<![CDATA[NBC 10 Philadelphia - Top Stories]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/top-stories http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC10_40x125.png NBC 10 Philadelphia http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com en-us Mon, 24 Nov 2014 20:59:39 -0500 Mon, 24 Nov 2014 20:59:39 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Philly Braces for Reaction to Ferguson Decision]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 20:31:52 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/Philly+Police+Ferguson+Reax.PNG

Public safety departments, religious leaders and city officials in Philadelphia are preparing for local demonstrations in the wake of a grand jury's decision as whether to charge an officer in the shooting death of Ferguson, Missouri teen Michael Brown.

About 30 demonstrators, some carrying the signs reading "Stop Police Terror. Indict Killer Cops," started to gather around 8 p.m. Monday in Dilworth Park in the shadow of Philadelphia City Hall.

They arrived some four hours after more than a dozen Philadelphia Police bicycle officers, wearing Strike Force shirts, began to stage nearby.

At least 15 police vehicles lined Broad Street and Cecil B. Moore Avenue on Temple University's campus as well.

The preparations come as citizens ready to react to the grand jury's consensus on whether evidence showed Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson may have committed a crime.

The grand jury's decision is expected to be released at 9 p.m. Eastern Monday, officials tell NBC News.

"I think that there will be a reaction whether it is in Ferguson or Philadelphia, we are prayerful that folks will be responsible in expressing their sentiments about whatever the ultimate decision is," Mayor Michael Nutter said.

Members of the group POWER — Philadelphia Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild — began gathering at City Hall around 3:30 p.m. Monday. Some of the organization's members were on the ground in Ferguson amid the unrest following Brown's death.

Another civil rights group, National Action Network, tells NBC10 they plan to demonstrate in front of the Byrne Federal Building at 6th and Market Streets.

The Philadelphia International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement said over the weekend that its members planned to rally and march through the city if Wilson is not indicted. The group said the march would begin at City Hall and head north along Broad Street to Cecil B. Moore Avenue.

Wilson, 28, shot 18-year-old Brown on Aug. 9 following an altercation. Police later said Brown, who was unarmed, was a suspect in a strong arm robbery and that Wilson was acting in self defense. The teen's death sparked violent riots in the St. Louis, Missouri suburb and has reignited a national debate on race.

"The expectation is not good for those who are looking for an indictment for Officer Wilson," Rev. Mark Kelly Tyler of Mother Bethel AME Church said. "Every indication that we received from St. Louis County is that they are not going to indict him and that's not going to go well with a lot of people."

Philadelphia Police spokesman Lt. John Stanford said safety of the public is paramount.

"The men and women of the Philadelphia Police Department will work to ensure that citizens can express their First Amendment right in a safe manner as well as protect property and minimize any disruption to the residents here in Philadelphia," he said.

The Philadelphia Fire Department is also prepared to respond to any fire or medical issues that crop up from demonstrations, a spokesman said.

Here's a look at local reaction on social media to the demonstrations and the decision:



Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Snow and Rain to Hit Area Thanksgiving Eve]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 20:19:30 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/snow-generic.jpg

One of the busiest travel days of the year will be even busier than normal as a mix of rain and snow is expected to hit the area Thanksgiving Eve.

The system is expected to drop up to a foot of snow in the Poconos and up to five inches in the Philadelphia area, according to NBC10 First Alert Chief Meteorologist Glenn Schwartz.

The storm will begin as rain at or just before the morning rush Wednesday before changing to mainly snow north and west of Philadelphia. The peak of the storm will hit between 8 a.m. to noon with a mix of heavy rain and snow for most of the area aside from the Jersey Shore.

Between noon and 5 p.m., rain will change to snow at the Jersey Shore while snow will remain north and west. The snow will begin to lighten around 5 p.m. before tapering off around 10 p.m.

While Glenn doesn't expect much ice to accumulate on roads, he's still warning drivers traveling Wednesday to be wary.

"I don't expect any ice of any significance," Glenn said. "Early season storms and late season storms can sometimes change from heavy rain to snow in a matter of minutes. People need to be alert and monitor any changes." 

Philadelphia/I-95 Corridor Wednesday Timeline 

6 a.m. to 9 a.m. - Rainy and cold

9 a.m. to noon - Rain changes to snow

Noon to 5 p.m. - Mainly snow, some accumulation

5 p.m. to 10 p.m. - Snow ending, some lingers

North and West Suburbs/Lehigh Valley/Poconos Wednesday Timeline

4 a.m. to 8 a.m. - Rain changes to snow

9 a.m. to noon - Heaviest snow accumulating

Noon to 5 p.m. - Snow continues

5 p.m. to 10 p.m. - Most snow ending

South Jersey, Delaware Wednesday Timeline

4 a.m. to 8 a.m. - Rain develops

9 a.m. to noon - Rain continues

Noon to 5 p.m. - Some rain to wintry mix or snow

5 p.m. to 10 p.m. - Chance of snow

Estimated Snow Totals

Lehigh Valley/Poconos - 8 to 12 inches

North and West Suburbs - 5 to 8 inches

Philadelphia/I-95 Corridor - 3 to 5 inches

South Jersey/Delaware - 1 to 3 inches

The Thanksgiving Eve snow is just one part of a wild week in weather. Warmer air moved into the area Monday leading to a record-breaking high for this time of year of 72 degrees, topping the previous record of 71 set in 1979.

After the Spring-like Monday, temperatures will fall again with an expected high of 59 degrees Tuesday and 45 degrees Wednesday. Thanksgiving will be cold, with a high of 42 degrees, but sunny, as the wet weather will be out of the area by then.

The cold temperatures will continue Friday with a high of 40 degrees before they rise slightly with a high of 45 Saturday and 49 Sunday.

Despite the possible rain and snow Wednesday, Thanksgiving travelers in our area do have some good news. PennDOT officials told NBC10 they’ve made numerous road improvements for motorists traveling through Pennsylvania between Wednesday and Sunday. Those improvements include six lanes on Route 202 between Routes 252 and 401.

“Some motorists wanting to get to the Turnpike Interchange or the connections between the Schuylkill Expressway and 422, that’s greatly improved for travel,” said PennDOT spokesman Gene Blaum.

A rock embankment was also stabilized on the eastbound side near Pennsylvania Route 23. Resurfacing has also been done from Spring Garden to 30th Street and near Passyunk Avenue. 

New southbound lanes also opened Sunday morning on I-95 near Cottman Avenue.

Stay with NBC10.com throughout the week for the latest details on the expected Thanksgiving Eve weather. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Union Warns SEPTA Engineers Are Overworked]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 19:51:28 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/SEPTA-Train-vs-Car.jpg

With one of the busiest travel days of the year on the horizon, SEPTA Union leaders are warning that some engineers are working too many hours, putting riders in danger. SEPTA officials believe the warning is unnecessary however.

“The locomotive engineers are working 14 hour days, six days a week,” said Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) vice president Steve Bruno.  “It’s something of an unsafe condition and frankly it’s becoming dangerous.”

BLET and Trainmen Division 71, which represents 200 SEPTA locomotive engineers, asked the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) to reject SEPTA’s request for an extended waiver of safety rules, claiming SEPTA failed to follow its own scheduling procedures. They also claimed the waiver would decrease the amount of rest time available for train engineers.

“This is no way to run a railroad,” Bruno said. “Safety has to come first – but SEPTA is more interested in cutting payroll costs. They haven’t lived up to the promises they made when they got the first waiver; there’s no reason to give them a second one.”

The Union also accused SEPTA of not following safety rules for the engineers who fill in for sick and vacation coverage. BLET National President Dennis Pierce wrote a letter to the FRA, claiming SEPTA has systematically reduced “the number of locomotive engineer assignments while simultaneously increasing the number of trains and route miles in the public schedule.”

The Union claimed SEPTA is overworking its locomotive engineers and that six-day workweeks are routine for them.

“We’re seeing a lot of engineers reporting for work having had their sleep interrupted and frankly in an unrested and unsafe condition,” Bruno said.

Last year four people died after a Metro-North Railroad train derailed in New York. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) blamed the accident on a sleep-deprived engineer who had a drastic shift in his work schedule.

BLET officials told NBC10 they’ve linked several accidents and violations to fatigued engineers.  SEPTA officials denied those claims however.

“Each one of those particular incidents, the individuals that were involved in it had more than 24 hours off before working on that particular day,” said SEPTA Official Ron Hopkins.

Hopkins said safety was SEPTA’s top priority. He also told NBC10 SEPTA follows all federal regulations when it comes to worker fatigue.

“We believe fatigue can be an issue,” Hopkins said. “So we pay close attention to it when we do our scheduling of our regular runs. Also we make sure that if there are any extra runs there’s a meeting held between our management team as well as the union.”

SEPTA officials also told NBC10 they’re in the process of hiring and training more engineers which they said would help reduce sixth days and overtime issues.

]]>
<![CDATA[Communities Ready for Ferguson Protests]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 20:47:09 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/214*120/Philly+Police+Ferguson+Reax.PNG

Cities across the country prepared for protests Monday night after a grand jury reached its decision on whether to charge a white police officer, Darren Wilson, in the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, Missouri.

The decision is to be announced at 8 p.m. local time, more than three months after Wilson killed 18-year-old Michael Brown in a sharply disputed encounter in the St. Louis suburb.

Officials and lawyers for Brown's family appealed for calm in the hours before the grand jury's decision was announced.

"I want people to think with their heads and not with emotion," St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley said at a press conference. "I do not want people in this community to think they have to barricade their doors and take up arms. We are not that kind of a community."

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon called for protecting lives, property and free speech, but fearful that protests would turn violent -- as sometimes occurred during the tense days after the shooting -- schools closed and shop owners boarded up stores.

Elsewhere in the country, communities braced for their own demonstrations. In Philadelphia, police officers began assembling in front of City Hall as groups such as POWER or Philadelphia Organized to Witness, Empower and Rebuild gathered and protests began. Mayor Michael Nutter similarly asked for a responsible reaction to the announcement on whether Wilson would be indicted.

The grand jury considered everything from first degree murder to involuntary manslaughter to no charge.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson and other clergy and community leaders were expected to discuss the decision tonight in Chicago while in New York, demonstrators were gathering in Union Square.

Los Angeles' police department was put on alert. Police Chief Charlie Beck said last week it had reached out to the community to encourage peaceful assemblies.

Planned responses on the Ferguson National Response Network's Tumblr page included gatherings from Sacramento, California, to the Seminole County Courthouse in Sanford, Florida.



Photo Credit: NBC10
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<![CDATA[PennDOT Prepares for Holiday Travel]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 20:05:02 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/PennDOT+practice.jpg While you are prepping for your Thanksgiving travel, PennDOT is too. NBC10's Doug Shimell has the latest.

Photo Credit: Matt Rourke/AP Photo]]>
<![CDATA[Atlantic City Casino Crisis Taking Toll on Food Bank]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 20:22:33 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000008741039_1200x675_363134531604.jpg The Atlantic City casino crisis is impacting holiday season. With days until Thanksgiving one local food bank faces an unprecedented need. NBC10's Jesse Gary has more.]]> <![CDATA[Best Times to Travel for Thanksgiving]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 20:09:27 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000008741093_1200x675_363152963542.jpg NBC10 Meteorologist Sheena Parveen has the best times to travel for your Thanksgiving celebration. Tuesday night is expected to be dry but by early Wednesday morning rain is moving in with the possibility of snow all the way into the evening.]]> <![CDATA[Execution Date Set for Officer Killer 'Cool C']]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 14:29:22 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Cool-C.jpg

A rapper convicted of fatally shooting a Philadelphia police officer is scheduled to be executed Jan. 8.

Gov. Tom Corbett signed a death warrant Friday for Christopher Roney, known as Cool C.

The 44-year-old Roney was convicted of first-degree murder in the Jan. 2, 1996 death of Officer Lauretha Vaird.

Prosecutors say he shot the nine-year police veteran in the abdomen during a bank holdup.

Roney has maintained he's innocent.

He had two rap hits, "Glamorous Life" in 1989 and "Life in the Ghetto" in 1990.

Corbett also authorized the executions of Mark Duane Edwards on Jan. 13 and Dennis Reed on Jan 15.

Edwards was convicted in the 2002 shooting deaths of a couple and their pregnant teenage daughter.

Reed was convicted of fatally shooting his girlfriend in 2001.



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-NBC Employee Says He Paid Women for Bill Cosby]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 15:51:45 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Cosby.jpg

A former employee of NBC Entertainment has come forward to claim he regularly brought young women to Bill Cosby's dressing room and was asked to send money to multiple women over the years.

Frank Scotti, who says he worked as a facilities manager for the Brooklyn NBC Studio where "Cosby Show" was filmed, is the latest to go public with stories of Cosby’s past.

Scotti, 90, said it was once his job to guard the door after bringing young women to Cosby's dressing room. "I felt like a pimp,'' Scotti told "Today." "Every time he had somebody I had to watch, I had the girl stay there. I felt dirty."

Scotti also claims he was asked by the comedian to send money to various women, sometimes thousands of dollars a month. "All I know is that Bill Cosby told me that certain people, I want you to send this money out to them. He told me how much and I said fine and I went and got money orders, said Scotti. He said he never delivered the money but always sent it by mail, and never met the women to whom he sent money.

"I just felt, you know, he's not the person I thought he was,'' Scotti said of his decision to come forward.

One of the women whose name appears on several money orders Scotti showed "Today" says the gifts were purely "generosity" on the part of Cosby and were intended to help pay for her son’s boarding school.

“It is a shame that Dr. William Cosby’s generosity is being questioned and maligned," said Alva Chinn, a model and actress who appeared in several episodes of "The Cosby Show." “The source could have asked me first before releasing these money orders."

Scotti told the New York Daily News he eventually quit working with Cosby, "because of the girls."

Cosby has never been charged with a crime, but 18 women have now publicly accused the star of sexual assault or attempted assault.

In response to Scotti's allegations Cosby's attorney, Martin Singer, told NBC News, "It appears that his story is pure speculation so that he can get his 15 minutes of fame.''

"I know people are tired of me not saying anything, but a guy doesn't have to answer to innuendos,'' Cosby told Florida Today after receiving a standing ovation at a comedy show on Saturday. "People should fact-check." Cosby has always denied allegations of assault.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Death of Man in NYPD Stairwell Shooting Ruled Homicide: ME]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 20:42:59 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/gurley+stairwell+shooting.jpg

The death of the unarmed man shot by a probationary NYPD officer in a Brooklyn stairwell last week has been ruled a homicide, the medical examiner’s office said Monday.

Akai Gurley was shot and killed in a stairwell at the Louis H. Pink Houses in East New York late Thursday by officer Peter Liang, who was assigned to the public housing complex as part of a violence reduction overtime detail.

Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has called the shooting an accident and said Gurley was a "total innocent."

Liang and his partner, both of whom have less than 18 months on the force, were conducting a floor-by-floor sweep of the building and had gone to the roof when they noticed there were no lights in the stairwell leading up to it. Given the location and lack of light, Liang drew his weapon and a flashlight for safety reasons, police have said. The other officer kept his service weapon holstered.

As the officers were entering the eighth-floor landing, Gurley emerged on the seventh-floor landing. He heard a noise and turned to look up at the two officers a floor above him, a law enforcement source said. Then Liang, who had his gun in his left hand and his flashlight in his right, fired accidentally, hitting Gurley 11 feet below him, according to Bratton.

Gurley was shot in the chest. He stumbled down to his girlfriend, who was by that point on the fifth floor, and she tried to administer first aid, authorities said. Liang and his partner found the couple on the fifth floor; 911 had already been called. Gurley was pronounced dead at a hospital.

The medical examiner's ruling came shortly after Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson announced he would launch an investigation into Gurley's death. Thompson met with community leaders on Sunday, a day after more than 250 people marched in protest outside Liang's 75th Precinct, chanting and holding signs calling for justice.

The NYPD's Internal Affairs Bureau is investigating along with the district attorney's office. Liang has been placed on modified duty pending the outcome of the investigation.

The police union has called for a thorough investigation. Neither the union nor the NYPD could immediately be reached for comment on the medical examiner's ruling. 
 



Photo Credit: AP/NBC 4 New York]]>
<![CDATA[Legal Analyst Explains Grand Jury Decision in Ferguson]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 18:54:38 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WCAU_000000008741019_1200x675_363122755763.jpg NBC10's Legal Analyst Enrique Latoison breaks down the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, specifically how a grand jury works and what happens whether the officer is indicted or not.]]> <![CDATA[Woman Struck by Truck in South Philly]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 17:38:33 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Road-Generic1.jpg

A woman is fighting for her life after she was struck by a truck in South Philadelphia Wednesday.

The 60-year-old woman was on Front Street and Snyder Avenue when she was hit by the vehicle. She was taken to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania where she is in extremely critical condition.

Officials have not yet revealed whether the accident was a hit-and-run.

This story is developing. Stay with NBC10.com for updates.
 



Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Boy Killed in House Fire]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 16:43:20 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/fatal+house+fire+hunting+park.jpg A Philadelphia house fire claimed the life of a child. Eight other residents escaped.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Thanksgiving Eve Snow: Timeline and Expected Totals]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 18:59:58 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/231*120/Center+City+Snow+Umbrella+Snow+Generic.JPG A mixture of snow and rain is expected to hit our area during Thanksgiving Eve, one of the busiest travel days of the year. Check out our gallery for the timeline and expected snow totals Wednesday.

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Missing Mom's Case Considered Criminal]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 16:38:22 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/Missing+Woman+Lehigh.jpg Jessica Padgett was last seen when she left for lunch Friday in Northampton, Pa. Her cell phone and purse were inside her car when it was found. NBC10's Deanna Durante has more information on why the case is considered criminal.]]> <![CDATA[Dog Left in NY Park Bathroom]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 17:39:47 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/abandoned+dog+park.jpg

Authorities are searching for the person who left a small white dog in the women's bathroom at a New York state park over the weekend.

The Putnam County SPCA says the pooch, possibly a Maltese mix, was found in a plastic crate in the ladies' restroom at Pelton Pond off Route 301 in Kent's Fahnestock State Park Saturday morning.

The dog was taken to an animal hospital, where it was found to be in a severe state of neglect. Both of its ears were infected and its fur was so heavily matted that it couldn't relieve itself, the SPCA said.

The pup, believed to be 3 or 4 years old, was also underweight.

Anyone with information about the dog is asked to call the Putnam County SPCA at 845-520-6915. 



Photo Credit: Handout]]>
<![CDATA[Philly Jesus Embraces Worldwide Fame]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 15:51:05 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/193*120/Philly+Jeseus+Michael+Grant+Globe.JPG

From LOVE Park to the world! Philly Jesus’ recent legal woes – and social media’s reaction to the arrest — have made him a celebrity near and far.

"Everything's happening for a reason and God's going to use this negative situation to push me into the destiny that he has for me so I can spread the word of God to an even larger audience in a global fashion," Michael Grant, aka Philly Jesus, told NBC10.com.

The BBC (yes, that British Broadcasting Corporation) recently announced it would tell the story of Philly Jesus as he spreads to word of Christ in Center City Philadelphia.

"They focused on why I do what I do. I told them that the same way they bring the story of Christ to the big screen or like to a play I bring it to the streets of Philadelphia. I use my passion for the performing arts to share Christ in a fun, likable manner."

The BBC story came after Grant’s disorderly conduct arrest in Love Park earlier this month that led to the #FreePhillyJesus hashtag and a rise in Grant’s exposure.

"I believe that God is using the arrest that happened to turn it around for the good, to spread his message in a worldwide international way."

Grant, 28, a former heroin addict picked up the frock – taking on the 'Philly Jesus' persona – about one year ago after he found Christ while being treated in a court-ordered treatment program.

Since then, he makes a daily pilgrimage to Love Park where he takes photos with tourists and serves as the park's de facto preacher.

"I wear what I wear as a conversation starter, instead of me going up to people and pushing the gospel on them they'll up come up to me and ask for a photo with me... that opens up a conversation to even speak about God and the gospel.

“I tell people I do not charge for the photos but tips are always welcome,” said Grant.

Being Philly Jesus is now Grant’s full time gig.

"I'm making this into a career, I do this because it makes me happy, I feel like it's my calling that God has given me."

Grant grew up in the theater and believes that training helps him be Philly Jesus.

"I'm using the talent that God gave me for the stage and using it for his glory," Grant said. “I don’t want people to think of Michael Grant when they look at me I want them to think of Jesus."

Grant now wears a combination of about four different outfits as he holds court in Love Park.

"Just like Batman has a Bat Cave, Philly Jesus has a Philly Jesus Cave," said Grant. "I keep my wardrobe; I keep my vigilante uniform, in the Philly Jesus Cave."

Grant said he couldn't speak about his pending legal case but he could speak about his future even if he wouldn't reveal exact details of what's next.

"I'm gonna keep it as a surprise."

One thing is, however certain, according to Grant.

"I plan on doing this for the rest of my life. And, as I age, and probably when I start to get white hairs and start to get gray hairs on my face, I'll morph into Philly Moses," Grant said with a laugh.

Grant understands that despite his celebrity, not everyone is as thrilled about the Philly Jesus phenomena as Grant's more than 5,700 Instagram and nearly 1,600 Twitter followers.

"To all my haters who tell me to stop what I'm doing, 'you're gonna to go to hell... you're being sacrilegious, or you're being blasphemes,' I just want to tell all my haters that 'I love you and be patient,' I got more for you to hate on coming soon."



Photo Credit: Instagram - PhillyJesus]]>
<![CDATA[Feeding Philly's Homeless, One Slice at a Time]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:56:58 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/160*120/10250169_792718464112584_8835134329784423398_n.jpg

Mason Wartman, owner of Rosa’s Fresh Pizza, is trying to help Philly's homeless with dollar slices and one simple question ...

" ... Can I get one off the wall?"

The interior of Rosa’s in Center City Philadelphia is covered in neon and even some pizza-shaped post-it notes. Those notes reflect prepaid slices bought by customers who can afford it, for people who can’t.

If you're in need, you simply ask to grab a post-it off the wall.

The program started just seven months ago, but the idea was brewing long before Wartman opened Rosa’s on 11th Street between Market and Chestnut streets.

Wartman, a native of Plymouth Meeting liked the $1 slice concept — popular in pizzerias in New York City where he spent three years working on Wall Street after graduating from Babson Business College in 2010.

In 2013, he left Wall Street behind and moved back to Philadelphia. That's when he decided to open Rosa's, named after his mother.

When he opened his shop last December, he found himself giving slices to people who came in without enough money. The prepaid slice program was born when a customer came in to buy pizza and asked if he could buy a slice for the next homeless person who came in off the street.

Since then, nearly forty slices have been given to the homeless daily.

One button on the register is pushed for every prepaid slice purchased and another button, labeled with a heart, is clicked for each slice that’s redeemed.

Last week, Rosa’s gave away their 7,000th slice of pizza.

Wartman says the idea behind the prepaid slice is similar to a practice in Italy called "caffe sospeso" where someone buys two cups of coffee, but leaves one behind for someone else to enjoy.

As winter approaches, Rosa's will sell sweatshirts in a similar way. Each sweatshirt will be paid for by Rosa customers and passed on to someone in need. The sweatshirts have inserts with a daily schedule of nearby shelters offering free meals.

Over the past three months, R. J. Mishler has made Rosa's part of his weekly routine while he looks for a job. He often buys an entire pie for just $8.

“You can’t beat it. It’s my breakfast, lunch and dinner.”

Mishler has bought a few of the prepaid slices before but has yet to take one from "off the wall.”

"Those are for the people who actually need it," said Mishler. "I still have a home.”

Wartman admits he gave up on determining whether people were "deserving" of their "free" slice.

"We don’t ask questions."



Photo Credit: Rosa's Fresh Pizza]]>
<![CDATA[Civil Suit Can Move Forward in Cobbs Creek Abduction]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 12:36:02 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/schoolkidnap.jpg

A civil lawsuit filed against the School District of Philadelphia and a teacher in connection with the abduction and rape of a 5-year-old Cobbs Creek girl can move forward, a federal judge has ruled.

The defendants had filed a motion to dismiss the case in federal court in Philadelphia.

The girl's family filed a civil rights lawsuit against the school district and Reginald Littlejohn, a teacher at Bryant Elementary School, alleging officials failed to follow school policy when they released the 5-year-old into the care of an unknown person.

School officials had believed that the person, who was dressed in Muslim clothing, was the girl's mother. Police later identified the abductor as Christina Regusters. The 21-year-old then kidnapped and brutally sexually abused the girl in her Cobbs Creek home. She was found guilty of the crimes earlier this year.

U.S. District Court Judge Jan DuBois ruled there was enough evidence to show the girl's constitutional right to personal safety was denied for the civil case to move forward.

A spokesperson for the School District of Philadelphia said it does not comment on pending legal action.

Regusters is due to be sentenced in the criminal side of the case on Jan 20, 2015.



Photo Credit: Surveillance Video]]>
<![CDATA[Scottoline's Latest Book 'Betrayed' is Out]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 12:34:00 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/lisa+scottoline+betrayed.jpg Philly's favorite crime fiction writer and funny lady, Lisa Scottoline, talks to NBC10's Vai Sikahema about her latest book, Betrayed, and her mom-daughter column, Chick Wit.]]> <![CDATA[Embrace the Day!]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 12:32:14 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/216*120/warm+weather+philadelphia.jpg The warm weather is a welcome respite for some folks.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>
<![CDATA[Teachers Bargaining in Bad Faith?]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 14:50:50 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/WEB+Teacher+generic+getty.jpg A Lehigh Valley school district claims its teachers union is bargaining in bad faith. The two sides go before a labor board today.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Officers Kill 12-Year-Old Boy Toting Toy Gun]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 09:14:29 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/180*120/cleveland+police+shooting+bb+gun.jpg

Two Cleveland police officers have been placed on administrative leave for their involvement in the shooting of a 12-year-old boy on Saturday. The officers were responding to a 911 call in which a man reported that a boy was waving a gun that was "probably fake."

Police say that when they approached the boy at the Cudell Recreation Center playground, he refused to put his hands up and reached for his waistband.

The boy, Tamir Rice, was shot in the torso and died Sunday morning, following an unsuccessful surgery.

The shooting is being investigated by police and the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office.

Read the whole story at NBC News.



Photo Credit: Cory Shaffer, Northeast Ohio Media Group]]>
<![CDATA[This Week's Wednesday's Child]]> Wed, 12 Dec 2012 17:34:19 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/213*120/meaganvai.jpg NBC10's Vai Sikahema introduces you to some of the area's amazing young people who dream of being connect to a loving forever family. Visit the Wednesday's Child Home Page on NBC10.com

Photo Credit: NBC10.com]]>
<![CDATA[Casino Unemployment Impacts Holiday Celebrations]]> Mon, 24 Nov 2014 09:03:15 -0500 http://media.nbcphiladelphia.com/images/180*120/holiday+lights+generic.jpg The growing population of unemployed people in Atlantic City are struggling to make ends meet during the stressful holiday season.

Photo Credit: clipart.com]]>