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Updated: 4 hours 5 min ago

The Daily Numbers for Friday, July 25

Fri, 2014-07-25 07:57
The Daily Numbers: 1 person shot and killed in exchange of gunfire inside Wellness Center at Mercy Fitzgerald Medical Center Thursday.

2 others wounded, including a doctor and the gunman.

2:21 p.m., when the first call came in for the shooting.

53, age of caseworker who was killed in the gunfire.

49, age of the suspect, who is in critical condition. The doctor, who is believed to have returned fire to stop the shooter, suffered a graze wound.

3 gunshots suffered by the shooter.

2 gunshot to the face suffered by the caseworker who died of her injuries.

3 different occasion when the suspect was committed to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation.

3 arrests for illegal possession of firearms that go back to the 1990s.

25 years, how long Silverman has been practicing medicine.

213 beds at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital.

186,000 patients served there every year. 2 hours, how long the facility was in a lockdown as hundreds of law enforcement personnel swarmed the facility.

I Don’t Get It: It’s pretty clear this is an instance of a person having a gun who had no business possessing one, with deadly results. Today’s Upper: Kudos to Dr. Lee Silverman, who returned fire and likely prevented further tragedy. Quote Box: “Without a doubt, I believe the doctor saves lives."

- Yeadon Police Chief Don Molineaux
Categories: Pennsylvania

The smoking guns of Mercy Fitzgerald

Fri, 2014-07-25 07:08
The door to my office is almost always open.

If it's closed, a buzz usually spreads through the newsroom. That's because the closed door often is a sign of bad news. It was again yesterday, but not for the reason you might think.

I was actually on a conference call along with our regional editorial board with Gov. Tom Corbett, who is in the midst of a statewide tour to push his quest to have the Legislature take up pension reform.

But toward the end of the call, a knock on the door interrupted me. Now, normally my staff does not deign to open that door when it is closed and they know I'm inside.

It better be pretty important.

It was.

Associate Editor Joe Hart handed me a note that indicated reports of shots being fired at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby Borough. We had two staffers, a reporter and photographer, en route.

The next couple of hours are a blew.

A few hours later - and after one of the worst nights of sleep I've had in a long time, including a recurring nightmare I just can't seem to shake - several things stand out to me.

First and foremost, please a life was lost in the Wellness Center across from Fitz yesterday. Let's not lose sight of that. Theresa Hunt, 53, a caseworker at the facility, was shot and killed. We mourn for her.

We also mourn for one more instance of gun violence. Only this time it hit home, right here in Delaware County.

I don't think there is much argument that this involves one more situation involving a person who clearly should not have had a gun.

The suspected shooter, Richard Plotts, from Upper Darby, is believed to have had serious mental issues as well as a long list of problems with the law.

It will make those who struggle with gun control issues in this country simply that much more exasperated.

But there is another angle you will no doubt hear about this story, one that is often pointed out by gun advocates.

When the gunfire broke out inside the Wellness Center, Plotts was stopped in large part because Dr. Lee Silverman returned fire on him with his own gun, according to Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan.

The two then struggled and spilled out into the hallway, where other staffers helped subdue the suspect.

We do not as yet know what touched off the altercation or what Plotts' motives were. We know gunshots were exchanged.

Hunt was killed. Silverman suffered a graze wound to the head, and returned fire, critically wounding Plotts.

We don't know if Plotts had any intention of shooting others in the facility.

Thankfully, we didn't find out, due to the actions of Dr. Silverman. Interestingly enough, the hospital apparently has a policy against employees - other than security or police - carrying firearms.

Yeadon chief Donald Molineaux did not hesitate to hail the doctor's actions.

He "without a doubt saved lives," the chief said. "Withouth that firearm, this guy could have went out in the hallway and just walked down the offices until he ran out of ammunition.

Don't think for a minute this scenario is not going to be repeated again and again by those who insist that the answer to stopping a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

I don't expect that argument to end anytime soon.

Call it the smoking guns of Mercy Fitzgerald, the day when the gun crisis in this nation once again hit home.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, July 24

Thu, 2014-07-24 08:07
The Daily Numbers: 29, age of McDonald’s worker in Radnor who now faces charges of selling crack cocaine from the parking lot.

11, age of youth who walked into Upper Darby Police substation to show authorities injuries he allegedly received from his mom, who is charged with beating him with her fists and a belt.

27 lacerations on the boy’s body.

45 members of the Chester Cheetahs track club who are headed to a national Junior Olympic competition in Iowa.

1.8 percent uptick in ridership on SEPTA’s regional rail lines.

36.7 million trips taken on the rail system in fiscal year 2013.

330 million riders on SEPTA’s trains, buses and trolleys

2.1 percent decline in ridership overall.

13 million dollar profit for Delta Air Lines’ Monroe Energy in the 2nd quarter.

889 million dollar profit for Delta in the quarter, fueled by the refinery.

600 registered nurses who continue to negotiate a new deal with Crozer-Chester Medical Center.

5.1 percent decline in home sales in Delco in 1st 6 months of 2014.

2,571 sales in that span here in Delco.

4,099 sales for Montco, 3,025 for Bucks and 2,713 for Chester County. All those are declines.

6 traffic judges in Philly acquitted on charges in a ticket-fixing case.

4 judges convicted of lying to authorities.

26 point dip for the stock market yesterday.

61 percent surge in revenue for Facebook in the quarter, up to $2.91 billion.

8 shutout innings from starter A.J. Burnett by the Phils, who fell 3-1 to the Giants.

2 straight nights Jonathan Papelbon has failed to get the job done.

7 hits for the Phils, who did not have Ryan Howard in the lineup.

4 straight losses for the Phils. They’ve now dropped 7 of last 8.

1 more day until start of Eagles Training Camp.

4 games to be missed by starting right tackle Lane Johnson, who got caught using a banned substance.

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

Jonathan Papelbon, who has been money in the bank all year, picked a very bad time to go in the tank. He suffered a 2nd straight meltdown last night, just as Ruben Amaro Jr. no doubt would like to move him for some prospects.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to those holding a fundraiser Saturday night for hit-run victim Christopher Brooks. He was badly injured, losing part of his right leg, and the fundraiser will help him acquire a prosthetic leg.

Quote Box: “He was essentially working at the McDonald’s and when not working on the crew and preparing food he was out in the rear parking lot selling crack cocaine.”

- Radnor Lt. Andy Block, on arrest of fast-food worker.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A salute to Wawa No. 1

Thu, 2014-07-24 07:28
We used our editorial page today to note the passing of a Delco icon.

The very first Wawa convenience store, located on MacDade Boulevard in Ridley, will close its doors when a new 'Super Wawa' opens its doors a couple of blocks away.

Wawa has managed to do something unique in business, something in fact that I hope this newspaper and website also have attained.

They've become an intimate part of their customers' lives.

We don't go to the convenience store. We make Wawa runs.

It's really that simple.

Here's our editorial salute to a little piece of Delco history.
Categories: Pennsylvania

It's time to vote for Best of Delco!

Thu, 2014-07-24 06:53
This is the day that a lot of Delco businesses wait patiently for each year.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines! Or at least your voting.

We kick off voting in our annual Best of Delco competition today.

Here's a story that runs down some of the new wrinkles in this year's competition, including one that I love that involves - what else? - selfies!

You can vote online here.

Paper ballots will be available at many local businesses and will appear in a special section that will be inserted in Friday's Daily Times.

Make sure your vote is counted!
Categories: Pennsylvania

Nothing going right for Amaro, Phils

Thu, 2014-07-24 06:32
Things just don't get any easier for Ruben Amaro Jr.

He brought back lefty ace Cliff Lee for a cameo appearance before the trade deadline and he got shelled. Lee likely will get just one more start before next week's trade deadline.

One of the very few chips Amaro has in his arsenal that could bring the Phils the prospects they so desperately need is closer Jonathan Papelbon. Unfortunately, the closer picked an awful time to careen off the tracks. For the second straight night, Papelbon was part of a 9th inning meltdown that cost the Phils a game.

In the meantime, the Phils wasted a gem from A.J. Burnett, who shut out the Giants for eight innings.

Dennis Deitch has all the details as this gruesome Phillies season threatens to go completely off a cliff.

In the meantime, we used our 'Live From the Newsroom' show last night to preview Eagles Training Camp.

Beat writer Bob Grotz was joined by local sports talk radio host Billy Werndl, from WCHE 1520-AM out in West Chester.

Both Grotz and Werndl expect the Birds to be a playoff team, but not quite Super Bowl material.

My special thanks to longtime Eagles season ticker holder Bob Rostron of Media, who joined us and gave us some great insight from a fan's view as expectations are running off the charts on what is a much-anticipated season.

If you missed the show, you can catch the replay here.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, July 23

Wed, 2014-07-23 07:48
The Daily Numbers: 15-30 years for 1 of 2 Chester brothers charged in the fatal shooting of a man in Darby Borough.

16,000-square-foot rail transfer box a company wants to build in Chester as part of its trash-burning expansion plans. The plan will not be voted on tonight by Chester City Council.

500,000 tons of municipal garbage Covanta wants to bring to Chester from New York City.

80 megawatts of electricity created from the trash burning.

0.2 general fund surplus for the county that led Standard & Poor’s to affirm its AA credit rating.

3rd DUI charge for a Philadelphia man after he was involved in a crash in Upper Darby.

34, age of Philly man charged in a road rage incident in Collingdale that police say escalated into a stabbing.

11 a.m., when a teen walking on Providence Road in Nether Providence reports a man tried to get her to get into his car.

2 hearings set Wednesday and Thursday on plans to construct pipeline to get oil being delivered by train to Eddystone to the Monroe Energy plant in Trainer.

7th death now being attributed to last summer’s deadly building collapse in Philly. A man who died several weeks later has filed suit.

0 flights from the U.S. to Tel Aviv yesterday after the FAA placed a 24-ban because of the fear of rockets near the airport.

61 point gain for the stock market despite international turmoil yesterday.

15 percent boost for Comcast revenue.

14 innings, how long it took for the Phils to fall to the Giants last night.

3rd blown save for Jonathan Papelbon, who surrendered a lead in the 9th to send the game to extra innings.

6-7 mark for the Phillies in extra inning game this year.

43-57 overall record for Phils, an ugly 14 games under .500

2 days until Eagles report to training camp

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

Eagles Training Camp can’t get here soon enough.

I Don’t Get It: How does someone who already has 2 DUI convictions get back behind the wheel while impaired? I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Delco, which had its AA credit rating affirmed by Standard & Poor’s

Quote Box: “I just want to say sorry to his mom.”

- Jermaine Roberts, after being sentenced in fatal shooting of Darby Borough man.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A pizza question for Delco history buffs

Wed, 2014-07-23 07:03
Today we have a question from a longtime reader.

I didn't know the answer so I thought I'd put it out there for our readers.

Pat Lane is trying to get some information on an old pizza shop in Chester. She believes it was on either Seventh and Morton or maybe Ninth and Morton in Chester back in the mid-'60s. It was called ReDavid's and may have had a bar attached.

Here's the kicker. Pat's mouth still waters for intoxicating mix of cheeses they used on their pies.

"To this day, I have never had a pizza as good as those from ReDavid," Par said.

I know how she feels. I'm a dedicated Grotto fan. Every time in Rehoboth (which is not nearly enough) I have to get my Grotto slice. Their pizza has a distinctive 'zing' to it from the combination of cheese they use. For some reason, it always tastes better at the beach. It doesn't seem as good in Wilmington or Newark.

Any how, can someone help Pat out? Post a comment and I will try to relay it to her.
Categories: Pennsylvania

'Live From the Newsroom' previews Eagles training camp

Wed, 2014-07-23 06:45
You can stick a fork in the Phillies. Last night's 14th inning loss was almost too painful to watch.

Even Jonathan Papelbon, who has beeen Mr. Dependable this year, coughed up a lead in the 9th and the Phils eventually fell in 14.

Luckily, we bring relief to suffering Philly fans.

The Eagles report for training camp in just two days.

That's right, Year Two of the Chip Kelly Era is on the horizon.

To celebrate, we’ll have our Eagles beat writer Bob Grotz join us tonight to preview the Birds Training Camp. Also on our Birds panel will be local sports radio talk show host Billy Werndl, a longtime presence in Philly sports media who hosts Sports Talk of Chester Couty on WCHE-1520 AM in West Chester, as well as a longtime season ticket holder, Bob Ristron.

We'll also tell you which practices will be open to fans, and whether or not you need tickets. Longtime fans will want to get the details on a special open practice the team will hold at their old home on the Penn campus. That, of course would be Franklin Field.

In the meantime, if you have a question you'd like answered about the Birds, email it to me at editor@delcotimes.com and I'll put it to our Eagles authority, Bob Grotz.

Then tune in at 7 and take part in our live chat.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, July 22

Tue, 2014-07-22 08:05
The Daily Numbers: 6 months, that’s how long a group has in Darby Borough to save a 25-year-old home many believe has significant historical ties.

75,000 dollars, how much the group needs to acquire the site from the developer.

35 residents who showed up last night for a public hearing on the planned demolition of the old Kent Mills in Clifton Heights.

15-1 margin when it comes to fundraising. That’s how much more U.S. Rep. Pat Meehan has raised compared to his Democratic challenger Mary Ellen Balchunis.

243,600 dollars raised in the period May 1 to June 30 by Meehan.

15,310 raised by Balchunis.

72, age of woman doing tutoring in her home who is being targeted by zoning officials in Upper Darby.

2.2 percent salary hike for administrators in the Upper Darby School District.

11:30 p.m., when a woman says she was held up at gunpoint as she got off the trolley in Aldan.

34, age of Marple man who entered plea in child porn case this week.

120 dollars and a gold necklace, what 2 men got during burglary in which they strangled a Philly couple to death.

4 state legislators who now face an ethics probe tied to allegations they accepted cash gifts.

190 million dollars, how much Johns Hopkins Health Systems in Baltimore is paying to settle suits brought by patients who were unknowingly videotaped by rogue doc during procedures.

25 Israeli soldiers now killed in the ground incursion into Gaza.

48 point decline for stock market yesterday.

14 hits last night for the Phils. Every one of them singles.

7-4 loss to the Giants.

6 runs on 12 hits in 5 2//3 innings for Cliff Lee in his return to the hill.

3 days until Eagles report for training camp.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.The Phillies are now using metal detectors on fans entering the park at one gate. If they’re looking for weapons of mass destruction, I think we can rule out the Phils’ bats.

I Don’t Get It: No one should have to deal with the grief heaped on the families of the victims of Malaysia Flight 17. The fact that they now can’t get the bodies of their loved ones back from Russia is almost beyond belief. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the community in Yeadon, Darby and Sharon Hill who are rallying to aid the victims of the fatal fire that took the lives of 4 children a few blocks away in Southwest Philly.

Quote Box: “I don’t want people to think I’m a coldhearted developer who does not care about the town and a history of that building.”

- Developer Davoud Baravordeh, who owns the historic property on Darby Terrace in Darby Borough. He’s going to give the community six months to raise the money to save the structure.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Long & 'shorti' of it: Delco losing a little piece of its history

Tue, 2014-07-22 07:22
There's something incredibly comforting about Wawa.

It's not a convenience store, it's a way of life. At least it is in this area. I'm sure the people out in the central part of the state feel the same way about Scheetz (even if we all know that Wawa is far superior, with perhaps the one asterisk being that you can actually buy beer in some Sheetz stores, at least the ones I hit when visiting my son in West Virginia).

It seems like every neighborhood has its own Wawa.

It becomes part of our daily routine, a part of our lives. I know that when I visit our little Wawa here in Primos every day at lunchtime, I see many of the same people. I'm greeted by name by the manager.

For some reason, other stores just don't have the same feel.

Maybe that's why there was such a reaction to the news that Delaware County is losing a little bit of its history, and that of Wawa as well.

The historic store No. 1, the very first Wawa outlet, on MacDade Boulevard in Ridley, is going to bite the dust. Last week we reported that a proposal for a new "super" Wawa has been given the green light for the intersection of MacDade Boulevard and Route 420.

When it opens, old No. 1 will close.

It was just a few weeks ago that company executives gathered at the old Folsom store to mark the 50th anniversary of its opening. The store opened its doors on April 16, 1964.

I thought the passing of the historic store merited a little more attention. So we did a follow-up story and splashed it all over Page One on Monday. The overline noted the end of an era: End of the line for historic Wawa store. I was responsible for the lead head: 1 ... & done. That's a play on words to denote the fact that the original No. 1 Wawa will close its doors. I also liked the head we used inside on the story on P. 3: "What's good for the goose: Wawa closing first store."

That of course is a reference to a question that always puzzles newcomers and visitors to the region: What the hell is a Wawa anyhow. We locals of course know Wawa is the native American word for the Canadian goose that was found in this area.

Of course once the story graced our front page, everyone jumped on it. It was all over TV and radio yesterday. The Inky also noted its passing.

Old No. 1 will remain open until the new super store opens.

Wawa spokesperson Susan Bratton put a good spin on it: "It will still be store No. 1 for us, even if it's a new store." She's the regional real estate manager for Wawa.

I have to admit I'm partial to the old Wawas. I wonder how long our little Wawa a block away here in Primos will be able to hold out.

I guess that's the price of progress.

Maybe you can call it the long and 'shorti' of it.
Categories: Pennsylvania

No weapons of mass destruction in this Phils' lineup

Tue, 2014-07-22 06:47
The Phillies are now utilizing metal detectors on fans as they enter Citizens Bank Park. Before they go through the gates, fans are scanned by the metal detectors at the right-field entrance to the park.

It's part of a security move by Major League Baseball. Next year all fans will be screened as they enter stadiums. The Phillies decided to get a jump-start on things and are testing the program at one gate, starting last night.

If they're looking for weapons of mass destruction, I think we can safely rule out the Phillies' bats.

Last night they rapped out 14 hits - every one of them singles.

Add to that a less than stellar outing by Cliff Lee in his return from the disabled list - and apparently in front of a slew of major league scouts in town to check him out as the trade deadline looms next week, and it was a not a good night for the Phils.

Lee was not sharp, just as he was in his last rehab start in Clearwater. The lefty got dinged for six runs on 12 hits in going just five and two-thirds innings. Just to rub a bit of salt in the wounds, three of those hits were by Hunter Pence, who once patrolled right field at Citizens Bank Park.

The Giants rolled, 7-4.

Where does this leave the Phils, and embattled GM Ruben Amaro Jr. Without a lot of options. There are reports out there that the Phillies have taken ace Cole Hamels off the market. That's probably a good thing. Pretty much everyone else on this roster is potential trade bait.

The problem is none of them is likely to bring much in return.

Lee didn't seem especially concerned about the idea of all those scouts in town to check him out.

"I could care less about the scouts in the stands or trade rumors or anything like that," Lee said.

Ruben Amaro doesn't have that luxury.

He's got to try to salvage this mess.

And he has nine days to do it.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Monday, July 21

Mon, 2014-07-21 08:09
The Daily Numbers: 50 years ago, when Wawa opened its 1st store on MacDade Boulevard in Ridley. The store will soon be closed when Wawa constructs a new Super Wawa.

12 kids from the Chester Boys and Girls Clubs who got the opportunity to try the country life on a visit to a horse farm in Garnet Valley.

1,000 jobs that will be coming to Concord with the building of a new shopping center and Wegmans supermarket at Routes 1 and 202.

187,000 square foot Wegmans story being planned, including a 5,900-square-foot patio for outdoor dining. 50 years marked this weekend by Karakung Swim Club in Haverford.

2 tenants in the Radnor Court complex, which is going on the market.

65 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers dead in Gaza strife.

86, age of TV and movie icon James Garner, who died on Sunday.

5.2 billion dollars, how much Atlantic City casinos made in 2006, just before legalized gambling came to Pa.

4.286 billion, what they took in last year.

36 years, how long gambling has been legal in Atlantic City.

1 casino, The Atlantic Club, shut down; 2 others, Showboat and Trump Plaza, that will close later this year.

1, Revel, seeking a buyer.

8-2 loss for the Phillies in Atlanta yesterday.

1 hour, 39 minute rain delay in the game.

5 innings for Kyle Kendrick, who gave up 6 runs on 5 hits.

2 walks and 2 hit batters for the shaky Kendrick, who saw his ERA rise to .487.

4-10 mark for Kendrick, whose spot in the starting rotation now seems to be in jeopardy.

4 days until the Eagles report to training camp.

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

After spending much of the afternoon listening to the travails of Kyle Kendrick I can safely say this: Eagles training camp can’t start soon enough.

I Don’t Get It: Everybody who does not think Russia was involved in shooting down that airline, raise your hands. I thought so. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the staff at All Riders Up, the horse farm in Garnet Valley which hosted a group of kids from Chester last week.

Quote Box: “It will still be store No. 1 for us, even though it’s a new store.”

- Wawa spokesperson Susan Bratton, the move to shutter the chain’s historic 1st store when it opens a new super store.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Delco's history in pictures

Mon, 2014-07-21 07:04
When it comes to Delaware County history, not many people know more than Keith Lockhart.

The retired police officer and lifelong Delco resident first became interested in the history of this county in his late teens.

A graduate of Penn State he has been collecting and researching the county's history for the last 40 some years. From maps, books and pictures he has put together one of the largest private collections of Delaware County History. He has written on the county's history in books, booklets and had a history column for Town Talk for over 15 years.

Lockhart serves on the board of the Colonial Plantation and the Delaware County Historical Society. He also gives lectures and presentations to numerous groups in the county.

With the county about to celebrate its 225th birthday in September, we decided to feature some of Keith's treasure trove of historical photos.

You can see a gallery of his images here.

We'll have more of them in the weeks leading up to what promises to be a bang-up 225th birthday celebration.
Categories: Pennsylvania

When it rains it pours for this Phillies team

Mon, 2014-07-21 06:46
I don't think it is a stretch to say this is not the way the Phillies wanted to start the second half.

Take away Cole Hamels' gem Saturday night in which he was almost unhittable, and the Phils went 0-for-Atlanta.

Yesterday things got ugly as the Braves battered Kyle Kendrick en route to an 8-2 win. And is there anything quite as frustrating as a one hour, 39 minute rain delay when you getting your behind kicked?

Kendrock was dreadful again. He went 5 innings, giving up 6 runs on 5 hits, in the process raising his ERA to 4.87 as he collected his 10th loss of the season. He also walked two and hit two other batters.

As Ruben Amaro Jr. decides which pieces he might want to try to move as the trade deadline looms in two weeks, you have to think Hamels is now off that list, unless somebody just overwhelms the Phils with an offer.

One name that might be on that list gets back on the hill tonight. Cliff Lee will be the starter as the Phils kick off a home stand against the San Francisco Giants at Citizens Bank Park.

It would be nice if Lee used these next couple of starts to show people he's fully recovered from the elbow strain that put him on the shelf. The problem is he got roughed up in his last rehab start in Clearwater.

The Phillies are 12 games under .500 at 43-55, 11 games out of first place in the NL East.

The only player they have who would command a king's ransom is Hamels, and he's probably the one player they should not move.

Amaro's task is not an easy one. He has an aging core of players who are starting to look every bit their age, and a young crew who have not played up to expectations. The minors? Forget about it, there's little help there.

Good thing the Eagles start camp later this week.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Friday, July 18

Fri, 2014-07-18 08:24
The Daily Numbers: 298 people on board Malaysian jet believed to have been shot down over the Ukraine.

2 air catastrophes this year involving Malaysian Airlines. There has still been no sign of jet that disappeared months ago.

1.2 million dollars, what the feds say the government was ripped off for by the head of a Folcroft business.

26 years practicing law for new Delco Common Pleas Judge Anthony Scanlon, who took the oath Thursday.

19, age of suspected carjacker who got more than he bargained for and wound up shooting himself while struggling with the victim.

90,000 cars a day that use I-495 in Wilmington, which has been closed for bridge repairs. Before his speech, he stopped for lunch at the Charcoal Pit on Route 202.

4 acre site on Route 420 at MacDade Boulevard that is being proposed for a new Super Wawa convenience store.

600 dollar hike in tuition for students at Temple University

18,000 jobs being cut by Microsoft.

161 point plunge yesterday for the Dow.

4.13 percent, average rate on 30-year mortgage.

89, age of Broadway legend Elaine Stritch, who died.

42-53, Phillies record as they kick off the 2nd half tonight in Atlanta.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Raise your hand if you’d like Tiger Woods to be in contention Sunday in the final round of the British Open? Yeah, me too.

I Don’t Get It: We now apparently live in a world where people actually will not think twice about shooting passenger planes out of the sky. Swell.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to those diners who were treated to a special lunch guest yesterday when President Obama decided to drop by the Charcoal Pit on Route 202 outside Wilmington.

Quote Box: “I thought I was on MSNBC-Live.”

- Diner at the Charcoal Pit amid the commotion of presidential visit.
Categories: Pennsylvania

No shortage of beefs with Obama - it's the 'Pits'

Fri, 2014-07-18 07:41
There are very few things I can count on in this business.

This is one of them.

There are a lot of people in this country who really, truly, deeply dislike the president.

A lot of them simply disagree with his policies. Others don't like him for other reasons.

An anonymous gentleman who leaves me a voice mail overnight several times a week made it clear this morning of his disgust with the president.

He believes we should apologize for our endorsement of Obama, and wonders if we're embarrassed.

I will admit that his second term has been disappointing. I have serious concerns about what happened at Benghazi as well as that IRS debacle. But I'm not about to go where this gentleman immediately went.

He said he understood "the demographics," and that we had to endorse Obama because our readership is largely black. This is the kind of sentiment I deal with every day.

I fear that we have lost respect for the office of the president. There was a time when no matter what you thought of the person residing in the White House, he commanded a modicum of respect. Every time I bring up that matter these days, Republicans remind me of the way the media went after and often mocked George W. Bush. I didn't, I tried to be respectful, but a lot of people did not.

On Thursday the president was due to come to Delaware to make a pitch for increased transportation funding, using the closed I-495 bridge in Wilmington as a backdrop.

On his way, his motorcade made a slight detour. He stopped at a place I've been many times, The Charcoal Pit down on Route 202, for lunch.

I immediately cobbled together a story and posted it on our website, as well as Facebook and Twitter.

The reaction was about what you might expect. The story exploded. It didn't take long for the comments to go where all too much of what is talked about with Obama wind up.

Look, I'll be the first to admit that I raised an eyebrow that the president did not change his plans after hearing of the Ukraine jet disaster.

If you want to disagree with him on those grounds, I have no problem with that.

But as usual, this kind of stuff went way beyond that, and simply devolved into name-calling and worse.

This is the world we live in.

Then again, I suppose you could say that in a world where 295 people were just shot out of the sky, Israel was launching a ground incursion into Gaza, and Microsoft was laying off 18,000 people, why the hell do we care about where the president went for lunch?

Welcome to my world.

It is Friday, isn't it?
Categories: Pennsylvania

Things to be thankful for: Growing up before there was an Internet

Fri, 2014-07-18 07:10
Two recent events remind me of something I am eternally grateful for - that I grew up before there was an Internet, and before capturing events on video was as simple as picking up your phone.

It is in that spirit that I am saddened by the death of one of my favorite rockers, blues legend Johnny Winter.

It reminded me again how old I am. I had a lot of music by both Winter and his brother Edgar. Unfortunately, they were all on 8-tracks. Yeah, I'm old.

It also reminded me of a stunt I pulled with a few friends in high school. It was pretty widely known in our circle that I did something of a mean Johnny Winter imitation. We once locked the doors to the high school auditorium while I did a hellacious imitation of Johnny Winter and his classic Rock 'n' Roll Hootchie Koo on stage, with the PA system cranked all the way up.

Mrs. McClure, the music teacher whose class we were supposed to be gracing, was not amused. Neither was the principal. Thankfully, there is no proof that we were every bit the knuckleheads we were rumored to be.

Just one more of my finer moments. Lawdy, mama, light my fuse!

Then just a few weeks ago, my daughter got married on a glorious Saturday.

You may not know it to look at all this gray hair, but I fashion myself as something of a great dancer.

My daughter had already warned her in-laws about me, and she banned me from the microphone, fearing what her old man might blurt out.

But she couldn't keep me off the dance floor.

As the festivities began to heat up, I approached the DJ and made my one request of the day.

Maybe you'll recognize it. If you were one of the faithful who used to flock to the best disco in the area back in the early '80s, I'm sure you will. Right around midnight they would crank this baby up at The Library on City Line Avenue and the place would go bonkers.

What the heck, it is Friday, and we could all use a little levity in our lives.

Thus, I give you the best dance song ever recorded. Enjoy.

So far, no video evidence of my performance at the reception has surfaced. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Categories: Pennsylvania

How I managed to get a parking ticket in the Daily Times lot

Fri, 2014-07-18 06:40
I've been pranked, or I guess today they refer to this as punk'd.

And I have to admit it was a pretty good one, pulled by my own staff, with the help of one of Upper Darby's finest.

This all started Tuesday afternoon as I was leaving the office. Naturally, just as I decided to head for the car, the skies opened up and it started to pour.

So I trudged back to my office, grabbed an umbrella, then braved the elements as I dashed to my car for what promised to be a soggy ride home.

That's when things took a decided turn for the worst. There was no mistaking the bright orange envelope stuck under my windshield wiper. Not much doubt about it, I had gotten a parking ticket.

Which was kind of interesting seeing as how my car had not left that parking spot in our company lot all day.

I juggled the umbrella and my brief case and snagged the envelope, which now was soaking wet.

It sure looked real, and it appeared I had received a parking ticket in the Daily Times parking lot.

Let me explain. Our parking lot is not in the best of shape. My personal parking spot (yeah, one of the perks of the job) happens to have a large depression right where my left front tire would sit. To avoid this I have taken to actually straddling the white line in the parking spot next to mine, which is not a problem since it's usually empty anyhow.

On Monday one of my staffers was taking a break in front of the building at the same time one of Upper Darby's finest was visiting the office.

As the officer exited, he was approached (notice there is no allegedlys being used in this saga)and agreed to take part in the ruse - a bogus parking ticket for the editor who was clearly double-parked.

Of course, no one bothered to let me in on the joke. So the next morning, with the ticket now dried out, I could make out that it was issued at 13:15 p.m. at 500 Mildred Ave. for double-parking.

Since I know that Mike Chitwood's guys are now active on social media, I fired off a tweet of my own: Very funny, @UDPolice, @ChiefMChitwood! I get a ticket for double parking in my own spot in the Times' parking lot? Tell me this is a prank!

It didn't take long for them to respond. It was news to them.

Later in the morning I got a call from Dave Madonna asking me to call him about this 'insane' parking ticket.

It was about that time that my staff came clean and admitted the prank. I quickly gave Madonna a call back and let him know.

The name of my staffer - and the officer - will not be released to protect the guilty.

Nice one, guys.

But you've been warned: I owe you one.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, July 17

Thu, 2014-07-17 07:42
The Daily Numbers: 24, age of suspect who will face trial for pushing a gun in the fact of the wife of Chester Mayor John Linder during a carjack attempt.

4-10 years in prison for a Chester Township man in the armed robbery of a pizza delivery man.

15, age of teen who took stand yesterday in the trial of a Chester man on trial for sexually assaulting him.

50 middle and high school kids from abroad who are spending some time in Delco as part of the Delco IU’s English Language Learners camp.

21 and 15, age of 2 suspects who face charges in armed holdup of a Dunkin Donuts in Concord.

52 million dollars, assessed value of the Granite Run Mall for 2013. That will be reduced to $42 million this year and $32 million next year.

1 more mosquito that tested positive for West Nile virus in Delco.

2 men shot in an ambush attack in the Fairhill section of Philly.

3 percent overall boost in revenue recorded by Pa. casinos this fiscal year, sparked by surge in table games play.

4.5 percent dip for the numbers for slot machines.

1.5 million dollars that will be saying in the pockets of Philly strip club owners now that a judge has nixed an attempt by the city to tax lap dances.

22, age of man charged with killing a recent college grad in Philly and then stuffing her body in a duffel bag. He lived in the same building.

27.4 billion dollars, how much tobacco firm Reynolds American is paying to acquire rival Lorillard.

77 point surge for the stock market yesterday.

1.3 billion dollars, what the Philadelphia Eagles are worth, according to Forbes Magazine.

17th place, where Eagles rank in terms of the world’s most valuable sports franchises.

37th place for the Phillies, with a value placed at $975 million.

3.4 billion for Real Madrid soccer team to claim the top spot.

2.5 billion for the Yankees, the highest-ranked American team, good for 4th place.

3-1 win for the Union over the Red Bulls in MLS action last night.

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

Don’t expect a miracle in the 2nd half from the Phillies. That’s the word from beat writer Dennis Deitch. And don’t expect an easy turnaround via trades at the trade deadline either. Ouch!

I Don’t Get It: A recent college grade walks in on an apparent burglary in her apartment in Philly and pays for it with her life. A man who lived in the building is now charged with her murder. His mother says he had “issues.” Ya think?

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the 30 kids who performed last night in ‘The Vocalist’ competition at Media Theatre. Outstanding!

Quote Box: “I started to back up, then I ran and I started screaming for help.”

- Jourdeana Linder, wife of Chester Mayor John Linder, detailing her carjacking ordeal in court yesterday.
Categories: Pennsylvania