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Local Philly News from CBS Philadelphia

2 Charged With Murder In Death Of Delaware Toddler

February 24th, 2018

WILMINGTON, DEL. (CBS) — Police have arrested and charged two people with murder in the death of a 15-month old child in Wilmington, Delaware.

Police say they were called to Wilmington Hospital on Saturday, February 17 to investigate the death of a young child.

The Delaware State Medical Examiner’s office later determined the death to be a homicide caused by blunt force trauma.

Investigators say the mother of the child had left the toddler in the care of 22-year-old Tameke Wright and 37-year-old Lavar Harris.

Both suspects were taken into custody Friday and charged with murder by abuse or neglect in the 1st degree.

Wright and Harris were each being held on $100,000 cash bail.

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9-Year-Old Asks For Stuffed Animal Donations Instead Of Birthday Presents

February 24th, 2018

DENVER (CBS) — In hopes of helping children who are involuntarily in the middle of legal issues, an elementary school student in Colorado decided to change the way she celebrated her birthday.

Rachael Burson said she already has enough toys. So, the 9-year-old asked her friends to bring stuffed animals to her birthday party, which she could later donate to the Sheriff’s Office in Arapahoe County, a suburb of Denver.

CBS Denver reports Burson gave the stuffed animals to deputies, so they could give them to children who are scared.

“People in need, (deputies) are helping them. Everybody should be doing that, I think,” Burson said. “There are (a lot) of children out there who don’t have anything. And there are other kids, like in Parker, that have amounts of toys.”

Student Pushing Back After Being Benched For Wearing Hijab

Burson said the toys could be an emotional support system for kids who are at the scene in which a deputy responded.

“Their parents are in jail, or they are a victim, or they don’t have anything,” Burson said. “Every kid gets excited when they have a surprise.”

Burson donated dozens of stuffed animals to the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office.

“It is absolutely heartwarming when we have young children like Rachael being incredibly thoughtful and kind,” said Audry LaCrone, spokesperson for the sheriff’s office.

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“It is really helpful for our deputies out on the streets. They are walking into situations where children are not having a great day. They just need something to make them feel a little bit better.”

Burson encouraged other kids her age to consider skipping their regular birthday gift requests, in hope of helping others in times of need.

In the meantime, she hoped her donations would provide a smile to a kid in need. “I hope they are very happy when they get a stuffed animal,” Burson said.

The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office encouraged anyone with a desire to help out a local department to contact them first. Then, each individual department can express what they are in need of to help others.

 

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Gov. Murphy Promises Gun Control, But For Now Reviews Policies

February 24th, 2018

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is vowing to sign gun control bills as part of a campaign promise and in response to the fatal Florida school shooting.

But for now, he is pledging a policy review and interstate cooperation over firearms.

The timing for when the Democrat might act on any bills is unclear. The Legislature has introduced at least two dozen measures related to firearms. Many are aimed at controlling the use of guns, though some would expand rights.

Murphy hasn’t specified which bills he wants enacted first, and none of the proposals has made its way to his desk yet.

Second Amendment rights advocates call Murphy’s agenda a futile attempt at stopping criminal behavior by limiting the rights of law-abiding citizens.

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Eagles’ Cox Credits Mississippi Roots For Football Career

February 24th, 2018

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Super Bowl champion Fletcher Cox says he credits his Mississippi upbringing and schooling for his successful football career.

The Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle appeared Friday at the Mississippi Capitol, where he signed autographs, posed for photos and spoke to lawmakers.

In a speech periodically interrupted by cheers, the 27-year-old told state House members that his football coaches at Yazoo City High School and Mississippi State University helped to pave his way toward an award-winning career.

“The coaches at Mississippi State, those guys say, ‘Hey, not only do we want you to be a great football player, but we want you to be a great young man,'” Cox said. “Things like that helped me throughout my career.”

He also said residents of his 12,000-person hometown of Yazoo City inspired him to push forward.

“When I was growing up, I used to hang around the park and just listen to older guys that were probably not doing so great,” Cox said. “They said, ‘Man, when I was your age, I should have done this, or I could have done that.'”

He continued, “I used to think about that and I used to tell myself that I don’t want to be that guy. I wanted to be that guy to go back and tell kids, ‘Hey, I did this.'”

Cox began playing football when he was 13 and played three seasons at Mississippi State University. He was drafted to the NFL at 20 and has played six seasons with the Eagles.

The Eagles won their first Super Bowl championship 41-33 against the New England Patriots on Feb. 4.

When asked about his most memorable moment of the game, Cox said his mother, who raised him and his three siblings on her own in Yazoo City, was able to come on the field after the win.

“Her tears of joy were the most memorable part,” Cox said to the applause of legislators.

And being a world champion, Cox said, “feels great.”

“Winning the Super Bowl, it’s such a wonderful feeling because nobody can take that from you.”

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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2 Shot, Wounded In North Philly; Gunman Sought

February 24th, 2018

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Police are searching for the gunman who shot and wounded two people overnight in North Philadelphia.

Police say the shots rang out around 1:30 a.m. Saturday in the area of West Rockland and North Broad Streets in the city’s Logan section.

Once on scene, officers found a 37-year old man who had been shot twice in his left leg, and a 27-year old man who had been shot once in each leg.

Both victims were taken to Einstein Medical Center, where they were listed in stable condition.

Police say the motive is unclear.

So far, there have been no arrests.

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Student Pushing Back After Being Benched For Wearing Hijab

February 24th, 2018

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Mastery Charter School’s sophomore is pushing back after she says a referee forced her to choose between her hijab and her sport during a Philadelphia Public League quarterfinals game on Feb. 16.

“It was outrageous and it didn’t make sense,” said 16-year-old Nasihah Thompson-King. “I was upset.”

At a news conference Friday at the Mastery Charter School Shoemaker Campus, legislators and community leaders vowed to push back against the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association policy they say allowed this to happen.

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The PIAA’s policy requires athletes to get prior approval for any head garment for religious or medical reasons. Though Thompson-King did not have a waiver, she says since the sixth grade, she’s had no problems playing in games while wearing her hijab.

She says instead of choosing to take off her hijab, she chose her faith and took the bench.

“Ultimately, she was benched and not allowed to play,” said aunt Salima Suswell.

Melissa Mertz, Associate Executive Director of the PIAA, says the association enacted the policy in 1992.

“The rule was really put in place for a safety component, that whatever’s being worn doesn’t have any hard, unyielding objects,” said Mertz. “These are all things that need to be discussed in an open forum and we are by all means open to that and having that discussion and very likely, we might make some changes to it.”

The School District of Philadelphia has formally requested a rule change.

A letter written by Philadelphia Public League President James Patrick Lynch reads in part: “Such waivers are unfair to student-athletes. They should always be eligible to play, and any religious garment worn with their game uniform should never prevent them from playing a game or participating in a sport they love.”

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Elected officials also echoed those sentiments.

“You should not have to ask for a waiver to be able to worship in the way that you worship,” said State Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown.

Fatima Thompson, the student’s mother, says the policy is discriminatory and archaic.

“The waiver must go, and we will leave no stones unturned to make sure that happens,” she said.

In the meantime, Thompson-King will be allowed to wear her hijab during Mastery’s championship game on Sunday.

 

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First Responders Honored For Going Above And Beyond The Call Of Duty

February 24th, 2018

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Heroic house fire rescues and tragic roadway recoveries. They are stories that we at CBS3 have covered but scenes where others played a far greater role.

On Friday evening,  the 28th annual Valor and Scholarship Award Banquet hosted by the 200 Club of Burlington County was held at the Merion in Cinnaminson.

Awards are presented for many instances of diligent and long-term service but the capstone of the evening is in the Honor-Valor award which signifies service that has gone above and beyond the call of duty.

“To me it was just thinking of the people who were in the vehicle and trying to get them out of that vehicle,” said Patrolman Scott Ewan of the Edgewater Police Department.

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Ewan, a four year veteran of the force, is one of the honorees who earned this top award.

On January 14th of this year, Ewan and fellow officers responded to an accident that resulted in a vehicle submerged in the waters of Olympia Lake in Willingboro.

“It wasn’t a choice. You hear the call and you are going to save somebody. It’s not an option at that point,” said Patrolman David Meenan, also of the Edgewater Township Police Department.

Both officers and others on-scene took immediate action and plunged into the icy water in an attempt to pull two occupants from the vehicle.

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“We are extremely grateful,” said Meenan of the honor, “there’s a lot of mixed emotions with this knowing that we entered the water to save somebody. Knowing that you’ve exhausted all options and there’s nothing you can do to save someone, it’s a little uneasy for us.”

Robert and Janet Stephens of Burlington Township did not survive the crash but the memory of that day has not left the minds of the officers who risked their own lives in an attempt to save the couple.

“We responded there and did what anyone would do,” said Ewan.

In addition to the awards, the 200 Club presented $10,000 in scholarships to four select first responders to help offset the cost of college.

 

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