Good morning, Philly. Unfortunately all that rain isn't over yet; there's a flood watch in our region and the forecast is wet through Saturday. But while you're stuck inside, may I recommend opening up the last installment of our Toxic City: Sick Schools series? Our reporters already explored how lead, asbestos and mold are making children sick in Philly classrooms. Now they've uncovered how bad repair jobs often made things worse, when something was done at all. It's another important, though truly devastating, report on the state of our schools. Don't sleep on it.
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One January day in his second-grade class at Loesche Elementary, Lucas Sims fell ill from carbon monoxide poisoning. The culprit? A portable generator construction workers were using while repairing the school's roof.
As part of the latest installment in our "Toxic City" series, reporters found that the School District of Philadelphia can take months or even years to address reported environmental hazards making kids sick at school. And even when it gets to repairs, its in-house workers and contractors often create more problems with shoddy work.
Catch up on Toxic City: Sick Schools
For weeks last summer, the region was transfixed by the disappearances and, as was later discovered, murders of four young Bucks County men.
When the men's bodies were found on a Solebury Township farm owned by the parents of Cosmo DiNardo, the case began to unravel. Nearly a year later, DiNardo pleaded guilty to their murders Wednesday and was sentenced to life in prison. He is said to have lured them to the property to sell them marijuana.
DiNardo's cousin and accused co-conspirator, Sean Kratz, rejected a plea deal and opted instead for a trial.
Philadelphia prison officials do not use the term "solitary confinement," but more than 11 percent of inmates in city jails are currently in segregation. That typically means they spend at least 23 hours a day locked in a cell.
Nationwide, that statistic is just 2.7 percent. The U.N. has called solitary terms longer than 15 days "torture"and many in Philadelphia are sentenced to 15, 30, or even 60 days of segregation.
Experts say it can be particularly harmful for young people. So why have Philly jails increased the practice among juveniles?
Who doesn't love a nice rainbow? Incredible view, @randypikeheinzel.
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