NEast Links: jam-packed with a river rescue, police shooting, pretzel war and more

By Michael Feeney

Here’s a summary of the week’s Northeast news we didn’t cover. See others here.

Retired police officer Christopher Kaullar – of Trout Road near Rising Sun Avenue, has been charged with the murder of his ex-con brother, Robert Kaullar. The two argued over motorcycles when Christopher fatally wounded Robert by shooting him in the left hand and side at about 3am Monday. Robert Kaullar’s sister-in-law was also shot, but only grazed, police said. He was pronounced dead at Aria Health-Torresdale.

Keep reading for the latest on a local Phillie draft pick, a hometown welcoming for Bonnie Raitt, a local Michael Jackson impersonator and more.

Two men, one disabled, were rescued by three nearby civilians Monday evening after their boat sank in the Delaware River near the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge. Friends Chris Ferraro, Rob Frumin and Jen Gilfey aided the two men, Art Prout and Mike McMullen, until the Palmyra Fire Department arrived. Gilfey is a certified lifeguard. Prout and McMullen were not wearing life vests. ABC Local has a video interview of the victims and their rescuers.

As reported last week in NEast Links, actor Tony Danza was rumored to be filming a new reality show at Northeast High School. As of Tuesday, Danza was spotted at the Philadelphia School District’s New Teacher Induction Institute for Improving Teacher Quality. Discussions about filming the series at the school are currently ongoing, said spokespeople for A&E and the School District of Philadelphia.

During a citywide tour of Philadelphia shops and eateries, online blogger Rachel Joyce made a pit stop at the Peanut Chew factory on State Road. Her goal was to inform and give kudos to Philadelphia foods other than the cheesesteak. Joyce puts the Peanut Chew on the short list of favorite Philly foods. She took a photo diary of all her stops around the city.

Scott Cummings, president of the Mayfair Civic Association, has written a book detailing his time with the late pop-superstar Michael Jackson. Cummings, a former bodyguard of Donald Trump, met and chauffeured Jackson around to meet Trump and travel with him to other public appearances. In addition, Cummings met with Michael Jackson impersonator Mickey J at the Mayfair Diner to go over details of the book. Mickey J looks, dances, sings and acts like the late Jackson. Mickey J performed at Cummings’ home on Friendship Street near Sackett Street. Mickey J also knew Jackson, as he was used on tour as a decoy. The book will feature stories on the former bodyguard’s work with Jackson.

Philly Soft Pretzel Factory, located at Frankford Avenue and Bleigh Avenue in Mayfair, is one location of one of the four big Philadelphia pretzel companies, along with A Taste of Philly, Pretzel Boy’s and Jim’s Soft Pretzel Bakery, to be competing against bigger vendors. These companies feel the giant vendors make inferior pretzels, and their goal is to persuade America to embrace the Philly version of the soft pretzel over the likes of Auntie Anne’s in the mall and SuperPretzel in the supermarket freezer.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is celebrating its 200th anniversary by continuing its $200 million “Heritage of Hope, Vision of Faith” campaign, with goals to fund Catholic education, the archdiocese’s extensive human-services program and more. Since its launch last April, the campaign has passed the $77 million mark.

Singer Bonnie Raiit returns home with a concert at the Mann Center on August 8th. She recently called in to Philadelphia Magazine to reminisce about her time in Philadelphia. In the interview, Raitt discusses how she got connected to the Philadelphia music scene. She mentions her first public performance at Pennypack Park.

Chaos resulted from Northeast Philadelphia resident Carol O’Brien at the National Constitution Center on Sunday during a meeting titled, “Health Insurance Reform – What’s in it for You.” During the meeting led by Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, O’Brien argued with Susan Hoch, a rheumatologist at the University of Pennsylvania, over the issue of President Obama’s proposed health-reform plan to ration health care. As a whole, the crowd was split on the issue, fueling the fire during the event.

Our best-read stories this week Seven NE post offices face closure and Nutter in Mayfair: 1,00 cops, 200 firefighters could be fired if no action

What was your favorite story of the week? What do you think about the other stories? What’s your favorite soft pretzel? Do you agree with the Archdiocese’s campaign?

Every Friday morning, we make sure you didn’t miss any Northeast Philadelphia news with NEast Links.

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