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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Call The 2013 Eagles A Success

Call The 2013 Eagles A Success

(Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA, PA (CBS) — Call it playing with house money, call it anything you would like, the Eagles have every right to call 2013 a very successful season no matter what happens 8 p.m. Saturday night, when they host the New Orleans Saints at Lincoln Financial Field in the wildcard round of the playoffs.

The truth is, no one expected a 10-6 finish and a division title this year. No one thought Chip Kelly and his staff would be able to turn around the disastrous 4-12 Eagles this fast.

This team has achieved against some long odds. They not only had to absorb a new system, but they got here without their leading receiver of a year ago (Jeremy Maclin’s torn ACL), overcame internal strife that could have upended them before the season even began (the Riley Cooper controversy) and weeded out the dubious characters that had a toxic effect on last year’s locker room (selfish Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Nnamdi Asomugha, Jason Babin).

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Philadelphia Authorities Warn Against New Year’s Eve Gunplay

Philadelphia Authorities Warn Against New Year’s Eve Gunplay
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Top law enforcement officials, and a gunshot victim, were again warning Philadelphians about the dangers of irresponsible gun use to celebrate on this New Year’s Eve.

Today at police headquarters, commissioner Charles Ramsey said the laws of gravity are in play, making firing a gun into the air dangerous at best.

“Bullets go up, and they do come down, and we have no control over where they land and who they might injure,” Ramsey (far left in photo) said.

Then, Joe Jaskolka, accompanied by his father, told his story.   On December 31st, 1998, Jaskolka — then 11 years old — was walking near Second Street in South Philadelphia when he was hit by a random bullet.

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Son killed, father shot at home on Detroit's west side, search for suspects under way

DETROIT (WXYZ) - When 56-year-old Howard Gardella Sr. answered his front door Monday around noon, he likely thought the men standing on his porch were customers, but the two apparent strangers were there to rob Gardella who sells "medical marijuana" with his son, Howard Gardella Jr.
Once the two men were inside Gardella's home on Northrop Street near Grand River, they shot at the father and the son.
A bullet only grazed the father in his neck, but Howard Gardella Jr. was fatally shot.
Relatives say Gardella Jr. lived in Redford with his 2-year-old son.
During their investigation, Detroit Police seized dozens of large marijuana plants from Gardella's garage and home.
Relatives tell 7 Action News that Gardella and his son worked together in the medical marijuana business that operated out of the father's home.
Loved ones say they were becoming increasingly concerned about the father and son's safety after someone recently asked the men if they had guns. They say more than just regular "medical marijuana patients" seemed to be stopping by the house.
Late Monday afternoon, Howard Gardella Sr. was released from the hospital. He returned to his home on Detroit's west side visibly upset, yelling that police had no right to seize his marijuana plants. He went on to say that the killers took his son's life so that they could steal about $400 in marijuana plants.
Detroit Police continue to search for the killers.

Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Eagles Players, Cheerleaders Host Playoff Pep Rally For Patients At Magee Rehabilitation Hospital

Eagles Players, Cheerleaders Host Playoff Pep Rally For Patients At Magee Rehabilitation Hospital

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A trio of Philadelphia Eagles and a group of cheerleaders descended on Magee Rehab Monday afternoon to light up the fans for playoff football at the Linc.

There were lots of smiles, handshakes and photos, too, as linebacker Najee Good, defensive tackle Bennie Logan, and linebacker Emmanuel Acho, walked into a second-floor gathering room decked out in Eagles green.

Pam Williams, of Wynnfield, is a Magee patient and big Eagles fan.

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WC – 1/4/14 – vs. New Orleans Saints

WC – 1/4/14 – vs. New Orleans Saints

First Look At The Eagles: Not even the most optimistic prognosticator would have come up with what the Eagles have done under the first season of Chip Kelly’s tenure has head coach.
With the Cowboys win, the Eagles finish 10-6, NFC East Champions, winners of seven of their last eight games. They set a franchise record for touchdowns in a season, second in the NFL in yards per game, first in the NFL in rushing yards, fourth in the NFL in total points (just three points away from second), the top rated passer in the league, as well as the league’s leading rusher.
That’s not all.
The Eagles season saw rejuvenated campaigns from players who looked like they were heading their career finish lines. Brent Celek and Trent Cole looked like new men, and appeared stronger in the second half of the season than they did in the first.
All of this with a defense that will not be confused with the 1985 Bears, but has shown solid improvement, and a propensity for takeaways at the most opportune times.
No matter what happens for the Eagles in the playoffs, this season has been a success.
First Look At The Saints: The Saints made a statement in the last week of the season. With a 42-17 win over the Bucs, New Orleans made it clear that they’re ready for the playoffs.
The Saints went into the finale having lost three of their previous four games, with a dynamic offense that hadn’t looked so dynamic, with 17 points against the Panthers, 16 against the Rams, and just 7 against the Seahawks.
Drew Brees and the Saints offense was a given coming into the year, but it’s the defense that has really been the reason they’ve turned it around. The 2012 Saints defense was statistically one of the worst in NFL history, and in 2013, they’re 4th in the NFL in yards allowed, and fourth in the NFL in points allowed.
First Look At The Game: Most Eagles fans will try to take comfort in the fact that the Saints have not won a playoff game on the road with Drew Brees as their quarterback.
They will try to take comfort in the fact that a dome team, on the road, in January, is typically a bad spot, especially in cold weather.
Then they will remember the Tampa loss and the Carolina loss in the playoffs, and that comfort will go by the wayside.
The biggest challenge for the Eagles will be stopping Brees and tight end Jimmy Graham. While the Eagles did some of their “bend but don’t break” defensively against the Cowboys, they were shredded by Kyle Orton and Jason Witten. Suffice to say Brees and Graham is a more dynamic duo.
If the Eagles are able to once again, win the turnover battle, they will have a shot at winning the game. But don’t be surprised if either team winds up on the winning end of what seems like it will be a shootout.

Week 17 – 12/29/13 – @ Dallas Cowboys

First Look At The Eagles: The Eagles rebounded from the loss to the Vikings in just about the most impressive way possible. If the game was essentially meaningless for the Birds, no one told them.
Sunday night’s game meant an NFC North championship for the Bears with a win, and with the Dallas win earlier in the day, only meant potential seeding for the Eagles. That did not seem to matter. If the stats themselves don’t convince you, the Eagles passed the eye test in every way, looking fresher, faster and more focused than the Bears did.
Nick Foles, even though he’s had more impressive games statistically, has never looked better. For all the talk of how precise he’s been, his accuracy on Sunday night was unbelievable, throwing incompletions only when he needed to throw the ball away.
LeSean McCoy, after getting only eight carries against Minnesota, was back on his game as well, rushing for 118 yards and two touchdowns.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about the Eagles performance was the defense. They shut down a Bears offense that was averaging over thirty points per game over the last three, and was second in the NFL in scoring offense coming into the game.
First Look At The Cowboys: We all knew it had to come down to this game.
There’s good news and there’s bad news about the Cowboys win against Washington.
The good news is that Tony Romo did what many said he could not. He won a big game, in comeback fashion, in December. Romo was battling a back injury, and led Dallas on a 90 yard touchdown drive to win the game in the closing minutes. In what looked like a setup for a classic Romo failure when DeMarco Murray was pushed back ten yards on a third and goal from the one, Romo stepped up and threw a touchdown pass to win the game.
The bad news is that the Cowboys did not look very good against one of the NFL’s worst teams. The defense looks like it will have trouble stopping just about anyone. The offense doesn’t look like it has much rhythm to it, and to call it unimaginative would be an understatement.
First Look At The Game: There are some conflicting stats going into this game.
We all know about the Cowboys’ record in December with Romo as the quarterback, and we all know how the last two week 17 win and in games have gone for Dallas (they’ve lost).
That said, the Cowboys are 6-1 against the Eagles in games that Tony Romo has started and finished.
With clutch narratives and “win or you get fired” situations for Jason Garret aside, the Eagles look like the better team in this case. The defense still isn’t a sure thing, but it is for sure better than Dallas. The Eagles offense is humming along while the Cowboys’ offense is just getting by.
The Eagles look like they’re going to end up with an NFC East title and a 10-6 record iun Chip Kelly’s first season. Not bad… not bad at all.

Week 16 – 12/22/13 – vs. Chicago Bears

First Look At The Eagles: Eagles fans across the Delaware Valley believed that with the departure of Andy Reid, the team would no longer fall victim to the clunker, look-ahead, trap game against a bad opponent. Eagles fans across the Delaware Valley were wrong.
The defense that had not allowed a team to score more than 21 points in two months, allowed the Vikings, missing Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart, to drop 48 points behind a career best performance from Matt Cassel. The same Matt Cassel who didn’t get starts earlier this season over Christian Ponder and Josh Freeman.
The defense didn’t get pressure, and couldn’t cover, a bad combination.
The offense, though it put up 30 points, did not have the same success running the ball as they have in previous weeks, with LeSean McCoy rushing the ball only eight times, and finishing with fewer yards on the ground than Nick Foles. Foles, who did finish with an impressive line, was nowhere near as precise as he has been in previous weeks.
First Look At The Bears: If Chip Kelly has been story number one in the NFL as far as “offensive system” goes, Bears head coach Mark Trestman has been story 1a.
Trestman decided to go with Jay Cutler at quarterback this week, and although he wasn’t quite as perfect has Josh McCown has been, he was good enough to put up 38 points on the Browns for a win in Cleveland. Cutler did throw two interceptions, giving detractors enough ammunition for their cause, but also threw three touchdown passes, to give his backers some ammunition as well.
While the Bears have been scoring points at an impressive clip, the defense has been terrible. Ranking dead last at Pro Football Focus in overall defense, as well as dead last in run defense.
First Look At The Game: It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which this game does not result in a lot of points on both sides.
The Eagles defense, though improved, showed in Minnesota it is far from a finished product. The Bears pass offense is ranked fourth overall at Pro Football Focus, so you have to imagine they’ll be able to move the ball.
While the Eagles secondary matches up unfavorably to the Bears excellent passing offense, the Bears rush defense matches up poorly with the Eagles top ranked rushing attack.
As usual, this one will come down to turnovers. Based on what we know now, Jay Cutler is far more likely to throw a couple of interceptions than Nick Foles is. If recent history holds true, the Eagles, especially at home, should be able to come away with a win this week.

Week 15 – 12/15/13 – @ Minnesota Vikings

First Look At The Eagles: The Eagles have won five straight, and are looking like they could be one of those teams “nobody wants to face in the playoffs.”
After a disastrous first half, in disastrous, snowy conditions against the Lions, the Eagles exploded in the second half thanks to LeSean McCoy’s team record 217 yards and two touchdowns, blowing the game open with 28 fourth quarter points.
Though McCoy was the catalyst, quarterback Nick Foles bounced back from a less than stellar first half by completing seven of his final nine passes with a touchdown, and would have had two if Brent Celek had decided to score instead of downing the ball to kill the click.
The ever-improving Eagles defense took another step toward respectability by allowing the Lions only one offensive touchdown. Sure, the conditions were a problem, but they were a problem for both offenses. It also didn’t hurt that Reggie Bush aggravated a calf injury prior to the game and did not play.
First Look At The Vikings: While the Eagles won a crazy game in the snow on Sunday, the Vikings lost one.
The Vikings dropped to 3-9-1 after a 29-26 loss to the Ravens, which featured a final two minutes that you’re likely to never see matched. A bigger loss than the game itself, is the potential loss of Adrian Peterson. Peterson went down with a foot injury, and will have an MRI on Monday.
If Peterson is out, the Vikings go from a one-weapon team to, well, less of a challenge.
Though they’ve got the second worst point differential in the NFC, the Vikings have played better of late, losing the close one to the Ravens, tying the Packers, and winning in overtime over the Bears in their last three.
First Look At The Game: This should be easy for the Eagles, as long as they don’t go into the game thinking it will be easy.
With the NFC East title in their sights, and the Vikings one of the worst teams in the Conference, you’d hope that Chip Kelly will keep the Eagles focused on this game alone. Everything that Kelly has said about the NFL being a “week to week league” holds true this week.
Though there is no reason on paper, for the Eagles to lose this game, it will take focus, and that all starts with Kelly.

Week 14 – 12/8/13 – vs Detroit Lions

First Look At The Eagles: If the Eagles ever figure out how to keep up the pace they’re setting in the first halves of games, the rest of the league might be in trouble.
Like they did against Washington in their previous game, the Eagles got out to a big lead against Arizona, and then held on at the end to win. The Eagles went up 24-7 on the Cardinals early in the third quarter on Nick Foles’ third touchdown pass of the day. Those points were the last they’d score, as they’d punt away the next five possessions.
The defense came up with a big stop at the end of the game, after the Cardinals had pulled to within 24-21, and the Eagles stayed tied atop the NFC East with the Cowboys.
As scary as it got at the end, a win is a win, and the Eagles have taken four in a row. Nick Foles went another game without an interception, and his three touchdown passes put his season total at 19. The defense hasn’t allowed more than 21 points in the last eight games, and the front seven had its most dominant game of the season against Arizona, sacking Carson Palmer five times.
First Look At The Lions: When the Lions are clicking on both offense and defense, they can be a scary team. That was exactly the case on Thanksgiving, when they put a serious beat down on the Packers, winning 40-10 and upping their record to 7-5.
The dynamic offense is led by the best wide receiver in football, Calvin Johnson, one of the best all-around running backs in the game, Reggie Bush, and a quarterback who year after year puts up impressive numbers, Matt Stafford. If the offense has a weakness, it’s turnovers, they’re second worst in the league with 25 of them (14 interceptions, 11 fumbles), and a not-so-hot -8 differential on the year.
The defense looked downright scary against Green Bay, their front seven all over Matt Flynn, creating pressure every time he dropped back. While the defense is ranked 26th in the league against the pass, they’ve given up only 82 yards per game against the rush, good for third in the league.
First Look At The Game: Once again, the Eagles will be in a game that features two of the most dynamic offenses in the NFL.

For full story go to:

5 NFL coaches already fired

5 NFL coaches already fired 

AP Photo
Former Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan delivers a statement at an NFL football news conference after being fired, Monday, Dec. 30, 2013, in Ashburn, Va. Shanahan was fired after a morning meeting with owner Dan Snyder and general manager Bruce Allen at Redskins Park, a formality expected for several weeks as the losses mounted and tension rose among Shanahan, Snyder and franchise player Robert Griffin III.

It didn't take long.

Barely 12 hours after the NFL's regular season ended, five head coaches were unemployed. Fired on Monday were Washington's Mike Shanahan, Detroit's Jim Schwartz, Minnesota's Leslie Frazier and Tampa Bay's Greg Schiano.

The Cleveland Browns didn't even wait that long, dismissing Rob Chudzinski on Sunday night after just one season on the job.

Shanahan, who won two Super Bowls in Denver in the 1990s, spent four seasons with the Redskins and was 24-40. Frazier had a little more than three seasons with the Vikings to compile an 18-33-1 mark, and Schwartz coached the Lions for five seasons, finishing 29-52.

Schiano only got two years with the Buccaneers, going 11-21. He had three years and $9 million left on his contract.

Tampa Bay also fired general manager Mark Dominik.

"It's tough for the players to see your coaches go. You never want to see anybody get fired," Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy said. "Me personally, I haven't had any, consistently, in my career. Third head coach, going on my fifth year and three head coaches. Add up everybody, it'll be six D-line coaches."

The Buccaneers, who also have fired the likes of Tony Dungy and Jon Gruden, hired Schiano out of Rutgers in 2012 and went 6-4 before losing five of their last six games. They dropped their first eight games this season and finished 4-12.

One coach allegedly on the hot seat was retained: Rex Ryan, who has one more year on his contract, is staying with the New York Jets after a surprising 8-8 record in his fifth season at the helm.

While some of the fired coaches might have seen it coming, Chudzinski certainly didn't despite going 4-12 and losing his final seven games and 10 of 11.

"I was shocked and disappointed to hear the news that I was fired," said Chudzinski, who grew up a Browns fan. "I am a Cleveland Brown to the core, and always will be. It was an honor to lead our players and coaches, and I appreciate their dedication and sacrifice. I was more excited than ever for this team, as I know we were building a great foundation for future success."

As the coaching searches begin, agents will float the names of their clients - Penn State's Bill O'Brien seems to be the hottest candidate and has interviewed for Houston's vacancy. The Texans (2-14), who own the top choice in May's draft after losing their final 14 games, released coach Gary Kubiak late in the season.

Whoever gets hired in each place will face mammoth rebuilding projects. Overall, the six teams seeking new coaches went 24-71-1.

Shanahan had one season remaining on a five-year contract worth about $7 million a season. He blamed salary cap restraints for part of the Redskins' collapse from NFC East champion in 2012 to 3-13 and eight consecutive losses.

Washington was hit with a $36 million salary cap penalty over two seasons for dumping salaries into the 2010 uncapped season, and Shanahan said it prevented the team from pursuing free agents it had targeted.

But his real undoing, along with the poor records in three of his four seasons, was a contentious relationship with star quarterback Robert Griffin III. RG3 did not speak with the media on Monday.

Frazier took over for Brad Childress in Minnesota for the final six games of 2010. He got the Vikings to the playoffs as a wild card last season, riding an MVP year from running back Adrian Peterson. But he never solved the Vikings' quarterback situation - three QBs started in 2013 - and the defense, Frazier's specialty, ranked 31st overall and against the pass.

"It's a harsh business," safety Harrison Smith said. "As a player, we all love coach Frazier, as a coach, as a man. You can't meet a better guy. And also as a player, we didn't make enough plays on the field. So you just feel like you let him down a little bit."

The Lions were considered an underachieving team the last two years under Schwartz. After a 6-3 start this year in a division where the Packers and Bears lost their starting quarterbacks for lengthy periods, Detroit fell apart down the stretch. It lost six of its last seven.

He had two years and almost $12 million remaining on his deal, signed after the Lions hired him to fix a team that went 0-16 in 2008.

"From where we were in 2008 to where we are now it's a big difference," quarterback Matthew Stafford said. "We owe a lot of that to him. He's a really smart guy and helped us get to where we are. Obviously, we didn't win as many games as we needed to or as we should have this year."

How to get tickets for Eagles vs. Saints playoff game

So you want to go to the Eagles vs. Saints NFC Wild Card playoff game on Saturday night, right?

Well, right now it might be easier to grab some Eagles fan gear, but securing tickets is not completely out of the question.
The Eagles Pro Shop in South Philadelphia, 8,000 square feet of all things Eagles, was busy Monday in the wake of the win over Dallas.

Consumers like winners, but they are diplomatically careful when asked if this is part of a bandwagon effect.
"We have our loyal fans, but you definitely notice that even our loyal fans hold off buying their purchases, buying the gear. So I'm not going to call anybody a bandwagon fan, they're cheering for us now and that's all that counts," Annie Bobbe of the Eagles Pro Shop said.
So what about tickets to be inside Lincoln Financial Field this Saturday night?
Tuesday at noon, several thousand single game tickets will be released by the team, only by web at or by phone 1-800-745-3000. Do not go to the ticket office at the Linc as they are not selling them.
Tickets are also available through the secondary market, at Stub Hub or through brokers like ABC tickets in Cherry Hill.
Demand seems stronger this year than the last playoff game 3 years ago. Perhaps it's because of the Eagles' Cinderella story.
"They were supposed to be a 6-10 team and they're a 10-6 team. Then you have the whole Nick Foles factor, which I think he's been better than expected. And they beat their archrival Dallas," Tom Quinn of ABC Tickets said.
Good luck ticket hunting and go Eagles!

(Copyright ©2013 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Pregnant Nurse Fired In Pennsylvania Over Flu Shot

Pregnant Nurse Fired In Pennsylvania Over Flu Shot

(Credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) — A pregnant woman who refused to get a flu shot due to her fear of miscarrying has been fired from her job with a health care company.

Dreonna Breton worked as a registered nurse for Horizons Healthcare Services in central Pennsylvania. The company requires all personnel to get the influenza vaccine.

Breton contends the immunizations may not be safe enough for pregnant women. She suffered two miscarriages earlier this year, and doesn’t want to risk a third.

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Folks Enjoy First-Ever ‘Kwanzaabration’ In West Philly

Folks Enjoy First-Ever ‘Kwanzaabration’ In West Philly

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – With the African-American festival of Kwanzaa well underway, a weekend celebration of this cultural holiday is taking place in West Philadelphia.

The first ever “Kwanzaabration” took place at Universal Audenrein High School.

“Everything is Kwanzaa-themed,” says Oshunbumi Fernandez, CEO of Odunde Incorporated. “We have arts and crafts Kwanzaa themed, face painting, moon bounce, we have the balloonist making little crowns for the children. We have a main stage of live entertainment, so we just have a family oriented event where everyone can come and have a good time!”

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Police search for suspect in West Philadelphia shooting

Police are investigating a shooting that left a man in critical condition West Philadelphia early Saturday morning.

Police say a 48-year old man was shot several times during a robbery attempt at 60th and Vine Streets just before 2:00 a.m.
Police say the victim was approached by a man who took his keys and cash before shooting him multiple times.

He was rushed to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania where he is listed in critical condition. Authorities are still searching for the suspect.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Philadelphia Police.
(Copyright ©2013 WPVI-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

Unemployment benefits being cut off to 1.3 million

More than 1 million Americans are bracing for a harrowing, post-Christmas jolt as extended federal unemployment benefits come to a sudden halt this weekend, with potentially significant implications for the recovering U.S. economy. A tense political battle likely looms when Congress reconvenes in the new, midterm election year.
Nudging Congress along, a vacationing President Barack Obama called two senators proposing an extension to offer his support. From Hawaii, Obama pledged Friday to push Congress to move quickly next year to address the "urgent economic priority," the White House said.
For families dependent on cash assistance, the end of the federal government's "emergency unemployment compensation" will mean some difficult belt-tightening as enrollees lose their average monthly stipend of $1,166.
Jobless rates could drop, but analysts say the economy may suffer with less money for consumers to spend on everything from clothes to cars. Having let the "emergency" program expire as part of a budget deal, it's unclear if Congress has the appetite to start it anew.
An estimated 1.3 million people will be cut off when the federally funded unemployment payments end Saturday.
Some 214,000 Californians will lose their payments, a figure expected to rise to more than a half-million by June, the Labor Department said. In the last 12 months, Californians received $4.5 billion in federal jobless benefits, much if plowed back into the local economy.
More than 127,000 New Yorkers also will be cut off this weekend. In New Jersey, 11th among states in population, 90,000 people will immediately lose out.
Started under President George W. Bush, the benefits were designed as a cushion for the millions of U.S. citizens who lost their jobs in a recession and failed to find new ones while receiving state jobless benefits, which in most states expire after six months. Another 1.9 million people across the country are expected to exhaust their state benefits before the end of June.
But Obama has no quick fix. He hailed this month's two-year budget agreement as a breakthrough of bipartisan cooperation while his administration works with Democratic allies in the House and Senate to revive an extension of jobless benefits for those unemployed more than six months.
The Obama administration says those payments have kept 11.4 million people out of poverty and benefited almost 17 million children. The cost of them since 2008 has totaled $225 billion.
At the depth of the recession, laid off workers could qualify for up to 99 weeks of benefits, including the initial 26 weeks provided by states. The most recent extension allowed a total of up to 73 weeks, depending on the state.
Restoring up to 47 extra weeks of benefits through 2014 would cost $19 billion, according to the Congressional Budget office.
House Democrats led by Reps. Sander Levin of Michigan and Chris Van Hollen of Maryland sought to include an extension through March by offsetting the costs with potential farm bill savings. They were rebuffed.
Senate Democrats and some Republicans plan another push in 2014. Sens. Jack Reed, D-R.I., and Dean Heller, R-Nev., have introduced a bill offering a similar three-month extension, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has promised to bring it up. But as with much in Congress, an extension is no sure thing.
In phone calls on Friday, Obama told Reed and Heller he was glad they were working together to address the problem. "It defies economic sense, precedent and our values," Obama economic adviser Gene Sperling said in a statement.
House Speaker John Boehner spoke with Obama about an extension earlier this month. Boehner and said his caucus would consider the possibility "as long as it's paid for and as long as there are other efforts that will help get our economy moving once again." He said White House has yet to introduce a plan that meets his standards.
For other Republicans, the bar is higher. Many of them look at signs of economic growth and an unemployment rate now down to 7 percent and expected to drop further as evidence the additional weeks of benefits are no longer necessary.
The effect of jobless benefits on the unemployment rates has been fiercely debated for decades. To qualify, people have to be seeking work. Tea partiers such as Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky argue that the payments aggravate rather than relieve unemployment.
The benefits allow some jobseekers to hold out for higher wages. Without the benefits, they might accept lower-paying jobs, reducing the unemployment rate. Others may be looking for work only to keep the benefits flowing and will drop out of the job market entirely once the checks stop. In theory, that also would push the unemployment rate lower.
The flip side is that the benefits - in addition to alleviating suffering - get spent on consumer goods, stimulating the economy and creating jobs.
Extended unemployment insurance "is really a lifeline to help pay the bills, put food on the table, and put gas in the tank so people can look for work," argued Maurice Emsellem, policy co-director at the left-leaning National Employment Law Project.
Michael Feroli, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase, said ending the extended benefits will lower the unemployment rate by half a percentage point as the long-term unemployed leave the labor force. While that statistical change may look good on the surface, Feroli cautioned the drop could be accompanied by a similar decrease in consumer spending. That would also hurt clothing retailers, car dealers and other Main Street businesses.
Extending the program, on the other hand, would boost GDP growth by some 0.2 percent and increase full-time employment by 200,000 next year, the Congressional Budget Office estimated, but at the price of increasing the government's debt.
Advocates of extended benefits say communities hardest hit by the recession will feel the sudden loss of cash in circulation the most.
They cite a set of their own troublesome figures: three jobseekers still competing for each opening; some 4 million people in the ranks of long-term unemployed; unemployment lasting on average 37 weeks, two months longer than most states provide insurance.
(Copyright ©2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Friday, December 27, 2013

Eagles Fans Rally Before Sunday’s Big Game

Eagles Fans Rally Before Sunday’s Big Game

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – It’s being called the biggest game of the season. Sunday’s Eagles game against Dallas has fans in fight mode.

“We bleed green, we’re die hard,” says Edith Ball, one of the many fans at an Eagles rally at Chickie’s & Pete’s in South Philly on Friday.

“This is as big as it gets for a regular season game,” says Rob Ellis.

For full story go to:

Authorities Warn Residents Of Police Donation Phone Scam in Camden County

Authorities Warn Residents Of Police Donation Phone Scam in Camden County

LINDENWOLD, N.J., (CBS) — Authorities are advising residents of a fraudulent police donation phone scam in Camden County, New Jersey.

According to Lindenwold Police, an organization identifying itself as the “N.J. Police Foundation” has been fraudulently requesting money donations from local residents. The caller states that he/she is collecting money on behalf of the Lindenwold Police Department, who in return will use the donations to purchase body armor.

Yolanda Pearman from Lindenwold saw the warning about the scam on Lindenwold’s Police Facebook page and within an hour she got a call Thursday night.

For full story go to:

Bail Hearing Set For Monsignor William Lynn After Reversal

Bail Hearing Set For Monsignor William Lynn After Reversal

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)–After Monsignor William Lynn’s conviction was reversed Thursday morning, members of the Voice of the Faithful are speaking out.

Charles McMahon says,“That’s a disgrace and people of Pennsylvania out to be ashamed of it.”
Another member, Nancy Mortimer O’Brien says, “I think most Catholics and victims would be upset delivering such a wrong message.”

A message many do not agree on.

For full story go to:

Florida mother gives birth to 14 pound baby boy

GAINESVILLE, Fla. - A family in Florida received a big gift this Christmas: a new baby boy weighing in at more than 14 pounds!
Nicia McNelley went in for her scheduled C-section last Friday and gave birth to Isaiah Johnson, who topped the scale at a whopping 14 pounds, 7.6 ounces.
"I couldn't believe it. I mean, I have two other kids, but not as big as this guy," said McNelley.
Isaiah's father already has big plans for his son. He hopes Isaiah will play for Florida State when he grows up.
But are there plans for another sibling for Isaiah?
“No, I got my tubes tied, and I'm glad I did because if I were to decide to have more children after this, there's no telling how big they would be after him,” McNelley said.
Both mom and baby are healthy and doing well.

Boy thrown off Upper West Side building by dad laid to rest

Heartbroken friends and family gathered in Manhattan Thursday morning to bid a final farewell to a 3-year-old boy who was thrown to his death off an Upper West Side high-rise by his father.

Funeral services were held for Kirill Kanarikov at the Russian Orthodox Church on East 93rd Street. The procession then traveled to Nyack, where the boy was laid to rest.
Officials believe a bitter custody battle drove Kirill's father, 35-year-old Dmitriy Kanarikov, to toss the boy from the top of the 52nd-story apartment building before jumping to his own death.
Kirill's mother, Svetlana Kanarikov, said in a statement that she had been nervous about her son's visits with his father, and she initially wanted them to be supervised. But she relented after a December 5 court appearance.
"The father never did anything violent against the child before," Kanarikov said of the two previous visits in a statement issued Monday night through a lawyer. "Both times, Kirill was happy after seeing his dad. Skype calls were also going well."
He had picked up Kirill at 10 a.m. Sunday at a Manhattan police precinct - a neutral site negotiated in advance by the parents - to spend time with him for the first time unsupervised.
The couple had been married four years and separated in August, and Svetlana Kanarikov said she had taken action after a domestic violence incident. Their split was acrimonious. She left their Brooklyn apartment and moved in with her family in Fair Lawn, N.J., enrolling her son in school. In addition to Kirill, Dmitriy Kanarikov had wanted their house and other property, too, Svetlana Kanarikov said.
"He said he would take the child away and I will 'shoot myself from grief,'" she said. "This was his sick way to take Kirill away from me."
Officers responding to an emergency call reporting two jumpers from the building near Columbus Circle and Lincoln Center found Kanarikov and the boy on the lower rooftops of two separate nearby buildings.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene, and Kirill was pronounced dead at a hospital, police said. A witness said the boy was wearing Christmas pajamas.
"Kirill was a very sweet, wonderful child, who was loved very much," his mother said. "He will forever live on in my heart."
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

(Copyright ©2013 WABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Pennsylvania cancer-stricken girl who got caroling wish dies

A terminally ill eastern Pennsylvania girl who received support from thousands of Christmas carolers over the weekend has died.
Family spokesman Christopher Winters says 8-year-old Delaney Brown of West Reading "passed away quietly with her loving family by her side" early Christmas morning.
He says the family is requesting privacy now "to celebrate their daughter's life and to mourn her loss."
Delaney, nicknamed Laney, was diagnosed in May with a rare form of leukemia.
Thousands gathered outside her home Saturday night to fulfill her wish for a huge holiday singalong.
An update posted on the "Team Laney" Facebook page says, "My heart breaks right now. Our little angel on earth earned her pink glittery angel wings in heaven. ... I miss her so much already."

Laney made a wish for her neighbors to lift their voices in holiday songs after doctors recently gave her days to live.
"Especially with this time of the year, with her birthday yesterday and Christmas next week, I can't even fathom what they're going through," said Mayor Shane Keller, West Reading.
Tens of thousands have liked her "Team Laney" Facebook page where her family posted updates on her condition.
"Just the different stories her mother has posted regularly showing her strength, her courage, her humor - this is heartbreaking. All she wants is carols and we can do that," said Megan McGee.
Another wish Laney had was to meet pop star and Berks County native Taylor Swift.
Friday night, as her family celebrated her 8th birthday, Laney's wish was granted when the two had a video chat.
Laney was also recognized by the Pennsylvania State Senate and House of Representatives as an ambassador of hope and inspiration as she brings more awareness to childhood cancer.
As so many people walked by Laney's family, including her mother, Team Laney posted a picture saying "I can hear you you."
It's safe to say the little girl heard more than Christmas carols - she heard prayers from the community.
"Just to put her mark on the world as she did in these 8 years is something that I think should make her family very proud," said Melanie Searfoss.
Laney's mother and father thanked the community for its overwhelming support.

(Copyright ©2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Irvington night club shooting kills 3 men

Police are searching for the gunman involved in a shooting outside a night club in Irvington New Jersey, that left three men dead and two others wounded.

The gunfire erupted at the door of Slick's Go Go Bar on Nye Avenue just after 12:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Police say a dispute with a bouncer at the front door sparked the shooting, which killed the bouncer and the son of the club's owner. A third person, possibly a friend of the gunman, may have been caught in the crossfire.
''It appears the gunman was trying to enter the bar armed and was stopped by the bouncer," said Chief Anthony Ambrose of the Essex County Prosecutor's Office.
Two of the dead have been identified. They are Pierre Clervoyant, 34, of Elizabeth and Woodley Daniel, 32, of Irvington.
Two other people were shot, a 27 year old male from Irvington and a 34 year old male from East Orange, and were taken to University Hospital.
Witnesses said about 100 people were in the club at the time. The witnesess heard 7 to 15 shots fired right after some fighting on the steps of the club.
Police say one man fled the scene in a grey vehicle. So far there have been no arrests.
The Essex County Sheriff's Crimestoppers Program is offering up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect.

(Copyright ©2013 WABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Macy's has a black Santa, by special request

(CNN) -- 'Twas two nights before Christmas, and I headed down to find Santa in Macy's flagship store in Herald Square, New York City -- the one famously known to be on 34th Street.
The blog Animal New York had reported that this store has a separate, "special" Santa who is black.
It's unclear how long this tradition has lasted, but one woman told CNN affiliate WCBS she's been taking her kids to see this special Santa for 10 years.
This year, however, there's special significance. Santa's race became the focal point of a debate sparked by Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly's comments that "Santa just is white."
So CNN wanted to see this "special" Santa for ourselves.
After seeking assistance from a helpful employee, I rode the escalators to the 8th floor and quickly found crowds of people and merry elves at the entrance to the North Pole.
There were no signs indicating any special, separate line or suggesting that you could have your picture taken with an African-American Santa.
"Is there a special Santa?" I asked one of the first elves I saw.
"We only have one," he responded. "Do you think the line would be this long if we had two?" Then the elf went back to spreading Christmas cheer to children in line.
I braced myself for the two-hour estimated wait.
At the entrance of the line, I asked another elf whether there was a "special" Santa I could see.
"There is a special Santa. He's black," she said. Everyone waits in the same line, so I would have to ask for him at the end, she said.
The treacherous path to the North Pole, lined with exhausted parents and clamoring children, wove through the store, down "PersonELF Only" hallways and even snaked through Macy's Human Resources waiting room.
Most of the kids around me were patient and excited. I overheard them tell their parents they wanted toy Jeeps and Kindle Fires from Santa.
Perhaps it was the fear of being put on the naughty list with less than 48 hours until Christmas that made some of the children surprisingly subdued.
"You can't go and see Santa with untied shoelaces!" one mother told her son. He tied them.
After an hour and a half, the kids started to grow a bit rambunctious. Sometimes, one parent would leave to get the group Starbucks while the other would hold the place in line.
Once I made it inside the North Pole, I asked another elf to make sure I didn't need to divert to see "special" Santa. She assured me all I would have to do was ask for him at the end of the line.
Finally, I arrived at the end of the line and made my request.
Almost all the elves I encountered seemed to know what I meant by "special" Santa. They ushered me just to the side while an elf went to see whether he was ready.
While I waited, 25 families were brought in, escorted by elves, to three separate areas to see Santas. Presumably, the Santas are hidden in separate areas so that no child sees more than one.
During my wait, I made friends with an elf who was, amazingly, even cheerier and more helpful than all the others I met along the way. The kids were mesmerized by all the elves' joy.
My new elf friend told me that my Santa needed a "costume change." After about 10 minutes, he was ready for me.
I headed to a room towards the back -- a fourth route where none of the other 25 families had gone.
In the quiet room was a black Santa, jolly as could be. He asked me what I wanted for Christmas and even urged me to ask for more..
We each wished the other a Merry Christmas, and I was escorted out.
Before leaving, I ran into the first elf I had seen. I asked him why there aren't any signs or notice for the "special" Santa. "I have no idea, that's a Macy's thing," the black elf said.
I asked him whether he thinks Macy's should publicize the "special" Santa. "I have no idea," the elf said. "I just show up and have a good time and shine shiny things."
When reached for comment, Macy's VP of Media Relations Elina Kazan said, "At Macy's, we have upheld the tradition and believe in our hearts that there is only one Santa Claus, and that Santa is all things to all people who believe in the spirit and goodness of Santa."
"I think it's kind of ridiculous," said Macy's customer Harold Buisson of Brooklyn, New York. "It just adds to more division in my mind because if you just put them all out in the same place, then it would just be a choice of whoever walks up as opposed to a form of segregation, which is the way it seems like."
But others express appreciation to Macy's.
"I could have gone anywhere, but I came right here to Macy's because I knew they had an African-American Santa," Elizabeth Kittles, who brought her sons to see the black Santa, told WCBS.
CNN's Julie Cannold contributed to this report.

Police search for killer of teen in Newark

A killer on the loose in Newark. This time cops in that city are looking for the gunman who shot and killed a teenager.

Police say 18-year-old college freshman Reginald Terry was apparently caught in the middle of a fight over the weekend. And for that, it cost him his life.
Everyone who knew that 18 year old man thought he would be the one who'd get his college degree be a success and escape the violence here. Everyone who knew Reginald Terry thought he was too good and smart too.
Star Newark Central high school player Reginald Terry was an honor student everyone thought would make it out of town alive he and his family knew the danger living here something he promised his mom he'd do something about.
"He wanted to get out of Newark just because of this. I want to be something to get him out of Newark," said Leandra Terry, Reginald's mother.
He met friends on Christmas break and got caught in someone else's crossfire leaving a downtown party.
Some kids that I used to coach went the right way, and some went the wrong way. My son went the right way," said Reginald Terry Sr.
Friends who've known him since childhood stunned Reginald would become another gun statistic after he spent so much time studying and helping others escape the violence.
"Since I've been away in college I've seen kids dropping left and right," said Sade Corprew.
Police are offering a reward to find the killer.
In Reginald's college essay he wrote his years in Newark were horrible because of all the killings. He said he wouldn't be like everyone else, that he'd chose his own destiny and be successful.

(Copyright ©2013 WABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

Monday, December 23, 2013

Bears vs. Eagles 2013 final score: Philadelphia crushes Chicago in 54-11 laugher

Bears vs. Eagles 2013 final score: Philadelphia crushes Chicago in 54-11 laugher

With both teams facing a must-win situation, the Eagles destroyed the Bears with the running game. Philadelphia spanked Chicago, 54-11, giving them a let up in the NFC East. The Bears now need to beat Green Bay to make the playoffs.

The Philadelphia Eagles had a plan for the Chicago Bears -- run the ball down their throats. The Bears had no answer for that plan, surrendering 291 rushing yards as the Eagles breezed to a 54-11 romp. It's the most points Chicago has given up since a 55-20 loss to the Lions in 1997.

Philadelphia moves to 9-6 and is in good position in the NFC East, although they're still headed to a winner take all showdown with the Cowboys. The Bears dropped to 8-7 and also face a must-win scenario against the Packers in Week 17.
The Eagles got things off to a fast start. After a short punt by the Bears, Nick Foles marched down the field and hooked up with Riley Cooper to give Philadelphia a quick 7-0 lead. They got a big break when Devin Hester fumbled away the ensuing kickoff. LeSean McCoy cashed in on the turnover with a goal-line plunge, putting the Bears in a deep hole early.

Chicago's defense has been a weak spot all season, and Foles picked them apart with impunity. He hit a wide-open Brent Celek to take a 21-0 lead in the first quarter alone. Chicago's offense finally showed some life in the second half, but a potential scoring drive ended when Jay Cutler took two sacks that pushed them out of field goal range. The two teams traded field goals at the end of the second quarter and the Eagles went into halftime leading, 24-3.

The Bears seemed to have caught a break when McCoy fumbled on the Eagles' opening drive in the third quarter, but it got reversed on review. Chip Kelly lost a timeout when he challenged the play even though turnovers are automatically reviewed. That glimmer of hope quickly vanished for Chicago--the Eagles pinned them inside the five-yard line on a punt and Matt Forte got tackled in the end zone for a safety. Philadelphia poured it on after the free kick, getting another touchdown from McCoy to bury the Bears.

Chicago finally found the end zone at the end of the third quarter. Cutler led a 79-yard drive that ended with a 1-yard touchdown from Brandon Marshall. They tried a surprise onside kick, but the wind blew the ball off the tee, forcing Chicago to abandon that strategy:

 From there, the Eagles went back to the running game, mixing in McCoy and Bryce Brown to kill the clock and ice the game. Chris Polk finished off the drive with a touchdown of his own. By the time Brandon Boykin took an interception to the house, Philly fans were already celebrating and chanting "We want Dallas." The Eagles crossed the 50-point mark with a 65-yard score by Brown, getting more than 500 total yards in the process.

Latest Sports Eagles Fans Say Defense Most Impressive In Win Over Bears

Eagles Fans Say Defense Most Impressive In Win Over Bears

PHILADELPHIA, PA - DECEMBER 22: Cary Williams #26 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates after breaking up a pass during the third quarter against the Chicago Bears at Lincoln Financial Field on December 22, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeat the Bears 54-11. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) PHILADELPHIA, PA – DECEMBER 22: Cary Williams #26 of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates after breaking up a pass during the third quarter against the Chicago Bears at Lincoln Financial Field on December 22, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Eagles defeat the Bears 54-11.

 PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Eagles impressively destroyed the Bears last night 54-11, in a game that was much more important for the Bears than the Eagles.

For full story go to:

Report: Tony Romo Is Out Against The Eagles On Sunday

Report: Tony Romo Is Out Against The Eagles On Sunday

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Philadelphia, PA (CBS)—The last time the Eagles won 10 games was in 2010, which also marks the last time they won the NFC East title.

The chances that the Eagles break the three-year drought of double-figure victories in a season and a division crown just became better with the news Dallas Cowboys starting quarterback Tony Romo could be out for the season with a back injury.

On paper, it gives the Eagles a major advantage over the Cowboys in their winner-take-all NFC East showdown this Sunday night in Dallas. Though on Oct. 20, Dallas, without All-Pro defensive end DeMarcus Ware and top rusher DeMarco Murray, beat the Eagles 17-3.

For full story go to:

Homeless Man Beating Caught On Video

Los Angeles Local News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

Venice, CA - WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO. Police need your help in identifying the men who attacked a transient man.
Police are taking a close look at a disturbing video in which a homeless man is being viciously attacked by two men.  It happened last Friday morning in the 1300 block of Ocean Front Walk near Horizon Avenue in Venice.  Detectives say the attack, which was caught on camera, was unprovoked. They don't know the motive for the beating.
Two men strike the homeless man repeatedly with a folding chair and kick him  over and over. The video was taken by a Venice resident  who heard the commotion, went to the window and videotaped the attack. He also called 9-1-1.
The victim was taken to a local hospital for his injuries and he was released. Anyone with information about this attack are asked to contact the LAPD.

Recalling Active Days, Eastern State Pen Holds Toy Drive For Kids of Parents In Prison

Recalling Active Days, Eastern State Pen Holds Toy Drive For Kids of Parents In Prison
(An undated Christmas photo of prisoners and staffers at Eastern State Penitentiary.  Used with permission)
An undated Christmas photo of prisoners and staffers at Eastern State Penitentiary.
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Extending a long tradition, the staff at the historic Eastern State Penitentiary is holding a toy drive for the children of incarcerated parents.

Mentoring tour guide Ben Bookman says even when the prison, at 21st Street and Fairmount, was a working penitentiary, Christmas was a special time — even for the prisoners.

“Depending on the year, Christmas was always celebrated here,” he tells KYW Newsradio.  “In the earlier years it might have only been a special meal.  But still, every Christmas day, inmates got mince pies and holiday foods.  In the later years they added decorations and Christmas trees, and tried to make the day special for everyone.”

For full story go to:

Former Philadelphia Zoo Elephant Passes Away At 50 In Tennessee

Former Philadelphia Zoo Elephant Passes Away At 50 In Tennessee

Dulary. (credit: The Philadelphia Zoo)

HOHENWALD, TN (CBS) – A 50-year-old elephant formerly in the care of the Philadelphia Zoo has passed away.

The Zoo and The Elephant Sanctuary shared the sad news on Dec. 23rd.

According to officials, Dulary, an Asian elephant who resided at the Philadelphia Zoo from 1964 until her move to Tennessee’s The Elephant Sanctuary in 2007, passed away on Monday morning.

Though Dulary had experienced intermittent health issues, zoo workers say she had happily celebrated her 50th birthday this past May. They also say there had been no indications Dulary was ill the night before her death.

While it’s unclear what killed the elephant, The Elephant Sanctuary said she passed away peacefully and was “surrounded by those who loved her,” including her best elephant friend, Misty.

For full story go to:

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