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FOP Contract Allows For Rotations; DE I-495 Southbound Reopens; Philly Cigarette Tax Vote Cancelled
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 07/31/14 10:22 pm | updated: 07/31/14 10:22 pm
A new union contract now allows Philadelphia police commissioner Charles Ramsey to rotate officers out of the Narcotics and Internal Affairs divisions. The 3-year contract was issued today by an arbitration panel and the new provisions are a timely relief for the commissioner who has wanted this ability but was prevented by the past contract with Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 5. Yesterday, six narcotics officers were charged with federal corruption and racketeering charges. 5 had over 10 years in the division. Ramsey says this is not just about stemming corruption but also to give others a chance to serve and develop their careers. This new contract is awarding police a 3% raise in the first year and a 3.25% in the second and third year. The commissioner also has more leeway in officer scheduling to reduce overtime.

The southbound lanes of I-495 in Delaware reopened at 5 o'clock this afternoon, weeks ahead of schedule. Emergency repairs began on an overpass bridge between Exit 2 and 3 after it was discovered tilting. The highway has been closed since June 2nd. Over 90,000 vehicles travel this stretch of interstate that bypasses I-95 around Wilmington, DE. The northbound lanes are also expected to be completed ahead of schedule and should be opened by Labor Day on September 1. Governor Jack Markell credited the hard work of everyone at DelDot including Delaware Secretary of Transportation Shailen Bhatt and Senators Carper and Coons and Congressman Carney for helping secure the $35 million in federal funding for the emergency construction project.

Monday's vote in the Pennsylvania House on a proposed tax on cigarettes in the City of Philadelphia was canceled. The $2-a-pack tax was intended to provide about $45 million for the School Disctrict of Philadelphia. House leaders cited a lack of consensus on the bill as a reason to cancel the vote. Earlier versions of the measure passed in both the Senate and the House, however the Senate added unrelated items to the Philadelphia school funding initiative, some focused in other parts of the state. The House will take up this measure again when they reconvene in September. In the meantime, House GOP leaders have asked Gov. Corbett to give Philadelphia schools enough funding so they can open on time in September.

The MLB trade deadline came and went this afternoon with the Phillies making... no moves. They could still make a trade in August off waivers.

Clear skies, Temperature in the Upper 70's this evening in Center City
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