News in brief: 4.12 Issue


Last Wednesday, the School of Media and Communication celebrated the creation of the Steve Charles Chair in Media, Cities and Solutions.

The chair was formed by SMC alumnus, Steve Charles, who donated $2 million, the largest one-time donation in the school’s history.

The chair’s purpose is to support and study solutions-based journalism and media. It is designed to make a positive difference in urban neighborhoods like North Philadelphia.

SMC Dean David Boardman said the chair will provide a new innovative approach and will help Temple strengthen its relationship with Philadelphia.

He added media usually focuses on the negative too much and this chair could have a profound impact to improve the surrounding communities.

David Bornstein, a New York Times columnist and co-founder of the Solutions Journalism Network, said journalists should seek out the success of this kind of journalism by shifting their attention to providing resources and solutions in their stories.

Charles—who graduated from Temple in 1980 with an advertising degree—later founded immixGroup, a firm helping technology business work with the federal government.

He also established a scholarship fund in 2011 for SMC students who graduate from a school in an urban environment.

-Tom Ignudo


Temple and Snøhetta architects met April 6 at the Temple Performing Arts Center for a panel discussion of the university’s new library, Curbed Philadelphia reported.

Selected panelists, moderated by Inquirer architecture critic Inga Saffron, discussed the purpose of the building’s architecture and the evolution of the plans for the library.

Craig Dykers, founding partner and architect at Snøhetta said the library will attempt to encourage people to take the stairs rather than elevators with its open and “voyeuristic” design.

Dykers also spoke about the use of a“Book Bot,” an automated retrieval system that will store 90 percent of the 2 million books Temple owns. He said the bot will create 35 percent more open space in the library.

Peter Conn, executive director of the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, said the system would segregate people from the books, the “core material of the library.”

University Architect Margaret Carney said the original plans for the library placed it west of Broad Street, however President Theobald’s ideas for the library moved it to the center of Main Campus.

The location of the library within the campus will hopefully draw community members onto the campus to use it, said Anne Fadullon, director of planning and development for the city.

-Julie Christie


The Philadelphia Business Journal recognized Temple’s Athletic Director, Pat Kraft, in its 2016 “40 Under 40 list,” which features young business leaders.

The Journal also recognized six other Temple alumni.

Kraft said he was honored to be on the list and Temple’s athletics would not have had the success it had without the help from President Theobald and Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Kevin Clark.

In Kraft’s first year as Temple’s AD, the football team got off to its best start in school history.

The Owls started out 7-0, were nationally ranked for the first time since 1979 and earned bowl eligibility for the fifth time in the past seven years.

Temple’s men’s basketball team also won the American Athletic Conference regular season in 2015-16.

The men’s appeared in the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time in nine years, while women’s basketball team played in the Women’s National Invitational Tournament for the second straight season.

-Tom Ignudo


Dr. Darilyn Moyer has been named president-elect of the American College of Physicians, according to a Temple Health press release. Moyer is a professor of medicine, executive vice chair for education in the Department of Medicine, internal medicine residency program director and assistant dean for graduate medical education at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine.

Moyer’s term will begin during the ACP’s Internal Medicine Meeting, the annual scientific meeting held in Washington, D.C. in May.

Moyer’s background includes serving on ACP’s Board of Regents, which is the main policy-making body of the organization. She has been an ACP fellow since 1995 and has also served as the Chair of the Board of Governors, according to the release.

-Lian Parsons


Last week, Philadelphia released a dataset with salary and overtime pay information for all city employees. Philly reported that Mayor Jim Kenney has supported making salary information public.

“There’s no reason why [city employee] salary information shouldn’t be available,” he told Philly in January.

City spokeswoman Lauren Hitt said the new dataset means journalists will not have to fulfill right-to-know requests concerning employee salaries, which was a common request.

Chief Data Officer Tim Wisniewski had been working with his department and the city’s Finance Department to make the data public.

“It’s not an easy dataset,” he told Philly. “These are real people. These are real departments. These are real concerns.”

He also wanted to make sure city employees and departments knew the data was going to be publicly released.

“We didn’t have to get buy in from each department, but we didn’t want them finding out from the press release,” he told Philly.

-Steve Bohnel

News in brief: 4.5 Issue


Temple Police banned the guest of a student from campus after they received a report of a sexual assault March 24 in Peabody Hall.

An 18-year-old female student was assaulted by a 22-year-old male on Feb. 13, according to Temple Police. The man, who was identified, is not associated with Temple.

Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said the man touched the student inappropriately and then attempted to continue sexual contact, but failed. He added the student does not want further involvement from Temple Police.

-Julie Christie


The 8th and Diamond, Amos, Penrose and MLK recreation centers are still waiting on funding from Mayor Jim Kenney’s $600 million proposal for parks, recreation centers and public libraries.

Lauren Hitt, a spokeswoman for Kenney, said in an email that money from the proposal will be part of the 2017 fiscal year, which begins this July.

The Penrose Recreation Center on 12th Street and West Susquehanna Avenue had its monthly event meeting on March 23 to talk about fundraising and highlight community involvement.

Judy Newton, a 20-year-old community member at the meeting, said city funding would bring additional volunteers and structure to Penrose and other centers’ activities.

“More people would come in without the [recreation center] problems,” she said. “We don’t have enough resources or enough hands, and doing more for the kids will bring more of the community out.”    

Jeff Murray, a volunteer at the MLK Recreation Center, is behind Kenney’s proposal. He agreed that Philadelphia’s public spaces need to be updated.

He added, however, he is confident the funding will arrive later this year.

“We have organizations and discussion groups that have sat down with [Kenney] and I know that’s one of his main goals. It’s to improve the city,” he said.

-Dominic Barone


Temple was selected by the U.S. Department of Defense to be a partner in a $75 million national research institute dedicated to U.S. textile manufacturing uses.

Temple Now reported the partnership was established with the Advanced Functional Fabrics of America, a resource center for industry and government agencies for the development of new fabrics, fibers and materials.

The insititute is comprised of 31 academic institutions and 16 industry partners, like Nike and Microsoft. Twenty-six startup incubators and venture capital groups have also committed support to the cause.

The research includes prototyping new materials for new uses spanning from everyday consumer products to protective armor as well as healthcare and architecture.   

Many Temple faculty members will participate in this research effort.

-Dominic Barone


Flight, the newest shuttle service for Temple, is adding a temporary vehicle in response to an increase in demand.

“It’s experiencing almost double the demand,” said Student Body President Ryan Rinaldi. “That’s why we added the van temporarily until a permanent fix is made next semester.”

The vehicle is called the Temple Express, and it picks up at the Tech Center every half-an-hour from 6:30 p.m. to midnight. It debuted yesterday and will run through the end of the semester. 

Rinaldi said Flight provides an average of 3,900 rides during a full week, or about 550 rides per day. He expects those numbers to rise during finals week.

-Dominic Barone


Sen. Bernie Sanders is holding a rally at the Liacouras Center tomorrow. The event is free to attend, but admission is on a first-come-first-serve basis. Doors open at 5 p.m. and attendees are encouraged to sign up at

-Lian Parsons


A California judge postponed Bill Cosby’s deposition in a lawsuit indefinitely as a result of the comedian’s ongoing criminal case in Montgomery County.

Judge Craig Kaplan said the deposition would violate Cosby’s right to not incriminate himself, Reuters reported.

The lawsuit in California comes from Judy Huth, who accuses Cosby of sexually assaulting her when she was 15 years old at the Playboy Mansion in 1974.

Former Los Angeles Deputy District Attorney Dmitry Gorin told Reuters the delay in California could lead to similar situations in other lawsuits taking place around the country, including one in Massachusetts, where eight women are suing Cosby for slander.

The delay in Cosby’s California deposition will not stop the depositions from other witnesses, including Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy magazine.

-Julie Christie

Shooting reported near Health Sciences Campus

An unidentified male shot a 24-year-old man in the calf and thigh while he was walking West on Westmoreland Street from Germantown Avenue near the Health Sciences Campus at 1:10 a.m. Tuesday, Temple Police said.

A TU Alert was issued about 1:30 a.m. cautioning students to stay away from the 1300 block of West Westmoreland Street.

Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said the victim could not give a description of the offender or where they ran to. He added the victim was taken to Temple University Hospital in stable condition.

Leone said the victim has had several run-ins with Temple Police for the past three years for disturbances around the hospital, like fighting and other incidents of assault.

“I believe he puts himself at risk wandering the streets late at night,” Leone said.

Julie Christie can be reached at or on Twitter @ChristieJules.

Gov. Wolf passes Pa. budget

Gov. Tom Wolf agreed today to allow the 2015-2016 budget to pass, ending a nearly nine-month-long budget impasse. The $6.6 billion budget was created by a Republican-controlled Congress, to feature no-new-taxes spending.

The bill will become law Sunday night.

Wolf was reluctant to sign the bill, but said he would allow it to pass earlier today during a press conference.

“This budget doesn’t work,” Wolf said during the press conference. “The math doesn’t work and that’s a real problem.”

“So I cannot in good conscience sign this bill I cannot in good conscience attach my name to a budget that simply does not add up,” he added. “But to allow us to move on to face budget challenges of 2016-17 I am going to allow HB1801 to become law.”

The budget will have a commonwealth allocation of $147 million, a 5 percent increase from the 2014-2015 budget, President Theobald said in a university statement. An additional $26 million will be allocated to Temple Health enterprises.

The lack of budget threatened a $175 million deficit for Temple and other closures throughout the state.

Theobald applauded the Temple community for more than 5,000 emails and hundreds of calls from students, faculty and alumni to put pressure on the state government for a budget and to avoid a deficit.

You let your voices be heard in Harrisburg and made a difference,” Theobald said in the statement.

Temple Advocates Legislative Outreach Network had been lobbying for the passage of a budget so the university would not have a large deficit.

Gillian McGoldrick can be reached at or on Twitter @gill_mcgoldrick.

News in brief: 3.15 Issue


The trial for football players Dion Dawkins and Haason Reddick was pushed back to Aug. 22 in a scheduled court appearance yesterday.

Both players were charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person in a Jan. 18, 2015 barroom altercation at Club 1800 in Northern Liberties.

James Funt, representing Dawkins, told common pleas Judge Charles A. Ehrlich the other defense attorney—Glenn Gilman,  who represents Reddick—was unavailable yesterday. Funt later told The Temple News it was for personal reasons.

“[Scheduling for] a lot of trials is like herding cats,” Funt said, but added the five-month delay should not have an effect on the trial.

Cameron Kline, spokesman and communications director for the Office of the District Attorney, said scheduling depends on availability of the judge and the defense and district attorneys.

“Each case is individual,” Kline said. “And as anxious as we are to get these done, some cases are faster than others.”

Earlier this month, Gilman said self-defense will be a “major issue” with helping Dawkins’ and Reddick’s case. Funt said the two football players were “peacemakers” in the altercation.

Both lawyers have also told The Temple News that eyewitness credibility was another important argument in the case.

“The challenge is overcoming the bias that people have about football players,” Funt said, adding people often get the impression football players are “naturally violent.”

“We have character witnesses that will prove these men are honest, law abiding citizens,” he said.

Funt said his goal is to get Dawkins and Reddick exonerated of all charges and later file to expunge their records, meaning they would not even have a record of arrest.

“We have to talk to 12 strangers and get them to see the heart and soul of these men,” Funt said, maintaining that Dawkins and Reddick did nothing wrong.

“They were simply present.”

-Julie Christie


A homicide case involving Brandon Meade—the 29-year-old from Upper Darby who is charged with the murder of 21-year-old finance student Agatha Hall—is scheduled to head to trial Sept. 19, according to court records.

According to a police affidavit completed by Philadelphia Police Det. Nordo Philip on Sept. 15, Philadelphia Police’s Homicide Unit interviewed two witnesses about the events on Aug. 31, where police found Hall dead in her apartment bedroom on York Street near Park Avenue.

The first witness told police she arrived at the apartment building at around 12:30 a.m. on Aug. 31, and encountered Meade when the witness and her boyfriend entered the building. Meade then went upstairs and started to bang on Hall’s bedroom door.

“Agatha, let me in,” the witness recalled Meade saying. “Agatha, I left my gun in there, let me in. I need to get my gun. If you don’t let me in I’m gonna get my peoples after you.”

The witness then told police she heard a gunshot. A few seconds later, Meade added, “Oh my god why did she do that?”

After an investigation by the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office, Dr. Bruce H. Wainer determined Hall’s death to be a homicide.

A second witness was interviewed by Philadelphia Police’s Homicide Unit on Sept. 14. He told police he called Hall shortly after midnight Aug. 31, and that the conversation was short and ended with Hall stating, “I have to go, I have to go, I have to go.” He then got a call from her phone from an “irate male,” who talked in a threatening manner.

During the conversation, Hall said, “Don’t say anything,” which was then followed by a noise of someone being pushed and then a brief period of silence, according to the affidavit.

Evan Hughes, Meade’s attorney, could not be reached for comment.

-Steve Bohnel


Shakree Bennett, a 23-year-old from North Philadelphia, who was charged with sexually assaulting a 20-year-old student in September, had a status hearing yesterday morning according to court records.

According to an affidavit of probable cause filed by Det. Edward Enriquez on Oct. 14, the student described the incident on Sept. 28 where she was sexually assaulted and robbed at gunpoint.

On Sept. 29, Philadelphia Police’s Special Victims Unit investigators reviewed footage of the area where the sexual assault occurred, according to the affidavit.

The following day, Det. James Owens interviewed a male witness who said he saw the sexual assault happen, and noticed the man was around 25 years old, had short hair and had a black goatee.

After police reviewed SEPTA footage and held a press conference about the assault, the man was identified as Bennett, according to police.

Interviews conducted by the Special Victims Unit during early October led to Bennett’s arrest. First, police interviewed State Parole Agent Ben Mallow, who said he recognized the man in the surveillance footage as Bennett because he was on state parole for robbery, according to the affidavit.

The affidavit stated that police were able to track Bennett to his brother’s house in Newark, New Jersey after talking with a drug informant at Broad Street and Erie Avenue and Bennett’s mother. An anonymous phone call on Oct. 6 led police to a house in Newark.

On Oct. 8, police found Bennett at his brother’s house hiding under a bed on the third floor, according to the affidavit. They also recovered a puffy jacket and black hat, seen on the man identified in surveillance video of the incident.

The next day, the student was shown photos of six African-American males. She picked out Bennett as the person who sexually assaulted her. He was arrested and charged with the sexual assault Oct. 14.

-Steve Bohnel

News in brief: 3.8 Issue


Actress Tina Fey, best known for “30 Rock” and “Saturday Night Live” promoted the Donald Fey Memorial Scholarship on the “Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon.” The scholarship, established by Tina and her brother, Peter Fey, is in honor of her father, Donald Fey, who died Oct. 18, 2015.

The scholarship is specifically for military veterans applying to the journalism department, as a tribute to Donald’s service in the Korean War. Donald Fey was a 1966 alumnus of the School of Media and Communication.

According to Philadelphia Business Journal, Temple did not disclose how much money Tina Fey donated to the scholarship, but there is nearly $100,000 donated so far.

Neither of the Fey siblings are part of the scholarship recipient selection committee, according to Philadelphia Business Journal. It is also unclear how many recipients will receive the scholarship, but Temple could potentially award $4,000 this fall if a student who fits the criteria is identified.

-Lian Parsons


More than 32,000 applications have been recieved for the next calendar year at Temple, breaking last year’s record.

According to a university press release, 32,655 students applied to the university as of Feb, 24. Last year, 30,043 applied. The deadline for applications was March 1.

William Black, senior vice provost for enrollment management, said in a Temple Now interview, the rise in applications is occuring at nearly every school and college at the university, and that the new class is the strongest academically in Temple’s history.

“Our academic reputation is soaring, and people everywhere are starting to take notice,” Karin Mormando, director of undergraduate admissions, said in the release.

Factors contributing to growth include the Temple Option, which allows applicants to apply without submitting standardized test scores. Another is improvements to Main Campus, including Visualize Temple and Verdant Temple, the university’s campus and landscape plans, respectively.

The number of minority applicants is also up at the university. African-Americans’ applications have increased by more than 9 percent since last year, and applications from Latinos about 30 percent.

-Steve Bohnel


The Home Depot has released plans to hire 1,500 people in the Philadelphia area and 80,000 people nationwide in preparation for the home improvement store’s busiest season of spring. Both full-time, seasonal and part-time positions are available.

Opening opportunities include sales, operations and cashier positions. All applications can be filled out online on The Home Depot’s official website.

Associates are offered tuition assistance, 401k plans and other incentives during their employment. The tuition assistance program has granted associates more than $124 million during the past 10 years.

The Home Depot’s nearest stores include one in Port Richmond, Crescentville and South Philadelphia.

-Gillian McGoldrick


Thomas Pierce Elementary School in North Philadelphia received a $225,000 grant to provide technology and resources to parents in the community, Newsworks reported.

The grant, from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, will last three years and create a space in a previously empty room in the school building. Parents will be able to access information on how to get involved in their children’s education, instruct their children in reading and math, enroll their children in high school and give resources that will help parents fill out job applications.

Parent Power, an advocacy group headed by Sylvia Simms, who serves on the School Reform Commission, has opened other centers like the one at Thomas Pierce Elementary School in nearby schools.

The school district hopes to open technology and resource centers in all of its schools, Superintendent William Hite told Newsworks.

-Julie Christie

City fighting pension crisis

City Controller Alan Butkovitz is trying to fight the city’s underfunded pension crisis by buying out more than 30,000 pensioners.

The Inquirer reported Butkovitz is attempting to offer up-front cash payments to city retirees in order for them to surrender their pensions.

“There’s a persistent concern in the city about getting control of pension costs and a lot of things have been tried that were nibbling around the edges,” Butkovitz told the Inquirer.

City Council would need to approve any buyout.

-Steve Bohnel

News in brief: 2.16 Issue


Philadelphia Police removed several rowdy teenagers from the Pearl Theatre on West Oxford Street Saturday evening.

Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said between six and eight juveniles had been causing a disturbance in the theater, and when the manager could not remove them, a Philadelphia Police officer stepped in.

Once the teens, all younger than 17 years old, were outside the building, they continued the disorderly behavior. Leone added several went to Wendy’s and one threw a milkshake.

Leone said only one teen was arrested because he was “the only one who was not compliant at all.”

He added the teen was later released to his parents.

-Julie Christie


Brandon Meade will go to trial for the alleged murder of his girlfriend, Agatha Hall. Hall was a Temple student found dead in her apartment Aug. 31, 2015.

Her death was initially ruled a suicide, but further investigation resulted in the arrest and charging of Meade for her murder.

The trial is scheduled for Sept. 19, with a trial readiness conference Feb. 29.

Meade is charged with murder, possession of an instrument of crime with intent to use it, tampering with evidence, false reporting and falsely incriminating another. If Meade is found guilty, he will face either the death penalty or life in prison without parole.

-Julie Christie


On Friday, Bill Cosby’s attorneys attempted to have his sexual assault case dismissed. Cosby’s attorneys argued that Bruce L. Castor Jr.’s 2005 deal with Cosby to never criminally prosecute him for the 2004 Andrea Constand case was binding.

Brian McMonagle, one of Cosby’s attorneys, filed the appeal notice to the state Superior Court, the Inquirer reported. He also appealed Judge Steven T. O’Neill’s decision not to disqualify District Attorney Kevin Steele.

Steele said his office opposes any further delay in the case, the Inquirer reported. He added he believes the defense should not appeal before the preliminary hearing.

A Massachusetts judge ruled on Thursday that Cosby’s wife, Camille Cosby, must sit for a deposition. The judge also declined her request for a formal protective order limiting the extent of questioning.

Cosby’s preliminary evidentiary hearing is scheduled for March 8.

-Lian Parsons


Pipes burst on the fifth floor of 1940 Residence Hall, displacing students about 9 a.m. Sunday. The students were moved from the dorm to Tomlinson Theater and then to the atrium in Annenberg Hall.

Maintenance spent the day vacuuming water out of the dorm, said Charlie Leone, executive director of Campus Safety Services.

Students were allowed to return after an email was sent out just after 5:15 p.m.

Leah Hetzell, the resident director of 1940 Residence Hall said in an email to residents the burst pipe was caused by “a campus-wide heating issue.”

That same morning, students in 1300 Residence Hall were woken by fire alarms that went off seven times between 1 a.m. and 8 a.m. There was no damage to the building and residents were allowed in once the alarms were over, Leone said.

-Julie Christie


Saige Cafe received 17 health code violations during a Feb. 4 inspection.

The cafe, located on 1802 N. Warnock St. near the Temple University SEPTA station, will remain open, said cafe co-owner Ram Hegde.

“If [the inspector] didn’t think we weren’t going to be compliant, we wouldn’t be open right now,” Hegde said. He added most of the violations, which included food that was less than six inches above the ground and uncovered trash cans, were “fixed in a moment.”

The most serious violation was the absence of a certified food safety handler during the inspection, Hegde said. Several employees have already registered to receive the certification, and go in for the test next week, he added.

“It doesn’t mean that the place is going to shut down,” said Oliver Oyakhire, inspector from the Philadelphia Department of Health/Office of Food Protections. “It just means that the standards are going to improve.”

Oyakhire said he will return in two weeks to reinspect the cafe. If Saige Cafe fails to comply with the violations, it will be submitted for a $315 fine. Failing compliance after the fine may result in court summons.

“It is essential that [the cafe] address these violations,” Oyakhire said, citing inaccessible handwashing stations for employees and lack of proper temperature measuring devices for food. The solutions for many of these violations are easily corrected, he added.

If all goes well in Oyakhire’s next checkup, Saige Cafe will not require further investigation until next year’s annual inspection.

-Lian Parsons & Julie Christie


Classes were cancelled Thursday and Friday for students at Ursinus College in Collegeville, Pa. after about 200 students got sick from a gastrointestinal illness.

6ABC reported that a norovirus—often know as food poisoning or stomach virus—caused the sickness. Students first began experiencing symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting and stomach pain on Tuesday night.

A Montgomery County Health Department report conducted on Wednesday found the campus dining hall to have 12 violations including dead bugs, improper hand washing practices and pesticides near food, the Inquirer reported. All of the violations had been fixed the following day. The illness that students and some faculty suffered lasted between 12 and eight hours.

Twenty-two students were treated at hospitals but none were admitted. Classes resumed Monday for the 1,681 students at Ursinus.

-Gillian McGoldrick


U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, 79, died of a heart attack on Saturday, according to multiple media reports.

Scalia was the leading conservative voice on the nation’s highest court and was on the bench for 29 years, the longest-serving justice on the Supreme Court.

Scalia was nominated by President Ronald Reagan in 1986 and was best known for the landmark decision District of Columbia v. Heller that firearms in one’s home are protected under the Second Amendment. Scalia was also known for dissenting on the Roe v. Wade decision and the same-sex marriage decisions.

President Obama has announced he intends to nominate someone for the vacant seat, which is now split 4-4 between conservative and liberal views.

-Gillian McGoldrick

News in brief: 2.9 Issue


Temple Police are continuing an investigation after tweeting photos of three men suspected to be involved in drawing and writing offensive language on a car near Main Campus.

A student found a swastika and racial slur written in a thin layer of snow on a car behind White Hall on Carlisle Street about 10:30 a.m. Saturday. Police said they learned about it an hour later.

After reviewing cameras in the area, Temple Police released the pictures of the three men. One wore an Eagles jersey, the next wore a striped blue shirt with tan pants and the third wore a Phillies jersey.

Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said police are following leads from tips to identify them.

Temple released an official statement condemning the “language in the strongest terms” and said those responsible would be held accountable.

Tipsters can contact Temple Police’s tipline at 215-204-6493.

    -Julie Christie


A Temple security officer was released from Temple University Hospital after a hit-and-run outside the Campus Police headquarters at 1801 N. 11th St. Friday night.

A vehicle heading north on 11th Street hit the officer’s vehicle in the rear and fled, but was later stopped by Philadelphia Police at 11th and Diamond streets. The driver was arrested, however his name and the charges he will face are not yet known.

Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said the officer had neck and back pain, but no serious injuries, which was “very lucky.”     -Julie Christie

ALUMNI win naacp awards

Three alumni and one faculty member were nominated for awards at the 47th NAACP Image Awards which aired last Friday.

According to the website, the NAACP Image Awards “celebrate the outstanding achievements and performances of people of color in the arts, as well as those individuals or groups who promote social justice through their creative endeavors.”

Jill Scott, a 1996 alumna, won awards in the three music categories she was nominated. She received the award for “Back Together” in the Traditional category for Outstanding Song, for her album “Woman” in the Outstanding Album category and the award for Outstanding Female Artist.

Terrell Stafford, director of Jazz Studies and chair of Instrumental Studies in the Boyer College of Music and Dance, was also nominated for his album “BrotherLEE Love: Celebrating Lee Morgan,” in the Outstanding Jazz Album category.

-Lian Parsons


A Montgomery County judge ruled last Wednesday the charges of sexual assault will not be dropped against alumnus Bill Cosby.

Cosby’s defense argued charges should be dropped because a former district attorney had promised to not prosecute Cosby. There is no binding record of the promise, said current District Attorney Kevin Steele, the Inquirer reported.

Cosby’s lawyers have 30 days to appeal the decision, which may halt court proceedings for several months.

Both sides argue whether the decision is one that can be appealed as well as the credibility of testimonies from former District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. and former Temple basketball manager Andrea Constand.

A decade-old deposition with Cosby’s testimony included that he had sexual relations with Constand and had purchased a sedative he intended to use during sex with women, the Inquirer reported.

Julie Christie


Prominent Philadelphia lawyer Richard A. Sprague has been added as a mediator to negotiate a deal for Justice J. Michael Eakin so he may avoid public trial. Eakin was suspended from his position in December 2015 as a justice for the Pa. Supreme Court after ethics charges for exchanging obscene, misogynistic and racially offensive emails.

The “Porngate” scandal arose and reached the Supreme Court in 2014 after Justice Seamus P. McCaffery resigned after accusations of his exchange of hundreds of obscene emails and photos on state computers. After Attorney General Kathleen Kane released emails that Eakin had sent or received.

-Gillian McGoldrick

News in brief: 2.2 Issue


The university’s endowment rate increased by 3.06 percent from 2014-15, according to data from the National Association of College and University Business Officers and the Commonfund Institute.These numbers are higher than the national endowment return average of 2.4 percent, a decline from 2014’s endowment return rate of 15.5 percent.

The lowest endowment return rate in the past 15 years was reported to be in 2009, with an endowment return rate of -18.7 percent.

Temple’s full endowment for the 2015 fiscal year was $386,230,000. Harvard University had the largest endowment of $3.4 billion.

-Gillian McGoldrick


Bill Cosby’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for today in Norristown.

Former university employee Andrea Constand has accused Cosby of sexually molesting her in his Cheltenham home in 2004. The Temple News reported in December that Cosby was charged with felony indecent assault charges, the first criminal charges pressed against him since dozens of women have accused him of drugging and/or sexually assaulting them.

Former Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. is expected to be a key witness at the hearing today, the Inquirer reported.

It’s unclear how long the hearing will last, and neither prosecutors or Cosby’s lawyers have given a witness list, the Inquirer reported.

Constand had initially filed a civil suit against Cosby in March 2005. Parts of it were unsealed last summer before criminal charges were filed in December.

-Steve Bohnel

CITY TO INVESTIGATE WATER TESTING Philadelphia City Council is going to launch an investigation into the city’s water testing methods done by the Philadelphia Water Department.

The water sampling methods used by the Philadelphia Water Department don’t properly illustrate the level of lead in drinking water and could mask the sort of problems suffered in Flint, Michigan, medical ethnographer, Dr. Yanna Lambrinidou told The Guardian.

The Water Department gave faulty instructions to residents to find out about lead poisoning involving removing the faucet’s filter from the nozzle in a term known as “pre-flushing.” The Environmental Protection Agency advised against this testing method because it does not find the highest lead levels.

“It’s irresponsible, it’s immoral and it’s putting people’s lives at risk,” Lambrindiou said to The Guardian. “It misleads the public into thinking they will be OK with corrosion control treatment.”

-Jonathan Gilbert


A new Pew Charitable Trust study found tenure for Philadelphia councilmen has decreased while their average salary has increased.

The study compared the average time served, salary and gender ratio of the City Council in 2010 to the same categories in 2016 for 15 different cities across the country, the Inquirer reported.

For 2016, Philadelphia ranked third in the longest tenure for city councilmen at 8.2 years, beaten only by Chicago and Baltimore. The city also ranks third in average salary at $132,789, trailing behind Washington and Los Angeles.

Women make up 35 percent of  City Council, placing Philadelphia behind Detroit, Pittsburgh, San Diego and Washington.

The 2010 study showed Philadelphia had an average 15.5 year tenure, an average $121,107 salary and women made up 41 percent of the council.

-Julie Christie

News in brief: 1.26 Issue


One of three homicide cases involving the Temple community is scheduled to head to trial. Brandon Meade will receive a trial date Feb. 11 at 9 a.m.

Meade is accused of murdering his girlfriend and Temple student Agatha Hall, staging it to look like a suicide.

Attorney Evan Hughes could not be reached for comment.

Both Randolph Sanders and Dimitrius Brown are still in the pre-trial phase of their cases. Sanders is accused of killing community leader Kim Jones and is scheduled to  return to court Feb. 12. Brown is accused of killing 14-year-old Duval DeShields and is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 27.

-Julie Christie


Philadelphia and Temple Police are still investigating the murder of Antonio Miller. The 25-year-old was found in an empty lot shot in the head three times on Edgely Street at around 4:40 p.m. Jan. 16.

Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said investigators are focusing on why Miller was murdered with the hope that it will lead to who killed him.

“It didn’t look like a robbery, and the age difference was odd. The victim was older but the offenders were younger,” Leone said.

Police said they do not have much information on the three suspects. They were all young men between 15 and 20 years old and were wearing all black clothing at the time.

-Julie Christie


A Code Blue was declared on Jan. 17 and will remain in effect until further notice in Philadelphia.

During a Code Blue, transportation and emergency shelter are provided to all homeless people. Homeless are transported and housed by Project HOME.

The Code Blue extends from homeless people to abandoned animals that are left in the cold. Code Blues are announced by city government when temperature, wind chill and precipitation result in a temperature that feels like or is equal to 20°F.

To call for assistance for a homeless person, the Project HOME outreach hotline is 215-232-1984. To report a sick or injured stray dog or cat, ACCTPhilly can be reached at 267-385-3800.

-Gillian McGoldrick


The totals for Winter Storm Jonas that brought large amounts of snow to Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York broke records for some of the largest snowstorms in the cities’ histories.

Philadelphia’s total snow was 22.4 inches, approximately 1 inch away from being the third-largest snowstorm in its history. The storm broke records in Baltimore as the largest snowstorm in the city’s history and within Washington D.C.’s top five recorded.

Philadelphia’s largest snowstorm on record occurred during the Blizzard of 1996, when the area received 30.7 inches of snow.

– Gillian McGoldrick


Former police commissioner Charles Ramsey is returning to his native police department, Chicago Police Department after eight years as police commissioner in Philadelphia.

Ramsey began as a police officer in Chicago, then left in 1998 to become police chief of Washington D.C. police department.

After nine years in that position, Ramsey came to Philadelphia. According to department statistics, both homicide rates and violent crimes decreased since his arrival.

Ramsey is returning to Chicago to advise and make recommendations to aid the Chicago Police Department in regaining the public’s trust after protests broke out following the shooting of an African-American teenager by a white cop.

USA Today reported hundreds of people protested after a video was released, which appears to show Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times on Oct. 20, 2014.

The city had initially resisted releasing the video—taken from the dashcam of a police car—referencing the ongoing federal and state investigations into the incident, USA Today reported.

-Gillian McGoldrick


Poverty rates have increased in Philadelphia, and a resulting food insecurity has increased the amount of children enrolled in Pennsylvania’s food stamp program, The Notebook reported.

More than one in three children in Philadelphia lives in poverty. The number of children enrolled in the food stamp program in Philadelphia increased by 10,000 from January 2015 to November 2015. Federal school lunch and breakfast programs largely address these issues and are accessible to children in public schools who receive food stamps.

-Gillian McGoldrick


Perjury, obstruction and related conspiracy charges against former president of Penn State Graham Spanier and former vice president Gary Schultz were thrown out by three judges in the Superior Court.

Spanier will still be charged with failing to report abuse and endangering the welfare of children, the AP reported.

Former Athletic Director Tim Curley had charges of obstruction and related conspiracy dropped as well.

The AP also reported the decision came after the court ruled former General Counsel for the university Cynthia Baldwin’s testimony should not have happened.

Judge Mary Jane Bowes said Baldwin did not clearly relay her representation of the university and not individuals.

-Julie Christie