October 4, 2014 |
Robert P. Thompson, 94, of Huntingdon Valley, a lumber company owner who traveled the world in search of exotic hardwoods to be made into high-end products, died Wednesday, Sept. 24, of heart failure at Abington Memorial Hospital. Mr. Thompson spent his entire career as president of Thompson Mahogany Co., the Philadelphia firm started by his great-grandfather in 1843. Beginning in 1946 and until retiring in the mid-1990s, he traveled to Africa and South America seeking out mahogany and arranging for it to be shipped into the ports of Philadelphia and Camden.
October 3, 2014 |
Brookfield Asset Management, which seemingly came out of nowhere to win the bankruptcy auction for Atlantic City's Revel Casino Hotel, will have two key advantages over the property's current owners. First, the Toronto real estate investment firm with $200 billion in assets will pay $110 million, just 4.5 percent of the $2.4 billion cost of building the soon-to-be-former Revel. That means debt is not likely to be a significant factor. Second, Brookfield already owns two other casinos, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas and Atlantis Paradise Island in the Bahamas, giving it a Rolodex of customers to entice to its reopened Atlantic City gambling hall with special deals.
September 20, 2014 |
Two Connecticut gas utilities owned by the would-be buyer of Philadelphia Gas Works scored below average for customer satisfaction in their inaugural evaluations by J.D. Power & Associates, the market research firm. Connecticut Natural Gas and Southern Connecticut Gas, owned by UIL Holdings Corp. of New Haven, were ranked slightly below the average score for 12 medium-size Eastern gas utilities in J.D. Power's annual survey. The UIL utilities scored well on corporate citizenship and field service, but lagged in billing/payment and customer service, according to John Hazen, a senior director with the research firm.
September 20, 2014 |
Steve Coburn, a lifelong westerner, had never been to Philadelphia before this week, so he put his pearl-gray Stetson on his head and took his wife, Carolyn, to see the Liberty Bell on Wednesday. The line was pretty long and stretched down the block, so Coburn went around the side to see whether there might be another way in. Not really, but he came to a glass wall and right there was the Liberty Bell, and they both got a good, long look at it. "People were standing in line a long time to get their picture taken next to it, but I saw it. I even saw the crack," Coburn said.
September 18, 2014 |
Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner California Chrome, ready to race Saturday for the first time since his ill-fated bid for the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes, is the even-money favorite in the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby. Is facing Chrome right off a layoff the best shot for his opponents? That would make sense. "It does leave him a little vulnerable in my book," said Ron Winchell, owner of Tapiture, also running in the Pennsylvania Derby, and Untapable, the favorite in the $1 million Cotillion.
September 16, 2014 |
For months, the peculiar saga of a downtown Swedesboro liquor shop owner scaring away customers - many of them shouted down with racial epithets in a manner reminiscent of a bygone era - has been the talk of the borough. Some were shooed from the store without the booze (or, in one case, the Coke) they had come to buy. Others were locked out. A handwritten note on the door warned patrons: "The clerk does not want to talk. " Complaints about store owner Mario "Mike" Falciani's outbursts led the mayor to call him a "known racist.
September 15, 2014 |
How do you get a giant creature named after you? The world's largest dinosaur, Dreadnoughtus schrani - Schran's Fearless - honors Adam Schran , founder of a Philadelphia software firm, who looks and sounds as if he is still a student at brainy Haverford College, where he graduated in 1998. Schran's name was pinned on by the dinosaur's discoverer, the rugged, precise scholar Schran calls "Dr. Ken. " That would be Drexel paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara , whose team found fossil bones of the 65-ton creature in Argentina's barren Patagonia region, shipped them home to Philly, and put scholars to work decoding them in his top-floor lab at Papadakis Hall.
September 12, 2014 |
Fritz Blank, owner and executive chef of the legendary Deux Cheminées restaurant in Center City, died Tuesday, Sept. 9, in Thailand. Records and reports indicated he was in his early to mid-70s. Mr. Blank, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease, died in Bang Saray, said Lynne Farrington, rare-book curator at the University of Pennsylvania, to which Mr. Blank donated thousands of cookbooks and other culinary-related material. Born and raised in South Jersey, Mr. Blank had a science career that started in agriculture and led to his becoming chief microbiologist at Crozer-Chester Medical Center.
September 11, 2014 |
A FORMER EXOTIC DANCER on Monday sued Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, accusing him of sexual assault after a June 2009 incident in a local hotel. Jana Weckerly, 27, from Ardmore, Okla., said Jones fondled her genitals, forced her to touch or rub his penis, and required she watch as the 71-year-old Jones received oral sex from another woman. Weckerly is seeking more than $1 million in punitive damages. She was not available for comment yesterday. Her Dallas attorney, Thomas Bowers, said his client is in counseling and is taking medicine to help her cope with trauma from the incident.
September 10, 2014 |
An investor from Australia, who co-owns a vineyard Down Under and three restaurants outside London, is now turning his attention to a restaurant district anticipated to take root in Burlington City. Adrian Thomas, who currently lives on a farm in New Hope, Pa., purchased the iconic Cafe Gallery in Burlington for $750,000 late last month. The price includes a liquor license, he said last week during an interview inside the 35-year-old restaurant on the Delaware River. The French restaurant closed nearly a year ago, striking fear in local officials who were in the midst of making ambitious plans to revitalize the city.