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Several Philly Schools Locked Down; Police Patrols Increased At Mosques; City Council Bills
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 03/15/19 11:43 pm | updated: 03/15/19 11:43 pm
A Northeast Philadelphia middle school was on lockdown for two hours Friday morning, 3/15, after a student brought live ammunition to school. It started around 10 a.m. at at Woodrow Wilson Middle School on the 1800 block of Cottman Avenue. A 14-year-old boy was taken into custody for having three live rounds in his possession. Police searched the school and did not find a weapon. No one was injured.

In West Philadelphia, an elementary school was placed on lockdown for about an hour after an unknown white substance was discovered. It happened around 1 p.m. at the Edward Heston School in the 1600 block of North 54th Street. Two were taken to Children's Hospital of Philadelphia for observation after coming into contact with the white powder. There is no word on what the substance may be.

Philadelphia Police announced that they will increase patrols around mosques and other places of worship around the city after a deadly terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday afternoon, 3/15. 49 people were killed and 20 were seriously injured after extremists entered the mosques during afternoon prayers and opened fire. One suspect live streamed the attack to social media. The video showed him going room by room, methodically shooting each person. Web sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube moved quickly to shut down accounts associated with the suspect and to remove any videos. Users encouraged each other not to share video links. Police arrested one suspect and charged him with murder. Two other men were arrested in possession of firearms. A women was also arrested, but she is not connected to the incident.

At City Hall on Thursday, 3/14, Democratic Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez introduced a bill that would gradually phase out the controversial soda tax. The bill has the support of Republicans Brian O'Neill, David Oh, and Al Taubenberger as wells as Democratics Cindy Bass, Blondell Reynolds Brown and Allan Domb. The legislation would allow City Council to adjust the rate of the tax as well as change the products included. A separate resolution was introduced that calls for a study of how the tax affects city businesses. A ShopRite in West Philly closed on Thursday. The owner blamed the soda tax for its drop in revenue.

City Council approved an amendment that would create a new class of Public Safety Enforcement officers. The officers would be unarmed and would not make arrests. They would help Philadelphia Police with security and safety during concerts and events. They would also be tasked with dealing with traffic congestion, traffic laws, pedestrian and bike safety, illegal dumping, and other minor nuisances. The idea is to free up police officers so they can deal with more serious and violent crimes. The amendment to the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter is expected to appear on the ballot this May 21st.

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