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Updated: 3 hours 31 min ago

The Daily Numbers for Friday, Nov. 21

13 hours 39 min ago
The Daily Numbers: 10, age of boy missing in Sharon Hill since last night.

15 years, how long a Chester church has been honoring police and firefighters with an early Thanksgiving dinner.

9 months in prison for an Aston woman who entered a plea deal in the middle of her trial on charges she ripped off $600,000 from the business where she was a trusted employee.

13, age of youth who allegedly received pornographic images from a 29-year-old teacher’s aide.

1.6 percent cost-of-living pay hike for elected Pa. officials and some judges.

191,000 dollars a year, the salary for our governor.

3,000 dollar hike for appellate judges.

209,329 for the Supreme Court chief justice.

2 dead, 2 wounded in shooting inside home in Tabernacle, in South Jersey.

7 feet of snow in Buffalo that is causing roofs to collapse. Now they are expected rain over the weekend and fear widespread flooding.

21 years, how long it’s been since the Philly Fed recorded the kind of growth it reported this week.

4 straight losses for the Flyers.

45.4 seconds left when the Wild netted the game winner.

37 shots stopped by Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper.

27 saves for Ray Emery in goal for the Flyers.

72-65 win for Villanova hoops over feisty Bucknell squad.

16-game losing streak snapped by the Raiders, and they did it at the expense of Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs.

12-0 record for Springfield as they tangle with 11-1 Great Valley for the District 1 AAA football crown.

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

Nice to see Eric Lindros back in the Wells Fargo Center last night as he was inducted into the Flyers Hall of Fame, along with Legion of Doom linemate John LeClair.

I Don’t Get It: Another family tragedy, this time in South Jersey. No, we don’t have too many guns.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Lindros and LeClair, throwbacks to a time when the Flyers challenged for the Stanley Cup every year.

Quote Box: “I think it’s an easy case.”

John LeClair, arguing for why linemate Eric Lindros should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A new magazine in Chester - and the young people producing it

14 hours 6 min ago
I got some new competition last night.

We took our live-stream Internet show, 'Live From the Newsroom,' to the campus of Widener University in Chester to meet some young journalists.

They are the driving force behind a brand new magazine focusing on Chester.

It's part of the Magazine Writing course offered at Widener by adjunct professor Sam Starnes.

The kids were terrific.

They did all the writing, editing, photos and layout involved with this slick new mag. I was impressed.

My thanks to Professor Starnes, and in particular to the three students who joined us last night, Khlalil Williams of Chester; Maria Klcecko of Aston, and Devon Fiore, who hails from Lancaster.

Williams was especially impressive as he talked about what he hopes to accomplish with the magazine, shining a light on a side of the city where he grew up that does not often garner headlines.

Williams talked about the city's thriving arts community and what he sees as a bright future. He penned a column in the mag dealing with his belief in the city.

Klecko featured one of the great secrets of the city. That would be the Chester Children's Chorus.

Fiore wrote of one of the city's true icons, Crozer-Chester Medical Center and a very special fertility program that is helping young couples have children.

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

Journalism is in good hands with young people like this dynamite trio entering the field.

Thanks for a great night.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Deer me - they're everywhere!

14 hours 20 min ago
I've gotten pretty adept over the years at dodging my four-legged friends on my early-morning commute.

But this morning I saw something I have never seen before.

I know most of the trouble spots. Driving Providence Road from West Chester Pike to the Media Bypass can literally be like a slalom course many mornings, with deer seeming around every bend.

Thankfully there are a few tips I can offer. Your headlights are your best friend. When they hit the eyes of an animal - they can be seen far off in the distance.

Most important, remember this. If you see one deer dart across the road in front of you, by all means slow down or ever stop. Guaranteed there are several coming right behind the lead Bambi.

But none of that prepared me for what I saw this morning - on Bishop Avenue of all places.

I don't usually go down Bishop, from Baltimore Pike to Providence Road, but for some reason Oak Avenue, my normal route, was closed off by PECO trucks this a.m. So I had to circle back to Bishop. I was making my way down the hill and approaching the Media-Elwyn railroad tracks when what wanders out into the road? Yep, a full-grown deer, with a couple of pals in tow. They strolled across Bishop and ambled through a yard along the railroad tracks. Maybe they were headed for North Park nearby in Springfield. But I have never seen deer in this area of Upper Darby before.

If they were looking for the Bazaar of All Nations, they were a few years late.

Be careful out there.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The return of Eric Lindros

14 hours 42 min ago
I was just getting over the idea of playing second fiddle.

Last night it all came rushing back again.

That's what happens when you're married to the world's biggest Eric Lindros fan.

The Big E was back in town last night, along with his Flyers' Legion of Doom buddy John LeClair. They were inducted together into the Flyers Hall of Fame.

By every appearance - with the possible exception being the notable absence of Lindros' mother and father - the long, twisted tale of separation that led to one of the ugliest breakups in Philly sports history is just that - history.

Lindros spent the day doing interviews and TV spots, and then he and LeClair soaked up the adulation in an hour-long pre-game celebration.

Lindros suffered the same mythic fate as so many titans of lore, seemingly invincible, but with a fatal flaw.

Lindros possessed a rare combination of brute strength, finesse and skill, a mix rarely if ever seen in a superstar.

He was at times a bull in a china shop, and at others the deft, skilled passer who set up LeClair again and again as they tortured opponents.

But the bull in the china shop shared another tragic fate, a vulnerability to breaking.

Lindros became the early poster boy for the problem of concussion in sports.

The vision of him being laid out at mid-ice in a playoff game by Scott Stevens of the Devils haunts still.

Then there were the bitter accusations between Lindros, his parents, and the Flyers' organization, including the belief that his injuries had been mishandled.

Eventually he was banished to New York, of all places, to the Rangers.

But last night Lindros was back where he belonged.

So was my wife.

She never missed a minute of his games. And she has not watched a minute since he left. The bitterness was not carried just by the Lindros family.

I'm not sure my wife will ever forgive her one-time hero, the guy who Lindros so emulated, Bobby Clarke. She also has no great feelings for Flyers owner Ed Snider.

But she has remained true to Lindros.

Last night she was smiling as he watched her hero return to the building that was built largely on his shoulders.

Welcome back, Eric.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Thursday, Nov. 20

Thu, 2014-11-20 08:26
The Daily Numbers: 90 pounds of pot delivered to a business address in Upper Darby. Police are investigating who sent it and who it was supposed to go to, because the business owner doesn’t know anything about it.

90,000 dollar streel value of the high-grade pot that was shipped from California.

18, age of man facing rape charge in connection with the rape of a 5-year-old girl. He also is alleged to have given the girl a sexually transmitted disease.

20, age of man in Upper Darby who faces charges for ripping off a delivery from the front porch of a neighborhood house. 2nd DUI charge for a woman who is facing trial in a fatal DUI incident.

2 deer hunts set for Ridley Creek State Park on Dec. 4 and 11.

20, age of Villanova student facing a sex assault charge connected to an incident that a woman reported happened last summer in Milwaukee, Wis.

2 more Dem names seeking to be next mayor of Philly. Those would be former D.A. Lynne Abraham, and Sen. Anthony Williams, D-8, who represents a part of Delco.

125 baggage handlers at Philadelphia International Airport who walked off job in 1-day protest this morning.

5.5 feet of snow that has paralyzed the Buffalo area.

8 deaths being blamed on the epic early snow storm.

110 million dollar deal to buy the Revel Casino in Atlantic City that looks like it has fallen through.

200,000 dollar fine against Valley Forge Casino for series of violations including allowing underage gamblers.

83, age of famed movie director Mike Nichols, who has died.

11 straight losses for the Sixers.

101-90 win for the Celtics, who raise their mark to 4-6.

2-0 loss for the Flyers, who got blanked by the Rangers’ backup goalie.

31 shots by Flyers that failed to find the net.

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

The Sixers continue to be perfect - a perfect 0-11 that is. I Don’t Get It: Let me see if I understand this. You are facing trial for a DUI crash and police say you have been involved in another DUI event. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the kids at St. Francis of Assisi in Springfield, who are celebrating their connection to the visit next year by Pope Francis.

Quote Box: “I did it.”

- suspect in theft of items delivered to front porch of home in Upper Darby.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Chester has a new magazine!

Thu, 2014-11-20 07:28
The city of Chester has something new to read - besides of course its daily dose of the Daily Times.

The city has a new magazine, aptly named Chester, the work of students at Widener University.

They are taking the wraps off the glossy new mag this afternoon. Tonight, we will be on the Widener campus to do our live-stream Internet show, 'Live From the Newsroom,' and we'll meet the people behind this new literary effort.

Before tonight's show, the Chester community will celebrate the debut issue of the mag, which is both an online and print publication about the city produced by Widener University students, during a public reception at Widener University’s Freedom Hall at 4 p.m.

Stories in the magazine include a photo essay about the city, profiles of the Chester Children’s Chorus, the Laran Bronze Inc. foundry, a fertility doctor at the Crozer-Chester Medical Center, Phatso’s Bakery and other Chester eateries, and a story about the city’s plans for a cultural corridor.

All of the stories were planned, reported, written, edited and illustrated by five Widener communication studies majors: Jason Bishop of Delran, N.J.; Devon Fiore of Lancaster, Pa.; Brittany Kade of Quakertown, Pa.; Maria Klecko of Aston, Pa. (double majoring in English); and Khalil Williams of Chester, Pa.

The students were all enrolled in Magazine Journalism, a spring 2014 class taught by Sam Starnes, editor of Widener Magazine, marketing writer for the university, and adjunct professor of the Magazine Journalism course.

Williams, who was born and raised in Chester, said the experience of working on the magazine gave him a new perspective on his home town. “I feel that Chester has the potential to grow, because there are people who are passionate and interested in seeing the city be better,” he wrote in a column for the magazine. “Between the opportunities that this city has to what’s available now, I feel that it can be full of life again.”

The project earned the support of Chester Mayor John Linder, who led the students on a tour of the city at the beginning of the project. Linder said Chester magazine can serve as a valuable marketing tool to attract businesses and investment in the city.

“The Widener students did an excellent job bringing to life some of outstanding businesses, organizations and culture that Chester has to offer,” Linder said. “We are excited about the future of the city, and this magazine helps us tell that story. This is a great example of the growth of Chester’s public private partnerships with our prestigious anchor institutions, such as Widener University.”

Over the summer, Autumn Heisler, a senior English and creative writing major, edited the copy for the magazine. Nathalie Franzini-Hidalgo, a senior communication studies and psychology major who studied graphic design with senior lecturer Tim Scepansky, designed the magazine under the guidance of Melanie Franz, a senior graphic designer at Widener.

The university awarded the class a $1,000 Schmutz Student Engagement Mini Grant to produce the magazine. The grant is distributed annually to support undergraduate student-led projects that focus on Ches­ter and are developed in collaboration with a Chester community partner to address the city’s needs. John F. Schmutz, Esquire, donor of the grant, serves on Widener’s Board of Trustees and is a retired senior vice president and general counsel for E. I. DuPont Nemours and Company.

The magazine is being printed in limited numbers, but it can also be viewed online at www.widener.edu/chestermagazine.

Klecko, Williams, Fiore, and Starnes will join us for tonight's show.

Join the conversation tonight at 7.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A classic Ray Didinger-Daily Times story

Thu, 2014-11-20 06:54
I was in the presence of greatness yesterday.

There are not many people in this business I respect more than Ray Didinger.

First, I'm a die-hard Eagles fan. I can admit that as soon as the Eagles game is over I turn on "Eagles Post-Game Live" on Comcast SportsNet. I don't do that to hear Michael Barkann, although I admire the way he runs the show. I don't do it to hear former Gov. Ed Rendell, the voice of the fans. I don't do it to hear the insight of Brian Westbrook, a fairly adroit former player.

I do it to hear Ray Didinger break down the game.

No one knows more about the Eagles, or football in general.

I was a guest speaker at the monthly luncheon of the Delaware County Press Club. Actually I was second fiddle. I'm sure most of the people in the packed room came to hear Ray.

As I mentioned in the blog yesterday, Ray and I have one thing in common. We're both Daily Times veterans. That's right, Ray started what would be a Hall of Fame career at the Daily Times.

Yesterday he kicked off his comments with a great anecdote about his year at the Daily Times that kickstarted a career that would take him to the Evening Bulletin, Daily News, NFL Films and the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Ray, just out of Temple, actually was hired by Art Mayhew for an opening on the news side. That didn't dull his dream of being a sports writer, so he would cover high school football games on the weekends.

As Ray explained it, he was covering some of the lesser games of the weekend for a few weeks when he thought he would push his luck and seek a bit more high-profile game.

He approached then sports editor Ed Gebhart (who still pens a Sunday column for the Daily Times) and asked if he might not be assigned a Ridley game, one of the best teams in the county.

Gebhart peered up and in his best crusty editor's voice intoned, "You're not ready for Ridley."

Some four decades later, after he entered the sports writer's wing of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, he got home to a stack of congratulatory mail. The first letter he saw caught his attention because it had a Chester postmark.

Inside the card was this quote: "OK, I guess you're ready for Ridley."

It was from Ed Gebhart.

Thanks for a great afternoon, Ray.

The Daily Times is immensely proud of one of our finest alums.

CLICK HERE to get a piece of Ray's analysis of last week's Eagles fiasco vs. the Packers.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, Nov. 19

Wed, 2014-11-19 08:21
The Daily Numbers: 415 million dollar project at 9th and Packer that snagged the prized 2nd casino license in Philly yesterday.

2,000 slot machines and 125 table games at the facility, across the street from the stadium complex at the old Holiday Inn site.

300 room hotel, 2,600 parking spaces included.

12 miles up I-95 from Harrah’s in Chester, which opposed the move.

19 percent dip in table games revenue at Harrah’s in October.

4.9 million dollars today, down from $6 million a year ago.

15 months, how long officials believe it will take Live! to be open for business once the shovels hit the ground.

44,000 dollars, how much police believe a Prospect Park woman swindled from an 84-year-old man. She didn’t show up in court yesterday. Her attorney says she has been hospitalized.

5 to 15 years in state prison for the leader of the Preppie Pot Ring on the Main Line.

11 people involved in the ring, which dubbed itself the Main Line Take Over. They all entered pleas in the case.

135 dollars, value of package stolen from an Upper Darby porch by a man carrying a child. It’s that time of year, and police are warning of thieves that follow delivery trucks into neighborhoods to steal packages left on doorsteps.

55, age of woman on trial this week for allegedly stealing more than $600,000 from her employer in Aston.

2 people facing charges in a gunfight in Chester Township.

22 degrees, our low this morning.

20, the record, set back in 1936.

43, expected high later today.

70, what we might hit on Monday.

4 feet of snow that has buried some parts of western New York.

6 people believed dead in the storm.

2 more feet of snow that could fall before the storm clears.

50 news stores coming to the King of Prussia Mall.

4 people killed in an attack on synagogue in Jerusalem.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.The Sixers actually might get a win tonight, when they play the Celtics at the Wells Fargo Center. Boston is 3-6. The Sixers are 0-10. How far these two fabled franchises have fallen.

I Don’t Get It: The porn scandal in the attorney general’s office just got uglier, if that’s possible. Attorney General Kathleen Kane now says some of the images swapped by her employees involved children. Nice.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the people of Buffalo, N.Y. I have no idea how they survive winter.

Quote Box: “This is the least desirable application for Harrah’s.”

- County Councilman John McBlain, reacting to news that a second casino license in the city had been awarded for a spot at the South Philly sports complex.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A losing bet for Delco & Harrah's

Wed, 2014-11-19 07:42
A couple of years ago, Harrah's, the people who run the casino in Chester, decided to drop the city's name from its moniker.

They're now known as Harrah's Philadelphia, even though I take every opportunity to point out they are still located in Chester, even if they are within spitting distance of the Eddystone line.

This morning Harrah's probably is not all that enamored of its Philly ties.

That's because they have new competition.

Despite a full-court press by Chester city and county officials, the state Gaming Control Board yesterday awarded the second gaming license for Philadelphia to a group that wants to build a casino near the South Philly sports complex.

Live! Hotel & Casino is ticketed for the site of the Holiday Inn and Packer and Darien Street, basically across the street from the stadiums.

And just a short, 12-mile ride up I-95 from Harrah's.

It is being backed by Greenwood Gaming & Entertainment Inc., which runs Parx Casino in Bucks County, and the Cordish Group.

Delaware County Council urged the Gaming Control Board to delay their decision. It also was opposed by Chester Mayor John Linder and state Rep. Thaddeus Kirkland, D-159, of Chester. Harrah's, which has seen revenue in a steady decline, said the addition of another casino that close would be ominous.

Well, it just got ominous.

County Councilman John McBLain, who has become the voice of County Council in this battle, was at the Convention Center downtown for yesterday's announcement.

That's him on today's Page One, right under the headline, "Snake Eyes."

That's not a reference to McBlain, rather the fact that the county was dealt a losing hand.

The economic effect will reverberate through Chester and the county.

Harrah's and local officials argued that the region had reached the "saturation point," in terms of gaming, and the addition of another casino would simply amount to "cannibalizing" the existing gaming meccas. In other word, instead of creating new customers, the new spot would simply attract existing ones from other gaming halls.

I guess the folks at SugarHouse, the city's existing casino, which is just a little farther up I-95, feel the same way.

Will yesterday's ruling be appealed, and eventually wind up in court.

I think you can bet on it.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Ray Didinger & me

Wed, 2014-11-19 07:14
You probably would not guess that Ray Didinger and I share a very important bond.

No, it's not our football expertise.

Ray is widely acknowledged as one of the region's bona fide authorities on the NFL and the Eagles.

Me? I'm just a frustrated sports writer at heart. I usually manage to include my sports rants in my blog, The Heron's Nest, including my Saturday prediction for the Birds, which I have coined "The Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick."

None of that is what links Ray and I.

What you may not know is that Didinger, the guy you tune to on Comcast as soon as the Eagles game is over for his analysis on "Post-Game Live," has Delco in his blood.

He's a St. James grad who went on to write for the Evening Bulletin and the Daily News.

But Ray started his career at the Daily Times, covering high school football.

He's been named Pennsylvania Sportswriter of the Year five times by the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association. In 1995, he won the Dick McCann Award for long and distinguished coverage of pro football, and his name was added to the writers' honor roll in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.

Didinger won six Emmy Awards as a producer and writer with NFL Films. He is the author of ten books on sports, including his three most recent bestsellers: "The New Eagles Encyclopedia," "One Last Read," and "The Ultimate Book of Sports Movies."

These days you can hear his analysis on on SportsRadio 94-WIP sports, KYW news radio, and Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, where he is a regular panelist on the television shows Eagles Post-Game Live, Eagles Extra, and Philly Sports Talk.

Today Ray will be the guest speaker at the monthly luncheon of the Delaware County Press Club.

I will be sharing the dais with him. They invited me to talk about the recent redesign of the newspaper. Gee, and I thought they wanted me to explain what the hell happened to the Eagles in Green Bay.

I guess that is best left to Ray.

If you want stop by, feel free. It's at noon at the Towne House in Media.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A cold slap in the face

Wed, 2014-11-19 06:48
I hate cold weather.

That's not exactly a secret. I grit my teeth every year as the leaves start to change color, because as beautiful as it is, I know what it portends.

It means mornings like this morning.

Of the many new gizmos that are part of today's cars is a temperature gauge built into most dashboards.

This morning when I slid behind the wheel it was reading 18 degrees. Once I pulled out onto the road it dipped to 16.

We are in the midst of a record-challenging cold snap - and winter does not arrive officially for another month.

The record low for today is 20 degrees, set back in 1936. They apparently have matched that at the airport. So far the official Philly temperature is 22 degrees.

How cold was it this morning? Apparently too cold even for Bambi.

I have gotten used to dodging the deer that insist on sharing the roads with me on my early-morning commute. I usually see four or five of them each day, in particular along Providence Road as it ambles from West Chester Pike to the the Media Bypass. It's a notorious stretch.

This morning I did not have a single sighting. I guess that shows deer are a hell of a lot smarter than a newspaper editor.

Then again, in my line of work, you caution yourself that things could always be worse.

Think Buffalo, N.Y.

They are being buried in feet - not inches - of lake-effect snow. Some areas are getting as much as 4 feet or more of snow, with more on the way.

When I die, if the powers that be decide I need some time in purgatory, I know where they are going to send me. There is another change on the way, of course.

Temperatures are expected to moderate as we head toward the weekend. We could be in the 60s by Sunday and a chance of actually cracking 70 on Monday, with rain.

Maybe it's global warming.

I hope so. It's way too early for the conditions out there this morning.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, Nov. 18

Tue, 2014-11-18 08:22
The Daily Numbers: 417 million dollar economic impact coming to Philly along with Pope Francis when he visits for World Meeting on Families next September.

45 million dollar cost to put it on. Half of that has already been raised.

11,500 hotel rooms in the city.

40,000 in the region. They’re all expected to be booked solid.

2 million people that could attend outdoor Mass to close out the conference.

10,000 Catholic schoolchildren in the Philly area who wrote the pontiff letters urging him to attend.

2nd casino license for Philadelphia could be awarded today.

4 finalists, including the favorite, which would put the new gambling mecca near the South Philly sports complex.

12 miles up I-95 from Harrah’s in Chester to the 9th and Packer site. That’s one of the reason why Harrah’s is opposing the move.

20 pounds, what an abused pit bull weighed when she was rescued from yard in Chester. She’s been nursed back to health by the Delco SPCA and is now ready to be adopted.

600,000 dollars at the heart of charges filed against an Aston woman believed to have ripped off the company she worked for.

0 tax hike in the preliminary budget for Trainer Borough.

40 applications for charter schools received by Philadelphia School District.

27 degrees, the low overnight.

32, the expected high today.

20, expected low overnight and into tomorrow morning. That would tie the record for the date.

10 straight losses to open the season for the Sixers.

25 point loss last night as they fall 100-75 to Spurs.

27-24 loss for the Titans, who the Eagles play on Sunday at the Linc, to the Steelers in Monday Night Football.

52-27 win for Delco Christian as they capture District One/12 Class A football crown.

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

How games can the Sixers lose in a row to start the season. The 1972-73 Sixers, who set the mark for futility with their epic 9-73 season, lost their first 15 games. That mark looks to be in serious jeopardy.

I Don’t Get It: Kathleen Kane. The state’s attorney general is in the headlines again. This time she says her office is the target of a grand jury investigation, but that she is the real victim in this case. I don’t get it.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Delco Christian for capturing the District One/12 Class A football crown.

Quote Box: “Even if the pope weren’t coming, it would be a huge event that week. With the pole coming, it kind of puts it in the stratosphere.”

- Rev. James Olson, president of Monsignor Bonner-Archbishop Prendergast High School, on word Pope Francis is coming for the World Meeting on Families in September.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Sure bet: Controversy to follow today's casino announcement

Tue, 2014-11-18 07:43
It's crunch time for the region's gambling meccas.

The state Gaming Control Board will convene at 1 o'clock in Philadelphia, at which time they are expected to announce their decision in awarding the city's second casino license.

Every indication is that it will go to the group boosting the Live! Hotel & Casino at 9th and Packer in South Philly, near the sports complex.

That's exactly 12 miles up I-95 from Harrah's in Chester.

And that is just one of the reasons why Harrah's, as well as officials in both Chester and Delaware County believe it's a bad idea. They all want the board to delay the decision.

So do residents in South Philly who are not thrilled with the idea of having a casino as a neighbor.

Then there's the city's existing casino. That would be SugarHouse. As you can guess, they don't want any more competition either.

Without question the entity most in danger is Harrah's in Chester.

Their revenue has been declining as more and more casinos joined the fray. They got hurt when Parx opened in Bucks County, and again when a smaller casino opened in King of Prussia.

Slots play at Harrah's has been going in reverse for years. Now a similar trend is hitting their table games action. The Gaming Control Board yesterday reported that table games revenue at Harrah's was down 19 percent from a year ago, from $6 million to $4.9 million this year.

Harrah's provides a big chunk of revenue for the city of Chester. It's also one of the city's bigger employers.

In other words, there will be a lot of nervous people around 1 o'clock this afternoon.

You might say it's a sure bet.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Pope's visit will be economic blockbuster

Tue, 2014-11-18 07:18
Have you heard? The pope is coming.

Pope Francis made it official in the middle of the night early Monday, confirming that he will come to Philadelphia in September for the World Meeting of Families.

Part of the festivities will be an outdoor Mass on Logan Circle on the Ben Franklin Parkway, reminiscent of the glorious sight of Pope John Paul II celebrating Mass with more than a million of his closest friends back in 1979.

This time conference leaders are saying the throng could hit the two million mark.

The conference will be an economic blockbuster for the region. Expect hotel rooms for that week to start disappearing fast. The guess here is that hotel rooms in Delco also will be sold out.

To find out how Delco reacted to the news, click here.

Even though it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that the pontiff would attend, it's still big news, for a lot of reasons. The eyes of the world will focus on Philly for the World Meeting of Families, set for Sept. 22-27. The pope is, after all, a head of state, that being the Vatican.

He's also leader of the world's millions of Catholics and will draw people from across the globe to Philly.

Then there is the economic jolt the pope will provide. As well as the cost. The confab is expected to cost $45 million, including some seriously beef-ed up security. Half of that already has been raised, according to the organizing committee.

But that's nothing when compared to the economic benefits. The weeklong event will have an economic impact in the neighborhood of $417 million, according to Jack Ferguson, CEO of the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Hotels will be packed. There are 11,500 hotels rooms in the city and about 40,000 across the region, including Delaware County. It's likely they all will be booked solid. Committee members yesterday indicated they likely will be looking for "host families" to house some people who can't find rooms.

The host families were stressed by Donna Farrell, who is serving as executive director for the World Meeting of Families. She's a Delco girl, who lives in Springfield.

"Without that (the host families), we cannot accommodate all of our visitors coming from all over the world," Farrell said.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Sixers are a perfect 10 - uh, never mind

Tue, 2014-11-18 06:44
The Sixers remain perfect.

A perfect 0-10 that is.

Last night they got blown out again, this time by the Spurs in San Antonio. The final was 100-75.

Once again Michael Carter Williams and Nerlins Noel did not start the game. I'm not quite sure I understand this, if it's possible to understand anything the Sixers do as they tank a second consecutive season as a means to gain the kind of high draft picks they believe they need to become a championship contender.

In case you're wondering, that infamous 9-73 Sixers team that set the mark for losing in 1972-73 lost their first 15 games of the season. I'd say that mark is in serious jeopardy from this bunch.

It's clear the owners don't care about winning, at least not this year. They want people to be patient, to see the bigger picture. Unfortunately, the bigger picture does not come with a guarantee.

Nerlins Noel is offering scant evidence that he is going to be a difference-maker.

Joel Embiid is not playing.

How are those high draft picks working out for you so far?
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, Nov. 17 (Eagles Edition)

Mon, 2014-11-17 08:07
The Daily Numbers: 53-20 demolition of the Eagles by the Packers at Lambeau Field. It wasn’t that close.

17-0 at end of 1st quarter.

30-6 at halftime.

22 of 36 for packers QB Aaron Rodgers.

26 of 44 for 346 yards for Eagles QB Mark Sanchez.

2 interceptions also tossed by Sanchez, 1 of which was returned for a TD.

23 carries for 88 yards for LeSean McCoy.

2 carries for Darren Sproles.

75 yard punt return for TD by Packers Micah Hyde.

0-3 mark for the Eagles this year in 4 o’clock games.

4 straight wins at Lambeau by more than 21 points for the Pack.

288 straight passes at home with an interception, Tom Brady’s record that was broken by Rodgers yesterday. The streak now sits at 322.

9 catches for Jeremy Maclin.

10 catches for Rndall Cobb to lead the Pack.

27 yard TD for Jordy Nelson, 1 of his 4 catches for 109 yards.

2nd start for Sanchez, who looked more like the Jets version.

6 turnovers for Sanchez in his 2 games as an Eagle.

28 degree temperature at kickoff for the game, with snow flurries. And a cold slap in the face for Eagles.

138.1 passer rating for Rodgers in 5 games at Lambeau this year.

22 TD passes surrendered by Eagles defense so far this year.

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

It was a statement game, just not the one the Eagles probably had in mind.

I Don’t Get It: The only shot the Eagles had was to try to control the clock with their running game, keeping Rodgers off the field. Didn’t happen.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Rodgers. Right now he’s the best in the business.

Quote Box: “None of us played where we needed to play against this team.”

- Coach Chip Kelly
Categories: Pennsylvania

Eagles exposed in Lambeau

Mon, 2014-11-17 07:37
I mentioned in my Saturday blog, which I refer to during the football season as 'The Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick' that the Eagles were looking at a statement game at Lambeau Field in Green Bay on Sunday.

They made a statement, alright. Just not the one I think they envisioned.

I did not expect the Eagles to win. In fact, I picked the Packers. But I did expect the Eagles to be competitive. They were not.

Not at any point in a 53-20 demolition on the "frozen tundra" were the Eagles in the game.

Kicker Cody Parkey lost his balance on the opening kickoff. It went downhill from there.

The Eagles had no answer for Aaron Rodgers and the Packers attack. This one was over early. It was 17-0 at the end of the 1st quarter and 3-6 at halftime.

You might remember that last year when the Eagles visited Lambeau, Rodgers was on the sideline as the Eagles escaped with a win.

They were not nearly as lucky Sunday. Rodgers picked the Eagles defense apart. They got zero pressure on him and Rodgers methodically carved up the Birds.

Rodgers went 22 of 36 for 341 yards before giving way to his backup. He could have been lifted at halftime. The final was 53-20, and it wasn't that close.

Of offense, the Eagles never got anything going, and Mark Sanchez reverted to the turnover machine he developed a reputation for with the Jets. Of course, he was under siege most of the afternoon, including taking a couple of vicious helmet-to-helmet shots that for some reason did not draw a penalty.

The Eagles had one shot to win this game. They needed to control the game with their rushing attack, keeping Rodgers and the Packers off the field. It didn't happen. The results were predictable.

The loss drops the Eagles to 7-3, still tied with the Dallas Cowboys atop the NFC East. Dallas did not play yesterday, and the first of their two dates looms on Thanksgiving Day.

In the meantime, the Eagles will lick their wounds and prepare for the Titans, who come to the Linc Sunday at 1.

But the more troubling aspect of yesterday's debacle is this: This was more than just one loss. It leaves you with a question of just how good this Eagles team is, and how they stack up against the other potential playoff teams.

The ugly answer is this. They're just not that good.Especially on defense. If they can't get pressure on a good quarterback, this team's secondary will be exposed, just as they were yesterday.

After yesterday's shellacking, it's entirely possible this team might not make the playoffs.

And realistically, even if they do, how far can they go.

The answer is not very far.

They went to Lambeau Field and faced the best quarterback playing in the league right now.

It was not pretty.

It's probably not the last time they will be overmatched this year.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Pope Francis is coming to Philly

Mon, 2014-11-17 07:06
These people take this 24-hour news cycle pretty seriously.

I awoke at the ungodly hour I get up each morning expecting to be besieged by manic Eagles fans lamenting the Birds' dismal showing in Green Bay.

That will be addressed in another blog item.

As usual, the news had other ideas.

Just as I was making the coffee, I heard the familiar "alert" that accompanies breaking news on KYW Newsradio.

While it had been widely reported and expected for months, it was now official.

Pope Francis formally announced that will be coming to Philadelphia in September next year for the World Meeting on Families. He is expected to offer an outdoor Mass at Logan Square on the Ben Franklin Parkway.

The last time that happened, when Pope John Paul II visted in October 1979, more than a million people gathered to see and hear the pontiff.

This time that number is expected to balloon to maybe two million people.

You can read all the details here.

And click here for information on the World Meeting of Families.

Delaware County has a big connection to the papal visit. Donna Farrell, of Springfield, who used to head communications for the archdiocese, is heading the committee charged with the massive undertaking of planning the conference and the pope's visit here to the City of Brotherly Love. We'll talk to her later today. Make sure you check back to DelcoTimes.com for updates.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A visit to Upper Darby High

Mon, 2014-11-17 06:50
Some of the kids, parents and staff at Upper Darby High School believe they get a bad rap.

I recently paid a visit to the school at the invitation of the Home and School Association. I met a lot of great young people who prove what almost every school administrator can tell you. It's always the 1 percent making trouble whose stories make the newspaper.

That's another part of what we talked about.

It's in my Monday print column.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Dreaded Saturday Eagles Pick

Sat, 2014-11-15 08:12
Now comes the hard part.

Throttling a one-legged Cam Newton in front of a national TV audience was nice, doing the same to Mr. Double-Check himself Aaron Rodgers on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field is something else altogether.

This is a statement game.

Unfortunately for the Birds, I think it will be Rodgers making the statement.

The Eagles best chance is something that Chip Kelly and their offense has not really done consistently this year.

That is run the ball, in the process keep Rodgers on the sidelines. Kelly has been pretty much pass-happy. That too often leads to turnovers, something first-time starter Mark Sanchez avoided last week.

I like Sanchez, although I would like him a lot more if he was under center rather than in the shotgun. I think the run game suffers for some reason in the shotgun.

This should be a day for LeSean McCoy and his partners in grime, Darren Sproles and Chris Polk. The Packers are susceptible to the run, but Kelly has to commit to it early, and stick with it even if he doesn’t have initial success. Unfortunately, in the meantime Rodgers likely will be putting points on the board. The Eagles’ defense has played better than accepted this year, shutting down some teams entirely, while showing a weakness for the big play.

That could prove deadly vs. Rodgers.

I’d love to pick the Birds here, and I’m not saying it’s impossible, but still fairly improbable. There is also the matter of the Pack likely smarting just a bit from last year, when the Eagles beat them on that same field while Rodgers was on the shelf.

I’ll go with Rodgers.

But if the Eagles go into Lambeau and come away with a win, brace yourself for a serious case of Super Bowl Fever.

The Pick: Make it Packers 33, Eagles 24. Mark Sanchez is a very good guy to have around when your starter goes down. He is not Aaron Rodgers.

Season Record: I loved Mark Sanchez in his debut vs. the Panthers. He didn’t disappoint and the win made lifted the Birds to a lofty 7-2 on the season. I was on board and managed to lift my record to 6-3. We’re parting ways again this week.

Game by Game: Eagles 45, Panthers 21 (My Pick: Eagles 33, Panthers 17)

Eagles 31, Texans 21 (My Pick: Eagles 29, Texans 19)

Cardinals 24, Eagles 20 (My Pick: Eagles 24, Cardinals 23)

Eagles 27, Giants 0 (My Pick: Giants 31, Eagles 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