Archive | March, 2017

Penn’s deadline for Fresh Grocer at 40th and Walnut to move out is today

March 31, 2017

Workers at the Fresh Grocer at 40th and Walnut were erecting a new sunscreen display near the checkout lines this morning, getting the store ready for the spring. Nothing strange about that, except that the store was supposed to close today for good to make way for a new supermarket operator.

Fresh Grocer’s property lease expires today, March 31, according to the University of Pennsylvania’s Facilities and Real Estate Services office. The office manages Penn’s vast holdings in West Philadelphia and has plans for the space that do not include Fresh Grocer.

“Penn has notified Fresh Grocer that its lease will expire on March 31 and that it must vacate the store by that date,” spokeswoman Jennifer Rizzi wrote in an e-mail on March 30. “However, Fresh Grocer rejects Penn’s position that the lease expires on that date, so we do not know whether they will vacate the store on March 31.”  Continue Reading

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Maintenance man sentenced to life without parole for 2015 murder of Drexel grad near 50th and Locust

March 30, 2017

             Jasmine Wright was 27.

The maintenance man standing trial for the rape and murder of a woman who lived in the building where he worked was found guilty on Wednesday of first degree murder and other charges and sentenced to life without parole.

James Harris, 56, was found guilty in the July 2015 rape and murder of 27-year-old Jasmine Wright, a Drexel graduate student, at her apartment near 50th and Locust Streets.

Harris had worked in the building where Wright lived, but had been fired a week earlier, according to reports. He still had keys to the building when Wright was murdered. Police said his DNA and fingerprints were found at the scene.  Continue Reading

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From Sam’s Place to Earth Cup to Coffee Market: Celebrate the shop’s 10th anniversary this Saturday (sponsored)

March 29, 2017

Coffee Market (Facebook page), the locally-owned coffee shop at 45th and Pine, re-opened 10 years ago under new management, in the space where Sam’s Place used to be, one of the oldest coffee shops in the neighborhood! This Saturday (on April Fools Day!), owner Natasa Brkanin is inviting everyone to celebrate her shop’s 10th anniversary with all day long specials, events, and some delicious coffee sampling! Check out this flier for more details:

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West Philadelphia Skills Initiative receives major grant from Pew

March 29, 2017

Great news for the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative, the University City District’s program providing job training and job interview opportunities to West Philadelphia residents by connecting them with local employers. The program has recently received a major grant – $600,000 – from the Pew Charitable Trusts. The grant will help the Skills Initiative to expand its reach and impact in the area.

The nationally-acclaimed program, which recently turned 5 years old, boasts a 90 percent job placement rate for its graduates and has helped hundreds of unemployed West Philly residents since its inception in 2011. The Pew grant is the largest ever in the program’s history and is essential to its efforts to significantly grow its capacity over the next three years. These plans include expanding the number of program participants, both trainees and employers, and employment opportunities.

The program’s goal is to serve 500 individuals annually by the end of 2021.

For more information about the West Philadelphia Skills Initiative and current opportunities for job seekers, visit:

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Victims held at gunpoint during home invasion, robbery near 48th and Baltimore

March 28, 2017

Police are investigating a home invasion and gunpoint robbery that took place early Friday morning on the 800 block of South 48th Street.

An 18-year-old male, reportedly a homestay student, was entering the residence at approximately 2:30 a.m. when he was approached from behind by three unknown young males. One of them pointed a gun at him, and then the men forced their way into the property, according to police.

Once inside, the men put the 18-year-old and two other people – reportedly the property owners – on the floor and robbed them. They took the 18-year-old victim’s wallet, cash, a debit card and cell phone. They also made the property owners open a safe, located on the second floor, and took $1,500 from it, according to a police report.  Continue Reading

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Become a Bartram’s Garden Boathouse volunteer and enjoy free boating

March 27, 2017

Photo courtesy of Bartram’s Garden.

Here’s a great and unique volunteer opportunity this spring and summer in Southwest Philadelphia. The Bartram’s Garden Community Boathouse has few dozen open volunteer spots for its upcoming season. In exchange for helping run free boating programs, volunteers have access to the fleet of kayaks, canoes and rowboats on the lower Schuylkill River.

The boating season at Bartram’s begins on April 22 and ends on October 29, 2017. Volunteers are needed to help with the following programs: Saturday Free Walk-Up Boating, Tuesday Sunset Kayaking, weekday rowboating trips, monthly kayak tours, and more, as well as during special events at Bartram’s Garden, such as Tidal Schuylkill Boat Parade, the Philadelphia Honey Festival, Harvest Fest, and the Southwest Philadelphia Fishing Derby.  Continue Reading

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