July 19: Code orange ozone | ARAMARK firing 300 | DRPA buys iPads to cut paper | PA Lottery sees record profit | Data driven crime fighting | Documentary on closed schools

Good morning Eyes on the Street! The week may be ending, but at least for today, the heat wave is not. 

The heat combined with precursor pollutants that are produced regionally is creating excessive smog and ozone in Philadelphia and other parts of the region. A code orange ozone alert has been issued. 

Philadelphia-based ARMARK plans to lay off 300 local employees as the company moves some of its operations out of state. ARAMARK provides food services, facility management and career apparel to large schools, stadiums, hospitals and more around the glob. Those 300 jobs will be sent to Nashville, Tennessee, where the company announced it is investing $20 million in a new business center facility. 

The Delaware River Port Authority purchased iPads for some of its top officials in hopes of cutting the printing and distribution costs of agendas and monthly reports. DRPA expects the $25,000 to $30,000 it will save by getting rid of paper will offset the $9,000 the authority spent on the iPads. Fellow transit agency SEPTA issued iPads to its board members two years ago. 

The Pennsylvania Lottery brought in record-high profits last year, surpassing $1 billion, but the Corbett administration is still moving forward with plans to privatize the lottery, which leaders hope will guarantee higher revenue growth every year. 

Technically Philly questions if the 38% decrease in Philly’s homicide rate is due to data driven crime fighting. As of June 30, there had been 115 homicides in Philadelphia, that’s the lowest midyear total since 1968. Could one recent change, the Police Department’s use of crime tracking and data crunching, be a driving force in that reduction? 

This summer Amy Yeboah will produce a short documentary on four Philadelphia schools that closed this year. Yeboah, who has a doctorate in African American studies from Temple University, will work with the Notebook as part of a fellowship sponsored by the Samuel S. Fels Fund. Notebook reporter Monika Zaleska sat down with Yeboah to talk more about her documentary plans. 

The Buzz is Eyes on the Street’s morning news digest. Have a tip? Send it along. | Follow us on Twitter @EOTSPhilly | Like us on Facebook | Share your Philly photos in our Flickr Group

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