William Bender is an investigative reporter who has covered everything from South Philly mobsters to doomsday hucksters. He also contributes to Clout, a column chronicling the underbelly of Philly's political scene.
South Philadelphia detectives were chasing a blasphemous thief over the weekend after pieces of the Nativity scene — reportedly Jesus, Mary, and Joseph ― went missing from Ninth and Montrose streets Saturday morning. Police later recovered the pieces, but the suspect is not in custody.
Mayor Kenney on Monday issued a directive to crack down on land speculators and unscrupulous developers following news reports about no-bid sales and profitable land flips aided by the city’s disjointed process for selling its vacant lots.
City Council President Darrell Clarke says he wants to close loopholes in Philadelphia’s disjointed land disposition process following news reports of no-bid sales that enabled developers to buy public lots cheaply then build expensive homes there – or re-sell them for large profits.
The Philadelphia Coalition for Affordable Communities is calling on City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart to investigate public land sales, following Inquirer and Daily News reports about flaws in the system.
City officials recently blamed a clerical error, in part, for allowing a friend of Councilman Kenyatta Johnson to secure two city-owned lots this summer without bidding and then flip them for a cool $165,000 profit. But records show that city officials also mischaracterized a previous sale to...
A childhood friend of Councilman Kenyatta Johnson managed to leapfrog other developers — again — and make a quick $165,000 by flipping two city-owned lots in Point Breeze. City regulations are supposed to prohibit precisely those types of transactions.