Happy Friday the 13th. If you have friggatriskaidekaphobia -- otherwise known as the fear of Friday the 13th -- we have an interview with a woman who says her clinic can treat irrational fears. So get some tips, then get up to speed on five stories to know about before the weekend hits.
1. Seaside Park boardwalk fire: A massive fire ravaged the Seaside Park boardwalk Thursday, destroying or damaging at least 20 businesses. Hundreds of firefighters worked to put out the blaze, and crews are set to continue dumping water on a stretch of the boardwalk throughout the day today, dousing hot spots.
2. Homestead tax exemption: Heads up, Philadelphia property owners: The deadline to apply for a homestead tax exemption is today. As of the beginning of this week, just about a third of eligible homeowners had signed up for the tax break, which was meant to ease the effects of the city's new property-tax system.
3. Rand Paul in N.J.: U.S. Sen. Rand Paul will be in New Jersey today, campaigning for Republican Senate candidate Steve Lonegan. The Kentucky Republican is slated to endorse Lonegan, who is battling Democrat Cory Booker for the Garden State's vacant Senate seat, at a rally in Clark. Gov. Chris Christie -- with whom Paul has recently sparred over NSA surveillance and Superstorm Sandy aid -- won't be at the event.
4. Miss America: The Miss America pageant, which returned to Atlantic City this week after several years in Las Vegas, wraps up this weekend. Saturday is the Show Us Your Shoes Parade. The finale is Sunday evening, airing on 6ABC at 9 p.m. If you're wondering who the local contestants are, here are profiles of Miss Pennsylvania and Miss New Jersey.
5. Memorial services: Multiple memorial services of note are scheduled for today and the weekend. A plaque will be dedicated today in honor of Plymouth Township K-9 Officer Bradley Fox, who was killed a year ago by a suspect he was chasing. On Saturday a memorials is scheduled for Pete and Jordan Luciano, a father and son who drowned last week in the Wissahickon Creek.