Philadelphia Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. announced Friday that the School District had begun mailing layoff notices to 3,783 employees, informing them they will lose their jobs July 1 because of the district’s financial crisis.
The list includes 676 teachers, 283 counselors, 127 assistant principals, and 1,202 noontime aides.
“These … employees are more than numbers: these are people — professionals — who play important roles in the lives of thousands of students throughout our city,” Hite said at a news briefing.
He called the layoffs “nothing less than catastrophic for our schools and students.
The 42-year-old man who was operating the excavator in Wednesday’s building collapse in Center City will be charged with risking and causing a catastrophe and six counts of involuntary manslaughter, a senior law enforcement official told The Inquirer on Friday.
Blood tests revealed marijuana in Sean Benschop’s system at levels that “he was unfit to perform safety-sensitive, job-related duties,” according to a toxicology report.
Benschop, who has also used the name Kary Roberts, according to court records, will additionally be charged with reckless endangerment and will face other charges from the injuries to 14 victims of the collapse.
The charges of causing a catastrophe and risking a catastrophe are felonies. The involuntary-manslaughter charges are first-degree misdemeanors.
I STOPPED by the super swank Symphony House residences yesterday to have a chat with Richard Basciano about his killer building.
“Is he expecting you?” the cranky concierge asked.
Well, I didn’t know if the owner of the crumbling building that flattened a neighboring Salvation Army thrift store was expecting me. But he should’ve been expecting someone – like officials from the city seeking answers about his choice of a discount demolition crew, for starters.
Basciano’s company paid some insta-demolition crew $10,000 for a job demo experts said should have cost closer to $250,000.
A grand jury will investigate the death of Julia Papazian Law, the 26-year-old paralegal found dead in a bathtub in her boss’ Center City apartment last month.
Word of the inquiry came as toxicology tests revealed that at the time of her death, Law had a blood-alcohol level higher than 0.40 percent – five times the threshold for legal intoxication, according to court sources. Medical experts say a blood-alcohol content of 0.35 percent or greater may be fatal.
The District Attorney’s Office confirmed Friday that it had asked for the grand jury probe, but declined to elaborate.
Law, who worked for high-profile defense lawyer A. Charles Peruto Jr., was found facedown in his tub on May 25.
Peruto, 58, who described Law as his girlfriend, told police he was in Avalon, N.J., on the night she died. He said he learned of her death from a maintenance worker who found her body in Peruto’s Rittenhouse Square apartment.
NORRISTOWN — The Norristown Area High School Class of 2013, a group of 408 students who have collectively received the largest recorded amount of scholarship money in the school’s history, took the stage in front of friends and family Friday for the school’s 151st commencement.
This year’s graduates have been accepted to more than 202 universities across the country and have been awarded more than $12 million in scholarships, according to Norristown Area School District Superintendent Janet Samuels.
“This is an incredible class,” Samuels said after the commencement. “The scholarship dollars will allow the children to excel and do great things, and we’re so proud of that.”
The first salutatorian, Brett Harner, started things off.
Penn Street is slated for $1 million in upgrades this summer that will include new and brighter streetlights from Second to Eighth streets.
It also will include replacing the gap-toothed crosswalks at Penn’s intersections with Second and Third, replacing the bouncy bricks with plastic grids like the crosswalk at Eighth and Penn.
Both projects will get underway at the same time, likely August or September, city Public Works Director Charles M. Jones said.
And he said both are funded by federal highway grants, not local tax money.