Philadelphia Citizen Plans Green Bay Packers–Style Stock Offering

In a move Larry Platt says is inspired by the Green Bay Packers, the Philadelphia Citizen will soon be selling shares in itself.

The site, run by former Philadelphia magazine and Daily News editor Larry Platt, quietly began posting articles in September. Now Platt tells Philly the site will begin selling shares. It won’t be traditional stock, as it won’t go up and down and it won’t pay dividends.

“We want the citizens of Philadelphia to own this civic entity,” Platt wrote in an email to He didn’t say what, exactly, Citizen stock buyers would be getting in return. Green Bay Packers stockholders get a certificate to frame and put on the wall (or leave in a drawer, et cetera).

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Will the Christmas Eve Storm Bring Rain or Snow?

Are we getting a Christmas Eve snowstorm? The short answer is “probably not.”

The long answer (because one sentence isn’t enough for a story, silly): There is an outside chance. The good people at Phillywx posted the latest model, which shows a storm system moving through on Christmas Eve.

But we probably won’t be getting any snow, because temperatures on Christmas Eve could be in the 50s. Classic Christmas weather! Colder temperatures should move in after the precipitation leaves. One Canadian model shows colder air coming in sooner — which could lead to a Christmas Eve snow — but that is an outlier.

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Sex Video with Minors Being Passed Around at Bristol Middle School

A sex video involving minors is being passed around at FDR Middle School in Bristol Township. The clip, of two juveniles engaged in a sex act, has been circulated among students.

Police are investigating, and confiscated several students’ cell phones. (A commenter on the Bristol Township Police Facebook page is furious about that: “Why were their phones confiscated and why were they forced to write statements without contacting their parents first?! What in the world were you officers thinking?! You can’t do that shit!”

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First Philadelphia Mayoral Forum Set for March

Yesterday, Philadelphia’s Next Great City Coalition announced the first mayoral forum for the 2015 race. It’s being held on March 3 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in conjunction with the Philadelphia Flower Show. Hopefully, there will be a consensus reached on the hottest floral arrangements of 2015.

“As the convener of the Next Great City Coalition, PennFuture is excited to welcome our mayoral candidates to this quadrennial forum,” Katie Bartolotta, southeast Pennsylvania outreach coordinator for PennFuture, said in a statement. “To be truly great, Philadelphia needs a new mayor who will lead Philadelphia forward with Next Great City 2015’s key initiatives, and get us to the finish line on some key initiatives already underway.”

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Auditor: Cheyney University in Dire Financial Straits

The nation’s oldest black college is on the verge of financial collapse.

Cheyney University, which straddles the border of Delaware and Chester counties, has run a deficit four out of the last five years and has a $12.3 million shortfall. Another $5.5 million shortfall is expected this year. Enrollment is declining. Revenue is down 12.2 percent since 2009, due to declining state funding for education. The university received $2.8 million more in funding from Pennsylvania in 2009 than it did last year.

All this comes form a dire report from Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DiPasquale, released yesterday.

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Coroner: Bradley Stone Didn’t Die of Self-Inflicted Stab Wound

The coroner has ruled Bradley Stone did not die of self-inflicted wounds to the center of his body. After Stone was found dead Tuesday, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said Stone appeared to have died of “self-inflicted cutting wounds to the center of his body.” Another news report suggested Stone committed seppuku.

The coroner, Dr. Walter Hoffman, did say Stone had a deep wound on his left leg, but it wasn’t a major blood vessel and it didn’t cause his death.

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College President Offends Faculty With Photo Alongside “Hawthorn Hotties”

In our latest edition of What People Are Offended About on College Campuses, we travel to East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania, located in the eponymous borough about two hours north of Philadelphia. And in this case, it’s not student groups but faculty members who are upset — by the school’s president. 

At East Stroudsburg, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports faculty members are angry with a tweet showing president Marcia Welsh with the “Hawthorn Hotties.”

Welsh was delivering cookies to students in a dorm room. The shirtless male students are a group that do dances inspired from the movie Magic Mike in order to raise money for charitable causes. Faculty members questioned if the president was being insensitive. “In this heightened era of appropriate sexual behavior on college campuses, faculty and administration cannot condone any kind of somewhat questionable behavior related to sexuality,” English professor Nancy VanArsdale said.

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New York State Is Banning Fracking

In a policy decision that will no doubt be heard in Pennsylvania, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo will ban fracking in the state. New York has had a de facto ban for several years, predating Cuomo’s administration.

Fracking in Pennsylvania is centered in the Marcellus Shale, which stretches from surrounding states into Western Pennsylvania and Northwestern New York. It was an issue in the governor’s race largely because of Tom Wolf’s push to tax fracking to fund schools.

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