Heat closes schools early again

Philadelphia public and Archdiocesan schools will close early again today, at 1:30 p.m., because of the heat.

After-school programs at public schools will be canceled, but staff will remain at schools until all students have left or have been picked up.

The Archdiocese's announcement does not affect its schools in the suburbs, only its eight high schools and 62 elementary schools inside the city.

Gates honor for S. Philly student

Tierra Holmes, of South Philadelphia, is one of the nation's 1,000 high-school students to be awarded a Gates Millennium Scholarship, a full nine-year college scholarship that covers tuition, texts and housing.

Holmes is a senior at Imhotep Institute Charter High School, in West Oak Lane. This fall, she will attend Howard University, where she plans to study sociology, political science and African studies. She hopes to attend law school.

District hit by 2nd webcam suit

A former Harriton High School student in Lower Merion Township was "humiliated and severely emotionally distressed" by seeing photos and screenshots taken by his school-issued laptop, according to the second federal lawsuit filed against the Main Line district over alleged spying. Joshua Levin sued the district on Monday, claiming that the district violated his civil rights by taking nearly 8,000 webcam photos and screenshots from his laptop between September 2008 and March 2009.

Lower Merion settled a similar lawsuit last year for $610,000.

Seeks new way to rate teachers

State Education Secretary Ron Tomalis yesterday called for changes in a system of rating public-school teachers and principals, saying that results indicating that 99 percent are "satisfactory" suggest that they don't sufficiently reflect what goes on inside classrooms.

Tomalis said that the existing system makes it difficult to rank an educator as unsatisfactory.

Abortion-clinic law moves ahead

Legislation that would overhaul the operating standards for abortion clinics in Pennsylvania cleared a first crucial vote in the state Senate yesterday after a tense, sometimes angry debate over whether the proposal would improve women's health care or force clinics to close in a backdoor attempt to outlaw abortion.

The bill, which remains in the Senate, is a response to Dr. Kermit Gosnell's now-shuttered West Philadelphia abortion clinic, which prosecutors called a "house of horrors" after authorities allegedly found filthy and unsafe conditions and a trail of misconduct so gruesome that Gosnell was charged with eight counts of murder.

Unwise tweet leads to firing

The Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corp. in Allentown has fired one of its employees over a Twitter post that suggested that her colleagues knock off work early to play golf.

Social-media specialist Vanessa Williams used the agency's official Twitter account on Friday to tweet: "We start summer hours today. That means most of the staff leave at noon, many to hit the links. Do you observe summer hours? What do you do?"

President and CEO Phil Mitman said that the message was "out of line." He said that the agency does allow workers to leave early on Fridays but only if they've already put in a 40-hour workweek.

- Staff and wire reports