- Man accused of setting fire to Delta bar; posted photos of it burning on Facebook (9/17/17)5
- McClure man accused of leaving children in hot truck while gambling in casino (9/19/17)1
- New boutique store advocates for special-needs people (9/19/17)
- Say Cheese: The story behind the famous sandwiches at the East Perry Fair (9/22/17)
- Anne Limbaugh dies, leaves legacy of caring (9/22/17)
- Retailer may come to Jackson; rezoning needed first (9/17/17)2
- Planet Fitness to anchor Town Plaza shopping center (9/18/17)2
- Former major-league slugger Darryl Strawberry to speak at La Croix (9/20/17)
- Mo. conservation agents help fight fires in western U.S. (9/15/17)
- Owner of Mary Jane Burgers & Brew in Perryville to open new culinary concept in Cape (9/15/17)3
Philadelphia mob takes blow
PHILADELPHIA -- The Philly mob is down but not out.
Government officials were pleased this month when former Mafia boss Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino got 14 years behind bars for racketeering and his top lieutenants received long prison terms as well.
But federal law enforcement officials caution that the mob, though crippled, is still operating -- and they expect another round of prosecutions.
"This clearly is a critical blow to the La Cosa Nostra in Philadelphia. However, it's not the end of the LCN," said Thomas Harrington, who heads the FBI organized crime unit in Philadelphia.
Now that Merlino is out of the picture, mob observers predict a bloody struggle for control.
More than 30 people have been killed in gangland violence since the 1980 assassination of crime boss Angelo Bruno, the "Docile Don," who was killed by a shotgun blast outside his South Philadelphia home. Bruno's successor, Phil "Chicken Man" Testa, was killed in 1981. Every boss since -- Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo, John Stanfa, Ralph Natale and now Merlino -- is in prison.
"There's always somebody out there who wants to be the boss, who thinks that if they get the position they can survive," said Fred Martens, former executive director of the now-defunct Pennsylvania Crime Commission. "Everybody thinks it won't be them."