Million-Dollar Homes Sell at Record Pace

Morning headlines: But it's not just the high end of Philly's real estate market that's improving.

Gorgeous. |

Good morning, Philadelphia, and happy Back to the Future Day. Here’s what you need to know today.

Philadelphia just shattered its quarterly record for sales of million-dollar homes.

Drexel’s Kevin Gillen says 34 homes sold for more than $1 million in Philadelphia during the third quarter of 2015. “This was not only more than double the 16 such sales that occurred in the previous quarter, but this also exceeded the previous record of 25 such sales back in 2008Q3,” he writes in his quarterly housing report. But it’s not just the high-end market that’s strengthening: The median house price in Philadelphia increased to $142,000 during the quarter; the 4,655 home sales during the quarter were the most since 2007, before the Great Recession took hold. (PhillyVoice)

Senate Democrats on Tuesday blocked a bill to punish “sanctuary cities” like Philadelphia, which offer protections for undocumented immigrants.

The bill “would block such jurisdictions from collecting some federal grants and would toughen criminal sentences for illegal immigrants who are convicted of a serious crime after being repeatedly deported,” the Washington Post reports. The bill received majority support in the Senate, with 54 votes, but fell short of the necessary 60 votes needed to advance through a procedural roadblock. This isn’t the end of the matter, however. “The next step is to attach this legislation to must-pass legislation and to actually fix this problem,” Republican Sen. Ted Cruz said.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane finally, officially loses her law license tonight.

It was ordered suspended by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in September, in the wake of charges she violated grand jury secrecy for political gain. “The suspension does not remove Kane from office, but effectively strips her of most of the duties she is mandated to perform under state law,” the Morning Call reports. “She will still be in charge as attorney general,” her spokesman said. “But clearly she will be somewhat limited in what she can do.”

Delaware’s governor will reportedly pardon a man who helped Civil War-era slaves escape north.

Samuel Burris “was caught helping a slave try to escape from Delaware in 1847,” AP reports. “After Burris was tried and found guilty of enticing slaves to escape, part of his sentence was that he be sold into slavery for seven years. Instead, a Pennsylvania anti-slavery society raised the money to purchase him and set him free. And Burris went right back to helping slaves escape.” Activists say Delaware Gov. Jack Markell has decided to posthumously pardon Burris; the act is expected to take place Nov. 2, the anniversary of the conviction.

Opera Philadelphia will kick off its 2017 season with a 12-day party across the city.

The company, which is always trying to figure out how to reach new audiences, will start the season with a 12-day opera festival held at sites across the city, the New York Times reports. “The binge-watching preference is not isolated to television,” David B. Devan, the company’s general director, told the paper. “This is kind of like a 12-day opening night party that never ends.” The Times adds: “The company has already raised the $10 million it needs to mount the first four years of festivals, Mr. Devan said. The first will be held from Sept. 14 through 25 in 2017.”

Follow @JoelMMathis on Twitter. Get morning headlines in your inbox: Sign up here.