Top 5 Live-WURD Friday March 27
1. State: Most L&I inspections done by inexperienced personnel are ‘invalid’
Most of the 600 inspections of unsafe buildings performed by a group of uncertified inspectors for the Department of Licenses and Inspections last month appear to be invalid, according to The Inquirer.
Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry officials said that inspections under the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code must be performed by a certified inspector, or the inspections are invalid.
Six hundred inspections involving 100 to 200 properties were done by inspectors who were not certified, city officials said.
In addition, The Inquirer reported that nine newly hired inspectors without certification recorded their work in the L&I database under the name of a more experienced inspector with the agency.
2. US National Guardsman and His Cousin Arrested for Trying to Join ISIS
The FBI has arrested two men — one of them an Illinois National Guard member — for allegedly trying to launch attacks in the U.S. and overseas on behalf of ISIS, the brutal terrorist group wreaking havoc in Syria and Iraq, authorities said.
Army National Guard Specialist Hasan Edmonds, 22, was arrested at Chicago Midway International Airport as he was trying to fly to Egypt to join ISIS in Syria or Iraq, according to authorities. His cousin, Jonas Edmonds, 29, was arrested at his home in Aurora, Illinois.
Both men had been under FBI surveillance for months, charging documents say.
Hasan Edmonds first came onto the FBI’s radar in late 2014, and the FBI investigation began with an undercover agent sending him a “friend request” over Facebook, according to the charging documents.
3. Singer’s swan song? Judge mulls Philly election official’s ballot status
Stephanie Singer’s rocky career as a Philadelphia city commissioner hung by a thread Thursday due to a challenge to remove her from the ballot.
Singer needs 1,000 valid signatures from registered Democrats on nomination petitions to remain on the party’sMay 19 primary ballot. She filed 1,485 signatures.
Her lawyer, Charles Goodwin, and Richard Hoy, the lawyer for the challengers, said Singer now has about 1,035 signatures remaining after more than 400 were withdrawn by her or stricken by Common Pleas Court Judge Joel Johnson.
Hoy challenged 1,124 of Singer’s signatures and said the court still has about 150 challenges to consider on the fourth day of the hearing. He predicted that half of those signatures would also be stricken, dropping Singer below the 1,000 requirement.
4. Germanwings Flight 9525 co-pilot deliberately crashed plane, officials say
The co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 9525 purposely crashed the plane into the French Alps on Tuesday, killing all 150 people on board, officials said Thursday.
“We at Lufthansa are speechless that this aircraft has been deliberately crashed by the co-pilot,” said Carsten Spohr, CEO of Lufthansa, which owns Germanwings.
Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said the co-pilot, 28-year-old German national Andreas Lubitz, apparently “wanted to destroy the aircraft.”
It’s unknown whether Lubitz planned his actions in advance, Robin said. But he “took advantage” of a moment in which the pilot left the cockpit and “activated the descent,” which can only be done deliberately.
It’s also unclear whether the pilot entered a code to try to get back into the cockpit, or whether Lubitz “put the lever on lock,” which would have prevented the code from working, Spohr said.
5. Fire Marshall quickly turns car stop around with video
A recent car stop by police officers in Philadelphia’s 15th police district has gone viral, after the car’s occupant, who was stopped for driving with tinted windows, videotaped the encounter and invoked his constitutional rights.
Tony Soto, a fire marshall who decided to challenge officers when he was stopped, videotaped the encounter.
The video, which has since gone viral, was covered first by Fox 29, and has sparked questions about what it means to know your rights, and how far you should take things when you do.
The video begins with a question. “You said tinted windows, right? That’s the reason for your traffic stop?”
“Yeah tinted windows,” the officer answers.
“All right, I have a tint permit from the state of Pennsylvania. That’s what I’m going to show you first. That invalidates your traffic stop, sir. What’s the other reason”?
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Solomon Jones is an Essence bestselling author and award-winning columnist. He is the creator and editor of Solomonjones.com and morning host on 900 am WURD radio. Click here to learn more about Solomon