His contemporaries are mostly dead or long retired, but Philadelphia lawyer Richard Sprague is still practicing at age 91. Sprague looks his years but the attorney's workload continues to include high-profile cases, like defending real estate speculator Richard Basciano in civil lawsuits filed on behalf of the victims in the June 2013 Center City building collapse. "He really is a warrior," former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne M. Abraham. "He doesn't give up on anything. They'll probably carry him out of the courtroom on a stretcher." Read more
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is closing four churches, effective Jan. 11. The churches are Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in West Grove; St. Therese of the Child Jesus and St. Madeleine Sophie in Philadelphia's Mount Airy section; and St. Augustine's Church in Bridgeport. All except Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary have already merged with other parishes. Read more
Pennsylvania has the fewest community colleges per capita of any state, according to a recent report. And the pricing structure at the state's 14 community colleges makes an education there less affordable for some students: State law requires that students from school districts or counties that aren't paying sponsors of the college pay more than those from sponsoring entities. "It's the students who are bearing the burden for the lack of state and local investments," said Kate Shaw, executive director of Research for Action, the Philadelphia think tank that published the recent report. Read more
Comment sections for online news stories have long been a bare-knuckle space, but this election cycle, they've felt more like a combat zone. Can comment sections survive the hyperpartisan Trump era? Or should news organizations pull the plug, as a growing number have already done? "There is a powerful and compelling argument for how conversation and community needs to become part of journalistic practice," said Andrew Losowsky, of the Coral Project, a collaboration between the Mozilla Foundation, New York Times, and Washington Post connecting journalists and communities online. "The current tools allow a very small amount of people to dominate and create an unpleasant atmosphere that no one wants to be in." Read more
Organizers of the annual Toys for Tots drives say they are getting fewer donations this year. Bins at collection points throughout the Philadelphia region are noticeably lighter than they usually are at this point. "The bins aren't full like they have been in the past," said Guy Vogel, assistant coordinator for the Glenside chapter. "Donations are down; requests are up. It's tough, but we do what we can to help." Read more
Source: Hidden City Philadelphia
Source: Press of Atlantic City
Source: NJ.com
Source: Wilkes-Barre Times Leader
Source: Philadelphia Magazine