Tasco DROPs the bomb

City Councilwoman Marian Tasco will retire tomorrow, collect a $478,057 pension payment, then return to work Monday after she is sworn in to serve her seventh term.

Francis Bielli, executive director of the city's Board of Pensions and Retirement, said that he was recently notified of when Tasco, who is enrolled in the controversial Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP), would retire.

Tasco did not respond to requests for comment. She was re-elected despite her participation in DROP, which drew public ire after elected officials entered the program, ran for re-election and retired for a day to get hefty pension payments, only to return to office.

Similarly, Register of Wills Ronald Donatucci, who retired Dec. 23, will return to work Monday after getting a DROP payment of $366,797.

SEPTA's late New Year's

Revelers traveling to Penn's Landing and to New York City's Times Square to ring in 2012 can take advantage of extended SEPTA late-night regional-rail service to get home from the celebrations.

SEPTA has added late-night trains to Trenton, Elwyn, Wilmington, Malvern, Chestnut Hill West, Warminster, West Trenton, Lansdale, Manayunk-Norristown, Fox Chase and Chestnut Hill East. These trains are scheduled to leave Center City after the midnight fireworks at Penn's Landing.

For example, the last train traveling to Chestnut Hill West on a Saturday night is normally scheduled to leave Market East at 10:05 p.m. The extended New Year's Eve late-night train will give riders ample time to enjoy the fireworks and still get to the train station. The last train will leave Market East at 1:40 a.m.

Riders traveling to New York City to see the ball drop in Times Square can connect with SEPTA at the Trenton Transportation Center. For passengers taking early-morning NJ Transit trains, SEPTA trains will depart from Trenton at 3:46 a.m., 4:44 a.m. and 5:44 a.m.


A food pantry for pets

A year-old central New Jersey food pantry is aimed at pets, not people.

In its first year, the Pet Food Pantry that a couple operates out of their Ewing home supplied nearly a ton of food for 59 dogs, 83 cats, five parrots and a duck.

Liz and Jonathan Iszard own a natural-pet-treat company and contribute 10 percent of their profits to their food pantry.

They provide pet food to animal shelters, senior citizens and low-income people. Most clients have asked for help just once.

81 months for fraud

Anthony Iacono Jr., 60, of Rutledge, Delaware County, has been sentenced to 81 months (six years, nine months) in prison for fraudulently obtaining more than $2 million in cash and real and personal property, U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger said.

Iacono pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud, credit-card fraud and aggravated identity theft Aug. 19. Iacono fraudulently obtained more than $2 million in loans secured by properties owned by his parents and other family members using fraudulent powers of attorney and credit cards in the names of relatives and businesses owned by relatives.

- Staff and wire reports