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New retail/community services complex breaks ground near 60th and Market

Posted on 16 February 2018

A new retail and community services complex is coming to West Philadelphia’s Haddington-Cobbs Creek neighborhood. New Market West is a four story, 135,700 square foot hub which will be built on a 1.5 acre vacant site at 5901 Market Street, half a block from the 60th and Market Street El stop (see rendering).

The new building will house organizations focused on early childhood education, workforce development, educational and emergency support services, behavioral health service, and will include community-serving retail.

Governor Tom Wolf joined other state and city officials and representatives from local community organizations in a groundbreaking ceremony for the complex on Friday morning. During the ceremony, the governor announced the approval of $10.5 million in tax credits to support the project, in addition to the state’s $5 million Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program investment announced in December. Continue Reading

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Family robbed and carjacked on 4600 block of Larchwood Wednesday afternoon (updated)

Posted on 15 February 2018

A family was robbed and carjacked at gunpoint on the 4600 block of Larchwood Avenue on Wednesday at about 1 p.m., according to the University City District.

Two young adult males approached a family that was exiting their vehicle on the block and asked for money. The family refused to give them any money, and one of the males produced a gun and demanded valuables. The two young men also stole the family’s vehicle.

Two males with the same description attempted to carjack another vehicle a block away about 10 minutes earlier, according to UCD. The driver in that incident refused to exit his car, and the two men fled.  Continue Reading

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Power outages knock out numerous traffic lights in West Philly

Posted on 12 February 2018

The Penn Division of Public Safety is reporting that due to power outages in West Philadelphia traffic lights are out Monday morning in the following locations:

  • 34th and Market
  • 38th and Walnut
  • 39th and Walnut
  • 40th and Walnut
  • 34th and Chestnut
  • 38th and Chestnut

Police are on location directing traffic. Commuters should expect delays.

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

Posted on 31 January 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

Posted on 31 January 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

Posted on 30 January 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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