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Selling a Philly ‘House of Horrors,’ Is the economy really ‘booming’? | Morning Newsletter

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Since Kermit Gosnell was arrested in 2011, his abortion clinic, located at 3801 Lancaster Avenue in West Philadelphia, has sat vacant. The city hopes to sell it at sheriff's sale in the coming moths.
Since Kermit Gosnell was arrested in 2011, his abortion clinic, located at 3801 Lancaster Avenue in West Philadelphia, has sat vacant. The city hopes to sell it at sheriff's sale in the coming moths.Read moreMICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer

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Developers waste no time going after real estate in Philly's rapidly developing neighborhoods. But what happens when terrible things have happened inside a space? When it comes to one notorious Philly property, developers might have to answer that question. My colleague Christian Hetrick answered some of your questions through our election text alert service. A lot of you want to talk about this "booming economy." And Philly officials hope the city's economy will get a boost from the shift to pay-by-phone parking citywide.

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— Ray Boyd (@RayBoydDigital,

Real estate moves fast in gentrifying West Philadelphia. But an abandoned building sits on Lancaster Avenue untouched. The question is — can it overcome its “House of Horrors” past?

A developer will have to answer that question soon because the city has started sheriff's sale proceedings on the former abortion clinic of Kermit Gosnell. He was arrested in 2011 and charged with killing a woman and seven babies inside the facility.

Neighbors have called for the building to be demolished to erase the memory of what happened inside. Others say the century-old building should be preserved. If no interested party petitions the sale, it could be auctioned off early next year.

With our new election text alert service, we’ve been able to receive questions directly from readers. Some common themes that keep popping up: the economy, jobs, and taxes.

Before hitting the polls, readers want to know what exactly makes this a "booming" economy and how has President Trump's policies contributed to growth and low unemployment numbers.

Experts tell us, for the most part, America has a strong economy — for now. But that doesn't mean everyone is benefiting from it.

Parking and traffic congestion are obvious issues in Philly and policy shifts are looking to address both. This week, the Philadelphia Parking Authority announced that all metered parking spots in the city can now be paid using the app MeterUp.

The city argues that use of the app, instead of paying for a parking spot at a kiosk, has been on the rise. They also hope that the apps' rising payment structure will deter people from lingering in spots, opening up crowded city streets.

Officials say new parking kiosks that mirror MeterUp's payment structure could be introduced in 2019 and may not accept bills. Opponents argue that only accepting coins, cards, and phones will be an unfair burden on some residents.

What you need to know today

  1. The Philadelphia District Attorney's office has dropped all charges against 13-year-old Zaheim Salahuddin. The teenager was arrested and jailed for allegedly shooting a younger boy with a plastic toy gun.

  2. A shelter for troubled youths in Philadelphia was accused of harming children before it closed last year. Now it's reopening with plans to house 60 undocumented immigrant children — a plan city officials call "disturbing."

  3. Megyn Kelly is off the Today show after controversial comments she made about blackface. There is speculation that her run at NBC might be over for good just ahead of this year's election coverage.

  4. So much hangs in the balance with these midterm elections. Voters can have a massive influence on the rest of President Trump's term and his agenda. We were wondering: Do you plan on voting?

  5. Add Villanova basketball to the list of championship teams that will not make a visit to the Trump White House (they did visit President Obama after their 2016 title). Coach Jay Wright offered an explanation for why at Thursday's media day.

  6. Have outdoor plans for the weekend? You might want to reschedule. The first Nor'easter of the cool season is expected to hit the region tonight, making for a rough few days at the Jersey Shore.

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That’s Interesting

  1. Along with new Flyers mascot Gritty, Philly has seen a wave of Gritty-inspired food from cheesesteaks to salads. Of course, my colleagues (myself included) had to try them all out.

  2. The Phillie Phanatic is an icon, but there's one honor that Gritty has received that even the Phanatic is still waiting for.

  3. Speaking of Philly icons, a local Burger King is refusing to sell BK's new Philly cheesesteak burger. But reporter Michael Klein thinks there's something fishy about their protest.

  4. Scarier than yet another imitation cheesesteak is Netflix's new series "The Haunting of Hill House." Did you know a Lower Merion alum brought the star of the show — the house — to life?

  5. It might be tough to believe, but a rapidly growing local beef jerky company traces its roots back to some rebellious middle school boys. And they believe that spirit is a key to their success.

  6. Another growing business — scooter-sharing programs — have been waiting to get into the Philly market, but they've hit a legal roadblock. Scooter companies are still hopeful they can sway Philly officials.


"The same intense housing development that is sweeping Philadelphia and its inner-ring suburbs is now imperiling a collection of buildings that are as important to American history as those found around
— Independence Hall
  1. With Megyn Kelly's place on Today in question, columnist Elizabeth Wellington can't help but wonder how Tamron Hall — Temple grad and the former "Today" host Kelly replaced — feels about what's happening.

  2. Forget polling experts, writes columnist Maria Panaritis. She thinks it's diner staff, barbers and bartenders who know the pulse of ordinary voters — and Democrats might not like what they're hearing.

What we’re reading

  1. Have you ever thought a Facebook post would land you in prison? As The Root explains, police officers across the U.S. are using fake accounts to keep an eye on people — sometimes whether they are suspected of a crime or not.

  2. Robots are coming… for our jobs. Once manual jobs are being replaced by automation, but as PlanPhilly writes, workers in our city are actually well positioned to weather the storm.

  3. In Philly, we know about District Attorney Larry Krasner's mission to reinvent the role of a prosecutor. It's gaining him national attention as well. The New Yorker breaks down his progressive ambition.

  4. Your coffee cup might look different next year. That's because Dunkin' Donuts is changing its name to Dunkin. Vox offers some clarity as to why big corporate brands change their names despite the risks.

  5. The 90's kid in me can't believe it's been 20 years since the first Now That's What I Call Music! album. The Ringer has ranked all of them. Warning: This caused some very heated debates with my colleagues.

Your Daily Dose of | #RelationshipGoals

Mel and Barbara Kornbluh’s tandem bike is a symbol of their life together. It’s carried them for hundreds of thousands of miles and 46 years of happy marriage.