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Chinese Restaurants Rally Against 11 PM Law; Gambling Bill Passes House; Charter Dean Arrested Rape
 
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 10/26/17 10:18 pm | updated: 10/26/17 10:18 pm
 
Councilman-at-large David Oh joined about a hundred protesters outside of City Hall this morning who were rallying against an ordinance that say is disproportionately levied against minority businesses specifically Chinese takeout restaurants. The 2005 law called the '11 P.M. Ordinance' requires restaurants serving food located on residential blocks to close by 11 p.m. Fines for violating the ordinance can be upwards of $2,000 per incident. Owners of Chinese restaurants say that they are being unfairly targeted by the police who write the violations. 96% of the violations written for the ordinance have been given to Chinese restaurants. Some owners claim they repeatedly get the fines despite not being on a residential block and while other restaurants nearby, even next door, never get written up. Councilman Oh introduced legislation in council to amend the law. Currently, Philadelphia police have suspended enforcement of the ordinance while it is being remedied in city council.

The Pennsylvania House passed legislation today that approves the biggest expansion of gambling since it was legalized ten years ago. Pennsylvania is already the second largest gambling state, behind only Nevada, in terms of gambling revenues. The bill passed 109-72 with support from both Democrats and Republicans. It now goes to Governor Wolf's desk. It is uncertain whether he'll sign it, but he has said he would support expanding gambling as a way to help the budget. This expansion could bring in $200 million more per year. The bill will allow for casino-style gambling at truck stops and airports, online gaming, and 10 new mini-casino sites. Detractors warn about an 'explosion' of gaming and unintended consequences. They also point to the many pet provisions packed into the 470-page bill.

A Philadelphia charter school official has been arrested and charged with statutory rape and other offenses for the sexual assault of a student last year. 42-year-old Omar Harrison of Cheltenham, Montgomery County, was a Dean of Students at Mastery Charter's Harrity Elementary School on the 5600 block of Christian Street in West Philadelphia. Harrison is accused of taking a 14-year-old 8th grade student to a hotel near the Philadelphia International Airport in Tinicum Township, Delaware County. The school learned of the incident on Friday when the mother of the victim came to the school to confront Harrison. Mastery Charters said in a statement, "Inappropriate contact with students - of any kind - is unacceptable, and will not be tolerated at Mastery." They have fired Harrison. He was arrested on Wednesday by Tinicum Township police and charged with statutory rape, involuntary deviate sexual assault, sexual assault, indecent sexual assault with someone less than 16 years of age. He is currently being held at George Hill Correctional Facility in lieu of 10% of $100,000 bail.

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