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REAL_ESTATE
May 11, 2015 | By Erin Arvedlund, Inquirer Staff Writer
Three siblings from the Lawncrest neighborhood of Northeast Philadelphia all bought their first homes in the last year - an anecdotal sign that the first-time buyer's market might be recovering since the financial crisis. Jillian, Bridget and Richard Slavin - all three of them millennials, born in 1983, 1985, and 1987, respectively - purchased houses that reflect the different styles and paths their generation is taking. Jillian Slavin bought a house in Lower Bucks County in May 2014.
NEWS
May 11, 2015 | Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Culture Writer
When it comes to insuring a healthy future for arts and culture in Philadelphia, does it really matter who becomes the next mayor? The answer is important because, like a prospector who discovers a gold mine then watches others pull riches from it, the Philadelphia arts and culture community has been looking around and wondering when its turn will come. Center City is a boomtown, its vibrant street life and desirable real estate in large part a consequence of arts pioneers taking a chance on new facilities and expanded missions more than two decades ago. Yet even as the city's riches have grown, support for arts and culture groups has not kept pace.
REAL_ESTATE
May 11, 2015 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
It didn't matter when Philadelphia's median home price was $59,000. Back in 1990, the children of longtime owners of rowhouses in the river wards and West Philadelphia walked away from those properties when the last parent passed away. The houses weren't worth the taxes, and no one was interested in them except those who broke the locks and stripped the insides of copper and anything else they thought was worth a buck. Some neighborhoods didn't even have real-estate agents. If someone's son or daughter needed a house and a neighbor had died, the transaction was done off the grid but recorded with the city.
NEWS
May 11, 2015 | By Julia Terruso, Inquirer Staff Writer
Pope Francis, on his first papal trip abroad, frazzled his security detail in Rio de Janeiro by pushing his open-air Popemobile so deep into the frenzy of adoring fans - some of whom were able to touch him - that the vehicle was stopped dead, completely surrounded by the swarm. Francis later apologized to Vatican and Brazilian security but when asked whether he worried for his safety, shook his head and smiled: "I'm not aware of being afraid. " When the most popular pope in recent history - who has a tendency to stray from security protocol - comes to Philadelphia for a two-day visit in September, the city will be on its highest alert.
NEWS
May 8, 2015
WHILE THERE are many challengers for at-large Council seats, only two district races are contested: the 7th, which includes Hunting Park, Feltonville, Frankford and Juniata Park, served by incumbent Maria Quinones-Sanchez; and the 2nd, which includes parts of Center City, South Philadelphia, and Southwest Philadelphia including Point Breeze and Grays Ferry, served by incumbent Kenyatta Johnson. Our endorsements: The 7th: Maria Quinones-Sanchez The full ugliness of the city's Democratic machine was on full display when party leaders in February bypassed one of City Council's more competent members and opted instead to back Manny Morales for the 7th District.
BUSINESS
May 8, 2015 | By Joseph N. DiStefano, Inquirer Staff Writer
Center City real estate broker Allan Domb hasn't been advertising himself under his familiar title, the "Condo King," in his run for City Council as an at-large Democrat. Backed by a political action committee, he's buying TV time and print advertising, and enjoys the backing of energetic ex-Mayor Ed Rendell. "Alan has big ideas to revitalize our city," the ad promises. Then it lists three examples: 1) "Allan will donate his salary to our struggling schools. " That's Idea One - to shave a $127,000 salary compared with the city's billions in fiscal needs?
NEWS
May 8, 2015 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-854-4172
AFTER YEARS of talk by elected officials, city boosters and everyday citizens about how great it would be to have a green park on a portion of the abandoned Reading Railroad elevated viaduct, the idea appears to be on the fast track. City Council's Committee on Public Property and Public Works will hold a hearing Monday to discuss a bill introduced last week by Councilman Mark Squilla that would authorize the city to acquire 1/4-mile of the rail property now owned by SEPTA. "We think it's a great project, not only for the neighborhood but for the entire city," Squilla said yesterday.
NEWS
May 4, 2015 | Becky Batcha, Daily News Staff Writer batchab@phillynews.com, 215-854-5757
  Like Hillary Clinton, but minus the Chipotle stop, the Rev. Rodger Broadley has been hitting the road on a listening tour. In his case, the itinerary covers the Episcopal Church USA's five-county Delaware Valley diocese. As co-chairman of the denomination's Bishop Search Committee, the Center City cleric is riding the church circuit to hold a series of "Holy Conversations" with parishioners that pose this question: "What gifts and experiences should our new bishop have?"
REAL_ESTATE
May 4, 2015 | By Erin Arvedlund, Inquirer Staff Writer
If you want to rent out your home to tourists and other strangers, you have two big-ticket opportunities: the World Meeting of Families in September and the Democratic National Convention in July next year. Lodging for the World Meeting of Families will be in high demand. An estimated 1.5 million people are expected for the Roman Catholic gathering on Sept. 22-27, highlighted by a visit by Pope Francis on the last two days, said Donna Crilley Farrell, executive director, World Meeting of Families-Philadelphia 2015.
NEWS
May 4, 2015 | BY JULIE SHAW, Daily News Staff Writer shawj@phillynews.com, 215-854-2592
A COMMON PLEAS judge yesterday sentenced a Center City pimp who chopped up a man's body with an ax, then dumped the victim's torso in the Schuylkill to 22 to 44 years in state prison. The sentence was negotiated by the prosecution and defense in exchange for Keith Tolbert's April 9 guilty plea to third-degree murder, abuse of a corpse and conspiracy to commit robbery in the 2013 death of victim Francis Zarzycki, 40, of Somerton. The day after the guilty plea, Judge J. Scott O'Keefe heard victim-impact and other statements during the first part of a sentencing hearing.
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