Rhawnhurst: Danger and Disease in Pennypack Creek

Rhawnhurst: Danger and Disease in Pennypack Creek

More than a dozen men, arms linked, spanned the Pennypack Creek. They trudged through the murky water looking for the body of a Father Judge High School student. The boy, Nicky Simonetti, 14, went missing two days earlier after he dove into the creek to save a friend, who had fallen over the waterfall created […]

 By Christopher Harper

Philadelphia Schools: A Special Report

Philadelphia Schools: A Special Report

The School District of Philadelphia plans to close 23 schools in August–a decision aimed at saving money because of a $300 million budget deficit. The closures have affected neighborhoods throughout the city in a variety of ways. Some parents and students are trying to save their schools–worried about safety of their children and the economic […]

 By Max Pulcini

Kensington: Rise of the Kensington Tigers Football Team

Kensington: Rise of the Kensington Tigers Football Team

The sun gleamed over the tall, white wall looming next to the coarse and patchy field by the El stop at the corner of Front and Berks streets. It wasn’t long ago that the turf was a wasteland of litter and scrap metal—symbolic of the historically rough neighborhood that is Kensington. But the wall—shining with […]

 By Kate Hartman and Ben Griffiths

Plan Philly: Vacant School Buildings Affect Surrounding Communities

Plan Philly: Vacant School Buildings Affect Surrounding Communities

[vimeo 54932985] A group of young boys shoot a basketball into an aging hoop at the end of a large asphalt school yard. Behind them is the shell of the School District of Philadelphia’s second oldest educational facility, the George W. Childs Elementary School, vacated and locked tight since June 2010. The brown brick of the […]

 By Angelo Fichera and Megan McNerney

Chestnut Hill: Iraqi War Victim Earns Prestigious Boy Scout Award

Chestnut Hill: Iraqi War Victim Earns Prestigious Boy Scout Award

The delicate glass designs, echoing the silence and serenity of St. Paul’s Church, provided a momentary visual this weekend of everything Mohammed Al-Jumaili’s life in Iraq was not. In a not-so-distant past, Al-Jumaili, of Fallujah, Iraq, was living in a state of fear. That was only perpetuated when, in 2006, Al-Jumaili lost the lower half […]

 By Dillon Mast

Kensington: Scrappers Eke Out a Living

Kensington: Scrappers Eke Out a Living

Scrapping metal is one of the few ways the homeless and very poor of Philadelphia are able to earn money daily. Nearly anything made of or containing metal, whether it is salvaged from trash and litter or outright stolen, can be used to turn a profit.  But for those who wander the street collecting scraps […]

 By Tim Johnson and Kriston Bethel

Hunting Park: Abandoned Buildings Plague the Neighborhood While City Organizations Work Toward Improvement

Hunting Park: Abandoned Buildings Plague the Neighborhood While City Organizations Work Toward Improvement

Residents of the 4000 block of North Darien Street are like a family. Whether it’s giving the kids a safe place to play after school or forcing thugs and drug dealers off the block, the residents are constantly battling negative elements to improve the quality of life in their area. Yet for all their efforts, […]

 By Michael Gaudini

Germantown: An Artist with a Heart of Bronze

Germantown: An Artist with a Heart of Bronze

Gina Michaels’ life has all the elements one might expect to find in an artist’s biography: time spent living in New York City, a connection with the natural world, fluency in French, deep spirituality, a quirky studio – it is all there. But there was a time before Michaels lived the life of an artist. […]

 By Kait Privitera

Germantown: Obama Visits the Neighborhood

Germantown: Obama Visits the Neighborhood

Click on the slide to see the next one. This past Sunday, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden visited Robert Fulton Elementary School in Germantown as part of the “Moving America Forward” rally. In his speech, President Obama claimed that the country would only move backward if the Republican Party were to take […]

 By Ashley Hall and Ashley Nguyen

South Philadelphia: George W. Nebinger Elementary School Survives

South Philadelphia: George W. Nebinger Elementary School Survives

For George W. Nebinger School, Nov. 2 stood as a significant tick on the school’s timeline. That day, the School District of Philadelphia announced it would close nine schools in an effort to alleviate a persistent problem: excess seats, which the district estimates to be slightly more than 70,000. Parents, students and those affected by […]