COUPONS INSIDE WORTH UP TO $1,052 TRAVEL PARIS FOR BEGINNERS A complete preview of Monday’s EaglesRedskins game. ASANTE SAMUEL: SPORTS BUSINESS After five years, the doughnuts are back. PICK-OFF ARTIST KRISPY KREME CRAZY The Philadelphia Inquirer C 181st Year, No. 167 8 City & Suburbs C City & Suburbs Sunday , Nov. 14, 2010 ★ Philadelphia Media Network ★ $1.75 $2 in some locations outside the metro area 19,400 fugitives given clean slate SPECIAL A&E SECTION Articles explore the museum’s exhibits, sensibility, architecture, and operations. Star-studded festivities herald a Phila. museum focused on the Jewish role in American culture. Philadelphia cuts a huge backlog by closing cases and lifting warrants. Some victims are angry. By Craig R. McCoy, Nancy Phillips, and Dylan Purcell INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS Twenty-three years later, the woman still trembles when she remembers the attack. The man pushed his way into her Kensington house at gunpoint, slapped her so hard her glasses shattered, then her to have oral sex. Escaping forced The alleged attacker, FranJustice cisco Sanchez, fled before trial, but the woman says she never gave up hope that one day he would be tried and convicted. “I wished all my life that they would catch him,” she said in a recent interview. “I would go to court to testify and do as much as possible to send the man to jail.” But in a sweeping move to lower Philadelphia’s staggering tally of 47,000 fugitives, top court officials have quietly dropped criminal charges against Sanchez and more than 19,000 other defendants who skipped court years ago. At the urging of Pennsylvania Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille and District Attorney Seth A Break for Phila. Fugitives The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, with the approval of top judges, has withdrawn charges on about 19,400 people who fled court in cases from 1969 to 1998. Most frequent cases withdrawn, by offense. Rank/Crime 1. Drug dealing 2. Theft 3. Prostitution/loitering 4. Drug possession 5. Simple assault Number 3,964 3,553 2,291 1,861 1,766 SOURCES: Court records; Inquirer analysis JOHN TIERNO / Staff Artist Williams, Philadelphia judges closed criminal cases and canceled fugitive bench warrants for thousands of accused drug dealers, drunken drivers, thieves, prostitutes, sex offenders, burglars, and other suspects. The withdrawn cases are from 1998 and earlier. “They were clogging up the system,” said Castille, a former Philadelphia district attorney. “You’re never going to find these people. And if you do, are you going to prosecute See CASES on A22 Obama assures Medvedev on nuclear treaty The START pact is a top priority, he said he told the Russian leader. By Ben Feller ASSOCIATED PRESS CHARLES FOX / Staff Photographer The Golda Och Atrium of the National Museum of American Jewish History. Jerry Seinfeld and Bette Midler will join weekend celebrations for the facility, which opens to the public Nov. 26. Stories of a people By Melissa Dribben Ross, cochair of its board of trustees, is the first to explore how Jews have changed n the 1960s, a popular national ad cam- and been changed, given this country’s paign showed miscellaneous people — unique opportunities and freedoms. a wizened American Indian, a Chinese For 34 years a small collection in nearby elder, Buster Keaton, an Irish cop, an Congregation Mikveh Israel, the museum ocangel-faced African cupies a sparkling new American boy — biting Inside: Celebrities come out 100,000-square-foot buildinto a luscious deli sanding on Independence for the opening celebration. A8. wich, with the caption: Mall, designed by James “You don’t have to be Polshek, architect of the Jewish to love Levy’s real Jewish rye.” Newseum and the Clinton Presidential CenThe gist of that message — that the inte- ter. gration of Jews in America has helped Though not open to the public until shape the culture — is a founding principle Nov. 26, it is celebrating this weekend with of the new National Museum of American a star-studded, headline-grabbing series of Jewish History. The museum, says George See MUSEUM on A6 I INQUIRER STAFF WRITER Go online for museum and exhibit photos, articles, and video. YOKOHAMA, Japan — President Obama, capping a far-flung Asian trip of mixed results, assured Russian President Dimitry A. Medvedev on Sunday that getting the Senate to ratify the new START nuclear treaty is a “top priority” of his administration. “I reiterated my commitment to getting the START treaty done during the lameduck session,” Obama said, noting that Congress returns this week for its postelection session. In talks with Medvedev on the sidelines of the summit of the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), Obama also reiterated his support for bringing Russia into the World Trade Organization, calling Russia See TRIP on A18 WEATHER Bright sunshine and pleasantly warm Sunday, with clouds coming Monday. Full report and exclusive NBC10 EarthWatch forecast, B15. Film office and its fervent leader hail successes, new studio. By Carrie Rickey Greater Philadelphia Film Office Sharon Pinkenson, film office chief since ’92, with director Danny Boyle. When cameraman Garrett Brown chased Sylvester Stallone up the Art Museum stairs in 1975 to bag the signature shot of Rocky (1976), Philadelphia was not on Hollywood’s radar. “We hadn’t a clue how to host a movie,” recalls Brown, a longtime resident of Society Hill. Directors complained of city ineptitude. There was no agency to scout locations, issue permits, or announce that Lorimer Park in Huntingdon Valley, one of several area sites for deer kills. ED HILLE / Staff Photographer Valley Forge joins call to battle deer By Anthony R. Wood INQUIRER STAFF WRITER The deer herd in Valley Forge National Historical Park has multiplied eightfold in 25 years, and officials say a thousand acres of forest are being eaten alive by deer. That is why, to the horror of animal-rights activists, federal sharpshooters with rifles and night-vision goggles aim to cut the herd from more than 1,200 to fewer than 200 during the next four years. The carcasses are to be given to food banks. Citing public-safety concerns, the park See DEER on A23 ADVERTISEMENT High 66, Low 45 Philly, 25 years after screen test INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC A white-tailed deer in electricians were needed. “Filming here was eccentric and inconsistent until Sharon came along and sorted us out.” That would be Sharon Pinkenson, since 1992 the executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, which is celebrating its silver anniversary. On Sunday, screenwriters will gather at the new Sun Center Studios in Chester Township to share scripts set in Philadelphia. At night, the studio will host a birthSee FILM OFFICE on A20 © 2010 Philadelphia Media Network Inc. Call 215-665-1234 or 1-800-222-2765 for home delivery. Ask how you could get a Visa® Prepaid Card up to $250 when you sign up for an HD Triple Play. 1.877.519.8498 Offer ends 12/21/10. New residential customers only. XFINITY not available in all areas. Cards issued by Citibank, N.A. Pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. 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