Firefighters' suit in court

A decision on a request from Local 22 of the International Association of Fire Fighters for a court order blocking Mayor Nutter's budget cuts doesn't appear to be coming for about a week. The union sued the city Tuesday, asking Common Pleas Judge Gary DiVito to issue an injunction against the closure of seven fire companies.

SEPTA, TWU start talking

Despite the "bleak" economy, which has caused SEPTA's pension fund to decline by $322 million, Joseph M. Casey, SEPTA's general manager, hopes that he and Willie Brown, new president of the Transport Workers Union Local 234, will negotiate a contract that preserves wages, benefits and jobs while not requiring fare hikes. The current contract expires March 15.

'Smart card' draws interest

SEPTA's request for proposals to design its "smart card" fare-payment technology has attracted interest from vendors in France, Spain, Germany, China, Korea and Turkey. More than 80 interested parties, including leaders in the fields of telecommunications, global technology and banking, visited SEPTA this week for two days of facility tours.

Retired cop fights off attacker

A retired Philadelphia police officer who was attacked twice by the same man this week shot at his attacker last night.

The first attack occurred Sunday night, when the officer was pulling into his driveway on Merganser Place near 74th Street The suspect confronted him, wrestled him to the ground and demanded money. He fled with an undisclosed amount of cash, police said.

Last night, the retired cop arrived home about 7 p.m. when the same man began to struggle with him. The retired cop shot at his assailant. The man, who was unharmed, told police he may have struck his assailant. He was described as a black man in his early 20s, 5 feet 8, weighing 160 pounds and wearing a black jacket and brown pants.

Jail for spitting on guard

Shawn Quinnones, 34, an HIV-infected former inmate at the State Correctional Institution at Dallas, Pa., has been sentenced to up to eight years in prison for spitting on a corrections officer. Quinnones, who is a male-to-female transgendered person, was convicted by a Luzerne County jury in September. She was sentenced yesterday to four years and three months to eight years and six months in state prison. *

- Staff and wire reports