Chester, Montgomery Counties Are Hotbeds for Texting and Driving

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The above chart comes from The Center for Rural Pennsylvania, a “legislative agency” of the Pennsylvania General Assembly that produces publications and reports for lawmakers. It recently published this map of texting-while-driving citations in 2013, showing that the 8th and 10th counties with the most texting-while-driving citations in Pennsylvania are Chester and Montgomery, respectively.

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VIDEOS: 10 Cool Old British Newsreels of Philadelphia

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From 1910 until 1970, the U.K.-based Pathé News produced newsreels and documentaries on events all over the world. Recently, a collection of 85,000 videos was uploaded to YouTube.

This kind of information dump is glorious for history dorks and journalists — and I just happen to be both. There are dozens of videos about Philadelphia! I trawled through the collection to find some notable videos, and I highly suggest you search for yourself as well.

For example, here is a report on a women’s football game played in 1932 between the “Buxom Chicago Bears and Blushing California Roses” at the Baker Bowl, the Phillies stadium. You can even spot the outfield “THE PHILLIES USE LIFEBUOY” sign. It is incredible. “Now we know where the bargain counter hands train for the sales!” It is also awful.

As the description notes, the stands are empty during gameplay. This newsreel used journalistic tricks!

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City Robocalling Bandit Sign Business Owners

autodialer Lose 30 pounds in 30 days! We buy any home! Get cash for your car! Bandit signs are the real-life equivalent of email spam, and they’re illegal — you can’t advertise on a phone pole. But they go up (and stay up) anyway, because it’s not expensive to staple a bunch of signs all over the city and the the city doesn’t really take the signs down or strictly enforce fines for illegal advertising.

But the Streets Department has been using a new idea to combat illegal signs: Robo-dialing! KYW 1060′s Mike Dunn reports Streets Commissioner David Perri told City Council the department has been autodialing businesses with illegal signs every 15 minutes until they come down. He says it works about half the time.

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Sixers Finally Admit They Killed Rabbit Mascot Hip-Hop

nas-hiphop Thanks to The 700 Level’s Nick Menta for watching the last Sixers home game of the season and getting important mascot news: The 76ers are promising fans the team will have a mascot next year! Sixers CEO Scott O’Neil says the team is considering “five or six designs.”

Yes, after several years without a mascot, the team will be adding one sometime next season. Or maybe even before! O’Neil added that finding a mascot is a challenging endeavor. The Sixers have an uphill battle: There’s no “easy” solution as the team name is more of an abstract concept — or, really, just a clever-sounding name — rather than a person. I wish him the best.

But, there’s more! O’Neil also added this key fact:

“Sadly, Hip Hop is dead and buried and will not be coming back.”

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Once-Key Christie Ally to Host Fundraiser — for Jeb Bush’s Son

Recently in a profile of Chris Christie, the New Yorker detailed the falling-out between former N.J. governor Tom Kean (and his son) and Christie. Once a key ally, the elder Kean had a falling out with Christie over several issues, including Christie’s attempt to oust the younger Kean as New Jersey Senate minority leader.

Christie later called this move a mistake, and maybe he’s right: Kean Jr. — who survived the attempt and is still N.J. Senate minority leader — is hosting a fundraiser for George P. Bush at his home on May 7th.

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Inga’s Zingers: Nine Great Quips from Pulitzer Winner Inga Saffron

Yesterday, the 2014 Pulitzer Prizes were announced, and Inga Saffron of the Inquirer won the Pulitzer for criticism!

Saffron’s one of my favorite local writers, and I’m thrilled to see her win the prize after being a finalist several times before. (Unlike many other journalism awards, the Pulitzers are legit because they come with a cash prize — $10,000!) It’s extra cool because, well, how many American newspapers have an architecture critic on staff any more? Or ever?

As a big enthusiast of city living, I’m thrilled the Inquirer has such a passionate advocate for urbanism on its staff. Critics are important. The best critics have the opportunity to praise worthy subjects and call out crap. There’s just so much crap out there, in every field, and so much of it goes un-criticized — whether it’s because the people behind it are nice, or because they’re powerful, or whatever. Not all that crap deserves to be called out, but a lot of it does. And Inga Saffron is one of the best at it. I’d put her ability to call out crap at the level of another great critic and Pulitzer winner, Roger Ebert. She is that good.

To commemorate one of my favorite critics receiving such a prestigious award, I went through Saffron’s archives and found some of my favorite lines of hers.

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Fed-Up SEPTA Riders Carry Rowdy Passenger Off Bus

NBC 10′s David Chang reports of an incident on the 20 bus in the Far Northeast on Friday: A passenger was acting out in the back, and the bus driver stopped the bus to ask him to get off.

The man wouldn’t, and the driver says the man then spit on him. While the driver waited for police, two passengers took matters into their own hands and lifted the dude up and out of the bus. Police arrested him a short time later.

“The big message here is that we’re not gonna take this crap against our operators,” [SEPTA Police Chief Thomas] Nestel said. “If somebody acts like that against an operator or a fellow rider, they’re getting arrested. We’re gonna hook them up with a cheese sandwich.”

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Phillies Weekend in GIFs: Chase Utley Starts the Season 20-for-40, Jimmy Rollins Shuts up Heckler

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We’re 12 games into the season, and the Phillies are 6-6. In their first homestand of the year, they were swept by the Brewers — who are out to a 10-2 start, the best in baseball — but rebounded to sweep in the Marlins in turn. The Phillies have been outscored by 6 runs, and the team’s no longer a hot ticket: On April 11th, the Phillies drew just 22,483 fans, the lowest since July 31, 2006.

But there are reasons to be optimistic about the 2014 season. While the pitching’s shaky, the offense is humming along: Second in the NL in hitting, first in on-base-percentage, sixth in slugging. And a big reason for that is the work of Chase Utley.

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