Sky-high water bills; Philly election official testifies; RIP world famous car collector | Morning overview

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As the Water Department upgrades its meters, some residents are besieged with thousand-dollar bills after unknowingly underpaid for months.

  • It is the responsibility of the customer to note if their accounts are inaccurate, a spokesperson told Billy Penn. The upgrade to ‘smart meters’, a three-year effort that is one-third completed, aims to make up for the difference.

Others had their water shut off due to scheduling issues, Lizzy McLellan Ravitch reports, though the change should improve billing.

Legendary car collector Frederick Simeone, a retired Penn neurosurgeon whose love of cars grew into a lifelong passion, died last week at age 86.

  • Simeone’s collection was number 1 in the worldsurprising even him. “You’ve got Ralph Lauren, Sam Walton, Peter Sachs…and me, from Kensington,” he told Billy Penn in 2019.

What he did with the collection was perhaps even more remarkable: He turned it into a Southwest Philly museum and used it to advocate for better driver edition.

Podcast by Billy Penn reporter Michaela Winberg
Now out: Afl. 3: “Who is Franny?” † Next: Afl. June 4, 16

$ = paywall

  • Former Philadelphia City Commissioner Al Schmidt, a Republican, testified before the House of Representatives Committee on Jan. 6 yesterday, refuting claims of voter fraud and talking about how threats against his family became violent and specific after Trump tweeted him by name. [Billy Penn/6ABC/Insider]
  • In what is seen as a quick move, three Pa started. House Republicans representing districts in West and South Central Pa. represent impeachment proceedings against Philly DA Larry Krasner. The move, described as a response to rising gun violence, came as several firearms regulation bills were held back from a ground vote in the House. [WHYY/City & State]
  • Can people rent single rooms to reduce homelessness in Philadelphia? Councilor Derek Green has introduced a bill to make this possible. [Governing]
  • Biotech continues to grow in Philly, with the Pennovation Center announcing another $365 million project on Grays Ferry Avenue that will focus on research and bioproduction. []
  • The BlackStar Film Festival returns this year from August 3-7 to showcase the work of black, brown and indigenous artists. It will feature 75+ selections, including the premiere of a collection of short films by Philadelphia filmmakers. [PhillyVoice/BlackStar]
  • The next season of Abbott Elementary will be “a little more out of school,” according to its creator and Philadelphia native Quinta Brunson, who appeared as the cover star of The Awardist in June. [ET/EW]
  • Eagles rookie wide receiver Devon Allen, a former Olympic hurdler, set the third fastest ever time in the 110-meter hurdles at the New York Grand Prix. [NBC10]

Mayor Kenney greets President Biden (10:30 a.m.), who is visiting Center City today for the annual AFL-CIO Constitutional Convention, which began Sunday and continues until tomorrow.

🥪 BP Quizzo is in Chestnut Hill this month! Join us at the top of cobbled Germantown Avenue as we take over Tavern on the Hill for an evening of Philly trivia with happy hour specials and prizes. Tickets are free at RSVP. (6.30pm to 8.30pm Tuesday 21 June)

Join Billy Penn Reporter Michaela Winberg, host of “March On”, for happy hour at Cockatoo in the Gayborhood, with a VinChelle drag performance followed by a discussion of modern Pride. Free with RSVP. (5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 15)

💵 During the first Baltimore Avenue Dollar Stroll of the season, dozens of vendors, restaurants and performers offer specials for $1 and up for an extended happy hour along the West Philly corridor. (5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, June 16)

🙌🏿 Celebrate Juneteenth with the Pennsylvania Juneteenth Initiative as they hold the largest parade and celebration in the nation. Parties will take over West Philly’s Malcolm X Park, with dance performances, DJs and family-friendly crafts taking place throughout the day. (12 am to 8 pm Sunday 19 June).

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