News Briefings: June 3-9

News Briefings: June 3-9

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Southwest Senior Center hosts Pride

To celebrate LGBT older adults during Pride month, the Southwest Senior Center is hosting a celebration at 11 a.m. June 3. The free event takes place at the center, 6916 Elmwood Ave.

Terri Clark will lead a workshop called “SEXcessful Aging.” Attendees will also discuss the history of June as Pride month.

For more information, call Linda Marucci, social worker at the senior center, at 215-937-1880.


Lesbian earns public service award

Terry L. Mutchler, a lesbian who has been active in Philadelphia’s LGBT community, will receive a Common Cause/Pennsylvania award this month for her work as an open records leader.

Mutchler served as the head of the state’s Office of Open Records, and she shepherded the office through the successful implementation of a new state law expanding residents’ access to government records.

She will receive the Bob Edward Public Service Achievement Award June 7 at the Pyramid Club, 1735 Market St. John Bogle, a finance-industry reform leader, will also receive the award.

“Terry Mutchler played a crucial role in bringing a new level of transparency to state and municipal government,” Common Cause/Pennsylvania said in a statement. “With a small staff handling thousands of public-record disputes between citizens and public agencies, she steered a steady course that made the new state law workable and effective.”


New Garden State Equality director gearing up for state tour

Christian Fuscarino, who took over as executive director of Garden State Equality in April, is looking for interested community members to host meetings on the issues impacting LGBT people in New Jersey.

Those who want to volunteer can visit

“I cannot be successful without listening to you,” Fuscarino said in an email announcement.

“We are a diverse community,” he continued. “The issues impacting LGBT people in Hudson County may vary from those in Cape May County.”

Over the next few months, Garden State Equality will identify host homes and release a calendar of dates for the statewide tour. Fuscarino would like to have at least one meeting in each of New Jersey’s 21 counties.


IBA to give first Business Integrity Award at annual meeting

Independence Business Alliance, the region’s LGBT chamber of commerce, this month will give out its first Business Integrity Award, which it launched in May to recognize high standards of behavior toward LGBT customers or employees.

It will be awarded at the IBA annual meeting. The event takes place from 5:30-8 p.m. June 27 in the Wyeth Ballroom of Sonesta Hotel, 1800 Market St. IBA members can attend for free. It costs $15 for non-members.

Applications for the Business Integrity Award are open until June 10 by visiting

The annual meeting will also highlight the election of new board members, and includes a networking mixer as part of the IBA ConnX monthly meeting.

For more information, visit

— Paige Cooperstein


Mazzoni hires longtime physician

Mark Watkins, D.O., of Triangle Medical Inc., will join the clinical staff of Mazzoni Center this summer, the LGBT health facility announced this week.

Watkins has practiced family medicine for more than 25 years, with a particular emphasis on LGBT and HIV care.

“We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Watkins to our staff,” said Mazzoni Center CEO Nurit Shein in a statement. “His excellent reputation and clinical expertise make him an ideal addition to our practice.”

“I’ve had the privilege of providing medical care to many patients in Center City, and I believe this move will offer them even greater convenience and access to the many resources within Mazzoni Center’s continuum of care,” Watkins said.

He will continue to see patients at Triangle through next summer, when Mazzoni is expected to finalize its move to 13th and Bainbridge streets, where all of its programs will be consolidated.

With Watkins’ hiring, Mazzoni Center will now employ six physicians, along with four nurse practitioners, two nurses and a physician assistant.

— Jen Colletta


Woody’s must answer complaint

Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Mark I. Bernstein recently ruled that Woody’s Bar must file an answer to the complaint of Daniel Callaway.

Callaway contends a patron of Woody’s bar, Jamar D. Palmer, contributed to a vehicular accident involving Callaway two years ago.

On Dec. 7, 2014, Callaway, a certified EMT and firefighter, suffered extensive injuries while tending to Palmer’s disabled vehicle on I-95 in Tinicum Township+., Delaware County. A vehicle driven by Corrin R. Collier sideswiped Palmer’s vehicle, pushing it into Callaway.

Palmer allegedly drank an excessive amount of alcohol at Woody’s, 202 S. 13th St., prior to the accident, according to court records.

Collier wasn’t charged with any criminal wrongdoing.

Callaway is suing Woody’s Bar, Palmer and Collier in Philadelphia Common Pleas Court, seeking more than $50,000 in damages.

Attorneys for Woody’s sought to have the case dismissed. But on May 24, Bernstein denied the request, and ordered Woody’s to answer Callaway’s complaint by June 13.


Accused killer of trans woman awaits evaluation

During a court proceeding last month, it was confirmed that Charles N. Sargent continues to await a mental-competency evaluation, prior to standing trial for the murder of local trans woman Diamond Williams.

Sargent allegedly stabbed Williams to death in July 2013 after a sexual encounter in Sargent’s Strawberry Mansion residence. Then, Sargent allegedly dismembered Williams’ body with an ax and deposited her body parts in a nearby vacant lot.

Sargent has filed several motions seeking his release. But during a May 19 court proceeding, authorities said Sargent remains incarcerated at the Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Northeast Philadelphia.

The next court proceeding for Sargent is scheduled for 10 a.m. July 15 in Courtroom 807 of the Criminal Justice Center, 1315 Filbert St.


Judge denies request for Archdiocese files

Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Mark I. Bernstein last week denied the request of Deborah McIlmail for access to numerous files contained in a “secret archive” at the Archdiocese.

McIlmail is suing the archdiocese for allegedly contributing to her son Sean’s death. She wants to buttress her case with records contained in a “secret archive” at the archdiocese. But in a one-page order issued May 24, Bernstein denied her request.

Sean McIlmail allegedly was molested by the Rev. Robert L. Brennan between 1998-2001, while Sean was a student at Resurrection of Our Lord Catholic School in Rhawnhurst.

Sean died in 2013 at age 26 of a drug overdose.

Deborah McIlmail holds Brennan, Brennan’s former supervisor Msgr. William J. Lynn and the archdiocese responsible for Sean’s death, which she said was caused by the trauma he suffered due to the alleged molestation.

The secret archive contains sensitive personnel records for local priests involved in various scandals over the past several decades.

The archdiocese refused to produce the files sought by McIlmail, citing religious-freedom rights, privacy concerns and other reasons.

Brennan was arrested and charged with forcible rape in September 2013, but he was released from jail the following month, after Sean McIlmail died.

Brennan, 78, is retired and lives in Perryville, Md. In court papers, he denies molesting Sean.

Lynn, 65, is incarcerated at a state prison in Waymart, due to a child-endangerment conviction in a different case.

Neither side had a comment for this update.

— Timothy Cwiek

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