Today's Top Picks: April 21, 2017

The Kensington storefront recognizable to fans of the Rocky movie franchise as Adrian’s fictional pet store was unceremoniously demolished Thursday, April 20, 2017.

A Kensington storefront known to fans of the Rocky franchise as Adrian's fictional pet store has been demolished. Ben Caplan, a guide who leads tourists to Rocky filming locations around the city, said he arrived at 2146 N. Front St. on Thursday to find construction workers dismantling the three-story building. Four of the seven movies shot scenes in the building's first-floor commercial space. "I was getting ready to tell these people, 'Well, hey, across the street is the --,' and then I looked over and saw a big bulldozer," Caplan said. Read more
The Philadelphia School District will invest in more teachers and save money in case of possible cuts to federal education spending, thanks to a $65 million annual windfall from the city's reassessment of commercial properties. The school system plans to hire 66 teachers in order to virtually eliminate classes in which students from different grades learn in the same classroom with one teacher. The district will also hire 47 teachers to end leveling – the October process that shifts teachers based on enrollment – in grades kindergarten through 3. Read more
Contamination from former or current military bases, including in Horsham, Warrington and Warminster, has ignited a nationwide review of water on or near sites that used a firefighting foam containing toxic chemicals. The military is now testing nearly 400 bases and has confirmed water contamination at or near more than three dozen. In the Philadelphia suburbs, about 70,000 residents have faced tainted water coming from their taps. But the testing process has been slow. "I am not going to be terribly surprised if, once a month for the next several years or something, we hear of a small community somewhere that was impacted," said Christopher Higgins, a professor at the Colorado School of Mines. "We’re going to be dealing with this for quite some time." Read more
The trial for David "D.J." Creato Jr., accused of killing his 3-year-old son Brendan, began Thursday with opening statements and the start of testimony. Brendan was found in a wooded area of Haddon Township in October 2015, hours after Creato reported him missing; the father was charged with murder three months later. Creato said he believed a spirit drew the 3-year-old to the woods where he was found, prosecutors said in court, revealing a conversation secretly recorded by the boy's mother. Samantha Denoto, who did not live with Creato, testified that she made the recording at the behest of investigators and called the reasoning "completely odd and unexplainable." Read more
Eleven passenger and cargo airlines are pushing the Pennsylvania legislature to comply with the federal Real ID law that requires states to change driver's licenses to reduce counterfeiting. Pennsylvania is the largest of nine states to have not complied with the law, which next year will force residents to acquire passports to fly if their driver's license isn't compliant. "Your prompt attention to this pressing matter is appreciated," a letter to lawmakers signed by American, Delta, Southwest, United, JetBlue, Frontier, Spirit, Allegiant, Lufthansa, FedEx, and UPS said. "The traveling public is not aware that Pennsylvania is not in compliance," said Debra Bowman, executive director of the Aviation Council trade group. Read more
What We're Reading
Source: Curbed Philadelphia
Source: Philadelphia Magazine
Source: Philadelphia Weekly
Source: The Guardian
Source: Courier Post