Archive | January, 2018

Police investigate gunpoint robberies in Cedar Park, Garden Court, Walnut Hill

January 31, 2018

Police are investigating three gunpoint robberies that happened in Cedar Park, Garden Court and Walnut Hill neighborhoods in the past two weeks, including one at 11 a.m. and another just before 1 p.m.. One of these robberies resulted in an arrest of two suspects. Here are more details from police:

January 14, 46th and Hazel
At approximately 12:50 p.m., two people were walking on the 4600 block of Hazel Ave when they were approached by three young males. Two of them pulled out guns and announced a robbery. The suspects took cell phones from both victims and one victim’s wallet with identification, an unknown amount of cash and credit cards. The suspects then ran eastbound, and then northbound on 46th Street after the incident. The investigation is active and ongoing with Southwest Detective Division. All three suspects are described as black males 17-24 years old. Two of them were armed with small black revolvers, according to police.  Continue Reading

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Philadelphia School District releases 2016-2017 school progress report

January 31, 2018

The Philadelphia School District this week released a report that shows a second consecutive year of progress among most of the 164 Philadelphia public schools.

The 2016-2017 School Progress Report (SPR) shows increasing scores among the city’s lowest performing schools.

Now in its fifth year, the SPR evaluates district and charter schools in multiple areas, including student achievement, school climate, and college- and career-readiness among high school students. There are four report types: Elementary, K-8, Middle and High. Each school receives an overall score, as well as a score for each of four SPR “performance areas”: Achievement, Progress, Climate, and College and Career (high schools only). A school’s overall and domain scores are categorized into one of four performance tiers: Intervene (lowest), Watch, Reinforce and Model (highest).  Continue Reading

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Spruce Hill community leader Mark Wagenveld passes away at 73

January 30, 2018

Mark Wagenveld photographed in Clark Park in 2011 (Photo from Spruce Hill Community Association Facebook page).

UPDATE (2/1/2018): A memorial service for Mark Wagenveld will be held on Saturday, Feb. 17 at Old Pine Street Presbyterian Church at 412 Pine St. Visitation will be from 9:45-10:45 a.m., with a service to follow at 11 a.m.

Longtime Spruce Hill community leader and retired Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Mark Wagenveld passed away on Saturday at the age of 73.

We got to know Mark in his role as president of the Spruce Hill Community Association and a mentor of sorts who took an interest in West Philly Local soon after we began publishing in 2010. He always had solid news tips and words of encouragement for us.

We also know him as the driving force behind the May Fair in Clark Park and the Halloween Parade. Mark became active in community work soon after his retirement from the Inquirer in 2005, according to Barry Grossbach, his friend and colleague in the Spruce Hill Community Association.

“Sometimes we don’t fully appreciate a person’s contribution or importance while they are around,” Grossbach wrote. “Not so with Mark. Everyone knew what he did and what he meant to our community. And everyone will be the poorer for his absence.”  Continue Reading

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Three West Philadelphia area representatives to host joint town hall this Wednesday

January 29, 2018

State Rep. Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware, and State Reps. Vanessa Lowery Brown and Morgan Cephas, both D-Phila., are hosting a joint town hall meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 31, 6-8 p.m. The purpose of the meeting is to address “the unique issues facing residents of West Philadelphia.” McClinton, Brown and Cephas will also inform residents of legislative developments in Harrisburg that impact their respective districts.

The meeting will take place at Sayre High School, 5800 Walnut St. and is open to the community.

Constituents with questions should contact McClinton’s office at 215-748-6712, Brown’s office at 215-879-6615, and Cephas’ office at 215-879-6625.


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CVS Pharmacy at 43rd and Locust robbed at gunpoint (updated)

January 29, 2018

Update (Jan. 30): Police spokesman Troy Brown said there have been no arrests in the CVS robbery as it had been initially reported. The suspect is described as an approximately 6-foot-tall Black male in his 30s with a medium build wearing a “bubble coat,” a knit Eagles hat and a face mask.

The CVS Pharmacy at 43rd and Locust was robbed at gunpoint on Sunday night, according to police. An unknown male wearing a mask walked into the store at around 10:35 p.m., pointed a handgun at the clerks and demanded money from the register. The suspect took approximately $400 and then fled on foot westbound on Locust street.

No injuries have been reported.

Shoplifters pulled knifes at the staff in the same store last year, and a thief pulled a gun at the store manager in 2016.


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Company building apartments atop former graveyard considers hiring consultants

January 29, 2018

What do you do when your job is to build an apartment building on what could be the city’s oldest African American cemetery? You start by asking a lot of questions, according to contractor Vaughan Buckley.

Wash N’ Lube car wash at 4125 Chestnut St was demolished earlier this month.

That’s what Buckley, head of Vaughan Buckley Construction, is doing after it was discovered last week that the site of a proposed apartment building at 4125 Chestnut Street, the property formerly occupied by the now-demolished Wash N’ Lube car wash, could have graves below.

“Consultants and other professionals in this field are being contacted and interviewed by my team and I, to help us throughout this process,” Buckley wrote in a formal statement on Friday. He said that the company is bringing in environmental and soil specialists to deal specifically with the cemetery situation.

The possibility that a graveyard was on the site became widely known after a Philadelphia Inquirer article was published last week.  Continue Reading

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