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Philly blogger catches Rihanna's eye

Also: Tony Bruno back on the air, NBC10 expands investigative unit

Conrad Benner’s photo from below Philly’s streets will appear behind Rihanna during concerts
Photo credit: Conrad Benner
Conrad Benner’s photo from below Philly’s streets will appear behind Rihanna during concerts Photo credit: Conrad BennerRead more

THE WORK OF local photographer/blogger Conrad Benner caught the eye of the people behind Rihanna's new tour. An image that Benner, a noted chronicler of the city's streets, took of SEPTA's abandoned Spring Garden Station on the Broad-Ridge Spur will be a part of her new tour, appearing behind the mega-pop star while she sings her hit "Man Down."

Benner, who runs a site called Streets Dept (, described his sojourn to the station in a 2013 blog post as "an abandoned mecca for graffiti artists and urban explorers alike, who are arguably the only people showing the old station any love."

Bruno's back

Tony Bruno, who left 97.5 the Fanatic over a contract dispute, is back on the radio. Alas, not in Philly. Next week, Monday to Friday, Bruno will broadcast in the drive time radio slot for San Francisco's 95.7 the Game (listen at, although remember San Fran is three hours behind for commuters). He'll still be doing his regular segment on Keith Olbermann's ESPN2 show via satellite from S.F.

NBC10 expanding

I hear that NBC10 is looking to expand its investigative unit. Look for more new faces - I hear from far-flung areas - in the fall. The 10 brass hasn't hired anyone to replace Darlene Jones, who left earlier this year to move back with her hubs down in Florida, so they have some space to fill. What does this mean for the current investigative unit? Time will tell.

'Quest' for glory

We've got two locals vying for glory on ABC's "The Quest," a new reality show where contestants are placed in a fantasy realm populated by ogres, dragons and other magical creatures.

Jasmine Kyle, 31, a mom from Media, met her "knight in shining armor at a Renaissance Fair." Kyle says she's obsessed with author J.R.R. Tolkien and writes Lord of the Rings fan fiction.

Delran, N.J., school counselor Lina Carollo, 27, says playing "Street Fighter" with her three older brothers will give her a leg up. Carollo is the scion of the owners of the Italian restaurant Casa Carollo (200 Route 73 North, Marlton, N.J.) They'll host a party for Lina during the premiere, with vodka tastings courtesy of Golia Vodka, owned by Penn Valley's own David Solomon.

Catch "The Quest" at 8 p.m. tonight.


* R&B singer Ne-Yo visited Six Flags Great Adventure (1 Six Flags Blvd, Jackson, N.J.) on Tuesday night with some buddies in tow.

* Two different celebs passed through Avalon Restaurant (116 E. Gay St, West Chester) recently. Lori Greiner of "Shark Tank", a/k/a the "Queen of QVC," grabbed a dinner of crisp calamari and seafood pescatore. Celeb chef Emeril Lagasse is practically a regular. It was his sixth visit to chef John Brandt-Lee's restaurant. I hear Lagasse is particularly fond of the mozzarella burrata and clams and linguini.

Bringing 'Sexy' back

It's the most wonderful time of the year! Sexy Singles returns to the Daily News on Monday. The annual party is next Thursday at SugarHouse Casino (1001 N. Delaware Ave.) at 8 p.m. Come and get your Sexy on with Singles goddess Jenice Armstrong and this year's class of hotties.

On Twitter: @PhillyGossipDN