Month: December 2015

10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About The 2016 DNC Host City, Philadelphia

And Key Resources For Convention And Destination Storiesrn

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rnThe 2016 Democratic National Convention will take place in Philadelphia, the birthplace of America and the country’s first World Heritage City, July 25-28, 2016. The city has enough history, art, culture, food, vibrant neighborhoods, parks and political landmarks to fill web, newspaper and magazine pages from now until the convention.rnrnHere are 10 things people might not know about the host city, plus key resources for convention and destination coverage.rnrn10 Philly Facts You (Probably) Don’t Know:rnrnOne-quarter of the U.S. population lives within a five-hour drive of Philadelphia.rnThe fast-growing Indego bike-share program launched in spring 2015 and in less than nine months accommodated 400,000 rides—with 85% of them taken by locals, making Philadelphia’s program a model for other cities including Los Angeles and Chicago.rnThe city was the first destination in the world to air a gay-themed television commercial in 2004. It was part of the campaign Philadelphia – Get Your History Straight and Your Nightlife Gay®.rnPhiladelphia is known as the City of Murals. Started as an anti-graffiti initiative in the 1980s, the City of Philadelphia Mural Arts Program has created 3,800 larger-than-life works and is the most influential mural arts organization in the world.rnIt’s not the first time the city has been in the political spotlight. The birthplace of America hosted the First Continental Congress in 1774. In more recent history, Philadelphia hosted the DNC in 1936 and 1948 and the RNC in 1856 (the first), 1872, 1900, 1940, 1948 and 2000.rnJust steps from Independence Hall, presidential hopeful Barack Obama delivered his famous speech on race, “A More Perfect Union,” at the National Constitution Center in 2008.rnIn the spirit of city founder William Penn’s vision for a “greene countrie town,” Philadelphia boasts the largest municipal park system, Fairmount Park. (Yes, bigger than Central Park.)rnPope Francis delivered three historic public addresses in Philadelphia in September 2015: a speech on immigration at Independence Hall, a statement about the importance of families on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and a Sunday mass, also on the Parkway.rnCheesesteaks are available 24/7, but most locals prefer roast pork sandwiches with broccoli rabe and provolone.rnHalf of the answers to the 100-question U.S. citizenship test study guide can be found in Philadelphia, where so many key historic events took place.rnDestination Resources For Media:rnrnvisitphilly.com/pressroom: Press releases about Philadelphia events and happenings, visitor stats, story ideas, high-resolution photos, vantage points and media contactsrnvisitphilly.isebox.net: High-definition b-roll library organized by topicrntwitter.com/visitphillypr: Just-for-media account focused on Philadelphia tourism newsrnConvention Resource For Media:rnrnphldnc.com: For all official Democratic National Convention coverage and informationrnVISIT PHILADELPHIA® makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases the number of visitors, the number of nights they stay and the number of things they do in the five-county area.rnrnOn Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.rnrnContact(s):rnDonna Schorr, (215) 599-0782

Pennsylvania Cash 5 Jackpot Split by Tickets Sold in Lehigh County, Philadelphia

MIDDLETOWN, Pa., Dec. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Pennsylvania Lottery's Cash 5 drawing on Christmas Eve saw two winning tickets sold in Lehigh and Philadelphia counties split a $225,000 jackpot.rnrnBoth tickets sold for the December 24 drawing correctly matched all five balls, 05-24-25-41-42, to each win $112,500, less applicable tax withholding. These retailers will each receive a $500 bonus for selling the big winning tickets:rnrnSunoco, 1602 S. 4th St., Allentown, Lehigh County;rnMonument Mail Room & Check, 4160 Monument Road, Philadelphia.rnThe prizes must be claimed and the tickets validated before the winners can be identified. Cash 5 winners have one year from the drawing date to claim prizes.rnrnThe Lottery encourages each holder of a jackpot-winning ticket to sign the back of the ticket, call the Lottery at 717-702-8146 and file a claim at any of Lottery's seven area offices or at Lottery headquarters in Middletown, Dauphin County.rnrnClaims may be filed Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at area offices and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at headquarters.rnrnMore than 27,100 other Cash 5 tickets won prizes of various amounts in the drawing, producing "Winners, winners – everywhere!" Players should check every ticket, every time. Lower-tier prizes may be claimed at Lottery retailers.rnrnIn the 2014-15 fiscal year: In Lehigh County, the Pennsylvania Lottery awarded more than $52.2 million in prizes to winners and provided more than $32.5 million to programs that benefit older residents. In Philadelphia County, the Lottery awarded more than $287.6 million in prizes and contributed more than $307.3 million to benefit programs serving older adults. rnrnHow to play Cash 5: To play Cash 5, players pay $1 and select five numbers from 1 to 43. Players may select their own numbers using a Cash 5 playslip, or they may opt for computer-selected quick picks. Players must match all five numbers drawn to win the jackpot. Players also win prizes for matching two, three or four winning numbers. Cash 5 drawings are held seven nights a week, and tickets can be purchased up to seven draws (one week) in advance. Odds of winning the jackpot prize are 1-in-962,598; the overall odds of winning any prize are about 1-in-10.5.rnrnAbout the Pennsylvania Lottery: The Pennsylvania Lottery remains the only state lottery that designates all its proceeds to programs that benefit older residents. Since its inception in 1971, the Pennsylvania Lottery has contributed more than $25.8 billion to programs that include property tax and rent rebates; free transit and reduced-fare shared rides; the low-cost prescription drug programs PACE and PACENET; long-term living services; and the 52 Area Agencies on Aging, including full- and part-time senior centers throughout the state.rnrnThe Pennsylvania Lottery reminds players to check every ticket, every time. Players must be 18 or older. Please play responsibly. For help with a gambling problem, call 1-800-848-1880.rnrnFor drawings results, winning numbers, winners' stories and to subscribe to the Lottery's RSS news feed, visit www.palottery.com. Like us on Facebook at or follow us at www.twitter.com/palottery. rnrnMEDIA CONTACT: Lottery Public Relations, 717-702-8008rnrn rnrnSOURCE Pennsylvania LotteryrnrnrnrnRELATED LINKSrnhttp://www.palottery.com

Crowley Takes Delivery of Second of Four New, LNG-Ready, Jones Act Product Tankers from Philly Shipyard, Inc.

Crowley Maritime Corp. took delivery of Texas, the second of four new, Jones Act, product tankers, this week from Philly Shipyard, Inc. (PSINC), the sole operating subsidiary of Philly Shipyard ASA.rn

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rnPHILADELPHIA, PA. (PRWEB) DECEMBER 23, 2015rnCrowley Maritime Corp. took delivery of Texas, the second of four new, Jones Act, product tankers, today from Philly Shipyard, Inc. (PSINC), the sole operating subsidiary of Philly Shipyard ASA. The 50,000 dead-weight-tons (dwt), 330,000-barrel-capacity Texas joins sister ship Ohio, which was received by Crowley in October, as the first ever tankers to receive the American Bureau of Shipping’s (ABS) LNG-Ready Level 1 approval, meaning Crowley has the option to convert the tanker to liquefied natural gas (LNG) propulsion in the future. The remaining two product tankers being built by PSINC (formerly known as Aker Philadelphia Shipyard, Inc.) for Crowley are under construction with planned deliveries in 2016.rn“We are excited to close out 2015 with the addition of this technologically advanced vessel to our fleet of U.S.-coastwise product tankers,” said Crowley’s Rob Grune, senior vice president and general manager, petroleum and chemical transportation. “We constantly strive for ways to enhance the services we provide to our chemical and petroleum customers. The introduction of vessels like Ohio and Texas, with their advanced technology and environmentally friendly fuel options, prove that we are innovating the industry and we are doing it with American built, Jones Act vessels.”rn“We are proud to deliver another ship to Crowley and the first under our new name, Philly Shipyard. The Texas, like our 21 previously delivered vessels, continues the long tradition of men and women building quality vessels in Philadelphia,” remarked Philly Shipyard’s President and CEO Steinar Nerbovik. “As we continue to build the eight ships in our backlog, we are always looking for more skilled men and women to add to our team.”rnThe new 50,000 dwt product tankers are based on a proven Hyundai Mipo Dockyards (HMD) design which incorporates numerous fuel efficiency features, flexible cargo capability, and the latest regulatory requirements. The vessel is 600 feet long and is capable of carrying crude oil or refined petroleum products.rnCrowley’s Seattle-based, naval architecture and marine engineering subsidiary Jensen Maritime is providing construction management services for the product tankers. Jensen now has an on-site office and personnel at the Philadelphia shipyard to ensure strong working relationships with shipyard staff and a seamless construction and delivery program.rnAbout Philly Shipyard rnPhilly Shipyard is a leading U.S. commercial shipyard constructing vessels for operation in the Jones Act market. It possesses a state-of-the-art shipbuilding facility and has earned a reputation as the preferred provider of oceangoing merchant vessels with a track record of delivering quality ships. Philly Shipyard is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange and is majority-owned by Converto Capital Fund, which in turn is majority-owned by Aker ASA. Aker is a Norwegian industrial investment company that creates value through active ownership. Aker's investment portfolio is concentrated on key Norwegian industries that are international in scope: oil and gas, fisheries and biotechnology, and marine assets. Aker's industrial holdings comprise ownership interests in Aker Solutions, Kvaerner, Det norske oljeselskap, Aker BioMarine, Ocean Yield, Havfisk and Akastor.rnAbout Crowley rnJacksonville-based Crowley Holdings Inc., a holding company of the 123-year-old Crowley Maritime Corporation, is a privately held family and employee-owned company. The company provides marine solutions, energy and logistics services in domestic and international markets by means of six operating lines of business: Puerto Rico Liner Services, Caribbean and Latin America Liner Services, Logistics Services, Petroleum Services, Marine Services and Technical Services. Offered within these operating lines of business are: liner container shipping, logistics, contract towing and transportation; ship assist and escort; energy support; salvage and emergency response through its 50 percent ownership position in Ardent Global; vessel construction and naval architecture through its Jensen Maritime subsidiary; global ship management; government services, and petroleum and chemical transportation, distribution and sales. Additional information about Crowley, its subsidiaries and business units may be found on the Internet at http://www.crowley.com.rnAbout Jensen Maritime rnSeattle-based Jensen Maritime Consultants, Inc. is a full service naval architecture and marine engineering firm owned by Crowley Maritime Corporation. With more than 50 years’ experience working around the world, Jensen offers a diverse range of consulting, design and engineering services. The company is a recognized leader in the design of many types of workboats and offshore vessels and has built a favorable reputation over a long history of successful designs and conversions – always paying close attention to the entire design lifecycle. Jensen’s services include vessel design, construction management, production engineering, project management and salvage engineering as well as on-site consulting services and on-location assistance anywhere in the world. Additional information about Jensen may be found at http://www.jensenmaritime.com.rn# # #

Record Record Hotel Occupancy And Leisure Room Bookings In Center City Philadelphia In 2015Hotel Occupancy And Leisure Room Bookings In Center City Philadelphia In 2015

3.1 Million Hotel Room Nights Account For 77% Occupancyrn

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rnCenter City Philadelphia Hotel Market Mix 2015rnCenter City Philadelphia is on track to close 2015 with record hotel occupancy. The leisure travel segment—those who come to Philadelphia for fun trips and getaways—is a major contributor to these milestones.rnrnRecord Hotel Occupancy: 77.4%:rnCenter City Philadelphia’s hotel occupancy is projected to hit a record 77.4% in 2015, up from 75.5% in 2014. Travelers from all segments (leisure, group, business) will have filled a projected 3.1 million rooms, another record.rnrn“People are coming for Philadelphia—the destination itself is the reason to visit, and travelers are doing it more and more every year,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO of VISIT PHILADELPHIA®. “The pope was here for a weekend; the rest of the year succeeded simply because of Philly.”rnrnLeisure Is One Of Three Major Segments:rnLeisure will close out a record year in 2015 as well. Leisure travelers are projected to account for 31% of room nights in Center City, as opposed to just 14% in 1997, when VISIT PHILADELPHIA® began marketing Philadelphia as a leisure destination (254,000 vs. 976,400 room nights, a 284% increase).rnrnThis means one in every three Center City hotel guests is a leisure traveler. Once viewed as a gap filler during hotel need periods, leisure is now a critical part of the market mix.rnrnLeisure travelers fill rooms every day of the week, especially from June through October. In 2015, Saturday night occupancy—a major indicator of a city’s strength as a leisure destination—will hit a record 88% and take its place as the highest of the week in Center City, as it has been for more than a decade.rnrnHotel Room Rates:rnThe 2015 average daily rate (ADR) is projected to hit $182, another record for Center City. Each of the three major segments are showing increases in ADR compared to 2014: Commercial is projected to increase 5% to $200, group is projected to increase 5% to $188 and leisure is projected to increase 4% to $166.rnrnSource for all numbers: PKF Consulting Forecasts as of November 2015rnrnVISIT PHILADELPHIA® makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases the number of visitors, the number of nights they stay and the number of things they do in the five-county area.rnrnOn Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.rnrnContact(s):rnDonna Schorr, (215) 599-0782

Pennsylvania State Office Closures for Christmas, New Year’s Holidays

HARRISBURG, Pa., Dec. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ –Below is information regarding Pennsylvania state office closures during the Christmas and New Year's holidays.rnrnOffice: Pennsylvania Department of Human Services County Assistance OfficesrnrnAll Department of Human Services offices, including county assistance offices, will be closed Friday, December 25, 2015, and Friday, January 1, 2016. Individuals can apply for benefits or obtain information about: HealthChoices, food or heating benefits, child clearances, and other supports and services anytime at www.dhs.pa.gov.rnOffice: Pennsylvania Department of Transportation Driver License and Photo centersrnrnThe Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has announced that all driver license and photo centers, including its full-service center in Harrisburg, will be closed Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016. Photo centers will not offer extended hours on Thursday, December 24, 2015 or Thursday, December 31, 2015 and will close at the same time as driver license centers.rnOffice: Pennsylvania Department of Insurance, Bureau of Consumer Services rnAddress: 1209 Strawberry Square, Harrisburg, PA, 17120 rnDates closed: Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016rnrnOffice: Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection rnAddress: All Regional Offices rnDates closed: Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016rnrnOffice: The State Museum of Pennsylvania rnAddress: 300 North Street, Harrisburg, PA 17120 rnDates closed: Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016rnrnOffice: The Pennsylvania State Archives rnAddress: 350 North Street, Harrisburg, PA 17120 rnDates closed: Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016rnrnOffice: Office of Safe Schools Advocate rnAddress: 440 N. Broad Street, Suite 1198, Philadelphia, PA 19130 rnDates closed: Thursday, December 24, 2015 through Friday, January 1, 2016rnrnOffice: Pennsylvania Department of Health rnAddress: All offices statewide rnDates closed: Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016rnrnOffice: Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry Office of Vocational Rehabilitation rnAddress: All offices statewide rnDates closed: Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016rnrnOffice: Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry Bureau of Blindness & Visual Services rnAddress: All offices statewide rnDates closed: Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016rnrnOffice: Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry PA CareerLink offices rnAddresses and dates closed:rnrnPA CareerLink Monroe County – 2937 Route 611, Tannersville, Pa 18372. Closing at noon on Thursday, December 24, 2015 (State staff will remain until the end of the day). Closed on Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016.rnPA CareerLink Chester County – 479 Thomas Jones Way, Exton, PA 19341. Closing at noon on Thursday, December 24, 2015 (State staff will remain until the end of the day). Closed on Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016.rnPA CareerLink Lycoming County – 329 Pine Street, Williamsport, PA 17701. Closing at 1:00 PM on Thursday, December 24, 2015 and Thursday, December 31, 2015. Closed on Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016.rnPA CareerLink Clinton County – 8 North Grove Street, Suite F, Lock Haven, PA 17745. Closing at 1:00 PM on Thursday, December 24, 2015 and Thursday, December 31, 2015. Closed on Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016.rnPA CareerLink Columbia/Montour County – 3415 Central Road, Suite 2, Bloomsburg, PA 17815. Closing at 1:00 PM on Thursday, December 24, 2015 and Thursday, December 31, 2015. Closed on Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016.rnPA CareerLink Snyder/Union/Northumberland County – 225 Market Street, Sunbury, PA 17801. Closing at 1:00 PM on Thursday, December 24, 2015 and Thursday, December 31, 2015. Closed on Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016.rnPA CareerLink Mifflin County – 6395 SR 103N, MCIDC Plaza, Lewistown, PA 17044. Closing at 1:00 PM on Thursday, December 24, 2015 and Thursday, December 31, 2015. Closed on Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016.rnPA CareerLink Centre County – 240 Match Factory Place, Bellefonte, PA 16823. Closing at 1:00 PM on Thursday, December 24, 2015 and Thursday, December 31, 2015. Closed on Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016.rnPA CareerLink Cambria County – 445 Schoolhouse Road, Johnstown Pa 15904. Closed Thursday, December 24, 2015 and closing at 2:00 PM on Thursday, December 31, 2015. Closed on Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016.rnPA CareerLink Somerset County – 218 N. Kimberly Avenue, Somerset, Pa 15501. Closing at noon on Thursday, December 24, 2015. Closed on Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016.rnPA CareerLink Lancaster County – 1016 N Charlotte Street, Lancaster, PA 17603. Closing at noon on Thursday, December 24, 2015 and Thursday, December 31, 2015. Closed on Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016.rnPA CareerLink Bedford County – 1 Corporate Drive, Suite 103, Bedford, PA 15522. Closed on Thursday, December 24, 2015; Friday, December 25, 2015; Thursday, December 31, 2015; and Friday, January 1, 2016.rnPA CareerLink – 304 Wood Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15222. Closing at noon on Thursday, December 24, 2015 and Thursday, December 31, 2015. Closed on Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016.rnPA CareerLink – 2040 Ardmore Boulevard, Pittsburgh, PA 15221. Closing at noon on Thursday, December 24, 2015 and Thursday, December 31, 2015. Closed on Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016.rnPA CareerLink – Millcraft Center Suite 150LL, 90 West Chestnut Street, Washington, PA 15301. Closing at noon on Thursday, December 24, 2015 and Thursday, December 31, 2015. Closed on Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016.rnPA CareerLink – 570 Galiffa Drive, Donora, PA 15033. Closing at noon on Thursday, December 24, 2015 and Thursday, December 31, 2015. Closed on Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016.rnPA CareerLink Beaver County – 285 Beaver Valley Mall, Route 18, Monaca, PA 15061. Closing at 2:00 PM on Thursday, December 24, 2015 and Thursday, December 31, 2015. Closed on Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016.rnPA CareerLink Clarion County – 627 Wood Street, Clarion, PA 16314. Closing at noon on Thursday, December 24, 2015 and Thursday, December 31, 2015. Closed on Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016.rnPA CareerLink Crawford County – 260 Chestnut Street, Meadville, PA 16335. Closing at noon on Thursday, December 24, 2015 and Thursday, December 31, 2015. Closed on Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016.rnPA CareerLink Erie County – 155 West 8th Street, Erie, PA 16501. Closing at noon on Thursday, December 24, 2015 and Thursday, December 31, 2015. Closed on Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016.rnPA CareerLink Oil Region – 255 Elm Street, Oil City, PA 16301. Closing at noon on Thursday, December 24, 2015 and Thursday, December 31, 2015. Closed on Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016.rnPA CareerLink Warren County – 1003 PA Avenue West, Warren, PA 16365. Closing at noon on Thursday, December 24, 2015 and Thursday, December 31, 2015. Closed on Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016.rnPA CareerLink Armstrong County – 314 South Water Street, Kittanning, PA 16201. Closing at noon on Thursday, December 24, 2015 and Thursday, December 31, 2015. Closed on Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016rnPA CareerLink Butler County – 112 Hollywood Avenue, Butler, PA 16001. Closing at noon on Thursday, December 24, 2015 and Thursday, December 31, 2015. Closed on Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016.rnPA CareerLink Indiana County – 300 Indian Springs Road, Indiana, PA 15701. Closing at noon on Thursday, December 24, 2015 and Thursday, December 31, 2015. Closed on Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016.rnPA CareerLink Mercer County – 217 West State Street, Mercer, PA 16146. Closing at noon on Thursday, December 24, 2015 and Thursday, December 31, 2015. Closed on Friday, December 25, 2015 and Friday, January 1, 2016.rnMEDIA CONTACT: Troy Thompson, 717-787-3197rnrnSOURCE Pennsylvania Department of General ServicesrnrnrnrnRELATED LINKSrnhttp://www.state.pa.usrnMore by this SourcernrnVehicles Seized by Pennsylvania State Law Enforcement Agencies, Motorcycles to Highlight Final Commonwealth Vehicle Auction of 2015 on Dec. 8rnDec 01, 2015, 13:02 ETrn18th Annual State Capitol Complex Crow Dispersal Program to Begin Nov. 6. in PennsylvaniarnOct 28, 2015, 11:53 ETrnFifth Commonwealth Vehicle Auction of 2015 to Feature Nearly 450 Units for Sale to Pennsylvania Public on Tuesday, Oct. 20rnOct 16, 2015, 11:53 ETrnView all news by Pennsylvania Department of General ServicesrnJournalists and BloggersrnrnrnrnVisit PR Newswire for Journalists, our free resources for releases, photos and customized feeds. You can also send a free ProfNet request for experts.

Get Away In January With A Special Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package

Free Parking, Free Attraction Tickets & Morern

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rnWith the new year comes a new supersized version of the Visit Philly Overnight Hotel Package. For the month of January only, VISIT PHILADELPHIA’s popular package, available at 10 Center City hotels, comes with free parking and free tickets for four attractions and events. Those who book the getaway on both Friday and Saturday nights during any of the five weekends in the month also get a free stay on Sunday. The package is bookable at visitphilly.com/januarygetaway.rnrn“It might be cold outside in January, but there is plenty going on in Philadelphia all month long,” said Meryl Levitz, president and CEO, VISIT PHILADELPHIA®. “With the free attraction tickets, we are encouraging visitors to enjoy a two- or three-night getaway that includes ice skating, museum hopping and touring the town. Of course, fireside dining and tax-free January sale shopping should be on the trip agenda as well.”rnrnThe package is available at the following 10 hotels: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Philadelphia Center City; Hampton Inn Philadelphia Center City–Convention Center; Hilton Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing; Hyatt at The Bellevue; The Inn at Penn, a Hilton Hotel; Loews Philadelphia Hotel; Morris House Hotel; Rodeway Inn Center City; Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill Hotel; and the Sonesta Philadelphia Downtown.rnrnThe offer is bookable seven days a week, including all five weekends in January—even the long Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend. It comes with a pair of tickets for the following attractions and events:rnrnOne Liberty Observation Deck: Even birds are envious of the views from the 57th floor of One Liberty Place, where wrap-around windows reveal panoramic city views. Interactive kiosks zoom in on Philadelphia landmarks and exhibits offer interesting history, sports and art tidbits that help form the fabric of Philadelphia. 1650 Market Street, phillyfromthetop.comrnBlue Cross RiverRink Winterfest: Philly’s headquarters for cold-weather fun, Winterfest beckons visitors to Penn’s Landing with a skating rink overlooking the Delaware River, a heated ski chalet-style lodge, twinkling lights, fire pits and cozy seating. Food options from Iron Chef José Garces and a menu of local craft beers, cocktails and hot beverages round out the offerings. Columbus Boulevard at Market Street, delawareriverevents.comrnNational Constitution Center: It’s the only institution in America where people can debate, celebrate and educate themselves about the greatest vision of human freedom in history, the U.S. Constitution. Live performances, interactive exhibits and special exhibitions make the experience a fun one. 525 Arch Street, constitutioncenter.orgrnPhiladelphia Auto Show: The Pennsylvania Convention Center transforms into a car lover’s dream, with 700 pre-production, hot-production, classic and green vehicles from a range of manufacturers. January 30-February 7. 12th & Arch Streets, phillyautoshow.comrnVISIT PHILADELPHIA® makes Philadelphia and The Countryside® a premier destination through marketing and image building that increases the number of visitors, the number of nights they stay and the number of things they do in the five-county area.rnrnOn Greater Philadelphia’s official visitor website and blog, visitphilly.com and uwishunu.com, visitors can explore things to do, upcoming events, themed itineraries and hotel packages. Compelling photography and videos, interactive maps and detailed visitor information make the sites effective trip-planning tools. Along with Visit Philly social media channels, the online platforms communicate directly with consumers. Travelers can also call and stop into the Independence Visitor Center for additional information and tickets.rnrnContact(s):rnDonna Schorr, (215) 599-0782

Pennsylvania Cash 5 Creates Three Jackpot Winners; Powerball Awards $100,000

MIDDLETOWN, Pa., Dec. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — It was another weekend of "Winners, winners – everywhere", with large prizes awarded by Cash 5 in Delaware, Washington and Fayette counties, and by Powerball® in Philadelphia.rnrnTwo winning Cash 5 tickets sold in Delaware and Washington counties shared a jackpot worth $225,000 for the Friday, December 18, drawing. Each ticket correctly matched all five balls, 06-18-36-39-42, to win individual prizes of $112,500, less applicable tax withholding.rnrnThe following retailers will each receive a $500 bonus for selling the jackpot-winning tickets:rnrnBP, 2590 West Chester Pike, Delaware County; andrnGiant Eagle, 200 Station St., McDonald, Washington County.rnCash 5 produced another big winner on Saturday, December 19, when a $125,000 jackpot was won by one ticket sold at Sheetz, 2601 Memorial Blvd., Connellsville, Fayette County. The ticket correctly matched all five balls, 18-19-26-27-39, to win a prize of $125,000, less applicable tax withholding. The retailer will receive a $500 bonus for selling this winning ticket.rnrnThese prizes must be claimed and the tickets validated before the winners can be identified. Cash 5 winners have one year from the drawing date to claim prizes.rnrnThe Lottery encourages each holder of a jackpot-winning ticket to sign the back of the ticket, call the Lottery at 717-702-8146 and file a claim at any of Lottery's seven area offices or at Lottery headquarters in Middletown, Dauphin County.rnrnClaims may be filed Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at area offices and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at headquarters.rnrnMore than 47,600 other Cash 5 tickets won prizes of various amounts in the December 18 and 19 drawings. Players should check every ticket, every time. Lower-tier prizes may be claimed at Lottery retailers.rnrnIn Philadelphia, one winning Powerball® with Power Play® ticket worth $100,000 from the Saturday, December 19, drawing was sold at Jimmi's News, 13th and Market Streets, Philadelphia.rnrnThe ticket correctly matched four of the five white balls, 28-30-41-59-68, but not the red Powerball 10, to win $100,000, less applicable tax withholding. It was sold with the $1 Power Play® option, which boosted the prize to $100,000 instead of $50,000. The retailer earns a $500 bonus for selling the winning ticket.rnrnIn the 2014-15 fiscal year:rnrnIn Delaware County, the Pennsylvania Lottery awarded more than $86.8 million in prizes to winners and provided more than $56.3 million to programs that benefit older residents.rnIn Washington County, the Lottery awarded more than $33.7 million in prizes and contributed more than $23.9 million to programs serving the county's older residents.rnIn Fayette County, the Lottery awarded more than 35.7 million in prizes and contributed more than 19.6 million to programs serving the county's older residents.rnIn Philadelphia County, the Lottery awarded more than $287.6 million in prizes and contributed more than $307.3 million to programs benefiting older residents.rnHow to play Cash 5: To play Cash 5, players pay $1 and select five numbers from 1 to 43. Players may select their own numbers using a Cash 5 playslip, or they may opt for computer-selected quick picks. Players must match all five numbers drawn to win the jackpot. Players also win prizes for matching two, three or four winning numbers. Cash 5 drawings are held seven nights a week, and tickets can be purchased up to seven draws (one week) in advance. Odds of winning the jackpot prize are 1-in-962,598; the overall odds of winning any prize are about 1-in-10.5.rnrnHow to play Powerball: Players pay $2 and select five white balls from the first set of 59 numbers plus a single red ball, the Powerball, from a second set of 35 numbers. Players may select their own numbers using a Powerball playslip, or they may opt for computer-selected quick picks. Players must match all five numbers drawn plus the Powerball number to win the jackpot. There also are eight additional ways for players to win a cash prize.rnrnPurchasing the $1 Power Play option allows a winner to increase lower-tier prizes by a factor of 2, 3, 4 or 5, depending on the Power Play number drawn. The jackpot and the Match 5 prize are not multiplied by this number. The Match 5 prize with the Power Play option is set at $2 million. It is $1 million without Power Play.rnrnAbout the Pennsylvania Lottery: The Pennsylvania Lottery remains the only state lottery that designates all its proceeds to programs that benefit older residents. Since its inception in 1971, the Pennsylvania Lottery has contributed more than $25.8 billion to programs that include property tax and rent rebates; free transit and reduced-fare shared rides; the low-cost prescription drug programs PACE and PACENET; long-term living services; and the 52 Area Agencies on Aging, including full- and part-time senior centers throughout the state.rnrnThe Pennsylvania Lottery reminds players to check every ticket, every time. Players must be 18 or older. Please play responsibly. For help with a gambling problem, call 1-800-848-1880.rnrnFor drawings results, winning numbers, winners' stories and to subscribe to the Lottery's RSS news feed, visit www.palottery.com. Like us on Facebook at or follow us at www.twitter.com/palottery. rnrnMEDIA CONTACT: Lottery Public Relations, 717-702-8008rnrn rnrnSOURCE Pennsylvania Lottery

Philadelphia School Receives Donation To Encourage Healthy Eating Habits

ACME Markets and the UNCLE BEN'S® Brand team up to provide James R. Ludlow Elementary School with funds for its cafeteriarnrnPHILADELPHIA, Dec. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Students at James R. Ludlow Elementary School may soon see some positive changes in their cafeteria thanks to a donation by the UNCLE BEN'S® Brand and ACME Markets. James R. Ludlow Elementary School received the donation as part of ACME's retail participation in the UNCLE BEN'S® Ben's Beginnersâ„¢ Cooking Contest, which is designed to inspire healthy lifelong eating habits by encouraging parents and kids to cook together. The Ben's Beginnersâ„¢ Cooking Contest has also had a mission to help schools reinforce those healthy habits by supporting school cafeteria makeovers to help foster a culture of health. rnrn"We strive to partner with organizations that promote nutrition education so we're thrilled to team up locally with the Uncle Ben's® Brand on this national program," said Dan Croce, president of ACME Markets. "We're excited that a school in our community can directly benefit from this unique contest."rnrnAs part of the Ben's Beginnersâ„¢ Cooking Contest, individual grand prize winners receive money to makeover their school's cafeterias. This donation to James R. Ludlow Elementary School is a great complement to the Ben's Beginnersâ„¢ movement of inspiring healthy lifelong eating habits.rnrnJames R. Ludlow Elementary School will use the $5,000 donation towards educational supplies and overall school improvements.rnrn"We are thrilled that ACME Markets and the Uncle Ben's® Brand have given us this generous donation. The faculty and lunchroom staff are very excited, especially since this came at a time when the cafeteria was in need," said Carol Williams, principal of James R. Ludlow Elementary School. "We're excited to see the impact that this lunchroom update will do to promote healthy lifestyles in our students."rnrn"The goal of Ben's Beginnersâ„¢ is to inspire more families to get in the kitchen together," said Tim Snyder, vice president of sales, Mars Food US, the parent company of the UNCLE BEN'S® Brand. "By partnering with ACME Markets, we hope to inspire retailers and schools nationwide to promote healthy eating for children."rnrnTo celebrate, James R. Ludlow Elementary School will host a check presentation with ACME Markets and the UNCLE BEN'S® Brand on Mon. Dec. 21st at 2:00 p.m. at 550 West Master Street in Philadelphia. More information on Ben's Beginnersâ„¢, family -friendly recipe ideas and cooking tips can be found at www.unclebens.com.rnrnAbout the UNCLE BEN'S® BrandrnThe UNCLE BEN'S® Brand, the number one rice brand in America, is proud to offer a wide range of rice dishes with flavors and textures that will help bring more to your meals, both for convenient side dishes and savory main courses. The UNCLE BEN'S® Brand offers a wide variety of white, whole grain brown, and flavoured rices in cook times ranging from 30 minutes to 90 seconds, as well as rice for food service operations such as restaurants, schools and hospitals. The first mass-produced parboiled rice, UNCLE BEN'S® Brand is the top-selling branded rice in the United States and products can be found in more than 100 countries worldwide. The UNCLE BEN'S® Brand products are manufactured by Mars Food NA, part of Mars, Incorporated. For more information, visit www.unclebens.com.rnrn rnrnSOURCE The UNCLE BEN’S BrandrnrnrnrnRELATED LINKSrnhttp://www.unclebens.com