats are widening their newfound registration edge in the county, the GOP still has more voters in the 26th District. This one likely will go down to the wire.
Categories: Pennsylvania