A Center City pain management physician whose prescribing practices were linked to the deaths of four patients will not get his medical license reinstated. The Pennsylvania Board of Osteopathic Medicine denied the petition of Thomas C. Barone, who was accused of inappropriately prescribing tens of thousands of pills, mainly highly addictive opioid painkillers, to four patients who later died of overdoses. Barone said he did not know whether he would reapply for his license. Read more
At a hearing Wednesday, Bill Cosby's lawyers took aim at the 13 additional accusers prosecutors want to call as witnesses at the entertainer's sexual assault trial, calling the women liars with "ancient, remote, incredible, uncorroborated, bandwagon allegations." The two sides were in court for a second day of hearings on whether the women can testify at next year's trial. Judge Steven T. O'Neill gave no indication of when or how he would rule, saying only that he would do "exhaustive research." Read more
Pennsylvania is on pace to reach a $600 million budget shortfall. Gov. Tom Wolf hopes to work with cabinet members to discuss ways to cut costs, and to avoid proposing increases to the sales or income taxes next year, his budget secretary said at a midyear briefing. Republicans, who control both legislative chambers, appear to be eyeing big changes to state government, including privatizing services and consolidating departments. Wolf is scheduled to give his annual budget address in February. Read more
Four teenagers have been held for trial as adults on homicide and other charges in the October killing of a former Pennridge High School football player. Iziah Ramon Lewis, 19, was fatally shot when he met the boys for what he thought would be a drug deal. Noah Strickland, 16, and Harrison Moss, 15, appeared at a preliminary hearing Wednesday, while Christopher Pavack, 16, and Carson Kimnach, 17, waived their hearings. Pavack testified, saying the boys had planned to rob a drug dealer that night and then resell marijuana. "They created this situation," Dan Sweeney, chief of staff in the Bucks County District Attorney's Office, said. "They planned that robbery." Read more
Nearly two dozen Philadelphia departments have improperly managed $1.5 million in petty cash, according to a City Controller's Office audit. Controller Alan Butkovitz said there are widespread accounting issues and called for more training. "We found improper disbursements, commingling of funds, unauthorized approvals and inadequate reconciliations," he said. "With more than a million dollars in cash flowing through 42 city agencies, there needs to be better accountability." Read more