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SOUTH PHILLY: Cookie’s Tavern Kicks Off ‘Daddy Wags’ Memorial

by Maria Merlino It’s a February military tradition in South Philadelphia to gather at Cookie’s Tavern on 10th & Oregon to celebrate the birthday of the late Marine Sgt. James “Daddy Wags” Wagner. The noted veteran of the Vietnam war died of a brain tumor when he was 57. He would have been 70 last […]

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Mark Squilla’s Mom, Aunt Graduate High School

by Maria Marlino It was the 1930s in the city of Philadelphia. Rosina Squilla and Rickie Descano, Mark Squilla’s mom and aunt, had yet to arrive. The first experimental television station, W3XE, was founded by the Philco Corp. The cheesesteak was just created. Over 135,000 Philadelphians were jobless due to the Great Depression. And numerous […]

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Judge Vincent Melchiorre’s Sword of Justice

by Maria Merlino Common Pleas Court Judge Vincent Melchiorre, 57, struggled as a child with learning. “I flunked the 4th grade at St. Edmond’s School,” he admits. “I couldn’t read or write. I was dyslexic. I got jumped a lot.” By the time Judge Melchiorre got to Bishop Neumann HS, “it was an all-boys’ school, […]

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Me ’N’ Mo Meatballs rolling to South Street

By Cassie Hepler There’s was one thing that South Street in Philadelphia was missing. And Chef Sandro Frusone and brother Giancarlo found and filled that void. The same gregarious chef who used to own several Italian spots including Gnocchi on lower East Passyunk just opened South Street’s first meatball restaurant, Me ’N’ Mo Meatballs and […]

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Taking Back South Philly Streets

by Maria Merlino Eighteen months ago, Carol Lanni was a typical South Philadelphia working mother with a couple of teenagers to look after. Then came the fateful day when her son was robbed of his phone and other personal items in broad daylight by teen thugs who were dropped off in her neighborhood by adult […]

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