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Suspect in custody in connection to murder of West Philly activist Winnie Harris

October 9, 2017

Winnie Harris (center) during MLK Day of Service in January 2017 (Photo courtesy of UC Green).

Police say they have a suspect in custody in connection to the murder of West Philly activist Winnie Harris, who was found shot to death inside her home on the 300 block of North Holly Street on February 3, 2017. The suspect was arrested on Friday while in detention for another, unrelated matter, according to police. Charges against the suspect are pending. More details about the suspect have not been released as of Monday afternoon.

Harris, 65, was a longtime Powelton resident and green space advocate. She worked as the executive director of West Philadelphia based nonprofit UC Green at the time of her death.

In May, police released and distributed a flyer asking for the public’s help with information on two persons of interest in relation to the murder.

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Memorial service for Vincent Whittacre, former Gold Standard Cafe owner and Cedar Park community leader, who passed away last week, scheduled for Sept. 24

September 18, 2017

We’re very sad to report that Vincent (Vince) Whittacre, former owner of the Gold Standard Cafe and Cedar Park community organizer, passed away on Wednesday, Sept. 13 at the age of 57.

Vince Whittacre (right) with his spouse and business partner Roger Harman (Photo from BABA Facebook page).

Vince not only was a co-founder and co-owner of the popular Cedar Park restaurant (he and his spouse and business partner Roger Harman sold it in 2015 after almost 35 years of work in the restaurant business), he was also a founder and past president of the Baltimore Avenue Business Association (BABA). The following message was posted on BABA’s Facebook page:

“Vince was an involved and active member of our West Philly community. He made a difference, investing, immersing, and concerning himself in so many ways. As a former leader and former President of BABA, we appreciate his hard work, support, dedication and legacy. We will miss him.”

Vince was also active in many local organizations, such as Curio Theatre Company, Chester Avenue Dog Park, Action AIDS, and more. He was also an “avid reader, lover of mysteries, film enthusiast, and an excellent cook,” according to an obituary posted online. “He could often be found at the opera or ballet crying along to one of his many favorite performances, especially Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet… [He] possessed an acidic wit and infectious laugh.”  Continue Reading

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15-year-old girl missing since Friday

August 16, 2017

A 15-year-old girl, Leneisha Buchanan, has been missing for several days, according to her family, who live in Mantua. She was last seen on Friday, Aug. 11 in West Philadelphia, near the Philadelphia Zoo. She is between 5’4″ and 5’6″ and 130 to 140lbs. Click here for more information on how to contact her family if you have any information about Laneisha.

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Walk in remembrance of Winnie Harris, murdered in West Powelton in February

July 26, 2017

On Thursday, July 27, community members will gather for a remembrance event for West Philly community activist and green space advocate Winnie Harris. They will walk in her name and will pass out leaflets to “bring her killers to justice.” The event is organized by the Philadelphia Police 16th District and begins at 6 p.m. at 300 Holly St. See the flyer below for more details and if you want to participate in this event.

Almost six months have passed since Harris, 65, was found shot to death in her home on the 300 block of North Holly Street in West Powelton where she had lived for 40 years. In May, police released a flyer asking for the public’s assistance to identify two persons of interest in the investigation of the killing, which happened on February 3rd, 2017, but so far no arrests have been made.  Continue Reading

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A taste of Argentina – Jezabel’s Studio – opens Wednesday on 45th St. near Walnut

July 11, 2017

Chef Jezabel Careaga, a native of Argentina whose Jezabel’s Café at 26th and Pine has been named one of Philly’s best “under-the-radar breakfast places,” is bringing her empanadas, alfajores, specially made mate tea and coffee to an intimate storefront near 45th and Walnut.

Jezabel Careaga, chef-owner of Jezabel’s.

Jezabel’s Studio will open tomorrow, July 12, at 208 S. 45th St. At only 400 square feet, Jezabel’s Studio will definitely not be a place to park with your laptop. But Careaga is making the most of the space, which includes a small indoor sitting area (there are a couple of seats on the sidewalk too).

Offerings will include a variety of her signature empanadas (yes, they have a vegan option) as well as alfajores, Argentine shortbread cookies that are filled with dulce de leche and rolled in coconut shavings.  Continue Reading

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Omar, a neighborhood fixture beloved by many and despised by others, passed away last week (updated)

June 12, 2017

This photo portrait of Omar was made by well-known West Philly photographer Kyle Cassidy.

The news has spread very fast – Omar, a controversial, but undoubtedly iconic Spruce Hill individual, has passed away. Although we couldn’t confirm the details, he reportedly died suddenly last week in Long Beach Island, N.J.

A vigil for Omar was held Thursday night at 45th and Locust (photo by Kyle Cassidy).

Many folks who knew him gathered at 45th and Locust Thursday night for a vigil (see more photos below).

Omar was known by many as simultaneously a neighborhood eccentric, dangerous aggressor (sometimes violently so) and idiosyncratic barfly. He showed up in the Spruce Hill neighborhood in the early 2000s, sometimes disappearing for weeks at a time to “the burbs” (his words).

Omar made some people in the neighborhood angry by his erratic and often aggressive behavior (especially toward young women), but he was “a staple of the neighborhood,” as one neighbor put it.  Continue Reading

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