The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on February 27, 1993 · Page 15
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The Philadelphia Inquirer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania · Page 15

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Saturday, February 27, 1993
Page 15
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Saturday, February 27, 1993 THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER B3 Show slows rush-hour with a hit-and-run on For most, it was more of a nuisance than anything fee. At least weekend sloes will be clear, forecasters say. ' -1:1 ByRlchOenson fi.r. . INQUIRER 8TAFF WRITER Playing the Pick-6 Lotto? How ifbout 6, 12, 13, 16, 21 and 26? Those are the dates on which it has Snowed this February, including yesterday's ornery little blanketing. ? The storm, such as it was, arrived i'n time to slow the morning rush hour, interrupt school schedules and cause numerous fender-benders. But in the end, it amounted to just another half-hearted attempt at winter. , "It was a pretty well-behaved snow event," said Jim Eberwine, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Philadelphia. "It came, as usual, at rush hour. But it was well advertised, and most of the highway folks were ready for it" Officially. Eberwine said, Philadelphia and the western suburbs got about one inch. Two to three fell in South Jersey, and Delaware got four. unusual thing was that you didn't hear the typical northern and western suburbs getting the worst of it, ne said. "This time, it was to the south and east, but mostly the south." There were no reports of problems with utility services and virtually all public transportation systems ran on time. The hills of Manayunk did prove a bit steep for SEPTA bus Route 35, which didn't get into service until 11:30 a.m., said SEPTA spokeswoman Margie Sullivan. Officially, the storm arrived about 7 a.m., though those driving the plows said it came a little sooner. -'-'We had dur guys ready to go at 5 "O'clock," said Ed Aikey, the Bucks tounty maintenance manager for .PennDot. "About 5:45 the flakes started coming down and we were loaded and ready." '."PennDot said about 300 trucks Nvnt to work yesterday in Philadelphia and its Pennsylvania suburbs, While the New Jersey Department of GUARDS from B1 id L. Cohen, the mayor's chief of staff. "We found another few jobs Today. They're all keeping comparable .salaries. We continue to be opti-Wstic that we will find other employment for all of those people." 'Co'nen said the 38 City Hall janitors who will also lose their jobs to privatization Monday have all been placed in new jobs, 28 at the same pay and 10 at higher pay. But even for the guards who have 'ftw. jbs, there is a certain sadness cthey feel in leaving the tranquil .grandeur of the Art Museum. i.Wen you've grown accustomed to (Spending your work shift in the company, of Picasso and Cezanne and -.Rubens and a worldwide clientele, it's not so easy to make the transition to.. the chaos of the Police Department's radio room, for example, where some of the guards have been ..hired as dispatchers, or the Youth iStudy Center, where one veteran guard will return to her job as a rcpunselor. z"yov feel like you're attached to -avery piece of artwork, this painting U.K.. Uuards -West Chester teacher is charged With indecent assault of student By Kevin McKinney -t,uiu inquired rnnneapnNnENT , i,A West Chester School District science teacher was arrested yesterday and charged with indecently assaulting a 14-year-old female student in his office during school hours Thursday afternoon. IS. Joseph L Venuto, 48, of the 1000 i-"block of Niels Lane in West Chester, was -charged with indecent assault '-'and corruption of a minor, court " "rjapers say. He was arrested at 11 a.m. atthe West Goshen police station in r Chester County, where he surrendered accompanied by his attorney. " He; was arraigned before District justice Peter Winter in West Goshen u"ahdreleased after posting 10 percent " if $2,500 bail. A preliminary hearing it set for March 4. ruV According to court papers, the as- fSauh occurred after the student ap- 'broached Venuto about 1:30 p.m. 1 Thursday in his classroom, asking fprjtielp with her schoolwork. ',Venuto allegedly put his arm Either the ,,-Sorry, weathermen, the answer is quake. It was a 2.5 "and made noise, but no damage. Back to shoveling. 'lrVj, By Larry Lewis, Edward Collmore and Jim Detjen Ki INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS fltf The Earth moved yesterday after- noon for thousands of Philadelphia and New Jersey residents. "-8ut not for very long. And not hard enough to get the scientists very excited. htm tmm" 1 4t y ' & -vf - t Inquirer photograph by David 0. Jackson Helping her neighbors, Ann Waters clears a walkway along Spring Mill Pennypacker Park on the Cooper River, Chuck Galasso of Cherry Hill Transportation said an equal number were at work there. "They've all been nuisance storms where you use mostly just salt and cinders," said PennDot spokesman Gene Blum. "We have used a considerable amount of salt and cinders move on alter here, that sculpture there," said Powell, standing behind Degas' sculpture, Little Dancer of Fourteen Years. "All the artwork in the building moves you," he said. "It disappoints you. It makes you happy or angry, makes you sit here in awe." Tolbert finds the building itself and he's walked through every last nook and cranny a joy to work in. "I find the building fascinating," he says. "I don't expect to find another place to work in as beautiful as this." Before he began working there, Tolbert had never set foot inside the museum. He's gotten quite an education since. Some days, he brought along his children to spend the hours wandering around while he works. "You have to fall in love with the place," says Tolbert. "You listen to the tours as they come through. I really like the Impressionists. In their time, they were different. They challenged the whole art world. They were brave." All of the guards were offered jobs with Ogden, but at salaries ranging from $7.10 to $10 an hour, less than around the girl, led her into his office adjacent to the classroom, and closed the door. According to court records, Venuto sat on his desk about five feet away from the girl and began talking about "friendships and family. The girl said the conversation made her feel "uneasy and nervous," the court papers state. After the topic shifted to "boyfriends and relationships," according to the records, Venuto hugged the girl. The student attempted to pull away, -but Venuto continued to hold her, the papers say. "She stated that Mr. Venuto told her to hug him tighter and pressed his body into her body and began rubbing her back and her buttocks with his hands," said the court papers. He kissed her several times on the mouth and neck, papers said. Ross Unruh, lawyer for the West Chester Area School District, would not comment on the case except to confirm that a district teacher had been arrested and that district super light snow just got really heavy or Philadelphians and South Jersey-ans, however, jammed switchboards at police stations, fire departments and township buildings across the region as they reported a loud boom or an up-and-down motion of the ground. The local agencies, in turn, called the federal government to find out what had happened. The answer: travelers the region ; ' r. this month, but we have enough in stock to handle any upcoming storms over the weekend." Blum probably needn't worry. The Weather Service is calling for fair skies today and tomorrow, with highs in the mid- to upper-30s. half of what they make at the museum. The 10 guards who work at the John G. Johnson collection will stay, since they are already privatized by virtue of Johnson's will, which required a private, older, experienced security force. One guard described his feelings toward the Rendell administration as "venomous" and his own personal state of mind as "depressed." But asked to describe his feelings about Austrian painter Eduard Char-lemont's haunting painting The Moorish Chief, this guard's voice softens, his eyes grow near-misty. He first saw the painting when he was 7 years old. But when he saw it again upon beginning work at the museum, he became transfixed. "The incredible amount of detail is overwhelming," the guard says of the painting depicting the white-clad Moorish man bathed in bright sunlight. "To do a person of color and have the tones, the shadings ... he even has dirt under his toenails. "And it's improperly titled," he continues. "Basically, he's a palace guard. You can tell by his attire." intendent Thomas J. Kent would decide, possibly by Monday, whether the teacher would be disciplined. Unruh declined to say whether the district had received any complaints about Venuto in the past. Venuto, who has been a teacher at the J.R. Fugett Middle School since 1967, did not attend class yesterday and will not be in school Monday, Unruh said. Kent would not comment on the case. Venuto could not be reach for comment. John Babinecz, a pediatrician in Paoli who is running for the West Chester Area School Board this fall, said his daughter was taught by Venuto and expressed surprise over the news of the teacher's arrest. "I am shocked and devastated at this news," said Babinecz. "I remember him as a very tough teacher. My daughter, Kelly, had a tough time in his class. But she respected him." Correspondent Denise Breslin Kachin also contributed to this story. "It was a very minor earthquake," said Stuart K. Koyanagi, a geophysi-cist at the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo. The quake, he said, which was centered in the Mount Holly-Cherry Hill area, struck at 4:13 p.m. Eastern time, and lasted no more than a few seconds. There was no damage, and no one was hurt, Koyanagi said. The geophysicist said the quake had measured 2.5 on the Richter scale a reading of 7 is considered major. It was felt no more than 10 their brush Inquirer photograph by Jerry Tritt Avenue in Whitemarsh Township, where an inch of snow fell. In and his boxer, Dina, enjoy a wintertime walk. The snow did play a role in a three-car collision on Route 202 in East Whiteland Township, Chester County, which led to a four-mile backup in the northbound lanes. Pennsylvania State Police said the accident occurred about 9 a.m. just with greatness This guard, who would not give his name, has yet to be placed in a new job. He is terribly sad about leaving, especially right before the opening of the show on another favorite of his, Camille Pissarro. This guard's knowledge of the museum has grown so much that he began taking visitors on impromptu tours himself. "I think this is one of the most unique museums in the world," he says. "We've had a lot of sadness about breaking up the family atmosphere." Some guards admitted they found the job monotonous, especially when there were few visitors or if they were stationed in a part of the museum they just could not figure out. "This hallway, it says nothing to me," said Patrick Coyle, 47, a 16-year-veteran, standing in the 20th-century wing, surrounded by abstract expressionist paintings by Willem de Kooning, Jackson Pollock and others. "I have no idea what this is," he says, pointing to a painting of yellow and gray thick brushstrokes by American painter Ad Reinhardt. This means something to someone, miles away, he said. The tremor probably was caused by a shifting of the plates in the Earth's crust under New Jersey, Koyanagi said. But residents scared by the loud noise and shaking were more concerned about the plates many of them said were rattling in their china cupboards. Some said the noise had made them think the furnaces in their basements had malfunctioned or blown up. "We're getting calls from all over Camden, Pine Hill, Haddonfield, 1 1 1 ' 1 ' ' L n .JU. V IT, . : : ' - f't.r-'(Ji,'4i m-M pp. a v - "4t 'Pit J - rrrv'' ifyji li ht uyryKi v "v fat The Inquirer ALEX LLOYD GROSS Two men died when their truck missed the turn from 1-95 to Route 413 and hit a tree yesterday morning, police said. The driver and a passenger died; another passenger was unhurt. Police were withholding their identities pending notification of relatives. Police said they thought all three had fallen asleep. 3 south of the Route 29 exit. The roadway was cleared by 10:30 a.m. School districts in the region had varying reactions. Some closed, some opened two hours late, and some, including Philadelphia's Catholic and public schools, closed early. but unless he writes about it and tells me, it means nothing to me. I dislike it intensely." The Impressionists? They were overrated, Coyle says. "There are a couple of Picassos I like. The one with his wife and mistress all in one painting? I think it's awful daring." And on one last visit to the dreaded Twombley exhibit yesterday, Tolbert had to admit that in a way, even that little space had its charms. "I got more of a kick watching people's expressions I can't help but to laugh," Tolbert said. "They take one look and say, 'My kids can do this,' and walk out. If you keep somebody in here for two minutes, you've sold them. "It's a story that goes back to Troy," he explained, in knowledge he picked up from the tours. "It goes all the way around the room, you can see different wars. There is some sense to this madness. I can see what he's saying." He paused, remembering his days there were about over. "The reality settles in now. Even though I feel part of me is chopped off, I feel like I can come back and be reunited. this is an earthquake Collingswood," a beleaguered Camden City police dispatcher said at the height of the hubbub. Lines to emergency agencies in Philadelphia also were put to the test. For workers and customers at the Cherry Hill Mall, the quake sounded like thunder, a loud truck, or maybe an explosion or airliner whooshing overhead. At least, that's what it seemed like to those who noticed. "I thought it was thunder, that it was raining outside," said Carol Im-besi, manager of Petland, a pet store on the mall's second level. 1 i&nap suspect is released Tracy Davis, 60, posted $50,000 cash bail. She is accused of snatching her grandson for 2V& years. By Steve Boman INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT Tracy Davis, who is charged with kidnapping her grandson in 1990 and keeping him hidden for 2Vj years, was released from Bucks County Prison this week after posting 10 percent of her $500,000 bail. Two of Davis' relatives and a former landlord posted $50,000 cash to gain her release, officials said. Davis, 60, had been in jail since she surrendered to the FBI on Dec. 15. Before her arrest, Davis eluded police by living under an assumed name in Florida with her grandson John Minieka, now 11. Her trial is scheduled for May 3 in Bucks County Court. Bucks County District Attorney Alan Rubenstein said that Davis' $500,000 bail was "reasonable," but that releasing her posed a risk. "Given her history of being a fugitive and her track record of nonappearances, we are somewhat concerned that she will nee," he said. ". . . However, if she fails to appear ' on May 3, we will in a heartbeat forfeit her money." He also said his office would work to extradite Davis if she moved to another state or country. Davis' attorney, Mel D. Kardos, said she would show up on May 3. "She turned herself in," Kardos said. "She'll be here for this trial." The custody fight between Davis and her daughter, Camela Harman, dates to 1982, when Davis won temporary custody of the child. After two years of legal wrangling, Harman got primary custody of the boy, her only child. In June 1988, Davis took the boy and traveled with him around the country for nine months. Harman finally tracked her son to a relative's house and got him back. On June 13, 1990, prosecutors say, Davis broke into her daughter's Ben-salem home in the middle of the night, cut the telephone lines in the house and took the sleeping boy. They remained at large until December. Davis is charged with burglary, kidnapping, interference with the custody of a child, concealment of a child, and criminal trespass. She faces a maximum of 10 to 20 years in prison if convicted of the charges, officials said. Davis' bail money came from her mother, Marion Clapham; her former sister-in-law, Virginia Harman, and her former landlord in Gulfport, Fla., Thomas Alton. Harman, one of Davis' four daughters, said she wasn't surprised that her mother had been able to post bail. "It was a matter of time," said Harman, who is living in an undisclosed location in New Jersey. "Our location is being kept quiet, so I'm not really concerned that she is going to find us. I'm more concerned about my nieces and nephews," Harman said. "She knows where they are." Davis, a former GOP committee-woman from Northampton and civic gadfly, was acquitted of shooting her boyfriend and dumping his body in a South Philadelphia Housing project in 1978. Davis, then named Constance Harman, pleaded self-defense. Willis Jacobs, a geophysicist at the National Earthquake Information Center, said earthquakes in New Jersey are "fairly unusual." He said he was not aware of known geological faults in the area, but said he was sure the quake had occurred along a fault in the Earth's crust. Other earthquakes recorded in the region include a 3.3 magnitude quake on Oct. 22, 1990, in the Cherry Hill-Mount Holly area; a 4.1 magnitude quake 15 miles south of Lancaster, Pa., in April 1984, and a 3.0 magnitude quake in April 1982.

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