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Hundreds used Philly’s new 211 violence prevention hotline

Philadelphia saw a slight drop in gun violence compared to 2021’s tragically record-setting year, but it’s still occurring at crisis levels.

  • A new tool to help is getting some use. In March, the city rolled out an option on the United Way’s 211 hotline. Available only in Philly, it connects people to anti-violence resources, and offers followup check-ins.

People in zip codes most affected by gun violence were among the most likely to seek help, Asha Prihar reports.

Richard Wright School in Strawberry Mansion, in the area that had the second-most calls to the new hotline Credit: Nathan Morris / Billy Penn

Why the Mummers Parade had a new TV partner and sponsor

More than 10,000 colorfully costumed Mummers marched down Broad Street on an unseasonably warm New Year’s Day.

  • The parade was broadcast on a new channel this year. Thanks to funding from Live Casino, it aired on Delaware-based MeTV2 and was streamed live by Lehigh Valley’s WFMZ.

Contract negotiations with PHL17 broke down over sponsorship, Mummers leadership told Billy Penn, leaving them scrambling for a new partner.

Contestants stop to perform in front of the judging station at 15th and Market St. on New Year’s Day 2023 for the annual Mummers Day Parade in Philadelphia. Credit: Erin Blewett for Billy Penn

RECAP: What else happened?

$ = paywalled

  • An apparent gas explosion shook Port Richmond early New Year’s Day, leveling three rowhomes and damaging 40 others — but amazingly, no one was killed. [Billy Penn]
  • Michael Nutter, Philadelphia’s mayor from 2008-2014, is apparently considering entering this year’s race. He recently launched a new podcast called “How to *Really* Run a City.” [@DPearsonPHL/Citizen]
  • Looking to get into Pa. politics? Every two years, the League of Women Voters hosts a “Running for Local Office” workshop, happening Jan. 21 near Allentown. [LWV]
  • Chase opened a new “community center” bank in Cobbs Creek, which offers anyone free WiFi and seating, plus resources on financial literacy. [Inquirer$]
  • Amtrak announced details on the forthcoming “Airo” trains, with lower emissions and “contemporary food service”; 3 of 14 lines getting the 2026 upgrade run through Philadelphia. [TribLive/Amtrak]
  • Sixers star Joel Embiid, who negotiated his own $196M contract, is soaking up all the business knowledge he can get. “I’ve got big goals in mind when it comes to helping,” he said, “especially in Africa, as far as building schools and hospitals.” [Forbes]


No public events for Mayor Kenney today. His administration is asking residents to take a survey about your internet speed, with the goal of furthering digital equity across the city.


? The Philadelphia Film Society embarks on a yearlong quest to show all 100 of Sight and Sound magazine’s “Greatest Films of All Time” list. Things start with “Get Out.” (7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 4)

?‍? The annual Philly Loves Bowie Week kicks off with a free midday concert at World Cafe Live, and continues with nine days of shows, parties, and pop-ups. (Friday to Saturday, Jan. 6-14)