Morning roundup

House collapse kills firefighter; Rebuild funding standoff; Commemorating Juneteenth | Sunday edition

Pics from the outdoor Flower Show 🌻

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Mark Henninger / Imagic Digital

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RECAP: Looking back on the week that was

• Philly firefighter dies in house collapse

Twenty-seven-year PFD firefighter Lt. Sean Williamson was killed Saturday when a house collapsed on top of him during a post-fire review. Five others were injured, two critically. The Fairhill corner building, with a pizzeria topped by apartments, had recently racked up multiple unaddressed violations. With aging infrastructure and a massive staff shortage at L&I, building collapses are tragically common in Philadelphia. [6ABC/NBC10/ICBS3/Inquirer$]

• Standoff holds up Rebuild funding

A groundbreaking at Vare Rec Center in Grays Ferry last week kicked off one of the biggest projects in the history of Rebuild. But Mayor Kenney’s beverage tax-funded initiative to improve public facilities could be halted. Councilmember Bass is holding up legislation in an effort to reduce what she says are disparities in spending: Her Northwest Philly district is in line for $31 million in renovations while the South Philly district that’s home to Vare gets $59 million, for example. [Billy Penn/WHYY/Inquirer$]

• Philly wins World Cup bid

Philadelphia was officially named one of 16 North American host cities for the 2026 FIFA World Cup. One of the globe’s largest sporting events, it could bring hundreds of millions in economic impact. It will also likely speed the renovations to FDR Park — World Cup practice is slated for 2 of 12 planned soccer fields — leading environmentalists to decry the plan as destruction of wetlands. [Billy Penn/Billy Penn/Grid/WHYY’s PlanPhilly]

• Outdoor Flower Show hailed as success

FDR Park is currently hosting the last day of the Philadelphia Flower Show. Held outdoors for the second time in its 193-year history, the latest edition is being met with praise. Most visitors had good things to say, whether they’d been coming for years or were experiencing the floral extravaganza for the first time. Check out pics from the gorgeous 15-acre grounds. [Billy Penn]

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VISION: Looking forward to the week ahead

• Council to vote on city budget

After reaching a tentative agreement with the Kenney admin last week, City Council is poised to give final approval to the city budget this Thursday. The package will showcase priorities for the members eyeing mayoral runs, and includes small reductions in wage and business taxes, plus a big increase in the homestead exemption for property taxes. [Billy Penn/WHYY/PHL Council]

• City pools start to open

Free swimming is about to pop off in the city, as Parks & Rec prepares to open 50 of the city’s 63 outdoor pools (here’s a map and dates). That’s a few more than last year, when a massive lifeguard shortage left many without a spot to cool off. Officials say they took equity concerns into account when coming up with the schedule, but several neighborhoods with lower income households won’t have access till mid-July. [Billy Penn]

• Philadelphia commemorates Juneteenth

Tomorrow is a city, state, and federal holiday because Juneteenth this year falls on a Sunday. Today Philly has several events commemorating the date Union troops landed in Texas to belatedly enforce the Emancipation Proclamation, including a parade and festival at Malcolm X Park; a block party at the African American Museum followed by a conversation with Bobby Seale; and a Black Music City concert at World Cafe Live. [Medium/Juneteenth Philly/Tockify/AAMP/Eventbrite]

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