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Local Philly News from CBS Philadelphia

Celebrating 225 Years Of ‘Legacy, Faith, Hope’ At Philly Church

November 19th, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — This weekend marks the culmination of a yearlong celebration of a miraculous milestone at a Philadelphia church.

The African Episcopal Church of Saint Thomas on Lancaster Avenue in Overbrook was founded back in 1792. So throughout 2017…

“We’re celebrating 225 years of existence,” says Albert Dandridge, who has been planning the festivities all year.

Hundreds of people attended a special gala on North Broad Street to kick off this celebratory weekend.

“We’re excited,” Dandridge says. “This is a wonderful church and we all love our church, we love our rector and so we are just proud of everything we’ve accomplished over the years.”

Among the notable church members over the years is activist Octavius Catto, who recently became the first African American to be honored in Philadelphia with a statue.

And there have been many other significant moments over the last two centuries plus.

“It is hard to believe,” Dandridge adds. “We’re still keeping our faith, we’re still keeping our legacy and we’re still keeping our hope. So that is the theme…legacy faith and hope, and we’re celebrating all three of those.”

The celebration continues at the church Sunday morning with a special ceremony during their worship service.

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Stockton University To Host Supreme Court Justice Gorsuch

November 19th, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A sitting U.S. Supreme Court Justice will be visiting a Philadelphia area college in the new year.

Stockton University in Atlantic County has announced that Justice Neil Gorsuch will be speaking at a special event on campus on January 23. University vice president Michael Angulo says Stockton was able to secure Gorsuch through the efforts of the Hughes Center for Public Policy. But the event will only be open to the university community.

“Our performing arts center has limited seating and we really do want to encourage our student body, this will be their first week back at school,” Angulo said, “so we’re anticipating strong interest from our student population.”

Angulo says Stockton has a robust political science program and 9,000 students enrolled on campus.

He says this is the second United States Justice to visit the university. Sandra Day O’Connor spoke there in 2014.

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New CDC Figures Show High Vaccination Rate For Philadelphia Children

November 19th, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia is racking up high numbers when it comes to the number of children being immunized.

Philadelphia’s vaccination rates are high, routinely surpassing state and national goals according to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control. Dr. Kristen Feemster, medical director of the immunization program at the city’s Department of Public Health says vaccinating children is essential.

“High immunization rates really are key to protecting communities,” Feemster said, “so being immunized protects children but it also helps protect everyone else around them decreases chances of outbreak, really important for a healthy community.

She says city officials spend a lot of time educating the community and physicians about the vaccination schedules and the need for protection.

“Certainly there is outreach to the community to provide education about recommended vaccines, the importance of vaccinations,” she said. “There is also outreach and support to providers and then also implement program to distribute vaccines at no cost to providers.”

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New App Teaches Deaf to Pray

November 19th, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A new app to help the deaf pray was developed and produced in Philadelphia.

It’s called “Religious Signs for Families” – a sign language app available for Apple and Android devices.

It was developed by Sister Kathleen Schapani, who directs the Deaf Apostolate for the Philadelphia Archdiocese.

“It starts simply with religious words and they’re mostly nouns such as Jesus, Mary, Holy Spirit, God, pray,” she says.

Sister Kathleen says it’s geared for deaf children as well as their parents and utilizes American Sign Language accompanied by audio of the action. After working through the basics, she says there’s more.

deaf prayer app sister New App Teaches Deaf to Pray

Sister Kathleen Schapani IHM, director of the Deaf Apostolate for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, demonstrates the “Religious Signs for Families” app she developed to teach the deaf and hearing impaired to pray. (credit: Mark Abrams)

“Those words are grouped in short prayers,” Sister Kathleen says. “And the prayers are also in categories like blessing prayers, or prayers to the Holy Spirit.”

Sister Kathleen, who has been involved in ministering to the deaf for more than 30 years, says the app grew out of her desire to teach children in her religious education classes to pray.

“I began inquiring with some people about could we have an app,” Sister Kathleen says. “And, then just decided with some collaborators – a group of deaf parents – what would be helpful.”

Sister Kathleen says she took a bi-lingual approach and used people here in Philadelphia as models and to deliver the language.

“You can hit English and the captions will be in English,” she says. “You can hit Spanish and the captions will be in Spanish. There is a little icon of a child and a parent. You hit the parent and it’s an adult model; you hit the child icon and it’s a child.”

The app was rolled out last month.

Click here for more information:

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Appraisers Debate Most Expensive Painting Ever Sold At Auction

November 19th, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — While the gasps and applause have faded on the record price paid at auction for a piece of art this past week, with the Leonardo da Vinci painting fetching $450-million, art critics and appraisers are still talking about it.

Leonardo Da Vinci’s Christ Painting Sells For Record $450M

Many experts in the art world agree that the controversial painting is by the Renaissance master, but not all accept the attribution of the work to Leonardo. David Weiss, who heads the European and Old Masters Department at Freeman’s Auction at 18th and Chestnut Streets, believes it was the genuine article.

“There was enough of a consensus, as I understand it, that there was just no question that it was right,” Weiss said.

The same painting sold in 1958 for $60. Back then, skeptics dismissed it as a copy of the Old Master’s work. But Weiss says the subsequent back story was compelling, and Christie’s marketing and salesmanship were superb.

“That price was not necessarily unexpected, or unreasonable,” he said.

Homeless Man Returns $10,000 Check He Found

Historians believe it’s contemporary to either the Last Supper or the Mona Lisa from around 1500. It’s rarity alone – his last known work – was a selling point, according to Weiss.

“There is an ever dwindling pool, although they’re out there, of great quality works of that genre,” he said.

Christie’s decided to show the piece during its Contemporary, rather than Old Masters art sale, figuring that’s where the big spenders were.

“You’re making it relevant to today’s buyer, today’s market,” Weiss said. “I think it was a wonderful marketing decision on their part.”

For its part, Freeman’s is holding its own as an auction house.

“We’ve broken the $1-million barrier on more than just several occasions,” Weiss said.


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Philly Teen Claims He Was Kicked Off Basketball Team For Not Observing National Anthem

November 19th, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The ACLU of Kansas is investigating whether a Philadelphia teenager was kicked off his college basketball team, earlier this month, because he failed to stop warming up during the national anthem. The college says no but the student contends he was.

The agreed upon facts are that Garden City College freshman Rasool Samir, a graduate of Martin Luther King High School, continued shooting baskets while the national anthem played; that a college booster confronted him and a security guard intervened and took Samir to the locker room, where the coach told him to go back to his dorm. The next day, he was kicked off the team and the day after that, on a plane back to Philly.

The college has given various explanations, but ACLU attorney Lauren Bonds says Samir has been steadfast in saying he was told it was because he shot during the national anthem, which he says he does not observe because of his Muslim faith.

“We’re doing our best to make sure his rights weren’t violated,” Bonds said, “and there’s a remedy if they were.”

Samir declined to talk about the incident.

The college’s current position is that he was taken off the team for being disrespectful of the coach after the anthem dust-up.

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What Are Philly’s Chances To Host Amazon Headquarters?

November 19th, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Handicapping the bids for Amazon’s second headquarters has become a preoccupation with business publications. Philadelphia finishes high on some lists and not at all on others. The mayor says he’s not concerned about the predictions.

At least a dozen publications have ranked the Amazon contenders but no two have the same list. Depending on which criteria they emphasize — suitable sites, mass transit, lifestyle, business climate — Atlanta, Denver, Austin or New York take first — but Philadelphia is in the top ten on most lists, the top five on many. Mayor Jim Kenney says he can’t put too much stock in such lists.

“We think we’re in good shape,” Kenney said, “and we think we have a great story to tell and we told it and we’ll see what comes of it.”

A notable exception was the most recent analysis, by the Wall Street Journal. The list of 12 likely cities didn’t include Philadelphia at all.

“They were against our beverage tax, they’re not for sanctuary cities,” the mayor said. “I mean, I would be more concerned if it was the New York Times, not the Wall Street Journal.”

The New York Times did rank Philadelphia third on one list, much lower on another. But perhaps the most heartening endorsement came from the satirical news site the Onion, which joked in a headline: Confident Philadelphia Officials Preemptively Raze Center City To Make Room For Amazon Headquarters.



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