Philly Firm Picked to Renovate the Alamo

Daniel Schwen | Wikimedia Commons

Daniel Schwen | Wikimedia Commons

Remember the Alamo?

The old Texas mission is historic, but the area surrounding it feels less so — overgrown with hotels and office buildings. Now a Philadelphia firm has been hired to oversee a renovation of the site, with the aim of restoring a sense of reverence and history to the popular landmark.

Preservation Design Partnership will lead that effort, San Antonio officials announced Thursday. Read more »

5 Things to Know About Pew’s “State of the City” Report

Pew has released its annual “State of the City” report for Philadelphia — really, just an update of the more comprehensive 2015 report. Here are five things you should know about the city based on this year’s edition:

Philadelphia is getting younger: “As the United States has gotten older, Philadelphia has become younger — largely because of the growth of the city’s young adult population, the much-discussed millennials. A decade ago, Philadelphia had a median age of 35.3, only a year below the nation’s 36.4. In the most recent census, the city’s age was down to 33.8, while the national figure had risen to 37.7 — a difference of nearly four years. Remarkably, this happened over a time in which the number of children in the city was declining.” Read more »

Morning Headlines: Philly Apologizes to Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers' first baseman, is shown at Ebbets Field, April 11, 1947. (AP Photo)

Jackie Robinson, Brooklyn Dodgers’ first baseman, is shown at Ebbets Field, April 11, 1947. (AP Photo)

Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today:

City Council is apologizing to Jackie Robinson for the racism he experienced here.

Robinson, of course, was the first African-American player in Major League Baseball. “Unfortunately in Philadelphia, Jackie Robinson experienced some of the most virulent racism and hate of his career,” Councilwoman Helen Gym, who introduced the resolution, told ABC News. “Our colleagues decided to introduce this resolution to celebrate Jackie Robinson.” The resolution of apology states that when playing in Philadelphia, Robinson “had particularly virulent racism directed against him, with a hotel refusing to provide him accommodations and the manager of the Phillies leading the team to taunt him to ‘go back to the cotton fields’ and calling him racial slurs.” Robinson will be honored April 15; his widow, Rachel, is expected to accept the apology. Read more »

Kevin Hart Is About to Become a Mogul

Kevin Hart, in concert.

Kevin Hart, in concert.

Philly-bred comedian Kevin Hart and Lionsgate have announced a new partnership that will include a new “social adventure tablet game,” as well as an on-demand video service.

The new, Netflix-style service will be called Laugh Out Loud, and will include a hidden-camera show in which Hart works as a Lyft driver. The rest of the service’s offerings will be “curated” by Hart to include “shows featuring social media stars and up and coming comedians,” Lionsgate said in its announcement of the partnership.

“I understand the direction in which the television business is headed, and I see this big new space toward which audiences are starting to gravitate,” said Hart, whose production company, Hartbeat Digital, is part of the deal. “I believe that launching this venture together now puts us ahead of the pack.” Read more »

65 Years Ago Today, Philadelphia Helped Birth the Commercial Computing Revolution

UNIVAC I control station on display at the Computer History Museum. | ArnoldReinhold, shared under a Creative Commons license.

UNIVAC I control station on display at the Computer History Museum. | ArnoldReinhold, shared under a Creative Commons license.

Today is the anniversary of a major development in computing history — and it happened right here in Philadelphia.

On this date in 1951, the U.S. Census Bureau signed a contract for the first commercial computer in the U.S. with J. Presper Eckert and John W. Mauchly, who had designed the ENIAC computer at the University of Pennsylvania for the U.S. War Department toward the end of World War II. The two formed their own company after the war, which became the Philadelphia-based subsidiary of Remington Rand Inc., where the computer was developed and manufactured. Read more »

California Bill Would Let Customers Cancel Comcast With One Click

Photo | Jeff Fusco

Photo | Jeff Fusco

A California legislator has introduced a bill that would let Comcast customers quickly and easily cancel their service online.

The proposal is fallout from the notorious 2014 incident in which a Comcast “customer retention” representative hassled Ryan Block, a former tech journalist, who was trying to have his Internet service disconnected. The incident proved a final straw of sorts for the Philadelphia-based company, which months later created a “vice president for customer service” position and began an ongoing effort to improve its frankly lousy reputation on that front.

But Assemblyman Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles) doesn’t want to leave the issue to Comcast to resolve. His proposal would let customers who sign up for a service online also cancel the service the same way. Read more »

Animal Cruelty Citations Issued in Horse Abuse Case

Photo from Penn Vet New Bolton Center Facebook page.

Photo from Penn Vet New Bolton Center Facebook page.

A Rhode Island man has been accused of animal cruelty in the case of an injured horse found in Lancaster County, covered in paint markings.

The Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday that Phillip S. Price, 65, was charged with five summary citations in the case — three counts of animal cruelty, a single count of dealing and handling animals without a license, and a single count of importing animals without an interstate health certificate.

The horse was “very thin and blind” when she was discovered by animal welfare officials. Veterinarians who treated her — her name is Lily, and she’s being cared for at Penn’s New Bolton Center veterinary clinic in Kennett Square — said that she had been shot 130 times with a paintball gun. Price told Rhode Island’s WJAR, however, that the paint markings came from children using face paint. Prosecutors said Wednesday the investigation continues on that issue. Read more »

Morning Headlines: A.C. Trying to Avert Government Shutdown

Good morning, Philadelphia. Here’s what you need to know today:

Atlantic City officials and employees are trying to avert a government shutdown.

NBC10 reports that a temporary plan calls for paying employees every 28 days — instead of the current two weeks — starting next week and ending May 6. (The plan allows the city to keep operations running while waiting for a property tax collection on May 1.) The idea is to give state and local officials breathing room to figure out a long-term solution to the city’s financial woes. “The concern from the beginning is being fair to all city employees, yet being fair to taxpayers as well,” says Mayor Don Guardian. “This clearly is a more logical, more methodical process to go through.” Read more »

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