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SEPTA Suspends Papal Visit Rail Sales; 68 Arrests Kensington Drug Sting; Union Boss Gets 19 Years
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 07/21/15 1:08 am | updated: 07/21/15 1:08 am
SEPTA has suspended online sales of special passes for Regional Rail service during Pope Francis' visit to Philadelphia in September due to technical problems. SEPTA had load tested the website over the weekend for 1,700 hits per seconds and expected a high volume of traffic when the passes went on sale at 9 a.m. Monday, but the actual traffic today was significantly higher and the servers couldn't keep up. The site was shutdown 90 minutes after it opened. SEPTA plans to sell 175,000 passes to ride Regional Rail for each day on Saturday and Sunday September 26th and 27th. Only 201 tickets were sold today. Officials will provide an update on Tuesday as to when sales will resume.

Philadelphia undercover officers from the Narcotics Strike Force arrested 68 individuals in a drug sting in Kensington last Thursday and Friday. The operation was done at night time in the open air drug markets on the streets near Front and Somerset. 19 dealers and 49 buyers were arrested. 15 of those buyers are from the suburbs. Police confiscated $4200 in heroin, $885 in crack, $3600 in cash, and 10 vehicles. A previous sting in the spring was conducted in the daytime. Strike Force Captain Lee Strollo wants others to know that there is no good time to come buy drugs in Kensington.

A former Philadelphia union boss was sentenced on Monday after being convicted of racketeering, conspiracy, arson, and extortion. 73-year-old Joe Dougherty, former head of the Ironworkers Local 401, was sentenced to 19 years in prison. He'll also have to pay $558 thousand into a joint restitution account. 10 other union members were also indicted along with Dougherty but all pled guilty and some testified against the boss at trial. He was accused of orchestrating violence, vandalism and intimidation against work sites using non-union labor. Called 'night work,' union members on orders from Dougherty would set fires, destroy construction sites, threaten non-union workers with bats, vandalize cars, and more. His lawyers plan to appeal.

Mostly Clear, temperatures in the mid 80s, Excessive heat warning expiring this evening in Center City

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