A little love in Fishtown (Instagram/@jtaflinphotography )

As Philly colleges continue to merge, what will the impact be?

Small, specialized Philly-area colleges have increasingly been swallowed up by larger local universities. At least seven different schools in the region have announced or consummated mergers in the past six years.

Why? BP reporter Jordan Levy examines the trend and resulting reactions, who note that what is good for a university’s financial health doesn’t always mean easy for students or professors.

St. Joe’s Hawk Hill campus. The Jesuit university just completed one merger and is in the midst of another. (Google Street View)

Philadelphia LGBTQ Catholic church celebrates 50 years

Step inside the recreation center at Saint Luke and the Epiphany on Sunday evenings and you’ll find a traditional celebration of mass. Except in this case, the priest is a married woman. 

For 50 years and counting, Dignity Philadelphia has brought spiritual comfort and community for LGBTQ practicing Catholics and allies. For Billy Penn, reporter Kristine Villanueva spoke to parishioners about their mission and future of their space.

Checking in to the 50th anniversary party for Dignity Philadelphia, held May 2023 at the Mummers Museum. (Kelly Burkhardt/Dignity Philadelphia)

RECAP: What else happened?

$ = paywalled

• The state legislature has deadlocked over funding for Temple and Pennsylvania’s other state-affiliated universities, which are among the country’s most expensive public universities for in-state students. [Spotlight PA]

• Two days before the July 3 rampage in Kingsessing, a 911 dispatch error led police to the wrong address, so they didn’t find Joseph Wamah Jr. killed in his home until they responded to the mass shooting on that block. Commissioner Outlaw pledged to institute fail-safes to avoid this in the future, and cautioned against “speculation” over whether an earlier discovery would’ve changed things. [6ABC/BP/Inquirer$] 

• North Philly Latin American restaurant Tierra Colombiana caught fire yesterday during the thunderstorm. Officials are trying to figure out whether the cause was a lightning strike. [6ABC]

• Philly’s “Tree Queen” is retiring. Lori Maple Hayes of Germantown has served as the city’s director of urban forestry under six mayors, curating the city’s parks and green spaces. [KYW]

• After decades of being closed to the public, the historic First Bank of the United States on 3rd Street is one step closer to becoming a museum, thanks to a $22 million federal grant. [WHYY]

• Why does Philly have fewer and fewer corner bars? The price of a liquor license has skyrocketed, rising from $30k at the turn of the millennium to $200k just before the pandemic. Grocery store booze sales, however convenient, have been a big contributor to that shift. [Philly Mag$]


Officials from the Flyers join Mayor Kenney at Fishtown Rec Center for a ribbon-cutting for the revamped hockey rink, part of the Rebuild renovation (10 a.m.).


🍺 BP Quizzo is tomorrow! Join us for a night of Philly news and history trivia at Punch Buggy Brewing Co. Expect $5 pours, discounted nachos from Puerco Loco, and a $50 gift card for the winning team. Free with RSVP, see you there. (6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 12)

💡 Philly History Pop Up events return for the summer, with July’s installation coming to Fishtown with a focus on “Interesting Twists on Places You Know.” Free. (5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 13) 

🔔 “Who Cracked the Liberty Bell?” Take the kids to this interactive family-friendly show for all ages, courtesy of Without A Cue Productions. Tickets are $20. (4 to 5 p.m. Saturdays, July 15 through Aug. 26)