News Briefing
May 15, 2014 | 511 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
City continues Scouts subsidy

City officials continue to subsidize a local Boy Scouts of America troop that occupies a city-owned building in Roxborough.

According to city records, BSA Troop 474 occupies the “Scout House,” at 726 E. Wigard St. in Fairmount Park.

Since 1987, the troop has occupied the facility while paying the city $1 a year.

Antibias advocates want Mayor Michael Nutter’s administration to evict the troop if it won’t sign a lease with comprehensive antibias provisions.

Mark McDonald, a spokesperson for Nutter, had no comment.

But court records indicate the administration hasn’t initiated eviction proceedings.

“It’s unconscionable that any governmental body would delay and drag their feet on this issue,” said Palma M. Rasmussen, a disability-rights advocate. “Discrimination should never be tolerated. Never.”

Margaret A. Downey, president of the Freethought Society, agreed.

“Acceptance of a $1 rental fee is representative of how much Nutter officials care about taxpayers and citizens who are victimized by bigotry,” Downey said.

A representative of Troop 474 couldn’t be reached for comment.

Last year, the BSA Cradle of Liberty Council vacated a city-owned facility near the Ben Franklin Parkway, after waging a five-year legal battle to continue occupying the building rent-free. But, according to a settlement, the city gave Cradle $825,000 for improvements the troop reportedly made to the structure over the years.

Appeals court gets Milano records

The Third Circuit Court of Appeals last week received 5,048 pages of documents relating to the Anthony Milano murder.

Milano, 26, was a gay artist who was brutally slashed to death in 1987 by Frank R. Chester and Richard R. Laird.

After a 1988 trial in Bucks County, Chester and Laird were convicted of first- and second-degree murder and related offenses. They were sentenced to death and they’re currently housed on death row.

In 2011, Chester’s first-degree murder conviction was vacated on the basis jurors received faulty instructions. The Third Circuit Court of Appeals must decide whether to consider Chester’s request that his remaining convictions also be vacated.

Chester argues all of his convictions should be vacated, partly because his attorney had a pending DUI charge during trial.

“We believe that once everything is considered, the appeals court will uphold Mr. Chester’s conviction for second-degree murder and related offenses,” said Stephen B. Harris, an attorney for the commonwealth. “Whatever the decision is, we’ll continue to pursue this case vigorously.”

Daniel A. Silverman, an attorney for Chester, had no comment.

— Timothy Cwiek No new developments in alleged Grindr murder

Police continue to search for the killer of Philadelphia resident Dino Dizdarevic.

Delaware County Criminal Investigation Division Detective Michael Duffy told PGN the case is active, but declined further comment.

“It is being actively pursued,” he said.

Dizdarevic’s body was discovered earlier this month in an alley in Chester. He was partially clothed and had been beaten and strangled.

Media outlets reported police say Dizdarevic, 25, met his killer though Grindr, a phone app used by gay and bisexual men.

QSpot launches new season

LGBT youth program QSpot returns this weekend.

The safe space for LGBT young adults will stage its 2014 premier and open-mic night from 8 p.m.-midnight May 17 at William Way LGBT Community Center, 1315 Spruce St.

The event is free and food and refreshments will be available. Attendees will also have access to free HIV and STD testing.

For more information, visit www.theqspot.org.

— Angela Thomas

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