In a surprise move midway through his criminal trial, Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams pleaded guilty Thursday to accepting a bribe and was immediately put in handcuffs and taken to a federal detention center. Though he pleaded guilty to only one criminal count as part of a bargain with prosecutors, Williams admitted he's guilty of 28 other counts of bribery, extortion and mail fraud. Williams, who faces up to five years behind bars, immediately resigned his post as the top prosecutor in the city of Philadelphia, and it'll be up to Kathleen Martin, his top deputy, to run the office — for now. Here's what happens next as the District Attorney's Office attempts to rebuild itself.
The idea behind a mobile app called SafeTrek is to let users discreetly connect with 911 when they're in an unsafe situation that prevents them from speaking with an operator. Developed by college students, the app is growing in the market, as SafeTrek told Billy Penn that Philly has their seventh-largest user base. But that's raising eyebrows from police in the city — including transit and campus officers. Here's why.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health on Thursday granted 27 medical marijuana dispensary licenses, and four are expected to set up dispensaries in Philadelphia. They'll be located in Fishtown, Northeast Philly and the Chestnut Hill area. Each of the dispensary “permittees” has six months to become operational, and there will be a total of 52 dispensaries located throughout the state. Once open, patients with a prescription will be able to go to a dispensary and buy cannabis oils, extracts and possibly the plant itself. Here are the details.
Young people make up some of the best legal minds in Philadelphia. So for the third time, Billy Penn is highlighting the city’s next great lawyers, ranging from prosecutors to litigators to defenders to social justice advocates. Welcome to the June 2017 edition of “Who’s Next.” Every month, we publish an edition of Who’s Next, presented by the Knight Foundation, that focuses on a different industry or field. This time around, meet 16 young people who are the next great attorneys in Philadelphia.
Black Quantum Futurism, the collective behind the Sharswood-based Community Futures Lab, is hosting another community event. This time, they'll be focusing the politics and injustices that can be communicated through mapmaking. Guests will be encouraged to explore newer tech, with the aim of implementing newer mapping techniques within marginalized groups.
Where: North Philly Peace Park at 2216-2227 W Jefferson Street
When: July 1, 2017 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Billy Penn Likes
Yesterday, the 25th annual Wawa Hoagie Day took over Independence Mall, as the beloved convenience store gave out 6 tons of Italian and turkey-cheese Shortis to mark the start of the Wawa Welcome America July 4 festival. A thousand of the sandwiches ended up directly in the hands of Philly's homeless veterans. Along with Eagles tight end Anthony Denham, a crew of the company's best hoagie-makers from across six states personally delivered the food to grateful recipients at veterans service center.
It's not even July and already Philly's shooting stuff into the sky to celebrate our nation's independence. We ran through the list of fireworks shows in the area — including four on the Fourth — but here's another friendly reminder to grab some earplugs if you're down near Penn's Landing tonight. The Philadelphia Orchestra is hosting a free concert on the RiverStage at the Great Plaza (you won't need the earplugs for that) with colorful bombs bursting in air to follow. The pre-fireworks concert will include songs from Candide, West Side Story, Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, a salute to the Armed Forces, and because it's Independence Day in America in 2017, the Star Wars Imperial Death March.