September 30: Parks could close | Firehouse fire | Transportation vote expected | Proposed trash law | Church sold to homeowners | Maps helps place grocery store

Welcome back to the work week, Eyes on the Street! Here is what’s causing a stir this week. 

Today could be the last day to see the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall for the foreseeable future if the federal government does not agree on a fiscal plan by midnight. According to, the federal government appears to be headed toward its first shutdown in nearly 20 years, and if a plan to avoid the shutdown isn’t reached today, all 401 national parks will close. 

This past Friday, the Ben Franklin Fire House at 4th and Arch streets was damaged when an ambulance parked inside or near the building burst into flames. The incident caused significant smoke damage and broken windows at the fire house.

Pennsylvania House leaders are expected to vote on the transportation funding package in the near future. Gov. Tom Corbett said he will sign whatever can pass in the House, provided it does not go below a $1.8 billion plan he offered earlier this year. The big question now is if the $2.5 billion bill proposed by the Senate will make it through the House. 

This winter, Philadelphians may be able to put their trash out at 5 p.m., rather than 7 p.m. A City Council committee approved this change, which would be valid October through March and was proposed by Councilman Bobby Henon. Henon said some senior citizens are afraid to put their trash out after dark. 

The First Church of Christ, Science on Pine Street near 19th Street held its last church service last month, after churchgoers faced with the high cost of upkeep and dwindling attendance were forced to put it up for sale. Now the couple who bought the building for $1.61 million is hoping to “adapt it very sensitively to a single-family home,” reports the Daily News. The church dates back to the 1870s when it was built and designed by Philadelphia architect James Peacock Sims. It was later altered by Frank Furness. 

Philabundance used mapping technology to determine the location of the nation’s first nonprofit supermarket, which the organization launched this Saturday. Called Fare and Square, the grocery store was placed in Chester, Pa. based on maps built with data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the census, both of which helped identify areas of greatest need.

The Buzz is Eyes on the Street’s morning news digest. Have a tip? Send it along.
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