The Eagles have fired coach Chip Kelly. Owner Jeffery Lurie announced the decision shortly after 7 p.m. Tuesday. "I spent the last three seasons evaluating the many factors involved in our performance as a team," Lurie said in an open letter. "As I watched this season unfold, I determined that it was time to make a change." The stunning move came just days before the season finale. Kelly told Fox Sports he was "disappointed" in how his tenure ended but did not fight Lurie's decision. Offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur will be the interim head coach on Sunday when the Eagles face the New York Giants. "I am determined and excited to select a new coach to help us obtain our ultimate goal," Lurie said. Read more
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf partially vetoed what he called a "ridiculous" and "unconscionable" budget passed by the Republican-controlled legislature. He slammed lawmakers for underfunding schools and pressed for new talks on a final spending plan to end the six-month budget impasse. The governor agreed to release six months of emergency funds for schools and more than $9 billion for human services, acknowledging the impact of the prolonged stalemate. "I don't want to hold the children of Pennsylvania hostage for the inability of folks here in Harrisburg to get the job done," he said. "I'm expressing the outrage that all of us should feel about the garbage the Republican legislative leaders have tried to dump on us." Read more
Big law firms in Philadelphia are paying associates more money, a sign that the competition for talent is heating up. University City-based Dechert L.L.P., for instance, paid $15,000 bonuses to first-year associates this year, on top of annual salaries of $160,000. Drinker Biddle & Reath L.L.P. and Pepper Hamilton have both raised first-year salaries to stay competitive. "I think we are viewed as a destination firm, but you need to recognize that like in any other sector, whether it is law or business or services, if you want to get the very top talent you need to be competitive," said Andrew Kassner, Drinker's chairman and CEO. Big firms laid off hundreds of associates a few years ago to cope with the recession but are now busy with everything from commercial real estate to mergers and acquisitions. Read more
Motor-vehicle laws have not kept up with the pace of marijuana legalization. THC, the drug's main psychoactive component, remains in blood longer than alcohol, so a motorist could get busted for drugged driving well after the effects have passed. One proposed solution: a pot breath analyzer. "We are creating this marijuana breathalyzer that not only detects THC in breath but also measures the level," said Mike Lynn, an emergency-room doctor, reserve sheriff and chief executive at Hound Labs, a California-based company that says it has developed technology that can determine with one or two breaths whether someone had recently smoked marijuana. "By measuring levels, you can actually start correlating those levels with true driving impairment, then create standards like we have with alcohol." Read more
Louis Giorla, a 33-year veteran of the Philadelphia prison system, is retiring as commissioner next week. The South Philadelphia native once owned a lunch truck and had no interest in following in the path of his late father, who was a corrections officer. But he took the civil-service exam and became an officer himself in 1982, and moved up the ranks to warden and ultimately commissioner. He "was always a straight-shooter and he has always been a person that treated everyone with respect," Deputy Mayor Everett Gillison said. "He's been a great partner, innovative and receptive." Giorla says the key to his job is patience and a sense of humor. "One minute, you're talking to someone who's lucid and logical, and the next, someone's telling you they're going to kill you, and then you walk to the third cell and someone's talking to themselves," he said. "You have to adjust calmly to the situation, sometimes cell by cell." Read more