Today's Top Picks: June 29, 2015

Mama Duck sits deflated Saturday, June 27, 2015, at Wiggins Marina in Camden.

Mama Duck, the world's largest rubber ducky, had a deflated weekend at the Tall Ships Festival. Crews worked for three days to fix and reinflate the duck on the Delaware riverfront, but gave up Sunday. Mama Duck had been expected to be a major draw for the four-day event. Now, she's headed to the "duck doctor." Read more
Two mass shootings in Philadelphia in a span of days this month -- which left a total of 17 people wounded -- have spurred unease in neighborhoods and prompted rewards for information from city officials. But there's been little widespread outcry about the barrage of bullets in the Mantua and Kensington shootings. Read more
Joanne Chesimard, convicted in the 1973 killing of a New Jersey State Police trooper, is a symbol of the troubles that continue to haunt U.S.-Cuba relations. Chesimard -- who also uses the name Assata Shakur and is the aunt of Tupac Shakur -- escaped prison and resurfaced in Cuba, and is the only woman on the FBI's list of "wanted terrorists." Some say the State Department should insist on her extradition to as a condition of efforts to restore normal relations with Cuba. Read more
Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania have introduced their plan to privatize the state-run liquor stores. But the sweeping privatization proposal is unlikely to become law, as Gov. Tom Wolf has said he wants to modernize the current system. The liquor plan comes as the governor and legislature face a Wednesday budget deadline, and the GOP's spending plan relies on money from liquor privatization. Read more
The Camden County Police Department is pushing its officers to talk with suspects first, and only turn to force as a last resort. The department -- which led the state in excessive-force complaints last year -- is developing a mentoring program that focuses on de-escalation, and officers who report using force six times in six months must meet with a supervisor to review other strategies for de-escalating encounters. Read more
What We're Reading
Source: Jersey Journal
Source: Philadelphia Citizen
Source: CityLab
Source: Philadelphia Water Department Watersheds Blog
Source: Bucks County Courier Times