Lawyers Could Ease Philadelphia ‘Eviction Crisis,’ Council Members Hear

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — City council members heard testimony Monday that many of the thousands of evictions in Philadelphia, each year, could be avoided if the tenants had lawyers.

William Church is a 65-year-old former marine with serious health problems and a landlord, he says, has ignored deplorable conditions in his home.

“I have swept snow and ice from my bedroom, lived with bugs and had squirrels in the ceiling,” Church testified.

City council members exploring what they call the city’s eviction “crisis” heard that those kinds of code violations often precede an eviction.

Tenants, as Mr. Church did, stop paying rent, a remedy allowed by law, but then are sued in landlord-tenant court, where 92 percent of tenants have no lawyer, but usually face a landlord who does. Church is lucky. The senior law center is helping him — but Councilwoman Helen Gym says eviction shouldn’t be left to luck.

“Eviction and the substandard housing conditions faced by tens of thousands in our city is a public health crisis,” she said.

Gym called on her colleagues to craft a public policy solution.

Giant Chicken Video Taking Twitter By Storm

By AJ Willingham

PHILADELPHIA (CNN) — If you haven’t seen “The big chicken video,” find a comfortable place to sit, because nothing can prepare you for the moment this behemoth rolls out of his coop looking like the final boss in a video game.

That is a huge chicken! Planet Earth needs a whole episode dedicated to this dude.

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His big chicken-ness did not go unnoticed by Twitter, where people spent most of the weekend being scared of him and debating whether or not he is actually just a large child in a chicken suit.

A lot of people wanted it to be #FAKECHICKENNEWS, if only for their own mental health.

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As much as you may not want to admit you share the earth with this late-model dinosaur, it is definitely not fake. The rooster in question has all of the characteristics of a Brahma chicken, a large breed of chicken cultivated in the U.S.

For a while, at the turn of the 20th century, they were the most in-demand meat breed in the country. According to the Livestock Conservancy, some birds bulked up to 18-plus pounds.

Meet ‘Sesame Street’s’ Muppet With Autism

See, that was our biggest mistake. Each of these monsters could feed a whole family of four for like, a week, but we bred them too strong, too powerful. This chicken’s appearance is like the prologue of a poultry-related apocalypse novel.

The-CNN-Wire ℱ & © 2017 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Boy, 5, choked by dog pulling on his scarf in snow has died

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A 5-year-old Pennsylvania boy has died days after he was choked when the family dog pulled on his scarf as they played in the snow.

The Philadelphia coroner’s office says John Bruno died Saturday at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where he had been under heavy sedation since Wednesday’s accident.

Police say his mother looked out a window of her Warrington home to see her son face-down and unconscious in the snow while the dog tugged at the scarf.

Police initially thought the child had collapsed from cardiac arrest while playing with the 18-month-old hound.

Police say first responders performed CPR on the boy.

A GoFundMe page set up to help the family pay medical costs says John’s smile was electric and he loved “Ninja Turtles, Pokemon, superheroes and being silly.”

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Chair Of House Freedom Caucus: GOP Health Care Bill Does Not Have The Votes To Pass

Philadelphia (CBS) – Republican Congressman Jim Jordan, the chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, told Rich Zeoli on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT that the GOP health care bill designed to replace the Affordable Care Act does not have the votes necessary to pass in the House of Representatives because of fierce conservative opposition to the language of the law and despite a strong push in favor by both President Donald Trump and Republican congressional leadership.

“I think, frankly, right now that the votes are short. One of the things I learned a long time ago is, typically, when you hear leadership say they have votes, that typically means they don’t. We’ll see,” Jordan said. “There’s going to be a lot of debate and discussion and, frankly, the White House has been helpful. The White House has been willing to reach out and talk with us. We’ve had meetings with the vice president, with the secretary, with the budget director and with the president, himself. I appreciate that fact. I just think that the speaker’s plan, it doesn’t accomplish what the voters sent us here to accomplish. That is why we are opposed to it.”

Jordan believes that, since so many in his party are resisting this measure, Republicans should focus on repealing the law now and then begin work on replacing Obamacare.

“I’d be for the replace any time we can pass it. If we could pass it yesterday, I’m for that, but under the reconciliation rules, some of the elements of replace can’t go into the 51-vote bill that we’re working on now. They have to go into the bill that would require the 60-vote hurdle in the Senate, so let’s do what we did before, which is the clean repeal. Let’s repeal it via the 51-vote threshold, which we did back at the end of 2015. Let’s do that same piece of legislation. Let’s send that to President Trump’s desk. That’s something we all agreed on,” Jordan explained.

He, along with many others in the House Freedom Caucus, would like to the see the process re-booted and a bill emerge that is more acceptable to the more conservative wing of the party.

“There’s a reason why every major conservative organization in the country is opposed the speaker’s bill,” he said. “There’s a reason why so many conservative health care policy experts are opposed to the bill and there’s a reason why five conservative senators and a bunch of Freedom Caucus members and other conservatives in the House are opposed to the bill, because it doesn’t do what we said we would do. That should tell voters something, tell the American people something. This bill has huge problems and needs change before we should pass it.”
http://bit.ly/2mkveG5

Keidel: Why Does Coach K Put Up With This?

By Jason Keidel

It’s time for Mike Krzyzewski to go. Just Google the (formerly) great coach, the iconic coaching lord of Tobacco Road.

From The Big Lead…

“Blame Coach K For Duke’s Complete Failure This Season”

From SB Nation…

“Duke’s preseason juggernaut turned into Coach K’s greatest bust ever”

Holy knee-jerk reaction, Batman. It’s true that it’s time for Coach K to join mentor Bobby Knight on the golf course. But not for those reasons.

Or maybe it is.

Why would Coach K, five championship trophies bulging from the glass case, put up with this?

>>MORE: NCAA Tournament Coverage

Why endure the rigors of recruiting 17-year-olds who already think they’re millionaires? Why promise parents you’ll adopt their gifted kids, knowing you only get them for 12 months? Why go into the business of hardwood rentals, the one-and-done divas who merely see college as a chalkboard funnel for their fist sneaker deal?

You hear folks say that Coach K, by dint of his dominance, character and cachet, doesn’t have to pine for the same divas and difficult personalities that find their way to John Calipari.

Ever heard of Christian Laettner? The former Duke forward was so polarizing that an entire 30 for 30 documentary called “I Hate Christian Laettner” was dedicated to him.

If you’re too young to recall the truculent Laettner, how about the current roster? Grayson Allen, one of their star players, has a physical or emotional tic unlike any we’ve ever seen. He compulsively trips players so often and so egregiously he was suspended by his own coach. And not even Coach K is beyond critique. His “indefinite” suspension lasted all of one game, drawing the ire of fans who didn’t need another reason to bash Duke, the blue-bloods of college hoops, who are also regarded as the moral beacon of basketball.

Coach K can’t climb the historical ladder any higher. Indeed, the only name above his on the NCAA totem pole is the master, himself — John Wooden — the Wizard of Westwood, who won 11 titles in 13 years, including seven in a row, and 88 games in a row.

>>MORE: Commentary from CBS Local Sports Voices

Since Wooden, has anyone mentored more great players and people? Think of the roll call of fine players and respected people to emerge from Coach K’s campus. Johnny Dawkins. Tommy Amaker. Bobby Hurley. Elton Brand. Chris Collins.

Amaker is only coaching some small-time academic program, called Harvard. Likewise, Dawkins was at Stanford for eight years, and now leads Central Florida. Chris Collins just became America’s darling, leading Northwestern to their first NCAA Tournament ever, and even winning a game. Hurley was the head coach at Buffalo, then recently took the gig at Arizona State. Even Coach K’s former assistants make the marquee, like Mike Brey, who has turned perennial football power Notre Dame into a basketball behemoth.

Another Duke alum, Jay Bilas, has become the surrogate father of all things hardwood. Bilas played for Coach K, of course, along with Dawkins, while Duke was mushrooming into a powerhouse in the 1980s.

And perhaps the best hybrid of hardwood icon and standup guy is Grant Hill. Arguably the best player ever to wear a Blue Devils uniform, Hill is even more impressive off the court. Raised by Ivy League grads and formidable athletes in their own right (father Calvin played for the Dallas Cowboys), Hill is the kind of person you want to be like.

Yet, to hear the headlines today, Mike Krzyzewski has not only lost his touch, he’s lost his mind.

How about Rick Pitino? He’s a slouch now? No doubt Jay Wright has lost some Teflon after having the audacity to lose to a senior-laded Wisconsin, a program that routinely makes the Sweet 16. But now Wright is just another also-ran who hasn’t won a national title in at least 12 months.

Coach K can’t possibly be any more revered, respected or accomplished. He’s won 12 ACC regular-season titles and 14 ACC Tournaments. With two more victories, he will have 1,000 wins over his career at Duke. (This doesn’t include his time with Army.) No one has more wins over a career, much less with one school.

Now Coach K has to crack open the paper, or click around on the internet, and see hacks, pundits and poseurs parse every move he made over the last year, simply because his team was upset. The NCAA tournament, hailed for upsets, keeps a closet stuffed with symbolic glass slippers every March. And all this comes from folks who have never spent a minute on the court or paced a sideline, who have never driven through a blizzard to sweet-talk a teenager into playing for his program.

Critics haven’t had to deal with the epic egos of kids who have been polished and pampered by the AAU machine, and since puberty been told that they’re athletic royalty, a realm where academics are a formality, a nuisance or necessary evil. Indeed, we’ve seen just down Tobacco Road, at the other hardwood kingdom (UNC), where Tar Heels have taken bogus classes. In some cases — including the football program — athletes graduate with grade-school reading levels.

You don’t hear about this at Duke. Not that it matters, because they lost to South Carolina yesterday, an offense for which there is no excuse or punishment that could possibly suit the crime. Now the world wants an apology, a reason, an excuse for an inexcusable loss. They want Mike Krzyzewski’s blood. Lord knows, they can’t find anyone with his class, character or rĂ©sumĂ©.

Jason writes a weekly column for CBS Local Sports. He is a native New Yorker, sans the elitist sensibilities, and believes there’s a world west of the Hudson River. A Yankees devotee and Steelers groupie, he has been scouring the forest of fertile NYC sports sections since the 1970s. He has written over 500 columns for WFAN/CBS NY, and also worked as a freelance writer for Sports Illustrated and Newsday subsidiary amNew York. He made his bones as a boxing writer, occasionally covering fights in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, but mostly inside Madison Square Garden. Follow him on Twitter @JasonKeidel.

 

Trial Begins For Woman Charged In Death Of 96-Year-Old Neighbor

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — A bizarre murder trial is underway in Montgomery County. A 35-year-old woman is accused of running across the street without a shirt on, throwing her elderly neighbor to the ground and beating him, as he was trying to fetch his morning paper. 

Elisabeth Floyd of the 500 block of Marion Avenue in East Norriton is charged with 3rd degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and aggravated assault, as prosecutors say, while topless, she ran across the street, threw 96-year-old Alfred Payne to the ground, and beat him back in September 2015.

Payne died from what the medical examiner calls complications of a hip fracture about six months later.

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Prosecutors say the defendant showed her guilt when she brought a vase of flowers across the street and said “I’m sorry I hurt him.”

But Floyd’s defense attorney, David Tornetta, says Payne needed a walker and had all kinds of other health problems. He contends the elderly man went for the paper, fell down, couldn’t get up, and Floyd was simply responding to his calls for help.

Before he died, the Payne gave recorded testimony, and it will be played at the trial.

Good Samaritans Help Stranded Dolphin 

NORTH WILDWOOD BEACH, N.J. (CBS) — A group of good Samaritans helped a beached dolphin at the Inlet Beach, Monday afternoon.

Video posted on the North Wildwood Recreation and Tourism Facebook page shows the stranded mammal unable to get back out to sea.

The group says they spotted the beached dolphin around 1:30 p.m. and attempted to guide it back out but were unsuccessful.

But with a little help from the North Wildwood Beach Patrol and the North Wildwood Fire Department, the dolphin was able to safely get back out to sea.

Hawking: ‘I Fear I May Not Be Welcome’ In Trump’s America

By Judith Vonberg

LONDON (CBS/CNN) — British scientist Stephen Hawking fears he “may not be welcome” in the United States now that Donald Trump is president.

In an interview with ITV’s Good Morning Britain on Monday, Hawking described President Trump’s election as “a definite swing to a right-wing” and a “more authoritarian approach.”

He was especially critical of the appointment of Scott Pruitt, “a man who does not believe that carbon dioxide causes climate change,” as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Stephen Hawking: Human ‘Aggression May Destroy Us All By Nuclear Or Biological War’

“He should replace Scott Pruitt at the Environment Protection Agency,” Hawking told ITV.

“Climate change is one of the great dangers we face, and it’s one we can prevent,” he said.

“It affects America badly, so tackling it should win votes for [Trump’s] second term, God forbid.”

He suggested that the appointment of Pruitt, as well as the promise of a border wall and the sanctioning of two oil pipelines, are designed to “satisfy [Trump’s] electorate, who are neither liberal nor that well-informed.”

“I have many friends and colleagues [in the U.S.] and it is still a place I like and admire in many ways,” he said, “but I fear that I may not be welcome.”

His comments about the president echo those he made in May last year, before Trump became the Republican nominee. At the time, Hawking described Trump as “a demagogue, who seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator.”

Brexit will leave UK ‘isolated’

In Monday’s wide ranging interview, Hawking also had harsh words for Britons who voted to leave the European Union in last year’s Brexit referendum.

“A main worry for the British people was the feeling that Eastern Europe migration would take their jobs and undercut their wages,” he said. “The majority voted accordingly and I see this as short-sighted.”

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A “hard Brexit” would “leave us isolated and inward looking,” he said.

“A few people will get mega rich as is often the case but the majority will be poorer.”

Trip to space on the horizon

Turning to lighter matters, Hawking also spoke about the prospect of going into space.

“I have already completed a zero gravity flight which allowed me to float weightless, but my ultimate ambition is to fly into space. I thought no one would take me but Richard Branson has offered me a seat on Virgin Galactic and I said yes immediately.”

Asked if he believed he was the most intelligent person in the world, he gave a sharp response: “I would never claim this. People who boast about their IQ are losers.”

Hawking was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.

The-CNN-Wire ℱ & © 2017 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

Gonzaga’s Road To The NCAA Tournament

Bryan Altman

Admit it — you doubted whether the Bulldogs were for real, didn’t you?

Don’t be ashamed, I did too. It’s hard not to doubt a non-Power 5 heavyweight poised to play four or five straight games against elite-level competition from the nation’s top conferences for the first time all season.

The Dukes, North Carolinas and Kansases of Division I basketball regularly run up against each other during the regular season and conference tournament play, so you know that they can hack it when the time comes to square off on the sport’s biggest stage.

Gonzaga, coming from the WCC (West Coast Conference), doesn’t have that luxury.

However, a closer look at the Zags’ season, reveals the evidence that this team is special was there all along.

>>MORE: NCAA Tournament Coverage

Preseason Expectation: The WCC is Gonzaga’s world, and every other team is just living in it. Gonzaga once again received the most first-place votes in the preseason coaches poll (seven, compared to three for St. Mary’s).

The Bulldogs also entered the regular season ranked No. 13 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, based on the strength of their 2015-16 campaign and the return of senior center Przemek Karnowski and sophomore guard Josh Perkins, who were stalwarts for the team last year.

Gonzaga was favored to win their 16th regular season WCC title in the last 17 years, with only St. Mary’s posing any sort of a threat to their title chances.

November 25: A difficult out-of-conference schedule is key for a non-Power 5 power, and getting an early crack at the Florida Gators, one of the nation’s top teams, is a big opportunity for the Bulldogs.

The Bulldogs take care of business against the Gators, riding a late first-half surge that cuts into Florida’s 11-point lead and turns it into a manageable five-point deficit at halftime.

The Bulldogs outscore the Gators 45-35 in the second half for a 77-72 win, their first signature win of the young season.

November 27: Gonzaga’s 5-0 record is impressive, but getting to 6-0 by beating a nationally relevant team is a crucial test for a team with lofty goals for this year.

It’s a test that the Bulldogs pass, but not easily.

The Zags — predictably — storm out of the gate against the No. 21-ranked Iowa State Cyclones. Running on all cylinders, they soon lead by 18 points in their biggest test of the season so far. But the Cyclones whittle that lead down, and a Monte Morris jumper eventually cuts it to just one, 70-69. The Zags’ perfect record is in serious jeopardy.

Impressively, the resilient Bulldogs fail to fold under the pressure, closing the game out against Iowa and notching a 73-71 win.

December 3: With a No. 8 ranking in tow, the Bulldogs’ next test — a matchup against perennial Pac-12 power Arizona — is once again their biggest to date.

The Wildcats enter the game, held at a neutral site as part of Hoophall LA, having already beaten No. 12 Michigan State to open their season. They were bested by Butler just over a week prior, but look to have better luck in this game.

Ultimately, the Bulldogs rule the day yet again and improve their record to 8-0, including an impressive 2-0 mark against top-25 teams.

In the win over Arizona, its first since 2011, Mark Few’s team draws a line in the sand between this year’s Gonzaga squad and previous ones.

January 14: Regardless of what conference you play in, have a big, fat ‘0’ in the loss column when the calendar hits January is impressive.

It’s especially impressive when you consider that Gonzaga has beaten three top-25 teams on neutral ground.

Gonzaga’s conference schedule is decidedly weaker than most. But St. Mary’s is never a cakewalk, and that’s especially true this year.

The Gaels come to Spokane ranked No. 21 in the nation, and it’s well deserved thanks to big wins over No. 10 VCU, Nevada, Dayton and a hard-fought loss against then-No. 2-ranked Arizona.

Still, the Bulldogs manage to blow out the Gaels and keep their winning streak in tact.

“There was a lot of hype going into this game,” freshman center Zach Collins told reporters after the team’s 79-56 win over St. Mary’s. “We were hoping to come in and make a statement to the rest of the conference and the rest of the country. We know how to win.”

That they do. The Bulldogs are 17-0 and counting.

February 11: It’s February, and the Bulldogs haven’t lost, or really played in a close game for quite a while. Since their Dec. 3 win over Arizona, no team has lost to the Bulldogs by less than double-digits.

Fittingly, the 25-0 Gonzaga Bulldogs are the No. 1-ranked team in the nation.

Once again they face a difficult opponent in St. Mary’s — now ranked No. 20 in the nation — and on the road. And once again it doesn’t matter. Gonzaga prevails, 74-64, to hold on to perfection.

Gonzaga never leads by less than five in the second half even though Gaels star Jock Landale puts together a stellar, 24-point game to keep things close.

February 25: The Bulldogs prepare to embark on a relatively easy stretch to end their season. Only four games — three of them at home — stand between them and a perfect season.

With the BYU Cougars visiting Spokane for the final game of the season things seem very much in the Bulldogs’ favor, but looks can be deceiving.

The Cougars shoot the lights out in the final game of their season, and the Bulldogs have no answer for a team they beat handily on the road just under a month ago. They lose to the Cougars, 79-71.

BYU’s Eric Mika almost single-handedly thwarted the Bulldogs’ perfect year with a 10-14 shooting performance, good for 29 points. He adds 11 rebounds, two blocks and a steal to that impressive total.

While the Zags have have an incredible year, losing for the first time in the 30th game of the season is a tough way to enter postseason play.

March 7: The Zags rebound beautifully from their only loss of the year and dispatch Pacific and Santa Clara to return to the WCC tournament finals where No. 19 St. Mary’s awaits for a third and final showdown.

Just like the time before, and the time before that, the Gaels were no match for the Bulldogs, who win 74-56. Gonzaga claims yet another WCC conference tournament title.

The Road Ahead: The Bulldogs hold off a vicious comeback attempt from tournament rookies, the Northwestern Wildcats, to advance to their third straight Sweet 16.

They’ll face the No. 4 West Virginia Mountaineers on Thursday night at 7:40 p.m. ET on TBS.

 

76ers Visit Magic Looking For Third Straight Win

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia 76ers will visit the Orlando Magic Monday night.

Brett Brown’s squad is playing good basketball right now. After beating the Boston Celtics Sunday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center, 105-99, the Sixers have won back-to-back games and three of their last four to improve to 26-43 on the season.

Orlando last played on Friday night, losing in Phoenix to the Suns, 109-103. But the Magic have struggled as of late, losing six of their last eight.

The 76ers and the Magic have met three times this season with Orlando winning two of the games. The Sixers win in this season series came last time out on February 9th, 112-111. T.J. McConnell hit the game-winner in the final seconds.

KYW’s Matt Leon spoke with Tom Moore of the Bucks County Courier Times about the 76ers.

You can follow Matt on Twitter @Mattleonkyw.