The twin sister of state Attorney General Kathleen Kane - who is a top prosecutor on her staff - sent and received emails that mocked African Americans and Asians, joked about domestic abuse and included images of scantily clad men and women. Kane made the emails exchanged by her sister, Ellen Granahan, public after coming under pressure from a Philadelphia prosecutor who asserted that Granahan had sent or received 58 troubling messages, and Kane herself received 11. In a joint statement, the sisters called the remarks "false and defamatory." Granahan's now-public emails include several with the types of jokes Kane has criticized others for sending in the Porngate scandal. Read more
Boyds is bouncing back after a fire last month caused more than $5 million in damaged clothing and prompted a weeklong closure that resulted in another $1 million in lost business. "The fire took out our infrastructure, tailoring, accounting, and management," co-owner Jeff Glass said. "Tailoring is the backbone of the business. We can't function without it." The tailor shop at the Chestnut Street clothier, where the fire originated, was covered in soot, water and broken glass. About 700 customers had suits affected by the blaze; they are being offered refunds or store credit to re-select clothing. "Boyds has been extremely gracious and cooperative through this process," said Dan Hessel, a Center City lawyer who lost four suits in the tailor shop. Read more
State Rep. Louise Williams Bishop pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge in a bribery sting operation and resigned from the House, as her lawyer said he was wrong to imply that she had been wrongfully targeted in the probe because of her race. The West Philadelphia Democrat pleaded to failing to report $1,500 on her financial forms. She's expected to serve six months of probation, after which the charge can be expunged. Defense attorney Chuck Peruto Jr. also dropped his accusation of racial targeting, telling a judge that his motion to have the case dismissed because of those concerns "has no viability." Read more
Leaders in the Pennsylvania House have put a 24-hour deadline on a new push to support the $30.8 billion spending plan approved by Gov. Tom Wolf and the state Senate. Lawmakers say a vote on the tax plan, the central pillar of the budget, could come today, potentially putting a final spending proposal on Wolf's desk by the weekend and ending the months-long budget impasse. "In 24 hours, we're going to find out whether the tax votes are actually there in the House," House Majority Leader Dave Reed said Wednesday afternoon. Read more
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has been turning to one phrase to promote his presidential credentials: "As a former federal prosecutor...." He has been focusing on national security more often, touting his experience as U.S. attorney for New Jersey after the Sept. 11 attacks. The emphasis comes as the race for the GOP nomination has increasingly focused on foreign policy and terrorism. "For seven years, I spent my life protecting our country against another one of those attacks," Christie said at Tuesday's Republican debate. "You won't have to worry when I'm president of the United States whether that can be done, because I have already done it." The governor is drawing a contrast with front-runner Donald Trump, said Julian Zelizer, a Princeton University history and public affairs professor. "He's saying, 'I've actually worked on this, I understand what it means.' Implicit is, Donald Trump doesn't," Zelizer said. Read more