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Al Schmidt tapped to be Pa. secretary of state

Al Schmidt, who served as Philly city commissioner for a decade, has been nominated to be Pa. secretary of state by Governor-elect Josh Shapiro.

  • Schmidt, a Republican, gained renown for defending the 2020 election integrity and being attacked by Trump, after which he received death threats. Biden is honoring him today with the Presidential Citizens Medal.

Asha Prihar has 10 things to know about Shapiro’s cross-party pick, who spent the last year as CEO of local good government group Committee of 70.

Al Schmidt testifying in front of the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol in June 2022 Credit: Susan Walsh / AP Photo

Kensington’s Memphis Taproom closing after 15 years

Longtime fave Memphis Taproom announced on Instagram it would close at the end of this month after nearly 15 years. A new operator will take over the space.

  • Launched in 2008, Memphis Tap was one of the first craft beer bars in Kensington. A big splash came when Guy Fieri featured it on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” in 2011.

It had one of Philly’s earliest beer gardens, and was a pioneer in mixing vegan fare with its regular menu. Jan. 29 will be the bar’s last day.

Credit: Chaucee Stillman / Memphis Taproom

RECAP: What else happened?

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MAYOR WATCH

Spectrum Health Services is opening a new community health center on Cottman Avenue in Northeast Philly, and Mayor Kenney speaks at the ribbon cutting (2 p.m.). Evening brings Kenney to the Philadelphia Orchestra’s concert celebrating the Lunar New Year, which is also a reception for Chinese Ambassador Ping Huang (5:45 p.m.).

ON THE CALENDAR

? Where better to give blood than the Mutter Museum? The Rittenhouse curio collection is partnering with the Red Cross on a drive; donors earn free admission for a future visit. (10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7)

? Have a slightly broken item — a missing button, tangled jewelry, a missing keyboard key — and want to learn how to fix it? Head to NextFab’s Repair Fair for free hands-on lessons. (6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 12)