The Phillies are enjoying Florida's gulf coast weather, but here it feels pretty springy too, heading into the 70s later in the week. Today we should have a mostly sunny mid 50-degree day, so find a reason to duck out early before it gets cold again tonight.
More than 3,000 state-owned bridges have been classified as structurally deficient, per a report released by the American Road and Transportation Builders. PennDOT told Newsworks, "We hit a high back in 2008 of 6,034 structurally deficient bridges...Now we’ve got that number down to 3,512. That’s a dramatic drop." Meanwhile, transportation analytics company INRIX, Inc. ranked Philly the 93rd most-congested city in the world, 17th in the U.S., while the stretch of I-76 from Conshy to Spring Garden St. is the ninth-most congested road in America, costing the average driver 58 hours per year.
Tariq El-Shabazz owes more to the IRS than DA Seth Williams failed to disclose in gifts. On Monday, Williams' former right-hand man announced he is running for district attorney, but wouldn't answer questions about the nearly $200K in federal, state and city tax lien judgements against him. He called himself a "perfect candidate" and urged, "Please, do not try to put spillage on Tariq Karim El-Shabazz by the failings of Seth Williams. I think the voters deserve to know that I have debt, that I have in fact entered into agreements to handle that debt, and that I will handle that debt. I haven’t run from it. I’m not running from this issue."
There are only two black-owned bookstores that remain open in Pennsylvania: Hakim’s Bookstore and Gift Shop in West Philly, the oldest in the country, and Black and Nobel at Broad and Erie. Hakim’s is only open part-time, four days a week, but Black and Nobel is open seven days a week, selling independent books, DVDs, sculptures, flags from countries of the Black Diaspora, clothing, smoothies and shea butter. "Health and wellness keeps us open," owner Hakim Hopkins said, "but the books are a foundation — everybody knows us as 'the bookstore.'" Hopkins supports his brick-and-mortar store with online sales, using the domain WeShipToPrisons.com, a service they've become known for thanks to those eye-catching signs. Take a tour, as we talked with Hopkins about his iconic North Philly shop.
Local Black Lives Matter organization Philly Coalition for REAL Justice hosts a screening of "13th," DuVernay's Netflix documentary. In it, she explores how a loophole in the amendment that ended slavery led to a prison industrial complex that disproportionately affects people of color. A discussion will follow the show.
Where: Friends Center at 1500 Cherry St. 19102
When: February 21, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Billy Penn Likes
Villanova is ranked No. 2 in the country, with two big games this week against ranked teams, giving the Wildcats a shot at the top overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. Villanova could have another great path to the Final Four, but what about the other five Philly schools? Will any of them go dancing? We mapped out Nova's NCAA road and took a look at the bleak tourney dreams of Temple, Saint Joe's, La Salle, Penn and Drexel.
Yesterday was the busiest day of the year for the National Constitution Center. Kids were off from school and families, locals and tourists are often looking for something patriotic to do on Presidents Day. Plus, it was free. We spoke with Constitution Center officials about how they were preparing for the influx of visitors, how the Center has updated its programs and how staff was prepared for tough questions, given the 'active' first few weeks of the Trump administration.