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Northeast

Philadelphia apartment blast seriously injures 1

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An explosion inside a Philadelphia apartment early Monday left at least one person seriously injured, according to published reports, but authorities have declined to provide further details.

3 BODIES FOUND, 3 OTHERS PRESUMED DEAD IN PHILADELPHIA SUBURBS AFTER HOUSE ERUPTS IN FLAMES, 2 OFFICERS SHOT

The blast occurred around 12:30 a.m., and officers from the city and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives responded to the scene and remained there for several hours.

Skyline with skyscrapers at night, with the Liberty Place complex at left, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America. (Getty Images)

Philadelphia police referred questions on the matter to the ATF. Alan Gilmore, an ATF spokesman, confirmed the agency respond to assist Philadelphia police but declined to provide any further detail on the explosion or the reports of injury, citing the “active, ongoing investigation.”

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Philadelphia television stations reported a man in the apartment had been hospitalized with severe hand injuries, but no further details were available. No other injuries were reported, but the building was briefly evacuated as a precaution while authorities investigated.

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New Jersey

Hotel owners in N.J. reminded to make sure housekeepers have panic devices

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Hotel owners in N.J. reminded to make sure housekeepers have panic devices


Under the law, hotel employers must supply, pay for and maintain panic devices, which can alert hotel managers or security guards. Some of the devices will set off a siren when activated.

The panic device law also requires hotels to keep a record of the accusations it receives and maintain the name of the accused guest on a list for five years from the date of the incident. The law also specifies any suspected misconduct or criminal activity must be reported to law enforcement.

In addition, the law prohibits employers from punishing any employee who activates a panic device, and the employer must notify other employees of the presence and location of any accused guests and allow them to opt out of servicing such locations.

The law stipulates the hotel, motel or inn must also immediately reassign the hotel employee who activated the panic device to a different work area away from the accused guest’s room for the duration of their stay.

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Hotels that violate the law can be subject to a fine of up to $5,000 for the first violation and $10,000 for subsequent violations.

“The hospitality, entertainment, travel tourism industry is huge in New Jersey, it employs thousands of hotel workers,” Asaro-Angelo said. “Because this industry is so vital to our state it’s even more vital we protect the workers who work here.”

He noted the device can be worn on a chain around the neck, or it may be a type of two-way radio that can be carried in a pocket.

There are currently about 350 hotels, motels, inns and guest houses that have 100 or more rooms in New Jersey.

Some big brand hotel chains, including Marriott and Hilton, have distributed panic devices across the nation to all their employees who work alone in guest rooms.

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According to a Labor Department spokesperson, the agency is focused on panic device law awareness and education, and has not issued any fines or penalties yet.



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Pennsylvania

Dartmouth vs. Pennsylvania: Sportsbook promo codes, odds, spread, over/under – February 23

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Dartmouth vs. Pennsylvania: Sportsbook promo codes, odds, spread, over/under – February 23


The Pennsylvania Quakers (9-15, 1-8 Ivy League) will attempt to break an eight-game losing run when they visit the Dartmouth Big Green (5-17, 1-8 Ivy League) at 7:00 PM ET on Friday, February 23, 2024. The Big Green have lost five games straight.

Find odds, spreads, over/unders and more from multiple sportsbooks in this article for the Pennsylvania vs. Dartmouth matchup.

Dartmouth vs. Pennsylvania Game Info

  • When: Friday, February 23, 2024 at 7:00 PM ET
  • Where: Edward Leede Arena in Hanover, New Hampshire
  • How to Watch on TV: ESPN+
  • Live Stream: Watch this game on ESPN+

Watch live college basketball games from all over the country, plus ESPN originals and more NCAA hoops content on ESPN+!

Sportsbook Promo Codes

Dartmouth vs. Pennsylvania Odds, Spread, Over/Under

Check out the odds, spread and over/under for this matchup across multiple sportsbooks.

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Dartmouth vs. Pennsylvania Betting Trends

  • Dartmouth is 7-12-1 ATS this year.
  • The Big Green have been an underdog by 6.5 points or more 10 times this season, and covered the spread in four of those matchups.
  • Pennsylvania has compiled an 8-14-0 ATS record so far this year.
  • Quakers games have gone over the point total 10 out of 22 times this season.

Check out all the futures bets available at BetMGM!

Not all offers available in all states, please visit BetMGM for the latest promotions for your area. Must be 21+ to gamble, please wager responsibly. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, contact 1-800-GAMBLER.

© 2023 Data Skrive. All rights reserved.



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Rhode Island

Divided Board of Elections backs proposal to let voters drop off mail ballots earlier – Rhode Island Current

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Divided Board of Elections backs proposal to let voters drop off mail ballots earlier – Rhode Island Current


A seemingly innocuous proposal to let voters drop off their mail ballots earlier has divided Rhode Island elections administrators.

The Rhode Island Board of Elections (BOE) on Thursday narrowly backed a proposal to let voters deposit ballots in state-certified, secure drop boxes 35 days prior to Election Day. The 3-2 vote serves as a recommendation, requiring legislation and approval by the Rhode Island General Assembly, to amend existing law, which says drop boxes stationed outside city and town halls must stay locked until 20 days prior to an election. 

The vote came after nearly an hour of discussion and debate, clouded with questions over logistics, and the specter of public doubt over election integrity. 

Chair Jennie Johnson, along with members David Sholes and Marcela Betancur, supported the earlier opening. Board members Randy Jackvony and Michael Connors opposed the earlier opening date. 

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Proponents including the Rhode Island Department of State, local boards of canvassers and the Rhode Island Town and City Clerks’ Association backed the change as a way to make voting easier and more convenient for voters eager to exercise their civic duty.

“Voters love to use the drop box,” said Kathy Placencia, elections director for the Department of State. 

An earlier opening date also allows drop boxes to be used for voter registration forms, which are due 30 days before an election. Typically, city and town halls have to open their offices on the Sunday registration deadline to accept registration forms from stragglers. 

But some BOE members hesitated, concerned about confusion created by combining registration forms and mail ballots in the same collection box. Not to be discounted: public trust in election safety and security, which has taken a hit nationwide.

“There is a lot of distrust in elections around mail ballots already,” said Michael Connors, a board member who also serves on the three-member legislative subcommittee. The subcommittee on Feb. 20 voted 2-1 not to support a change in drop box opening dates. 

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Even Miguel Nunez, BOE deputy director (who will take the helm as executive director next week), acknowledged the solution was imperfect.

Identical legislation was submitted last year on behalf of the state elections board, and approved by both chambers, but was pulled at the eleventh hour due to conflicts with local special elections. 

There is a lot of distrust in elections around mail ballots already.

– Michael Connors, a Board of Elections member who opposed to the earlier start for opening drop boxes

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Existing state law requires local boards of canvassers to lock drop boxes at 8 p.m. on Election Day, the same time polls closed. When a special election is held a month before a regular state or federal election, the earlier drop box opening might overlap with a time when the drop box has to be locked for a local election.

Nunez presented BOE members with a few options to minimize this conflict. They included getting rid of the requirement that local elections administrators lock the drop box when polls close. Or keeping the 8 p.m. locking time but reopening the drop box the next morning. A third option: opening drop boxes 30 or 32 days prior to the election, rather than 35.

Board member Sholes also suggested another hack to assuage concerns about ballot confusion: color-coded ballots to make it easier for local election workers to differentiate between special, local races and state or federal ones.

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Nick Lima, Cranston elections director, and Kathy Placencia, the elections director for the Rhode Island Department of State, address the Rhode Island Board of Elections at its meeting on Feb. 22, 2024. (Nancy Lavin/Rhode Island Current)

‘Can of worms’

But the multitude of Band-Aid fixes suggested to Jackvony that perhaps the best solution was no change at all.

“I think we’re opening up a can of worms,” Jackvony said. “We’re very concerned about giving people a positive sense of the integrity of elections. I think we’re going in the wrong direction with something like this.”

“Very few” mail ballot applications get sent out by the Secretary of State’s office 35 days before an election, Nunez said.

But the handful of voters who want to turn in mail ballots early would benefit by opening up the drop boxes, which are already paid for, under surveillance, and otherwise sitting empty, said Nick Lima, Cranston elections director and chairperson for the Rhode Island Town and City Clerks’ Association Elections Committee.

Lima has heard from a few Cranston voters who already received their mail ballots for the upcoming April 2 presidential preference primary but can’t drop off their ballots in the drop boxes until March 13, based on the 20-day opening date.

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“That voter will show up at City Hall at 4:35 p.m. today with that mail ballot in-hand and have nowhere to drop it,” Lima said.

Meanwhile, the city of Cranston is spending $2,000 across its four special elections this year to pay its staff to sit in City Hall on the Sunday when voter registration forms are due, Lima said. That cost could be eliminated if voters could drop their registration paperwork in a secure container.

“It’s a large expense for us, and it really isn’t a necessity,” said Lima, adding he “never” sees city voters dropping off registration forms on that final Sunday deadline. 

The proposed changes in drop box openings was one of 25 election-related bills considered by the BOE Thursday, ranging from repealing constitutional requirements for 30-day residency prior to voting, to the maximum number of voters a single polling place can serve. 

The drop box legislation has not been introduced yet, but must be submitted by Feb. 29 to be considered by the General Assembly. 

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Board members Diane Mederos and Louis DeSimone did not attend the meeting.

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