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Updated: 7 min 15 sec ago

The Daily Numbers for Friday, July 1

11 hours 3 min ago
The Daily Numbers: 7 years, how long the family of Jimmy Koons has been waiting for justice.

3rd degree murder, what John Pettit was convicted of in the punch that killed Koons.

2009, when the fight took place in the parking lot of the Oasis Strip Club in Philly.

14, age of teen facing charges after pointing a gun at Chester police officers.

2 man charged in a series of arson fires in Yeadon.

37.5 acres of the Little Flower Manor tract along Springfield Road in Darby that will be preserved as a county park.

1.7 million dollar pricetag for the tract.

1,116 acres of county parks and 17,000 acres of protected open space.

62, age of Berwyn woman slain on the Main Line in what the D.A. is now calling a ‘targeted’ attack.

1 billion dollars in new revenue still needed to fund all the new spending in the $31 billion state budget OK’s yesterday. Gov. Tom Wolf says he will not sign it until he knows where the money is coming from.

144-54 vote in favor of the $31.5 billion spending plan.

2 teens charged in the accidental shooting of a boy, 13, while playing with a gun in Philly.

4 of 5 casinos in Atlantic City that reached deals with their unions.

1 casino hit by strike by union workers this morning. That would be the Trump Taj Mahal

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

Kudos to young Flyers defenseman Shane Gostisbehere. He paid a visit to wounded Folcroft Officer Chris Dorman yesterday, and gave him a special Flyers jersey.

I Don’t Get It: No justice for the victims of past sexual abuse. They will not be able to bring civil actions against their abusers under legislation passed by the Senate yesterday.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the family of Jimmy Koons, whose long wait for justice ended yesterday.

Quote Box: “You play with the devil, you pay to the devil.” - Kathy Brady, mother of Jimmy Koons, about the verdict against the man who delivered the fatal punch.

Categories: Pennsylvania

Another door slammed in the face of abuse victims

11 hours 54 min ago
Score one for the Catholic Church and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

That door you just heard slam was another setback for victims of child sexual abuse, including those molested by their parish priests. The state Senate yesterday approved a measure that would extend the time victims have to file civil suits against their abusers - and their employers.

But it voted unanimously to strip out the language that would allow past victims to come forward with new suits now based on abuse that happened decades ago.

We use our editorial page today to talk about the issue.

The House had voted 180-15 to approve House Bill 1947. Prosecutors across the state had been suggesting opening such a window for years.

But several Delaware County state reps felt themselves taking some heat from the archdiocese after they voted in favor of the measure. You can read our editorial here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Wounded Officer Chris Dorman sees a 'Ghost'

12 hours 11 min ago
Chris Dorman saw a ghost yesterday.

No, the wounded Folcroft officer's condition did not take a turn for the worse.

He continues to recover from being shot seven times one week ago today. Yesterday the part-time officer got a visit from Flyers young defenseman Shane Gostisbehere, who gave Dorman a Flyers jersey with his name emblazoned on the back.

"What he's been through this week, I'm pretty sure his world's been flipped upside down," the hockey star said of Dorman.

Class thing to do, Ghost.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Worst road in Delco? I nominate the Providence Road obstacle course

12 hours 22 min ago
When it comes to the worst roads in Delaware County in terms of potholes and the general condition of the road, there are no shortage of candidates.

I have one of my own.

Every morning (don't ask when, it's an ungodly hour) I take Providence Road to cut across from West Chester Pike in Edgmont over the Rose Tree Park where it hooks up with Route 252, where I can jump on the Media Bypass.

It's pretty lonely at that hour.

Just me.

And the deer.

And the potholes.

And the ruts.

It's a mess. It happens every spring. Once winter thaws the road just goes to hell. I'm surprised I haven't been pulled over for DUI since I spend most of the commute zigging and zagging across both lanes in a usually fruitless attempt to miss the worst potholes.

Apparently I am not alone in my disdain for the road.

But I love the way one clearly frustrated driver decided to express his or her opinion.

As you head up the hill from the Canter Drive, clearly spray-painted in white paint on the road is this message:


It looks like the artist may have struck a nerve.

It appears some patching of the road has taken place.

It still has a long way to go.

Yes, that's me officer, swerving all over the road.

No, I have not had anything to drink.

But this road is enough to 'drive' you to the bottle.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Kids rally behind Officer Dorman

Thu, 2016-06-30 06:20
There are a couple of important developments in the story of wounded Folcroft Officer Chris Dorman today.

First, on our editorial page, we review the outage that occurred at the county 911 Center at the time of the shooting, when a dispatcher did not hear the frantic plea from Dorman after he was shot during a violent encounter with a drug suspect. For four crucial minutes, the 911 center dispatchers were in the dark. Luckily, it only affected communication on the dispatchers' end. Dorman's fellow officers heard his pleas and responded.

Both the county and the company that put the new system in are working to find out what went wrong and make sure it does not happen again. The county also is bringing in an outside, independent agency to review the operations.

You can read our editorial here.

The other story we covered today shows you exactly what Folcroft - and Delaware County - is made of, in particular in the way they reacted to Officer Dorman's shooting.

In her Thursday Cop Shop column, staffer Rose Quinn details the efforts of a group of kids on the Folcroft Swim Club to raise money to help the fund drive to benefit Dorman.

It wasn't that long ago that Dorman was a regular at the swim club himself. The team's nickname is the Stingrays.

The kids talk about what Dorman means to them and their desire to one day meet him and offer a high-five.

They didn't hesitate when they got the chance to help out.

Support for the officer is growing by the day. You can get a full rundown of the fund-raising efforts - and how you can help - in today's Cop Shop column.
Categories: Pennsylvania

House Bill 1947 & the constitutional question

Thu, 2016-06-30 06:06
It's always nice to know what you write is actually being read.

Or, in the case of my new Heron's Nest Podcast, being listened to.

Yesterday I wrote about the fate of House Bill 1947.

That's the measure that would open a window for past victims of child sexual abuse - including those abused by priests - to file civil suits. The measure would allow victims to seek action in civil court until age 50 - and also make it retroactive, meaning victims abused decades ago could seek redress.

But the Pa. Senate Judiciary Committee stripped out the retroactive language. In other words, if the bill is passed in its current form and signed into law, from that point forward victims would have until age 50 to sue their molesters and the institutions that employed them.

The fear is that the bill would not pass constitutional muster. That's the feeling of a lot of experts, including new Solicitor General Bruce Castor, who testified before the committee that he believed the retroactive language was unconstitutional.

I suggested in yesterday's blog that maybe that wasn't the Legislature's job, that maybe, as many experts have suggested, they should pass the legislation and let the courts decide the constitutional question.

That caught the attention of Steve Hoenstine.

He's the spokesman for state Sen. Daylin Leach, D-17, of Haverford. Leach happens to be the minority chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and he also voted in favor of taking the retroactive language out.

Hoenstine disagreed with my suggestion, and he wanted to tell me why.

He noted that Leach "took an oath" when he was sworn in as a senator, and because of that, it is indeed his job to question whether or not a bill is constitutional.

"Ignoring that question (letting the courts decide), as you suggested this morning, is a dereliction of that duty," Hoenstine wrote. This is where it gets interesting.

Leach actually supports the retroactivity language in the bill. He wants to see justice delivered to the victims of sexual abuse. But he can't because he thinks the bill will not pass constitutional muster.

Hoenstine noted that the senator also supports raising the retirement age for state judges, but he has sued to stop exactly that from happening, and again he cites the fact that the way it was done is clearly unconstitutional.

"If he wins his lawsuit, he'll stop a proposal he supports from becoming law," Hoenstine said. "He's that dedicated to upholding his oath."

Well, at least I know one person is listening to the podcast.

Good morning, Steve.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, June 29

Wed, 2016-06-29 08:10
The Daily Numbers: 4 minutes, how long a computer was down at the county 911 Center during Friday’s shooting incident in Folcroft.

800,000 dollars, how much the county paid for the new system from Zetron just last May.

1, as in the No. 1 man at the Secret Service. Joseph Clancy, a Havertown native, paid a visit to wounded Folcroft Officer Chris Dorman yesterday.

22.5 to 45 years in prison for a Folcroft man for the murder of his girlfriend in Philly.

43, age of Upper Darby man, a former guard at Graterford Prison, convicted of sexual assault on a prisoner. But he will not be labeled a predator.

1947, the key bill that would allow more time for victims of child sexual abuse to bring legal action, that saw some important changes yesterday.

9-4 vote by Senate Judiciary Committee took out the retroactive language that would allow those abused decades ago to bring legal action now. The bill now would only affect future victims after the law is in effect.

30 years old, age at when victims have to bring an action in Pa. The new measure would expand that to 50 or possible remove it altogether. It also lifts the criminal statute of limitations for abuse cases.

50,000 in legal fees being racked up by Pa. House subcommittee that will now seek subpoenas in the investigation of Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

132-68 vote in the House to pass a GOP spending plan for Pa. Gov. Wolf said he is not backing the spending plan because it’s not balanced.

31.6 billion dollar spending plan, that’s a 5 percent boost, but less than what Wolf was seeking.

200 million dollars more for education, a 3 percent boost

250 million, what Wolf was seeking.

34 million to fight the opioid epidemic

114-85 vote by the Pa. House to allow online casino-style gaming in airports and websites.

8 million dollars, what a license for an online gaming site will cost.

23 cent hike in gas at the pumps in New Jersey that could arrive as early as Friday.

50 new stores that are coming to King of Prussia Mall.

700 new workers at the mall, which already boasts a workforce of 7,000

40-39 percent razor-thin edge for Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey over Dem challenger Katie McGinty in latest poll.

36 dead, more than 140 wounded and the death toll likely will rise in wake of terrorist attack at Istanbul airport.

2 straight wins for the Phils.

4-3 comeback win over the D-Backs.

1 time all season - last night - that the Phils rallied for a win after trailing in the 8th inning.

16-18 of May, the last time the Phillies won a series.

85, age of Eagles coaching icon Buddy Ryan, who passed away yesterday.

46, the groundbreaking defense for which he was known.

45-35-1 record as coach of the Eagles.

0 playoff wins for Ryan.

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

No, he didn’t win a playoff game. But Buddy Ryan will always be a Philly sports icon. That’s because Buddy was one of us. RIP, Coach Ryan.

I Don’t Get It: The county 911 system went down at the precise 4 minutes that Officer Chris Dorman was in a life-or-death struggle in Folcroft. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Joe Clancy, a Havertown native who rose to head the Secret Service. He paid a visit to Officer Dorman in Folcroft yesterday.

Quote Box: “This can never happen again.”

- County Council Chairman Mario Civera on the 911 glitch.
Categories: Pennsylvania

It's chilling tale of the tape at county 911 Center

Wed, 2016-06-29 07:09
The audio is chilling.

"I'm shot. I'm shot. I'm shot."

The voice belongs to Folcroft Police Officer Chris Dorman, involved in a life-and-death struggle with a drug suspect last Friday morning.

Perhaps almost as chilling is the knowledge that while Dorman was fighting for his life after being shot seven times, no one at the county 911 Center heard his plea for help.

That's because a computer glitch in the new system installed at the County Emergency Communications Center in Lima had failed, leaving dispatchers in the dark, unaware of the violent struggle playing out on the streets of Folcroft.

Luckily, his fellow officers heard his plea, and were able to respond.

But for four crucial minutes, that was not the case for the county's 911 dispatchers.

A severely wounded Officer Dorman staggered into the arms of another officer, who rushed him to nearby Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital. But Folcroft Sgt. Bill Bair indicates his efforts to reach the 911 Center were unsuccessful.

A second officer was fired upon after arriving on the scene and confronting the suspect, and again the 911 Center initially was unaware. Luckily, he was not by any bullets.

Obviously, the same cannot be said of Dorman. He was hit seven times in the violence encounter, taking bullets in his face - including one that entered one cheek and exited the other - neck, groin and shoulder. Three other bullets, two in his chest and one in his back, were stopped by his bulletproof vest. Doctors later indicated that vest likely saved his life.

Now it's essential that the county figure out why another essential lifeline for police and firefighters in the field failed at an essential time when they were needed most.

The outage last only four minutes. But they were four crucial minutes when the heartbeat of emergency communications in the county was unaware of what was happening in Folcroft and unable to deliver assistance.

"In this situation, four minutes is really like four hours," said County Council Chairman Mario Civera Monday as officials began to review what happened.

The county recently plunked down $800,000 to upgrade the county 911 radio system. Wednesday representatives of the firm that installed the system, Zetron, planned to have a representative here in Delco to investigate the glitch.

Initial indications are that for some reason the computer being used by the dispatcher rebooted while he was talking to officers in the field. The dispatcher was forced to move to another computer.

Zetron noted they are in the initial stages of their investigation, reviewing the computer-based logs of Friday morning's radio communications.

It appears the county also will seek an independent review of the 911 system. County Executive Director Marianne Grace said the county was contracting with an industry expert to conduct a separate investigation of the incident.

Civera sounded the single note that everyone has in the aftermath of this kind of glitch.

"This can't happen again," he said.

You can say that again.

The hunt for the suspect who shot Folcroft Officer Chris Dorman was concluded quickly.

We hope the same can be said for the investigation into why a glitch knocked down crucial communications at the county 911 Center at the same time.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Retroactivity in sex abuse cases isn't going to happen

Wed, 2016-06-29 06:31
To the surprise of absolutely no one, it does not appear as if the victims of child sexual abuse from decades ago are going to get justice.

Or at least their day in court.

Opponents of House Bill 1947, which would extend the window to victims to file legal actions from age 30 to age 50 - and more importantly allow those abused decades ago to seek civil redress now - have been successful in derailing the measure.

A state Senate committee yesterday moved the bill forward - they even lifted any time restraint on when a sex abuse victim could file suit - but they stripped out the crucial language that would allow victims to do so retroactively.

Again the key aspect was a fear among many, including Delco Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Haverford, the minority chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, that the measure was unconstitutional.

The Judiciary Committee voted 9-4, with four other Philly area senators dissenting, to send the revised bill to the full Senate. It's a clear victory for the opponents of the retroactive language, the Catholic Conference, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the insurance industry. All feared a tidal wave of costly lawsuits if the retroactive measure had become law.

The bill had passed the House, 180-15, with the support of several Delco state reps. Several of them, including Rep. Nick Miccarelli, R-162, and Rep. James Santora, R-163, said they took heat from the archdiocese for their votes in favor. Miccarelli even had his name casually dropped into the church bulletin at his home parish, St. Rose of Lima in Eddystone, as a reminder to parishioners that he had voted in favor of 1947.

Leach said he struggled with the issue.

"This has been a very difficult issue for me," the senator said. "I really want to keep retroactivity in there. I just don't feel I can," the lawyer said.

If approved by the full Senate, the bill would allow victims to bring action until they reach the age of 50, but only for future cases after the bill is signed into law.

One of the House's biggest backers of the retroactivity language, Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, himself a victim of abuse years ago, said it was merely one more time that "pedophiles and the institutions … they have gotten another free pass.”

Gov. Tom Wolf had indicated he would have signed the original bill. It has long been supported by the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association.

You could make the argument that the question of whether or not the bill is constitutional is not the Legislature's job. They should vote on the measure and then let the courts determine whether it's constitutional or not.

It doesn't appear as if that's going to happen.

And it looks like those Delco state reps put their necks on the line for nothing.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Why we loved Buddy Ryan

Wed, 2016-06-29 05:59
Buddy Ryan never took the Eagles to the Super Bowl, the way Dick Vermeil did.

He didn't win as many games as Andy Reid.

In fact, Ryan never won a single playoff game.

Yet he remains among the most beloved coaches every to step foot in Philly, let alone sit in the hottest seat in town, head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles.

The answer is pretty simple.

Buddy Ryan, the master defensive innovator and the man who created the '46'defense, was one of us. He likely would have been just as much at home in the 700 Level of the Vet as pacing the Birds' sideline on that frozen, nasty turf that opposing teams hated.

It's at least in part because his teams - in particular his defense - matched that plastic surface. They were nasty, unforgiving and took no prisoners.

Ryan was a brash swaggart, but he connected with fans because he knew what made us tick.

He referred to his boss, the man who hired him and signed his checks, as "the guy in France." Norman Braman bristled at the reference, but the fans loved it.

Buddy disparaged the replacements brought in when the NFL regulars went on strike, and even belittled front office workers who put the squad together.

That move won him the undying loyalty of his players, and also the fans, working-class, blue collar union folks who lived and died with the Birds.

Buddy Ball was a hit in the neighborhoods.

Perhaps never more so than on Oct. 25, 1987. Two weeks earlier, the hated Dallas Cowboys and their equally hated head coach, Tom Landry, had pummeled the Eagles replacement players during the NFL strike with a squad that contained a lot of regulars. Ryan clearly thought Landry had left his stars in the one-side affair too long, running up the score in the 41-22 blowout.

Buddy Ryan did not forget. Two weeks later he got his revenge in a bizarre situation that was classic Buddy Ryan.

To me, it is the single moment when Buddy Ryan cemented his beloved status with Philly and Eagles fans. The Eagles, with the strike settled and their regulars back in the lineup, were beating the Cowboys as the clock counted down.

But Buddy was not done. He had one final flair in mind, an in-your-face retort to Landry and the Cowboys.

It will forever be known simply as the fake kneel-down.

Instead of running out the clock, Ryan ordered quarterback Randall Cunningham to fake the usual end-of-game maneuver and instead throw a long pass to wideout Mike Quick. Pass interference was called on the play, which caught the Cowboys unaware. On the next play, again instead of running out the clock, Ryan sent Keith Byars crashing into the end zone.

It was Buddy Ryan's personal message to Landry and the Cowboys.

In that moment, Buddy became a Philadelphian. He hated Dallas as much as we did.

RIP, Buddy. Philly still loves you.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, June 28

Tue, 2016-06-28 07:18
The Daily Numbers: 4 days after being shot, Officer Chris Dorman returned home to Folcroft to hero’s welcome.

7 bullets he took in confrontation with a drug suspect.

17.50 an hour, how much Dorman makes as a part-time officer in Folcroft.

33,261 dollars, who much had been pledged to a GoFundMe account to benefit Dorman’s medical expenses Monday afternoon.

4 minutes, how long dispatchers at the county 911 center were cut off from communicating with officers during the shooting ordeal in Folcroft. Officers could still talk to each other, they just couldn’t be heard at the 911 center.

800,000 dollars, how much the county spent installing a new system at the 911 center.

48, age of longtime Upper Darby firefighter and 911 dispatcher Mike Morgan, who died this weekend.

1.5 to 3 years for a California man for his role in a scam that targeted Toys R Us stores, including one in Middletown.

2 workers in Philly burned in a flash fire.

31 billion dollar GOP spending plan that got an OK from the Pa. House Appropriations Committee yesterday.

23 cents a gallon increase in gas in N.J. set to go into effect this Friday.

5-3 ruling by which the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Texas abortion law.

29 million dresser units being recalled by Ikea after the deaths of 3 children when the units tipped over.

260 point decline for the Dow yesterday, on top of the 600 point plunge on Friday. Futures are looking better today, however.

14 billion dollar settlement for Volkswagen for diesel vehicle emissions scandal.

7-0 win for the Phils over Arizona late last night.

5 strong innings for Vince Velasquez in his 1st start since coming off the DL.

6 years, how long Flyers great Eric Lindros waited to get into the NHL Hall of Fame. He got the nod yesterday.

64, age of Tennessee coaching legend Pat Summitt, who died of Alzheimer’s overnight.

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

Our salute to another round of All-Delco selections that start today, with Sam Tomasetti of Garnet Valley kicking things off with the All-Delco softball team.

I Don’t Get It: The county 911 radio system went down at the exact time Folcroft Officer Chris Dorman was being attacked. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the hundreds who showed up Monday in Folcroft to welcome wounded Officer Dorman home.

Quote Box: “Chris is 100 percent Folcroft.”

- Folcroft Officer Thomas Kesser, who has known Dorman for 10 years.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Welcome home, Officer Dorman

Tue, 2016-06-28 06:16
We used our editorial page today to talk about a Delco legend.

Actually, THE #DelcoLegend.

That, of course, would be Chris Dorman. He's the Folcroft cop who was shot seven times after responding to a report of drug activity.

It's still hard to believe that three days later, Dorman was headed home again.

Chris Dorman's story tells you a lot about Delaware County. But it also tells you the value of community service.

That's all Dorman has ever wanted to do. He was a volunteer firefighter and was seeing his dream of being a policeman come true.

We almost lost that in a hail of bullet last Friday.

But at the same time we gained something we too often lose sight of, an honest-to-god hero.

Welcome home, Officer Dorman.

You can read our editorial here.

For our complete coverage of the way Folcroft turned out to welcome Dorman home, including videos and a slideshow of images, click here.You can read our editorial here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Sam Tomasetti leads charge for another round of All-Delcos

Tue, 2016-06-28 05:54
My wife will probably be miffed.

I happen to be married to the world's biggest Eric Lindros fan.

Yesterday was a big day for the guy Flyers' faithful used to call 'Big E.'

After a six-year wait, Eric Lindros is headed to the NHL Hall of Fame. But that did not land him as the lead on today's Back Page. No, today he got trumped by Sam Tomasetti.

She happens to be a standout softball player at Garnet Valley High School.

And today she is gracing our lead sports package as we kick off another round of All-Delco selections.

Sam Tomasetti is the All-Delco Softball Player of the Year.

After every high school sports season, our sports staff, in conjunction with high school coaches, select an All-Delco team. The spring teams will run this week, with Sam Tomasetti leading the charge.

You can read all about Sam's exploits here. The rest of the All-Delco Softball Team is highlighted here.

I hope Eric understands. I kind of doubt my wife will.

We covered Eric as well. You'll find Rob Parent's report here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Monday, June 27

Mon, 2016-06-27 07:32
The Daily Numbers: 7 bullets that hit Folcroft police Officer Christopher Dorman.

2 attempted murder charges against the suspect, who also opened fire on a 2nd officer.

6 minutes, how long the county emergency radio system was having problems at the time of the shooting.

2 dozen residents who strolled the woods of the site of Don Guanella School in Marple Saturday morning. Their fear is that the area is going to be developed.

30 years, how long Deputy Chief Michael Morgan served Upper Darby in various capacities, including a long stint with Garretford-Drexel Hill Fire Co. He passed away over the weekend.

6 regional rail lines that were out of service for about an hour Sunday afternoon.

4 working days for our representatives in Harrisburg to come up with a new budget deal.

31.9 billion dollar spending plan being pushed by Democrats.

31.5 billion dollar plan suggested by Republicans.

1.2 cent per gallon dip in price of gas at the pumps last week.

2.41 a gallon, average price of gas on Philly region.

7 people stabbed at a political rally in California.

3 times the Phillies rallied from deficits, only to fall on walk-off hit by the Giants in bottom of the 9th.

8-7 loss for the Phils.

28 hits combined for the 2 teams.

800th win for Giants manager Bruce Bochy.

9 of June, last time Vince Velasquez pitched. He’ll be back on the hill tonight in Arizona to start a new series.

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

Maybe we should all rally around the Union and MLS play until the Eagles head to training camp. Going to be a long summer.

I Don’t Get It: Christopher Dorman took 7 bullets and today is being released from the hospital. The guy is a walking miracle.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to all those who rallied around the injured Folcroft officer. The best of Delco.

Quote Box: “It just has to be the power of prayer, that and his bulletproof vest.”

- Jeanne Dorman, mother of Officer Chris Dorman.
Categories: Pennsylvania

About that front page photo

Mon, 2016-06-27 06:14
That is a very special photo that appears on the front page of today's print edition of the Daily Times.

But I have a confession to make.

It wasn't supposed to appear today. It actually was supposed to be on Sunday's front page.

It depicts wounded Folcroft Officer Chris Dorman offering a thumb's up from his hospital room in Penn Presbyterian Hospital in Philly, where he continues to recover after being hit by seven bullets when he was ambushed after responding to a call about drug activity in the borough.

The photo was given to us by Folcroft police. I had planned for it to grace Sunday's front page as the county continued to offer relief that Officer Dorman was going to make a full recovery.

Why it did not is one of those editor's nightmares that take place in the news business today that never would have happened a few years ago. Let me just say it was a combination of technology and communications issues that led to the snafu.

My heart sank early Sunday when I fired up the laptop and checked the electronic version of the paper, only to see that another photo had been used on the front page.

I was not the only one disappointed. A lot of people around Folcroft were expecting to see that photo on the front page. That's only one of the reasons we decided to use it today.

First and foremost, we're also happy that Dorman is not only recovering, but actually is expected to be released from the hospital today. We'll offer full coverage if and when he does, including the special homecoming they have planned to welcome him back on his home turf in Folcroft.

All you need to know about Delaware County and the people who live and work here was on display in the hours following Dorman's shooting. Saturday night, several hundreds people gathered at the Folcroft Municipal Building for a vigil to honor Dorman.

Let me be the first to say, 'Welcome home, Chris.'

Delco could not be prouder.

And the Daily Times is proud of the photo of you on today's front page.

Even if it took us a day longer than we originally planned.
Categories: Pennsylvania

I know how you feel, Kenny Chesney

Mon, 2016-06-27 06:00
It's one of those things that maybe only a newspaper editor can understand.

It's something you simply can't get wrong.

It's why my hair long ago took on a fretful shade of gray.

It's why - yes even after three decades doing this - you still occasionally wake up at 3 a.m. in a cold sweat.

We all make mistakes. Maybe that's why I'm always reluctant to jump on someone who has just made one.

Kenny Chesney made a pretty big one Saturday night.

It's the one - especially now when we deliver news in a heartbeat via Twitter and Facebook - that I'm still very leery about.

The country superstar gave a shout-out to wounded Folcroft Police Officer Chris Dorman during his sold-out show at Lincoln Financial Field Saturday night.

Dorman is a huge fan who actually was supposed to be at the show. But that was before he was hit by seven bullets in an ambush attack after he responded to a call for drug activity behind a Folcroft apartment complex Friday morning.

Saturday morning Dorman reached out to Chesney via social media, asking the country star 'not to forget me.'

It started trending as people all over the area urged Chesney to remember Dorman at the show.

Chesney did just that, but he made a critical error.

He told the crowd that Dorman had passed away.

Folcroft officers quickly jumped on social media to indicate that was not the case, that Dorman was still very much alive.

Chesney explained that he simply got caught up in the moment and misspoke. I know how he feels. Hey, Kenny, it's even worse when it winds up in print and lasts forever.

"I think the emotions got the best of me, and I wasn't as clear as I could've been," Chesney said in a statement. "The idea that a hero like that, with seven bullets in him, would even think about me ... I heard about right before I hit the stage and it stopped me in my tracks."

A lot of people reacted with outrage over Chesney's error. Granted, it's not something you want to do. I know that better than anyone. I also know how easy - especially today - it is for something like that to happen.

I'm inclined to give Chesney the benefit of the doubt, especially after what he did Sunday morning.

Chesney personally called Dorman in his hospital room to apologize for the error, and to extend an offer to take in an Eagles game and share a beer with the wounded officer.

Dorman and his family members actually joked about it. "It didn't bother man," Dorman told our Rose Quinn in a brief phone interview Sunday. "All things considered it could have been a lot worse."

Kenny Chesney and Christopher Dorman.

A couple of class acts.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Our annual salute to grads

Mon, 2016-06-27 05:45
It is one of life's seminal moments.

More importantly - at least to me because of what I do - it could be the only time a young person's name appears in the newspaper.

Graduation from high school is one of those special moments that defines much of what our communities are about, the conclusion of a 12-year journey, and in many ways the end of one part of a young person's life and the start of another.

That's one of the reasons we treat the occasion in a very special manner.

We call it the Grad Tab.

It's something we do every year for as long as I can remember.

We don't make a lot of money on it. There isn't all that much advertising in it.

But it's something I hope families will keep for years as part of their family histories.

I talk about why this is important in my weekly print column this week.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Friday, June 24

Fri, 2016-06-24 07:10
The Daily Numbers: 2.9 percent tax given the OK by Interboro School Board.

20 jobs being furloughed.

5-4 vote by the board.

89 dollar hike in average tax bill.

dollars, what average homeowner will pay.

6.5 million dollar shortfall in Upper Darby.

0 tax hike enacted by the board.

100 years being celebrated this year by St. Andrew the Apostle parish in Drexel Hill.

1 as in Uno, and also the 1st ever national chain restaurant that opened its doors in Chester.

24, age of Chester man convicted of an assault on a police officer.

3 people indicted for a home invasion in Marple.

4, age of girl shot and killed in a home in Philly.

1, as in the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft. That would be Ben Simmons, taken by the Sixers.

0 trades pulled by the Sixers after taking Simmons.

24 and 26 picks, they took two shooters.

5 RBI for Freddy Galvis to help the Phils snap their skid and prevent the team from losing 10 in a row for the first time in decades.

7-3 win for the Phils to avoid being swept in Minnesota. Now they head for the West Coast

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

We got Ben Simmons, but the Sixers did not make any other moves. They still need a point guard.

I Don’t Get It: After all that talk in D.C., still no action on gun control in D.C.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the Upper Darby School Board, for holding the line on taxes and giving taxpayers a much-needed lift.

Quote Box: “These are not easy decisions to make, but we have a responsibility, fiscally.”

- Interboro Superintendent Bernadette Rieley, on budget that calls for tax hike and job cuts.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A tale of two school districts

Fri, 2016-06-24 06:24
Call this one "A Tale of Two School Districts."

Actually, that's exactly what we did on today's front page.

Like most school districts across Pennsylvania, both Upper Darby and Interboro found themselves facing a budget crunch. You might say it's just one more argument why our system of funding education is in need of a massive shakeup.

What is interesting is the tack taken by these two school boards to address their fiscal problems.

In Interboro, the board reluctantly decided to hike taxes and cut a few jobs.

Taxes will increase 2.9 percent. Twenty jobs also will be slashed.

In Upper Darby, they are instead tightening their belt and dipping into their fund balance instead of taxpayers' wallets.

As legislators struggle with their own budget woes in Harrisburg as the clock ticks toward a July 1 deadline to have a new budget in place, we hope our representatives keep Upper Darby and Interboro in mind.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A conversation with Gov. Tom Wolf

Fri, 2016-06-24 06:16
It must be budget time.

What else could explain the phone call I got yesterday.

Yes, that was Gov. Wolf calling to say hello and talk Pennsylvania dollars and cents. Always nice to chat with the governor, who makes it a habit to reach out to newspaper editors.

I started the conversation by joking about something that I noted on our editorial page, wondering if they were putting something in the water out there in Harrisburg.

The Legislature, after a torturous nine-month budget standoff last year, actually is getting a few things done.

They delivered much-needed changes to the state's archaic laws regulating the sale of alcohol to the governor's desk, and he signed it. They are working on pension relief.

And most indications are that the two sides are quietly making progress in budget talks taking part for the most part behind closed doors.

I asked Wolf about his seeming change of heart in abandoning another push for hefty tax hikes to pay for a new spending push, and he admitted he wasn't sure if he had been completely understood. He stressed that he was never married to those increases in both the sales and personal income taxes. When he was convinced that he could achieve his budget goals without the tax hikes, he decided to move on.

That's no doubt music to the ears of Republicans in the Legislature, who immediately turn up their nose at even the slightest hint of a tax hike.

The governor also sought to assuage the belief by some that this means he is abandoning his call for a steep increase in basic education funding. The governor noted that with the last budget and the one he is now proposing, education funding would be up $450 million.

Wolf also said he was certainly willing to entertain the notion passed by the House this week, a push for legalizing online gaming, as a source of new revenue. But the governor insisted he'd only do it as part of a wider budget agreement.

Finally, I asked him if he thought he and the Legislature would be able to meet the July 1 deadline to have a new spending plan in place. We all know how that worked out last year. We were still asking where the budget was at Christmas time.

Wolf seemed optimistic, but also cautioned it could go a few days past the deadline.

"Nobody wants another nine-month impasse," the governor said, clearly indicating that the process he and the Legislature endured last year might be "a lesson learned."

But he also took clear pride in noting some of the things that both he and the Legislature have been able to accomplish in the past few months.

Call anytime, governor.

Now that I will be able to buy a bottle of wine in the supermarket, how about privatizing the whole system?

Maybe I shouldn't push my luck.
Categories: Pennsylvania