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can be reached at lian.parsons@temple.edu Or you can follow Lian on Twitter @Lian_Parsons Follow The Temple News @TheTempleNews

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

TSG to host student forum on football stadium

Temple Student Government will host a student forum on the potential football stadium with Athletic Director Pat Kraft and President Theobald at 4 p.m. Feb. 1 in the Student Center.

TSG posted a link for students to register for the event and submit their questions. Students must pre-register to attend the event.

Theobald and Kraft will address selected pre-submitted questions in the first half of the forum, followed by a Q&A.

Student Body President Ryan Rinaldi said he’s expecting higher attendance than general assembly meetings which typically attract 150 students.

“I think it’s a very important step for TSG and for Temple to address a topic that’s so hot around campus,” Rinaldi said. “There were multiple student representatives who have wanted answers from the administration.”

TSG has hosted open forums in the past, like on sexual assault prevention with Dean of Students Stephanie Ives and Executive Director of Campus Safety Charlie Leone, as well as post-graduation opportunities with the career center.

“I think [students] will be surprised with the transparency the administration offers,” Rinaldi said,. “It’s about getting answers from [Theobald and Kraft].”

Rinaldi said Theobald and Kraft are interested in knowing students’ questions and concerns about the potential stadium.

“It’s one thing to talk to me and TSG and it’s another thing to talk to students directly,” he said. “This was the right time to have a conversation like this.”

Lian Parsons can be reached at lian.parsons@temple.edu and @Lian_Parsons on Twitter.

News in brief: 1.19 Issue


The cold temperatures of December 2015 had adverse effects on pipes in Gladfelter Hall, the Louis J. Esposito Dining Center, 1940 Residence Hall and Morgan North Residence Hall.

In all four of these buildings, pipes froze and burst on Jan. 5, damaging the ceilings, a university spokesman said. The spokesman added Temple Police, Facilities Management, University Housing and Residential Life, the University Fire Marshal and Sodexo all responded and cleaned up the area before students returned. All the pipes have been repaired or isolated, he added.

Food stands affected by the pipe bursting have been temporarily moved to other areas of the Louis J. Esposito Dining Center. Students in the residence halls were affected to a greater degree—clothes left on the ground were soaked and smelled of mildew. Temple compensated for damaged property with 25 Diamond Dollars.

-Lila Gordon


Bill Cosby’s Feb. 2 preliminary hearing has been deferred following a Sept. 23 email from Bruce L. Castor Jr., a member of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, to then-District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman.

The Inquirer reviewed the email in which Castor said he struck a deal 10 years ago to never criminally prosecute Cosby for the 2004 Constand allegations.

“With the agreement of the defense lawyer and Andrea’s lawyers, I intentionally and specifically bound the Commonwealth that there would be no state prosecution of Cosby in order to remove from him the ability to claim his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination thus forcing him to sit for a deposition under oath,” Castor wrote in the email obtained by the Inquirer.

A judge will hear arguments to dismiss the case on Feb. 2.

Camille Cosby may take her husband’s place and be deposed in Boston Feb. 22 instead, concerning the Massachusetts defamation lawsuit.

-Lian Parsons


About 200,000 square feet of new retail space is available for development in North Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Business Journal reported.

Businesses and residencies from Center City to Temple are in the works, beginning with service-oriented establishments like banks, a grocery store and restaurants.

The development is in response to a greater amount of residents in North Philadelphia; the PBJ reported there are more than 5,000 residential units north of City Hall and a lack of profitable retail spaces.

Bart Blatstein, a 1976 Temple alumnus and president and chief executive officer of Tower Investments, Inc. is planning 60,000 square feet of new retail space at Broad and Spring Garden streets and 30,000 square feet behind Avenue North development, PBJ reported.

The goal is to optimize the area and improve retail opportunities in North Philadelphia, as well as expand the “Center City core,” the article said.

-Lian Parsons


Four Americans and seven Iranians were exchanged in a deal on Sunday related to the implementation of a nuclear deal between Iran and six other countries.

Among those released were Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and American student Matthew Trevithick, 30, of Hingham, Massachusetts.

Trevithick went to Iran in September to an institute affiliated with Tehran University, the Chronicle of Higher Education reported. Officials learned why he was arrested.

Rezaian was arrested July 22, 2014 and had been held in Iran up until the release, the Washington Post reported. He was charged with espionage, and was sentenced to an undisclosed prison term before being released.

-Lian Parsons

News in brief: 1.12 Issue


Two homicide cases involving incidents around Main Campus are scheduled to continue today.

Randolph Sanders, 37, was arrested February 1, 2015 for the January 2015 murder of Kim Jones. Jones was waiting at a bus stop when she was shot in the back of the head at 9:15 a.m. Sanders was identified less than a month later in surveillance tapes and confessed to the murder.

After a formal arraignment March 11 where Sanders was informed of the full charges against him—which include murder, carrying a firearm in public without a license and a possession of an instrument of crime with intent—Sanders moved to the pre-trial phase of the case.

The pre-trial conference, where evidence can be reviewed before the trial, has lasted more than ten months, and has been rescheduled nine times. Michael Coard, Sanders’ defense attorney, has filed a request for further investigation 6 times during the pretrial conference meetings.

Sanders’ pre-trial conference is scheduled for 9 a.m. today.

Coard could not be reached for comment on the case. Assistant District Attorneys also declined to comment on the case.

Brandon Meade, 29, is charged with the Aug. 31 murder of  Agatha Hall, a Temple student and Meade’s girlfriend. Investigators  say he staged the murder to look like a suicide. He was arrested Sept. 17.

Meade faces charges for murder, possession of an instrument of crime with intent, false reports that incriminated another and tampering and fabricating evidence.

After a Dec. 2 request for further investigation from defense attorney Evan Hughes, Meade’s case will move on to the pre-trial conference, scheduled for today.

Since then, Hughes has declined to comment.

Law professors at Temple were also asked to comment on both cases, but declined.

-Julie Christie


A sexual assault that occurred in early December was reported last Wednesday, Jan. 6.

A female freshman was assaulted in University Village between 11:50 p.m. Dec. 4 and 2 a.m. Dec. 5, said Charlie Leone, executive director of Campus Safety Services.

Leone added the victim did not want any police involvement.

“We assume it was a student, but she was very vague and didn’t tell us what happened or who did it,” Leone said.

He added the student reported the assault after initially talking to the officials involved in the Title IX investigation of Temple.

Leone said the student was informed of counseling resources.

“I’m hoping with more time and support she’ll be willing to give us more information,” Leone said.

-Julie Christie


Students are returning to limited walking space on Norris Street between Broad and 12th streets.

Philadelphia Gas Works construction crews are working to fix a broken power line, a university spokesman said. Pedestrians should walk east or west around the affected areas and exercise caution while construction continues, the spokesman added.

13th Street has also been closed between Montgomery Avenue and Norris Street and several food trucks like Burger Tank and Footlong Truck have been relocated.

The crews will be working on an intermittent basis until Feb. 1, the spokesman said. Work started Dec. 15.

A PGW spokesman could not be reached for comment.

-Lila Gordon


Hoverboards are now prohibited on all university campuses, according to a memo from Jim Creedon, vice president of construction, facilities and operations.

Safety concerns like hoverboard-related fires and potential injuries to pedestrians and riders contributed to the decision, according to the memo.

Hoverboards are not permitted to be used, charged or stored on all campuses, in all residence halls and all academic buildings “unless or until the university determines that appropriate standards can be implemented to reduce associated safety and fire risks,” the email said.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission also released a statement addressing the potential safety hazards of hoverboards.

About 20 universities have also placed a ban on hoverboards including George Washington University, Emerson College and the University of South Carolina.

-Lian Parsons


On Saturday, a two-day conference for African-American activists highlighted support for the Black Lives Matter movement and called for pushback against police brutality.

The lineup of speakers included 1960s activist Angela Davis, who addressed the conference about police and prisons.

“The entire history of police and prisons is of reform and look where we are today,” Davis said during the conference. “We want an end to policing as we know it.”

Anthony Monteiro, former African American studies professor, organized the event.

About 1,500 people registered for the event, the Inquirer reported.

-Lian Parsons

News in brief: 12.1 Issue


Multiple cases The Temple News has previously reported on are currently in the pre-trial stages of the judicial system.

The preliminary hearing for 19-year-old Dimitrius Brown is set for Dec. 16 after it was previously scheduled for Nov. 25. Brown was arrested Oct. 16 for the murder of 14-year-old Duval DeShields. Brown also faces drug charges from August, and a pre-trial conference is set for Dec. 5.

Shakree Bennett’s preliminary hearing was scheduled for Jan. 7, after it was initially set for Oct. 29 and Nov. 19. Bennett, charged with the September rape and robbery of a 20-year-old female Temple student, also faces charges for an assault and robbery that occurred two days before the alleged sexual assault.

The pre-trial conference for Randolph Sanders has been set for Dec. 22. The first scheduled date for it was April 1, and most recent was Nov. 18. Sanders is charged for the murder of Kim Jones in January. Sanders is also accused of attempting to steal $40,000 from Turning Points for Children and is reported to have killed Jones because she intended to report him for trying to misallocate the money.

Brandon Meade was scheduled to appear in court for a formal arraignment Nov. 24 to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty. Meade is charged with the murder of Temple student Agatha Hall in August, which was originally thought to be a suicide. His case’s scheduling conference is set for Dec. 2.

No lawyers for the defendants or the Philadelphia District Attorney’s office could be reached for comment.

    -Julie Christie


Senior nursing students Molly Kmetz, Yanna Savkova, Brianna Reed, Jamie Fitzgerald, Kelly Weniger and Shane McParland have called themselves “The Flu Crew” at Temple Hospital, according to a university press release.

The six students distribute surveys on vaccine opinion and administer vaccines to staff.

Out of more than 4,100 TUH employees, 3,649 have received vaccines as of Nov. 23. The goal is to reach 90 percent flu vaccine compliance.

The team travels around the hospital with a cart of vaccine equipment to make the process more convenient for staff.

Free flu vaccination services have been extended to March 31.

The Flu Crew plans to submit the information from the distributed surveys to medical publications.

  Lian Parsons


SEPTA bus route 23 will be split into two starting Sunday.

The route runs for about 14 miles from Broad and Oregon streets through Center City, extending into North Philadelphia and Germantown, ending in Chestnut Hill. It is SEPTA’s most frequently used bus route and typically carries 21,600 passengers every weekday.

The new route 23 will run from Chestnut Hill to Walnut Street and an additional route 45 bus will transport passengers from Noble to Oregon streets.

This split aims to increase reliability and punctuality for the route, as the current 23 bus is late more than 60 percent of the time.

SEPTA spent about $42,000 on advertisements to inform passengers of the change.

The estimated cost of the split is about $460,00 per year.

Lian Parsons


Overcrowding has become an issue at Woodrow Wilson Middle School in Northeast Philadelphia after 350 students moved in from another school, the Daily News reported.

Teachers at the school, located on Cottman Avenue near Loretto in Castor said the influx of fifth- and sixth-grade students from Solis-Cohen School has endangered the safety of those at Woodrow Wilson.

“There are so many kids in the hallway at the same time, it’s unbelievable,” a teacher told the Daily News on condition of anonymity.

Philadelphia School District spokesman Fernando Gallard, however, told the Daily News there is no safety hazard because everyone is still able to exit the middle school during evacuations. He added that teachers should contact district officials with any concerns.

“If we have staff that have concerns regarding the fire drill and whether they can exit the building, we need to hear that,” he told the Daily News. “We will absolutely work with them on that. That’s absolutely a priority for us.”

The Daily News reported Wilson has undergone several recent changes to accommodate the overcrowding, from using its library as a classroom to having students share lockers.

-Steve Bohnel

News in brief: 11.17 Issue


Six Philadelphia landmarks lit up with with blue, white and red in honor of the Nov. 13 terrorist attacks in Paris, according to a Billy Penn report.

The Lit Brothers Building on Market Street near 8th, displayed columns of blue, white and red in the pattern of the French flag.

The Cira Centre featured an Eiffel Tower outlined in a peace sign, as well as the French colors.

Boathouse Row on the Schuylkill River was highlighted in an alternating sequence of blue, white and red.

A vigil was held at LOVE Park Saturday night, organized by the French Consulate, where mourners gathered to light candles, sing the French national anthem, display signs and grieve together.

New artwork reading “Paris” in large blue, white and red letters appeared at Graffiti Pier.

The Philadelphia skyline also reflected French colors.

-Lian Parsons


Temple Police are investigating two sexual assaults that were reported in the past two weeks.

The Nov. 2 incident at 1300 Residence Hall was reported Nov. 11, according to Temple Police’s crime log.

Executive Director of Campus Safety Services Charlie Leone said the incident was “initally reported by a third party,” and that police spoke with the 20-year-old female student, who declined to give a description of the suspect or any other information.

“We had gotten basic information from a friend who told a Resident Assistant,” Leone said. “But as far as talking with the complainant, she doesn’t want to tell us anything.”

A second incident was reported Nov. 7, the same day the alleged incident occurred, according to the crime log.

Leone said this incident occurred at an off-campus apartment along the 1600 block of Cecil B. Moore Avenue. A 20-year-old female student and her friend were leaving a party when they invited two men back to the student’s apartment, he added.

One of them “inappropriately touched” the student, Leone said. Both men left, and the student’s reported the incident to Temple police, he added.

-Steve Bohnel


Four more women filed defamation lawsuits against Bill Cosby Nov. 13, ABC News reported. They each claimed Cosby sexually abused them and his representatives defamed them by declaring their stories lies.

Barbara Bowman, Angela Leslie, Louisa Moritz and Joan Tarshis are seeking compensation by claiming their defamation by Cosby’s representatives prevented them from leading their lives normally.

Bowman alleges Cosby sexually assaulted her multiple times in 1985 when she was 17 years old. Leslie claims Cosby assaulted her in 1992 when she met him in his suite in Las Vegas. Moritz alleges Cosby sexually assaulted her in 1969, in a dressing room of “The Tonight Show.”  Tarshis claims she was 19 years old when Cosby drugged and assaulted her in 1969.

All four women said they have changed their habits in public, have been accosted by strangers and have faced public ridicule since coming forward.

-Lian Parsons

News in brief: 11.10 Issue


A Temple Police vehicle caught fire at a BP gas station on Broad Street near Girard Avenue around 2:45 p.m., 6ABC Action News reported.

Witnesses told 6ABC two Temple Police cars were filling up at the pumps and one of the cars began to drive with the nozzle still attached. The pump was yanked over and ignited the tank, as well as the other police vehicle.

“So he left the nozzle inside the car, nozzle fell down and so did the pump,” Junaid Javed, co-owner of the gas station, told 6ABC. “Caused a spark, and then fire.”

Police reported the fire was extinguished within ten minutes, but the McDonald’s next to the gas station was evacuated. No injuries were reported.

The police vehicle was towed and the incident is currently under investigation.

Javad told 6ABC the estimated damage may cost more than $20,000 and he does not know how long it will take to repair the pumps.

Temple University told 6ABC the officer will remain on duty, but will not drive while the incident is being investigated.

-Lian Parsons


President Neil Theobald wrote an op-ed in the Inquirer Monday about why the university should build an on-campus stadium.

Theobald cited several reasons why a stadium would be a positive addition to Temple, from adding thousands of jobs to creating a game-day atmosphere on Main Campus.

Former Gov. Ed Rendell said on WPHT-AM radio last week, “The $100 million would not be available to Temple for anything other than a football stadium.” Part of the funding would be shifting “rental payments for Lincoln Financial Field to mortgage payments for our own stadium,” Theobald wrote.

The president acknowledged the stadium’s impact on the surrounding community. Theobald added Chairman of the Board Patrick O’Connor said university trustees “look forward” to working with City Council and neighbors to the university.

Theobald said discussions about the stadium are still in the preliminary stages.

“We are at the beginning of this process,” Theobald wrote. “Fund-raising to date suggests the idea is financially feasible, but Temple’s Board of Trustees has not even authorized the hiring of an architect. Central to our decision-making will be conversations with the North Philadelphia community. Those conversations are just beginning.”

-Steve Bohnel


The Katz School of Medicine has discovered a molecule that selectively kills BRCA-deficient cancer cells, according to a Nov. 5 press release.

BRCA cells “serve a vital role in preserving the integrity of the genetic code.”

Dr. Richard Pomerantz is an assistant professor of medical genetics and molecular biochemistry in the Fels Institute for Cancer Research at the School of Medicine, as well as a senior investigator of the study.

Prior to this discovery, there were very few ways to selectively eliminate BRCA-deficient cancer cells, and doing so would affect a patient’s resistance to treatment drugs. The new findings were published online in the journal “Chemistry and Biology.”

The research could have “therapeutic implications” for cancers of the breast, ovaries, lungs, prostate and pancreas, as well as for leukemia.

Funding for the study was provided by grants from the National Institute of Health, the Katz School of Medicine startup funds and the Department of Defense’s Breast Cancer Breakthrough Award.

-Lian Parsons

News in brief: 11.3 Issue


Last Monday, former Temple employee Andrea Constand filed a defamation suit against Bruce L. Castor Jr. for his alleged remarks against her earlier this year, the Washington Post reported.

Castor, Montgomery County’s District Attorney when the case involving Billy Cosby and Constand was filed in 2004, declined to prosecute Cosby for sexual assault when Constand first brought accusations forward. Castor told The Washington Post if Constand had given the same story to him that she gave to the public this year, he would have prosecuted.

The ex-district attorney’s comments started after he announced he was again running for Montgomery County District Attorney against Kevin Steele in the election Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Constand told The Washington Post she has been “collateral damage for his political ambitions.” Both parties have been accused of using the Constand/Cosby case to their political advantage.

Constand has until January 2016 to charge Cosby with sexual assault, and then the statute of limitations will expire.

-Lila Gordon


The U.S. Department of Transportation granted $10.2 million to help with infrastructure improvements, the Philly Voice reported. The financial award will help offset part of the city’s $35 million endeavor.

According to the report, two miles of unused railroad track will be removed and repurposed with landscaping from Girard to Lehigh avenues. A footbridge on Westmoreland Street will be replaced with a multipurpose bridge and a railroad bridge in West Philadelphia will be restored to reconnect The Circuit, a regional bicycle and pedestrian trail network.

The improvements will focus on places in North and West Philadelphia, and some were designed with the purpose of increasing “mobility and access, recreational opportunities and neighborhood quality of life,” Deputy Commissioner of the Streets Department Michael Carroll told Philly Voice.

Philadelphia has received similar awards in the past that included projects involving Dilworth Park, the Schuylkill Banks Boardwalk, Wayne Junction Substation and Roosevelt Boulevard. Mayor Michael Nutter announced the financial grant Oct. 30.

-Julie Christie

News in brief: 10.27 Issue


From Oct. 19-26, there were 18 reports of theft.

Eight of the reports were bike thefts, while one was retail theft at the 7-Eleven at 2034 N. Broad St. Three of the bike thefts occurred on Broad Street.

The majority of the thefts were concentrated around 12th, 13th and Norris streets. Bike thefts were more often reported in the afternoon and early evening, while the others occurred later at night.

-Lian Parsons


Donald Fey died Oct. 18 at Bryn Mawr of a heart failure. Fey was the father of actress Tina Fey, and a Temple alumnus.

Fey was a Korean War veteran in the 1950s before returning to his home city to join the Philadelphia Fire Department.

He was also a professional writer for more than 30 years, the Inquirer reported. He primarily wrote about fundraising and lectured on grant writing at many universities and nonprofits.

Fey helped to raising more than $500 million for hospitals, schools and public service agencies, the Inquirer said.

In his free time, he also enjoyed painting and creative writing.

He is survived by his wife, two children, a sister, two brothers and three grandchildren.

Public services for Fey were held Friday.

A scholarship in Fey’s name has been established to support returning veterans enrolled in the School of Media and Communication.

-Lian Parsons

law student applications could rise this year

Beasley School of Law may have an increase in applications this year.

According to Kaplan Test Prep, 88 percent of law schools throughout the country believe they may see a spike in application rates this year, making it one of the most competitive application cycles throughout the past several years.

Temple has one of the highest rates of law school applications, with 185 Temple students in the 2014-15 application cycle.

Application rates for law school have dropped nationally, and the expected turnaround may help the future of the law school.

-Gillian McGoldrick


The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation gave a grant of $1.3 million to the  School of Media and Communication to work on a new project that will be researching the best newsroom practices as newspapers become increasingly more digitally-oriented.

This project, named the Knight-Temple Table Stakes Project, will include the Philadelphia Media Network, the Dallas Morning News and the Miami Herald.

These newsrooms will become leading platforms for Temple through their research of new practices for media in a digital age. Temple will produce sample materials for legacy newspapers to use and adapt to the digital world.

The project will also create in-class learning materials for students and future curriculum design. Temple will produce extensive reports and studies on its research during this project, along with ongoing coaching to help other newsrooms put the findings into action.

-Gillian McGoldrick