May 22, 2015 |
It was a Philadelphia underdog story: Irish American son of a firefighter from the old neighborhood, dismissed at first, captures Democratic nomination for mayor. To some Democrats, former City Councilman Jim Kenney's landslide win also echoes nationally as the latest example of a progressive big-city tide - on the order of the 2013 victories of Bill de Blasio in New York and union laborer Marty Walsh in Boston. These mayors and others were elected by broad, cross-racial coalitions, on promises to address the economic frustrations of workers and to end racial disparities in law enforcement.
May 20, 2015 |
A chubby, happy harbor seal has been spotted in the Rancocas Creek, apparently lured by herring, says a wildlife expert who assists stranded and displaced marine animals. "It's not unusual for the seals to follow the herring in the spring and to not know how far upstream they are going," said Bob Schoelkopf founder of the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, N.J. "As long as they find food, they're happy. When they run out of food, they go back down" into Delaware Bay and out into the ocean.
May 18, 2015 |
GREENWOOD, Miss. - The 2011 film version of Kathryn Stockett's bestseller, The Help , was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture, which cheerfully prompted Greenwood to create a new tourist attraction: The Help Tour. This lovely little Mississippi Delta city (pop. 16,000) has long been wrapped in blues heritage and Civil Rights history. Markers for both the Mississippi Blues Trail and the Mississippi Freedom Trail dot the landscape. Now, Greenwood is drawing on its cinematic connections, as well, by pointing visitors on self-guided driving tours of the local sites where The Help was filmed.
May 18, 2015 |
CLARKSDALE, Miss. - In the 1930s, a mediocre young guitar player stopped at a rural Mississippi crossroads at midnight to sell his soul to the devil. In return, Satan gifted him with wondrous skill. So goes the legend of the real-life Robert Johnson, seminal bluesman - "the master" in worshipper Eric Clapton's words. Today, Johnson's name beckons from roadside markers along a magical meander called the Mississippi Blues Trail. Wending through not only the Mississippi Delta and environs but down through the decades, back more than a century to the birth of the blues, the path was trod as well by Big Joe Williams, David "Honeyboy" Edwards, Muddy Waters, Charley Patton, Johnny Young, B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, and so many other icons-to-be looking for a way out of the dim-lit, whisky-soaked juke joints and the destitution of the Deep South.
May 14, 2015 |
IT'S ALWAYS NICE when somebody does your work for you, so a big shout-out to Travis Sawchik. At varying points over the last year, we've used a Phillies opponent as a prism through which to view their ongoing efforts to return the organization to a state of perennial competitiveness. Today, we turn our attention to the Pirates, for a variety of reasons. First, they are in town, which automatically makes them the most interesting baseball team in the city. Second, they are one of the ascendant franchises that has stepped up to fill the void left by the Phillies' self-implosion.
May 11, 2015 |
MURAL ARTIST Eurhi Jones has turned the north wall of Bodine High School into a gigantic ocean wave, created a spectacular jungle on the exterior of the Philadelphia Zoo parking garage and painted a wildlife-rich "Walk Through a Pennsylvania Forest" at the Please Touch Museum. Now, she has turned her eye-popping palette and her passion for nature into a 10-block, 50-artworks trail that winds through her own neighborhood, Manayunk, and leads people to the new Venice Island Performing Arts & Recreation Center on the Schuylkill River.
April 2, 2015 |
Jessica Hughes throws righthanded and bats lefthanded, just like her brother. The Washington Township High School senior grew up wanting to emulate her brother's play in baseball. What she didn't know was that her admiration for him would later push her to become one of South Jersey's best softball players. "I like making him proud," Hughes said of Shaine, who is a redshirt freshman infielder at Monmouth. "Growing up and watching him play, it just made me always want to play. " Hughes was raised in a baseball-loving family.
April 2, 2015 |
In just eight months, he's become one of Drexel University's most popular staffers. If he's not meeting with students in his West Philadelphia office, he's making the rounds of university events: Study Palooza in Center City, a meet-and-greet at the law school, boot camp in the Recreation Center, where he also has his office. "He loves his job," said Kathryn Formica, the university's coordinator of student fitness and wellness, of her office mate. "I think he's going for tenure. " This new employee is a dog, a Carolina blend with some shiba inu and corgi mixed in. His name is Jersey, and as his office nameplate attests, he is a certified therapy dog. Jersey is one of the first on-site, year-round canine therapists at a U.S. college or university, Drexel says.
March 21, 2015 |
The Philadelphia police officers involved in the shooting death of Brandon Tate-Brown will not face criminal charges, District Attorney Seth Williams announced Thursday. "In this case, the facts show a tragedy, a terrible tragedy, but not a crime," Williams said at an afternoon news conference, saying his conclusion came after a three-month investigation. An attorney for the family of the 25-year-old Frankford man said questions remained in the case and indicated he would file suit.
March 12, 2015 |
CLEARWATER, Fla. - Six days ago, the Phillies were pinning their hopes of being a surprise, sleeper team on the left arm of a man who hadn't thrown in a game since July. After suffering a setback, there's a decent chance Cliff Lee won't pitch at all in 2015. So now the Phillies are hoping a guy who is coming off two surgeries and has logged all of 12 major league innings since 2012 can fill in for Lee. And the one pitcher in camp who is older and who has pitched in more games than Lee. And the International Man of Mystery, too, for good measure.