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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.
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.
RECAP: What else happened?
$ = paywalled
- Senator Bob Casey announced he has prostate cancer. The 62-year-old will undergo surgery in the coming months, but expects to continue working with “minimal disruption.” [@SenBobCasey/AP]
- PGW says its gas lines did not cause the Port Richmond home explosion, though the Fire Marshal’s investigation is still underway. “No leaks have been found,” said a PGW spox. [Billy Penn/PlanPhilly]
- A new free telehealth program launched by the Philly Health Dept. and Einstein Medical Center aims to address inequity in distribution of PrEP, a critical HIV prevention medicine. [TelePrEP/Metro]
- This year’s MLK Day of Service at Girard College will focus on gun violence prevention, with volunteers assembling victim aid kits as the Philadelphia Orchestra plays a free concert. [WHYY/Phil Orch]
- After a stellar holiday season, the Philly POPS reversed the decision to dissolve itself, instead launching a $2 million capital campaign to stay afloat. [WHYY/Donately]
- Eagles charity album “A Philly Special Christmas” was a bona fide hit, landing at No. 1 on Billboard’s compilations chart and was in the top 10 in sales. It raised over $250k for the Children’s Crisis Treatment Center. [Billy Penn/Billboard/Inquirer$]
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)