New Family-Focused Fitness Reality Show Casting in Philly

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Local TV production company Nancy Glass Productions is on the hunt for Philly-area families looking to shed weight and get healthy for a new reality show. Center City training studio Unite Fitness is signed on to work with overweight families of four or more, who are willing to work toward a healthier lifestyle.

Here’s how to apply (you know you want to!) »

One Simple Rule For Surviving Christmas With Your Family

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I was once told by an older gentleman that it is not a true family gathering unless one person leaves crying and another leaves in a huff.

There is a lot of truth in this humorous remark.

Family, by definition, are the people who you have to be with this time of year. When you put too many divergent personalities together in a room, there is bound to be friction. Now that the opening act of Thanksgiving is over and all of the relatives have safely returned home, it is time to gear up  yet again for the main event: Christmas week. How does one adequately prepare for even more quality time as children, spouses, in-laws — and the occasional stray dog that always seems to end up as part of the scene — arrive? If that is not enough, this time you might even get snowed in with them.

Read more »

When Tracing Your Ancestry Becomes a Murder Mystery

My cousin, Saul ‘Sonny’ Shister, was shot to death in 1955 in Montreal in an apparent game of Russian Roulette with his buddies. He was 17.

I never met Saul, but his death has been haunting me. Why would his friend, Harvey Litwack, brandish a .32-calibre revolver as the group left a downtown club? Even after Litwack emptied what he thought were all the bullets, why would he pull the trigger at one, then two, of his pals?
Read more »

Sarah Murnaghan Develops Pneumonia After Second Lung Transplant

The challenges aren’t yet over for Sarah Murnaghan, the young cystic fibrosis patient who recently received a second lung transplant at CHOP after her first one failed. According to a Facebook message posted by Janet Murnaghan, Sarah’s mother, the 10-year-old has developed pneumonia in her right lung, which poses substantial problems for her recovery despite her being more stable today. Murnaghan, however, remains hopeful:

“Sarah has developed pneumonia in her right lung. They believe its caused by aspirations from her belly. Yesterday was tough. Today she is more stable, but this is definitely a large set back. Thank you for the love and prayers. We have an amazing team of doctors who go above and beyond but also walk this road with us in such a kind and compassionate way. Thankful to God for this day!”

[Fox]

Sarah Murnaghan Gets Second Lung Transplant After First Fails

10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan, who has cystic fibrosis, received a much-publicized lung transplant on June 12th this year. Soon after the surgery, her mother said today, Sarah’s health began to “spiral out of control,” and she was placed on a bypass machine that would only allow her to survive for one week. Three days after the first failed transplant, however, a second pair of lungs came through. That operation, also performed at CHOP, was risky: The pair of lungs she received were infected with pneumonia. It seems to have gone well, though, and she is now awake and communicating. [NBC 10]

PA Woman Who Disappeared Mysteriously in 2002 Has Turned Up in Florida

In 2002, a Lancaster County woman named Brenda Heist dropped her two kids off at school and then went to a park, where she sat down on a bench and cried. Distraught over financial troubles resulting from a pending divorce, she accepted an offer from three complete strangers to hitchhike to South Florida. And that’s where she stayed for the past eleven years, living under bridges, in shelters, and with a man in his Key West camper. Yesterday she resurfaced, three years after being declared legally dead.

Brenda Heist: Before and After

Lititz Borough Detective John Schofield said she turned herself into Key Largo police in Florida on Friday, prompting him to meet with her earlier this week. “She said she was at the end of her rope, she was tired of running,” Schofield said. Whether her ex-husband and children are ready to accept her back into their lives is another question. “There were people in the neighborhood who would not allow their children to play with my children” said Lee Heist, who was once suspected of having killed Brenda. Their 19-year-old daughter is a sophomore at West Chester University and her son, 23, who’s seeking a carrer in law enforcement, graduated from there too. [6 ABC]

What’s it Like to Be Rahm Emanuel’s Brother?

When noted bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel was young, he thought it was normal that games of Monopoly with his brothers ended in bloodshed. Come to think of it, muses Emanuel, “In our house, there was blood every night.” In one of his three offices at Penn, Emanuel—gray-haired and stethoscope-thin—slurps tea and tries to sit still. He’s been reflecting a good deal on his childhood lately, because of a question he and his brothers are often asked. Read more »

Phillies Games 4th-Most Expensive in Baseball

You pay for what you get, right? Not necessarily. According to the New York Post, the Phillies, the Cubbies, and the Red Sox, none of whom finished the 2012 season with a winning record account for three of the four most expensive ballpark experiences. For four tickets, four hot dogs, two beers, two sodas, four hot dogs, parking, two hats, and two programs (who buys programs?), a nuclear family day at Citizens Bank Park will cost you $257.16. It’s far too much, but not quite the $337 the Yankees and Red Sox are wringing out of their fans. [New York Post]

Desperate Sixers Sign Jrue Holiday’s Brother; Brotherly Promos Sure to Follow

Andrew Bynum isn’t coming back this year. Nor are the Sixers making the playoffs. There’s nothing left to play for except the draft lottery, and that means not playing well at all. So to sell tickets, it appears the Sixers are making a last-ditch effort to appeal to their fans’ predilection for nostagia and feel-good family affairs.

1. Damien Wilkins, nephew of the great ‘Nique, became a starter.

2. A.I. came back to town for his own Bobblehead night.

3. Now, Jrue Holiday’s older brother Justin, star of the Idaho Stampede, has been called up from the D-League.

So cute!

[CBS 3]

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