News Briefing: Sept. 16-22, 2016

News Briefing: Sept. 16-22, 2016

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Deadlines issued in Farnese case

Scheduling deadlines have been issued in the case of state Sen. Lawrence M. Farnese (D), who stands accused of bribing a colleague, Ellen Chapman.

Defense attorneys have until Oct. 7 to file motions on behalf of Farnese and Chapman.

The U.S. Department of Justice has until Nov. 8 to reply to defense motions. A joint trial for Farnese and Chapman is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Jan. 23 in Courtroom 12A of the U.S. Court House, 601 Market St., with U.S. District Judge Cynthia M. Rufe presiding.

Farnese is accused of bribing Chapman — an Eighth Ward committeemember — in order to ensure his 2011 election as Democratic leader of the ward.

Farnese allegedly diverted $6,000 in campaign funds to help pay the college tuition of Chapman’s daughter.

Farnese and Chapman are charged with conspiracy, mail fraud, wire fraud and related offenses. But they deny the allegations.

Both defendants remain free, pending the outcome of their trial.

The Eighth Ward is a political subdivision largely in Center City west of Broad. It serves as a conduit to party leadership, and it’s a source of information during campaigns and elections.


Hospital denies HIV-bias allegations

Attorneys for OSS Orthoepaedic Hospital in York last week denied allegations that a woman with HIV was prevented from using the facility’s therapeutic pool.

"Bonnie Jones” contends in federal court that she was denied access to OSS’ pool in June 2015. She also claims a hospital worker divulged her serostatus to onlookers while denying her access.

In court papers filed Sept. 6, OSS attorneys stated: “OSS specifically denies any implication that OSS denied [Jones] access to the aquatic therapy pool on the basis of a disability or for any reason. OSS denies that it impermissibly disclosed [Jones’] HIV-related information.”

Jones is seeking an unspecified amount in damages, along with other remedies.

Last month, the hospital worker, Timothy Burch, also denied the allegations in a court filing.

The case remains pending before U.S. District Judge Yvette Kane, based in Harrisburg.

— Timothy Cwiek


LGBT journos to stage 2017 convention in Philly

The NLGJA, an association for LGBT journalists, announced this week that its annual convention will take place at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel from Sept. 7-10, 2017.

The city has hosted two other NLGJA conventions, in 2011 and 2002.

“We’re already working to pull together terrific, diverse programming for the 2017 convention,” executive director Adam K. Pawlus said in a statement.

Those interested in proposing a workshop can find more information and apply at Registration for the Career and Community Expo will open at a later date, the organization said.

For more information, visit


Del. LGBT choir seeks singers

The Rainbow Chorale, an LGBT singing group based in Wilmington, has an open call for singers scheduled Sept. 19.

Tenors, basses, sopranos and altos can audition starting at 6 p.m. at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1502 W. 13th St. Regular rehearsal follows at 7 p.m. Rehearsals take place every Monday with monthly scheduled sectionals.

For voice placement, new members meet with artistic director Arreon Harley. The ability to read music is helpful, but not required. Non-singers are also invited to join as volunteers for logistical tasks.

The choir’s next performance will be Sept. 24 at the 30th anniversary of AIDS Walk Delaware.

For more information, visit


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