May 13, 2014 |
The house is a wreck, all broken windows and boarded doors, soon to be torn down. But Annie Hunt remembers when the home was alive - a place of light and laughter, a haven for a mother and son. The West Philadelphia property belonged to a strong and determined woman, Hunt's aunt Leona Richardson. As a teenager in the late 1930s, Richardson struck out alone from the segregated South, leaving small-town Louisiana and making her way to Baltimore. When World War II broke out, she got a job in a defense plant as a welder.
July 18, 2014 |
IN THE WEEKS leading up to Laura Araujo's slaying, Jeremiah Jakson's life seemed to be spiraling out of control. Or he was on the cusp of greatness. It depended on the day and the hour, but it was all on display on Jakson's Facebook page, a constant barrage of selfies, street cliches and grandiose delusions. The spotlight-grabbing narcissist is the polar opposite of Araujo, 23, a shy college grad who never wanted much attention. "Im a good dude at heart but im done being a good dude," Jakson wrote on June 26. Jakson, 22, was a security guard with AlliedBarton Security Services, but was fired last month for performance reasons.
November 12, 2013 |
WHEN RYAN KUCK pulls up in front of the Older Adult Sunshine Center in West Philadelphia in his converted bread truck each Wednesday, he's like the ice-cream man on a 95-degree day. Seniors line up to cradle Kuck's cucumbers, inspect the onions and pore over the potatoes. "These are people who are used to cooking," said Sandi Ramos, the center's director. "They're used to living off the land. They want to get all the parts and pieces that go in it. " Kuck's truck - better known as the West Philly Fresh Food Hub - gives them the opportunity to do that in an area that he and Ramos consider underserved.
February 28, 2014 |
ARTIST James Dupree says that despite the city's "You're gonna love the arts in Philly" slogan, Philadelphia hasn't been showing him any love. Instead, Dupree said, he has been confronted with pain and despair over a continuing legal struggle with the city to keep his studio space in Mantua. The city Redevelopment Authority wants to take his massive, 8,600 square-foot studio building, on Haverford Avenue near 36th Street, to make room for a supermarket and parking lot. His studio is filled with 5,000 works of art - including wildly colorful pieces, mixed-media jewelry boxes with feathers, and a wall installation showing how the city helps developers take property from low-income homeowners.
December 23, 1996 |
There was a time when Franklin Kelly had to sorta bribe kids to stay after school for a little intellectual extracurricular activity. Gave them juice, punch, TastyKakes, an occasional pizza. No more. Now they look forward to it. Look forward to putting a move or two on their opponent. To backing them into a corner with nowhere to turn. Most important, they've developed a deeper interest in school, their studies and themselves. Kelly's kids are members of the McMichael Elementary School chess team, a squad Kelly whipped up almost three years ago to give young boys and girls an opportunity to compete in an activity that doesn't require athletic ability.
March 15, 1991 |
For someone like Rondell Turner, having to absorb elbows and shoves from some of the taller and beefier stars in Public League basketball did not prove very intimidating. Turner has been fighting and scrambling for much of his life. Turner, a 6-6 sophomore from University City, has lived for the past year in Mount Airy, with his foster mother, Peaches Kirkland. Before that, in about a three-year period, he bounced from a group home in South Philly to another in suburban Flourtown to another in Mantua.
November 25, 2013 |
IF YOU WERE to drive past Dupree Studios on a bombed-out block in Mantua, you'd never imagine that a wonderland lies behind its nondescript red facade. An empty, weedy lot sits at one end of the block. And the handful of decrepit homes near Dupree Studios look like they'll collapse the next time a school bus rumbles past. So you might think it's no big deal that the building owned by artist James Dupree was seized last December by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, which condemned a two-block area through eminent domain for commercial development.
June 2, 2014 |
It was a grand and glorious funeral, one that drew hundreds of people onto the streets to honor not a person but a house. There were tears, more than a couple. But also joy, and music and memories, all in celebration of 3711 Melon Street in West Philadelphia. The house began life 142 years ago as a stack of bricks and lumber, and was set to end it on Saturday as a dusty pile of the same, after a ritual demolition. The empty, abandoned home, its roof failing and back wall bulging, was the centerpiece of "Funeral for a Home," an arts project that paid tribute to one home as a way to recognize them all - in a city where demolitions have become commonplace.
January 15, 1988 |
Luckily for University City's basketball team, Corey Shinholster is better at producing than he is at predicting. "Coming into this season," he said, "I was figuring on getting maybe 11 points and six rebounds a game. " Try approximately doubling that, at least yesterday. Shinholster, a muscular 6-4 forward who patrols the baseline in coach Steve Kane's system, shot 9-for-16 and 8-for-8 for 26 points and swept 13 rebounds as the Jaguars thumped host George Washington, 85-65, to run their overall record to 11-3.
October 18, 1989 |
June Scott went to heroic lengths to keep her grandchildren from harm. A year ago, she traveled to Detroit to fetch two of them after a crack- crazed brute murdered their mother in a park. Then three weeks ago, she rescued three more from another of her daughters, who left her children for days at a time to satisfy her drug habit. Scott fed and clothed them. She put them in school. On Sunday, she bought them a puppy named Roscoe. And for their safety, she got a battery-powered smoke detector on Monday from the Philadelphia Injury and Prevention Program.