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Philly Schools to Stay 100% Virtual; 61yo Woman Killed in Crash; Philly Activist Freed Pending Trial
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 11/10/20 11:27 pm | updated: 11/10/20 11:27 pm
The Philadelphia School District announced on Tuesday, 11/10, that schools will remain 100% virtual until further notice. Cases of coronavirus COVID-19 have been sharply rising in the city and state. The district had planned to start to return to hybrid learning on November 30 with grades Pre-K to 2. Other grades were scheduled to return sometime next year. "This decision to remain 100% virtual is disappointing news for many families and many students. For those families who did want to resume in-person learning, their selection to choose hybrid learning will be honored when it is deemed safe for us to make that transition," Philadelphia School District Superintendent Dr. William Hite Hite said during a Tuesday afternoon press conference.

Philadelphia Federation of Teachers Union President Jerry Jordan said, "The decision to remain fully virtual for the foreseeable future will save lives. The science of COVID-19, paired with the massive ventilation and other facilities issues throughout the District, makes it clear: returning to school buildings, in any capacity, is unsafe right now."

A 61-year-old woman was killed after she was hit head-on by a wrong-way driver in Mayfair on Tuesday morning, 11/10. It happened around 9:25 a.m. on Frankford Ave. The woman was driving northbound in a black Nissan Versa. A 25-year-old driver in a maroon GMC Arcadia was going the wrong way, heading south bound in the northbound lanes. He hit two parked vehicles before slamming head-on into the Versa. The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. The other driver was taken to Einstein Medical Center for treatment. Police are investigating the cause of the accident. No word on any charges.

West Philadelphia activist Anthony Smith was freed from federal prison in the Lehigh Valley on Monday, 11/9, pending trial for arson of a police vehicle during protests over George Floyd on May 30 in Philadelphia. U.S. Attorney William McSwain says that Smith will be held on house arrest with electronic monitoring until trial. Smith was indicted by a grand jury along with other defendants for arson in the burning of a Philadelphia Police Department Civil Affairs vehicle on the north side of City Hall that afternoon. Charges were announced on October 29. He faces a 7-year minimum sentence.

Smith is a teacher at YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School. He is also an organizer of Philadelphia Coalition for Racial Economic and Legal Justice (Philly for REAL Justice) and was named one of Philadelphia's Top 76 Most Influential People by Philadelphia Magazine in this month's issue for his advocacy in removing the Frank Rizzo statue. Smith is also the lead plaintiff in a civil rights lawsuit related to the police response to the protests in West Philadelphia earlier this year on May 31 near 52nd Street.

At the time charges were announced, McSwain said, "I want to be clear that we at the U.S. Attorney's Office support peaceful protest - indeed, it is part of our job to protect First Amendment freedoms," U.S. Attorney William McSwain said. "We take that responsibility very seriously. But violence is not speech. There is no right to riot, loot, rob, destroy or commit arson. If you engage in violent civil unrest and commit a federal crime in this District, we will come after you as hard as we can because residents deserve safe and secure neighborhoods, not mayhem." McSwain also said that Smith was not targeted because of his affiliations or his activism, but for the specific criminal acts he is accused.

West Philly Activist Charged With Arson of Police Car

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