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Sunday, May 29, 2016

Students, Seniors Collaborate On ‘Ageless’ Art

Students, Seniors Collaborate On ‘Ageless’ Art

 (Credit: Thinkstock) 

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An art exhibit at the Philadelphia Senior Center showcases inter-generational works.

Alison Corter, with Newcourtland Senior Services says the 8th annual Artist Fellowship Exhibit brings together senior citizens and students.
 
“The seniors tell their stories through art; so the seniors and students work together, they learn from each other and they create inter-generational art,” Corter said.

She says the seniors and the students spend structured time together working on their art projects.

For full story go to:  http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Audit Allegedly Finds Faults With Pennsylvania’s Child Abuse Hotline

Audit Allegedly Finds Faults With Pennsylvania’s Child Abuse Hotline
 
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The “Child Line” is Pennsylvania’s hot line for reporting suspected child abuse and neglect, but a new report reveals that the state simply cannot keep up with the volume of phone calls.

An Interim Report of Significant Matters, published recently, details findings of phones going unanswered and calls going undocumented at the state run Child Abuse hotline.

“Stunning is probably the most appropriate word,” said auditor general Eugene DePasquale.
According to the report, the number of calls into Child Line either abandoned or deflected jumped to 42,000 in 2015. According to DePasquale the system has proved to be too easily overwhelmed.

For full story go to:  http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

South Jersey Man To Graduate Med School Despite Disability

South Jersey Man To Graduate Med School Despite Disability

 Jeff Gazzara in the PCOM practice lab.
(credit: Cherri Gregg) 

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A South Jersey man who is legally blind is preparing for his big day– graduation from medical school.

In just a few days, 27-year-old Jeffrey Gazzara will graduate from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. But he won’t be your typical doctor.

“I have retinitis pigmentosa,” he says. Gazzarra is referring to RP, the degenerative retinal disorder he was diagnosed with at age 12.

For full story go to:  http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/.

Bill Cosby is ordered to stand trial in sex case

Bill Cosby is ordered to stand trial in sex case
 
AP Photo
Bill Cosby waves as he arrives at the Montgomery County Courthouse for a preliminary hearing, Tuesday, May 24, 2016, in Norristown, Pa. Cosby is accused of drugging and molesting a woman at his home in 2004.
   
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) -- She called him "Mr. Cosby" and considered him a trusted friend and mentor.
But 20 minutes after Bill Cosby offered her three blue pills and told her to take them with the wine he had set out, Andrea Constand's legs began to wobble "like jelly," her eyes went blurry and her head began to throb.

Cosby helped her to a couch in his living room, where she later realized he violated her as she lay helplessly in a stupor, she told police in 2005.

On Tuesday, a judge ordered the 78-year-old Cosby to stand trial on sexual assault charges on the strength of Constand's decade-old police statement, sparing the former Temple University employee the need to testify at the preliminary hearing.

Cosby could get 10 years in prison if convicted in the case, the only criminal charges brought against the comedian out of the barrage of allegations that he drugged and molested dozens of women over five decades. He is free on $1 million bail.

A trial date was not immediately set.

Cosby, looking less frail than he did when he was arrested five months ago, seemed unfazed by District Judge Elizabeth McHugh's decision.

"Mr. Cosby is not guilty of any crime, and not one single fact presented by the commonwealth rebuts this truth," his lawyers said in a statement afterward.

The hearing was not the face-to-face confrontation between accuser and accused that some had anticipated: Constand, who is now a massage therapist in Toronto, was not in the courtroom, and the judge ruled that she did not have to testify at this stage. Instead, prosecutors had portions of her 2005 police statement read into the record.

While authorities in recent months have paraphrased her account and quoted fragments, this was apparently the first time that large sections of her statement - or Cosby's, for that matter - were made public.

Constand told police that the comedian penetrated her with his fingers and fondled her at his suburban Philadelphia mansion in 2004 after giving her what he said was herbal medication. After taking the pills, she said, "everything was blurry and dizzy."

"I told him, 'I can't even talk, Mr. Cosby.' I started to panic," she told police.

She said she awoke with her bra askew and did not remember undoing it.

Cosby's lawyers argued unsuccessfully that having a police officer read Constand's statement instead of putting her on the stand would be third-hand testimony and would deprive him of his right to confront his accuser. But reading a police statement into the record is common practice at preliminary hearings in Pennsylvania.

The defense also argued that Constand was having a relationship with a married man and that they had engaged in "petting" during her two or three earlier visits to his home.

In his own 2005 statement to police, excerpts of which were also read in court, Cosby said Constand never said "no" as he put his hand down her pants. He told police the pills were over-the-counter Benadryl that he takes to help him sleep.

Cosby attorney Brian McMonagle also questioned why Constand continued to see the comedian and even returned to the house to meet with him after the alleged assault.

In addition, the defense seized on discrepancies in the three police statements Constand gave, including her shifting memory of precisely when the encounter occurred.

Cosby settled with Constand for an undisclosed sum in 2006 after testifying behind closed doors about his extramarital affairs, his use of quaaludes to seduce women and his efforts to hide payments to former lovers from his wife.

But prosecutors reopened the criminal case last year after dozens of women leveled similar allegations and after Cosby's sealed testimony in Constand's lawsuit was made public.

Cosby's lawyers are trying to get the case thrown out, arguing that a previous prosecutor made a binding promise a decade ago that the comic would never be charged.

He is also fighting defamation lawsuits across the country for allegedly branding his accusers liars and is trying to get his homeowner insurance to pay his legal bills.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Morley Safer, who helped create CBS News, dead at 84

Morley Safer, who helped create CBS News, dead at 84

AP Photo
FILE - In this Nov. 10, 1993 file photo, The "60 Minutes" team, from left, Andy Rooney, Morley Safer, Steve Kroft, Mike Wallace, executive producer Don Hewitt, Lesley Stahl, and Ed Bradley pose at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York celebrating their 25th anniversary. Safer, the veteran “60 Minutes” correspondent who exposed a military atrocity in Vietnam that played an early role in changing Americans’ view of the war, died Thursday, May 19, 2016. He was 84.
  
NEW YORK (AP) -- Viewers didn't need to see Morley Safer's reporting to feel its effects.

They could have almost heard the yowling from the Oval Office and the Pentagon after Safer's 1965 expose of a U.S. military atrocity in Vietnam that played an early role in changing Americans' view of the war.

They may have felt a flush of gratitude on learning that Safer's 1983 investigation of justice gone awry resulted in the release of a Texas man wrongfully sentenced to life in prison.

Perhaps they headed to their wine shop with a heightened sense of purpose after word spread of Safer's story that quoted medical experts who said red wine can be good for you.

Safer's far-flung journalism got reactions and results during a 61-year career that found him equally at home reporting on social wrongs, the Orient Express, abstract art and the horrors of war.

That career came to an end this week, with a "60 Minutes" tribute on Sunday and, then, with Safer's death, at age 84, on Thursday.

He is survived by his wife, the former Jane Fearer, and his daughter Sarah Safer.

Safer, who had been in declining health, watched Sunday's program from his Manhattan home, CBS said, and shortly thereafter tweeted what would be his last dispatch: "It's been a wonderful run, and I want to thank the millions of people who have been loyal to our 60 Minutes broadcast. Thank you!"

NBC News Special Correspondent Tom Brokaw visited with Safer last Friday, two days after his retirement was announced.

They spoke about the towering journalists of Safer's era, men like The Washington Post's Ben Bradlee and 

"60 Minutes" creator-executive producer Don Hewitt.

Safer said quietly, "All the great ones are gone," Brokaw recalled in an email.

"No Morley, you're still with us," Brokaw replied before kissing Safer on the forehead.

During his 46 years on "60 Minutes," Safer did 919 stories, from his first in 1970 about U.S. Sky Marshals to his last this March, a profile of Danish architect Bjarke Ingels.

Along the way, he exhibited style, toughness and, when it suited, a bit of mischievous wit, such as with his 1993 essay, "Yes, But Is It Art?", which examined the relative merits of representational and abstract art, and outraged the contemporary art world.

He famously said, "There is no such thing as the common man; if there were, there would be no need for journalists."

Safer was no common man. He cut a dashing figure as a bon vivant who for a time drove a Bentley bought with poker winnings. He seemed to bridge the gap between the glory ink-stained-wretch days of foreign correspondents (Ernest Hemingway was an early inspiration) and the blooming electronic age of TV news.

"Morley Safer helped create the CBS News we know today," said CBS News President David Rhodes.

CBS chairman and CEO Leslie Moonves said Safer broadly impacted the news industry: "Morley was one of the most important journalists in any medium, ever."

"Morley was a fixture, one of our pillars, and an inspiration in many ways," said Jeff Fager, "60 Minutes" executive producer. "He was a master storyteller, a gentleman and a wonderful friend. We will miss him very much."

Safer was outspoken in his allegiance to words more than pictures - heresy for most TV professionals, though comfortably in synch with Hewitt's mandate at "60 Minutes."

"What you're aiming at are people's ears rather than their eyes," said the man who claimed to "not really like being on television," yet made his peace with this "intimidating" medium: "The money's very good," he noted with a sly smile.

It was in 1970 that Safer joined "60 Minutes," then just two years old and far from the national institution it would become. He claimed the co-host chair alongside a talk-show-host-turned-newsman named Mike Wallace.

During the next four decades, Safer's rich tobacco-and-whiskey-cured voice delivered stories that ranged from art, music and popular culture, to "gotcha" investigations, to one of his favorite pieces, which, in 1983, resulted in the release from prison of Lenell Geter, the engineer wrongly convicted of a holdup at a fast food restaurant and serving a life sentence.

A memorable 1984 profile of Jackie Gleason took place in a bar around a pool table, where "the Great One" showed Safer and his viewers how it's done - but not before Safer nearly ran the table.

And in 2011, he scored a sit-down with Ruth Madoff, who offered her first public description of the day she learned from her husband, Bernard, that he was running the biggest Ponzi scheme in history. More than 18.5 million viewers tuned in.

Safer won a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for his 2001 story on a school in Arizona specifically geared to serve homeless children.

Other honors include three George Foster Peabody awards, 12 Emmys and two George Polk Memorial Awards.

Safer, who was born in Toronto in 1931, insisted he was "stateless" and, as a reporter chasing stories around the globe, claimed, "I have no vested interests." He eventually became an American citizen, holding dual citizenship.

He began his career at several news organizations in Canada and England before being hired by Reuters wire service in its London bureau. Then, in 1955, he was offered a correspondent's job in the Canadian Broadcasting Company's London bureau, where he worked nine years before CBS News hired him for its London bureau.

In 1965 he opened CBS' Saigon bureau.

That August, "The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite" aired a report by Safer that rocked viewers, who, at that point, remained mostly supportive of the U.S. war effort in Vietnam. Safer had been invited to join a group of Marines on what a lieutenant described as a search-and-destroy mission in the tiny villages that made up Cam Ne.

But what he encountered there, and captured on film, was the spectacle of American soldiers employing their Zippo lighters to burn the thatched-roof, mud-plastered huts to the ground, despite having met with no resistance from village residents.

Safer's expose ignited a firestorm.

President Lyndon Johnson gave CBS President Frank Stanton a tongue-lashing. "Your boys shat on the American flag yesterday," he reportedly roared, and intimated that Safer had "Communist ties" and had staged the entire story. Safer feared for his safety in the company of angry U.S. soldiers and said the Pentagon treated him with contempt for the rest of his life.

"The Cam Ne story was broadcast over and over again in the United States and overseas. It was seized upon by Hanoi as a propaganda tool and by scoundrels of the left and right, in the Pentagon and on campuses," Safer wrote in his 1990 memoir, "Flashbacks: On Returning to Vietnam."

Safer rotated in and out of Vietnam three times, then, in 1967, began three years as London bureau chief.

In 1970, he was brought to New York to succeed original co-host Harry Reasoner (who was moving to ABC News) on an innovative newsmagazine that, in its third season, was still struggling in the ratings, and would rely on Safer and Wallace as its only co-anchors for the next five years.

In 1971, Safer won an Emmy for his "60 Minutes" investigation of the Gulf of Tonkin incident that began America's war in Vietnam.

He quickly became a fixture at "60 Minutes" - and part of that show's rough-and-tumble behind-the-scenes culture as the stature and ratings of the show took off.

Jeff Fager, then a producer for Safer, has kept on display a framed remnant of the curtain that was the landing place for a cup of coffee Safer once threw at him.

But Safer had an especially combative, if ultimately respectful, relationship with fellow "60 Minutes" pioneer Wallace.

Sunday's tribute to Safer's career - which notably contained no new interview footage with him - featured outtakes from an interview that Safer conducted with Wallace upon the latter's retirement. During the sequence, the two of them were quarrelling even as they praised each other.

By 2006, Safer had reduced his output, accepting half-time status. But he remained after the departures of Wallace - who retired in 2006 at age 88, and died in 2012 - as well as Don Hewitt, who stepped down in 2004 at 81, and died in 2009, and Andy Rooney, who, at 92, ended 33 years as the resident essayist in October 2011, and died a month later.

"Mind if I smoke?" Safer asked an Associated Press reporter a few years ago as he closed his office door at "60 Minutes" while flouting health laws, inasmuch as his cigarette by then was halfway done. It felt appropriately old school, given Safer's link to the days when legends - as well as smoke - filled those hallways.

"60 Minutes" carries on, but now the legends are gone.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Philadelphia’s New Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel Sworn In

Philadelphia’s New Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel Sworn In
 
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Adam Thiel took the oath of office, becoming Philadelphia’s new Fire Commissioner at 10:30 a.m. on Monday morning, inside the auditorium of the Fire Administration Building at 3rd and Spring Garden Streets.

Only CBS 3 was there as the 43-year-old commissioner, surrounded by family members, emerged from the brief ceremony.

“I’m really happy to get here and get started,” Thiel explained. He had previously led fire departments in four states, most recently serving as Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security in Virginia.

“My goal is to visit one firehouse each day to get to know my fire department family,” he said.

For full story go to:  http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Phillie Phanatic Makes A Special Connection With A Blind Fan

Phillie Phanatic Makes A Special Connection With A Blind Fan
 
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Phillie Phanatic really wanted to meet Katie Maunder. He wanted to meet her so much, that he kicked her cousin out of her seat.

“Truthfully, it was the most fun part of the game,” Maunder said.

This past Friday, Katie, who is blind, went to the Phillies game with her family.

“He suddenly appeared nearby and he came up behind us,” said Katie’s mother Trish.

For full story go to:  http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Thousands “Walk Against Hate” At The Navy Yard

Thousands “Walk Against Hate” At The Navy Yard

 (credit: Mike Dougherty) 

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Thousands of people were taking steps in the right direction Sunday morning at the 6th annual Anti-Defamation League “Walk Against Hate”.

Live music and breakfast from food trucks at the Marine Parade Grounds followed the two-mile march around the Navy Yard.

Barbara Shaab with the Anti-Defamation League says the two-mile Walk Against Hate is a celebration of inclusion.

“I am so happy. The weather is gorgeous. You see every culture represented. It’s a success!” She said.

“It’s an all-inclusive event that’s designed to unite the region in the fight against hate by celebrating diversity and inclusion, and that’s exactly what we’re doing here,” said Brandon Morrison, chairman of the Walk Against Hate.

For full story go to:  http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Friday, May 13, 2016

African Art Showcased In New Exhibit At Philadelphia Museum Of Art

African Art Showcased In New Exhibit At Philadelphia Museum Of Art

One of the "Creative Africa" exhibits at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
(credit: Melony Roy)
One of the "Creative Africa" exhibits at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s latest exhibition aims to take visitors on a journey through Africa.
With “Creative Africa,” the Philadelphia Museum of art is celebrating African art and design with five distinct exhibitions, ranging from fashion and photography, to architecture and centuries-old sculptures.
“It’s a really great opportunity for people to see a variety of African art, past and present,” said program coordinator John Vick.

For full story go to:  http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

State Audit Finds Some Phila. School District Bus Drivers Had Incomplete Background Checks

State Audit Finds Some Phila. School District Bus Drivers Had Incomplete Background Checks

 (The headquarters of the School District of Philadelphia, on North Broad Street near Spring Garden.  File photo by Mike DeNardo) 
The headquarters of the School District of Philadelphia, on 
North Broad Street near Spring Garden
 
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — An audit of the Philadelphia School District has revealed missing textbooks, incomplete background checks and a mismanagement of student data.

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says his review of district operations showed that 21 of 49 school bus drivers reviewed had failed to complete background checks.

“We found two of those 49 bus drivers had pre-employment convictions that should have precluded them from being hired.”

Convictions for assault, arson and drug possession. He credited the district for removing those drivers once
their records came to light.

The report also said student attendance reports were unreliable. He said the district is moving to an electronic attendance system.

The audit criticized the district for losing track of textbooks after schools were closed in 2013.

DePasquale also said Philadelphia will never dig out its financial hole unless the city and state change how schools are funded.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Eagles DE Connor Barwin Helps Philadelphia Promote Tree Giveaway Program

Eagles DE Connor Barwin Helps Philadelphia Promote Tree Giveaway Program

 (credit: Melony Roy) 

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — If anyone has a “green” thumb, wouldn’t it be a Philadelphia Eagle? One of the team’s star defensemen swooped in to help the city promote its tree giveaway program.

Eagle’s defensive end Connor Barwin was on hand Monday to help plant a tree at the home of the winner of the #PhillyTreeTrek social media contest.

“I enjoy the outdoors and I understand the importance of trees and the importance of trees in cities,” Barwin said. “It was a great idea and a great campaign, and that’s why I wanted to be apart of it.”

For full story go to:  http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Breast Cancer Survivors Share What Race For The Cure Means To Them May 8, 2016 1:19 PM

Breast Cancer Survivors Share What Race For The Cure Means To Them

 (credit: CBS3) 

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Thousands of breast cancer survivors walked in the 2016 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on Sunday. Many of them talked about their battles and shared what the race meant to them.

“Every year I say I’m not going to cry coming down the steps but I cried like a baby,” said Gloria, a six-year cancer survivor. “I  miss those that have gone on before me but those that walk today are blessed.”

For full story go to: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/




Baby Girl Dies Days After Fatal Crash In East Falls

Baby Girl Dies Days After Fatal Crash In East Falls

 (credit: CBS 3)  

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A baby girl has died less than a week after a serious crash that killed two others, including a young boy, and left six more people injured in East Falls.

Seven-week-old Zyana Wilson-Perez was pronounced dead at St. Christopher’s Hospital on Thursday, authorities confirmed Sunday.

The infant had suffered severe head and abdominal injuries in the May 1 accident along Henry Avenue at Hermit Lane.

For full story go to:  http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Friday, May 6, 2016

‘R-Word Campaign’ Spreads To North Philly School

‘R-Word Campaign’ Spreads To North Philly School

 'R-word' assembly at Simon Gratz High School in Nicetown. (Credit: Hadas Kuznits) 

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – One school in North Philadelphia is taking initiative to create a more positive atmosphere by changing the words students use to describe each other.

An assembly was held Friday at Simon Gratz High School in connection with the Special Olympics.
Ann McKetta, assistant principal of specialized services, explains it’s for the “R-word Campaign:”

“The ‘R-word Campaign’ is ‘spread the word to end the word,’ explains Ann McKetta, assistant principal of specialized services. “So the word is ‘retard’ or ‘retarded’ and what we’re trying to do is just bring awareness to the fact of how hurtful and dehumanizing the word is.”

For full story go to:  http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Thursday, May 5, 2016

CHOP Joins Nationwide Survey Seeking Autism Answers

CHOP Joins Nationwide Survey Seeking Autism Answers

 Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, at 34th and Spruce Streets, in West Philadelphia.  (credit: Pat Loeb) 

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has joined the largest ever genetics study on autism.

The hope now: effected families will get involved.
 
The study is called SPARK, an acronym for the Simons Foundation Powering Autism Research Knowledge.

“We’ve been trying to collect as much DNA and genetic information on individuals with autism as possible,” says Doctor Juhi Pandey with the Center for Autism at CHOP.

For full story go to:  http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Attorney: Prince arranged to meet addiction doctor

Attorney: Prince arranged to meet addiction doctor

AP Photo
Attorney William Mauzy answers questions from the media as he arrives at his Minneapolis office Wednesday, May 4, 2016. A published report says Prince's representatives arranged for the musician to meet a California doctor to help him kick an addiction to painkillers shortly before his death. Mauzy represents California Dr. Howard Kornfeld who couldn't immediately meet Prince so he sent his son Andrew to discuss treatment. The pop rock singer died on April 21 at the age of 57.
  
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- In his final weeks, Prince hid signs of trouble from his fans, stonewalling reports of an overdose that required an emergency plane landing and making a brief public appearance to reassure them. But privately, the superstar was in crisis, seeking help from a prominent addiction expert that ultimately came too late.

The day before he died, Prince's representatives reached out to a prominent California doctor who specializes in treating addiction and set up an initial meeting between the two, the doctor's Minneapolis attorney, William Mauzy, said Wednesday. He said the doctor, Howard Kornfeld, couldn't leave right away so he sent his son, Andrew, who flew out that night.

It was Andrew Kornfeld who called 911 the next morning after he and two staffers found Prince unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park studio complex, the lawyer said. Prince was declared dead shortly thereafter on April 21. He was 57.

The details about Prince's death that emerged Wednesday raise questions about whether he received appropriate care and whether those who sought to provide it could face legal consequences for their actions.

Although autopsy results haven't been released, Mauzy's revelations, which were first reported by the Star Tribune, buttress reports that Prince had been fighting - and ultimately lost - a battle with prescription painkillers.

Mauzy confirmed that Andrew Kornfeld, whom he also is representing, flew to Minnesota on behalf of his father in the hopes of connecting Prince with a local physician the morning he was found dead.

He said Dr. Kornfeld hoped to get Prince "stabilized in Minnesota and convince him to come to Recovery Without Walls in Mill Valley. That was the plan," referring to Howard Kornfeld's California treatment center.

Mauzy said Andrew Kornfeld was carrying a small amount of buprenorphine, which Howard Kornfeld says on his website is a treatment option for patients with addiction issues that offers pain relief with less possibility of overdose and addiction. But he said Andrew Kornfeld never intended to give the medication to Prince, and instead planned to give it to the Minnesota doctor who was scheduled to see the musician.

Mauzy said Andrew Kornfeld was "taken into custody and interviewed and told it was a criminal investigation." When asked by reporters about the legality of his carrying buprenorphine, Mauzy declined to answer. But he said he believes Minnesota law would protect Andrew Kornfeld from any potential charges related to Prince's death. He said Kornfeld was released the same day and returned to San Francisco.

Under the law, a person who seeks medical assistance for someone who is overdosing on drugs may not be prosecuted for possessing or sharing controlled substances, under certain circumstances.

Andrew Kornfeld is listed on his father's center's website as a consultant, and Mauzy said it wasn't uncommon for Howard Kornfeld to send Andrew on his behalf. He said Andrew Kornfeld is a pre-med student and that convincing people to seek treatment at the center is something "he has done for years."

The Kornfelds did not respond to multiple requests for comment from The Associated Press. Also, messages left with Recovery Without Walls were not returned, and no one answered when a photographer knocked on the door

Also Wednesday, the U.S. Attorney's Office said it and the Drug Enforcement Administration are joining local officials in investigating Prince's death.

A law enforcement official briefed on the investigation has told the AP that investigators are looking into whether Prince died from an overdose. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to talk about the investigation. The same official also said investigators are looking at whether Prince had suffered an overdose when his plane made an emergency landing in Moline, Illinois, less than a week before he died.

Mauzy said Prince's representatives told Howard Kornfeld that the singer was "dealing with a grave medical emergency." He declined Wednesday to detail the emergency, and also declined to identify the Minnesota doctor who was supposed to see Prince on April 21.

Stuart Gitlow, an addiction medicine expert speaking without direct knowledge of Prince's case, questioned whether Howard Kornfeld and his son acted appropriately.

"If a physician feels that a patient is having an emergency, his obligation is to call an ambulance and get the patient to emergency personnel who can assess the situation - not to fly to the patient," Gitlow said.

"It's not routine for doctors to fly across the country to start people on buprenorphine," said Gitlow, a former president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and a faculty member of the University of Florida.

"That's something that can be handled locally."

Authorities haven't released a cause of death. An autopsy was done the day after Prince's death, but its findings, including the toxicology results, weren't expected for as many as four weeks.

Prince had a reputation for clean living, and some friends said they never saw any sign of drug use. But longtime friend and collaborator Sheila E. has told the AP that Prince had physical issues from performing, citing hip and knee problems that she said came from years of jumping off risers and stage speakers in heels.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Centenarian Luncheon Held In Montgomery County

Centenarian Luncheon Held In Montgomery County

 County commissioners Joe Gale, Josh Shapiro and Val Arkoosh pose with soon-to-be-centenarians Roger Wardlow and Andrella Lattimore.
(credit: Jim Melwert) 

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A luncheon on Wednesday in Montgomery County will celebrate some pretty special people.

About 60 centenarians – people 100 years old or older — will gather at Dock Woods retirement community for the 7th annual Montgomery County Centenarians Luncheon.

Acting director of aging and adult services Barbara O’Malley says there are two new members to the group this year. One, Andrella Lattimore who will turn 100 on September 10th:

For full story go to: http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Elephants perform for final time at Ringling Bros. circus

Elephants perform for final time at Ringling Bros. circus

AP Photo
An Asian elephant performs during the national anthem for the final elephant performance during the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Sunday, May 1, 2016, in Providence, R.I. The circus closes its own chapter on a controversial practice that has entertained audiences since circuses began in America two centuries ago. The animals will live at the Ringling Bros. 200-acre Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida.
  
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- An elephant carrying a performer holding an American flag kicked off the final elephant performance at Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus on Sunday, as the show closes its own chapter on a practice that has entertained audiences in America for two centuries but has come under fire by animal rights activists.

Six Asian elephants were delivering their final performances in Providence, Rhode Island, and five performed in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, earlier Sunday. The last Providence show was streaming live on Facebook and at Ringling.com .

In Providence, after a trip around the ring, the elephant carrying the flag stood at attention during the national anthem. A few minutes later, six elephants entered the ring, each holding the tail of the one in front of her.

Alana Feld, executive vice president of Feld Entertainment, which owns the circus, said the animals will live at its 200-acre Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida. Its herd of 40 Asian elephants, the largest in North America, will continue a breeding program and be used in a pediatric cancer research project.

Elephants have been used in the circus in America for more than 200 years. In the early 1800s, Hackaliah Bailey added the elephant "Old Bet" to his circus. P.T. Barnum added the African elephant he named "Jumbo" to "The Greatest Show on Earth" in 1882.

The Humane Society says more than a dozen circuses in the United States continue to use elephants. But none tour as widely or are as well- known as Ringling Bros.

It's also getting more difficult for circuses to tour with elephants. Dozens of cities have banned the use of bullhooks - used to train elephants - and some states are considering such legislation.

Just as in the Disney movie "Dumbo," elephants in the past have been dressed up as people and trained to do a range of tricks: play baseball, ride bicycles, play musical instruments, wear wedding dresses or dress in mourning clothes, said Ronald B. Tobias, author of the 2013 book "Behemoth: The History of the Elephant in America."

The change at Ringling signifies a shift in Americans' understanding of elephants, Tobias said. People no longer see elephants as circus performers, he said, "but sentient animals that are capable of a full range of human emotions."

Attitudes are shifting about other animals as well. Last month, Sea World announced it would end live orca shows and breeding. Ringling will continue to use animals including horses, lions, tigers, dogs and kangaroos in its shows, Feld said.

Before Sunday's show, around half a dozen protesters stood outside, including one wearing a lion costume, to protest Ringling's use of animals.

The Humane Society has called for an end to the breeding program and for Ringling to retire the animals to one of two accredited sanctuaries, one in California and one in Tennessee, both of which have more than 2,000 acres of land.

Feld said they have the most successful breeding program in North America and have determined they can accommodate the elephants in the space they have. In 2014, Feld Entertainment won more than $25 million in settlements from animal-rights groups, including the Humane Society, over unproven allegations of mistreated elephants.

An announcer told the crowd before Sunday's performance in Providence about the cancer project. Cancer is less common in elephants than humans, and their cells contain 20 copies of a major cancer-suppressing gene, compared with just one copy in humans. A researcher at the University of Utah is working with Ringling to study the elephants' blood cells.

Tobias said as attitudes have changed, people are more interested in seeing elephants in a natural habitat such as a sanctuary, rather than in a circus or zoo.

"I think people will get a lot more satisfaction out of elephants living their real lives than to see them performing as clowns," Tobias said. "It's kind of a new age in our understanding and sympathy and empathy toward elephants."

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