News in brief for the week of June 19

ShopRite of Aramingo Ave. recalls meat

The ShopRite of Aramingo Avenue, located at 3745 Aramingo Ave. in Port Richmond, has initiated a voluntary recall of all store-made boneless beef round cube steak with a sell-by date of June 18 or June 19, 2013, said the company in a June 16 press release.

There is a possibility that these products may contain small pieces of metal from the meat-cutting machinery. Only boneless beef round cube steak with a sell by date of June 18 or 19 are included. All other meat products sold at ShopRite are not affected by this recall. This incident affects only the ShopRite of Aramingo Avenue.

“We are advising customers who purchased this product at the ShopRite of Aramingo Avenue to return it for an immediate refund or replacement,” said ShopRite spokesperson Karen Meleta. No injuries related to the recall have been reported. ••

Deceased Naval officer’s father files government ‘spying’ lawsuit

Charles and Mary Anne Strange, the father and stepmother of a local Naval officer killed in Afghanistan in 2011, are co-plaintiffs on a lawsuit suing the U.S. government and the Obama administration for invasions of privacy, according to CBS Philly.

The lawsuit arose from the recent release of classified documents revealing that the National Security Agency has spied on U.S. citizens’ cell phone activity and other private affairs.

Charles Strange told CBS that as he investigated the circumstances of his son Michael’s death, he believes his phone was tapped. He said he heard strange noises and got strange text messages. When he contacted Verizon with questions, he says they told him the government was likely monitoring his phone.

U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Michael Strange, a graduate of North Catholic High School in Philadelphia, was 25 when he died in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan in August 2011.

The Stranges have strong ties to Fishtown and many family members there, but reside in Torresdale.

The lawsuit claims unspecified damages. The Strange family, along with attorney Larry Klayman, filed the lawsuit in federal court June 10. ••

Shissler Rec. gets ‘sprayground’

The Shissler Recreation Center, at Front and Berks streets in Fishtown, opened its new ‘sprayground’ last week.. The space is equipped with small fountains in pavement that spray cold water on playing children, according to the blog Plan Philly.

Developed as part of the Mural Arts program’s Restored Places Initiative, and funded by the Department of Parks and Recreation, the sprayground is a new attraction for local parents and kids.

This step is part of a plan to turn Shissler Recreation and the 14 surrounding acres into a “Big Green Block.” Other partners include the New Kensington Community Development Corporation, Sustainable 19125 and the Philadelphia Water Department. ••

First segment of Delaware River Trail unveiled Monday

On Monday morning, the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation opened the first segment of the Delaware River Trail. This first segment is a 12-foot bi-directional bikeway separated from a 10-foot pedestrian walkway, all buffered from the street by plants and a curb, DRWC said Monday in a press release.

The completed trail segment runs for 1400 linear feet, from Spring Garden to Ellen Street. The entire waterfront trail will eventually run from Oregon Avenue to Allegheny Avenue.

The design will include rain gardens that will collect an inch of storm water.

The goal of the Delaware River Trail is to transform the Delaware River waterfront into a walkable and bikeable destination.

Mayor Michael Nutter was present Monday to ceremoniously cut the ribbon on the trail, and said: “We’ve raised the bar for Philadelphia by providing a world-class amenity for bikers and pedestrians.”

The next segment to be developed will run north from Ellen Street to the waterfront at SugarHouse Casino, eventually connecting to Penn Treaty Park in Fishtown. ••

Fire hits vacant Kensington home

On Thursday, June 13, at 1 a.m., a fire damaged a vacant house on the 2000 block of East Stella Street in Kensington, according to ABC News.

The blaze, on the vacant building’s second and third floors, was brought under control within ten minutes by firefighters.

There was no clear cause of the reportedly fast-moving fire. The house is believed to have been vacant for months.

The fire was mistakenly reported by ABC News as occurring in Port Richmond, but took place further west, in Kensington. ••

-Compiled by Sam Newhouse and Mikala Jamison