City Commissioners Office Staffer Slain Outside Mother’s House | carlballou | carlballou

Leonard Boyer III, a staffer in the Philadelphia City Commissioners office, was shot to death outside his North Philadelphia home on Saturday. He was 25.

Per police reports, Boyer was killed on the 600 block of North 12th Street — the Daily News says he was outside of his mother’s North Philadelphia home. He was shot in the back and head by two unidentified men. Read more »

MLB Clears Ryan Howard in Drug Probe

Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard | Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Major League Baseball announced today it had cleared Phillies slugger Ryan Howard in its investigation into the Al Jazeera performance-enhancing drug report released late last year.

The international media giant’s report into the world of sports doping used an undercover athlete to secretly record people peddling PEDs. It linked Howard, two-time Super Bowl champ Peyton Manning, Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman and others to edge-enhancing drugs. MLB cleared Zimmerman today also; the NFL is investigating other football players named in the report.

“This thorough investigation did not find any violations of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program by either Howard of Zimmerman,” MLB said in its statement. “Both Howard and Zimmerman fully cooperated with the Office of the Commissioner’s investigation.” Charlie Sly, the pharmacist secretly recorded in the report who accused the two baseball players, did not cooperate with MLB. Read more »

I Flew Over Atlantic City in a World War II-Era Plane

View of the New Jersey beach and Atlantic Ocean from a GEICO Skytypers plane

The view from my plane over the Atlantic Ocean | Photo: Dan McQuade

I can admit, I was terrified.

I knew I would be OK. My pilot was Bob Johansen, a Navy veteran who told me he’d been an aviation enthusiast his whole life and got his pilot’s license as a teenager. He flew for TWA, and began his career with the GEICO Skytypers in 1977. Brenda Little, who does marketing for the Skytypers, told me “Bob is the best pilot on the team.” He won FAA’s highest civilian honor, the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award, given to those with a record of 50 years of safe flight.

The plane was about 70 years old. When Johansen helped me strap on my life vest and parachute, he told me I wouldn’t need it. “This thing is like a tank,” he said, tapping the plane’s body. “Any problems, I’d rather take my chances landing in it. Unless the wing falls off or it’s on fire, we won’t be jumping out of it.”

But when we took off in our SNJ-2, first developed in the 1930s and used to train Navy pilots during World War II, I was scared. It’s not that I thought we were going to crash. It’s that I didn’t know what to expect. Once we got over the ocean along Atlantic City, though, the feeling was breathtaking. I got it. The canopy was open. The wind finally gave me some relief from the heat. I looked up at the sky and exhaled. This was incredible. Read more »

Here Is Donald Trump’s First Philly General Election Ad

If you’ve watched TV this summer, no doubt you’ve seen a series of ads from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. (The best is an old clip from David Letterman about Trump’s clothing line being made in China and Bangladesh.) But, until now, Trump has not aired any general election ads on TV.

He’ll begin now. NBC News reports today Trump begins running ads in four states. He’s spending $4 million overall, with $984,000 in Pennsylvania and $530,000 in Philadelphia. This is a fraction of the $61 million the Clinton camp has spent on ads so far. Read more »

Wolf Nominates Bruce Beemer to Replace Kathleen Kane As Attorney General


Gov. Tom Wolf has nominated Bruce Beemer, the current inspector general of Pennsylvania, to replace Kathleen Kane as attorney general. Kane, convicted earlier this week of perjury and obstruction of justice, resigned yesterday from the position.

“Bruce Beemer has a depth of experience, he has the respect of the employees of the Office of the Attorney General, and I have no doubt that he will make this transition seamless and smooth,” Wolf said in a release. “I have spoken with Republican and Democratic leaders in the Senate, and we have agreed that Bruce is the right fit for Attorney General at this time, and I am confident that he will be confirmed expeditiously.” Read more »

Rendell: Disband Clinton Foundation (If Hillary Wins)


Ed Rendell has been an enjoyable sideshow this campaign season: He’s essentially retired from politics — he’s not going to run for anything again — so he’s pretty much allowed to say whatever he wants. He can go off message. He can say “there are some things that Donald Trump talks about that do have a germ of reason or a germ of truth,” or mention on a radio show the FBI’s findings have damaged Clinton, or he can tell Buzzfeed the Democrats are $10 million short for the DNC. Rendell has commented several times to Buzzfeed, in fact! He is the world’s oldest millennial.

Today, Rendell is talking to the New York Daily News about the Clinton Foundation. Read more »

So, Is Olympic Silver Medalist Nia Ali From Philly or Jersey?

Nia Ali after placing second in the women's 100m hurdles final in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Estadio Olimpico Joao Havelange.

Nia Ali after placing second in the women’s 100m hurdles final in the Rio 2016 Summer Olympic Games at Estadio Olimpico Joao Havelange.

Last night, Nia Ali took the silver medal in an all-American sweep of the women’s 100-meter hurdles. Brianna Rollins won gold, and Kristi Castlin took bronze. It was the first time three U.S. women had swept any Olympic track event.

But where is Nia Ali from? Various sources have her from Norristown (Wikipedia), Philadelphia ( or Pleasantville, New Jersey (The Press of Atlantic City). To make things more confusing, Ali’s USA Track and Field bio says she graduated in 2006 from West Catholic High School, while other sources note she’s a graduate of Pleasantville High School.

So what gives? Read more »

Here’s What the Phillies Would Look Like if They Were Beatles

Lost in the hub-bub over Chase Utley’s return to Philadelphia was this: It was also Beatles night! On August 16th, 1966, the Beatles played JFK Stadium — which once stood catty-corner from Citizens Bank Park, roughly.

That show cost $5 and got you 11 songs. The stadium was about a third full. The Beatles would only play nine more shows.

The Phillies brought out Philadelphia’s Official Designated Beatles Stand-In™, Larry Kane, and Beatles tribute band Britishmania. The Phillies’ in-stadium crew also photoshopped the Phillies to be wearing mop-top Beatles hair. Presented below, a collection of those edits. Read more »

Did Phillies Fans Cheer Too Much for Chase Utley?

Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley waves to the crowd after he hit a grand slam against the Philadelphia Phillies during the seventh inning at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday, August 16, 2016.

Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley waves to the crowd after he hit a grand slam against the Philadelphia Phillies during the seventh inning at Citizens Bank Park on Tuesday, August 16, 2016.

It wouldn’t be a sporting event in Philadelphia without a fan controversy.

This one was different, though. Instead of an incident involving a boorish fan that people needed to condemn — or explain — Philly fans are now in trouble for cheering too much. Cheering too much! This was a weird one.

It involved Chase Utley. He made his return to Philadelphia for the first time since the Phillies traded him to the Dodgers last season. Utley is no longer the player he once was; he’s been a below-average hitter this season. But against the Phillies last night, he looked like the Chase of old. He hit two homers, including a grand slam, in the Dodgers’ 15-5 destruction of the Phillies.

And, after both home runs, he was cheered. Extensively. And got a curtain call out of the dugout each time. It caused a bit of concern. Analyst (and former player) Marlon Anderson said on the postgame show it was disrespectful to Phillies pitchers to cheer the opposition so much. “Was it OK to cheer?” was the topic of discussion on Breakfast on Broad. Sports talk radio is buzzing. People are talking about it on Twitter. Was the cheering too much? Read more »

Once a Bernie Backer, Philly Rapper Freeway Now Supports Hillary

Freeway at West Philadelphia High School, speaking about Hillary Clinton

Rapper Freeway speaks in support of Hillary Clinton in West Philadelphia on August 16th, 2016 | Photo: Dan McQuade

It was just four months ago when Freeway posed with Bernie Sanders and encouraged Philadelphians to vote for the Vermont senator in Pennsylvania’s presidential primary.

Today, he fully emerged as a Hillary supporter: He spoke at Clinton’s West Philadelphia High School rally and gave a pep talk to Clinton canvassers before they went out to walk the streets today. He grew up in West Philly and attended West Philly High for a year before moving to North Philly.

Last year, Freeway was diagnosed with kidney failure. He currently undergoes dialysis three times a week, for four hours a day. He’s active on the kidney transplant list. And he said Hillary Clinton’s push for continued affordable health care is the main reason why he’s making a public backing of her. He said at one point, before he had insurance, he was paying $600 a month for medicine.

“When I came out with my story of being on dialysis,” Freeway says, “I ran across so many people that were going through the same thing that I’m going through. Through the grace of God, I was able to be successful and able to afford my health care. But a lot of people can’t afford it. Even with my healthcare, my treatments are a little bit expensive.” Read more »

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