Philadelphia

Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

A Philadelphia SWAT officer caught on video using pepper spray on a group of protesters at close range during a demonstration on I-676 will be fired, and the police commander who greenlit the use of these less-than-lethal munitions will accept a voluntary demotion, officials announced Thursday.

What Was The National Guard Doing In Philadelphia, Anyway?

Jun 12, 2020
Matt Slocum / AP

Pennsylvania National Guard troops are making their way out of Philadelphia, after their ranks peaked at 3,000 over the last two weeks of demonstrations protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and others at the hands of police. 

People Are Blowing Up, Or Just Taking, ATMs In Philly

Jun 4, 2020
Matt Rourke / AP

Explosions have hit 50 cash machines in and near Philadelphia since the weekend, and one man has died, in a coordinated effort to steal them or take the money inside, authorities said Wednesday.

A 25-year-old who's accused of selling homemade dynamite on the streets with instructions on how to use it on ATMs has been arrested, though authorities aren't yet sure whether the man is connected to the coordinated effort, the state attorney general said.

Marc Levy / AP

Philadelphia will be under curfew again for a fifth straight night Wednesday, as Gov. Tom Wolf marched in Harrisburg with demonstrators protesting police violence against black people and racial injustice following the killing of George Floyd.

Matt Rourke / AP

A new initiative is bringing works by Philadelphia artists to some downtown businesses temporarily shuttered in an effort to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, officials said.

The Center City District and Mural Arts Philadelphia said two dozen works by 11 artists were selected for installation over the boarded-up windows of nine locations ranging from small retailers to large restaurants.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

On Wednesday evening, Governor Tom Wolf began rolling out details of his plan for reopening Pennsylvania. One of the plan's key points is a long-awaited metric for determining when a county would qualify for reopening.

Philadelphia Police Department / via AP

Funeral services have been scheduled for a Philadelphia police officer who was shot and killed Friday as he served a homicide warrant at a home in the city's Frankford section.

The funeral for Cpl. James O'Connor IV will be held at noon Friday at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.

Bastiaan Slabbers / Keystone Crossroads

Yali Perez worries about her son Ian playing outside with other kids near their home in Bridesburg. On paper, the neighborhood is safe. Yali and her mother, Brenda Santiago, moved here precisely because of its safety.

Civic Groups Argue Supervised Injection Site Will Boost Crime

Mar 4, 2020
Nina Feldman / WHYY

More than a dozen neighborhood associations from South Philadelphia and the River Wards have joined the Fraternal Order of Police in filing a court document in opposition to a planned supervised injection site. The filing, a “friend of the court” brief, supports U.S. Attorney William McSwain’s request for a stay that would prevent the site from opening while his appeal moves through the Third Circuit Court.

Craig Mitchelldyer / AP

The new commissioner of the nation's fourth-largest city police force will start work Monday amid a surge in homicides and calls for action to address ongoing allegations of racism and gender discrimination.

Danielle Outlaw, the former police chief of Portland, Ore., was chosen by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney from a pool of more than 30 candidates to take the helm of the 6,500-officer force. Outlaw will be the first black woman to hold the position in Philadelphia.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania is marshaling more money to help pay for better water treatment in suburban Philadelphia communities where testing has shown tap water contaminated with toxic industrial compounds used in products like nonstick cookware, carpets, firefighting foam and fast-food wrappers.

Matt Rourke / 90.5 WESA

Authorities say more charges are likely to be filed in the case of a Philadelphia man accused of barricading himself inside a city row house and shooting six police officers during an hourslong standoff last week. 

Gunman Wounds At Least 6 Philadelphia Police, 2 Others Freed

Aug 15, 2019
Matt Rourke / 90.5 WESA

An hourslong standoff where a gunman shot at police, wounding six of them, as he was barricaded inside a Philadelphia home somehow ended with no fatalities.

*This story was updated at 10:59 a.m. on Aug. 15, 2019 to include updated information. 

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Richard Ross, who spent hours Wednesday negotiating with the gunman through the phone, said the situation that unfolded "could have been far worse."

Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

Athletes around the world are getting ready for the Summer Olympics in Tokyo next year, but in Philadelphia, there’s a group of rowers with a much longer-term goal. 

Matt Rourke / AP

Philadelphia transportation officials are considering charging motorists to pass through busy sections of the city.

'Filthadelphia' Tries To Shed Nickname By Cleaning Streets

Mar 29, 2019
Matt Rourke / AP

The City of Brotherly Love was once revolutionary when it came to clean streets, gutters and sidewalks. Benjamin Franklin launched one of America's first street sweeping programs here in the late 1750s. In 1952, the city tied with Memphis, Tennessee, as the nation's cleanest.

After months of threats, federal prosecutors in Philadelphia launched a legal challenge on Wednesday against the nonprofit Safehouse, which is hoping to open what could be the nation's first site where people with opioid addiction can use drugs under medical supervision.

90.5 WESA

Every day, roughly 300,000 people commute to Pittsburgh for work. They rely on city roads to get there and city police and fire to ensure their safety while they’re here, all of which costs money. But Pittsburgh, unlike Philadelphia, has no commuter tax to defray that burden.

Gritty is an icon for our troubled times.

It has been just over a month since the Philadelphia Flyers introduced the mascot, a furry, candy corn-colored abomination against nature. And Gritty has used that time well — overcoming obvious eye issues and an apparent temper problem to become a sophisticated new cornerstone of our national discourse.

Philly's $40,000 Cab Ride, And What It Says About Modern, Urban Education

Sep 24, 2018
Emily Cohen / WHYY

If you squint just right, Roberta Bellamy looks like she’s living in a public school paradise.

Martin Meissner / AP

An eastern Pennsylvania school district is investigating a teacher who portrays a Nazi villain named "Blitzkrieg" at local professional wrestling events.

The Spring-Ford Area School District launched the probe after video surfaced of Kevin Bean performing at a wrestling event in the Philadelphia suburbs. The video showed Bean, as Blitzkrieg, carrying a flag bearing the German Iron Cross and chanting the "Sieg Heil" Nazi salute.

Matt Rourke / AP

Philadelphia's district attorney said Wednesday that he will not support renewing a contract allowing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement access to Philadelphia's real-time arrest database.

Kimberly Paynter / WHYY

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney met Monday evening with a group of immigrant advocates, as well as members of a protest encampment decrying the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy and calling on the city to end its data-sharing contract with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

FBI: Al-Qaida Supporter Planned Bombings In Cleveland And Philadelphia

Jul 2, 2018
North Olmsted Police Department

An American-born citizen who federal authorities say recently scouted locations in Cleveland to attack people watching Fourth of July fireworks and talked of carrying out additional bombings in Philadelphia has been charged with trying to support terrorism.

Federal authorities said Monday that Demetrius Pitts had expressed his support for al-Qaida for more than a year and talked about setting off bombs at a July 4 parade and later in his hometown, Philadelphia.

Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell Says He Has Parkinson's

Jun 18, 2018
Matt Rourke / AP

Former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell said Monday that he was diagnosed 3½ years ago with Parkinson's disease, but said he believes that treatment has stopped the progression of the disease and he has maintained his quality of life.

The 74-year-old Rendell made the announcement at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia with officials and doctors from the University of Pennsylvania as part of a public service message to urge people who suspect they have symptoms to get diagnosed and get treatment early.

David Zalubowski / AP

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke in Scranton on Friday, but much of his half-hour speech to about 150 local, state and federal law enforcement officials was directed at another city, about 120 miles south.

Adelina Lancianese / 90.5 WESA

There's a decades-old mystery underfoot in Downtown Pittsburgh: small tiles placed in busy intersections that decry the media and ponder resurrection.

Kiichiro Sato / AP

President Donald Trump rescinded his invitation to the Philadelphia Eagles this week after reports suggested only about 10 players of the 90-member, Super Bowl-winning squad were planning to attend. The President tied the decision to past criticism of players who protested police brutality and harsh treatment of African Americans by kneeling during the "National Anthem."

Wagner Campaign

This week, Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Wagner focused some of his energy on an unlikely target: grass.

Philadelphia Eagles Coach Says He Wanted To Go To The White House

Jun 6, 2018
Matt Slocum / AP

Eagles coach Doug Pederson said he was looking forward to going to the White House to be recognized as Super Bowl champions but he wouldn't further discuss a visit that was canceled by President Donald Trump.

"I was looking forward to going down, obviously," Pederson said Wednesday. "We did something last season that was very special, a milestone in the city of Philadelphia and for our organization. I was looking forward to being recognized as world champions. It is what it is."

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