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$50 million in federal funds to help Philly fight gun violence
Philadelphia is set to receive $50 million in federal money to improve the city’s forensic technology and help solve crimes more quickly.
- Allocated from state COVID relief funding, the cash will be split between the PPD ($25M), the DA’s Office ($20M), and SEPTA ($5M), which will use it to expand the subway AI gun detection system.
One goal is increasing the “clearance rate” — the percent of crimes that are solved. For homicides in Philly, it’s up to 47% from 42% last year, per Axios, which still lags the national average of 50%.
A 40-day chicken challenge — but this time, it’s art
After drawing 39 chickens in 39 days, artist Bob Dix is inviting people to the finale: a live chicken painting at Ray’s Happy Birthday Bar this Saturday.
- Dix was inspired by Alexander Tominsky, the bartender whose rotisserie eating stunt at an abandoned pier went viral. Dix started his own 40-day chicken odyssey just as that one ended.
Why? “Philadelphia will make a party out of anything — out of any weirdness,” Dix told Asha Prihar. His event flier carries the vibe, exhorting: “Do Attend.”
RECAP: What else happened?
$ = paywalled
- Who has the Pa. House majority? Both parties are claiming it, after the election ended with 102 D to 101 R — with three vacancies on the Dem side. A battle over recounts and special elections is playing out in the courts. [NYT$/Spotlight PA]
- Philadelphia schools will require masks for two weeks post-winter break as a “proactive measure” against the spread of flu, RSV, and COVID. Free COVID testing is available for students, and anyone can now order more free at-home rapid tests from the federal government. [WHYY/Phila SD/US Gov]
- Pa.’s first driverless shuttle is in testing at the Navy Yard, where planners hope autonomous vehicles will improve access by connecting the Broad Street Line with the South Philly campus. [KYW]
- Efforts to renovate and preserve the John Coltrane House in Strawberry Mansion have been in the works for more than 20 years — and its future is still in doubt. [Philly Mag$/BP 2020]
- Parks & Rec hosts a winter festival in McPherson Square Park on Saturday. It’s part of a wave of programming and investment in Kensington’s parks aimed at making the public spaces cleaner, safer, and more accessible to families. [Free Library/WHYY’s PlanPhilly]
- Write-in votes in Philly are always a trip. November’s list includes Jalen Hurts, the chickenman, the late Milton Street, and (still, somehow) Harambe. [Brian Hickey]
International insurance giant Chubb will consolidate and grow its Philadelphia presence in a gleaming new office tower to rise at 20th and Arch, Mayor Kenney and Gov. Wolf announce today at the site, which is currently a surface parking lot (11:15 a.m.).
ON THE CALENDAR
? Calling all tamale lovers: Jet Wine Garden on South Street West hosts a pop-up with all kinds, plus mezcal-spiked hot chocolate. A portion of proceeds benefit Puentes de Salud. (2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17)
? Brewery ARS celebrates 6 years at its tasting room on West Passyunk, with special release beers, live music, and food by Mike’s BBQ. (12 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17)
? Find clothing, records, crafts, art, and “old punk junk” at the holiday edition of the Punk Rock Flea Market at the 23rd Street Armory. $10 tix are good for entry both days. (10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 17-18)