Phillies Minor Leaguer Loses Eye in Freak Stretching Accident

A photo posted by Matt Imhof (@matt_imhof48) on

Matt Imhof, a Phillies minor leaguer who was drafted in the second round of the 2014 MLB amateur draft, has lost his eye in a freak stretching accident.

Imhof hurt his right eye when he was stretching after a game last Friday. A piece of metal equipment “malfunctioned,” according to ESPN, and struck Imhof in the right eye. He was rushed to the hospital and had surgery. Read more »

Reports: Chris Christie Being Vetted for Trump VP Slot

Donald Trump, Chris Christie

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, accompanied by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, left, takes questions from members of the media during a news conference on Super Tuesday primary election night in the White and Gold Ballroom at The Mar-A-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Fla., on March 1st, 2016. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

A big loudmouth with ties to New Jersey could be on the Republican presidential ticket. Well, two of them.

Both The New York Times and CNN are reporting New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is being vetted as a potential running mate for presumed GOP nominee Donald Trump. Trump has said he wants to announce his VP pick at the Republican National Convention, which is being held July 18th to 21st in Cleveland.

Christie endorsed Trump in late January, not long after dropping out of the race after poor showings in the crowded Republican presidential primary in Iowa and New Hampshire. Allies quickly turned on Christie for his endorsement, but the governor has pressed on. Read more »

DNC Host Committee’s “Donkeys Around Town” are Installed

Workers unload a painted fiberglass donkey at the Union League on Broad Street

The DNC Host Committee’s “Donkey’s Around Town” are being installed all over Center City today. The colorful donkeys, which were painted by local artists, represent each of the 57 delegations that will be in Philly for next month’s Democratic National Convention.

Former mayor and governor and chair of the host committee Ed Rendell was on hand at the installation of the Colorado donkey at the Union League on South Broad Street. The Union League will have an exhibit about past political conventions in Philadelphia during PoliticalFest. 

The Pennsylvania donkey was installed outside of the DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton in Center City. This donkey was the prototype for the installation, and was designed by Pennsylvania First Lady Francis Wolf. It was painted by local community arts group Amber Art and Design.  Read more »

Full DNC PoliticalFest Schedule Announced: What to Do and Where

PoliticalFest 2016 - Philadelphia

Last month we told you about PoliticalFest, the festival celebrating U.S. history, government and politics, which will run July 22nd-27th as part of the Democratic National Convention.

Now we can tell you exactly what will be happening at it. The PoliticalFest schedule features exhibits on display at seven different locations, including the Pennsylvania Convention Center, the National Liberty Museum and the National Constitution Center, which will serve as the festival hub.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children and are available in person at the National Constitution Center and on the Host Committee’s website. The festival will from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

Here’s a list of what to do and where: Read more »

10 Things You Might Not Know About Philly’s June 1919 Anarchist Bombings

Left: Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer's house with bomb damage. Right: J. Edgar Hoover

Left: Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer’s house with bomb damage. Right: a young J. Edgar Hoover

The Supreme Court’s recent ruling blocking President Obama‘s executive actions on immigration. A terrible hate crime against a club full of mostly Latino gays in Orlando. Foreigners blamed for violence and murder. Donald Trump‘s calls for a wall with Mexico. It’s hard to believe America has ever been more divided over whom to let into the country and whom to keep out — or deport. But there’s nothing new about cries of “America First.” On June 2, 1919, within 90 minutes of each another, eight bombs of what the FBI called “extraordinary capacity” exploded in seven U.S. cities: New York, Boston, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Patterson, N.J., Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. The bombs, each constructed of as much as 25 pounds of dynamite and salted with heavy metal slugs meant to act as shrapnel, were the work of anarchists, according to fliers printed on pink paper. The frantic search for the bombers, centered in Philadelphia, would jump-start the career of future FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and lead to mass deportations of undocumented immigrants — with some unexpected consequences. Here, 10 things you might not know about those dangerous days.  Read more »

Report: Pennsylvania Primaries Fifth Most-Expensive in the Nation

Primaries

Nonprofit Open Primaries released a recent study that claims to highlight how much the primaries cost taxpayers this year, and Pennsylvania primaries were the fifth most-expensive in the country, according to the study.

State taxpayers paid $20 million to hold the closed primaries, according to the report, meaning independent voters – who were barred from voting – still had to bear the cost.  Read more »

Atlantic City Union Reaches Deal With Three Casinos

Atlantic City beach at night

Photo | Dan McQuade

The union that represents nearly all uniformed Atlantic City workers has reached a deal with three casinos before a Friday deadline.

UNITE-HERE Local 54 President Bob McDevitt confirmed Thursday morning the union had reached a deal with Caesars Entertainment, which owns Caesars, Bally’s and Harrah’s casinos in Atlantic City. McDevitt declined interview requests and did not release details of the contract. Read more »

Church to Hold “DNC Freedom School” for Protesters

Rev. Robin Hynicka announces the DNC Freedom School at the Arch Street United Methodist Church.

Rev. Robin Hynicka announces the DNC Freedom School at the Arch Street United Methodist Church.

In the summer of 1964, the Mississippi Freedom Schools were an alternative education program for black students that, among other things, taught non-violent resistance and protest. Inspired by the schools that summer, the Arch Street United Methodist Church will be holding “DNC Freedom School” for protesters the Saturday before the convention kicks off.

“Revisitng the courage, commitment, conviction and cause of the Summer of Freedom and the Freedom Schools has the potential to shape the current context in incredible ways,” Rev. Robin Hynicka, senior paster of Arch Street UMC, said at a press event today. “We need to have a greater understanding of how to protest in this environment.” On stage, Hynicka was joined by leaders from other Christian and Jewish religious institutions in Philadelphia. The DNC Freedom School will be on July 23rd from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

“People of all faiths love to often quote the golden rule, some derivative of loving each other as yourself,” said Rabbi Shawn Zevit, lead rabbi of Mishkan Shalom. “And that’s a wonderful piece — that’s a nice bumper sticker. But the thing is if you cut that piece out of Leviticus chapter 19, what you miss is everything that proceeds that. To don’t put a stumbling block in front of the blind, not curse or gossip about someone when they’re not there and if someone’s doing abusive or destructive behavior, you absolutely have to engage them with cease and desist.” Read more »

Why the Co-Owner of One of Philly’s Favorite Taquerias Was in Jail Yesterday

Demonstrators yesterday (left); demonstrator Lluli Pilar's daughter, Fernanda, with her father, Juan Carlos Romero, as Pilar was arrested. Photos | Sabrina Vourvoulias

Demonstrators yesterday (left); Lluli Pilar’s daughter, Fernanda, with her father, Juan Carlos Romero, as Pilar was arrested. Photos | Sabrina Vourvoulias

The simple story is this: Yesterday, for about an hour or so, the I-676 ramp at Vine street was blocked by a 13-year-old boy, a college student, a minister and the co-proprietor of a popular taquería (which won “Best of Philadelphia” accolades in 2011 and 2012), all of them literally and figuratively united in their call for a freeze on deportations.

On the sidelines (streets, median and sidewalks) supporters from Juntos, Make the Road PA, Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition and just ordinary folks gathered to chant in English and Spanish; media scrambled to get close enough to take photos of the protestors linked arm-to-arm by reinforced tubing; and law enforcement personnel from a number of different units, including a counter-terrorism squad, figured out what to do (and how to block the sight of what was happening from all those without the privilege of press credentials). 

After issuing three warnings in English and Spanish, police cut through each connector tube with a Dremel saw, cuffed the protestors one-by-one, loaded them into a police van and took them to the 9th Police District where they were cited for obstruction and released three hours later.

When Lluli (pronounced Yoo-lee) Pilar — the co-proprietor of the original award-winning Taquitos de Puebla on 9th Street which was shuttered two months ago — was cuffed and loaded into the police van, her 6-year-old daughter Fernanda burst into tears. It was impossible to watch the inconsolable child and not realize that this was heartbreakingly similar to scenes repeated everyday — when ICE agents cuff and remove undocumented immigrant mothers and fathers in front of their U.S. citizen children — and was exactly what the four people blocking the street were protesting. Read more »

Philadelphia School District: We’ve Filled 99 Percent of Teacher Vacancies

Photo | It's Our City via Flickr / Creative Commons | Teacher Vacancies

Photo | It’s Our City via Flickr / Creative Commons

Philadelphia School District superintendent William R. Hite Jr. announced Wednesday that the school district is on track to have all teacher vacancies filled by the start of the school year.

At a news conference at Roxborough High School today, Hite said 99 percent of teacher vacancies have been filled.

Read more »

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