Penn students call to fire professor over offensive remarks

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Minority law student groups at the University of Pennsylvania are calling for the dismissal of a professor who they say is offensive. 

The students claim professor Amy Wax has been delivering remarks that are racist, bigoted and homophobic over the years.

Vox reported in July of this year that, on a National Conservatism Conference panel about immigration, she said “our country will be better off with more whites and fewer nonwhites.” And she reportredly said that immigrants are too loud and responsible for an increase in litter. Last year, she came under fire for questioning the academic aptitude of Black students and suggesting that some Black students shouldn’t go to college. And she wrote in a 2017 Inquirer op-ed that “all cultures are not equal,” despite the modern “obsession with race.” 

“Given her consistent history of these statements, I imagine she will continue to espouse them as long as their are no consequences,” said JiLon Li, co-president of Penn’s Asian Pacific American Law Students Association.

Several minority law student groups on campus are demanding Wax be fired, and they want the university to work with them so students feel more welcome at the law school.

“And one of the reasons why this is important to us is because I think this allows the law school to communicate that there is a permanent space at Penn Law for students of color and that professor Wax and her idea that people of color don’t belong is outdated and won’t be accepted,” Li said.

Li says discussions with the administration are set for next month. Among the things, students are asking for a designated space for their meetings and additional opportunities in law clerk programs.

A request for a response from the law school has yet to be returned.

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Youth detention worker says she’s barred from wearing hijab

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — A Delaware woman has filed federal and state discrimination complaints saying she’s being barred from wearing a hijab at work.

News outlets report 35-year-old Madinah Brown held a news conference Thursday near the New Castle County Detention Center in Wilmington where she works. 

Brown’s complaint says she was forced to clock out early several times for wearing a hijab, a headscarf worn by some Muslim women. Brown is represented by lawyers from the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

The Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families declined to comment on Brown’s complaint. But Cabinet Secretary Josette Manning says a person’s job may require certain actions, such as physically restraining a youth, that makes some religious clothing unsafe. She says the department may make exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

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Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery explosion hurled 38,000-pound piece of shrapnel across Schuylkill River

The explosion that destroyed the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery in June was so powerful it launched a 38,000-pound piece of equipment all the way across the Schuylkill River, according to a report released Wednesday. A failing pipe caused the disastrous refinery fire and explosions. In addition to the debris launched airborne, the incident caused the release of thousands of pounds of potentially deadly chemicals into the air, including including hydrofluoric acid, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board report states. – MORE

Philly airport to overhaul SEPTA platforms with $1 million grant

A pair of state grants worth nearly $1 million will help Philadelphia International Airport transform the SEPTA platforms that run along its terminals. – MORE

Northeast storm could turn into ‘bomb cyclone,’ forecasters say

A strong coastal storm developing along the East Coast will bring strong wind gusts, heavy rainfall, and coastal flooding, forecasters say. If the barometric pressure decreases, it could turn into a ‘bomb cyclone,’ forecasters say – MORE

Ex-boyfriend will stand trial for murder in 28-year-old cold case

A man who was arrested in September in the cold case murder of his girlfriend 28 years after her body was found will be tried for murder and other related charges.  – MORE

What to know about proposed bill that would legalize marijuana in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania state senators introduced legislation this week that would legalize adult marijuana use across the state. The bill calls for expungements, allows for home delivery, and much more. – MORE

Tommy Orange’s ‘There There’ selected for 2020 One Book One Philadelphia

Tommy Orange’s “There there,” which follows the lives of 12 characters from Native communities in California, was selected for this year’s One Book One Philadelphia program.  – MORE

Spirit Airlines adding low-cost flights from Philly to Cancun

Budget carrier Spirit Airlines will expand service from Philadelphia International Airport early next year with the introduction of daily flights to Cancun. Flights to the Mexican destination will launch in March 2020. – MORE

Philly officer arrested, suspended for stalking, harassment allegations

A Philadelphia Police officer has been suspended for stalking and harassment, the department announced We – MORE

Philly bike courier found not guilty of most serious charge in fatal Rittenhouse stabbing

A jury found 22-year-old bike courier Michael White not guilty in the fatal stabbing of real estate developer Sean Schellenger in July 2018 Rittenhouse Square incident. – MORE

5 mumps cases at Ridley High School

FOLSOM, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Ridley High School officials say five people at the school — one student, three staff members, and a student teacher — have come down with a case of the mumps, and they may have been exposed to the virus within the last few weeks.

Officials say those who are vaccinated have a really low chance of getting the mumps, but it’s still possible for them to contract the disease.

So, they’re urging members of the Ridley High community to be aware of the symptoms: swelling of one or both salivary glands, fever, headache and muscle aches, feeling tired and a loss of appetite. Go to the doctor’s office if there are any symptoms. And those who haven’t been vaccinated, officials strongly urge them to get caught up.

Ridley School District Superintendent Lee Ann Wentzel said the vaccination rate at the high school, which has over 1,800 students, is 99.997%. She said there are a couple of students who are immunocompromised and cannot receive the vaccine who are being accommodated with class work outside of the school for the time being.

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Feds: Two brothers planned massive 2018 fire in Old City

Two brothers who owned several businesses in Philadelphia have been charged with arson in the Feb. 2018 fire that displaced nearly 160 people and led to the demolition of an apartment building on Chestnut Street, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.  – MORE

Things to do in Philly this weekend, Oct. 18 to 20

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — If the advent of pumpkin spice lattes in August didn’t already alert you, autumn has arrived.

Now that we’ve neared the middle of the season, it’s time for the spooky and scary to make their debut. Witches and wizards from the Harry Potter canon take over Chestnut Hill once again, and Boo at the Zoo returns with a trick-or-treat safari — just don’t tell the Sanderson sisters.

With a Halloween bar crawl across Center City on the calendar and Vegan Restaurant Week underway, it’s hard to imagine what life was like for Philly’s founder William Penn, but the city plans to shed some light on his life while celebrating his 375th birthday on Friday.

For much more ghostly — or non-frightening — things to do in Philly and the burbs this weekend, scroll through this edition of The KYW To-Do List, or listen to our top picks below.


EVENT: Witches and Wizards Festival

DATE/TIME: Saturday, noon to 5 p.m.

WHERE: Chestnut Hill

DETAILS: A Quidditch tournament, a Harry Potter conference, a wizard’s warehouse and more awaits you at this festival. There will also be activities like bat pumpkin crafting, spooky spider making, face painting and a slow-motion photo booth. Check out the website for a full list of activities.

PRICE: Free to attend; some ticketed activities

EVENT: Harvest Festival at Reading Terminal Market

DATE/TIME: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

WHERE: 1100 block of Filbert Street, Philadelphia 

DETAILS: The festivities include a hay ride around Reading Terminal Market, live music, and animals from the Philadelphia Zoo. There will also be a fire truck to climb on, a beer garden and various foods to taste.

PRICE: Free to attend

EVENT: Autumn Alive!

DATE/TIME: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

WHERE: Downtown Quakertown, 312 West Broad St.

DETAILS: Watch the Broad Street Pet Parade and shop local crafts and businesses during this fall festival. There will be live entertainment on two stages, a beer garden and activities for kids. 

PRICE: Free to attend


EVENT: Last chance for Philly Vegan Restaurant Week

DATE: Through Saturday

WHERE: Various restaurants across city

DETAILS: Restaurants across the city are offering special menu items or a prix fixe vegan menu until Saturday. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Misfit Manor, a rescue that rehabilitates and finds homes for at-risk animals. 

PRICE: Prices vary

EVENT: 23rd Street Armory Oktoberfest

DATE/TIME: Friday, 7:30 to 11:30 p.m.; Saturday, 1 to 11:30 p.m.

WHERE: 23rd Street Armory, 22 S. 23rd St., Philadelphia

DETAILS: There are three opportunities to celebrate at the fourth annual Armory Oktoberfest. The fortress-like structure will be transformed into an authentic Munich festival tent. There will be traditional food, beer and live music all weekend.

PRICE: General admission is $25; VIP is $70; UBER VIP is $85

EVENT: Philly Soca Wine Sampling and Pop-up

DATE/TIME: Sunday, 3 to 5 p.m.

WHERE: Belmont Mansion, 2000 Belmont Mansion Drive, Philadelphia

DETAILS: Eat. Drink. Wine. Sample some new flavors, including coconut, dragon fruit, mango and guava. For $10, you can get samples and get the history of more than 10 different wines, as well as a souvenir wine glass. 

PRICE: Pop-up is free to attend; wine sampling is $10

EVENT: Halloween Bar Crawl

DATE/TIME: Saturday, 3 to 11 p.m.

WHERE: First registration is 3 p.m. at Fox & Hound, 1501 Spruce St. Second registration is 4:30 p.m. at Voyeur, 1221 Saint James St.

DETAILS: Grab your costume and some friends for this festive bar crawl around Philadelphia. There will be a prize for the top costume and entertainment at select venues.

PRICE: Single-ticket general admission begins at $29.99; cheaper group rate is available


EVENT: AIDS Walk Philly

DATE/TIME: Sunday starting at 7 a.m.

WHERE: Kick-off begins at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

DETAILS: This 5K raises awareness that HIV and AIDS are still serious issues in our communities. Donations go toward assisting people living with HIV and organizations providing HIV services. 

PRICE: Pre-registration is free; participants are encouraged to raise at least $50

EVENT: The Witch Market

DATE/TIME: Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.

WHERE: Pretzel Park, 4300 Silverwood St., Manayunk

DETAILS: The intimate space brings together tarot and poetry readings, 15 strange shopping vendors, and sweet treats. 

PRICE: Free to attend

EVENT: Moonlit Fun

DATE/TIME: Friday and Saturday, 6 to 9 p.m.

WHERE: The Market at DelVal, 2100 Lower State Road, Doylestown

DETAILS: Come out for a night of festivities including moonlit wagon rides, a giant corn maze, bonfires, s’mores kits — plus more food and beverages for purchase. 

PRICE: Admission is $10


EVENT: Boo at the Zoo

DATE/TIME: Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

WHERE: Philadelphia Zoo, 3400 Girard Ave., Philadelphia

DETAILS: Put on your costume and get ready for a trick-or-treat safari. Take a walk through the zoo’s Extinction Graveyard and learn about the extinction of species around the world. There will be hot apple cider, a hay bale maze and more. If you can’t make it this weekend, Boo at the Zoo will be back Oct. 26 and 27. 

PRICE: Included with zoo admission and free for zoo members

EVENT: William Penn’s 375th Birthday

DATE/TIME: Friday, 4:30 to 6 p.m.

WHERE: Philadelphia City Hall

DETAILS: Philadelphia is throwing a birthday party for its founder, and you’re invited. There will be music, handouts of historical information, a Mural Arts project and more. 

PRICE: Free to attend


EVENT: Broadway Philadelphia’s “RENT”

DATE: Friday to Sunday

WHERE: Merriam Theater, 250 S. Broad St., Philadelphia

PRICE: Prices vary from $45 to $129

EVENT: Twenty One Pilots

DATE/TIME: Sunday, 8 p.m.

WHERE: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia

PRICE: $39.50 to $89.50 

EVENT: Live at the Library Vol. 2

DATE/TIME: Saturday, 1 to 3:30 p.m.

WHERE: Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine St., Philadelphia

DETAILS: Join the Free Library of Philadelphia for the second installment of its new music series, featuring local, activist-led discussion with an intimate free concert. This week features guest speaker Mike O-Bryan of The Village of Arts and Humanities and a performance by ill Fated Natives.

PRICE: Pre-registration is free

EVENT: Stargaze Masquerade

DATE/TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m.

WHERE: World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., Philadelphia

DETAILS: The Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus is putting on their signature fundraiser for an evening of music in support of outreach. Your ticket gets you dinner, an open bar, silent and live auctions, a dance party and entertainment. 

PRICE: $200

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Woman arrested for fraud after posing as registered nurse

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia Police have arrested a woman for fraud after she posed as a registered nurse and ran a home healthcare business. 

Police say 48-year-old Rachel Ortega of West Chester, also known as Rachel Bordman, posed as a registered nurse and as the owner of Shanahan Enterprises, LLC, a home healthcare company.   

Officials say the woman is not and never has been authorized to engage in the practice of nursing in Pennsylvania.

The company is also not a licensed company with the Pennsylvania Board of Health.

Ortega was arrested and charged with theft by deception and related offenses.

Anyone who received care from the woman or Shanahan Enterprises, LLC is being asked to call the Philadelphia police Central Detectives Division at 215-686-3093.

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