December 1, 2015 |
A WOMAN dressed in black from top to bottom appeared between a crack in the front door of a Bustleton townhouse, and when she heard her husband's name spoken she placed her hand over her mouth, shuffled backward and sat down on a foyer step, repeating it over and over. "Oh, Grigory. Grigory," Valentina Klokishner said yesterday, tears running down beneath dark sunglasses. "Such a sweet, beautiful man. Everyone loved him, but I loved him the most. " On Black Friday, Grigory Klokishner, 74, and Alex Osadchy, 66, also of Philadelphia, were among seven men tossed into frigid waters near the Manasquan Inlet separating Monmouth and Ocean counties when a large swell capsized their pontoon boat.
November 22, 2015 |
I've been reinsulating some spaces around our house that the very cold winters of recent years have shown are not as tight as they should be. One thing I've been doing - thanks to helpful advice over the years from Hap Haven, the Germantown-based energy expert - is taking this important preliminary step: Closing any gaps before insulating. Use foams and sealants to eliminate any penetration to the outside, such as at the ends of joists at the front and back of the house. Sealing the gaps - you can tuck white or black plastic bags into the cracks (clear ones decompose)
November 6, 2015 |
IMAGINE BEING locked in a dank, dark basement. Starved. Forced to defecate and urinate in a shared bucket. Beaten. Imagine having your two children, whom you had with a person you cared about, snatched away from you. Imagine being moved from state to state, held captive - all because you are mentally disabled and your captor wants your Social Security benefits. This happened to Tamara Breeden, of Philadelphia. For 10 years. From 2001 to 2011. Yesterday, after her captor, Linda Ann Weston, was sentenced to life in prison plus 80 years, Breeden, 33, happily told reporters: "I'm free!"
October 26, 2015 |
The old bandleader spends most days in his basement now, alone among his memories, his black-and-white photographs. The ones from Palumbo's, the legendary Italian Market restaurant and nightclub that burned down in 1994, and where the bandleader went from a teenage sax player to a man whose name was no longer singular. Where Carmen DiPipi of South Clarion Street became Carmen Dee and His Orchestra. But now the photos are all that's left. The last member of the original lineup died last winter.
October 7, 2015 |
The woman who pleaded guilty to enslaving and torturing disabled adults in a Tacony basement now wants to change her plea to not guilty, according to a handwritten motion filed with the court. Linda Weston agreed last month to accept a life term plus 80 years after admitting to all 196 federal counts filed against her, including charges of murder, kidnapping, sex trafficking, hate crimes, forced labor, and benefits fraud. The deal spared her a potential death sentence. Now she has asked the court to change her plea and to hold a competency hearing to evaluate her mental health.
September 11, 2015 |
Linda Weston - the Philadelphia woman charged with enslaving and torturing disabled adults for years in a Tacony basement so she could steal their benefit checks - pleaded guilty Wednesday in a deal that spared her a potential death sentence. Instead, she agreed to accept a life term plus 80 years after admitting to all 196 federal counts filed against her including charges of murder, kidnapping, sex trafficking, hate crimes, forced labor, and benefits fraud. Weston, 55, appeared addled and confused through much of Wednesday's hearing, at one point loudly proclaiming she wanted to enter a "not-guilty plea" before quietly reversing herself.
August 10, 2015 |
SAN DIEGO - Nick Williams and Jorge Alfaro garnered much attention as the key position players the Phillies received from the Texas Rangers for Cole Hamels. Both players are intriguing prospects and important building blocks for the rebuilding franchise. It might be easy to forget, however, that one of their 2014 teammates in double-A Frisco is already playing for the Phillies, and doing so quite effectively. Odubel Herrera, the Phillies' Rule 5 draft pick-turned-everyday centerfielder, continues to produce regardless of where interim manager Pete Mackanin pencils him into the lineup.
June 16, 2015 |
The first time Fallon Postell remembers water cascading down the 5100 block of Wyalusing Avenue in West Philadelphia was 1994. She was 11 and, still in her flannel pajamas, she followed her mother out to dry land. In 2004, it took Fire Department boats to rescue her and her family from their flooded block. On Sunday, Postell, now 32, awoke to find yet another deluge headed toward her door. "All I could think was 'Oh, no. Not again,' " she said. An early-morning water-main break sent at least 10 million gallons gushing down the block, buckling pavement and damaging about 40 homes and more than a dozen vehicles.
June 15, 2015 |
If someone had told me three months ago that the hundreds of thousands of books I saw sitting unused and going to waste in the basement of Philadelphia School District headquarters would by now be almost fully catalogued, ready to be shipped to the kids who need them, I probably wouldn't have believed it. I might have even laughed. The task at hand seemed simple enough: There were a lot of unused books and a lot of kids who need books. Sort the books and give the kids any they could use. But in a drowning district, nothing's simple.