President Obama granted 153 commutations and 78 pardons on Monday, the largest number in a single day by any president in history. Of the 231 individuals granted clemency by the POTUS, eight were from Pennsylvania, including three from Philly. Milton DeJesus-Bones had his life sentence for intent to distribute cocaine commuted to 360 months, Kareem Myers had a 22-year sentence for distribution of a cocaine base commuted to two more years and Philly's Doretha Doreen Rhone had a theft offense in DC pardoned. Here's the full list of commutations and pardons. And no, Chaka Fattah isn't on it.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has won his first court fight against Big Soda. Court of Commons Pleas Judge Gary S. Glazer dismissed a lawsuit the American Beverage Association and local retailers and distributors filed against the City of Philadelphia Monday. The soda tax levies a 1.5 cent per ounce tax on distributors of sodas, diet sodas, juices and other sugar-sweetened beverages and is being used to fund pre-K programs, the renovation of recreation centers and to fill in holes in the city’s budget. Kenney called the ruling a "victory for Philadelphians, who have waited far too long for investment in their education system and in their neighborhoods." Get the latest on the Big Soda saga here.
Sixers GM Bryan Colangelo spoke to the media Monday to back head coach Brett Brown's decision to bench Nerlens Noel. But Colangelo stopped short of saying Noel would be traded, instead doubling down on the notion that he's willing to keep all the Sixers' centers on the roster if a fair trade opportunity doesn't present itself. Posturing? Negotiating through the media? Throwing Sam Hinkie under the bus? All of the above, but it's hamstrung the roster, and it won't get better anytime soon. We explain how Brown was right to bench Noel, but how this short-term solution won't fix a long-term problem.
Philly comedians had a thought: This forthcoming presidency might lend itself really well to a monthly comedy night. Check out the first edition, featuring six different stand-up artists performing for free.
Where: City Tap House Logan at 2 Logan Sq. 19102
When: December 20, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.
How much: Free show/food and drink pay as you go
Billy Penn Likes
Kevin Harden Jr. had it rough. He was in and out of trouble as a kid, dealt drugs in college and involved in an incident at 20 that left him with five bullet wounds. A decade later, the former Philadelphia assistant district attorney is a white collar criminal defense lawyer and one of the leading voices in the city's Barristers' Association. Harden doesn’t come out and call himself a reformer, but he is one. “Had I gotten the punishments for the crimes that I had committed while I was in college, I would still be in prison right now.” Read his amazing story of redemption and reclamation.
Doug Pederson is not getting fired by the Eagles. Probably. With NFL Black Monday just two weeks away, as many as five or six head coaches may be out of a job, but Pederson shouldn't be one of them, despite some ups-and-downs (more downs than ups, surely) in his first season. The Eagles are 0-6 in games decided by one score and Pederson's offense is lackluster, to say the least. And yet, one-and-done coaches are rare in the NFL. We took a look at the recent history of one-and-done coaches, to explain why it's unlikely Pederson will join that list.