July 24: SEPTA bus study | Bev tax short $400K | Brewerytown gym cont’d

Good morning. Here’s what you need to know to start the week:

Three local congressmen successfully added amendments concerning drinking water contamination to a must-pass military spending bill, WHYY’s Danielle Fox reports. Congressmen Brendan Boyle, Brian Fitzpatrick, and Pat Meehan each announced amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act in response to the military’s use of firefighting foams with perfluorinated compounds PFOS and PFOA, which are potentially dangerous to local communities’ water supply. The trio of congressmen folded amendments into the spending bill for health screenings, an impact study, and for the military to deal directly with local response groups.

SEPTA has commissioned a study to evaluate the region’s bus system, Jason Laughlin reports. The study will analyze on-time rates, SEPTA’s mission in today’s transportation ecosystem, and “whether SEPTA should aim for maximum coverage, getting at least occasional service to as many places as possible, or focus on boosting ridership.” Jim Saksa reviewed the agency’s ridership numbers, as the agency faced growing rideshare alternatives and the recent transit strike, in January.

The family of the 14-year old boy arrested during the Brewerytown gym scuffle in June is considering suing the police department, Keystone Crossroads’ Annette John-Hall reports. According to the police, Naji Tribble instigated the fight, leading off-duty Philadelphia police officer and gym member Kevin Furman to ultimately crack the teen’s skull. The family’s attorney says the allegations are false and that Tribble was the victim and only one who required hospitalization. The case took an unexpected turn when Furman resigned from the police department June 24th. 

Hidden City Philadelphia takes a look at three of the city’s devastating disease outbreaks and the leaders who arose “in times of chaos, confusion, and dangerous misinformation.” Sam Dunnington, contributing to Hidden City, dives into the work of Dr. Benjamin Rush during the Yellow Fever outbreak in 1793, Dr. Wilmer Krusen during the “Spanish Flu” in 1918, and Rashidah Abdul-Khabeer as the city faces the AIDS epidemic from 1981 to today.

June’s Philadelphia Beverage Tax (PBT) revenues brings total FY17 revenues just shy of the projected $39.7 million, writes the Business Journal’s Alison Burdo. City officials say that the first six months of PBT revenue, including preliminary June counts, generated $39.3 million in total. The city recently updated the FY17 projections from $46 million to $39.7 million following lower-than-expected revenues.

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