December 11, 2014 |
It's a sad day in Philadelphia when a firefighter is killed, even though it's accepted that facing death is part of the job. Added to the list of the fallen Tuesday was Joyce Craig-Lewis, 36, who died in the smoky haze of a basement fire inside a West Oak Lane home. She becomes the first female member of the Philadelphia Fire Department to die in the line of duty. An investigation is ongoing to determine how Craig-Lewis became isolated and trapped in the basement. Fire Commissioner Derrick Sawyer said basement fires are particularly challenging.
December 11, 2014 |
WHEN THEY are older, and showing their own children photo albums that have far too many blank spaces, Mehki Donte Green and Laylani Lewis will say that their mother died a hero on a soggy, bitterly cold day in Philadelphia. Their mom, veteran Philadelphia Firefighter Joyce Craig-Lewis, lost her life while battling a hellacious blaze in West Oak Lane in the early morning darkness yesterday, earning a heartbreaking place in the city's history as the first female firefighter to die in the line of duty.
November 21, 2014 |
CHRONICLING the recording of new music using long-lost lyrics by Bob Dylan, tonight's Showtime special "Lost Songs: The Basement Tapes Continued" will have its biggest appeal to the boomer-era fans taking in Mr. D's shows at the Academy of Music this weekend. But the target demo could be lowered by the far more "current" artists who took on this time-warping collaborative mission - Marcus Mumford (Mumford and Sons), Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Rhiannon Giddens (Carolina Chocolate Drops)
October 10, 2014 |
DEJA ALVAREZ has lost count of the times she has come to the Criminal Justice Center on Filbert Street. "Oh my God, I can't even remember anymore," she said, before settling on four. Each time, the case against the man accused of stabbing and dismembering her friend Diamond Williams, on July 14, 2013, was continued for one reason or another. Mostly because lawyers and doctors were trying to figure out whether Charles Nolan Sargent was sane enough to stand trial in the brutal slaying of a transgender woman whose grandmother said was born Mark William Woods.
September 12, 2014
BASEMENTS, basically by definition, are the ugly and unloved stepchildren of any tiered structure. A damp, dank place to stack cardboard boxes full of ex-lovers' stuff. A resting place for never-used exercise equipment. A sunlight-free ecosystem perfect for the cultivation of cobwebs and dust bunnies. An eminently unsafe hiding place for psychotic clowns armed with blood-stained garden equipment. (Just me?) But none of these subterranean stereotypes, even the totally rational killer-clown one, apply to what lies beneath the Reading Terminal Market, one of Philadelphia's most recognized historical and culinary contributions.
September 7, 2014 |
Art is imitating life here. As I write this, I'm waiting for our utility to replace a 1924 steel gas line that was found to be leaking. So the gas is off for a couple of hours, and a three-man crew is digging up the street in front of my house to fix the problem, thanks to a detection unit that roams our street once a year, as required by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities. What happens between visits? Detection is up to you, and the utilities have made it easier.
August 7, 2014 |
Janet Monge knew for years that the Penn Museum had quite the skeleton in its closet, a box of bones supinely displayed, carefully encased in wax, wrapped in burlap, and positioned on a board. "Somebody took great pains to take a very fragmentary skeleton and bring it here," said Monge, the curator who oversees the physical anthropology section of the museum in University City. "Therefore, it must be important. " There was no catalog card or identifying information. So the skeleton sat obscurely for years in a ground-floor storage room at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
July 13, 2014 |
Jon and Alexis Sherman are expecting their first baby, and after heavy rains earlier this year, they had to hurry to waterproof and finish their basement in advance of the little one's arrival. "We bought the house as our first home, and we didn't want to overstretch ourselves," said Jon Sherman, a filmmaker at two companies in Philadelphia - Video City, of which he is president, and Expo Films, which he co-founded. (Alexis Sherman is assistant director of human resources at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine.)
June 15, 2014 |
Q uestion: My son and daughter-in-law purchased a twin ranch home with a finished basement in the Northeast in September. The recent heavy rains invaded their home and caused a great deal of damage to the back wall in both the basement and the bedroom above. They called an adjuster, who cut out the damaged walls and removed carpet, and brought in fans and a dehumidifier. All materials were saved for the insurance company to see. The adjuster said he would file the insurance claim for them, and that potential causes of the water intrusion could be the bedroom window and the back patio, put in by a previous owner.
April 9, 2014 |
Two Philadelphia men received long prison sentences Monday after they pleaded guilty to fatally shooting an 80-year-old man during a burglary at his Southwest Philadelphia home in which they stole a laptop. Common Pleas Court Judge Rose Marie DeFino-Nastasi sentenced Sean Johnson, 20, to 35 to 70 years in prison, and Aaron Pitts, 22, to 20 to 40 years. A jury was about to be chosen Monday for the two men's trial. Instead, the pair pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, burglary, robbery, and related offenses in the May 2012 slaying of Joseph Fleming, 80, of the 6600 block of Yocum Street.