Top Stories of the Year

We've been told that the economy has been healing. But there's still a lot of pain being felt - here and elsewhere. And it doesn't help that the start of a recovery can feel eerily like the depth of a recession. Jobs are the last segment of the economy to improve.

A jobless recovery

Military vets were among those looking for a job. (Michael S. Wirtz / Staff Photographer)

The recession was over, we were told. You couldn't tell by the wreckage left by layoffs at companies big and small, in the private and the public sector, in military and civilian circles. For every step forward, the economy seemed to regress by a step - or two.

Real Estate

Even the idea of home ownership - white picket fence, a yard of one´s own - has been turned on its ear at the nation looks for improvement in the real estate market. (Seth Perlman / Associated Press )

The region was insulated from wild price swings in prices that hit other parts of the nation, but the real estate malaise that enveloped the nation was certainly felt here, too.

Casino Gambling

The Sugar House Casino in Philadelphia. Casinos in Pennsylvania have benefited from the addition of table games, while fortunes in Atlantic City are sinking. (Clem Murray / Staff Photographer)

Pennsylvania is looking to open its 11th casino this spring, while A.C. scrambles for a way to bring back Lady Luck. And tough measures are taken for gambling while the kids are left alone in the car.


A Watson Pharmaceuticals generic version of atorvastatin calcium tablets, or generic Lipitor, which is being sold under a deal with Pfizer. (Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc. / Bill Gallery / AP)

As drug patents expire, blockbuster meds move closer to a day when competitors will vie for our dollars and a market share. Lipitor leads the way. And former executives in a pharma firm involved in illegal drug trials are sentenced to prison time.

Port and Airport

The skyline of Philadelphia looms in the background  looking north from above the Delaware River and the Walt Whitman Bridge. (Alen Malott / Staff Photographer)

What's been billed as a kinder, gentler body scan has been introduced at the airport. All tempers might not be soothed, especially as an expansion project looks to a heftier price tag. Down at the docks, deepening of shipping lanes remains a concern.


Refineries are scheduled to close - and take jobs with them - if buyers can't be found. Marcellus Shale opens wide possibilities, and debate. And electric companies can make choosers out of us all.