George Santos Is Invading the Poconos This Summer

Plus, illegal deer, greased pole problems, and a new Netflix special from a Philly comedian.

George Santos expects to spend much of his summer vacation in the Poconos

George Santos, who expects to spend much of his summer vacation in the Poconos (Getty Images)

Check each morning Monday through Thursday for the latest edition of Philly Today. And if you have a news tip for our hardworking Philly Mag reporters, please direct it here. You can also use that form to send us reader mail. We love reader mail!

George Santos Is Invading the Poconos

Ah, the Poconos in summer. The cool nighttime breezes. The gorgeous lakes. All that clean mountain air. And, well, one of the most disgraced, laughably dishonest, and thoroughly cringey politicians of all time. No, no. Not that guy. I’m talking about George Santos.

You remember George Santos, right? The first openly gay Republican elected to Congress who then managed to get himself expelled from Congress in December after it turned out that much of his biography and resume was a lie and after the feds charged him in a 23-count fraud and conspiracy case.  Yes, that George Santos.

Well, if you’re vacationing in the Poconos this summer as so many of us do, you might just run into Santos at your favorite spots.

Santos is currently out on bond awaiting trial in the federal case, a trial that could begin this September. The conditions of his release include restrictions on where he can go. When the judge released Santos last year, those areas were limited to Long Island, New York City, and Washington, D.C. But now, he wants to get away from it all and spend much of his summer in the Poconos.

Last week, attorneys representing Santos asked the federal judge to amend the conditions surrounding his release. Specifically, they requested that Santos be allowed to travel to the Mount Pocono area. And more specifically, Tobyhanna, that idyllic Poconos town with its lakes and low-lying hills. Yesterday, the judge agreed to the change. So you can expect to see Santos lurking around Tobyhanna and Mount Pocono this summer.

Ah, the Jersey Shore is looking better and better every day. No George Santos. And, such great restaurants!

Suspected Terrorist(s) Arrested In Philadelphia

Details are few and far between on this one, but reports indicate that the feds just arrested eight men from Tajikistan who may be connected to ISIS, with at least one of those arrests happening in Philadelphia. The men reportedly crossed into the United States over the southern border, some back in 2023, and did so after clearing criminal background checks. It appears that investigators began monitoring the men after the FBI became aware of a potential terrorist threat that might be connected to them. Yes, lots of mights and potentials here. It’s also unclear exactly what the charges against the men are and where precisely the arrest or arrests in Philly occurred.

“Over the last few days, ICE agents arrested several non-citizens pursuant to immigration authorities,” federal officials said in a statement on Tuesday. “The actions were carried out in close coordination with the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces. The individuals arrested are detained in ICE custody pending removal proceedings.”

Yep, that’s it for now. I’ll keep an eye on this one.

Only In New Jersey

Here’s a headline I wasn’t expecting to see this week: “South Jersey man arrested for stowing baby deer in shopping bag, police say.” OK then.

Only In South Philly

Another unexpected headline: “Weeks after the Italian Market Festival, no one has taken down the cheese and meat from the greased pole.” Because of course.

By the Numbers

3: Number of credits that brand new Philly Mag intern Owen Spaloss needs to graduate from college, credits he’d been expecting to obtain by working said Philly Mag internship. The problem? That college is (was?) the University of the Arts. Spaloss documents his unfortunate saga of the last week and a half here.

$100 million: Size of the controversial Pennsylvania school voucher program on the table in Harrisburg. For some reason, Jay-Z has decided to enter the debate.

4: Days all you transit nerds will have to wait to finally see SEPTA’s restored 1947 trolleys. The historic trolleys from SEPTA’s Route 15 line went out of service in 2020 and are set to return on June 16th. Hopefully they got all the gum off the bottom of the seats. Ew.

Local Talent

Philly born-and-raised comedian (and former Wanda Sykes roommate) Keith Robinson just got his own Netflix special, Different Strokes, co-produced by Amy Schumer. The special’s name is less a nod to the hit 1980s TV show and more a nod to the fact that Robinson suffered two life-changing strokes, one in 2016 and one in 2020. The strokes have rendered him partially paralyzed and with significantly slurred speech, but he’s not letting that put an end to his career. Here’s fellow Philly guy Kevin Hart, who calls Robinson his mentor, giving the show a plug.