The weekend is almost here, but there’s no Eagles football to look forward to … this week. Not to worry, we’re still discussing the team this morning. Philly’s Gayborhood community is preparing to say goodbye to a staple in the area, but hopes one piece of it can live on. Let’s jump in.
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The 12th Street Gym has been a staple in Philadelphia’s Gayborhood for more than three decades. Financial troubles have threatened it and its doors will close for the final time on January 31.
With the closure of the gym, comes anxiety over the future of a mural that graces its facade. It depicts Gloria Casarez, an activist who was Philadelphia’s first director of LGBT affairs before she died of cancer in 2014.
The gym’s owner points to soaring real estate taxes and $500,000 that the gym would have had to pay to address fire code violations, as causes for the decision to close the doors for good.
Despite earlier intentions, Rep. Pat Meehan will not run for reelection following sexual harassment claims brought by a former staffer. Meehan informed Speaker Paul Ryan of his decision on Thursday after it was reported that Republican insiders saw his reelection window closing fast.
Meehan denied the claims of harassment brought by the aide, but did refer to her as a “soul mate” who he felt a connection to. The congressman attempted to explain his use of the term “soul mate” in the letter outlining his decision to not run.
Meehan came under fire following reports that he used taxpayer funds to settle the claim with the aide. The Delaware County Republican would not reveal how much money was paid, but he called it a “severance,” not a settlement.
When Carson Wentz went down for the season, we all knew Nick Foles’ play would be the key to success – or failure – for the Eagles. Jeff McLane breaks down the film and wonders whether Foles has it in him for one more win.
The run-pass option game has been critical to Foles’ solid postseason. While he isn’t really a threat to keep it and run, my colleague Paul Domowitch explains why the plays have still worked in the Eagles’ favor.
Maybe all of the analysis doesn’t really matter. NBC analyst and Super Bowl winning coach Tony Dungy explained why he believes the Birds are simply “a team of destiny.”
What you need to know today
- Edward Archer’s lawyers called for the jury to put emotion aside and focus on the law as opening statements started on Thursday. Archer stands trial for the shooting of Philadelphia Police Officer Jesse Hartnett.
- Philly rapper Meek Mill is no ordinary defendant and close examination of Genece Brinkley shows that she’s no ordinary judge.
- Bill Cosby’s lawyers are seeking to have a woman testify at his retrial that his accuser, Andrea Constand, once told a coworker that making false sexual assault claims against a famous person could get her paid.
- Many death row inmates in Pennsylvania are held in isolation for between 22 and 24 hours a day and a class-action lawsuit filed Thursday is aiming to better their living conditions.
- New rowhouses are being proposed for a stretch of South Philly land along the Delaware River waterfront. The plan would bring 169 new residences to Columbus Boulevard.
- Two camera operators are suing NBC after being fired from The Tonight Show. They claim Roots drummer and Philly native Questlove called for the firings because they are white.
- On Thursday, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner explained that he plans to make charging and sentencing decisions that could prevent immigrants accused of non-violent crimes from being deported.
- Black ward leaders in Philadelphia’s GOP want to know why their vote counts for less than others in the current rules for electing a chairman, conjuring up thoughts of the “three-fifths compromise.”
- Newly released communications indicate that the New Jersey agency that funds Miss America knew two months before the release of vulgar emails, that Dick Clark productions had severed ties with Miss America, but took no action.
Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly
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We want to see what our community looks like through your eyes. Show us the park that your family walks through every weekend with the dog, the block party in your neighborhood or the historic stretch you see every morning on your commute to work.
- The wine was flowing in Pennsylvania last year. A new report says $57 million worth of wine was directly shipped to consumers in the state.
- Dreams and Nightmares, the latest album from Meek Mill, has become an anthem to hype up Eagles players in their run to the Super Bowl, and despite being in prison, he’s thrilled to hear that.
- Drexel basketball player Hannah Nihill is no stranger to dishing out assists on the court, but her most memorable was the assist she gave her little sister to help her in her fight against cancer.
- Trash-talking is somewhat of an art. Bethany Ao has put together a handy trash-talk guide for Eagles fans to get us all ready for the Patriots.
- Do you remember the XFL, the harder-hitting, more chaotic alternative to the NFL? Vince McMahon is bringing the league back. Don’t expect any kneeling during the National Anthem.
- What better way to prove your commitment than with a little ink? A Philly tattoo start-up is offering free Eagles tattoos ahead of the Super Bowl – permanent and temporary.
- The Flyers four-game win streak came to end on Thursday night as the Lightning struck for three second-period goals on their way to a 5-1 victory.
- Sixers center Joel Embiid was named an All-Star starter and on Thursday, he found out he’ll be playing on Team Stephen Curry.
“No matter what I did, I just couldn’t size up what U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan was saying Tuesday in his grand disclosure that a decades-younger former aide who accused him of sexual harassment was his “soul mate.” — Columnist Maria Panaritis explains why she finds Rep. Meehan’s “soul mate” comments so mind-boggling.
- Columnist Will Bunch writes that he’s worried people are becoming too tired to keep up with President Trump and explains why we’ll look back one day and regret that.
- Life-long Vikings fan and attorney Craig Robertson writes that bringing his 75-year-old father to Philadelphia for the NFC title game was the biggest mistake of his life.
What we’re reading
- Last year, many taxi cabs in Philadelphia got an upgrade with Samsung tablets that replaced the meter fare displays. The problem is people keep taking them, Billy Penn explains.
- FiveThirtyEight has created an interactive tool that shows seven ways Pennsylvania could draw its congressional districts – shifting the partisan and racial makeup.
- Joel Heitkamp is a radio host and avid Vikings fan who traveled to Philadelphia for the game and was so off-put by his experience, he warned Amazon not to come. Philadelphia Magazine got him on the phone.
- Buzzfeed has compiled the most powerful quotes of the 133 young women who confronted Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics doctor convicted of sexual abuse.
- “This isn’t Penn State. It’s worse,” writes Shawn Windsor of the Detroit Free Press on Michigan State and its relationship with Nassar.
Your Daily Dose of | Shortcake
Philly’s Johnny Showcase is known for his soulful R&B, but now he is transforming into kids’ performer, Johnny Shortcake.