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With $10M funding boost, Free Library promises upgrades

The Free Library of Philadelphia is aiming to make some significant changes with Mayor Kenney’s proposed $10.4 million funding increase.

  • Plans call for hiring over 200 full-time staff so neighborhood branches no longer experience unplanned closures, and expanding hours — including some on weekends.

Other goals include prioritizing internal DEI and doing a few building repairs, Asha Prihar reports, though there’s no timeline yet for the improvements.

How I-676 construction uncovered lost Black burial grounds

Each day 55,000 cars drive down the center of Philadelphia — right over the excavated remains of two important cemeteries.

  • Construction for the Vine Street Expressway in the 1990s and ’80s revealed a pair of burial grounds that had belonged to the First African Baptist Church more than 150 years earlier.

Remains of the 225 people buried there are now at a Delco cemetery. In this edition of “Headlines of Yore,” Avi Wolfman-Arent unpacks how it happened.

Procrastinator’s Guide to the primary election in Philly

Whether you’re filling out your mail ballot or prepping for the polls on May 17, the Billy Penn Procrastinator’s Guide is your cheat sheet for Election Day. We’ve got info on each candidate in a contested race, from the state legislature to governor to U.S. Senate  — and everything in between. It’s all easy to read and free to access, so check it out and bookmark this link for when you’re ready to vote.

RECAP: What else happened?

$ = paywalled 

  • Three dozen mail ballot applications listed the same delivery address: a PO Box registered to a Republican PAC. The South Philly ward leader who orchestrated it has been ousted from his position. [Inquirer$]
  • Before they got rained out, there were four different Philly anti-violence events all scheduled for Saturday, prompting calls for more coordination between groups. [WHYY]
  • Spirit Airlines flight attendants say they’re getting stranded at PHL Airport when the airline cancels flights. [CBS3]
  • Plans are in place for Philly’s new Pride event. Set for June 5, it’ll include a march with speeches that transitions into a free festival in the Gayborhood. [WHYY]
  • Ray Didinger, known as the Godfather of Philly sports and an all-around nice guy, is retiring at the end of May after 50+ years. [Crossing Broad/@SportsRadioWIP]
  • New advertising tactic: fall asleep hard in the front row at a Sixers playoff game. That’s what car dealership owner Dave Kelleher did last night, missing Harden stepping up to tie the series 2-2 and spawning a new meme. [Liberty Line/Uproxx]


Mayor Kenney’s public schedule is empty for today. His office put together a slate of events celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, including panel discussions, an outdoor festival in the City Hall courtyard, and a reception featuring Jeff Yang and Phil Yu.


Outdoor BP Quizzo night: Our monthly trivia event about all things Philly lands at the home of Fishtown Iced Teas. Hosts Danya and Sakeenah are kicking it at the new patio at Interstate Drafthouse, so start assembling a team. Registration is free. (6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 18).

? Bring your dog to mix and mingle on Chestnut Walk at East Market for a “yappy hour” hosted by Heart & Paw vet center. A portion of proceeds benefit Morris Animal Refuge. (5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, May 12)

? The Black Cat Tavern celebrates six years on Oregon Avenue with a silent art auction and fundraiser for a Ukraine’s Shelter Ugolyok. (7 to 10 p.m. Friday, May 13)