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Mistrial in Councilmember Johnson federal bribery case
With the jury deadlocked, a judge declared a mistrial in the federal bribery case against Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson and consultant wife Dawn Chavous.
- Prosecutors vowed to bring the case back to court, while lawyers for the couple said the case “never should have been brought in the first place” for lack of evidence.
South Philly residents told Lizzy McLellan Ravitch they had their minds made up before the trial began — and don’t expect much change because of it.
The places you do or don’t have to mask up in Philadelphia
It’s confusing AF out there when it comes to where you’re required to wear a mask in Philadelphia.
- On the same day Philly’s mandate was reinstated, a federal ruling means masks aren’t required on public transit or Amtrak for the first time since the early days of the pandemic.
It’s not required on planes, but what about PHL Airport? PATCO? Megabus? SEPTA stations? We’re keeping a list of the current rules here.
RECAP: What else happened?
$ = paywalled
- During the pandemic, the situation in Philadelphia jails reached crisis levels, with 29 deaths — a mortality rate 77% higher than the national average — and staff absenteeism averaging 20%. [Inquirer$]
- The city’s grant program for first-time home buyers is returning in May. The program has $14.5 million to distribute, with awards up to $10,000 for families making less than the median household income. [Axios Philly/PHDC]
- Philly biz Benefits Data Trust, which helps people fill out complex government forms to access crucial benefits, just scored a $20 million gift from MacKenzie Scott. [Technical.ly]
- The University City District is planning two Baltimore Ave Dollar Strolls this year — one on Thursday, June 16 and another on Thursday, Sept. 15 — and vendors can start applying to participate. [West Philly Local/UCD]
- Two longtime trainers with the Flyers are suing team owner Comcast over rare, incurable blood cancers they say come from working in proximity to ice-smoothing Zambonis. [KYW]
- From tree plantings to trash walks, there are lots of Earth Day activities in Philly this weekend. [WHYY]
Weekly brief on gun violence prevention (with PCGVR)
- Can starting a dialogue help prevent shootings? Reporter Sammy Caiola is exploring the question with experts and community members in a live Twitter Spaces series starting next week. [@WHYYNews]
- After COVID lockdowns started in Philly, more women and children were shot (especially Black women and children), per a new Temple Health study. [Temple Health/ScienceDirect]
- The city’s new 24-hour violence prevention hotline (call 211) is hiring “resource navigators,” who help callers find solutions. [6ABC/@PhiladelphiaGov]
- Chicago’s program that sends mental health crisis responders to some 911 calls instead of police seems to be working. Philly last year began implementing a similar program. [WBEZ/Billy Penn]
- Between Thursday and Sunday last week, 8 people were killed and 41 wounded. Mayor Kenney blamed access to firearms; PPD Commissioner Outlaw mentioned a $20k reward for tips; and DA Krasner called for more prevention efforts. [@PhillyMayor/@PPDCommish/WHYY]
By the numbers in Philadelphia
- 65: Shooting victims recorded last week, vs. 46 the week prior [PPD Google Drive]
- 630: Shooting victims this year, up 5% from last year [PCGVR]
- 142: Year-to-date homicides, down 6% from last year [Philly Police]
Nothing on the sked so far for Mayor Kenney. Tomorrow he joins Washington Post at 1:30 p.m. for a virtual Q&A to discuss the Philly mask mandate.
ON THE CALENDAR
🍻 Billy Penn Philly Quizzo with Newbold Exchange: Our monthly trivia night heads to South Philadelphia this month — and there’s free beer for everyone who registers! Test your local knowledge and win prizes while hanging out at a new coworking space in a former silent motion picture house. Free with RSVP. (6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, April 28)
🌼 It’s the first weekend for Spring in LOVE, a pop-up marketplace in Love Park featuring dozens of mostly Black and brown vendors. (11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 22-23)
🍷 A wine tasting, a silent auction, a dessert table and live music are part of a fundraiser for Ukraine at The Fallser Club in East Falls. Tickets are $50. (6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 23)