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Philadelphia starts middle school weapons screenings
Starting this week, Philadelphia middle schoolers will be periodically screened for weapons using metal detectors or handheld wands, Axios reports.
- The policy applies to 6th-8th graders at 71 schools, and comes after an increase in gun-related incidents, per the district. Students will be given an opportunity to discard weapons in advance of the screenings.
Several parents and teachers worry the practice will be disruptive and could send the wrong message to students, Chalkbeat reports.
Local icon Kenn Kweder celebrates 30 years at Smokey Joe’s
A folk-rock musician with five albums to his name, Kenn Kweder is a local icon — and his legend partly stems from Tuesday nights at Smokey Joe’s.
- Kweder and sidekick Mark Teague have turned up weeknights at the West Philly dive bar for three decades, adding a singalong dance party to the charm of the Penn institution.
Tonight’s show marks 30 years, Johnny Nottingham reports, and dozens of alumni are expected to be in attendance to celebrate the milestone.
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.
RECAP: What else happened?
$ = paywalled
- State Sen. Anthony Williams has a primary opponent this year: labor organizer and former public school teacher Paul Prescod, one of several progressive challengers to take on established Democratic incumbents in Philly. [WHYY]
- Illegal dumping is a huge problem in Philly, as you may already know. Councilmember Parker introduced an ordinance last week to raise fines. [Billy Penn/PhillyVoice]
- Philadelphia playwright James Ijames won a Pulitzer Prize for his play “Fat Ham,” which premiered online through the Wilma Theater and is set to run soon in NYC. [Playbill/Philly Gay News]
- Fishtown’s Evil Genius Beer is expanding distribution to Michigan and Ohio, adding to its seven-state footprint. It’s also looking to acquire other brands: “We are a buyer in this market,” said a co-owner. [Breweries in Pa/Biz Journal$]
- The WNBA is looking to add two new expansion teams, per the league commissioner, and there’s a push to make Philadelphia one of them. Last year we looked at the history of women’s pro basketball in Philly, and the case for bringing it back. [@WNBAPhilly/Billy Penn]
Philly is ready to go all out for the Fourth of July this year, and Mayor Kenney joins officials and leaders on the Art Museum steps (10 a.m.) to announce details of the 2022 Wawa Welcome America Festival, which comprises dozens of events from June 19-July 4.
ON THE CALENDAR
🏆 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).
🐅 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)
🥟 Calling all pierogi fans: St. Nicholas Eastern Orthodox Church in West Poplar hosts a spring edition of its annual Polish dumpling fest, with live music and outdoor seating. (12 to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 14)