Top 5 stories of 2015

By Alex Lloyd Gross

Below, are the top five stories that happened in this region in 2015.  Sure,there were bigger stories in the world  than this, but this stuff happened locally.  I pull no punches.  Are you ready?

Number 5

Alex Lloyd Gross– A view of the train crash

Has to be the Amtrak train crash that killed eight people. This happened right in the lower Frankford section of the city.

When this happened  it pulled city resources thin and caused  gridlock on the Northeast Corridor.  An on scene investigation was rushed and the wreckage was cleared quickly. Within  five days, the tracks were reopened and people’s lives slowly got back to normal.  Every real journalist and pretend journalist was on the scene trying to get the best vantage points.  Some shop keepers made money by charging rent for their rooftops.  While cops try to keep people away, they have less than zero jurisdiction over who has access to a roof when the business is open.  The train conductor is facing charges and  lawsuits have been filed  by the people that were hurt or injured.  The cause of the crash is speed.  What caused the speed is the question.


Alex Lloyd Gross- Van Halen in Camden

Number 4  Is a fun story.

It’s always a great time when an awesome band can reunite and play the region.  That’s what happened August 27 2015 when Van Halen  sold out the arena in Camden that changes it’s name frequently.  While it’s not a true reunion, it was better than nothing. David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen  together again. Wow.  They trotted out all the good songs too. This show was late in the tour and people were wondering if it would happen or not.  It  did.  Social media was split. Half thought the show stunk and the other half thought it was great.  It was great, trust me. It would have been better if the band could have made amends with Michael Anthony  but it was still a part of Rock and Roll history.


Alex Lloyd Gross- Richard Gere accepts the Liberty Medal

Number 3

Richard Gere accepts the Liberty Medal on behalf of the Dali Lama .  Held in early October, at the National Constitution Center, the award ceremony is held each year. Those that get this award have helped humanity.  Former president Jimmy Carter,  Shimon Peres , former Prime Minister of Israel  and Muhammad Ali are just a few of the past recipients of this award.  There ceremony is held on the front lawn and is open to the public, but tickets are required.  They will be distributed around the summer of 2016  if you are interested in going.  They are free.


Number 2

Official mug shot of Bill Cosby

This could have been the first story  of the year. It certainly is the biggest.  The arrest of Bill Cosby. Had it been just another person it would not crack the top 50.  This was the man that sold Jello Pudding,  he was the face for higher education and made fun of young black males slagging on the corner with their pants sagging is a sex offender.  He admitted in depositions that he drugged a woman, molested her and paid her to keep quiet about it. It turns out, this was no  one off thing. Cosby is accused by 50 women of doing the same thing over his long and storied  career.   With most other news organizations doing their 10 stories of the year quick, this  beat everyone to the punch by waiting.  Cosby could spend the rest of his life in jail if he is convicted.  This past year numerous colleges and schools have rescinded their honorary degrees bestowed on him.  He is no longer associated with Temple University, which was his pride and joy for many years.

Alex Lloyd Gross– The pope rides through Philadelphia in September
Alex Lloyd Gross -The pope arrives in Philadelphia

Number 1. Is this any surprise?  The visit of the pope to Philadelphia. The most over hyped event ever.  This event saw the city draw up traffic boxes,  hold press conferences and in the end, had it poorly planned. thousands never got in to see the pope, as they were waiting in security check lines.  The city should have doubled those checks and opened them  earlier. The next complaint was the general admission area.People were hot and uncomfortable and could not see the pope. The best vantage point was during his papal parades  held on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. There, for a fleeting few seconds, people could see the pope. All other events were closed to the public,  like the arrival  or his visit to Curran Fromhold Prison.