Heat wave did not deter marchers ahead of DNC

By Associated Press 11:15am, July 24, 2016 - Updated 8:31pm, July 24, 2016
Environmental protesters march in front of City Hall in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
The sweltering heat did not keep protesters away from demonstrations in downtown Philadelphia.

The first major marches of the convention started at City Hall on Sunday and thousands of people turned out. A march for clean energy jammed a major thoroughfare from Philadelphia's City Hall to Independence Mall, near the Liberty Bell, with protesters holding anti-fracking and anti-pipelines signs.

It took about 2 1/2 hours for all the marchers to make the mile-long trek.

Thousands of Bernie Sanders supporters also marched down Broad Street to show their support of him and disdain of Hillary Clinton.

Chanting "Hell No, DNC, we won't vote for Hillary" and "This is what democracy looks like," the marchers headed from City Hall to the Wells Fargo Center about 4 miles away.

Many carried Sanders signs, and a huge Bernie Sanders puppet was also a part of the march.


DNC closes some Philly roads

By WDEL staff 8:21pm, July 24, 2016
Courtesy of the City of Philadelphia
Travel in South Philadelphia will be restricted by road closures and highway restrictions.

Roads began shutting down on Saturday, although the closures are mainly contained to the area around the sports complex. The closures are also far less restrictive than those ordered during the Pope’s visit last fall.

Courtesy of the City of Philadelphia

Click to enlarge

Throughout convention week, the following streets will be closed to traffic:

— Broad Street from Packer Avenue to the Navy Yard/Terminal Avenue.

— Pattison Avenue from 7th Street to the eastern entrance to FDR Park.

— Terminal Avenue from Broad to 11th Street.

— 11th Street from Hartranft Street to Terminal Avenue.

Authorized vehicles only will be allowed on the following streets:

— Pattison Avenue from 20th Street to the eastern entrance to FDR Park.

— Hartranft Street from Broad to Darien Street.

— Darien Street from Packer Avenue to Lurie Way.

— 10th Street south of Packer Avenue.

Additionally, the I-76 eastbound ramp at Packer Avenue will be closed from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. from Monday through Friday. The I-95 northbound exit ramp at Broad Street will be closed through to midday Friday. The I-95 southbound ramp at Broad Street will also be closed for most of the week, allowing access to the Navy Yard at designated times.

I-95 will be closed to commercial vehicles between I-76/Route 291 and I-676 until Friday.

The area within 30 nautical miles of downtown Philadelphia, including FDR Park will be a “no drone zone” from Monday through Thursday.


Excessive heat warning issued as Democratic convention nears

By Associated Press 5:06pm, July 23, 2016
It's extra sunny in Philadelphia, just in time for the Democratic National Convention.

Officials are warning residents and visitors to take precautions as hot and humid weather settles over the city.

The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning through Monday, the first day of the convention. Meteorologists warned the heat index would be in the 100s, the heat wave's peak day. Temperatures will still be in the 90s most of next week.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is urging people to drink water, check on neighbors and limit time outdoors. Spray parks and public pools are offered throughout the city.

Philadelphia is assigning medics to take part in marches and planned to open two medic tents and two "missing" tents for convention demonstrators. Bottled water will be distributed.

The National Weather Service forecasts that on Monday nearly all of the lower 48 states could hit 95 on the heat index somewhere, which factors in humidity.

And while the extra hot weather will ease a bit next week, the temperature forecast for the next three months isn't exactly promising.

The weather service outlook for the next three months shows above normal temperatures across the country.


Mayor: Deal to avert airport worker strike during convention

By Associated Press 11:05am, July 24, 2016
The mayor of Philadelphia has announced an agreement that will avert a walkout by some Philadelphia International Airport workers who had threatened to strike during the Democratic National Convention.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Mayor Jim Kenney said he and Gov. Tom Wolf brought SEIU 32BJ together with American Airlines to work out a deal.

The union has been trying to organize baggage handlers, wheelchair attendants and other workers seeking better scheduling, clarity on sick pay, a more predictable disciplinary system and the ability to unionize.

The union said the workers voted 461-5 earlier this month to strike during the Democratic convention, which runs from July 25 to 28.

Kenney credited U.S. Rep. Robert Brady and council member Bobby Henon with "invaluable" help in resolving the situation.


10 things you may not know about Philadelphia

By Associated Press 5:11pm, July 23, 2016
(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Nearly 50,000 people are making their ways into Philadelphia this weekend for the 2016 Democratic National Convention that begins Monday.

Ten things you may not know about Philadelphia, the birthplace of America:

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THE FIRST CAPITAL

Philadelphia was the meeting place for the Continental Congress starting in 1874 and then was the national capital after it declared independence two years later. That lasted until 1800, when the seat of government moved to Washington D.C. The site of the president's mansion - occupied by George Washington and then John Adams - has been turned into a display to recognize the lives and work of the nine slaves Washington brought with him.

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CRACK IN THE BELL

What's known now as the Liberty Bell was in the tower above the Pennsylvania State House (now Independence Hall) back when the Continental Congress was drafting the Declaration of Independence there. Its role in the Revolution isn't clear, but it did become a symbol for abolitionists and then of unity after the Civil War. And by then, it was cracked too badly to ring clearly. It's still on display near Independence Hall.

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ALL ABOUT THE BENJAMIN

Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston and spent nine years in France, but his home was Philadelphia. Everyone knows about his experiments in electricity (a key and kite sculpture is at the foot of the Ben Franklin Bridge to New Jersey) and maybe that he invented bifocals. He was also a prolific civic leader with roles in founding the city's library, fire company, Pennsylvania Hospital, the University of Pennsylvania, the idea of fire insurance - and of course, the United States. He also had time to invent a musical instrument known as the glass armonica. One is on display at the Ben Franklin Museum in the historic Old City neighborhood.

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HOW TALL IS THAT BUILDING?

At the time of the Revolution, the tallest building in the colonies was Christ Church, which still stands on North Second Street. Later, the city was out of the skyscraper race as developers respected what was known as a gentlemen's agreement not to put up any structure rising above the William Penn statue atop City Hall. That changed in the 1980s, and now the tallest buildings both belong to the Comcast Corp. One is the company's headquarters and a second is under construction for additional space. The 1,121 tower that's under construction - scheduled for a 2018 opening - is to be the tallest in the U.S. outside of New York or Chicago.

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RUNNING LIKE ROCKY

Philadelphia was the setting for Sylvester Stallone's "Rocky" in 1976. The fictional boxer and city are so closely linked that a Rocky statue sits on the grounds of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, next to the steps he famously ascended. Visitors can even replicate the epic training scene in the 1979 sequel. But be warned: A Philadelphia magazine writer figured out a few years ago that hitting all the landmarks in order covers 31 miles.

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ART EVERYWHERE

Besides Rocky's Philadelphia Museum of Art, the city is home to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the nation's oldest art museum and art school. It's also home to the Rodin Museum, the largest collection of Auguste Rodin's works outside Paris and the Barnes Foundation, a museum of post-impressionist and early modern art. The art isn't confined to museums, though; the city has pioneered the idea of public art. The most photographed is probably Robert Indiana's "LOVE" sculpture. Even the outside of the legendary dive bar Dirty Frank's is adorned with a mural featuring various Franks, including Sinatra, Zappa and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was nominated for his second term as president in the 1936 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

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PHILADELPHIA ON PHILM

"Philadelphia," starring Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington, which brought the AIDS crisis to life for many people when it was released in 1993, was also shot in the city it was named for. Jimmy Stewart and Katharine Hepburn starred in the 1940 "The Philadelphia Story." The movie was shot in Hollywood and set not in Philly but rather its tony Main Line suburbs. The city has been featured in other movies, too, including "Twelve Monkeys," "Witness" and "Trading Places."

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ALL THAT JAZZ

Philadelphia had a role in the lives of many jazz greats. Billie Holiday was born here and out-there composer Sun Ra lived for decades in a row house in the Germantown neighborhood with other members of his band, The Arkestra. Saxophone titan John Coltrane, born in North Carolina, arrived in Philadelphia and polished his craft after finishing high school in the 1940s. He stayed until 1958, when he moved to New York and established himself as one of the brightest lights in jazz. There's an effort to renovate his old North Philadelphia house, which is listed as a National Historic Landmark, and open it to visitors.

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POP AND ROCK

In rock and pop, Philadelphia is the birthplace of "Twist" singer Chubby Checker, 1950s teen idol Frankie Avalon, disco queen Patti LaBelle, blue-eyed soul duo Hall & Oates, rapper Fresh Prince (later known as actor Will Smith) and his DJ, Jazzy Jeff. It was also the original site of "American Bandstand," the hit-making TV show hosted by native son Dick Clark. But it was two local songwriters and producers, Leon Huff and Kenneth Gamble, who created The Sound of Philadelphia, the smooth brand of soul recorded at their Philadelphia International Records. One of the label's bands, the O'Jays, originally from Canton, Ohio, is enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, as are Gamble and Huff. Some of the city's most famous contemporary ambassadors are The Roots, the versatile band that plays nightly on "The Tonight Show." Founder Questlove and other members are Philadelphians.

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WHAT'S POPPING UP?

For the last several years, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has been turning empty urban lots into temporary summertime beer gardens featuring craft brews and menus from celebrity chefs. This season's spots included one under a long-abandoned railway known as Reading Viaduct. There's been a push to turn the elevated portion of the tracks into a park. In the meantime, the line is a favorite spot for urban explorers. The second beer garden is in the southwest section of downtown Philadelphia.




Man shot several times in Wilmington

By Frank Gerace 5:36pm, July 24, 2016 - Updated 5:47pm, July 24, 2016
A man is recovering from several wounds after a Saturday shooting in Wilmington.

When officers arrived in the 3500 block of North Church Street around 10 p.m. Saturday, they heard shots and saw several people running away from 2 parked cars, city police said.

The cops found a 27-year-old man in one of the cars--he'd been wounded several times in both legs and his left arm, and was treated at the scene by New Castle County Paramedics before being taken to Christiana Hospital, where he's in stable condition.

Investigators learned the shots were fired from Eastlawn Park, but there are no suspects yet.

Anyone with information can call Detective R. Flores at 302.576.3620.


Wilmington shooting hospitalizes woman

By Frank Gerace 11:11am, July 23, 2016 - Updated 4:58pm, July 23, 2016
A 25-year-old woman was hospitalized after an early-morning shooting in Wilmington.

When officers got to the 1300 block of West 5th Street shortly before 3 a.m. Saturday, Wilmington Police said they found the victim had been wounded in the hands.

New Castle County Paramedics treated the victim at the scene and took her to Saint Francis Hospital, where she's in stable condition.

Police are asking anyone who may know something about the shooting to call Detective Michael Hayman at 302.576.3620.


DSP: Dover liquor store robbers still on the loose

By Frank Gerace 5:50pm, July 24, 2016
Two men who held up a Dover liquor store at gunpoint are still on the lam.

The suspects, one of whom had a gun, targeted the Village Package Store on South Governors Avenue around 11 p.m. Saturday, Delaware State Police said.

The armed suspect demanded and got cash, and both men took several bottles of booze before they fled.

Police describe both men as black, and they say the armed suspect is 5-7 and about 150 pounds, and was wearing a gray hoodie and blue jeans.

The second suspect is 5-9 and 170 pounds and wore a black hoodie and dark-colored jeans.

Anyone with information can call Detective Ryan White at 302.698.8429.

Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1.800.TIP.3333, via the internet at www.delaware.crimestoppersweb.com, or by sending an anonymous tip by text to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword "DSP."


Maryland man charged with New Castle Wawa robbery attempt

By Frank Gerace 6:18pm, July 24, 2016
Brett Gunther
A Maryland man who tried to rob an elderly woman at a New Castle Wawa store is cooling his heels in jail.

Brett Gunther approached a 78-year-old woman at the Wawa on North DuPont Highway Thursday morning and asked for change, Delaware State Police said.

When she said she didn't have any, Gunther grabbed the woman's arm and tried to rip a 20-dollar bill from her hand, but failed.

Gunther fled, and the woman described him to a Newark police officer who was in the store--the cop contacted troopers, and Gunther was caught a short distance from the Wawa.

He was booked into the Howard Young Prison for lack of bail.


Man, 55, robbed outside Dover sports bar

By Yossi Goldstein 9:43am, July 24, 2016 - Updated 11:22am, July 24, 2016
Dover Police are investigating a robbery that happened in the Tom's Bullpen parking lot early Saturday morning.

According to authorities, a 55 year old man was sitting in his car at the back of the sports bar around 2:15 a.m. when a man approached his vehicle, opened the passenger door and demanded money.

After initially refusing, a couple more men approached the vehicle to aid their friend in the crime.

The initial suspect then took the man's car keys and phone before running off with his friends.

The investigation is ongoing, and if you have any information that will help solving the crime, call either Dover Police at (302)736-7130, or Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333. You can also go online to http://www.tipsubmit.com.


Stolen New Castle County credit cards run up $6k in fraudulent charges

By Yossi Goldstein 8:53am, July 24, 2016 - Updated 11:22am, July 24, 2016
A New Castle County woman has had her credit cards fraudulently charged $6,000.00, and County police are asking for the public's help.

According to officials, the 60 year old Windermere woman was called Friday morning by her bank to tell her about the transactions, which she claimed weren't authorized.

The charges span as far back as June.

Several purchases were made in the county, but many were also made in Salem County, New Jersey.

An excerpt from the student code of conduct detailing the violation and punishment.

The suspect's vehicle

If you know anything that may help end this investigation, please call County police at (302) 395-8100 or email Officer Weldon at ACWeldon@nccde.org.


27 guns stolen from Greenville-area sporting goods store, reward offered

By Brandon Bossert 3:52pm, July 23, 2016 - Updated 4:49pm, July 23, 2016
Twenty-seven guns were stolen from a Greenville-area sporting goods store.

Delaware State Police were called to Artemus Outfitters, located at 4201 Kennett Pike in Greenville at 1:40 a.m. Friday.

Police said four men smashed the glass front door and got away with 27 assorted handguns before fleeing.

Delaware State Police are investigating a robbery that occurred at a Greenville area Sporting Goods store early Friday morning and they need your help finding the burglars.

No video surveillance photos are available.

A $10,000 reward is being offered by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms and the National Shooting Sports Foundation for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspects involved this burglary.


New Castle County Police investigate 30 rounds fired in New Castle-area neighborhoods

By Brandon Bossert 4:49pm, July 23, 2016
New Castle County Patrol units responded to multiple reports of gunfire in the New Castle area Friday night.

Patrol units responded to the unit blocks of Thorn Lane in Rosegate, Parker Place in Simonds Gardens, and the 100 block of Central Avenue in Holloway Terrace at 8 p.m. on July 22, 2016, for reports of multiple gunshots fired. Arriving units searched the area, but were unable to locate anyone injured or any potential suspects.

Upon inspection of the multiple scenes and through the interview of multiple witnesses, officers located several pieces of evidence indicating over 30 rounds being fired throughout the multiple locations.

There is limited suspect information at this time, but detectives are asking for anyone with information to call 302.573.2800.

Tipsters may also call Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1.800.TIP.3333. Tipsters who call Delaware Crime Stoppers may be eligible for a reward of up to $10,000.


Dover man held up at gunpoint

By Brandon Bossert 4:58pm, July 23, 2016
A man was robbed at a Dover-area apartment complex Friday afternoon.

The robbery occurred at approximately 4:10 p.m. on July 22, 2016, after an 18-year-old man agreed to meet an unknown subject at the Alder Park Apartments, located at 51 Webbs Lane on the website "Let Go" in order to buy a cellphone.

As the victim arrived at the apartment complex, he was approached by a man. The victim advised him that he was there to meet someone possibly by the name of "Joy."

The suspect told the victim that he was familiar with "Joy" and escorted him to the basement of one of the buildings.

It was at this point that the suspect pulled out an unknown make and model gun and demanded money from the victim. The 18-year-old victim handed over an undisclosed amount of money and the suspect then fled the scene. The victim was not injured.

The suspect was described as a black male. He was 5'08" tall, weighed approximately 180 lbs., and was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and black pants.

If anyone has any information they are asked to contact Detective Paul Surowiec at 302.741.2814. Information may also be provided by calling Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1.800.TIP.3333.


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