September 18, 2015 |
WHEN POPE FRANCIS is in town next weekend, all eyes will be on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Some attendees will watch the big guy on Jumbotrons. Others will crane their necks in vain to see him in the flesh. All of them will be carefully monitored by a group of law-enforcement officials hunkered down in a nerve center in South Philly. Yesterday, Inspector Walter Smith gave a guided tour of the Police Department's Real Time Crime Center, a state-of-the-art hub that compiles video feeds, map data and other information from across the city and beyond.
September 18, 2015 |
TWO WEEKS AGO, Sam Elliott, the director of racing at Parx, got a text from Bob Baffert saying "get ready. " Before he began to hyperventilate, Elliott read the rest of the message and then called Baffert. It would really help, Baffert said, if the Pennsylvania Derby could be moved to Sept. 26. In any other year, the Pa. Derby probably would have been scheduled for Sept. 26 anyway. This was not any year, not with Pope Francis coming to town that day. Imagine. The Triple Crown winner this Saturday, the pope next Saturday.
September 17, 2015 |
Philadelphia might soon be able to answer the question: What if you have a million people visit but nobody can get in? Some might think the question relates to the city in general during next week's visit of Pope Francis to Philadelphia. But it specifically applies to at least a half-dozen exhibitions - largely of the "treasures" variety and specifically inspired by the papal visit and the World Meeting of Families - that will be on view for the million-plus visitors city officials are expecting.
September 14, 2015 |
In March, I wrote about Pitman investor Harry Armstrong, who had closed on his latest property purchase by email. It was a first for Armstrong and was considered unusual by a couple of veteran and computer-savvy real estate agents, but it was common for the North Jersey-based title company involved, which works a lot with Freddie Mac selling HUD-foreclosed properties. What I learned later is that the watchdog Consumer Financial Protection Bureau considers these "eClosings" of great benefit to consumers.
September 12, 2015 |
It may sound counterintuitive, but two Philadelphia organizations that favor expanding successful charter schools are calling for changes to make it easier to close charters with poor academic track records. In a position paper scheduled to be released Friday, the Philadelphia Charters for Excellence and the advocacy arm of the Philadelphia School Partnership call on the School Reform Commission and the legislature to streamline the closing of charters that are chronically low performers.
September 10, 2015 |
A FORMER member of the radical Revolutionary Action Movement convicted of bank robbery in the early 1970s, Philadelphia's Hakim Ali spent about three decades in state and federal lockups, but nothing haunts him more than his roughly two years in "the hole" - solitary confinement. Ali, the spiritual leader of Muslim prisoners at the federal penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pa., in the early 1980s, said an inmate work stoppage led to disputes with prison officials, who ultimately retaliated by throwing him into solitary.
September 9, 2015 |
ATLANTIC CITY - Summer ended with a splash here on Labor Day, with packed casino pools, a full beach, and a busy Boardwalk on a perfectly sunny day - giving the struggling resort one more weekend of reprieve before another nearly deserted offseason. It was just as glorious an ending for the Shore in general, capped with a tribute to Philadelphia-bred music legend Chubby Checker in Wildwood, where he first performed "The Twist" live at the Rainbow Club in 1960. From Cape May to Long Beach Island, tourism officials raved about the great weather and the warmer water that helped boost visitation over last year.
September 6, 2015 |
THE 76ERS are close to signing free-agent guard Kendall Marshall to a multiyear contract, Yahoo Sports reported. The deal would fully guarantee his salary for the 2015-16 season, sources told the website. Marshall has been rehabilitating a torn anterior cruciate ligament in Chapel Hill, N.C., the past few months and worked out in Philadelphia this week. Marshall is expected to be able to play sometime during the first half of the season, NBA sources said. Marshall, 24, tore his ACL on Jan. 15 with the Milwaukee Bucks and has surgery in early February.
September 5, 2015 |
The fall, after summer vacations and the kids are back in school, historically is a good time to snag bargain airfares - at least on certain competitive routes. "The first week of September is typically a good time to look for a ticket because the summer madness is over," said Peter Abzug, spokesman for the Airlines Reporting Corp. (ARC). Online travel sites, such as Airfarewatchdog, Kayak, and Expedia, on Thursday showed round-trip fares on a handful of airlines as low as $89 round-trip from Philadelphia International Airport to Dallas-Fort Worth for flights on Wednesday, Sept.
September 4, 2015 |
Back-to-school activities were disrupted for at least one Bucks County school district Wednesday due to the late-summer heat wave. With temperatures reaching around 90 degrees near Quakertown, the Pennridge School District announced it would close its seven elementary schools early on Wednesday and Thursday, according to a post on the district's website. The schools are to close between 1 and 1:15 p.m., the district said. The Bucks County Intermediate Unit, which provides educational services to special-needs students across the county, also announced it would have early dismissals Wednesday and Thursday for its full-day programming at Samuel Everitt Elementary School.