George Washington High School earned notoriety this year for frequent fights, community concern and an assault on a teacher. But those who work in the building say new leadership and a back-to-basics approach to discipline are leading to change. "We have to get rules in place as quickly and strictly as possible," coprincipal Francine Deal said. Deal and Christine Black were appointed to lead the 1,800-student Northeast Philadelphia school when Gene Jones was reassigned to an office job after a teacher was assaulted by three teenagers earlier this month. "Dr. Black and Mrs. Deal are walking around the building," special-education teacher Heather Ward said. "They're asking teachers if they needed anything. We're getting a response." Read more
Three young women were killed in a fiery Sunday crash on Torresdale Avenue near Rhawn Street. The driver of a Chevrolet Camaro lost control, smashing into a parked tractor-trailer, leading both vehicles to burst into flames. The three women inside the Camaro, all in their early 20s, died at the scene. A witness heard the victims yelling, but was unable to get into the car. "A witness on the scene said that he could hear people screaming from inside the car and attempted to render aid to them, but he couldn't get to the vehicle due to the flames," Capt. Anthony Ginaldi said. Read more
Pennsylvania's legislative are working to resolve the state's budget impasse after a framework agreement seemed to implode over the weekend, and a new contentious battle may be emerging: House leaders say they might propose a temporary spending plan, while Senate Republicans and Gov. Tom Wolf say they want to keep working on a full-year budget. "We'll see what they do and react to that," said Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman. Read more
Pennsylvania State University's Applied Research Laboratory conducts more than $200 million in research each year, most of it for the Navy. The lab is celebrating its 70th anniversary of developing new technologies. "We help the government figure out the art of the possible," said Allan Sonsteby, the deputy executive director. The scientists recently designed the propulsor system for a new attack submarine, working to make the blades as quiet as possible. "The crown jewel for submarines is how quiet can they be," said Paul E. Sullivan, a retired Navy vice admiral and director of the laboratory. "Noise is death." Read more
Despite reports of hovercraft batteries exploding and catching on fire, the devices remain hot items this holiday season. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is quickening its evaluation, has halted sales and Delta Airlines has banned them. But hoverboards remain "hugely popular," said toy expert Chris Byrne, content director for the toy website TTPM. "It's more of a sporting good than transport," he said. "It's good for entertainment and doing tricks, and it has a cool factor because there hasn't been anything like it." Read more