Creator of the Mister Softee’s Jingle Dies

A Mister Softee ice cream truck makes its way through the streets of Brooklyn, New York, Monday June 18, 2007. New York can be earsplitting. But city officials say Gotham is about to get a little quieter when new noise regulations take effect July 1. Even Mr. Softee will have to keep it down. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Photo by Bebeto Matthews/AP

The high-pitched chime of Mister Softee’s ice cream truck is one of the first signs that summer has reached Philadelphia. The upbeat, instantly recognizable notes awaken the streets of the city and remind us that there’s life to be lived outside. Young kids run out of their homes, demanding a few buck from their parents for a chocolate-and-vanilla swirl.

The famous jingle was born in Philly, from the mind of Les Waas. He created the tune in 1960 for a Mister Softee’s radio ad, not knowing it was bound for fame. It was adopted as the song for Mister Softee’s trucks and is still in use across the nation almost 60 years later. Mister Softee’s has more than 600 trucks that span 15 states, as well as a franchise in China.

Waas died on April 19that the age of 94, reportedly of pneumonia. Read more »

Philly Mom Crowdfunds Divorce Against Husband Charged With Assaulting Her


Aja Beech | Photo courtesy of Aja Beech

Aja Beech is a 37-year-old mother of two from Fishtown who wants desperately to get away from her husband of seven years, construction worker Tobias McQueston. She’s broke, so she started a GoFundMe campaign titled “I Need a Divorce,” launching it a few days after McQueston was charged with assaulting her in March. She’s exceeded her goal of $5,000 and is now working with a Philadelphia attorney to put an official end to the marriage. Though crowdfunding for divorce isn’t unheard of, the involvement of domestic abuse charges seems to be unusual.

Beech told Philadelphia magazine that McQueston has assaulted her several times in the past, and medical records indicate that a 2014 incident documented by police resulted in a concussion. According to a criminal complaint filed by the District Attorney’s office in the March event, Beech’s husband is accused of pushing her face into the ground, giving her a bloody nose.

“It’s all bullshit,” claims McQueston, who is not the father of Beech’s two children. “I never physically assaulted anyone. It’s ridiculous. That’s all I have to say about it.” He is currently free on bail awaiting a June trial on charges of simple assault and reckless endangerment, and he can’t go anywhere near Beech thanks to a stay-away order issued by the judge.

Here, Beech talks about her crowdfunding campaign and the stigma that follows survivors of domestic abuse, more than 30 years after The Burning BedRead more »

Cop Locked Up For Burglary



A Philadelphia police officer was arrested Thursday and charged with burglarizing his girlfriend’s apartment.

According to police, Alex McAdams removed a screen from a window in his girlfriend’s first-floor apartment shortly after 4 a.m. on March 5th, then broke the window and climbed inside. McAdams allegedly stole a personal item, and then chased his girlfriend out of the apartment.

An Internal Affairs investigation was launched into the incident. McAdams, 28, surrendered to investigators and was charged with burglary, criminal trespass, theft and criminal mischief. The four-year veteran of the force was suspended for 30 days with the intent to dismiss by Police Commissioner Richard Ross.


Philly Police Officer Suspended For Allegedly Making Racist Remarks

Highway Patrol Images | Wikimedia Commons

Highway Patrol Images | Wikimedia Commons

Cpl. Robert Pawlowski was recently suspended for 30 days by Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross for allegedly uttering a string of racially charged insults about an African-American commander and an African-American police officer in December.

Pawlowski was off-duty and hanging out at a lounge inside the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge No.5’s Northeast Philly headquarters when he allegedly approached two white officers who worked in West Philly’s 18th District and described their boss, Capt. Robin Wimberly, as a “banana-eating monkey,” according to police records. Read more »

WATCH: Philadelphia Zoo Unveils Baby Lemurs

Four baby black-and-white ruffed lemurs went on display this week at the Philadelphia Zoo’s PECO Primate Reserve. Together with their parents, Huey and Kiaka, the lemur family sits just inside the entrance to the primate house. The babies were born on February 21st, so they’re a little more than two months old.

Everything is going well with the lemurs’ introduction to their new habitat, according to Philadelphia Zoo lead primate keeper Desiree Brown. They haven’t been startled by all the visitors, and the they’re eagerly exploring their enclosure.

“They are actually learning to jump as far as they can,” Brown says. “We kind of kept them in another place that was a little less high, a little less exciting. You’ll notice they’re starting to fly from branch to branch and they’re adjusting great. And the public has not been a problem. We were a little concerned about that and they are doing wonderful. And they’re enjoying watching all the kids and the visitors.” Read more »

Cardinal O’Hara Student Rips School Over “Modesty” Assembly for Girls

Right: Former Miss Georgia USA Brenda Sharman, who led the girls-only assembly at Cardinal O'Hara High School, in a Pure Fashion publicity photo.

Right: Former Miss Georgia USA Brenda Sharman, who led the girls-only assembly at Cardinal O’Hara High School, in a Pure Fashion publicity photo.

Colette Scorzetti is a senior at Delaware County Catholic school Cardinal O’Hara, and she’s not afraid of speaking her mind. Back in June 2015, upon learning of the Supreme Court decision that legalized gay marriage, Scorzetti posted on Facebook a “Celebrate Pride” rainbow-colored photo of her and one of her female friends wearing rings on their fourth fingers. And now, with graduation just around the corner, she’s taking aim at an assembly that Cardinal O’Hara recently held for girls. Read more »

Report: Rob McCord Was Wearing a Wire

Photo | Matt Slocum, AP

Photo | Matt Slocum, AP

Former state treasurer Rob McCord briefly wore a hidden microphone to tape conversations with political donors in cooperation with federal investigators before stepping down from the job and pleading guilty to extortion last year, the Inquirer revealed on Thursday.

The story asserts that investigators used McCord’s cooperation to gather information on Valley Forge Investment Corp., a company that helped other firms get public financial contracts and collected fees when they did. The story doesn’t reveal any additional wrongdoing by McCord, who has yet to be sentenced for the crimes he admitted last year.  Read more »

Sorry, Donald Trump, But the “Woman Card” Doesn’t Exist


Almost immediately after all but securing the Republican nomination Tuesday night, Donald Trump attempted to explain Hillary Clinton’s impressive four-state win.

“Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she’s got going is the women’s card,” he said after handily winning five states that will never rid themselves of his dayglow stink.

Just in case he wasn’t clear, Trump followed up yesterday on CNN. “She is a woman,” he told New Day co-host Chris Cuomo. “She is playing the woman card left and right. She didn’t play it last time with Obama. But she’s playing it much harder this time and she will be called on it. If she were a man and she was the way she is, she would get virtually no votes.”

Come again?  Read more »

Frank Rizzo Returns in Remastered 1978 Documentary

Still images from the 1978 movie "Amateur Night at City Hall: The Frank L. Rizzo Story."

Scenes from the 1978 movie “Amateur Night at City Hall: The Story of Frank L. Rizzo.” (Courtesy of Robert Mugge.)

Frank Rizzo is having a moment.

Earlier this year, Philadelphia magazine contributor Jake Blumgart explored the sense of deja vu that people felt while watching Donald Trump‘s bombastic and routinely offensive presidential campaign grow increasingly popular across the country, and found echoes of Rizzo in Trump’s schtick — tough-guy talk and populist messaging that resonates with working class and middle class whites who want a leader who will just tell it like it is.

The New York Times made a similar Rizzo-Trump connection earlier this week. And now Rizzo’s posthumous role in this election season is going to take on another dimension with the looming re-release of a long-forgotten documentary from his heyday. Director Robert Mugge filmed the stellar Amateur Night at City Hall: The Story of Frank L. Rizzo in 1977, when Rizzo was in his second term as mayor, and the city was as divided over Rizzo’s character as voters are today over Trump’s.

Read more »

Hey, the Phillies Have a Winning Record

Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera.

Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera.

When Jeanmar Gómez struck out Ryan Zimmerman with two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning last night, the Phillies got something they hadn’t had in a really long time: A winning record.

The Phillies lost 99 games last year, but they actually started last season 3-2. But the last time they were over .500 this late in the season was early May 2014, when they were 15-14. Read more »

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