Trips to the Dominican Republic, a $500 dinner, a $3,200 sofa, a convertible Jag and even a $7,000 check! Those are just some of the gifts federal officials have charged Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams with taking. The DA was hit with 23 counts of bribery, extortion and wire fraud, and prosecutors say the city’s top lawyer not only sought out and accepted bribes, but also defrauded a nursing home of $20,000 to benefit his own financial interests. Prosecutors Tuesday detailed at least three separate schemes, two of which involved Williams allegedly accepting gifts totaling nearly $90,000 from business owners in exchange for official acts as district attorney. Read the details – and the texts between Williams and the men he was allegedly working with – here.
Are you a fan of Pepsi? Mountain Dew? Lipton Iced Tea? Well, don't plan on buying it in Philly anymore, at least not in large volume. Effective this week, Pepsi announced it would stop offering 2-liters, 12-packs and similarly large portions of its sugary drinks because of Philadelphia's soda tax. It will still sell those quantities in suburban stores. Said one store owner: "We cannot compete apples to apples." See what Pepsi and the Mayor's Office have to say.
Despite recent efforts to lighten its tax load, Philadelphia’s business-related tax burdens have almost no peer in similar-sized cities. The big three taxes are the wage tax and the Business Income and Receipts Tax, which is split up into a tax on revenue and profit. Other big cities either have less or none at all. Here's a primer on why Philly is offering free rent to suburban companies and why its tax system is stuck in the 1930s.
A panel of local and national urbanist experts will give practical pointers on how regular folks can bring change to their neighborhoods. Expect fresh ideas and insights on designing, crowdfunding, maintaining and building political support for citizen-driven public space design and activism.
Where: Johnny Brenda's at 1201 Frankford Ave. 19125
When: March 22, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
How much: Free with registration
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Seven Philly locations now have zoning permits for proposed medical marijuana facilities, the Inquirer reported late Tuesday. Sites in Old City, South Philly, North Philadelphia and the Gayborhood — among others — got local approval as the Pennsylvania Department of Health prepared for as many as 900 applications by this week's license filing deadline. Get all the details on medical marijuana in Pa. here.
Get ready for your close-up, Philly! "The Ellen Show" is coming to Walnut Street for a live remote shoot. Ellen first tweeted about the shoot herself Monday night, then shared more details Tuesday. The shoot will take place on the 1600-block of Walnut at 4 p.m., but the city disclosed that the street closures will encompass a longer stretch. Here's where streets will be closed and more info on the show's visit.