City to buy wireless assets

The city has announced its intention to buy the existing wireless-network assets that had been the basis for an effort to make the entire city a wi-fi hot spot.

This will be the first in a series of steps toward creating a multipurpose public-safety and municipal wireless network to improve government operations, as well as providing free Internet to citizens in targeted public spaces, the city said in a news release. The city is exercising an option, contained within an agreement signed last August, to purchase the assets for $2 million from the Network Acquisition Co., which had bought the network infrastructure from Earthlink.

Defibrillators in schools

Children's Hospital's Youth Heart Watch program will present an automated external defibrillator to every middle school in the school district to deal with sudden cardiac arrest.

The program also helps schools put their own programs in place to educate students and staff about sudden cardiac death and to train them in the use of AEDs and CPR.

Rep welcomed back from Iraq

State Rep. Nick Miccarelli, who was elected to the 162nd District seat in Delaware County last year but was shipped off to Iraq shortly after he was sworn in, was welcomed back to the House floor yesterday in Harrisburg. "From the Democratic and Republican leadership in the House to the residents of Delaware County, I'm overwhelmed by the bipartisan support and gratitude I've been given," said Miccarelli, 27, a Republican Ridley Park councilman and a helicopter door gunner in the Army National Guard.

He makes medicinal-pot claim

John Wilson, 37, of Franklin Township, claimed in New Jersey Superior Court yesterday that he grew marijuana plants in his back yard to help ease the pain he experiences from multiple sclerosis. However, Judge Robert Breed allowed Wilson to mention his disease only once to a jury trying him on drug charges. The judge ruled earlier that the reason Wilson was growing the plants was irrelevant because state law does not allow the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. A police helicopter crew had spotted the plants.

N.J. jobless rate steady

The New Jersey Labor Department says the state's unemployment rate held steady in November despite more job losses in the private sector. It also reported that the state gained several hundred jobs in October, instead of losing jobs as initially reported. Figures show the state's jobless rate for November was 9.7 percent, the same as October's. That's still lower than the national rate of 10 percent.

- Staff and wire reports