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Philadelphia University basketball coach passes tremendous milestone

This Pennsylvania legend recently became only the second NCAA men's basketball coach to win 1,000 games. 

[Philadelphia University coach Herb] Magee hit the milestone with the Rams' 80-60 win over Post on Saturday. He has won all 1,000 games over 48 seasons at the 3,600-student private Division II university in Philadelphia.

Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski is the only other NCAA men's coach to win 1,000 games. Krzyzewski won his 1,000th game on Jan. 25 against St. John's at Madison Square Garden. He is the fourth men's coach in all divisions to reach the milestone.
Magee needed two tries after the Rams (15-6, 9-3 Central Athletic Collegiate Conference) lost this week to Wilmington.

"Relief. I don't make that up," Magee said. "That's the way I felt. Ask my wife, she'll tell you. It's been a tough situation because the hype is there and everyone is pulling for us as a team but they're really pulling for me to get 1,000 wins because they know how important it is. It means a lot."


Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here.

The New York Times reviews the Pennsylvania Ballet under new director

The New York Times visits the Merriam Theater to check out the Pennsylvania Ballet under new director Angel Corella.

On Saturday, I watched two performances of a triple bill at the attractive Merriam Theater (to be a century old in 2018). My particular interest was in “Shift to Minor,” a world premiere by Matthew Neenan, whose position as resident choreographer Mr. Corella recently extended by three years, and in a revival of George Balanchine’s “The Prodigal Son.” The audience loved both, as well as Christopher Wheeldon’s opening “Polyphonia.” But it is not from these pieces that we can judge Mr. Corella’s taste; for that, we’ll have to wait until he announces his 2015-16 season. The most immediate shifts of emphasis lie in dancers beneath principal level.

In Philadelphia, the program was advertised with a poster image of a newly promoted soloist, Alexander Peters, as the Prodigal. Mr. Peters and a corps dancer imported by Mr. Corella this summer, Mayara Pineiro, were also prominent in “Shift to Minor.” And Saturday’s performances also gave important breaks to two other dancers added by Mr. Corella: the soloist Oksana Maslova and the corps dancer Etienne Diaz. Ms. Maslova and Ms. Pineiro have unusually glamorous presences, considerable poise and technical flair; Mr. Diaz has a boyish charm and athletic energy that somewhat recall Mr. Corella’s own.



Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete review here.

Philly 0.0 Instant Gratification Run is all fun, no work

This run has everything -- drinks, t-shirts, food -- without the actual running.

The Philly 0.0 Instant Gratification Run finished a step after it started Friday night. An official time of 1 second was given to each of the estimated 350 participants, who paid $20 to $35 apiece for a T-shirt, beer, food and live music. It was a race like any other race except for, well, the actual running.

Traditional races have spawned any number of novelty alternatives: obstacle courses featuring mud, fire and barbed wire; mile runs in which participants chug a beer before each of four laps around a track; color runs in which participants are showered with kaleidoscopic cornstarch.

And now, inspired by a cartoon, comes the nonrun, with the motto “All the fun, none of the commitment!”

Depending on one’s view, Friday’s race was an existential comment on engagement and responsibility; a critique or embrace of entitlement and self-importance; a celebration or rejection of couch-potato sloth; a chance for serious runners to shake off the midwinter doldrums with silly fun; or a sly enticement of nonrunners, luring them to what may be the best part of a race — the after-party.

“We wanted to prove that with no hard work, no perseverance and no discipline, anyone can be a winner,” said Dan Babeu, 40, of Levittown, Pa.


Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here.

PA college student to appear on 'Shark Tank'

PA student-entrepreneur Christopher Gray will pitch his scholarship app Scholly on ABC's 'Shark Tank.'

Airing of the show will be next Friday, Feb. 20, at 9 p.m. on ABC. A show teaser says Gray, an undergraduate student at Drexel University, kept things interesting: "Interest in a scholarship app created by a student from Philadelphia ignites into the most heated Shark fight ever with three of the Sharks walking out of the Tank!"

Original source: Philadelphia Business Journal
Read the complete story here.

Washington Post backs Philly for 2016 Democratic Convention

The Washington Post blogger thinks Philly is an ideal choice for the 2016 Democratic Convention.

As much as I love my home town, New York City, and would love to see Brooklyn host the 2016 Democratic convention, I have to agree with my MSNBC colleague Chris Matthews. The party’s next presidential standard-bearer should accept the nomination in Philadelphia. “By gathering in iconic Philadelphia, Democrats could lay claim to not just the flag but what it stands for,” Matthews argued Sunday in The Post. “A week there, sparkling with American values, could produce the kind of inspiring national convention we’ve missed in recent years.”?

Original source: The Washington Post
Read the complete story here.

Six more weeks of winter says local groundhog

That's right: Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on February 2, crushing hearts across the country.

On an overcast morning, Phil the groundhog gazed at the sky, looked for his shadow and at about 7:25 a.m. ET told his handler Bill Deeley his prediction: "Forecasts abound on the Internet, but, I, Punxsutawney Phil am still your best bet. Yes, a shadow I see, you can head to Twitter, hashtag: Six more weeks of winter!"

Phil's prediction on Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa., came as a winter storm moved from the Midwest to the Northeast.


Original source: NPR
Read the complete story here.

Uber and Carnegie Mellon collaborate on driver-less car research lab

The ride-share giant Uber has partnered with Carnegie Mellon University on a new Pittsburgh research lab focused on driver-less cars.

Carnegie Mellon and its Robotics Institute have been working on driverless vehicles for years, and its work is part of the reason the city has successfully segued from an industry-driven economy to one based on technology and medicine in the last 20 years, with the nearby University of Pittsburgh Medical Center pioneering transplant medicine and other breakthroughs.

The Uber-Carnegie Mellon deal is "another case where collaboration between the city and its universities is creating opportunities for job growth and community development," Mayor Bill Peduto said

The partnership announced Monday includes Uber funding for faculty chairs and graduate fellowships at the private research university.


Original source: The New York Times
Read the complete story here.

Drexel tackles the complex town-gown dynamic in West Philly

NPR's Code Switch blog takes a look at the ways Drexel is rethinking the traditional town-gown dynamic, especially with its Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships.

Like many expanding colleges and universities, Drexel has put real estate pressure on its surrounding neighborhoods including Mantua, a predominantly black community and one of Philadelphia's poorest neighborhoods. The school is now trying to counteract that pressure with a center designed to serve not just faculty and students but mainly local residents.

"Developers were looking at this beautiful 1.3-acre site and were saying, 'Boy, we could put a lot of student housing on the block!' " explains Lucy Kerman, who oversees the Dornsife Center as Drexel's vice provost for university and community partnerships. "What's intentional is to look at this as a resource for the community and to say, 'No, that's not what's going to happen.'"


Original source: NPR
Read the complete story here.

Governor Tom Wolf appoints transgender woman physician general

The state's new governor has already demonstrated a commitment to diversity, appointing a transgender woman as physician general.

Dr. [Rachel] Levine, a resident of Middletown, Pennsylvania, is currently a professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, where she also serves as chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine and Eating Disorders, a program she created on her own. She has also worked actively with the school’s Office of Diversity, mentoring LGBT students, faculty and staff, and she sits on the board of Equality PA.

...In a press release sent out this weekend, Wolf explains why he chose her for this position:

“Dr. Rachel Levine is well-respected in the fields of pediatrics, psychiatry, and behavioral health, where she has practiced for close to three decades. She has been a leading voice in efforts to treat teens with medical and psychological problems, as well as adults and children with eating disorders. It is important to me that we place equal emphasis on behavioral and physical health issues. Dr. Levine will bring expertise and wide-ranging knowledge to this important role advising the secretary of Health and me on medical and public health matters."


Original source: Philadelphia Magazine
Read the complete story here.

PA universities test new tuition pricing structures

The State System of Higher Education's Board of Governors on Thursday has approved four tuition pilots at three schools.

Bloomsburg University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania are the latest state schools to test charging students on a per-credit basis rather than a flat full-time undergraduate tuition rate, according to the news release.

So, the more courses students take the more they pay, PennLive.com reports. Currently, the full-time in-state tuition rate is $3,410 a semesters whether students take 12 credits or 18 credits, the website said.

Bloomsburg plans to implement the change this fall. Indiana University of Pennsylvania will also start the new tuition rate this fall but it will be phased in over three years, according to the news release.


The reasons for these tuition pricing experiments vary but they generally aim to increase enrollment, improve student retention and graduation rates and ensure students are paying the costs of operating the program and/or bringing in more money for the university, PennLive reports.

Original source: PennLive
Read the complete story here.

A winter-in-Pennsylvania photo contest

PennLive wants your wonderful winter snapshots for Frozen Pennsylvania: A Winter Photo Contest; winners will claim a selection of outdoor, nature, travel and gardening books and merchandise.

With their magnificent images of ice-covered waterways, icicled plants and the like, readers across Pennsylvania are demonstrating the worth of our Frozen Pennsylvania photo contest, which will continue to accept entries through Feb. 28.

Pennsylvania's cliffs, waterfalls, streams, lakes, rain gutters, statues, tree limbs and the like produce magnificent, natural ice sculptures at some point in nearly every winter...get out there in the brisk, winter air, capture a photo of your favorite icy scene and share it with our readers. Ice on lakes, ice along streams, ice hanging from home roofs, ice formations on cliffs, ice in caves, and ice in many other situations are all great for the winter contest.


Original source: PennLive
Read the complete story, view the rules and check out some of the entries here.

Rideshare company Lyft plans Philadelphia roll-out

Lyft, the rideshare competitor to UberX, is planning to launch in Philadelphia; it already operates in Pittsburgh.

Billy Penn reported on a Craigslist ad asking for drivers as well as Lyft signage at City Coho, a co-working space at 2401 Walnut Street.

After several controversies surrounding Uber, 
The New York Times Nick Bilton wrote the company is a “moral alternative.” Lyft costs about the same as UberX, the lower-cost alternative to Uber Black.

Original source: Philadelphia Magazine
Read the complete story here.

Pope's visit causes headaches for engaged couples

Pity the local couples who had selected September 26, 2015 as their big day:

Nearly everything was set by the end of August.

The church was chosen, hall booked. The groomsmen would wear gray tuxes and light blue dresses for the bridesmaids. At the reception, there will be touches of the Jersey Shore — the place where Brittany Lowell and Jeff Doney first went steady...

Everything was going smoothly and then last November planning hit a big roadblock: Pope Francis.

The leader of the world’s largest Christian church confirmed he'd make his first trip to the United States and spending three days in Philadelphia from September 25-27 to take part in the World Meeting of Families conference and deliver mass to some 2 million people.

“As soon as that happened I went into panic mode,” the 26-year-old legal secretary and dance instructor from Northeast Philly said.

It’s not the serious influx of visitors or the traffic or the increased security that is causing a snag, rather, finding a place for the newlyweds-to-be and their guests to stay.


Original source: NBC 10
Read the complete story here.

Tom Wolf sworn in as governor of Pennsylvania

The Commonwealth has a new governor -- the York County businesssman was sworn in on Tuesday.

Tom Wolf was sworn into office Tuesday as the 47th governor of Pennsylvania, telling a crowd of dignitaries and citizens at the state Capitol that he will devote his administration to the goals of jobs that pay, schools that teach and a government that works.

“With a large deficit, stagnant wages and a shrinking middle class, there is no question that our challenges are great,” he said. “But let’s remember — the last time that America went through a great transformation, it was Pennsylvania that led the nation through the great transformation, the Industrial Revolution. We led then — and we can lead today.”


Original source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Read the complete story here.

Hummelstown B&B named one of 10 best in the country

The Inn at Westwynd Farm in Hummelstown near Hershey has been named one of the ten best B&Bs in the country by BedandBreakfast.com. Finalists were chosen based on a qualitative and quantitative analysis of traveler reviews from the past year, and winners were selected by an independent panel of guest judges. Check out an excerpt from one of those glowing reviews:

"First time in a B&B with a wonderful experience. We chose this B&B based on the many positive reviews, but the main selling point for us was the barn with lots of horses. Frank and Carolyn the innkeepers made us feel welcome and attended to all of our needs. Breakfasts were delicious and always a surprise! Our room was very clean, including the bathroom. The beds were covered with white clean and crisp linens and every time we entered our room we noticed how fresh it smelled. The dining room table was always covered with all kinds of complimentary baked goods. The guest fridge which is in the basement is stocked with complimentary bottled water and soda, plus additional snacks. Having snacks always available made it very easy with my son. Although we don't drink, I should mention there is also complimentary wine and beer. 

The barn is always open for guests at the inn. Everyone who works at the barn is super nice and so friendly. The owners come by everyday to tend to their horses and they are more than willing to stop what they are doing and chat with the guests from the Inn. We learned so much from them. Super nice people!! My son had a great time and probably spent more time in the barn than in our room. We will definitely be back! He enjoyed this place so much that he passed on Hershey park and most of the activities in order to get back to the Inn and his friends in the barn."?


Original source: BedandBreakfast.com
Read the complete list here.
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