Philly using mimes, clowns instead of ‘texting lanes’


The Philadelphia Street Department used mimes and clowns to remind pedestrians and drivers to not be fools — on April 1 or any other day.

The city last year painted a gag “texting lane” on a street near city hall as a not-so-subtle reminder that walkers who keep their noses buried in their cellphones should keep their eyes on the roads and sidewalks.

Last Monday, the city sent a similar message using clowns and mimes from a theater company. The colorful performers silently scolded drivers and pedestrians who ignored safety laws at a major downtown intersection.

Deputy Mayor Rina Cutler says officials always are looking to engage the public on safety issues. Each year, about three dozen pedestrians are killed in Philadelphia.

Pa. sheriff nicknamed ‘Duke’ to stay on ballot, judge says


A judge says the Republican incumbent can remain on the May 21 primary ballot for sheriff of an eastern Pennsylvania county along with his nickname, Duke.

Tom Lingenfelter, a political activist and Republican challenger in the May 21 primary in Bucks County, wanted incumbent Sheriff Edward “Duke” Donnelly kicked off the ballot for using his nickname.

The Bucks County Courier Times reported that Bucks County Judge Gary Gilman found that the nickname isn’t confusing to voters, nor does it suggest Donnelly is claiming some “hereditary distinction or nobility title” as Lingenfelter alleged.

Simply put, the judge said, “It strikes me that if George Herman Ruth was running for office, then there would be no objection to him appearing on the ballot as Babe Ruth.”

Lingenfelter said he’ll appeal.

PennDOT: Weather, repairs have kept I-81 unlined


The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said road work and recent cold weather kept workers from painting new lines on a stretch of Interstate 81 in northeastern Pennsylvania, just across the New York border.

WNEP-TV reported that motorists have complained about the lack of lines as they drive into Pennsylvania, saying it can be disorienting and confusing. Alaen Forest, of Quebec, said the lines help guide him when he’s towing his camper, and said, “If it’s not marked, it’s very difficult for me to travel.”

PennDOT officials say the stretch of highway in Susquehanna County was under construction last fall and that temporary lines painted on the road didn’t survive the winter. Early last week, it was still too cold for paint to properly stick to the pavement. PennDOT plans to paint new lines in warmer weather.

Associated Press

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