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Temple University's online MBA program ranked No. 1

U.S. News and World Report has named Temple University's Fox School of Business the nation's best online MBA program.

Temple, tied with Indiana University and theUniversity of North Carolina, scored a perfect score of 100 when judged on faculty credentials and training, student services and technology, student engagement, peer reputation and admissions selectivity.
Is it validation for Temple? "Absolutely, yes," said Darin Kapanjie, academic director of the online MBA program.

Temple's online MBA program launched in fall 2009 under Kapanjie's leadership. He came to Temple in 2003 as a faculty member in the statistics department, and actively took to integrating technology into the classroom...

The program has since developed an online and digital learning team, which has seven in-house instructional designers that help the Temple faculty organize and deliver their courses online most effectively. There are also two technology support specialists and two staffers in charge of video production. (The Fox school has its own TV studio, where faculty members can record their lectures).


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

Philly named No. 3 'Place to Go in 2015' by New York Times

Philly earns a coveted spot on this yearly list of "52 Places to Go."

"A series of projects has transformed Philadelphia into a hive of outdoor urban activity. Dilworth Park, formerly a hideous slab of concrete adjoining City Hall, reopened this past autumn as a green, pedestrian-friendly public space with a winter ice-skating rink (and a cafe by the indefatigable chef Jose Garces). Public art installations, mini “parklets” and open-air beer gardens have become common sights. The Delaware River waterfront was reworked for summer 2014 with the Spruce Street Harbor Park (complete with hammocks, lanterns and floating bar) becoming a new fixture, following the renovation of the Race Street Pier, completed in 2011, and offers free yoga classes on a bi-level strip of high-design decking and grass. The city’s other river, the Schuylkill, has its own new boardwalk. To top it off, this spring, Philadelphia will get its first bike share program, making this mostly flat city even more friendly for those on two wheels."

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

Amazing photos from the Pennsylvania Farm Show

Check out these awesome images from the Pennsylvania Farm Show in Harrisburg.

Original source: The Morning Call

Philly will be home to Forbes' Under 30 Summit for years to come

Forbes has announced that Philadelphia will play host to its yearly youth-oriented summit for the foreseeable future.

After a successful first yearForbes magazine's Under 30 Summit will be back in Philadelphia this October. The announcement came as the media company unleashed its newest 30 Under 30 Who are Moving the World list Monday.

The inaugural summit brought together about 1,500 young movers-and-shakers, mostly from past Under 30 lists, for educational panels, pitch contests, TED-style presentations, music and food festivals. Last year's speakers included Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Prize Laureate, who detailed her campaign for girls' education, and Monica Lewinsky, who talked about the culture of digital harassment. Also on the lineup were Pete Cashmore, founder and CEO of Mashable; Neil Blumenthal, co-founder of Warby ParkerJosh Kushner, managing partner of Thrive Capital; and Steve Case, founder of AOL.

"While we have no multi-year contract, we have every intention of making Philadelphia our long-term home," said Wendy Furrer Egan, senior director of editorial publicity at Forbes.

This year's summit will take place Oct. 4-7 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center and other venues in the city...

Lane, from Forbes, told the Philadelphia Business Journal last year that the No. 1 reason he chose Philadelphia as the go-to destination was because of its location. He named its proximity to other major cities, like New York and Washington, D.C., as well as its simplicity to get to via public transportation — whether train, bus or plane.

Of course, Philadelphia's young crowd and "increasing entrepreneurial world view," he said, is a plus.


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

Head to the Pennsylvania Farm Show, January 10-17

This annual Harrisburg event has something for everyone -- especially those who love tasty treats.

The Pennsylvania Farm Show, running Saturday to Jan. 17, is a nearly 100-year-old Keystone State tradition. It's the largest indoor agricultural expo in the nation, with nearly 6,000 animals, 10,000 competitive exhibits and 300 commercial exhibits.
The PA Preferred Culinary Connection is one of the most popular attractions at the Farm Show. On the live stage, chefs from top restaurants as well as a few celebrity chefs will demonstrate dishes, fitting a theme for the day and using Pennsylvania-produced ingredients. If you're there to watch, you'll get the opportunity to ask the chef questions, and get a copy of the recipe and sample the dish.

Samples are a big part of the draw of the stage's events. Samantha Snyder of the state Department of Agriculture says 10,000 samples are produced for visitors to enjoy over the duration of the event.


Original source: The Morning Call
Read the complete story here.

The Barnes Foundation finds new executive director

After an exhaustive search, the shifting Philly institution has found a new leader.

The Barnes Foundation — now in its third year in its gleaming new home in downtown Philadelphia after a contentious relocation — announced on Wednesday that it had chosen Thomas Collins, a longtime museum leader and curator, to become its new executive director and president after a search of almost a year.

Mr. Collins, known as Thom, has served for nearly five years as director of the Pérez Art Museum Miami, previously known as the Miami Art Museum and renamed in 2012 to recognize a multimillion-dollar gift of art and cash from the developer Jorge M. Pérez. Under Mr. Collins’s leadership, the museum constructed a new building designed by the firm Herzog & de Meuron that opened in December 2013 and attracted 300,000 visitors in its first year, far exceeding expectations...

Asked his opinion about the Barnes’s relocation from the suburb of Merion — permitted in a 2004 court decision that circumvented the charter and bylaws of Barnes, who had stipulated that his collection could not be lent, sold or moved from its original home — Mr. Collins said: “To me it seems like an unqualified success. I have no reservations now about it at all, and I wouldn’t be going there if I did.”


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

Wharton student -- and founder of four companies by age 21 -- reflects

The New York Times spoke with Daniel Fine, a serial entrepreneur and Wharton student who's staying in school.

Daniel Fine is the founder and chief executive of Glass-U, a two-year-old, 10-employee maker of foldable sunglasses bearing the licensed brands of universities, music festivals like Lollapalooza, and the World Cup soccer tournament last summer. He arranges for the manufacture of the glasses in China and their distribution around the country. He’s also a senior in college.

Mr. Fine financed Glass-U, which operates out of off-campus housing, in part with proceeds from a tutoring company, NexTutors, that he started right after high school. He has also founded Fine Prints, a custom apparel company he started during high school, and Dosed, a health care technology company that is working on a smartphone app to help diabetics...

Q. You considered applying for a Thiel Fellowship, a $100,000 grant to forgo college and pursue your dream?
A. I made it through the second round, but I didn’t complete my application. At Penn, I’ve absolutely learned in the classroom, but it’s been a much greater benefit being here and growing as a person and learning who I am, what I’m becoming and what I’m hoping to be.


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

PA 'Secret Santa' pays for 100 layaway items at Wal-Mart

A good samaritan near Harrisburg shelled out $50,000 to buy 100 people their layaway gifts at Wal-Mart. 

The anonymous donor mysteriously dropped off a check at a Silver Springs Commons store on Monday morning, reports The Patriot-News.

The "layaway angel" — as he's been dubbed — didn't want his name to be revealed and said he should just be called "Santa B."
Tanisha Burton, of Harrisburg, was astonished to find the $200 she had left to pay for toys for her daughter already covered when she went to the store later that day.

"It was definitely a surprise, and a blessing," she told The Patriot-News.


Original source: New York Daily News
Read the complete story here.

Pennsylvania and Washington tops in Bigfoot sightings

Turns out Pennsylvanians have been having quite a few run-ins with the big guy. CityLab explores in its "Year in Bigfoot."

Washington tied with Pennsylvania as the year's leading state in Bigfoot sightings, according to CityLab's count of BFRO reports.

The Pacific Northwest has historically led the nation in cryptozoology, but the number in Pennsylvania marks a recent rise in Bigfoot (aka Sasquatch, Yeti, or Skookum) reports throughout the Ohio River Valley, central Florida, the Sierra Nevada mountains, and the Mississippi River Valley. Overall sightings are on the decline, however, especially compared to 2000-2009, when spottings spiked.


Original source: CityLab
Read the complete story here.

VIDEO: MSNBC showcases Wash Cycle Laundry, one of Philly's top startups

MSNBC's Your Business highlights the story of Wash Cycle Laundry, one of Philadelphia's most innovative -- and greenest -- startups. 

Check out the video here.

Bye Bye Tokens: Philly's transit system blasts into the future

Septa's long-anticipated high-tech update is on the way -- and Philly is jumping straight to the top of the queue. 

A public transit system that still uses metal tokens and paper transfers - yes, in the 21st century - appears finally to be moving into the era of debit cards and pay-by-cellphone technology.

Philadelphia riders can now see evidence of SEPTA Key, the long-awaited smart card system for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. Dozens of computerized kiosks, turnstiles and fare boxes have popped up in stations and on vehicles, and testing begins this month.

"We see this project as taking us in the fare payment industry from last place to first place," said Kevin O'Brien, SEPTA senior program manager.


Original source: The Associated Press via The Philadelphia Inquirer
Read the complete story here.

Celebrating a 'Charlie Brown Christmas' -- and dedraggled tree -- in Reading

Reading hung a single red ornament on its bedraggled Christmas tree in homage to the classic Peanuts tale.  

A scraggly Christmas tree in downtown Reading, Pennsylvania, was adorned on Sunday with a single red bulb, in a ceremony reminiscent of events in the animated holiday classic "A Charlie Brown Christmas." 

The decoration marked the latest turn in a lemons-to-lemonade tale involving the tree, derided as ugly by some who plotted its demise but seen by others as a reflection of the hardscrabble, U.S. rust belt city itself. 

"It's not about the size and shape of the tree, but about the heart of it," said local entertainer Dave Kline, 59, speaking at the ceremony, postponed from Saturday due to bad weather.


Original source: Reuters
Read the complete story here.

Newsworks shines a light on the state's bridges

A three-part series looks at Pennsylvania's bridges and what can be done to save them. It's part of Newsworks' Keystone Crossroads project. 

Pennsylvania has more than 30,000 bridges. Some span rivers, like the Ben Franklin Bridge in Philadelphia, and others are much smaller, crossing rural creeks and highways. More than 6,000 of these bridges are structurally deficient. (We put together an interactive map of the state's structurally deficient bridges.)

You might think that means the bridges are on the verge of collapse. Engineers say that's not the case.

"Structurally deficient bridges are not unsafe," says Ehsan Minaie, project manager at the engineering firm Intelligent Infrastructure Systems. "It's just a technical term that engineers use to categorize specific bridges and highlight them for monitoring, for repair, and sometimes for replacement."


Original series: Newsworks
Read the complete series here.
 

Philadelphia's casino soap opera takes another twist

Philadelphia's latest gambling license was awarded to a South Philadelphia project. It's the latest in a wave of casino projects coming to the East Coast.

A $425 million project with a casino and a boutique hotel rising in the stadium district of Philadelphia is the latest entrant into the tumultuous world of East Coast gambling.

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board awarded a license on Tuesday to a joint venture of Cordish Companies and Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment to build the Philadelphia area’s fourth gambling hall and the 13th casino in the state.

The decision came as New York is edging closer to approving up to four Las Vegas-style casinos at locations outside of New York City. Massachusetts recently approved two billion-dollar casinos, one at either end of the state. And in Connecticut, some lawmakers are talking about expanding the state’s casino industry to protect its market share.

The frenzy of casino building is taking place in what is widely regarded as the most competitive market in the country despite flat or falling gambling revenues in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.


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

Brisk enrollment on the first day of signups for Healthy PA, an affordable new health care option

Healthy PA, the state's alternative to Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, saw lots of action on the first day of signups.

The first day of enrollment comes more than 18 months after Mr. Corbett announced his proposal to seek federal approval for a Medicaid expansion alternative that would use federal dollars to pay for private health coverage.

The target population was those making too much for Medicaid and not enough to qualify for tax credits on the federal health insurance exchange...

Under new income guidelines, single adults, for instance, earning up to about $16,000 and a family of three making about $27,000 qualify. Coverage begins Jan. 1. There is no deadline to enroll.

"Hardworking Pennsylvanians have been waiting far too long for this day," said Ms. Kraus, who was part of a team helping to enroll individuals Monday at a library in Carlisle, west of Harrisburg.


There is a chance the program could transition to a more straight-forward Medicaid expansion under the new administration.

On Jan. 20, Gov.-elect Tom Wolf takes office, and he has vowed to scrap the Corbett plan - which critics say places limits on coverage for the most vulnerable - and shift immediately to full Medicaid expansion.

Wolf spokesman Jeffrey Sheridan said individuals would not lose coverage even though the transition will be cumbersome.


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