Pedal-Operated BigBelly Trash Cans Are Coming to Philly

Lots of Philadelphians hate, hate, hate the city’s BigBelly trash cans.

Yes, Mayor Michael Nutter says they save taxpayers lots of money. Yes, they alert the city when they’re full. Yes, they’re solar-powered. But … the handles are just so sticky and gross.

Streets Commissioner David Perri said he has heard residents’ complaints and come up with a solution. All of the city’s new BigBelly trash cans, as well as any that are replaced moving forward, will be equipped with foot pedals, he said.  Read more »

School District Employee Arrested on Perjury, Conflict of Interest Charges

Priscilla Wright via LinkedIn | School District headquarters, Jeff Fusco

Priscilla Wright via LinkedIn | School District headquarters, Jeff Fusco

A Philadelphia School District employee faces charges of steering $900,000 worth of contracts to vendors owned by, and that employed, friends and family.

Priscilla Wright, 50, was manager of small business development for the district. She turned herself in and was arrested today, officials say. She has also resigned her employment with the district. Read more »

How Rick Santorum Could Disrupt the 2016 GOP Race

Rick Santorum has shifted his focus.

Santorum is announcing his candidacy for the presidency today outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The former Pennsylvania senator was considered a rising Republican star before getting trounced in the 2006 election, but he made a surprise showing in the 2012 presidential primaries. Emphasizing a message of social conservatism, he ended up finishing second to Mitt Romney. He won the primaries of 11 states.

Things are different this time. There are so many candidates in the GOP field they aren’t sure how to run the debates. Santorum, though, has a new emphasis. To differentiate himself from the other social conservatives in the race, he is rebranding himself as something of an economic populist.

He even has a jangly pop-country theme song. Read more »

Cops Search for Suspects in Center City Muggings

A group of four assaulted, threatened and robbed a man walking in Washington Square West in the early morning earlier this month, police say. They’ve released surveillance images and video of the suspects, who are also wanted for a second assault and robbery in Society Hill just 20 minutes later.

In the first incident, a 31-year-old man was walking with a friend on the 900 block of Walnut Street (near the Wawa) when he was approached by three men and a woman. He was struck several times and threatened with a knife. He surrendered his Gucci watch, his laptop bag and his passport, but didn’t report any injuries. Read more »

Are the Duggars Pro-Family — or Just Anti-Woman?

The Duggars

The Duggars

In general, I try not to dissect why I care about the lives of strangers on reality TV shows. Best-case scenario, I don’t have enough going on in my own life. Worst case, I have a sneaky crush on Dr. Dubrow that’s about to surface and cause worlds of pain and confusion.

But 19 Kids and Counting has always been a little different. It’s hard to be a woman in 2015 and not be interested (or, in my case, morbidly interested) in the Duggar family, who are followers of an ultra-conservative brand of Christianity that adheres to the Biblical patriarchy movement.

After this weekend, it’s impossible not to be afraid of them. Read more »

The Flyers Won Their Most Recent Stanley Cup 40 Years Ago Today

Forty years ago today, the Philadelphia Flyers won their most recent Stanley Cup.

It was an incredible run for the franchise not 10 years after it was founded. The Flyers had won a Cup in just their seventh season, then followed it up with a second championship in their eighth. The Broad Street Bullies are still the fastest expansion team to win a Stanley Cup in NHL history.

That nickname was well earned — the Flyers teams hit hard, fought often and were loathed by a lot of hockey fans. it was by design. Owner Ed Snider didn’t like seeing the Flyers get pushed around in playoff series losses early in the team’s history. He instructed general manager Keith Allen to draft players who wouldn’t get pushed around.

“That was our modus operandi,” Snider told The Hockey News last year. “We didn’t get beat up anymore. I didn’t invent fighting in hockey, and I don’t necessarily love it. I’m just saying I don’t want anybody to kick the shit out of a Flyer ever again.” Read more »

Penn State Closes “Facebook Frat”

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Penn State students in March protest against Kappa Delta Rho.

Penn State on Tuesday ordered the Kappa Delta Rho fraternity on campus be closed for three years, a decision reached after spring revelations that members of the fraternity had posted pictures of nude, unconscious women to a private Facebook page.

“The investigative report makes clear that some members of the KDR chapter promoted a culture of harassing behavior and degradation of women. These are not acceptable actions within a student organization that is recognized and supported by Penn State,” said Damon Sims, vice president for Student Affairs, in a letter to university’s Interfraternity Council. “We must respond accordingly, and we hope by doing so it is clearly understood that our University will not tolerate such actions.” Read more »

Phillies’ GM Apologizes for Lashing Out at Fans

Phillies’ GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has apologized for saying the team’s fans “don’t understand the game.”

“I’m a fan myself,” Amaro said Tuesday, after his comments drew attention from across the sporting world. “I understand the passion and the knowledge that our fans have for our game and the other major sports, all the other sports in Philly. The comments weren’t meant to disparage our fans by any stretch of the imagination. I probably used my words incorrectly or poorly. I want to apologize for that.” Read more »

Penn Hotel Employees Charged in Kickback Scheme

Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 2.00.55 PM

Two employees of the Sheraton University City Hotel have been charged in a kickback scheme that feds say netted them up to $3 million in ill-gotten profits.

Kenneth Kapikian, 57, and Dennis Gagliardi, 60, served as general manager and chief engineer, respectively, of the hotel, which is owned by the University of Pennsylvania. They were each charged with seven counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Read more »

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