Exclusive interview with Rob McElhenny of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”

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Shannon McDonald | The Temple News | March 24, 2009

‘Sunny’ star still a Philly guy at heart

Photo courtesy of Michael Becker for FX

Photo courtesy of Michael Becker for FX

If the name of his show wasn’t enough proof already, Rob McElhenney, 31, is a Philadelphia guy. In an exclusive interview with The Temple News, the writer, producer and star of
It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia reminisces about his days of hanging out in Fairmount Park, sneaking into bars and roaming Temple’s Main Campus for a semester.

Shannon McDonald: You’re a born-and-raised Philly kid. How did you spend your time growing up?

Rob McElhenney: I grew up in South Philadelphia at Moyamensing and Dickinson, then, I moved to Delaware County after high school. I went to high school at St. Joe’s Prep and hung out with kids from all different schools. I don’t know if kids do this anymore, but we used to go to Lemon Hill in Fairmount Park after school to hang. Sometimes we’d go to the bars that let underagers in.

SM: I hear you went to Temple for a while. Have any fond memories?

RM: My time at Temple was short. I went for a semester but didn’t finish. I wasn’t a great student – I wasn’t excelling, and I wasn’t there long enough to declare a major. I wanted to leave Philly and see new things, so I moved to New York. I stayed there for seven years before heading out to Los Angeles.

SM: When did you realize you wanted to make a career out of acting?

RM: As a kid, I did plays in school but never really thought of it as being a career option. It wasn’t until I got to New York City and met waiters and bartenders who were doing shows at night that I ever considered it as a profession. I enrolled in Lee Strasberg [Theatre and Film Institute], which is associated with the Screen Actors Guild and started acting. Continue reading

Students head south for historic inauguration

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Vendors around the National Mall sold hoodies, t-shirts, scarves and more with President Obama's face on them.

Shannon McDonald | The Temple News | Jan. 20, 2009


They were all there for the same reason on Sunday. Every color, every age, every stage of life. They waited – some more patiently than others – in a cold, empty room until someone led them outside. Then, they waited again, in a line on Arch Street.

One by one, they boarded the Chinatown bus. They sat for three hours, growing more excited and getting more anxious, before they dragged their bags onto the Sixth Street sidewalk in Washington, D.C. They all went their separate ways, but they will reunite today for a common cause.

Today at noon, Barack Obama will become the 44th president of the United States. The theme – which commemorates the 200th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s birth – for the 2009 inauguration is “A New Birth of Freedom,” which was chosen by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies in consultation with the Senate Historian’s Office.

The attendance rate is expected to be the highest in the nation’s history. Continue reading

Phillies fans celebrate World Series win in the Northeast

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img000272By Shannon McDonald | Nov. 4, 2008 | The Temple News

Don’t Forget the Northeast

“It’s a tough night to be a cop,” a Philadelphia Police officer said. “But it’s a great night to be a Philadelphian. As long as nothing gets out of hand, I’m willing to let people celebrate.”

Mere seconds after the last out of Game 5, Phillies fans did just that.

The event was 28 years in the making, and the scene at Cottman and Frankford avenues took hours to prepare. Cars were cleared from the streets as police officers set up roadblocks, and store owners hung signs in their windows welcoming patrons and supporting the Phillies.

As the players piled on top of one another on the field at Citizens Bank Park, Northeast Philadelphians packed onto Frankford Avenue by the thousands. They marched, they sang and some even cried tears of relief and joy. Philadelphians are champions.

Continue reading

SEPTA police strike made official

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After a day of negotiations, SEPTA police officers have made good on their promise to strike.

The Fraternal Order of Transit Police has not been able to reach an agreement with SEPTA officials regarding the wages and benefits of FOTP members.

SEPTA released a statement earlier today, which says the tentative agreements monitored by the Pennsylvania Bureau of Mediation were approved by SEPTA officials, but not by the FOTP.

Since negotiations began yesterday, SEPTA, Mayor Michael Nutter and the Philadelphia Police Department have been assuring riders that security will not diminish due to the strike.

SEPTA officials hope to resume discussion with the FOTP soon, as they feel “this strike was totally avoidable.”

Photo courtesy of CBS3.

See this post on Broad & Cecil, the blog of The Temple News.

No TU-Alert a louder message after shooting

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By Shannon McDonald | May 17, 2008 | The Temple News

Temple tested TU-Alert, its emergency alert system, on Friday, May 9. Students who have registered with the system received a text message, phone call and e-mail explaining that the message was only a test.

On Tuesday, May 13, shots were fired at 15th and Norris streets. No one got a TU-Alert message.

The shooting occurred around 11:30 p.m. A 19-year-old non-Temple female was shot in the chest, and the security kiosk on the corner has bullet holes in it. Marshall Thomas, the 19-year-old suspect, is still on the loose, as the Temple News reported [“Shots fired at 15th and Norris,” Chris Stover and LeAnne Matlach, May 13, 2008].

William Bergman, Temple’s vice president of operations, sent an e-mail to students on May 14 informing them that the incident was believed to be the result of a domestic disagreement and was not a random crime.

Continue reading

New Gen Ed classes need world affairs requirement

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By Shannon McDonald | April 29, 2008 | The Temple News

When it comes to the improvement and expansion of Main Campus, students tend to focus on housing and technology. But academics – the real reason you’re paying tuition – often go ignored.

Journalist and professor Ted Gup addressed this in his April 11 article in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

“I find it profoundly discouraging to encounter such ignorance of critical issues,” Gup wrote. “I challenge [students’] right to tune out the world, and I question any system or society that can produce such students and call them educated.”

Gup finds it incomprehensible that students who have almost constant access to technology can know so little about current events and world affairs. He is right in this opinion.

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SEPTA attacks bring security too late

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Welcome to the SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) Website

By Shannon McDonald | April 15, 2008 | The Temple News

It took three attacks and a funeral to increase security on Philadelphia’s sole public transportation system.

The subway attacks of March 26, April 2 and April 4 occurred within blocks of each other – some in broad daylight – and have highlighted the need for increased security on SEPTA’s tracks.

“We’re taking special note of what’s going on,” Mayor Michael Nutter told 6 ABC recently.

Nutter and Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey have both promised SEPTA users more safety in the wake of the attacks.

SEPTA has also responded. Immediately following the attacks, the transit agency increased the number of officers on duty by 50 percent during after school hours – the time associated with the recent attacks. Between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., 90 officers will now police the city’s subway system to deter crime. SEPTA also plans on installing security cameras over the next few years, an investment of more than $50 million.

“These senseless and tragic incidents are unrelated events that occurred in the public pedestrian areas adjacent to our stations. I want to assure you that our transit system is safe,” Joseph M. Casey, general manager of SEPTA, wrote in a message to users on the agency’s Web site.

Continue reading