Local News

Each week, members of the WFPL News team spotlight interesting stories we’ve read and enjoyed, for your weekend reading pleasure:

Gabe Bullard: I only recently learned about the prevalence of theme towns in America (towns designed to mimic the old west, Bavarian villages or Santa’s home). Researching them led me to this article about the fake towns in Disney theme parks, and the unpleasant racial caricatures that remain from previous eras when things like unpleasant racial caricatures were somewhat common in theme parks. Read Walt Disney’s Chinese Laundry.

Devin Katayama: Philadelphia teachers will keep their jobs but they’ll have to follow the lead of students who attend any of the 23 public schools the state’s School Reform Commission has decided to close. The New York Times reports the commission’s decision did not come without a fight. Nearly 500 teachers and supporters for keeping the schools open blocked a major road in Philadelphia and 19 arrests were made. Read Philadelphia Schools Vote to Close 23 Schools.

Joseph Lord: The sale of Lucasfilm to Disney was major news—and not just because it means three more Star Wars films will be made. Bloomberg Businessweek lays out in detail how two of the world’s biggest pop culture icons became one, and what it means going forward. Read How Disney Bought Lucasfilm.

Bonus: U.S. Sen. Rand Paul’s 13-hour old-school filibuster brought a lot of attention to the act of filibustering, but less attention to what he was talking about—unmanned armed aircraft, or drones. Regardless of how you feel about drones, how the U.S. is using them is worth further study. Propublica has a comprehensive guide. Read Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Drones.