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The Daily Numbers for Thursday, April 17

Thu, 2014-04-17 07:28
The Daily Numbers: 32, our low temperature overnight. Nice sense of humor, Mother Nature.

2 different fires that struck homes in Ridley and Folcroft yesterday.

1 hour of deliberations, how long it took a jury to acquit a Chester man charged in a gun incident outside Crozer-Chester Medical Center.

7,661 in additional funding set in Middletown Township to attack pothole-scarred roads.

58 percent increase in cost of college education, target of hearing yesterday at Cheyney University.

77 million dollars, price placed on auction block for Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News. 67.9 million dollars brought in on table games at Pa. casinos last month. That’s up 1 percent from the same month last year.

6,964,862 in slots play at Harrah’s in March. That’s down from last year’s number of $7,265,244. And that’s with more tables in play this year, 126 as opposed to 121 last year.

4.2 percent overall decline in revenue at casinos in March because of a continuing slide in slots play.

3 children in her car when a New Jersey woman drover her van into the Delaware River. She now faces attempted murder charges. All 4 were rescued.

1,500 dollars worth of vandalism being investigated at Rowan University.

60 age of Montgomery County man who faces charges of supplying booze for a Sweet 16 party.

7.5 million in upgrades being given the OK by the PATCO transit board.

8 arrests on weapons and other charges for a woman who now faces charges in connection with death of her son. She left a loaded gun in her home that was used in shooting death of 2-year-old.v 290 still missing after a ferry packed with students capsized off Korea

162 point spike for the stock market yesterday.

2 wins to end the season for the Sixers. They started the season going 3-0.

20 points for Thaddeus Young.

13 strikeouts for Cliff Lee last night. He still go the loss despite tossing a complete game.

1-0 loss as Lee was outdueled by Braves pitcher Julio Teheran.

3 hits for the feeble Phils lineup.

1 as in Game 1 tonight as the Flyers face the Rangers in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. 8 straight losses for the Flyers in Big Apple.

28 appearances for Ray Emery, who will get the start for the Flyers with Steve Mason on the shelf. 9-12-2 mark for Emery, with a 2.96 goals against average.

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

Cliff Lee was mediocre on opening day and escaped with a win in a slugfest. He was great last night, striking out 13 Braves, and lost, 1-0. That’s baseball.

I Don’t Get It: What is with all the random gunfire in Chester. People are telling us it is now an everyday occurrence?

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the good people at Apple Pie Day Care Center in Chester. They are raising money for the funeral of little Karder Hardy, who was struck and killed by a car last weekend.

Quote Box: “I couldn’t imagine losing a child like that.”

- Brookhaven resident Ray Delfera, while writing out a check to help the effort.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Focusing on gunfire in Chester

Thu, 2014-04-17 06:43
UPDATE: I'm starting to get some reaction to my call for citizens to sound off about gunfire in Chester. Here's what one resident emailed me:

"Seriously terrified. My in-laws refuse to move out of the city! My husband WORKS in the city. I pray for their safety. It makes me sick that someone can't declare Marshall Law and go in and clean house in Chester. It's always the warmer months that you see more action. The cockroaches stay indoors in the winter months."

And one more, with the often-heard response that the few give a bad impression for the rest of the city:

"I am a former city resident. I know there are many, many good people who live there. Of course I am concerned about the shootings; but I am also concerned for the good people in the city because they are getting short shrift because of these happenings. I think it's wonderful that you are doing a story on this. I read your post this morning in Heron's Nest and liked the focus of it. It sounds to me like you are also trying to make the point that many city residents are very concerned about this. That angle alone may help to change the perception of Chester's people as a whole Thank you. This is an important story."

This just in:

My mom and step dad just moved onto Clover Lane in Chester and they have heard gunshots five times in three weeks in their location. They met the man Derrick who was an innocent victim in the fatality a week prior to his wrong place wrong time. He was a barber down the street and even offered to cut their dogs hair for free because he knew they were broke and down on their luck. They heard those gun shots that unfortunately took his life, and when they found out it was the guy they met right after moving in, they felt so sorry for him and his family's loss. They visited his memorial and the day he was buried his poor 4-year-old son got hit by a van and died from his injuries. That's just one story, imagine all the thousands. They stay inside and close shade and lock windows afraid for their lives every day. You can't even walk up the street in broad daylight without fearing for your life.

"It's so sad. Broken homes, hurt families, poverty-stricken and broke. This city was once an OK place many years ago. Our local church is helping with Ninth Street youth ministry, and CitiTam but this city needs more than a few helping caring people. It needs a complete clean up and out and renovation to save these poor children from cycling the same lifestyle. It's so sad for them, they don't have any hope or a chance hardly. Get the word out. People need to help, officials, government etc."

Here's one more:

" I am 48 years old and I have lived in the City all of my life. It hasn’t been until this year that I have thought about moving out of the city. It’s just ridiculous any more, it seems like every other day there is an incident, and someone said when it gets warm the cockroaches come out?? That is not true, we have heard gun shots all winter so the cockroaches do not have a favorite season! My biggest concern used to be raising my children to be productive, thoughtful, God-fearing citizens. Now my biggest concern is my youngest making it off of the school bus stop without getting shot at or shot. Something has got to give the city cannot hold any many more teddy bear memorials.

I'll keep publishing them. Keep sending them to me!

It's easy to take potshots at the city of Chester.

Actually somebody is doing just that. Lots of people are firing guns in the city.

We're getting calls here in the newsroom that gunfire is now a routine occurrence in some parts of the city.

Earlier this week we reported on a random shooting where gunshots hit a truck driver as he drove down a city street. A recent homicide is believed by police to be a situation where an innocent victim was caught in the crossfire.

Of the 15 homicides recorded this year in Delaware County, seven of them have occurred in the city of Chester.

A Facebook post on a board hosted by a group of city residents complained about the situation in the William Penn Projects.

I have had one county law enforcement official indicate to me concern is growing about the situation.

This is the message that was delivered to me, after this person also joined a Facebook posting board for Chester residents:

"I've noticed that there are a lot of posts from Chester residents concerning people shooting guns all hours of the night in residential neighborhoods," this source said "Just reading the posts makes me afraid for the safety of the children and good people living in the city. It may be the usual break in the weather or something else going on. But, people are not safe and they are afraid.

"I know many Delco residents don't care about the people living in Chester, but I do. My organization has been trying to help as have others. We all try in our way to be a positive influence, especially for the children. Please keep reporting on Chester. I can only hope that things will change."

I'd like to think the newspaper can be part of the solution.

But first I want to detail the situation. If you'd like to go on the record and discuss the gun situation in the city, send me an email to editor@delcotimes.com.

We're planning a story focusing on the increase in gunfire in the city.

Is it just a sign of warmer weather? Is this different than other situations? Is it being blown out of proportion? I'd like to hear from the people who live there and have to deal with the 'pop-pop-pop' that sometimes seems like the soundtrack to their lives.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The secret behind the Wawa Way

Thu, 2014-04-17 06:29
Yesterday, Wawa threw itself a shindig to celebrate the 50th anniversary of opening its first store, on MacDade Boulevard in the Folsom section of Ridley Township.

The free coffee was a nice touch.

But Wawa has proved to be more than just a convenience store.

It's become part of our lives.

Ask anyone who has moved out of the area what they miss most and inevitably one of the first replies is, "Wawa." In our editorial today, I take a look at the secret behind the Wawa Way.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Another rough day for Philly sports

Thu, 2014-04-17 06:13
On opening day, the Texas Rangers knocked Cliff Lee around pretty good. The Phils' left-handed ace gave up eight earned runs on 11 hits while going just 5 innings.

And he got the win.

Last night Lee pitched a gem, hurling a complete game and giving up just one run while striking out 13. And he got the loss.

That's because the Phils' feeble lineup managed just three hits against Braves starter Julio Teheran.

Hey, at least we were not treated to another miserable showing from the Phils' bullpen. This time it was the bats that went AWOL.

You know you're in trouble when one of your three hits is Ryan Howard beating out an infield single.

The Phillies now stand at 6-8 and continue to gasp for air.

So about those Sixers! They ended their season the same way they started it, by beating the defending champion Miami Heat.

The 76ers won their first three games of the season, and their last two. It's probably best to simply forget everything in between.

And the Flyers? Those are storm clouds forming above Madison Square Garden, where the orange and black have not won in their last eight appearances.

Tonight they go into their Stanley Cup playoff opening series without their starting goaltender, Steve Mason. He's out with an upper body injury. Ray Emery will be between the pipes.

All in all, just a swell day on the Philly sports front.

Next you'll tell me the Eagles released DeSean Jackson, getting nothing in return for a Pro Bowl receiver.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Wednesday, April 16 (The Wawa Edition)

Wed, 2014-04-16 07:57
The Daily Numbers: 50 years in business today at Wawa.

1, as in Store No. 1 for Wawa, on MacDade Boulevard in the Holmes section of Ridley.

640 stories today.

25 new stores per year for the next 5 years, the company’s growth goal.

6 states where you can find a fix for ‘Gotta havva Wawa,’ including new stores in Florida.

380 of them that offer gasoline.

6,000 items you can buy at the Delco-based convenience stores.

22,000 employees

400 million customers annually.

195 million cups of coffee brewed each year.

60 million hoagies made annually.

1803, when Wawa started as an iron foundry in New Jersey.

1902, when Wood family started dairy farm processing plant in Wawa, Pa.

6 core values of the chain laid out in new book, ‘The Wawa Way.’

0, what it will cost you today to get a coffee at Wawa. They are offering free java all day as part of the celebration. 3.5 minutes, the time it takes most people to get in and out of the store.

5,000 dollar donation being made today at the original Ridley store to the Ridley United Soccer Association.

Call me a Phanatic: A look at the ups and downs of being a Philadelphia sports fan.Look on the bright side. The Phils got rained out last night. We didn’t have to watch through our fingers when Ryne Sandberg went to the bullpen. And even better, the Sixers play the last game of their miserable season tonight. They should have made admission free.

I Don’t Get It: All those losses and the Sixers still don’t necessarily get the top pick. They don’t have as many ping-pong balls as the Milwaukee Bucks.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Wawa on 50 years of serving Delco and the region.

Quote Box: “Wawa has become more than just a retailer, it’s become part of our community and a part of our customers’ lives.”

- Howard Stoeckel, vice chairman of the Wawa Board of Directors and author of ‘The Wawa Way.’
Categories: Pennsylvania

'Live From the Newsroom' tackles Flyers' chances in Stanley Cup Playoffs

Wed, 2014-04-16 07:09
There is good news, better news and some bad news on the sports front today.

The good news? The Phillies game vs. the Braves got rained out last night, so we were not treated to another gruesome look at what constitutes the Phils' bullpen these days.

The better news? The Sixers will play their final game in this God-forsaken season tonight at the Wells Fargo Center vs. LeBron James and the Miami Heat. If they had a conscience they'd make admission free. If they wanted to make money, they'd make the people then pay to get out.

And the bad news? Brace yourself Flyers fans.

We used our 'Live From the Newsroom' show last night to preview the Flyers first-round matchup in the Stanley Cup playoffs vs. the Rangers.

All three of our sports writers, Flyers beat writer and sports editor Rob Parent, Matt DeGeorge, who just covered the Frozen Four, and Bob Grotz like the Rangers.

Most believe the Flyers will fall in either six or seven games.

The key likely will be whether the Flyers can muster a win in Madison Square Garden, where they have dropped eight straight games.

It was left to me to stick up for the locals. I'm picking the Flyers in seven. And yes, I have my fingers and toes crossed.

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

Celebrating 50 years of 'Wawa runs'

Wed, 2014-04-16 05:55
In a lot of places, they might visit their local convenience store.

Hit the 7-Eleven.

Slurp a slurpee.

In the Philly area, we don't do that.

We make "Wawa runs."

We've been doing it for 50 years.

In fact, it was 50 years ago today, that the store with the funny name first opened the doors to their original store on MacDade Boulevard in the Folsom section of Ridley Township.

And today they're throwing a party to celebrate. And that includes free coffee at all Wawa locations.

The party will kick off at 6 a.m. at what is referred to as Wawa Store No. 1.

Visitors will step back in time - a half a century in fact - to get the feel and experience of what it was like on April 16, 1964. There will be 50th anniversary decorations, photos and the original signage for the store. Officials also will unveil the original pole sign. Store workers will be dressed in vintage store uniforms.

Former Wawa President and CEO Howard Stoeckel will pour the ceremonial first cup of coffee to kick off the day.

Wawa Chairman Dick Wood will re-enact the first-ever store transaction and unveil a special plaque dedicated to Wawa founder Grahame Wood.

Customers also will have a chance to check out a Wawa parade through the ages retrospective, showcasing visual milestones of the past 50 years.

Stoeckel also will autograph copies of his book, "The Wawa Way." In it he talks about how the business came to acquire its funny name and he lays out the six core principles that have led to its success.

The event will conclude with a special ribon-cutting to commemorate Wawa's half-century in business.

And of course all day customers will be rewarded with free coffee at all Wawa stores.

Later this morning, a similar celebration will be held in Philly at the 17th and Arch location from 8-8:30 a.m. "Wawa Day" will conclude with a special reception at the Convention Center and announcement of The Wawa Foundation, a new entity founded by Wawa to support the company charitable giving and philanthropic activities.

All of this to celebrate a story with a funny name. Yes, Wawa is the American Indian name for the Canadian goose native to this area.

That single store on MacDade Boulevard has grown into a convenience store behemoth with more than 640 stores that stretch beyond the Philadelphia region down into Maryland, Virginia and now even Florida. The company has more than 22,000 employees.

Today's "super" Wawas feature gas pumps and a dazzling array of food inside.

But it's still the people - and their interaction with loyal customers - that remains at the heart of the "Wawa Way." It also helps when you have your own personal Wawa. At the Daily Times, we've been lucky to have one of those quaint old stores withing walkin distance just a block away.

That's why today, as we've been doing for 50 years, most of the region will be making a "Wawa run."

Happy 50th, Wawa.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Tuesday, April 15

Tue, 2014-04-15 08:08
The Daily Numbers: 15 of April. Happy Tax Day!

32, expected low temperature tonight into Wednesday, with a freeze warning in effect.

51, our high for tomorrow. Some places in the Poconos or Lehigh Valley could get a snow shower.

30 residents who packed a recent Chester Heights Borough Council meeting to discuss possible development of the old Chester Heights Camp Meeting property and another large parcel as well.

10 percent of 150,000 bail posted by man charged in accident that took the life of Dante DeSimone.

18, age of teen shot and killed in Chester.

15 homicides in Delco so far in 2014.

7 of them have been in Chester.

8 DUI convictions for Chester County man, the latest involving a fatal crash in which a 24-year-old motorcyclist was killed.

15.6 violations for every 100,000 licensed drivers cited for texting while driving under new law.

22.4 and 20.6, the rates in Chesco and Montco, respectively. They’re tops in the state.

1 person shot and killed overnight after an argument outside a popular bar near the Penn campus.

5 years since incident that led to abuse charges against a Chester County state trooper. Yesterday he was acquitted of the charge.

77 million dollars, how much one investor says he’s willing to spend to buy out his partners in owning the Philly Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com.

1 Pulitzer Prize captured by the Inky yesterday, to Inga Saffron for criticism for her architecture columns.

1.1 percent jump in retail sales in March.

146 point spike in the Dow Jones average yesterday.

9-6 come-from-ahead loss for the Phils to the Braves last night.

3 run homer by Dominic Brown that was wasted in the loss.

3 consecutive homers served up by Jake Diekman in relief.

2 more hits for Chase Utley, who is hitting . 489 and has a hit in all 11 games he’s played this year.

113-108 win for the Sixers last night against the Celtics.

18 wins against 63 losses for the Sixers with 1 game left in their miserable season.

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

Jonathon Papelbon was unavailable last night after pitching 3 straight nights. Unfortunately, the same could not be said for the rest of the Phillies’ bullpen, leading to a disheartening come-from-ahead 9-6 loss to the Braves.

I Don’t Get It: A Chester County man was in court to plead guilty to his 8th DUI offense, this time involving a fatal crash that took the life of a 24-year-old. The judge called his record ‘absurd.’ Ya think?

Today’s Upper: Kudos to Chester County D.A. Tom Hogan and the family of Liam Crowley, who are vowing to seek harsher penalties for those involved in fatal DUI crashes who have a history of DUI charges.

Quote Box: “Mr. Landis, that’s almost to the absurdity level,isn’t it? And now it takes a life.”

- Chester County Judge Anthony Sarcione, to DUI driver Robert Landis.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Are your ready to get Flyer-ed up? Flyers playoff preview tonight on 'Live From the Newsroom'

Tue, 2014-04-15 07:32
Flyers vs. Rangers.

What else do you need to say, really?

The Flyers will kick off their quest for the Stanley Cup with a first-round matchup with the arch-rival New York Rangers Thursday night at Madison Square Garden.

And to get you ready for the playoffs, we're hosting a special Flyers playoffs preview tonight on "Live From the Newsroom." We'll be back in Freedom Hall and the sparkling new TV studio of Widener University, where we borrow some communication students who work the controls on the show.

It's a special Tuesday night edition of the show, and at a special time. We'll be live at 6 p.m. I'll be joined by our Flyers beat writer Rob Parent, as well as Matt DeGeorge, who recently covered the Frozen Four national collegiate hockey championships at the Wells Fargo Center.

Do you have a question about the Flyers?

Email it to me at editor@delcotimes.com and I'll put it to our panel.

Will Steve Mason be ready to roll?

How can the Flyers get past their issues with the Big Apple, where they have not won in years?

What will Craig Berube's plan be?

For these and all the info you need to get ready for some serious Stanley Cup action, tune in 'Live From the Newsroom' tonight at 6 on DelcoTimes.com. You also will be able to take part in our live chat.

We're getting Flyer-ed up? How about you?
Categories: Pennsylvania

Education secretary, Sen. Casey do the Daily Times

Tue, 2014-04-15 07:10
We're on something of a roll when it comes to public officials paying us a visit here in the home office in beautiful downtown Primos.

Yesterday it was Pennsylvania Education Secretary Carolyn Dumaresq.

This morning U.S. Sen. Robert P. Casey will stop by.

Dumaresq was actually in town to deliver some accolades to a couple of Springfield School District schools. E.T. Richardson Middle School and the Springfield Literacy Center both received the Governor's Award for Excellence in Academics for their performance on the state's School Performance Profile.

Of course, I took advantage of Dumaresq's visit to quiz her on the topic so near and dear to the hears of Delco home owners. That, of course, would be property taxes.

We've deemed the issue so important we've made it the focus of a year-long editorial project we're calling The Keystones: Property Taxes and Education Funding.

Dumaresq put up a spirited defense of the Corbett Administration's belief that they have been unfairly criticized for education funding, insisting that many of the recent problems have been the result of school district's dependency on federal stimulus dollars. She emphasized that districts were warned that those federal dollars were not permanent, yet they spent them on recurring projects and were left in a fiscal bind when those funds expired.v Dumaresq is no stranger to Delco. She's served in both the Interboro and Upper Darby School Districts.

She might be one of the few people to see the education riddle from both sides, having also served as the head of the teachers' union, the powerful Pennsylvania State Education Association.

Dumaresq believes the biggest threat to education in Pennsylvania is not property taxes, but rather the pension crisis that her boss has referred to as the "tapeworm" in the state budget process.

She believes that if not addressed, the pension crisis will eat up funds that otherwise could be directed to education. Sen. Casey will be here this morning at 11.

Do you have a question you'd like to ask him?

The last time he was here the senator made big news by changing his position on gun background checks in the days following the Sandy Hook school shooting tragedy.

If there is something you'd like to put to the senator, email it to me at editor@delcotimes.com.

We will try to live-stream our session with the senator. Tune in to DelcoTimes.com at 11 to see what he has to say.
Categories: Pennsylvania

When it comes to DUIs, he's Public Enemy No. 1

Tue, 2014-04-15 06:45
When it comes to drunken driving, Robert Landis is Public Enemy No. 1.

Landis is the Chester County man who pleaded guilty to being DUI at the time of a fatal crash in which he slammed his truck into a motorcycle driver.

Landis likely knew the routine. It was his eighth conviction on DUI charges.

After the court proceeding, both Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan, and the family of Liam Crowley, a 24-year-old volunteer firefighter.

The judge in the case was moved to call Landis' record of driving under the influence 'absurd.'

You can read all the details here.

Hogan and the Crowley family used the plea - and the fact that Landis by law can be sentenced to no more than three to six years in prison.

At the time of the crash, Landis' blood-alcohol level was 0.283, more than three times the legal limit to be considered under the influence.

He had just left a local bar when he pulled out into the path of Crowley's motorcycle.

Hogan wants penalties increased for those with multiple DUI charges who are subsequently involved in a fatal DUI crash. He'd like to see such offenders face a minimum of 10 years behind bars.

I don't think the Crowley family would argue with that.

Nor would the judge who was perplexed as to why Landis would once again get behind the wheel while impaired.

In court yesterday, Landis said his disease was "out to kill him." He said he has found religion in jail and is ready to turn around his life.

Unfortunately, Liam Crowley never got that chance.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Tax Day will bring some taxing weather

Tue, 2014-04-15 06:16
This is not a belated April Fool's joke.

Our weather is about to take a decided turn for the worst.

After enjoying several days with highs flirting with 80 degrees, it's all going to come crashing down on us today with a decided tilt back toward winter-like conditions.

First things first. It's been raining overnight, and likely will continue to rain for much of the day, with a steady, driving rain due to arrive after lunch.

For the first part of the day, temperatures will remain in the 60s, before the bottom falls out tonight.

Temperatures are expected to plunge tonight, and we're actually looking at the possibility of a freeze warning overnight.

Some places actually could descend into the upper 20s before things start to warm up again tomorrow.

Don't pay much attention to the TV types who simply can't resist the opportunity to suggest we have a chance of snow.

It's not likely to happen around here. Any flurries that fall will likely be confined to the Poconos and other parts farther north and west of here.

You won't need a coat for the drive to work, but you very well could need one - along with a slicker and umbrella - for the ride home tonight. As all this warm and cold air collide this afternoon, there is a chance of thunderstorms.

Tomorrow morning we'll be looking at a brisk 32 degrees, with some northern and western suburbs descending into the 20s. We'll struggle to hit 50 degrees on Wednesday.

The National Weather Service has issued a freeze warning for Wednesday, from 2 a.m.-9 a.m. They're warning that cold weather could threaten outdoor plants. So if you've done any early planting, you might want to either bring them inside or at least cover them up.

April is half over today. It's the day we pay our taxes.

And it apparently is the day we continue to pay for one of the worst winters on record.

Luckily, it's a one-day ordeal. Then maybe we can get on with spring.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Monday, April 14

Mon, 2014-04-14 08:02
The Daily Numbers: 4, age of Karder Hardy, the Chester tyke who was struck by a truck and killed just hours after attending the funeral for his father on Saturday.

221 years in existence for the public library in Darby Borough, one of the oldest in the nation.

50 years being celebrated by Wawa.

400 million customers served by Wawa each year.

645 Wawa stores now operating 6 states.

1 person killed in a fire early Saturday in Chester Township.

300 new elementary school students in Haverford schools as enrollment spikes.

2 billion dollar fundraising goal exceeded by Penn State.

5 still hospitalized after stabbing rampage last week at high school near Pittsburgh.

1.25 million dollars in lottery tickets tossed by man in York.

7 dead babies discovered in cardboard boxes in the garage of a home in Utah.

75 years celebrated on Sunday by the Delaware County Athletes Hall of Fame.

3 more hits, including a homer, for red-hot Chase Utley to lead Phils to 4-3 win over Marlins.

.500 batting average for Utley.

3 straight wins for Phils in sweep of Florida.

1-2-3 9th inning for closer Jonathan Papelbon.

6-5 loss for the Flyers to Carolina to close out the regular season.

1, as in Game One of 1st playoff series vs. Rangers Wednesday night.

2 green jackets for Bubba Watson as he took the Masters Sunday.

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

Forget Philly. There is an unmatched legacy of sports excellence on display at the Concordville Inn yesterday for the very special 75th anniversary dinner of the Delaware County Athletes Hall of Fame.

I Don’t Get It: I can’t even imagine the horror of a family burying a 4-year-old just hours after the funeral for the boy’s father. Too sad.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to former Daily Times Sports Editor Chic Riebel, who was inducted to the Delco Athletes Hall of Fame.

Quote Box: “It appears to be a very, very tragic accident.”

- Chester Police Superintendent Joe Bail, on the crash that took the life of 4-year-old Karder Hardy
Categories: Pennsylvania

One family's incredible grief

Mon, 2014-04-14 07:18
There is something unnatural in a parent burying a child.

So I can only imagine the ordeal experienced this weekend by the family of Karder Hardy.

Hardy, a smiling, bubbly 4-year-old, was struck and killed when he got out of a car outside his home Saturday afternoon. What makes this gut-wrenching story even more horrific is the circumstances the family found themselves in before tragedy hit again on Saturday.

They were already in mourning. In fact, they had just returned earlier in the day from the funeral for Karder's father, Derrick Brown.

You can get all the details here.

It makes you wonder just how much one family can take.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A seminal moment, and a salute to Chuck Stone

Mon, 2014-04-14 07:03
I used my print column today to talk about one of the five seminal moments that helped shape my life and likely steer me toward a life spent in journalism.

What was so special about me attending classes at Lincoln University? And how did that connect to the late, great Daily News columnist Chuck Stone.

As Chuck used to refer to it when his readers would write, "And the angels sing."

You can read my print column here for the answers.
Categories: Pennsylvania

A salute to sports excellence in Delaware County

Mon, 2014-04-14 06:36
They don't call the sports section of this newspaper "Delaware County's Sports Authority" for nothing. I was reminded of that - and some of the people who laid the foundation for that moniker - again on Sunday.

Yesterday was a pretty big sports day.

The Phillies, riding the red-hot bat of Chase Utley, were completing a sweep of the Marlins. That pales compared to one of my favorite sports events of the year, Sunday at the Masters.

I did not see one second of Bubba Watson capturing his second green jacket. Nor did take catch Utley's heroics at Citizens Bank Park.

And I could not have been happier about it.

Instead, I walked into a banquet room at the Concordville Inn and was overwhelmed at the sports excellence that has been the calling card of Delaware County for almost a century.

I attended the 75th anniversary sports dinner of the Delaware County Sports Hall of Fame. It's one thing to read about Delaware County sports excellence. It's another altogether to rub shoulders with them. People like Joe Valerio, the Ridley standout who went on to Penn and the Kansas City Chiefs. He talked about 7 principles to live your life by, including how awe-struck he was at the daily work and preparation of one of his teammates.

Maybe you've heard of him.

His name was Joe Montana.

It was incredibly gratifying to be able to sit in that room and hear this year's inductees to the Hall talk about how important it was to them to have their feats recorded in the pages of the Daily Times.

Starting with youth leagues, right through high school, and for many on to college and the pros, this newspaper chronicled every step of their careers.

Especially telling was hearing the women inductees offer their special thanks to Harry Chaykun and the Daily Times sports staff for offering equal coverage to women, which wasn't always the case.

No one in Delaware County has done more for women's sports than Harry.

Actually, most of us from the paper had an ulterior motive for attending.

One of our own was being inducted.

Chic Riebel, who served as sports editor from 1979 to 1982, was inducted. It was Chic who was the driving force behind increasing the scope of our All-Delco teams to more sports. Chic and Book Laird also started our annual softball tournament, which in the past 25 years has raised a ton of money for the American Cancer Society.

It is my hope that this n

ewspaper will carry on its mission - that of being Delaware County's Sports Authority - for years to come.http://www.delcotimes.com/sports/20140413/riebel-ran-a-tight-ship-at-the-daily-times It was nice to be reminded that people are thankful for what we do. It's an important part of their lives, and life here in Delaware County.

http://www.delcotimes.com/sports/20140413/riebel-ran-a-tight-ship-at-the-daily-times There will be more Phillies games this summer. The Masters can wait.

http://www.delcotimes.com/sports/20140413/riebel-ran-a-tight-ship-at-the-daily-times Yesterday was special. It was a celebration of athletic excellence here in Delaware County. And this newspaper's small part in it.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The Daily Numbers for Friday, April 11

Fri, 2014-04-11 08:19
The Daily Numbers: 70 degrees, something we have not seen since last Nov. 2. We’re headed to the 70s both Saturday and Sunday.

46, as in Pa. Senate Bill 46, known as the ‘Pass the Trash’ bill, which would tighten reporting requirements for schools when it comes to reports of sexual abuse by teachers.

4 individuals who spoke up at Springfield School Board meeting on the topic of outsourcing the district’s busing services.

2.76 million dollars that was acquired a few years back to help bail out the Upper Darby School District in the midst of another budget crisis. A political action committee formed at that time is now backing a primary opponent of state Rep. Margo Davidson, one of 2 legislators who played a key role in getting that money. They don’t like fact that she is taking money from groups backing vouchers and school choice.

25, age of one of Philly’s ‘Most Wanted’ suspects who was bagged yesterday in Collingdale.

1 year suspension for former Delco ADA Michael Donohue, who was involved in a hit-run crash.

3 people who fled flames when fire hit their home in Upper Providence yesterday.

940,676, how much money Radnor Township says it is losing because of tax-exempt status of local colleges. They want them to make voluntary donations.

27 fatalities in Delaware County in 2013. That’s down 1 from 28 in previous year.

27 deaths in 2013 fatal crashes involving teens age 16-17, according to AAA.

44 recorded in 2012.

57 traffic deaths tied to distracted driving. That’s up from 64.

10 people killed in a fiery collision of a truck and bus carrying school students on California highway.

266 point plunge for stock market yesterday.

4 billion dollars in bogus tax refunds under scrutiny by the feds.

4 straight home losses for the Phils.

6-2 loss to the Brewers last night.

3 runs on 8 hits surrendered by Phils starter Cliff Lee.

25 runs and 38 hits for the Brewers in the series.

4-2 loss for the Flyers in Tampa Bay last night.

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

Ryan Howard says it’s too early to panic. Anyone care to differ?

I Don’t Get It: Radnor Township wants several tax-exempt local college to start making voluntary donations to the township. Hope they’re not holding their breath.

Today’s Upper: Kudos to the Gallo family, honored this week for their work in keeping their daughter’s family alive.

Quote Box: “I’m not panicking. If you guys want to panic, go ahead. Just don’t bring it over here.”

- Ryan Howard.
Categories: Pennsylvania

Nicole and Dante: Gone too soon

Fri, 2014-04-11 07:31
I imagine Donna and Stephen Gallo know exactly how Ralph DeSimone feels.


The Gallos were honored this week for something no one wants. For the past four years, they have been working to keep the legacy of their vibrant young daughter Nicole alive. We added our salute on our editorial page today.

Nicole was struck and killed when an impaired, distracted driver lost control of her car, careened up onto the sidewalk outside Delaware County Memorial Hospital, and fatally struck Nicole. She was gone in the blink of an eye. Nicole Gallo was just 19.

In a cruel twist of fate, those eerie circumstances were repeated recently on Baltimore Pike, where a crash involving another allegedly impaired driver sent another car up onto the sidewalk, striking Dante DeSimone and a friend outside the McDonald's in Clifton Heights. Another young life gone in a heartbeat.

Nicole had just completed her freshman year at Lebanon Valley College. Dante was just days away from heading back to Neumann University for his second semester. Just as the Gallos have endeavored to keep Nicole's spirit alive, Dante's family, including his father Ralph, are doing the same.

They are planning an ice hockey tournament and other fundraisers to start a scholarship in the young athlete's name. The Gallos have done likewise, establishing the Sunshine Scholarship Fund to help other girls further their education.

Nothing will fill the void these terrible tragedies have left in the lives of the Gall and DeSimone families. We honor them by keeping their vibrant, youthful spirits alive.
Categories: Pennsylvania

The irony of Upper Darby Arts backing Davidson's foe

Fri, 2014-04-11 07:05
There is more than a little irony to this week's announcement that Save Upper Darby Arts is backing Billy Smith, one of the Democrats challenging state Rep. Margo Davidson, D-164.

Save Upper Darby Arts is now a political action committee, but it can trace its roots back a few years ago when the Upper Darby School District was at the center of a cauldron surrounding budget cuts, including a change in the curriculum, teacher layoffs, and most important, cuts in the district's trademark outstanding music and arts programs. Residents were outraged. At one point they even took a bus trip to Harrisburg to meet with elected officials and make their complaints heard.

Eventually the programs were saved when a couple of state reps worked a little magic and found more than $2 million in extra funding for the district.

So what's so ironic?

One of those legislators riding to the rescue in Upper Darby was Davidson.

She worked with Republican Rep. Nick Micozzie and found the money to avert the cuts.

The problem now is that Davidson has shown support for a push for school vouchers and accepted campaign contributions from Students First, a group that backs school choice.

I guess you can call this, "what have you done for me lately?"
Categories: Pennsylvania

Justice for Hall and Oates

Fri, 2014-04-11 06:38
If I were to ask you what pop duo has sold more records than any other act in music history, who would you guess?

My guess is that you'd be wrong.

Not Simon and Garfunkel, nor any other superstar duos.

You really don't have to look that far. The answer is right here in our backyard. That would be our homeboys, Hall and Oates.

Last night one of the great injustices in pop music was righted when Hall and Oates, the blue-eyed soulsters who grew up in the Philly suburbs and took TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia) to heart, were inducted into the Rock Hall of Fame.

The funny thing, the pop ditties that have become their emblem are not my favorite Hall and Oates songs.

Sure, "Maneater," "Sara Smile," and "You Make Me Feel" are great pop tunes.

But to me, they're not the essence of Hall and Oates.

This is.


What a voice.

Hell, while I'm at it, I might as well add my favorite all-time Hall and Oates song:

Categories: Pennsylvania