Today's Top Picks: June 20, 2017

PFT President Jerry Jordan, surrounded by union staff and lawyers, speaks after members voted to approve a contract Monday night.

Educators overwhelmingly approved a new contract worth $395 million Monday night, ending the longest stalemate in Philadelphia School District history. The three-year deal means raises for the 11,000 Philadelphia Federation of Teachers members. But politicians are making clear there is no plan in place to pay for it. "I can’t fathom the school board signing a deal that they fundamentally know that they can’t pay for," said Drew Compton, the top lawyer for Republicans in the state Senate. "It’s perplexing." Read more
A man who says he was one of the six alternate jurors in Bill Cosby's sexual-assault trial told a Pittsburgh radio station he would likely have voted to convict and was "ridiculously sick" when the entertainer's case ended in a mistrial. Mike McCloskey, 43, told WDVE-FM: "I would have probably convicted based on the evidence I heard." He said the seven men and five women on the panel didn't share what caused the deadlock that led to a mistrial after five days of deliberation. Read more
The private-public partnership Parks for People is in the middle of an effort to revamp 15 playgrounds across Philadelphia. On Monday, the group showed off some of the six sites completed thus far. The aim is to bring green space to within a 10-minute walk of every Philadelphian. "There’s a lot of young kids that come here now," Lisa Murphy said as her 3-year-old son, Liam, ran around at Jose Manuel Collazo playground in Fairhill. "This park is big enough that there’s space for the young ones and the big ones so they’re not running into each other." Read more
Testimony begins today in the federal corruption trial for Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, who is accused of accepting bribes and gifts, and defrauding the government and his mother's nursing home. Ten women and two men were selected for the main panel during jury selection Monday, with four women chosen as alternates. The trial is expected to last three to four weeks. Today, jurors will be told initial legal instructions and hear opening statements, with the first prosecution witness then taking the stand. Read more
Comcast Corp. is launching gig internet speeds for residential customers in East Coast markets, including Philadelphia. Gig speeds, or one-gigabit-per-second, are about 10 times what the typical Comcast Xfinity internet customer gets now. Read more
What We're Reading
Source: Philadelphia Business Journal
Source: New York Times
Source: The Record
Source: Asbury Park Press