50 Things About Wawa for Wawa’s 50th Anniversary

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AP Photo | Courtesy of Wawa Inc.

Fifty years ago today, the first Wawa opened at the corner of MacDade Blvd. and Swarthmore Ave. in Folsom, Pennsylvania. Today, you can get free coffee at any of Wawa’s locations. (Here’s a Wawa store locator.) To celebrate the company’s 50th anniversary, here are 50 things about the Philadelphia area’s favorite convenience store.

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Interview: Anthony Williams Aims Higher

anthony-williams-pa-gay-conversion-therapyOne surefire way to make Philly Mag’s list of the 75 most powerful people in the city? Be mayor. (Check out Philly Mag’s list on newsstands now: The mayor is on it.)  As an alternative, you might try to be a frontrunner to be the next mayor. State Sen. Anthony Williams is in the latter category: He’s not formally announced his candidacy yet for the 2015 race, but the longtime politico has already lined up support and is seen as the man to beat.

“I want you to know that I’m a passionate Philadelphian, who loves the Flyers, the Eagles, the Sixers — all Philadelphia stuff I love,” he says.

Philly Mag spoke to Williams recently about power, popularity, and what losing the 2010 Democratic primary for governor taught him.

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Katz Pledges $77 Million for Inquirer, Daily News

Businessman and co-owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer Lewis Katz, center, walks to Judge Patricia McInerney's courtroom, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, at City Hall in Philadelphia. McInerney is scheduled to hear arguments over who should control The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Businessman and co-owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer Lewis Katz, center, walks to Judge Patricia McInerney’s courtroom, Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013, at City Hall in Philadelphia. McInerney is scheduled to hear arguments over who should control The Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

CBS Philly reports that minority owner Lewis Katz has pledged to pay at least $77 million to acquire the Inquirer and Daily News outright. The pledges emerged during testimony Tuesday as a Delaware judge tries to decide the process by which the papers will be sold.

Lewis Katz promises to match rival owner George Norcross’ $77-million minimum bid. Katz and co-owner Gerry Lenfest favor a public, open, sealed bid. Katz says that will drive up the price, rather than “bluffing, starting low and then raising bids.”

Norcross, who leads a majority owner group of three, wants a private auction limited to the current owners, and the Newspaper Guild, if deemed qualified, with ascending back and forth bidding.

Of course, that $77 million would represent an increase from the $55 million the owners jointly paid in 2012 for the newspapers and Philly.com. It does raise a question: Does anybody think the value of those properties has increased by $22 million in the last two years?

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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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Sifting the Facts from the Hype about Wisdom Teeth

Popular opinion holds that if wisdom teeth do not cause pain, it is fine to leave them be. In reality, wisdom teeth extraction is extremely commonplace and, many experts say, for good reason. The American Journal of Public Health (AJPH) reports that about five million people have wisdom teeth removed every year. These permanent adult teeth, also known as third molars, grow in later than other teeth, typically between the ages of 17 and 25. They can cause pain and discomfort or they may grow in virtually unnoticed. Many dentists and oral surgeons feel that extraction is a worthwhile protective measure against future health problems.

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