Northeast Times

River Wards news at-a-glance

Up­dates and brief re­ports on River Wards news.

Seni­ors re­ceive free Thanks­giv­ing tur­keys

Yes­ter­day morn­ing, Coun­cil Pres­id­ent Dar­rell L. Clarke (D-5th dist.) and Wal­mart teamed up to make sure older Phil­adelphi­ans in need had es­sen­tial Thanks­giv­ing food items — tur­keys.

Luther­an Set­tle­ment House, 1340 Frank­ford Ave. in Fishtown, was one of three loc­a­tions at which 500 tur­keys were dis­trib­uted to seni­ors.

The Fishtown Neigh­bors As­so­ci­ation also an­nounced earli­er this month that it was able to spon­sor 10 food bas­kets — com­plete with tur­keys —which were provided by LSH to low-in­come seni­ors, home­less wo­men and chil­dren, sur­viv­ors of do­mest­ic vi­ol­ence and neigh­bors in need. ••

Of­ficer who punched wo­man faces as­sault charge

Former Phil­adelphia Po­lice Lt. Jonath­an Jo­sey will be charged with simple as­sault for punch­ing a wo­man in the face in Septem­ber.

John McNesby, pres­id­ent of the Fraternal Or­der of Po­lice, Lodge #5, told The Phil­adelphia In­quirer that the charge is “in­sane” and only a res­ult of me­dia cov­er­age. The FOP had or­gan­ized a be­ne­fit Oct. 28 in sup­port of Jo­sey.

A video that quickly went vir­al earli­er in the fall showed Jo­sey punch Aida Guz­man, 39, of Chester, twice in the head. The in­cid­ent oc­curred dur­ing a street party at 5th Street and Le­high Av­en­ue, fol­low­ing the city’s an­nu­al Pu­erto Ric­an Day parade.

Days later, Po­lice Com­mis­sion­er Charles H. Ram­say an­nounced a dir­ect-ac­tion dis­missal against Jo­sey, 39, a 19-year vet­er­an of the de­part­ment. Guz­man had been charged with dis­orderly con­duct — she ad­mit­ted that she was spray­ing silly string at the cel­eb­ra­tion.

Those charges were later dropped, and May­or Mi­chael Nut­ter apo­lo­gized to Guz­man at a news con­fer­ence fol­low­ing the in­cid­ent. The Dis­trict At­tor­ney’s Of­fice de­clined com­ment. ••

Wynn pro­poses casino in Fishtown

Las Ve­gas hotel mag­nate Steve Wynn is one of the five con­tenders hop­ing to land the city’s second casino li­cense. The dead­line for ap­plic­a­tion to the Pennsylvania Gam­ing Board was 5 p.m. Thursday.

His com­pany, Wynn Re­sorts Ltd., turned over to the Nut­ter ad­min­is­tra­tion a re­quired re­port on the loc­al im­pact of his pro­ject, which would be con­struc­ted in Fishtown.

The pro­ject would be Wynn Phil­adelphia, a 300-room hotel with a 150,000-square foot casino. The Fishtown land, owned by New Hope build­er James An­der­son, stretches on North Beach Street from Palmer to Cum­ber­land streets.

Wynn said the prox­im­ity to the city’s first casino, Sug­ar­House, would be a pos­it­ive thing, be­cause it would give loc­als a choice in casino.

Now that the ap­plic­a­tions are in, the gam­ing board will sched­ule hear­ings and be­gin re­view­ing hun­dreds of pages of pro­ject in­form­a­tion. For a pro­ject to be gran­ted a li­cense, it must re­ceive the votes of five of the sev­en com­mis­sion­ers. It’s pos­sible, then, that no pro­ject re­ceives the ne­ces­sary votes.  ••

‘Phar­macy ban­dit’ sus­pect held on $1.6 mil­lion bail

A 50-year-old man sus­pec­ted of be­ing the “phar­macy ban­dit” who robbed 16 phar­ma­cies — in­clud­ing Fishtown’s York Street Phar­macy Oct. 30 — was held on bail Wed­nes­day. The crime spree ran from Dec. 10, 2011 un­til Nov. 12 of this year.

Ac­cord­ing to The Phil­adelphia In­quirer, Wil­li­am Webb is charged with ag­grav­ated as­sault, rob­bery, pos­ses­sion of drugs with in­tent to dis­trib­ute, vi­ol­a­tion of the Uni­form Fire­arms Act and re­lated of­fenses in the rob­ber­ies. A judge on Wed­nes­day morn­ing set his bail at $100,000 per rob­bery.

Webb and his al­leged ac­com­plice, 19-year-old Ed­ward Schaef­fer, were caught a Ta­cony home Monday after steal­ing a pre­scrip­tion bottle im­planted with a GPS track­ing device that led au­thor­it­ies to their loc­a­tion. Schaef­fer was ex­pec­ted to be ar­raigned Wed­nes­day. ••

New rules — and fines — for bikers and drivers ap­proved by Coun­cil 

On Thursday at a pub­lic hear­ing of the Streets and Ser­vice Com­mit­tee, City Coun­cil ap­proved of Bill 120532, which sets new guidelines and fines for both bi­cyc­lists and drivers.

The bill, in­tro­duced in May, out­lines the fol­low­ing:

Drivers would be re­quired to check for cyc­lists be­fore open­ing street-side doors and pro­hib­ited from stop­ping or park­ing a vehicle in a des­ig­nated bike lane. Fines for block­ing a bike lane could be $50 to $75.

Cyc­lists, on the oth­er hand, will be pro­hib­ited from park­ing in a way that blocks ped­es­tri­ans, and will see fines up to $75 for non-park­ing vi­ol­a­tions (such as rid­ing on side­walks and run­ning red lights). They’ll also be al­lowed to ride “two abreast” as long as they don’t “im­pede the nor­mal and reas­on­able flow of traffic.” Cyc­lists already are re­quired to ad­here to the same guidelines as op­er­at­ors of mo­tor vehicles.

Coun­cil­man Mark Squilla (D-1st dist.) said the bill in­tends to make mo­tor­ists more aware that bi­cyc­lists are shar­ing the road with them.

Ac­cord­ing to The Phil­adelphia In­quirer, The Bi­cycle Co­ali­tion of Great­er Phil­adelphia has called the bill “a big win for Phil­adelphia’s abil­ity to walk and bike safely.” ••

You can reach at star@bsmphilly.com.

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