Philadelphia Black Pride weekend kicks off

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia Black Pride kicks off Friday, and thousands of LGBTQ people of color will be in the city for a weekend of events as the organization celebrates a major milestone.

In it’s 20th year, Philadelphia Black Pride is everything black and LGBTQ. 

“The community has decided that I am going to define myself how I see myself,” said Le Thomas, president of Philadelphia Black Pride.

The nonprofit grew out of the Colours organization and was founded in 1999.

Related: GLSEN Philly launches to give LGBTQ students ‘the support they need’

While many think Black Pride weekend is a big party, Thomas says it was created to educate communities of color about HIV prevention, coming out and other social issues impacting a population that is many times left out of the broader LGBTQ conversation – of course, while having fun.

“When people would walk away, they would walk away not realizing they were learning something at the same time,” Thomas said. 

On Monday, the group raised the LGBTQ rainbow flag at City Hall with the new black and brown stripes. And later Friday night, they’ll hold a welcome reception at Aloft Hotel, followed by educational events, networking opportunities and much more on Saturday and Sunday.

“There is so much, and when I say there is so much, there is so much,” Thomas added. 

For a full list of events, click here. 

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Free program aims to bring wild world to low-income children

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — An important part of a local wildlife rehabilitation center’s mission is to encourage people to care about and coexist with wildlife, and a grant from the Pennsylvania Sierra Club is helping them provide free programs low-income areas.

Philadelphia Metro Wildlife Center education director Jackie Kent says the $10,000 grant allows them to take the Wild Neighbors program and its wild ambassadors to a wider audience.

“It’s usually about $250 per program, but not everyone can afford that. So this helps us get paid, helps the animals get taken care of, and then we can go into these low-income areas, and provide them the same wildlife education that would be available to the people who can pay for it,” Kent said. 

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The aim is simple.

“I always say you don’t save what you don’t love. So exposure to these things gets these kids to care about things, so that when they get older, or even just now while they’re still young, that they care about the wildlife in their area. It exists near us. It’s in our neighborhoods, it’s in the backyard and we need to peacefully co-exist with it,” Kent said. 

And, Kent adds, “Wildlife education should be for all people. And we do want people to reach out to us, even if you don’t think you qualify, or if you’re not exactly underserved, you can still contact us, and we’ll work with you.”

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‘A Huge Sigh Of Relief’: Temple Food Trucks Can Stay Put After Philadelphia L&I Postpones Enforcing 2015 Ordinance

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A fight over food trucks is in the spotlight at Temple University. Vendors who serve students on North Broad Street are frustrated about a new ordinance the city is trying to enforce.

Food trucks have been a staple at Temple University’s campus since the 1960s. There are specific zones the businesses can operate.

Whether you’re looking for a chicken cheesesteak, a burger or even a crepe, chances are there’s a food truck on Temple University’s campus that specializes in just what you’re craving.

“From a cultural standpoint, it’s one of the main things that attracts people to this university,” Evan Kasoff, a PHD student at Temple, said.

Kasoff said the food trucks are one of the reasons he decided to study at Temple’s main campus.

“I was visiting the school, I went to the crepe truck and I was like – I got the Nutella strawberry banana crepe, but I was like, I need this every day in my life,” Kasoff said.

(Credit: CBS3)

But recently Philadelphia’s Licenses and Inspections department decided to enforce a 2015 ordinance and notices went out to the more than 50 Temple food trucks last week.

The notice stated the trucks had to move their trucks off the streets beginning on April 29.

For local business owners like Fatima Nuredini, whose family has owned Richie’s Lunch Box on Temple’s campus for nearly 50 years, that could have meant potentially closing up shop.

Some Students Pushing Back After Temple University Announces Ban On Using Tobacco Products On Campus

“You’re better off not even doing it at all,” Nuredini said. “You know, my mother was actually thinking of just giving up.”

That is until Kasoff created an online petition asking L&I to hold off on enforcing the ordinance and pointing out that Temple-based food trucks are in a specially designated district with specific rules.

That petition has gathered more than 5,700 signatures and L&I has decided to suspend its crackdown until after discussions take place with the vendors later this summer.

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“I’m so happy we can work this summer over here,” Nuredini said. “A huge sigh of relief.”

A spokesperson from L&I said there is no definite date set for when the discussions will take place.

It’s after that proposed date, some time in the future, this crackdown could end.

Philadelphia GOP Leaders Don’t Seem Phased By Joe Biden’s Presidential Run

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Joe Biden is wrapping up a whirlwind day in the Delaware Valley after making it official: he’s running for president for the third time.

In just the past 12 hours, we’ve seen Biden at two spots in Wilmington and at a private fundraiser in Philadelphia. Chopper 3 was over the event tonight at the home of Comcast Vice President David Cohen.

Biden is in a fundraising race and is trying to catch up to record amounts other Democratic contenders have in their war chests.

Despite not having the cash yet, national polls show Biden leads the crowded field; all of whom want to take on President Donald Trump in 2020.

Joe Biden To Hold Campaign Kickoff Rally In Philadelphia Next Month

Supporters paid $2,800 a ticket to attend Biden’s fundraiser. Those inside include a handful of local politicians and representatives.

In his announcement, Biden went directly after the president. Eyewitness News talked to a local GOP leader about what the party thinks with Biden in the race.

“Whoever wins this nomination should win it on their own merits,” Biden said.

Biden has finally put the rumors to rest and officially launched his 2020 presidential bid.

“Everything that’s made America, America is at stake,” Biden said. “That’s why today I’m announcing my candidacy for president of the United States.”

But with Biden declaring his bid, Philadelphia GOP leaders don’t appear to be phased.

“We’re going to take a wait-and-see attitude. He’s one of 20 and I understand it may even be well be on that. So the Democrats are facing what we faced four years ago,” Philadelphia GOP Chairman Mike Meehan said.

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The chairman tells Eyewitness News he believes Biden is running out of time to raise the funding for his campaign.

“The unfortunate thing here is he’s really under the gun right now because he’s going to be measured on how much money he raises between today and tomorrow,” Meehan said. “Unfortunately right now, the problem I generally see right now is people are having difficulty raising money.”

This is Biden’s third run for president. Only time will tell what happens next, but one thing is for sure: Biden is hoping the third time is the charm.

Biden’s first campaign event is Monday in Pittsburgh at a labor rally, and he will be back in Philadelphia on May 18.

City eases pressure on Temple University food trucks amid overnight parking dispute

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — For 25 years, Long Nguyen has been serving fruit salad and smoothies out of his food truck on Temple University’s campus.

And for 25 years, he’s left his truck on the street after closing up for the day.

But he and dozens of other food truck vendors on campus who also leave their trucks overnight may not be able to do that for much longer. 

The city sent the vendors two notices recently.

“The first notice, all the trucks have to move out April 29,” Nguyen explained. “Recently (the city) passed out a second notice, effective May 20, all the trucks have to start to move overnight.”

He said that would lead to “chaos” each morning when the trucks have to park for the day and called the situation “frustrating.”

“It’s inconvenient for a lot of people,” added John Song, who works at Cha Cha food truck, owned by his mother. “For us to move the truck and then in the morning, move it back and then prep, that’s going to take a long time, so I can foresee that trucks would open later.”

And he guessed many trucks would have to close earlier. 

The trucks at Temple were actually supposed to start moving overnight back in 2015 when the city passed an ordinance requiring them to do so.

The city is just now enforcing that ordinance, although Philadelphia’s Department of Licenses and Inspections sent KYW Newsradio a statement on Thursday. 

“An ordinance passed by City Council in 2015 requires vendors in the special vending area near Temple to move their trucks overnight. As the Department should have done prior to initiating enforcement of these provisions, L&I will engage over the summer with vendors and other stakeholders to explore and address their concerns. We will not undertake enforcement until these discussions have taken place and apologize for any confusion or distress,” the statement read. 

“I feel great,” Nguyen said when KYW Newsradio shared this news with him.

“I’m hopeful,” said Song. 

More than 5,000 people have signed an online petition to let the food trucks stay where they are all the time. 

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‘I Was Scared For My Life’: South Jersey Hospital Performs First-Of-Its-Kind Heart Procedure On Pregnant Woman

CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) – Two lives were at stake during a heart procedure in South Jersey. The heart team at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center does valve replacement surgeries all the time, but last week the team had a case with all kinds of complications. Their solution had never been done before.

It was a pregnancy that was in jeopardy, and so was the life of 25-year-old Elenilza Souza, who’s from Brazil but lives in N.J. with her husband of six months.

“I started feeling really short,” Souza said.

It was her mitral heart valve failing again, damaged by rheumatic fever as a child.

Arthur Martella is the chief cardiothoracic surgery at Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center. He thought it was a routine case until they found out Souza was pregnant.

“We don’t plan the baby, a big surprise for us for sure,” Souza said.

Teens Don’t Know E-cigarettes Are Addictive, Can Damage Their Lungs, Study Finds

“That changed the dynamic of things but it also meant that we were on a clock,” Martella said. “Then we had to do this is a certain time frame when it was the least risky to the baby.”

Another challenge is that it would be Souza’s second transcatheter valve replacement.

Interventional cardiologist Ibrahim Moussa said this kind of procedure had never been done before on a pregnant woman.

“You can’t let your emotions play a role into your decision making,” Moussa said.

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They mapped out a detailed plan for a big team of Lourdes specialists.

The surgery would take place just as Souza reached her second trimester.

“It was scary,” Souza said. “I was scared for my life and for the baby’s life.”

In surgery, there was yet another complication.

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Doctors couldn’t access the valve going through the groin, so while keeping her heart beating, they went between the ribs.

The valve replacement was a success and the baby did well too. He’s active and normal.

“It’s a really strong baby and I just want the best for him,” Souza said.

The baby is due Oct. 11. Souza will be carefully watched, but doctors say they don’t expect to see any more complications.

MLB Suspends Mets’ Jacob Rhame 2 Games For Throwing At Rhys Hoskins’ Head

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Mets right-hander Jacob Rhame has been suspended for two games for sailing two fastballs over the head of Rhys Hoskins during a tense series with the Phillies. The commissioner’s office also fined Rhame on Thursday for what it said were intentional near-beanings.

The suspension is scheduled to begin Friday, when the Mets host the Milwaukee Brewers, unless Rhame appeals.

Hoskins got buzzed twice by Rhame with two outs in the ninth inning of New York’s 9-0 victory Tuesday, a day after two Mets got plunked. The Philadelphia cleanup man said later that the Mets catcher insisted they were trying to go inside.

Hoskins got his revenge Wednesday night with a ninth-inning homer off Rhame. He taunted the reliever with a slow jog around the bases in the Phillies’ 6-0 win. It took him 34.23 seconds, the slowest trot in the majors this season.

(Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Senior citizens who travel the world offer tips for your next trip

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Members of a nonprofit organization that assists senior citizen travelers with educational adventures are sharing some of their trip tips. The helpful hints are for seniors by seniors.

Road Scholar is a national nonprofit that has been around for more than 40 years offering resources for travelers in their 50s and older. Financial aid is even available to those who are eligible.

Sarah Vogle, 66, from Philadelphia is a Road Scholar member and a world traveler.    

She has a tip that may make you smile.

“Floss is boss. Bring extra dental floss with you, because you can use it for different things like making a clothesline, tying together your suitcases if they come apart,” Vogle said. 

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Get up and walk around every two hours when on a long flight.

“Compression stockings are really helpful. And this helps you to not develop clots in your legs,” she added. 

Also, compression socks are great for circulation and now come in funky and fashionable designs. 

And if you going to a high altitude destination, get your body used to it before you go.

“There are some gyms that actually have some high altitude pressure, so you can go in and use a treadmill, for example, and it will feel you are at 10,000 feet,” she advised. 

She says make sure you bring prescribed medication in its original bottle so there is no question what you are carrying. 

And leave a list of all your destinations and hotels with loved ones.

Other members suggest to pack light, bring two or three dark pants and about six or seven tops and scarves to add color.   

Earplugs can help you get rest, and make a list of things to remember to bring home, like contents inside a hotel safe or phone chargers.

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Teens Don’t Know E-cigarettes Are Addictive, Can Damage Their Lungs, Study Finds

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Teenagers are in the dark about the dangers of vaping e-cigarettes, according to new research. More than 1.3 million high school students started vaping nicotine in the past year and it has become an epidemic, as a study shows teenagers don’t know e-cigarettes are addictive and can damage their lungs.

Kaitlin Meyers and Daven Terner have both seen firsthand how popular vaping is in high school.

“I know a lot of people that vape and it’s constant, especially in the beginning of the school year, everybody had it in the hallway,” said Daven, a freshman.

The use of e-cigarettes has skyrocketed, especially among adolescents and teenagers, as many are under the false assumption that it’s harmless.

“If they knew, then nobody would be doing this as much,” said Daven.

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A new study says many teenagers aren’t aware how much nicotine they’re getting when they vape.

Researchers surveyed people under 21 about their tobacco, e-cigarette and marijuana habits. They found 40% who used in the past week didn’t realize their products contained nicotine but tests showed they had significant levels of the chemical in their system.

“These kids are using very high content products and they are potentially going to get addicted and they don’t know what is going on,” said Dr. Rachel Boykan, of Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.

Gas Prices In Philadelphia Top $3 A Gallon For First Time In 6 Months

Schools nationwide and in the Philadelphia region now have programs to warn kids about the dangers of vaping and e-cigarettes.

“They’ve heard enough from adults and stuff, I feel like it would be more effective to hear it from us,” said Daven.

“We want to go there to give them the information of the dangerous chemicals in it and the risk of addiction,” said Kaitlin, a junior.

They hope kids get the message so they never get hooked.

Researchers also say the chemicals from vaping can cause inflammation and a variety of dental problems, including bad breath.

Taste With Tori: Two Fish In Haddonfield Promises Ever-Changing Seafood Specialties

HADDONFIELD, N.J. (CBS) — Are you a fan of fresh, delicious seafood? Two Fish in Haddonfield aims to lure you in with a variety of seafood specialties.

The casual and intimate BYOB promises an ever-changing menu that incorporates locally-sourced ingredients.

In Haddonfield, a little 26-seat BYOB has hooked a big crowd on their incredibly fresh fish and fantastic flavors. It’s a tough table to get, but worth the wiggle to dock and dine at Two Fish BYOB.

It’s been a swimming success since 2016 as a result of its two owners, Mike and Felice. You’ll find Felice steering customers in the dining room as they try to reel Mike in from the kitchen.

“Sometimes people go back in the kitchen and thank Mike,” Felice said. “And that’s something else that’s great about a small, intimate place and you’re able to go back and meet the chef, meet the person who made your meal that you enjoyed so much.”

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And, in the kitchen, the seasoned seafood specialist is serious about his catch. Born and raised by the ocean, this Jersey boy isn’t afraid to throw it back if it’s not the best.

“My standard of seafood is so fresh, if it’s not fresh when I get it, it’s personally offensive,” Mike said.

Taste the freshness in their salmon belly crudo…

Credit: CBS3

… or the grilled octopus.

Credit: CBS3

And you have to try the signature wild skate wing.

Credit: CBS3

Drop your line into Two Fish, and you’ll be one happy fisherman.

Philadelphia City Council gets bill meant to address homeowners’ concerns about rising assessments

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Many Philadelphia homeowners have been dismayed to see their property taxes rise as a result of new assessments, so Councilman Brian O’Neill introduced a bill Thursday that he believes is a solution.

O’Neill says his bill would make new assessments “revenue neutral.” In other words, if the city estimated that new assessments raised overall property values in the city, the tax rate would be lowered by a proportional amount.

“You bring it down to where taxpayers can be confident that, while they may be upset about their assessment, they may think it’s wrong, it’s not being driven by a back-door tax increase policy that no one has control over,” he said. 

Related: Councilman Domb, running for re-election, takes heat over 10-year tax abatement

Administration officials say they’re open to discussions about the proposal but add that costs rise along with property values and they’re concerned that keeping revenue neutral would lead to cuts in services. They also note that revenue increases from the property tax were less than ten percent from the previous year, which fits the state definition of revenue neutral.

O’Neill introduced another bill that would increase the amount by which taxes are reduced under the homestead exemption, which is for owner-occupied homes. 

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Gas Prices In Philadelphia Top $3 A Gallon For First Time In 6 Months

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Gas prices are continuing to rise as the average price in the Philadelphia area has topped $3 a gallon for the first time in six months. Drivers at the Lukoil station in Spring Garden were paying $3.09 in cash for regular.

Some drivers were not happy about it.

“One minute it’s down, next minute it’s up, and then it just stays up,” said one man.

Experts say the recent increases are due to three factors: the switch over to more expensive summer-blend gas, an increase in demand and rising crude oil prices.

 

 

New vocational lab opens in North Philadelphia to help grow green jobs

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A public-private investment in a new vocational lab is attracting neighbors, many of them unemployed or underemployed, looking to build a career in the new clean energy economy. 

Monti Martel, a 23-year-old from North Philadelphia, was working as a line cook.

“I was looking to do something more interesting, more grown man work.” Martel said. 

So he’s gone through a seven-week long program to work in solar energy, among several programs he could take up in the HVAC training lab on Clearfield Street below Allegheny Avenue.

“I never thought something like this would happen in such a poverty-stricken area. I see solar as booming. I decided to take advantage of it,” he said. 

Related: $5M injection of capital into Kensington designed to reach underserved borrowers

The executive director of the Energy Coordinating Agency, Steve Luxton, points out seasoned HVAC technicians are hanging up their tool belts and retiring, and a skills gap has developed. 

“Millennials, I don’t know what they eat for breakfast, but they’re just not coming into the trades,” Luxton said. 

So, these type of training programs can generate the next generation of skilled trades workers. 

The Philadelphia Energy Campaign is an ambitious 10-year plan to invest $1 billion in energy efficiency and clean energy projects, with a goal of creating 10,000 new jobs. 

Now in the third year, they’ve launched more than $180 million worth of projects and tracked about 1,000 jobs so far.

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Two-Vehicle Accident Blocks Traffic On Northbound Side Of Delaware Memorial Bridge, Officials Say

WILMINGTON, Del. (CBS) – A two-vehicle accident is blocking traffic on the northbound side of the Delaware Memorial Bridge in Wilmington, officials say. The accident happened around 3:50 p.m. on Thursday.

Officials say three northbound lanes are closed on the bridge after an accident involving a tanker truck and a car.

At this time, only the right lane is open.

Injuries have been reported.

Stay with CBSPhilly.com for this developing story.

Joe Biden To Hold Campaign Kickoff Rally In Philadelphia Next Month

PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — After announcing Thursday in a video that he’s running for president, Joe Biden will be holding a campaign kickoff rally in Philadelphia next month. The Biden campaign announced the rally will take place on Saturday, May 18.

“Join the entire Biden family and supporters from every corner of the country in Philadelphia, PA, as we officially launch our campaign for President!” the event reads.

Biden, who is holding a fundraiser in Philadelphia on Thursday night, quickly racked up endorsements after his announcement, becoming the first Democrat running for president with the backing of more than one U.S. senator, including Sens. Bob Casey, Tom Carper and Chris Coons.

However, he didn’t receive an endorsement from former President Barack Obama, whom he served under as vice president for eight years. Biden said he asked Obama not to endorse him.

“I asked President Obama not to endorse. Whoever wins this nomination should win this on their own merits,” said Biden.

The former president, though, did weigh in on Biden’s announcement.

“President Obama has long said that selecting Joe Biden as his running mate in 2008 was one of the best decisions he ever made,” Obama spokeswoman Katie Hill said. “He relied on the vice president’s knowledge, insight, and judgment throughout both campaigns and the entire presidency. The two forged a special bond over the last 10 years and remain close today.”

Biden must compete in a field that now spans at least 20 Democrats and has been celebrated for its racial and gender diversity. As an older white man with occasionally centrist views, Biden has to prove he’s not out of step with his party. He’s yet to outline his positions on the issues defining the 2020 Democratic primary, most notably “Medicare for All,” the universal health care plan authored by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders that has been adopted by virtually the entire Democratic field.

Biden is paying special attention to his native Pennsylvania, a state that swung to President Donald Trump Trump in 2016 after voting for Democratic presidential candidates for decades. While Biden represented Delaware in the Senate for 36 years, he was often referred to as Pennsylvania’s third senator.

The former vice president will be in the state three times within the opening weeks of his campaign. He’ll be in Philadelphia on Thursday evening headlining a fundraiser at the home of David L. Cohen, executive senior vice president of Comcast. Biden is aiming to raise $500,000 at the event.

He will hold his first public event as a 2020 presidential candidate in Pittsburgh on Monday. Then it’s off to Iowa, home of the leadoff nominating caucuses on Tuesday and Wednesday, followed by two days in South Carolina. He’ll visit the other two early-voting states, Nevada and New Hampshire, in early May, before holding a major rally in Philadelphia.

Biden’s first media appearance is set for Friday morning on ABC’s “The View,” a move that may help him make an appeal to women whose support will be crucial to winning the primary. He also hired Symone Sanders to serve as a senior strategist, tapping a prominent African American who previously worked for Biden’s chief competitor, Bernie Sanders, in the 2016 presidential contest.

As he neared his campaign launch, Biden’s challenges have come into greater focus.

He struggled last month to respond to claims that he touched 2014 Nevada lieutenant governor nominee Lucy Flores’ shoulders and kissed the back of her head before a fall campaign event. A handful of other women have made similar claims, though none has alleged sexual misconduct.

Biden, a former U.S. senator from Delaware, pledged in an online video to be “much more mindful” of respecting personal space but joked two days later that he “had permission” to hug a male union leader before addressing the group’s national conference.

Biden also has been repeatedly forced to explain his 1991 decision, as Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, to allow Anita Hill to face difficult questions from an all-male panel about allegations of sexual harassment against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, who later was confirmed to the high court.

He has since apologized for his role in the hearing. But in the #MeToo era, particularly after the contentious confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, the episode remains a significant political liability.

Likewise, Biden once played a key role in anti-crime legislation that had a disproportionately negative impact on African Americans. And while several 2020 Democratic contenders have embraced the possibility of reparations to African Americans for slavery in recent weeks, Biden last month struggled to explain comments he made as a freshman senator in 1975 about the school busing debate.

His first White House bid in 1988 ended after a plagiarism scandal. He dropped out of the 2008 race after earning less than 1% of the vote in the Iowa caucuses. Later that year, Obama named Biden as his running mate.

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