News in brief: 9.29 Issue


Along with Neumann University in Aston, TUTV was the only other collegiate station credentialed to provide live coverage of Pope Francis’ appearances in Philadelphia last week.

TUTV reporters prepared stories in advance and broadcasted live from the Benjamin Franklin Parkway along with professional media outlets.

Associate Professor Paul Gluck, TUTV’s general manager, told the Inquirer as many as 17 student journalists were involved in the coverage.

“We can’t think of a better opportunity to show them how to cover a world-class story than when it comes to your backyard,” he said.

Lu Ann Cahn, director of career services for the School of Media and Communication and a former NBC10 reporter, anchored TUTV’s coverage.

“This might be one of the biggest stories we’re ever going to cover,” senior and broadcast journalism major Melissa Steininger told the Inquirer. “Something we’re going to remember forever.”

TUTV is broadcast in Philadelphia on Comcast Channel 50 and Verizon Channel 45 as well as streamed online at

-Lian Parsons


Temple University Hospital is the first in the region to implement a new FDA approved implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) system. Patients with an ICD implanted generally have been unable to receive MRI scans because the MRI could cause a malfunction in the defibrillator.

ICDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), a condition where the heart unexpectedly begins beating in a very rapid pattern. SCA can be fatal if not treated immediately.

An ICD is placed under the skin to track the heart rate of patients who have already had, or are at risk for SCA. If the ICD detects an abnormal rapid heart rhythm it will automatically deliver an electric shock to restore the heartbeat to normal.

The hospital will use the Medtronic Evera MRI SureScan ICD System. It has been FDA approved to allow for MRI scans on any part of the body. The approval was based on data from the Evera MRI Clinical Trial, which demonstrated the device is safe and effective, because of a very low risk of interactions between the MRI and the ICD.

“We are pleased to offer this innovative technology at Temple,” Joshua Cooper, MD, FACC, FHRS, Director of Cardiac Electrophysiology at Temple University Hospital and Professor of Medicine at Temple University School of Medicine said in a press release. “This new device could be a big deal for patients who may benefit from an ICD implantation to deliver life-saving therapy. Many of these same patients may need an MRI at some point in their lifetime and this piece of technology will help break down the barrier between ICDs and MRIs.”

The new product will not replace all defibrillators, Cooper said. However, the MRI-safe ICD is an improved option.

-Lian Parsons


Charter schools are suffering from lack of funding, the Keystone Alliance for Public Charter Schools announced in a press release last week.

There has been a three-month-long state budget impasse, which has led to school districts across the state reducing or suspending tuition payments to brick-and-mortar charter schools.

“The Charter School Law does not permit school districts to withhold funding from charter schools in the absence of a state budget,” said Tim Eller, executive director of the Keystone Alliance for Public Charter Schools.  “The bulk of funding for charter schools is funneled through school districts, and with many of them refusing to pay, charter schools are being financially strangled.  This is affecting thousands of students who attend charter schools across the state.”

Eller added many brick-and-mortar charter schools are struggling to remain open during the budget impasse.

There are 86 brick-and-mortar charter schools in Philadelphia alone. According to, as of 2012, there are around 47,000 charter school students in Philadelphia.

Charter schools do not have the authority to levy local taxes and generally rely on school districts for funding. They have few options for revenue sources and access to funding is quickly dwindling, including reserve funds.

Section 1725-A of the Public School Code requires school districts to pay charter schools “in 12 equal monthly payments, by the fifth day of each month, within the operating school year.”

-Lian Parsons


Temple alumni Brad Volm and Bradley Sawhill were involved in a collision between a Ride the Ducks tour vehicle and a bus in Seattle last Thursday afternoon, The Seattle Times reported. Four people were killed, eight others were critically injured in the collision and 20 people suffered minor injuries.

A witness described the Ride the Ducks tour vehicle, which was headed north, swerving and hitting an SUV before colliding with and ripping out the side of the southbound bus, The Seattle Times reported.

Volm and Sawhill were six weeks into a two-month cross-country roadtrip. They were both rugby players at Temple and graduated in 2014. Neither sustained injuries beyond minor bruising, Gerry Volm, Volm’s father said.

“Since graduation, [Brad] has always wanted to do this [trip],” Volm’s father said.

Neither of the two went to the ER after the collision.

“He’s a pretty humble kid,” Volm’s father added. “As parents we tried to convince him to go to the ER, but he said, ‘No Dad, there are other people who need it more.”

Since the crash, a fifth person died from sustaining accident injuries. 13 people are still recovering at the Harborview Medical Center, with four listed in serious condition.

-Lian Parsons