Monday, November 30
Pennsylvania budget fight's bottom line, as usual — taxes
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania is now five months into a budget impasse with taxes a main sticking point. That's a scenario familiar to anyone who's tried to understand the Byzantine motives that drive elected officials in its capital city.
A "framework" agreement being worked out between Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and the Republican-controlled Legislature is teetering on the edge of collapse.
One key element is increasing sales taxes to plug a budget deficit and cut school property taxes. Republicans say that lacks support among their ranks.
The latest apparent collapse of those talks this week was followed — less than an hour later — by an announcement by Republican leaders that their framework with Wolf remained in place.
They say they're working through the holiday weekend to iron out the details required for a real agreement.
PHILLY RESTAURANT-TAX SHUTDOWN
Popular Philadelphia restaurant shut down over city tax debt
(Information in the following story is from: Philly.com, http://www.philly.com/ )
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A popular Philadelphia restaurant has closed after 24 years due to a city tax debt.
Philly.com reports a notice posted on the door of Derek's says it was shut down by the city Revenue Department due to "serious tax violations."
The restaurant in the city's Manayunk neighborhood opened in 1992 under the name Sonoma.
Owner and chef Derek Davis says the restaurant has been closed permanently.
Records don't specify a tax lien on the business, but Davis says the financial problems stemmed from an employee who stole $280,000 from the business.
Davis says, "The economic pressure was just too much too recuperate from" and now says his 40 employees are out of work.
'Hunger Games' beats 'Good Dinosaur,' 'Creed' at box office
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Despite some mighty competition, Katniss and her crew have dominated the box office once again.
Rentrak estimates on Sunday say "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2" held on to its first-place spot in its second weekend in theaters, earning $51.6 million to top "The Good Dinosaur" and "Creed" in their Thanksgiving weekend debuts.
But those films still found their footing over the holiday. Disney and Pixar's animated dinosaur movie took second place with $39.2 million across the weekend, while "Creed," a new entry into the Rocky Balboa canon, came in third with $30.1 million.
"Victor Frankenstein" was not so lucky. The $40 million revival of Mary Shelley's monster classic, starring James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe, proved lifeless in theaters, earning just $2.35 million from Friday to Sunday.
Adele's '25' sells record-breaking 3.38 million copies
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Adele's new album "25" has sold 3.38 million copies in its first week, smashing single week sales records, according to Nielsen Music.
As reported by Billboard, "25" is the first album to sell more than 3 million copies in one week in Nielsen's history, which has been tracking first week purchases since 1991. The previous record was held by 'NSYNC whose 2000 album "No Strings Attached" sold 2.4 million copies in its first week.
"25" has also become the best-selling album of the year, flying past the 1.8 million copies sold of Taylor Swift's "1989." Adele did not allow streaming services like Spotify to make "25" available.
Her previous album, "21" has sold 11.24 million copies in the United States.
Barnes art museum looks to build on successful move
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — More than 1 million people have visited the Barnes Foundation since the art museum moved to Philadelphia from a suburb in May 2012. That's almost three times the number who saw its extensive collection in its former home in the five years before the relocation.
Foundation leaders say that success validates the contested and controversial move of the museum and its renowned collection of impressionist, post-impressionist and early modern art.
But they say it also points to the need for further change if the museum wants to continue growing and evolving.
The museum will soon unveil a five-year strategic plan.
It wants to reach new audiences and deepen engagement, increase art interpretation offerings and tours, grow its endowment, and bolster the foundation as a research hub.