Neighborhood news in brief for the week of Feb. 12

An re­ward in­crease for in­form­a­tion about NoLibs murder, a loc­al politi­cian seeks re-elec­tion, and oth­er neigh­bor­hood news in brief. 

Po­lice in­crease re­ward in NoLibs murder

The Phil­adelphia po­lice uni­on on Monday an­nounced a tem­por­ary doub­ling of its re­ward money in last month’s purse-snatch murder in North­ern Liber­ties.

Dur­ing a news con­fer­ence at FOP Lodge 5, uni­on pres­id­ent John McNesby called the $20,000 re­ward “pretty much a bounty on the three people that did this.” Any­one wish­ing to col­lect the cash must provide in­form­a­tion lead­ing to the ar­rest of the killers by no later than 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 16. After that, the FOP re­ward re­verts back to $10,000.

The slay­ing oc­curred on Jan. 19 at about 10:30 p.m. at 915 N. Front St. Am­ber Long, 26, and her moth­er, Stephanie, were walk­ing on the side­walk when two men ap­proached them and grabbed their purses. One of the rob­bers pulled a gun from his pants and shot her fatally in the chest. Both crooks fled in­to a wait­ing car oc­cu­pied by at least one oth­er man.

“Talk­ing to the hom­icide de­tect­ives, talk­ing to those who looked at the (sur­veil­lance) video, it was prob­ably the worst thing they’d seen in their ca­reers, a cow­ard act,” McNesby said.

Ac­cord­ing to McNesby, the po­lice uni­on ad­min­is­ters a re­ward fund sup­por­ted by city busi­ness con­trib­ut­ors. The re­ward is sep­ar­ate from the City of Phil­adelphia’s $20,000 re­ward for in­form­a­tion lead­ing to the ar­rest and con­vic­tion of any mur­der­er. Mean­while, the Cit­izens Crime Com­mis­sion has pos­ted a $7,000 re­ward in the Front Street case.

Video of the crime is ac­cess­ible via the Phil­adelphia Po­lice chan­nel on You­ Call 215-686-TIPS or text to PP­DTIP to re­port in­form­a­tion.

“Any­body that knows any­thing, we’re ask­ing you to call, no mat­ter if you think it means any­thing, wheth­er you think it doesn’t mean any­thing, call,” McNesby said. ••

Taylor an­nounces bid for re-elec­tion

State Rep­res­ent­at­ive John Taylor re­cently an­nounced he is seek­ing an­oth­er term in the state le­gis­lature. 

Taylor serves the 177th dis­trict, which in­cludes Port Rich­mond, Brides­burg, Frank­ford, North­wood, Ta­cony and May­fair.

“My job is to help people and that’s why I love do­ing it,” Taylor said in a press re­lease. “It was nev­er about help­ing a Demo­crat or a Re­pub­lic­an. It was al­ways about help­ing a neigh­bor - help­ing a loc­al fam­ily in need, or help­ing the city of Phil­adelphia as a whole.”

Taylor’s main con­cerns in­clude cre­at­ing jobs, fight­ing blight, keep­ing taxes low and im­prov­ing edu­ca­tion, ac­cord­ing to the state­ment. Taylor has helped to en­act Act 135, Pennsylvania’s Aban­doned and Blighted Prop­erty Con­ser­vat­or­ship Act, which cre­ates a court-ap­poin­ted con­ser­vat­or to re­hab­il­it­ate blighted prop­er­ties for re­use and re­sale.

“These new laws are vi­tal tools in our ar­sen­al to fight blight and keep our neigh­bor­hoods safe and stable,” Taylor said in a state­ment. “I will con­tin­ue to make fight­ing crime and blight, and im­prov­ing the qual­ity of life in our neigh­bor­hoods a key pri­or­ity.” ••

Med­ic­al can­nabis bill ad­vances in state sen­ate

The Sen­ate Law and Justice Com­mit­tee re­cently held a hear­ing for a bi­par­tis­an bill pro­pos­ing to leg­al­ize med­ic­al can­nabis.

Sen­ate Bill 1182, the Com­pas­sion­ate Use of Med­ic­al Can­nabis Act, leg­al­izes the use of med­ic­al can­nabis by pa­tients as re­com­men­ded by at­tend­ing phys­i­cians.

This bill is the first of its kind that has re­ceived bi­par­tis­an sup­port. To date, there are 11 co­spon­sors on the bill. One of them is loc­al sen­at­or Mike Stack.

Al­most 20 in­di­vidu­als and or­gan­iz­a­tions test­i­fied at the hear­ing, voicing their sup­port for the pro­posed bill, ac­cord­ing to a state­ment from Sen. Daylin Leach. Sup­port­ers in­cluded the Pennsylvania Nurses As­so­ci­ation, re­search­ers and fam­il­ies of chil­dren who would be­ne­fit from the bill. 

The Sen­ate Law and Justice Com­mit­tee will con­tin­ue to ac­cept testi­mony, chair­man Sen. Chuck McIl­hin­ney said in a state­ment. The bill will be con­sidered in the com­ing weeks. ••

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