Police: Money Stolen From St. Martha Church Book Sale

Police say someone stole money from a book sale at a Northeast Philadelphia church, and they want to question a woman seen on surveillance footage.

The church, St. Martha, is a Catholic parish and school on Academy Road in the Far Northeast. Surveillance footage released by police shows a woman entering the vestibule between the school and church buildings just before 8 on Tuesday night. Read more »

Philly Is the 3rd-Most Sinful City in the U.S., Per New Report

sin-cities

The latest city ranking list is “Sin Cities and Saintly Sanctuaries.” It’s one of those cheeky lists that judges American cities in a variety of statistics, weights the rankings, adds them up and gives each city an overall score.

Trulia put out the sin city ranking, which lists Philadelphia as the third most-sinful city in the United States behind New Orleans and Atlantic City. It gave each city a ranking in the seven deadly sins: pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth. It’s not a scientific formula, in case you couldn’t figure this out.

But behind the silly rankings are some truths about Philadelphia, even if they’re expressed in weird ways. Read more »

New Plan for the SS United States: Have it Sail Again

Restored SS United States - rendering

Rendering of the restored SS United States from Crystal Cruises

The SS United States may sail again after all.

At a press conference today in Manhattan, SS United States Conservancy director Susan Gibbs and Crystal Cruise president Edie Rodriguez announced a proposed $700-plus million restoration and modernization of the SS United States, after which the 990-foot long ship will return to active cruise service. The news was first reported by The New York Times this morning.

There were not concrete details today. Rodriguez said all the decisions on the ship’s future would be ironed out in the feasibility study. There is no decision on where the ship will be docked, though Gibbs said she’d like it to be New York. Either way, the ship is likely headed out of Philadelphia.

“I’d like to thank the City of Philadelphia for so warmly hosting the SS United States,” Gibbs said. “Together, we beat the odds. And together, we refused to give up.” Read more »

How Far Did Adonis Run in Creed?

Creed - Adonis creed running

Scene from Creed via the first trailer

I wrote an article in 2013 titled, “How Far Did Rocky Go in His Training Run in ‘Rocky II’?” Connecting the various scenes of Rocky Balboa’s long training run in Rocky II, the route I drew had the Italian Stallion going nearly 30.61 miles in that one montage.

A lot of people read it! It was aggregated across the Internet. Rebecca Barber turned it into a real thing with the Rocky 50K Fat Ass Run, now in its third year. I even wrote a spinoff, based on the ambulance route at the start of the film, last year.

Creed — where Rocky trains Apollo Creed’s son, Adonis, for his first big fight — came out in November. It was pretty great: Director Ryan Coogler did a fantastic job inserting a new character into the Rocky franchise, Michael B. Jordan was a solid lead and Sylvester Stallone actually turned in the best acting performance of his career. There was also a little bit of running in it.

As such, I figured this article deserved a sequel: How far did Adonis run in Creed? Read more »

Danny DeVito Almost Drowned Filming Always Sunny

Charlie Day was on Conan last night, and he shared an interesting story about filming the latest season of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Or, you know, a terrifying story.

While filming the 11th season, which premiered last month, Day said they got into a bit of trouble with an underwater scene with Danny DeVito. Read more »

Report: Rick Santorum Dropping Out of Presidential Race, Which He Was In

James Buchanan will remain the only President of the United States from Pennsylvania after the 2016 election.

You know that, of course, but today it becomes official: CNN reports Rick Santorum is dropping out of the presidential race, citing two Republican sources.

Santorum was the second-place finisher in the 2012 GOP primaries, capturing 11 states. But despite winning Iowa that year — although political media at the time reported a Romney win — he finished 11th in the Iowa primary this time. He even lost to Chris Christie! Read more »

Phillies Trade Former First-Round Pick Jesse Biddle to Pirates

Mar 13, 2015; Clearwater, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jesse Biddle  throws a pitch during the fifth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Bright House Field. Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 13, 2015; Clearwater, FL, USA; Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Jesse Biddle throws a pitch during the fifth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Bright House Field. Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Phillies have cut bait on their 2010 first-overall pick. Jesse Biddle has been traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates, per multiple reports. The Inquirer had it first.

The Phillies received right-handed pitcher Yoervis Medina in the deal. Medina, 27, is a three-year MLB vet with a career 3.08 ERA.

Biddle was the 27th overall pick in the 2010 season, a graduate of Germantown Friends who grew up in Mt. Airy. He grew up a Phillies fan and was in the stands for both halves of Game 5 of the 2008 World Series. In fact, he got sick after spending the night in the rain, and wasn’t able to attend the victory parade. When the Phillies announced his signing, he was jocular with the press: “I’m getting the start tonight. Halladay is now the number two.” He was even somehow related — distantly — to Owen Biddle (of Roots fame) and Nicholas Biddle (of Second Bank of the United States fame). This seemed like the best “local boy done good” story in Philadelphia history. Read more »

Postal Service Honors Richard Allen With a Stamp

Richard Allen - United States Postal Service USPS Stamp

Stamp image courtesy the United States Postal Service

The United States Postal Service yesterday unveiled its new stamp honoring Richard Allen, the 39th in its Black Heritage series.

Richard Allen was born into slavery in Delaware in 1760, but eventually purchased his freedom. He moved to Philadelphia and founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 1816. Allen was elected and consecrated as AME’s first bishop.

“Richard Allen was a man of boundless stature, courage and determination. The Postal Service is pleased to dedicate this special commemorative Forever stamp in his honor,” said Joshua D. Colin, the postal service VP who dedicated the stamp. “Frederick Douglass and later Martin Luther King Jr., both said that they were influenced by how Bishop Allen seemed to channel a higher power to work through him to shepherd blacks through some of this country’s darkest days. I hope this stamp will inspire every American to learn more about this uplifting man.” Read more »

A Brief History of the SS United States’ 20 Years in Philadelphia

SS United States - Skyline

A view of the Philadelphia skyline from the SS United States in South Philadelphia. (Photo: Dan McQuade)

The SS United States has been “saved” before.

In 2010, Gerry Lenfest donated $5.8 million to the Washington-based SS United States Conservancy in an effort to preserve the ship. “At first I said it’s impossible to do it because it costs too much money and then I thought, ‘Well it’s worth a try because it’s a great ship,’” Lenfest told the Inquirer at the time. “It was a great achievement for the United States to build this vessel, she’s worth saving.”

Search Philadelphia magazine’s SS United States tag and you’ll find lots of stories from the past few years about the ship’s fate. Two years ago, the SS United States Conservancy began a plan to clear out the inside of the ship in order to sell materials and prepare the ship for sale. “It’s a great fixer-upper,” Conservancy executive director Susan Gibbs said.

In July 2014, the ship looked like it was headed to Brooklyn. The New York Times reported the ship could be moving to Brooklyn “within four to six months.” Then in December the Conservancy entered into a preliminary agreement to renovate the ship.

Last October, the SS United States announced it was exploring the sale of the ship for scrap. “We will have no choice but to negotiate the sale of the ship to a responsible recycler,” the Conservancy said in a statement. (Susan Gibbs, the Conservancy’s director, is the granddaughter of ship architect William Francis Gibbs.) Then, last week, the Conservancy announced it would on Thursday make another announcement, this time in Manhattan, about the future of the SS United States.

Though several proposals, including a casino, had been floated for the future of the ship in Philadelphia, a 2011 report from the Conservancy “concluded that it’s not likely to work [in Philadelphia] for a variety of reasons.” So the 20-year stop of the SS United States in South Philadelphia is likely to end. But how did it get here? Read more »

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