Aston Police Officers Rescue Woman Trapped Inside Burning Home

ASTON TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) — A devastating fire took nearly everything, except for the life of a woman who was saved by two brave Aston police officers.

Neighbor Ed Young says the officers didn’t think twice about putting themselves in harm’s way to get the job done.

At 4:30 a.m., Young ran outside to find the home next door on fire. The family’s mentally disabled aunt was trapped in a back bedroom.

“She was in there banging on the window and she couldn’t break it,” said Young.

Young called 911 and officers rushed to the 100 block of Shubrook Lane.

“They jumped into action immediately without regard for their safety because this fire was ready to kill somebody,” said Young.

Those officers were Aston Township Police officers Colleen Joyce and William Mack.

“I’m still trying to process the whole situation. It’s a lot,” said Mack.

They realized the woman trapped was a friendly resident they knew well.

“We both were kind of like…we have to get her out. We can’t let anything happen to her,” said Joyce.

Both scaled a large fence and then realized the window was too high.

“I immediately ran and grabbed that ladder and threw it to them,” said Young. “This ladder right here is what saved that woman’s life over there.”

“Some unknown neighbor tossed a ladder over a six-foot fence, and if it wasn’t for the ladder I would have never been able to get into the house,” said Mack.

The woman inside, Mary, was pulled out and taken to the hospital in serious condition.

“When we got her outside we let her know that she did good, she was safe and she’s going to get help, and she has nothing to worry about anymore,” said Mack.

Four animals were killed in the fire, but a puppy and a cat were tossed out a window. The cat is now missing.

“We are out here trying to find my aunt and uncle’s lost cat,” said the victims’ niece Laurie Tripler. “Our families are really upset about the whole thing. It’s a tragedy, so finding a piece of our family would definitely help.”

The family is grateful to all who assisted. They are now asking all who live nearby to be on the lookout for a white Persian cat.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

via 215Today.

PA State House Considers Bill To Restore Mandatory Minimum Wage

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Pennsylvania House is considering a bill to restore mandatory minimum sentencing for violent offenders. And local prosecutors are supporting the move.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele and other top law enforcement officials are urging a restoration of mandatory minimums sentences.

“When you take out the worst of the worst and put them in prison for long periods of time, your streets are gonna be safer,” said Steele.

While prosecutors across the state support the legislation, inmate advocates are against it. Ann Schwartzman, with the Pennsylvania Prison Society, says mandatory minimums don’t work.

“Are these individuals that have drug and alcohol, or substance abuse, mental health issues, trauma, are they veterans? Are they women who have been helping their significant others? We can’t keep incarcerating because we’re mad,” said Schwartzman. “We really have to look at the root problems.”

A vote could take place in the state house as soon as April 4th.

via 215Today.

Fight Over Philly Beverage Tax Goes On: ‘I Am Not Going To Apologize’

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s beverage tax passed council by a wide margin, took effect in January, and in its first two months, raised nearly $12M dollars for anti-poverty programs.

Still, the beverage industry continues to campaign against it, calling for repeal, but Mayor Jim Kenney gave a heated defense.

When Temple University blamed a hike in room and board fees on the soda tax, the mayor’s office got right to work, marshaling the college’s administrative costs, past rate hikes and dorm amenities to dispute their claim. Was it too harsh? The mayor thinks not.

Kenney said, “I am not going to apologize for being passionate for our kids.”

The one and a half cent an ounce tax will fund expanded pre-k, community schools and city facility upgrades, but it’s also being blamed for declining sales and planned lay-offs.

A spokesman for the group, “Ax the Tax,” says the mayor is refusing to accept the tax has negative impacts. The mayor says the group is overlooking the benefits.

Kenney adds, “Soda companies should understand that, in a generation, we’ll have children who are educated and employed and tax-paying consumers who will be their best customers.”

The city has already raised nearly 12-Million dollars, but isn’t spending it until a suit challenging the tax’s legality is resolved.

via 215Today.

NJ Officials Say Boat At Your Own Risk As Popular Shore Inlet Awaits Dredging

NEW JERSEY (CBS) — New Jersey will work this summer to improve conditions for boaters who use a popular inlet just north of Atlantic City.

Little Egg Inlet, which sits between Brigantine and the south end of Long Beach Island, is popular particularly with those who like to fish, either for sport or business.

The Coast Guard, however, removed buoys earlier this month that helped boats get in and out, because shifting sands have left the water too shallow for those boats to safely navigate.

The state will fix that in short order, according to Larry Hajna with the Department of Environmental Protection.

“We’re expediting a project to dredge the channel and make it safe again for boating traffic,” he said.

Bids will be solicited next month to begin that project in July, after fish have migrated. Plans are to provide a channel 25 feet deep for boats. Over a million cubic yards of sand will be used to replenish beaches on LBI.

But for now, boaters who use that inlet do so at their own risk.

via 215Today.

Mascots For A Cure Trailer Stolen, Including Costumes Valued At $30,000

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A group that kicked off its tour to help sick children in Philadelphia is now rebuilding after a theft.

Someone stole the Mascots For A Cure trailer full of costumes.

The group is on a 36 city tour to raise awareness for pediatric cancer. The tour kicked off on Independence Mall last month

The U-Haul following Derek Zinser and Christopher Bruce went missing Thursday and was not recovered in time for their next hospital visit.

“It’s like having a light and your shining it on those kids and families and seeing the impact we are making, and somebody pulls the chord,” said Bruce.

Parts of a custom-made costume valued at $30,000 was reported stolen.

Zinzer and Bruce say they hope to rebuild and continue their tour.

via 215Today.

New Technology Helping Mothers Make Friends

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — New technology is helping mothers make friends, matching moms with other moms for play dates and outings.

Just like dating apps, these “friend finders” connect moms based on location, common interests, and childrens’ ages.

The focus of apps like “MomCo,” “Peanut” and “Hellos Mamas” is to bring women and children together, and some who use them say the matches have led to lasting friendships.

Health experts say the social support from these friendships are beneficial, allowing moms to know they aren’t alone.

These apps also provide information about products and services, like babysitting and birthday parties.

via 215Today.

2 Injured In New Castle County Shooting

NEW CASTLE COUNTY, Del. (CBS) — Police in New Castle County are investigating a shooting that left two people injured.

Officers were called to the 800 block of Vandever Avenue, around 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Police say two 23-year-old men were shot, one in the leg and the other in the arm.

Both victims were taken to a local hospital and are expected to be OK.

Anyone with information relative to this investigation is asked to call Detective Matthew Geiser at 302-576-3620.

via 215Today.