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Charges Against Truck Driver in Couple's Death; PATCO Owl Changes; Delco School Drops 'God Bless'
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 05/09/19 2:12 am | updated: 05/10/19 1:54 am
Berks County authorities announced charges against a truck driver involved in a fiery crash that killed a New Jersey couple traveling to their wedding in Pittsburgh last fall. 24-year-old Jaspreet Singh Chahal of Fresno, CA, is charged with homicide by motor vehicle, careless driving resulting in death, recklessly endangering the life of another person, use of a handheld mobile phone, and related charges. It happened on Nov. 14, 2018 around 2:30 p.m. on I-78 westbound in Windsor Township. Traffic was heavy. Authorities say that Chantal was distracted by a cellphone conversation and did not see the traffic stopped ahead in time to slow down. The struck slammed into the back of 42-year-old Joseph Kearney and 35-year-old Kathryn Schurtz of Jersey City in their SUV. They were pushed into the back of another tractor trailer causing a chain reaction with more trailers. Several vehicles caught fire.

PATCO has decided to postpone changes to its overnight service after receiving push back from commuters and local officials. The new Owl Service would have started this coming Monday, May 12, but has been delayed to at least June 1st. Most people complained about the reduction of trains to every 60 minutes from 45 minutes and the closure of many stations during the overnight hours. Residents in South Jersey rely on PATCO for work and pleasure, whether returning late night after a show or late shift. Closing stations would mean many riders couldn't return to the same station they left. The initial announcement also left little notice to the new schedule's implementation. PATCO said that its changes were done with security in mind. A police officer would be on every train. Also, more riders per train creates safety in numbers. "The [new] targeted implementation date will allow PATCO to analyze feedback from riders and the community, as well as provide additional time for notification of the changes to the public," PATCO said in a news release on Wednesday. "It is our goal to incorporate the feedback and concerns to greatest extent possible to the new Owl schedule when implemented."

A school in Delaware County has decided to no longer say the words, "God Bless America," over the loud speaker after reciting the Pledge of Allegiance each morning. Peter Briggs, principal at Sabold Elementary School in Springfield, would add the line while reading the pledge during morning announcements. A parent complained to the Freedom from Religion Foundation whose lawyer contacted the school. The group claims it violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. They said, "young elementary school children don't need to be coerced into affirming God's name every morning." The school district stopped the practice to avoid any litigation. Students remain free to express themselves, however appropriately, whether by saying "God Bless America" or something else following the pledge.

The Springfield School District released the following statement:

An attorney recently contacted Springfield School District and asserted on behalf of his client that Sabold Elementary School administration's practice of publicly reciting the words, "God Bless America" over the loud speaker immediately after the public recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance violated the law.

In accordance with District protocol, this complaint was forwarded to our District Solicitor's Office. Based upon the Solicitor's legal research and recommendation, we ceased this practice. Continuation of any practices that may be unlawful would only expose the District to litigation, which the local taxpayers would have to financially support.

To be clear, the District has not altered the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and has not prohibited students from deciding on their own, as their own form of self-expression, whether or not to state the words, "God Bless America" (or any other appropriate form of self-expression) upon completing the Pledge of Allegiance.

We understand that this is an important topic for many of our constituents; however, please understand that the District does not make the law. We follow it.

Thank you for your understanding.

The Springfield School District

‪David Montgomery, Chairman of the Phillies, longtime executive, minority owner, and Philadelphia-native has passed away at age 72. He was suffering from jaw cancer. ‬After graduating from Penn, he started in the ticket office in 1971. He worked his way up through the organization and was named president and CEO in 1997. "David was one of Philadelphia's most influential business and civic leaders in his generation," said Phillies managing partner John Middleton. "For 25 years, he has been an invaluable business partner and, more importantly, an invaluable friend. He was beloved by everyone at the Phillies. Leigh and I are saddened beyond words at David’s passing and extend our love and sympathy to Lyn, his children and grandchildren."

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(1) response


 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 05/10 1:54 am
David Montgomery - 2008 World Series Champions


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