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Funeral services for UC Green’s Winnie Harris, murdered last week, set for Monday, Feb. 13

February 10, 2017

Funeral services for beloved West Philly community activist and acting executive director of UC Green, Winnie Harris, who was found shot to death in her Powelton home last Friday, will take place Monday, Feb. 13.

The funeral will be at the Christ Community Church of Philadelphia (4017 Chestnut St.), beginning at 10 a.m. A closed casket Memorial Hour will begin at 9 a.m. Burial will be at the West Laurel Hill Cemetery, 215 Belmont Avenue, in Bala Cynwyd, followed by a reception for family and friends.

A number of community organizations where Harris, a longtime Powelton resident and green space advocate, has been involved with posted their messages grieving her tragic death.  Continue Reading

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Longtime Powelton resident and green space advocate Winnie Harris, 65, found shot to death

February 6, 2017

The last time we spoke with Winnie Harris was last summer, when she was rallying support for the Holly Street Neighbors Community Garden. The garden, built on a vacant lot, was just down the street from her Holly Street home in West Powelton, where she had lived for 40 years. Gardens, trees and keeping this part of West Philadelphia green was her passion and, as one of the driving forces behind UC Green, her occupation.

Harris, 65, was found dead in her home on the 300 block of North Holly Street late Friday with a single gunshot wound in the abdomen. No arrests have been made, and the police say the motive is unclear. Neighbors on her block noticed Friday that Harris’s second floor window was open. Police found her in a second floor bedroom. Harris lived alone in the house.  Continue Reading

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Donations page set up for woman killed near 52nd and Locust

December 9, 2016

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Carol Isom

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help offset funeral expenses for Carol Isom, the woman killed when she was struck near 52nd and Locust by a car fleeing police on Nov. 29.

Carol Isom, 55, is survived by her husband of 34 years, five children, including a 19-year-old daughter in her second year at Temple University, and five grandchildren.

“My mom was everything. She was everything to everybody around here. She was like the neighborhood mom, and she did nothing but love, nothing but smile,” Brittany Isom, Carol’s daughter, told 6ABC.

Police say the pursuit began when two men in two vehicles began shooting at each other along Westminster Avenue and ended at 52nd and Locust when one of the vehicles struck the vehicle Isom was driving. She lived nearby on the 200 block of S. 53rd St. Her 56th birthday would have been on Dec. 10.

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A birthday to remember

December 5, 2016

pearlsimpson

It doesn’t happen very often when the mayor wishes you a Happy Birthday. Garden Court resident Dr. Pearl Simpson, who just turned 90, received a letter from Mayor Jim Kinney congratulating her on her achievements. The letter was read to her at her birthday party held on Saturday.

About 50 people attended the party held in the Garden Court apartment complex community room, among them Dr. Pearl’s former colleagues, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, friends and neighbors.

In his letter, the mayor praised Dr. Pearl’s skills and professional achievements, including her work as a Community College of Philadelphia professor and her service in the City’s Human Services Department.

(Photo by Elaine Fultz)

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West Philly food entrepreneurs take their sauce named for their late brother to the “Sharks”

October 28, 2016

West Philly entrepreneurial sisters Kelly (right) and Jorrae Beard will appear on “Shark Tank” tonight.

Shark Tank keeps casting Philly entrepreneurs, and it’s especially nice to see West Philly-based teams presenting their products on the show. This Friday, Oct. 28, tune in to watch sisters Kelly and Jorrae Beard pitch “Lulu Bang” BBQ Sauce to the “sharks.” There will also be the show watch party tonight at the Enterprise Center (4548 Market St.), beginning at 7:30 p.m. (this event has been sold out).

lulubangsharktankKelly and Jorrae are co-owners of Joyce’s Soulful Cuisine, a restaurant and catering business located at 59th and Chestnut that was named in memory of their mother, Joyce A. Beard. The sisters are also manufacturers of  “Lulu Bang” BBQ Sauce, which comes in four flavors – Asian Persuasion, BBQ Fusion, Bourbon Baby, and It’s Just HOT.  It’s now available in local shops throughout the Northeast region.

The name of the sauce is a tribute to Kelly and Jorrae’s brother, Michael “Lulu Bang” Beard, a National Guard veteran, who was murdered at the age of 32 in West Philadelphia, according to an article by Philly MagContinue Reading

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Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Education Center founder to receive prestigious award

October 24, 2016

williamsgreenWest Philly educator Carole Williams-Green, who founded the Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Education Center, will be honored by the Schuylkill Center for Environmental Education with the 2016 Meigs Award. The award is given annually to a regional leader who embodies the spirit and leadership of Henry Meigs, one of the Schuylkill Center’s founders.

A former public school teacher and administrator, Williams-Green led a successful multi-decade effort to rehabilitate the historic Fairmount Park Police stables in Fairmount Park’s Cobbs Creek, creating an environmental education center. Founded in 1991, the Cobbs Creek Community Environmental Education Center opened its doors in 2001.

Williams-Green has made a substantial contribution to environmental education in the Philadelphia region, reaching communities often excluded from traditional environmental education. She explains that “it bothered [her] that children from West Philadelphia had to travel so far to get these kinds of experiences [in nature], ones that really excited children.”  Continue Reading

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