Temple University is postponing plans to study building a $100 million football stadium after opposition from Mayor-elect Jim Kenney. Patrick O'Connor, chairman of Temple's board of trustees, said the university would meet with Kenney soon to discuss the proposed 35,000-seat stadium near the school's North Philadelphia campus. The surprising shift came after a Philadelphia Business Journal story posted Tuesday afternoon noted Kenney's opposition. "If the mayor[-elect] has questions, and it wasn't clear from the article exactly what issues he has, in our planning process we want to make sure we hear from him, meet with him, talk to him, before we do anything," Temple president Neil Theobald said. Read more
The lawyer for Griffin Campbell, the contractor convicted in the Market Street building collapse case, is contending that his client and excavator operator Sean Benschop were prosecuted because of their race and economic status. Defense attorney William Hobson's motion for Campbell's acquittal comes as concerns have been raised about how embattled prosecutor Frank Fina picks his targets. Campbell and Benschop, who pleaded guilty, are black North Philadelphia residents, while the property owners and demolition supervisors who weren't charged are white and wealthy. "They're both black, and they're both economically at the bottom of the food chain," Hobson said. He said Fina, under fire for his role in the Porngate scandal involving sexist and racist emails, supervised the grand-jury investigation in the collapse case: "A senior prosecutor with more racial baggage coming out was running the show." Read more
A judicial ethics panel has filed misconduct charges against Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin for his involvement in the Porngate scandal. The state Judicial Conduct Board's decision means Eakin is expected to face a public trial before the Court of Judicial Discipline, which will weigh the allegations and impose punishment if the justice is found guilty. In a 52-page complaint, the conduct board said Eakin "engaged in conduct so extreme that it brought the judicial office into disrepute." Read more
The principal at the troubled George Washington High School has been removed from his position after a brutal assault on a teacher. Philadelphia School District officials have reassigned Gene Jones in an effort to curb the culture of violent incidents at the school. The teacher, attacked Monday morning during a ninth-grade biology lesson, suffered a concussion, bruises and other injuries, and three students have been charged with aggravated assault. "Given the number of school safety incidents at Washington High School, the School District believes that the reassignment of the principal is necessary in order to quickly reset the school culture and expectations," schools spokesman Fernando Gallard said. Read more
The University of Pennsylvania has changed the title of its faculty masters following weeks of concern and protests about racial insensitivity on college campuses nationwide. The tenured professors who live in Penn dorms will now be called faculty directors. "In the wake of what was happening at Missouri, Yale, and Princeton, among other places, the question came up as to whether and how the faculty master title could be changed," said Dennis DeTurck, a Penn math professor, dean and faculty director. Read more