Bank robbery suspect. Surveillance image/Philadelphia Police
Philadelphia Police and the FBI are on the hunt for a man suspected of robbing two Northeast banks March 20.
At 10:08 a.m., a man entered the Bank of America at 6425 Rising Sun Ave. and gave the teller a threatening note. He fled without cash, but at 10:43 a.m., entered the Citizens Bank at 7327 Frankford Ave. and was able to get an undisclosed amount of cash. He fled south on Frankford Avenue. continue reading »
Sheena Allen gets her fifth tattoo from Kadillac Tattoo owner Eric Perfect. NewsWorks Photo/Lane Blackmer
When Bob Elfant first approached Sheena Allen inside Urban Athlete in Mt. Airy, she was a bit confused.
“[He] goes, ‘so you’re into tattoos?’ I thought he was jerking my chain for a second,” said Allen, whose upper arms are decorated with pink hearts, yellow daises and roses. “Then he said, ‘well there’s a new place opening up.’”
Allen’s disposition quickly changed.
“I said, ‘really? I want to be their first [customer].” continue reading »
Lawncrest Community Association President Bill Dolbow and First Philadelphia Charter School Dean of Students Debbie Smith, former St. William’s classmates. Photo/Shannon McDonald
The students of St. William’s parish won’t return this year, but the classroom bells are still ringing.
After closing its doors for good in June as part of an archdiocesan-wide plan to consolidate resources, the Catholic parish is leasing its two buildings to two charter schools. continue reading »
Business on and around commercial corridors (like this one in Lawncrest) balance the pros and cons of those avenues' high traffic. Photo/Laura Robb
This is the second of a two-part look at three Northeast Philadelphia business corridors, the areas and around them and how those businesses impact their communities.
A community without businesses is a community failed. Businesses promote employment, provide services or goods and enhance other economic freedoms helping communities to flourish. Typically, these positive outcomes distract residents from any real concern.
However, occasionally businesses can attract the wrong kind of clientele. Amid the shoppers, strollers and neighbors can also be loiterers, criminals and drug dealers.
At June’s Take Back Your Neighborhood meeting in Castor Gardens, Lt. Thomas Macartney of the 2nd Police District spoke about some of the reported problems along Castor Avenue.
“One of the things we’ve been working on is the 6600-block of Castor Ave.,” Macartney said. “Between two stores on the corners at Castor and Magee, there has been some gang-related activity, including residents buying drugs.”
We compared statistics from CrimeReports.com of five blocks each of three commercial corridors in Northeast Philadelphia, examining police reports from Jan. 1 to June 23 of this year to determine how those avenues – all in the 2nd Police District – stack up. continue reading »
Rodriguez Grocer in Lawncrest operates on a residential street. Photo/Laura Robb
This is the first of a two-part look at three Northeast Philadelphia business corridors, the areas and around them and how those businesses impact their communities.
Jeff Holden is the owner of the Lawncrest Family Barber Shop on the 300-block of Devereaux Street in Lawncrest. He opened his barber shop along a residential block two years ago, and said he didn’t experience any issues with the process.
“My business was previously a barber shop, so I just had to check before going through the city,” Holden said.
General Contractor Simon Kim experienced a similar situation: “I just went through the city.”
The A-1 Glass and Metal Co. along the 6300-block of Palmetto Street also was already zoned as a commercial property and only needed to go through the City of Philadelphia to open his business at that site.
“If a business itself existed before zoning, that business is grandfathered in, or someone can get a variance from the zoning board,” explained Ian Litwin, a Northeast community planner with the Philadelphia City Planning Commission. continue reading »
For $1, you’ll get three chances to dunk one of a dozen Lawncrest community leaders into a tub of water. Business owners, rec center coaches, pastors and more have volunteered for stints in the dunk tank, part of Lawncrest’s 97th annual Fourth of July celebration.
See photos from last year’s event below: continue reading »
The boundaries of PhillyRising's Lawncrest initiative. Image/PhillyRising Collaborative
Lawncrest residents have identified three plans for action within the neighborhood as part of the community’s involvement with PhillyRising.
PhillyRising, an initiative out of the city’s managing director’s office, targets neighborhoods with chronic crime and quality of life issues and brings community organizations and city agencies together to try to solve them. The program is entrenched in several neighborhoods, including Lawncrest and Frankford.
Following two initial community meetings, Assistant Managing Director Manny Citron drafted Lawncrest’s “Action Plan” based on feedback from the more than 50 people who gave their input. continue reading »
The owner of 542 Levick St. wants to open an accounting business on the first floor of the residential property. Image/Google Maps
The house at 542 Levick St. in Lawncrest is three stories and zoned residential.
If owner Chandler Le gets his way, the Zoning Board of Adjustment will vote later this month to approve a variance allowing Le to operate his accountant business from the first floor of the home. Currently vacant, the house would be converted to accommodate Le’s business on the first floor, while Le and his wife and children would live on the second and third floors.
Though Lawncrest Community Association members voted 26-11 last night to support Le’s plan, members had several questions about Le’s intentions and the future of the property.
Members approved the plan with three provisos: continue reading »
Philadelphia’s City Council members will be in Northeast Philadelphia tonight for a public hearing on the city’s budget.
The doors of St. William’s parish hall, 6234 Rising Sun Ave., will be open to the public, and residents are encouraged to give their public testimony.
“Please come and show your interest,” Councilwoman Marian Tasco, D-9th, encouraged attendees of the March Lawncrest Community Association meeting. Though held in Lawncrest, residents and business owners from all over the city are invited to the meeting – the only neighborhood budget hearing scheduled in the Northeast.
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A 4-year-old was rushed to the hospital Saturday night after shooting himself in the chest. Authorities say the boy found the gun under his mother’s pillow on the 6200-block of Cardiff Street [CBS3].
Police in the 2nd District are looking for the man who robbed a Burholme bank Thursday. The suspect fled the Citizens Bank at 7248 Rising Sun Ave. after presenting a threatening note to the teller [Philadelphia Police].
Sources within the Philadelphia Fire Department say the dismissal of Deputy Chief Robert Wilkins is the result of ongoing racial tensions in the department. Initially let go for pleading guilty to – and failing to report to his superior domestic assault charges, the Rhawnhurst resident is now said to be the scapegoat for Commission Lloyd Ayers’ necessity to prove he will discipline other black firefighters [Philadelphia magazine].