From the inspiring to the enraging, these are the stories that captivated you most in 2019

An expose about the mistreatment of young men at Glen Mills School. A day in the life of the opioid crisis at Episcopal Hospital. The mysterious death of a Philly teacher. These were the stories that you spent the most time with this year.

And then there were the stories you wound up sharing most on social media: The suicide of the head of the University of Pennsylvania’s counseling and psychological services. The angry Eagles fan who turned out to be Penn’s admissions director. The long criminal history of the man accused of shooting six Philly cops.

Our special projects ranged from investigations like The Probation Trap to multimedia explorations of the Delaware Watershed to critical looks at Comcast’s new tower and a quest for the best shawarma in the Middle East to the hunt for Bigfoot in Pennsylvania’s Big Woods.

We published tens of thousands of stories on Inquirer.com in 2019. Take a look back.

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All – 120 stories
By Stephanie Farr, January 2, 2019
“I’m holding someone’s groin for 20 minutes, they tend to remember me and nobody else."
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By Nick Vadala, January 8, 2019
He writes on Instagram that he'd 'like to join the sober parade.'
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By Inga Saffron, January 9, 2019
The city's tallest building offers something more lasting and meaningful than mere height record.
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By Jeff Gammage / Staff Writer, Laura Benshoff / WHYY, January 22, 2019
A Jamaican couple in church sanctuary are both victims and beneficiaries of U.S. immigration policy. How did they get there? And now, how will they get out?
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By Craig R. McCoy, January 23, 2019
In neighborhood after neighborhood undergoing gentrification, the outright theft of homes is becoming an especially virulent problem in Philadelphia.
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By Jason Laughlin, January 29, 2019
Cities around the world have figured how to ease congestion. Here are five fixes for Philly.
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By Nathaniel Lash, Jared Whalen, Garland Potts, January 30, 2019
Labor leader John Dougherty, Philly Councilman Bobby Henon and six others were charged in a federal indictment that alleges embezzlement, bribery and theft. Here's what the case involves.
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By Jonathan Lai, Jared Whalen, February 7, 2019
There may have always been a Red Pennsylvania and a Blue Pennsylvania. But they didn’t always look like this.
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By Will Bunch, February 10, 2019
What's really sexy about the Bezos scandal is the Trump-Saudi-National Enquirer nexus behind it.
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By Lisa Gartner, February 20, 2019
Numerous counselors and students at Glen Mills Schools say violence was an open secret but threats kept them from reporting it.
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By Will Bunch, February 24, 2019
Billionaires behaving badly are empowering everyday Americans to take back the country.
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By Marie McCullough, February 28, 2019
Carol Orzel knew that in death, she wanted to continue what she had done in life: Serve as a testament to human resilience and teach others about fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP).
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By Craig LaBan, March 1, 2019
The iconic Gilbert Stuart painting of George Washington's enslaved chef Hercules isn't Hercules. It isn't a Gilbert Stuart. And it isn't even a chef.
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By Mike Newall, March 8, 2019
When I first met Nasir Livingston, he had two years to live. At 17, he was claimed by South Philly gang violence that is only getting worse.
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By Maria Panaritis, March 9, 2019
Larry Weathers saw a man with five DUIs kill a woman on a Delaware County road. Then, he gave Deana DeRosa a gift of human compassion.
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By Rita Giordano, March 13, 2019
In a new program developed at the Yale, parents are being taught to help their kids manage their anxiety by reducing the accommodations they make for their children’s symptoms.
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By Dan DeLuca, March 14, 2019
The former burlesque house-turned-concert venue is closing, according to an employee.
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By Stephanie Farr, March 15, 2019
The death of Ellen Greenberg is a locked-room mystery that confounds forensic experts and anguishes her parents as they try to learn how their only child died.
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By Aneri Pattani, March 25, 2019
The two-year-old group draws men from various backgrounds: a 37-year-old Mormon who works as an airport gate agent, a 57-year-old married father of three, a 62-year-old retiree.
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By Bob Fernandez, March 25, 2019
The 3,500-seat esports facility is another sign of the surging popularity of esports, where players compete in video games before large crowds. It will rise next to Xfinity Live! and within walking distance of the Linc, Citizens Bank Park, and the Wells Fargo Center.
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By Kristen A. Graham, March 27, 2019
Amid a school-choice landscape, just 169 students attend a school built for 1,800. Strawberry Mansion High School has a new principal, renewed promises from district officials, and an outsized place in the lives of its students. Can Mansion survive?
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By Mensah M. Dean, March 28, 2019
Jabir Kennedy, 23, of Elmwood argued that he had fired in self-defense in December 2017.
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By Amy S. Rosenberg, March 30, 2019
On Atlantic Avenue, a daily two-hour outreach brigade is taking on the drug dealing, addiction and homelessness one person at a time, two blocks from the Boardwalk.
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By Bob Brookover, April 1, 2019
Bryce Harper has been fast-tracked for success ever since he took his GED and entered junior college at 17.
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By Aneri Pattani, April 5, 2019
Women of color are less likely to get treatment for postpartum depression because they fear they'll be judged too quickly or harshly by child welfare services. Research shows those fears may be justified.
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By Erin McCarthy, April 6, 2019
After a bitter six-year custody battle, the killing took all of 30 seconds.
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By Marcus Hayes, April 9, 2019
As part of the NBA’s unmatched commitment to gender equality among the four major leagues, the Sixers promoted the former Duke star and No. 1 overall WNBA pick after just one season as a pro scout.
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By Michaelle Bond, John Duchneskie, April 18, 2019
Philadelphia’s population grew slightly in 2018, the 12th straight year of growth, according to Census Bureau estimates released Thursday.
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By Temple University medical students, For the Inquirer, April 21, 2019
Most first- and second-year medical students are absorbed with classes and books. Getting up close to patients struggling in addiction, and the doctors who care for them, changes everything.
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By Jessica Calefati, Dylan Purcell, Kristen A. Graham, April 26, 2019
Experts say a stable teaching staff is crucial to a school’s academic success, and turnover of 25 percent in a year is cause for alarm. Twenty-six Philly schools experience turnover far beyond that measure, an Inquirer investigation has found.
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By Inquirer Staff, April 29, 2019
Support or oppose? Here’s what the candidates say about the sweetened beverage tax, property-tax abatements and more.
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By Craig LaBan, May 3, 2019
The cooks, the critic, and 36 stops in three days: How a tasting marathon inspired new Philadelphia restaurants and forged deeper understanding.
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By Alfred Lubrano, May 10, 2019
After building a solid middle-class existence — college, marriage, home — Lynn Schutzman saw it all fall apart.
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By Bob Ford, May 16, 2019
His is a good story, but it's not a fairy tale. Kevin McCloskey returned from Afghanistan barely resembling the young kid from Northeast who had joined the Army after high school. Golf, and his wife, gave him his life back.
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By Staff Reports, May 17, 2019
This year, The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Ultimate Shore Guide gives you a town-by-town look at finding something fun to do – even on a rainy day.
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By Mike Sielski, May 29, 2019
She has presided over a tumultuous year for the Hawks’ athletic department. In this Q&A, she explains her thinking.
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By Craig R. McCoy, May 29, 2019
Orin Clybourn has been busy for years acquiring and “flipping” real estate in up-and-coming neighborhoods. His dealings are generating controversy.
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By Jeremy Roebuck, Aubrey Whelan, May 29, 2019
Emma Semler was prosecuted under a law originally designed to punish drug dealers with stiff 20-year mandatory minimum sentences when their products resulted in the deaths. But her lawyers argue the statute ensured too harsh a punishment for a woman struggling with addiction herself.
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By Kevin Riordan, June 1, 2019
Jim and Margaret Hogan thought it was time to give back to the Native Americans who have lived in Burlington County for centuries. So they donated their land.
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By Aubrey Whelan, Jeremy Roebuck, June 6, 2019
The prosecution of Emma Semler for her role in Jenny Werstler’s 2014 fatal overdose demonstrates that in the opioid crisis, the line between death and life, victim and perpetrator, can be thin.
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By Jason Nark, June 7, 2019
Pennsylvania has had the third-most Bigfoot sightings in the United States, behind Washington and California, according to a recent report.
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By Mensah M. Dean, June 8, 2019
Austin, 27, a U.S. Army veteran who was working in the Civil Enforcement Unit, was scheduled to be promoted to sergeant in the Sheriff’s Office on July 1, Sheriff Jewell Williams said.
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By Stephanie Farr, Harold Brubaker, June 17, 2019
Six people were wounded, one fatally, in one shooting in Southwest Philadelphia.
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By Kristen A. Graham, June 18, 2019
Unlike any school in Philadelphia, Strawberry Mansion High School has been fighting not just to survive but to reinvent itself, to somehow be an educational refuge in a neighborhood that logs more homicides than any other in the city.
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By Gary Thompson, June 21, 2019
Marion Stokes mistrusted media but recorded it obsessively, created a close-knit surrogate family but led another to become estranged, and was a card-carrying communist who bought Apple stock at $7 and made a fortune.
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By Harold Brubaker, June 26, 2019
Union leaders called on state and city officials to intervene and save Hahnemann. Barring that, the 496-bed hospital is slated to close by early September.
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By Michael Callahan, For the Inquirer, July 1, 2019
The backpack, now as common a business accessory as the laptop and the iPhone, has barreled into our offices, station platforms, and elevators, basically making everyone around them miserable in the process.
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By Cassie Owens, July 3, 2019
The activist-therapist, who posts as @thefatsextherapist on Instagram, discusses the philosophies behind her popular posts.
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By Marie McCullough, July 7, 2019
Preeclampsia is one of the most feared and least understood complications of pregnancy, and HELLP syndrome is even more so.
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By Juliana Feliciano Reyes, July 11, 2019
Emily Guendelsberger, who worked in an Amazon warehouse for her book, "On the Clock: What Low Wage Work Did to Me and How it Drives America Insane," told us the hardest thing about working there.
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By Frank Kummer, July 10, 2019
Nearly 40 percent of city residents refuse to drink water from their taps, saying it tastes bad, or even is bad for them. The belief is especially strong in the poorer parts of America’s poorest big city, where residents spend scarce dollars on the much more expensive option of bottled water.
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By Jason Nark, July 10, 2019
The Delaware River was born before words, flowing namelessly through an unmapped world without factories or fishermen, to a sea no ship ever sailed upon. Over the next year, Inquirer journalists will explore the river and its watershed, focusing on its challenges and its promise.
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By Jason Nark, Frank Kummer, July 10, 2019
Over the next year, journalists from the Philadelphia Inquirer will report on the Delaware river and watershed, the challenges it faces, and how it defines our history and the way we live today.
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By Jason Laughlin, July 13, 2019
Philadelphia’s train station, recently renamed the William H. Gray III 30th Street Station, has meaning for this city far beyond the long-defunct railroad company it was built to glorify.
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By Melanie Burney, July 15, 2019
The father of Curtis Jenkins III, who was abducted and killed, initially said his kidnappers demanded cash for ransom, according to a 911 call. "They want something from me for my son," he told a dispatcher.
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By Elisa von Joeden-Forgey, For the Inquirer, July 18, 2019
On July 2, 2019, Stockton professor Elisa von Joeden-Forgey received a text from her friend Elly: “Elisa ICE detain me n my husband.”
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By Michaelle Bond, Emilie Lounsberry, July 19, 2019
After 28 years imprisoned for a murder he's always sworn he didn't commit, Chester Hollman III is a free man. He's grappling with what that means and how something like this happened to him.
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By Kristen A. Graham, July 23, 2019
“Todd said, ‘We can fix this.’ He grew up poor - his mother was on food stamps. He got free lunch. He felt shamed for that, and he wanted to help,” said Platt. “He had success, and he wanted to share it.”
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By Tricia L. Nadolny, Peter Dobrin, July 25, 2019
St. John says she was repeatedly sexually abused by the man trusted to hone her talent, renowned violinist and teacher Jascha Brodsky, then neglected when she reported what had happened to an administrator at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music.
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By Vinny Vella, July 26, 2019
Amanda DeGuio was reported missing from her home in Drexel Hill in 2014.
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By Mensah M. Dean, August 1, 2019
Rodney and Angela Gillespie say they lived three years in London and three years in Johannesburg with no problems, only to be pulled over in their own driveway last month, in what they and their lawyer call a case of racial profiling.
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By Aneri Pattani, August 5, 2019
“Every time I walk into a room to tell the mother, I ask myself, ‘Why am I doing this job?’ ”
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By Staff Reports, August 15, 2019
U.S. Attorney McSwain used the shooting and standoff to renew attacks on District Attorney Larry Krasner.
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By Inquirer Staff Photographers, August 15, 2019
Multiple police officers were shot in a confrontation with at least one gunman in the Tioga section of North Philadelphia on Wednesday.
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By Samantha Melamed, Jeremy Roebuck, Dylan Purcell, Craig R. McCoy, August 15, 2019
Public records show Philadelphia police shooting suspect Maurice Hill was charged a dozen with charges ranging from attempted murder to fleeing police. He was convicted six times.
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By Alfred Lubrano, Anna Orso, Jesenia De Moya Correa, Caitlin McCabe, August 15, 2019
On Thursday morning, a group of five neighbors were lamenting that children who live on their block were afraid to play outside as they normally do.
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By Amy S. Rosenberg, August 16, 2019
The case has been transferred to Sea Isle City. Both women were charged with disorderly conduct after the fight was witnessed by North Wildwood police on patrol outside nightclubs.
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By David Gambacorta, August 17, 2019
Minute by minute, how a standoff in North Philadelphia left six cops wounded and a city reeling.
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By Samantha Melamed, Anna Orso, Valerie Russ, Jesenia De Moya Correa, Jason Nark, August 22, 2019
As residents of a block-long crime scene, their battered and bullet-riddled cars still impounded for evidence, they blame the police for what happened as much as they do the shooting suspect.
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By Inquirer Staff Photographers, August 23, 2019
The eighth edition’s 6,000 participants was a long way from the city’s first Dîner in 2012, which had 1,300 people splashing wine and champagne around Logan Circle.
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By David Gambacorta, Wendy Ruderman, Dylan Purcell, Claudia Vargas, August 23, 2019
Officer Edward Wright and Maurice Hill traveled decidedly different paths from their first encounter in Southwest Philly to their eventual reunion during a dangerous standoff in Tioga.
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By Jeff McLane, Les Bowen, Paul Domowitch, September 4, 2019
Read what our team thinks will happen over the course of 16 regular-season games and then offer up your pick.
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By Jenice Armstrong, September 4, 2019
After her years of rising through the ranks, Acting Police Commissioner Christine Coulter should have been better prepared to handle a situation like this.
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By Helen Ubiñas, September 6, 2019
He is nearly 30 now and still tries to make his younger sister proud.
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By Harold Brubaker, September 7, 2019
A look back at Philadelphia hospitals that have closed their doors since 1977.
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By Rob Tornoe, September 9, 2019
“I’m mad that I was sexualized by a senile old man who talks about women more than he does his actual job,” Alex McIntyre wrote on Twitter in response to Cataldi's comments.
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By Susan Snyder, Mike Newall, Mensah M. Dean, September 9, 2019
Gregory Eells, 52, came to Penn six months ago to lead the department that counsels students with mental health problems.
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By Mike Sielski, September 11, 2019
Savoldi was a football star at Notre Dame and played his final game for the Fighting Irish at Franklin Field. A scandal started him on a life, shrouded in secrecy, that still seems too remarkable to be true.
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By David Gambacorta, William Bender, September 12, 2019
These files, which are rarely made public, offer an unvarnished look at the rulings arbitrators made after they reviewed evidence police commissioners used to fire or discipline officers.
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By William Bender, David Gambacorta, September 12, 2019
The records reveal how the police arbitration system overturned the firings or discipline of more than 100 questionable Philadelphia cops.
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By Joseph N. DiStefano, September 16, 2019
It’s his fault that he stole $2.1 million and is heading to prison, says Scott Capps. Here’s how he became vengeful over a 23-year career.
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By Inquirer Staff Photographers, September 18, 2019
See pictures of Fashion District Philadelphia, which opens Thursday.
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By Nick Vadala, September 18, 2019
The Philadelphia Zoo will usher in this holiday season with a massive multimedia experience that includes more than 600,000 lights, 12 immersive displays, and 6.5 miles of electrical cables to power it all.
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By Rob Tornoe, September 23, 2019
"Bottom line is that calls were missed that were basic and also in place for player safety!" Eric Furda wrote on Twitter following the game.
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By Rob Tornoe, September 24, 2019
"This response is my favorite thing to come out of Philly since Adrian woke up from the coma and told Rocky to win,” wrote New York Post writer Kristen Fleming.
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By Jacob Adelman, Craig R. McCoy, September 27, 2019
In one flip in Brewerytown, speculators paid $6,000 for a lot, then resold it five days later for $127,000. A parcel in Ludlow resold in three weeks for a $117,500 markup. One in Yorktown was bought and resold on the same day for a gain of $80,000.
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By Lisa Gartner, October 3, 2019
Fractured oversight by the Department of Human Services has allowed violence to go unchecked at juvenile programs throughout the state, an Inquirer investigation found.
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By Rachael Miroddi and Allison Beck, For The Inquirer, October 9, 2019
Every year, we're nauseated to see Pennhurst Asylum turn the suffering of people with disabilities into a weekend getaway.
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By Sam Wood, October 15, 2019
There are provisions for growing cannabis at home, expungement of all cannabis criminal records, home delivery of marijuana, and making it easier for local entrepreneurs to enter the trade as a grower or a retailer.
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By Craig LaBan, October 17, 2019
Food critic Craig LaBan's 2019 Dining Guide captures all the cravings and best things to eat in Philadelphia.
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By Ellie Silverman, October 22, 2019
Women in line worry about throwing away their spot. Head usher Tanya Heath greets everyone outside the restroom and assures them not to worry. She has a plan.
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By Samantha Melamed, Dylan Purcell, October 24, 2019
Probation is meant to rehabilitate. But it can make people more desperate, and puts many in constant fear of incarceration.
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By Samantha Melamed, Dylan Purcell, October 24, 2019
Officials say locking people up is sometimes the only way to keep them from overdosing. But it’s a cycle that can be hard to break.
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By Samantha Melamed, Dylan Purcell, October 24, 2019
Judges have wide discretion to detain people for violations, impose strict conditions, and even send people to state prison.
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By Samantha Melamed, Dylan Purcell, October 24, 2019
Probation is meant to keep people out of jail. But intense monitoring leaves tens of thousands across the state at risk of incarceration.
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By Jeremy Roebuck, Chris Brennan, October 25, 2019
Sources familiar with the probe describe a sweeping, multi-pronged examination into everything from the redevelopment of the Royal Theater on South Street to the work of Johnson’s wife as an education consultant, campaign adviser, and charter school advocate.
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By Harold Brubaker, November 5, 2019
Brian Freifelder, who sells his wares out of a small warehouse in Bensalem, has been caught in what his lawyer called “an interstate commerce speed trap.”
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By Robert Moran, November 7, 2019
Albert Chernoff had appeared on 'Rescue Ink,' a reality show about bikers rescuing animals.
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By Aaron Carter, November 10, 2019
Many high school athletes in and around Philadelphia don't have enough food to eat. They cope in sometimes unhealthy ways, and their stories can be heartbreaking, and even uplifting.
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By Quinn O'Callaghan, For the Inquirer, November 7, 2019
Nearly half of all teachers say that they experience high levels of stress, and it doesn’t take much to see how such stress manifests itself in Philadelphia.
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By Vinny Vella, David Gambacorta, Winston Choi-Schagrin and Paula Knudsen-Burke, The Caucus, November 8, 2019
John Reilly, Jr., superintendent of George W. Hill Correctional Facility, was accused of misconduct by current and former employees. An oversight board prevented their complaints from becoming public, but Reilly could face new scrutiny from Delaware County's incoming Democratic county council.
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By Robert Moran, November 9, 2019
Albert Chernoff, 59, was beaten to death in his Rhawnhurst home, police said.
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By Ellie Rushing, Craig R. McCoy, November 9, 2019
Internal hospital records show that a psychiatrist and a nurse spoke with Maurice Louis briefly and said “let him go” after he declined treatment at Mercy Fitzgerald hospital in Darby.
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By Frank Kummer, November 11, 2019
The winners of the nonprofit Pinelands Preservation Alliance’s competition for best pinelands photography were announced last weekend. Here are the winners and honorable mentions.
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By Jonathan Tamari, November 12, 2019
Before Elizabeth Warren became a Democrat, the young mother entered a liberal cauldron at Rutgers Law School, where students strived for big, systemic change. How Rutgers and later Penn Law shaped the presidential contender.
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By Ronnie Polaneczky, November 13, 2019
Local and national businesses see the benefits of including people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the workplace.
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By Claudia Vargas, November 14, 2019
Philadelphia requires that trash truck drivers with two preventable accidents in a month, or four in a year, be demoted or dismissed. But the city hasn’t done that in years.
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By Jonathan Tannenwald, Joseph A. Gambardello, Stephanie Lai, November 14, 2019
“The behavior exhibited by our women’s volleyball student-athletes is simply unacceptable and will not be tolerated,” said Grace Calhoun, the Ivy League university's athletic director.
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By Jason Laughlin, Dylan Purcell, November 23, 2019
In the Philadelphia area, that amount is estimated to be even worse. Afterward, many suffer nightmares, anxiety, and PTSD.
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By Wendy Ruderman, Kristen A. Graham, November 21, 2019
Lea DiRusso knew something was wrong when her stomach began to swell, but she never imagined she was dying of cancer.
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By Brian Gallagher, For the Inquirer, November 26, 2019
Brian Gallagher: I am asking the School Board to be bold and aggressive in advocating for our most neglected schools and communities.
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By Jason Nark, December 4, 2019
Thousands of jobs in Philadelphia and other waterfront cities revolve around the Delaware, ranging from crude oil to mud for baseballs.
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By Barbara Laker, David Gambacorta, William Bender, December 5, 2019
System flaws in the Philly Police Department, DA’s Office, and City Hall helped to shield former police chief inspector Carl Holmes — who was recently indicted for sexual assault — and other top bosses from scrutiny, The Inquirer has found.
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By Nick Vadala, December 5, 2019
While Martin Scorsese’s mob flick “The Irishman” was filmed mostly in New York, the movie is replete with Philadelphia-area lore and locations.
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By Mike Jensen, December 11, 2019
The 65-year-old Martelli’s basketball life started decades ago in the Philly area and he never left, until he was let go from St. Joe’s after last season.
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By Alfred Lubrano, December 12, 2019
Critics say it’s a way to push the disabled off the roles. Others say it’s a way to save money.
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By Keith Pompey, December 14, 2019
Matisse Thybulle never thought he'd get to the NBA, and he's lived his life inside and outside the game like basketball was just one part of it.
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By Will Bunch, December 15, 2019
With Mitch McConnell setting up a sham trial, Democrats need to be creative in getting the most from impeachment. John Dean has a great idea.
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