Illness again delays hearing

The preliminary hearing for a 71-year-old city man accused of homicide in the death of a police officer he shot 41 years ago was postponed yesterday for the second time in three days because of the defendant's health, prosecutor Ed Cameron said yesterday. The hearing is scheduled for Feb. 26.

William Barnes shot Officer Walter Barclay on Nov. 27, 1966, during a burglary in East Oak Lane, paralyzing him from the waist down. After Barclay's death in August at age 64, prosecutors charged Barnes with homicide, attributing his death to the shooting.

PHA cops get GPS systems

The Philadelphia Housing Authority announced yesterday that its police department has equipped all its marked vehicles with Global Positioning System devices, becoming the only police force in the city to do so.

The GPS system tracks the movement and location of the police vehicles. With it, PHA now has a new tool for combating crime and managing calls for service, the agency said in a news release.

It's a pre-Kwanzaa fete

Hundreds of children and their families will gather at the African American Museum, 701 Arch St., at 11 a.m. today for its annual holiday and pre-Kwanzaa celebration.

The program will include an introduction to Kwanzaa symbols and principles, and performances by various musical groups and a magician.

Schools to require flu shots

New Jersey yesterday became the first state to require flu shots for preschoolers, saying their developing immune systems and the likelihood of their spreading germs make them as vulnerable to complications as the elderly.

The program, which includes three other vaccinations, starts next Sept. 1.

Firms seek takeover of Trop

At least a half-dozen potential buyers have contacted state casino regulators about purchasing the Tropicana Casino and Resort, and a sale could take place within weeks, Linda Kassekert, head of the state Casino Control Commission, said yesterday.

The Casino Control Commission stripped the Tropicana of its license on Wednesday after deciding its owner, Kentucky-based Columbia Sussex Corp., was incapable of running the type of "first class facility" required under state law. *

- Staff and wire reports