Think You Know Kid’s Hiding Spots For Drugs And Alcohol? Parents Put Knowledge To Test Using Mock Bedroom

CHELTENHAM, Pa. (CBS) — Parents of teenagers are being put to the test. The quiz was all about spotting the warning signs of drug and alcohol abuse, and other troubling behavior.

A lot of parents might be thinking, “I was a teenager not long ago. I know what to look for: a baggie of marijuana under the mattress, a bottle of alcohol inside of a pillow.”

But inside this simulated bedroom, many parents learned that the game has changed. Constructed on the stage at Cedarbrook Middle School in Cheltenham, a mock teenage bedroom is on display, along with what could be a child’s hiding spots.

“If you have those air vents that are in the wall, that’s not an untypical place,” Lisa Wolff, with the Center for Humanistic Change, said.

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Parents were invited in for a challenge to uncover 100 “diversion safes” or seemingly benign items that could be used to disguise signs of drug and alcohol abuse in their kids.

“It can be something as simple as an empty dental floss container or Chapstick container, that they take it out and rump it in. You’re never going to suspect that,” Wolff said.

More elaborated “diversion safes” include fake batteries used to store pills or a computer mouse that actually houses a scale.

“My goal is not to make people concerned or have them go home and throw out everything they find in their kid’s rooms,” School Resource Officer Beth Sanborn said. “What I want them to do is to look for cues, clues or a progression in their child’s behavior.”

What about parents worried about violating their child’s privacy by going through their room?

“I don’t have that problem,’ one man said. “It’s a dictatorship in my house, it was a dictatorship in my mother’s house and her mother’s house and everyone before her. Everyone must earn their level of privacy and level of respect.”

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Many of the “diversion safes” on display are easily purchased online or in corner stores, so if you think something’s off, leaders say twist and turn those items and don’t be afraid to snoop around.

“I work with several parents who have unfortunately lost their children to drugs and their message is always educate yourself,” Wolff said.

Officials said that there are two major warning signs that might serve as a preamble to a child abusing drugs or alcohol: Having a lot of older friends and saying that some of their friends use drugs, but that they don’t.

Experts say that if their friends are using drugs, your child is likely thinking about it or lying about not yet trying them.

Court-Appointed Caregiver Accused Of Stealing More Than $100,000 From At Least 3 Families, Officials Say

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A court-appointed guardian is charged with stealing from the elderly people she was supposed to be protecting. Police say the caregiver stole from at least three families, making off with more than $100,000. And the district attorney’s office is concerned there could be other victims.

“She stole, from what we have found, at least almost $70,000,” Heidi Austin said.

Austin says that after her aunt fell, they tried to get in contact with the court-appointed caregiver, 58-year-old Gloria Byars.

“Finally, I texted her and she replied back saying that she was in Spain. At that point, that was a red flag for me, that she had gained access to their bank accounts and now she’s in Spain,” Austin said.

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And after a quick Google search, Austin’s concerns were validated.

“First article that came up was a Portsmouth, Virginia person that was arrested for fraud,” Austin said.

After finding that article, a quick background check showed that it was in face the same Byars who was now responsible for not only Austin’s aunt and uncle’s care, but their bank accounts, too.

“I was very surprised that a guardian could be appointed without a background check,” Austin said.

Thanks to Austin’s investigative work, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office is now prosecuting Byars.

“These are people who cannot handle their own accounts, their own money,” Assistant Supervisor of Crimes Unit Kimberly Esack said. “She was appointed to be the guardian. Instead of guarding, she used their estates and took what she could from it and has never accounted for where all that money went.”

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The alleged thefts all happened within the last two years. The DA’s office says if you notice any red flags, don’t be afraid to speak up.

“Go back to the court and say, ‘They’re not telling me anything about my family member. They’re supposed to be guarding over them yet we don’t know what’s happening,’” Esack said.

Byars is also accused of stealing valuables out of her clients’ homes. Byers was responsible for 100 estates. Detectives are looking into if anything was stolen from those homes.

Man Arrested In Chain-Reaction Hit-And-Run That Killed 2, Injured 5 Others In Bustleton, Police Say

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Police have arrested a 25-year-old driver in connection to a hit-and-run that killed two people and injured five others in Bustleton on Saturday, April 21. Shekhroz Mamaatkulov, of Warrington, Pa., was arrested Tuesday at Cooper University Hospital in Camden.

Police say Mamaatkulov caused a chain-reaction crash at the intersection of Red Lion Road and Bustleton Avenue just before midnight. Driving a Chevy Camero, Mamaatkulov was traveling at a high speed in the southbound lanes of Bustleton Avenue when he struck a vehicle stopped at a red light.

He then drove around the vehicle and through the intersection and struck a second vehicle, causing it to flip over and strike a third car that was stopped at a red light in the northbound lanes of Bustleton Avenue.

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Witnesses say that Mamaatkulov was picked up by someone driving a white Lexus GS and fled the scene.

The victims have been identified as 48-year-old Carmen Montalvo Ruiz and 50-year-old Juan Lopez Rivera. The five people injured suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

Philadelphia City Controller warns late reporting could jeopardize billions in federal funding

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — At a City Council budget hearing, Philadelphia City Controller Rebecca Rhynhart says the city keeps missing the deadline to file audits of its federal grants and warns that could jeopardize billions in funding. 

Every year, the city has to give an accounting of all its federal grants to the controller so she can audit them and assure the federal government the city is spending them as intended.

But questioned by Councilman Allan Domb during the hearing, she said her report is late every year because she gets the information late.

“What do you think the city needs to do to make sure this single audit is completed in the future? Are you saying it’s staffing issues basically?” Domb asked at the hearing.

“I think it’s staffing issues and technology issues but I think both of those, it’s solvable, it’s completely solvable,” Rhynhart responded. 

Finance director Rob Dubow says his office will be getting five new staff positions in the new budget but he adds, he does have the staff to get the work done now as long as Rhynhart will work with him on the structure of the audit.

“I’m certain that we can work together and if we work together we can get them done more timely,” Dubow said.  

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Back before City Council, the Philadelphia Free Library vows to do better on diversity, inclusion

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The Philadelphia Free Library’s board of trustees has established a committee on diversity and inclusion in response to a City Council request during heated budget hearings two weeks ago. Library officials were back before council Tuesday to report on the new committee.  

There is perhaps no issue that gets more attention in budget hearings than workforce diversity, and questioning of the library was particularly intense this year because an anonymous online staff survey found non-white employees felt disrespected and marginalized. 

Library officials were given marching orders to report back on efforts to improve the situation. 

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Trustee and committee co-chair Chris Arlene showed there’s nothing like a deadline.

“We had our first meeting at 11:30 this morning,” he said. 

Given how new the committee is, Arlene had few details to share. 

But Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, who led the questioning, said she was satisfied that the effort was sincere, at least for now.

“A year from now, I won’t be here, but I’m going to make sure my colleagues ask these same questions,” she said. 

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Therapy dog program at Philadelphia International Airport is taking off

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A pilot program to help reduce stress for travelers at Philadelphia International Airport is taking off.    

The program is called the Wagging Tails Brigade, and there are four registered therapy dog and their handlers in the program.

Dressed in capes with the words “Pet Me” on it, Cosmo, Lilly, Zeek and Zeus roam the airport offering comfort to those who want a furry friend to help ease the tensions of traveling. 

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“Sometimes things are a bit hectic here, so when they see a dog they are actually allowed to pet they just gush and go crazy. And the dog comes through and there is a mob of passengers that want to interact with the dogs and their handlers,” said Leah Douglas, the director of image at the airport. 

Each dog has a trading card.    

The program is a partnership with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs. The airport has plans to expand the program, adding more certified dogs when they become available.

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Family, 5-Year-Old Girl Aim To Raise Awareness About Rare Disease Triggered By Exposure To Sun

WAYNE, Pa. (CBS) — There’s a rare disease that’s triggered by exposure to the sun. In Philadelphia this weekend, there will be the first walk to raise awareness about the condition.

It’s often misdiagnosed and when treatment is delayed, the disease can become deadly. A family in Wayne with a little girl who has the rare disease is spearheading the effort to raise awareness.

This is no ordinary tree house. Yes, there’s plenty of fun that happens here, but for 5-year-old Kaia, it’s a life-saver.

Credit: CBS3

“It helps her avoid the sun,” Kaia’s dad, Dave Ettingoff, said.

For Kaia, sun exposure triggers a rare autoimmune disease called Juvenile Myositis, or JM. The body’s immune system attacks its own cells and tissues. It can be life-threatening.

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Skin rashes were the first sign, but doctors initially dismissed them as eczema.

“It took about five months to diagnose,” Kaia’s mother, Kate Ettingoff, said. “What we didn’t know, what was happening under the skin, which is her immune system, was also attacking her muscles.”

There is no cure, but JM can be managed with chemotherapy and high doses of steroids, which cause a variety of nasty side effects.

“I have to take icky medicine to make it go away,” Kaia said.

For this chatty adorable little girl, sunscreen isn’t just a hassle, it’s very serious business.

“She got a little tiny burn on her nose that brought back all of her symptoms,” Dave Ettingoff said. “She’s very brave and that makes it easier, but its still hard to see your child going through that.”

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Because it’s a rare disease, research has been limited and many doctors don’t even know about it.

“We’re mainly trying to raise awareness,” Dave Ettingoff said.

Kaia’s parents are organizing the first Walk Strong to Cure JM in Philadelphia.

“We’re doing it at 4 p.m. so our kids won’t be out in the sun at peak sun times,” Kate Ettingoff said.

The Walk Strong to Cure JM is taking place Saturday, May 4 on Independence Mall. You can donate to the cause here or find out more about JM here.

Picklemania Having Resurgence As Pickles Popping Up In Variety Of Products

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pickles are not just side dishes or sandwich add-ons anymore. Pickles and pickle juice have been touted for all sorts of medicinal powers — everything from weight loss to enhancing athletic endurance, and it turns out that sour, salty taste is becoming more popular.

In Haddon Township, New Jersey, picklemania is having a resurgence as you can find sandwiches made with pickles as the bread, even pickle wraps filled with all sorts of different things.

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Pickles are starting to pop up in a variety of products, from pickle-flavored popcorn, to vodka and cotton candy, there’s even pickle bouquets for that special someone.

At one restaurant, pickle ice cream is a top seller.

“I always tell my family and friends because pickle ice cream does sound a little funny. It sounds gross, but I am like, ‘No, it’s the best thing ever,’” said Jessica Sanchez.

But there’s nothing really special about them as pickles are made from cucumbers soaked in water, salt and sometimes vinegar.

“Pickle juice is so refreshing, there’s something about the tartness,” said Bridget Barkin.

Pickle juice has been touted as having a number of health benefits. Some claim it’s a hangover cure. Doctors say it’s probably just the salt helping with dehydration.

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It was first made legendary by the Philadelphia Eagles back in 2000, when the trainer recommended it for cramping. The players said it helped them overcome scorching heat in a game they won against the Dallas Cowboys.

“Probably drink it on my own at home, chill out, crack open a bottle of pickle juice and start drinking,” Eagles defensive end Hugh Douglas said at the time.

In addition to rehydration, research has shown that pickle juice may help keep blood sugar levels in check.

Just in case you can’t get your fill of pickles, Vlasic has announced it will release pickle chips. They will apparently be vacuum fried and have the same consistency as potato chips.

‘We Need To Hold City Council Accountable’: Protesters Demand Philadelphia Officials Do More To Enforce Workers’ Rights

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Protesters rallied outside Philadelphia’s City Hall Tuesday. They want officials to do more to protect workers.

Dozens of people came together outside of City Hall, demanding officials do better to enforce workers’ rights.

Philadelphia has an office of labor enforcement. It primarily helps crack down on wage theft — instances like workers not getting paid for overtime or employers taking worker’s tips.

“Just last week, I spoke with a worker at a popular restaurant, who says the restaurant has been underpaying their workers for years, refusing to pay overtime, or simply taking money out of their paychecks without any explanation,” Seth Lyons, with Community Legal Services, said.

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Many gathered said the city’s labor enforcement office needs to do a better job to protect workers, but they also acknowledge that in order to do that, the office needs more resources.

“We need to hold City Council accountable,” Madison Nardy, with One PA, said. “We need them to give more funding for our labor law enforcement in the city.”

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney has proposed to increase spending for the labor enforcement office. City Council will decide how much, if any.

The council is in the midst of budget talks, which are expected to continue until mid-May.

New Jersey Ranked Third Highest In Nation For Anti-Semitic Incidents As Violent Attacks Doubled In US In 2018, Report Finds

TRENTON, N.J. (CBS/AP) — Violent attacks against the Jewish community in the United States doubled last year, while overall attacks that also include vandalism and harassment remained near record-high levels, the Anti-Defamation League reported Tuesday. According to the report, New Jersey ranked third highest in the nation for anti-Semitic incidents.

“While we are moderately encouraged to see a slight dip in anti-Jewish activity across New Jersey last year, we remain deeply concerned at the high levels of anti-Semitism in the Garden State,” said Nancy Baron-Baer, regional director of ADL’s Philadelphia Region, which serves South Jersey. “We cannot allow these elevated numbers to become the new normal in New Jersey. Now is not the time to let up – we need our elected officials, law enforcement officers, faith leaders and community members to continue pushing back against anti-Semitism.”

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The Jewish civil rights group released its annual census of anti-Semitic incidents three days after a gunman opened fire at a Southern California synagogue, killing a woman and wounding a rabbi and two others.

The New York-based group counted 1,879 anti-Semitic incidents — either harassment, vandalism or physical assault — in 2018. That is a 5% decrease from the 1,986 incidents reported in 2017, but the third-highest total since ADL began tracking the data in the 1970s. The 2017 number marked a 57% increase over 2016 and was the highest tally ADL had counted in more than two decades.

ADL counted 39 cases of physical assaults involving 59 victims in 2018, up from 19 assaults and 21 victims in 2017. The 2018 tally includes the 11 people who were killed and two congregants wounded when a gunman opened fire at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in October. It was the deadliest attack on Jews in the nation’s history.

Israel Dahan, whose 8-year-old daughter and brother-in-law were both wounded in Saturday’s shooting at the Chabad of Poway synagogue near San Diego, said he doesn’t understand why there’s so much hate.

“We welcome everybody. We love everybody,” said Dahan, 32, who is originally from Israel. “I don’t even know why people like that (are) coming up against Judaism and against Jewish people.”

Jonathan Greenblatt, ADL’s CEO and national director, said he spent much of the weekend in California meeting and praying with the families of the shooting victims and other synagogue congregants. Greenblatt said it’s “hard to find much solace” in the new data.

“Unfortunately, the horrific tragedy in San Diego County reminds us that anti-Semitism is virulently strong,” he said.

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In 2018, ADL counted 1,066 cases of harassment, defined as a situation in which a Jewish person or group of people “feel harassed by the perceived anti-Semitic words, spoken or written, or actions of another person or group.” Last year’s tally of harassment incidents was 5% higher than in 2017. The one category that experienced a decline was vandalism: The 774 incidents in 2018 represented a 19% drop from 2017.

ADL’s report says “known extremist groups or individuals inspired by extremist ideology” were responsible for 249 anti-Semitic incidents in 2018, accounting for 13% of the total.

“This is the highest level of anti-Semitic incidents with known connections to extremists or extremist groups since 2004, when at least 128 incidents were the result of leaflet distributions by white supremacist groups,” the report adds.

The ADL report doesn’t address online anti-Semitism.

“We are only talking about real-world incidents in this report,” Greenblatt said.

But the deadly shootings at the Pittsburgh and California synagogues and the recent mosque attacks in New Zealand demonstrate “the role of online communities in radicalizing anti-Semites and bigots to violence,” said Oren Segal, director of the ADL’s Center on Extremism.

“Extremists are preparing their social media strategy as they are preparing their weapons,” Segal said.

ADL last year counted 140 anti-Semitic incidents that referenced Israel or Zionism, including dozens of robocalls from a white supremacist who ran an unsuccessful campaign for a U.S. Senate seat in California.

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The report says ADL includes “anti-Israel incidents” in its audit of anti-Semitic incidents “if they invoke or are accompanied by classic anti-Semitic stereotypes and tropes (such as Jews/Zionists control the government), if they target Jewish religious or cultural institutions or if they are expressed by groups or individuals who consistently express anti-Semitic ideas.”

“ADL is careful to not conflate general criticism of Israel or anti-Israel activism with anti-Semitism. However, Israel-related harassment of groups or individuals may be included when the harassment incorporates established anti-Jewish references, accusations and/or conspiracy theories,” the report adds.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Arrest Made In Murder Of 21-Year-Old Woman Found Shot Dead Inside Car In Willingboro, Officials Say

WILLINGBORO, N.J. (CBS) — An arrest has been made in the murder of 21-year-old Maribely Lopez, who was found dead inside of a car outside of a Willingboro home on March 7, officials say.

Maribely Lopez Credit: CBS3

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A home on Marlboro Lane was raided by investigators the night of the murder, where three vehicles were towed from the home.

The Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office says Lopez was inside a red sedan, parked along Medley Lane, when she was shot and killed from at least one gunshot wound.

Lopez was from Lindenwold, about 30 minutes from where her body was discovered.

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo At Philadelphia’s Best Mexican Restaurants

PHILADELPHIA (HOODLINE) — It’s the United States’ favorite day to celebrate Mexican culture, but it’s not, as many believe, Mexico’s Independence Day — that comes Sept. 16. Cinco de Mayo instead commemorates a significant military victory, in which the Mexican army defeated French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Want to celebrate the occasion and show off your newfound knowledge of Mexican history? Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the best Mexican restaurants in Philadelphia, using both Yelp data and our own methodology. Use our list to score a delicious Cinco de Mayo meal.

1. Nora’s Mexican Kitchen

Photo: shayne f./Yelp

Topping the list is Nora’s mexican kitchen. Located at 248 South St. in Queen Village, the Mexican spot is the highest-rated Mexican restaurant in Philadelphia, boasting four stars out of 119 reviews on Yelp.

2. Tortilleria San Roman

Photo: sari marissa g./Yelp

Next up is Bella Vista’s Tortilleria San Roman, situated at 951 S. 9th St. With five stars out of 202 reviews on Yelp, the Mexican spot has proven to be a local favorite.

3. Los Gallos Mexican Taqueria

Photo: los gallos mexican taqueria/Yelp

Lower Moyamensing’s Los Gallos Mexican Taqueria, located at 951 Wolf St., is another top choice, with Yelpers giving the Mexican spot 4.5 stars out of 422 reviews.

4. Lolita

Photo: john k./Yelp

Lolita, a Mexican spot in Washington Square, is another go-to, with four stars out of 607 Yelp reviews. Head over to 106 S. 13th St. to see for yourself.

5. Teresa’s Mesa

Photo: perez w./Yelp

Over in Queen Village, check out Teresa’s Mesa, which has earned 4.5 stars out of 58 reviews on Yelp. You can find the Mexican spot at 727 S. 2nd St.

Fire That Critically Injured 63-Year-Old Woman In Wilmington Ruled Arson

WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) – A house fire last week that left a 63-year-old woman in Wilmington fighting for her life has been ruled arson. The fire, which happened April 25, left the woman with 75% of burns to her body.

The Delaware Office of the State Fire Marshal announced Tuesday that the fire was intentionally started.

The fire broke out around 1:30 a.m. at a home on West Summit Avenue in the Elmhurst section of Wilmington, right across the street from the Five Points Fire Company. Viewer video captured as intense flames engulfed the home.

Firefighters found the woman in the front yard with severe burn injuries. Paramedics transported her to Christiana Hospital in critical condition. She was later transferred to Crozer Medical Center in Upland, Pennsylvania, where she remains critical.

Another woman was inside the home at the time of the fire. Officials say she got out of the house on her own and went to the fire house to be treated for minor burns on her arms.

State investigators say the fire, which was deliberately started, caused catastrophic damage to the home and exposure damage to the neighbor’s house. Fire officials estimate around $75,000 in damage to the home.

Anyone with information regarding this arson is asked to contact Delaware Crime Stoppers at (800) TIP-3333 or state fire marshal investigators at (302) 323-5375.

Man Snatches 4-Year-Old Girl From Bed, Locks Her In Wooden Trunk At Grandparents’ House, Police Say

WAYNESBORO, Pa. (CBS/AP) — Pennsylvania State Police say a 20-year-old man entered a home’s unlocked front door, snatched a four-year-old girl from her bed, bound her and locked her in a wooden trunk at his grandparents’ house. Thomas Dewald faces multiple charges including kidnapping, unlawful restraint and indecent assault.

Police say the child was reported missing at 3:30 a.m. Thursday and was found later that morning in Waynesboro, about 165 miles west of Philadelphia, near the Maryland state line.

According to an affidavit, state police found a wooden trunk in Dewald’s bedroom that contained strips of black tape covered in blonde hair, dirt and grass.

Police say Dewald broke into another home on April 28 intending to take a child but fled.

No attorney is listed in online court documents. A phone listing for the grandparents rang busy on Tuesday.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Broad Street Run Transportation Guide: How To Get There And Where To Park

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia will be packed Sunday, May 5 for the 10-mile Blue Cross Broad Street Run. The 40th annual run starts at Broad Street and Somerville Avenue and ends inside the Philadelphia Navy Yard in South Philadelphia.

And because of the run, traffic and transportation could be an issue for many trying to get around the city that day.

CBS Philly put together a guide of how to get there, where to park and what roads will be closed that day.

(credit: CBS3)

Road Closures

Phased road closures on Broad Street:

4 a.m. Broad Street, Olney to WIndrim Avenue

7 a.m. Broad Street, Windrim Ave. to Erie

7:30 a.m. Broad Street south to the Navy Yards

8 a.m. Run steps off

As fast as the street sweepers come through, the route will reopen. The whole course should be opened by 11:30 a.m., with the exception of some areas in the Navy Yard.

There will be police assigned to the detours around the run route to assist motorists, however, motorists should expect delays in the area of the run including side streets.

Parking

There is no parking available at the start area.

If you are coming into the city by car, we recommend that you park your car near the finish area at the Stadium Complex at Broad and Pattison and take the Broad Street Line to the start.

Runners can park for free at the Stadium Complex.

If you park on the street, make sure it’s a legal spot.

If your vehicle is relocated, please call your local PPD District Headquarters or 3-1-1. Do not call 9-1-1 for towed vehicles.

SEPTA & General Info

To get to the start area, runners can ride SEPTA’s Broad Street Line for free. All runners can ride SEPTA’s Broad Street subway line for free by displaying your official race number to the cashier at any Broad Street Line stop. You must be wearing the number on the front of your shirt.

After the race, shuttle buses will take you from the finish area back to the parking areas.

It takes approximately 35 minutes to reach the SEPTA Broad and Olney Transportation Center, which is a few blocks north of the start area. SEPTA will also provide express trains to the start on the morning of the race.

For public transportation information, contact SEPTA at 215-580-7800 or visit http://www.septa.org.