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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%.

Community members attend a memorial for Tiffany Fletcher, the 41-year-old rec center employee killed at work by crossfire Credit: Emily Rizzo / WHYY

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.”

Artist Bob Dix has been posting his chicken renditions on Instagram Credit: Instagram / @vampirevampireboy

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MAYOR WATCH

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)