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The Pulse of CBS Philadelphia: June 5-9

The Pulse of CBS Philadelphia: June 5-9
The Pulse of CBS Philadelphia: June 5-9 02:00

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- This week, our region has been dealing with poor air quality, a historic Pride parade in Media brought hundreds of people together to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community, and scientists say they are making progress to get the invasive spotted lanternfly under control.

Here's what our CBS News Philadelphia team worked on this week: 

What does "Code Red" air quality mean? Health effects of wildfire smoke and how to protect yourself

The Philadelphia region is under a "Code Red" air quality alert Wednesday due to tiny particulate matter in the air as smoke from multiple wildfires in eastern Canada drifts down into our region.

An AQI "Code Red Fine Particles Action Day" is declared when the value index is between 151 to 200, meaning the air is unhealthy to breathe, according to AirNow.

The smoke has blanketed our region from the Lehigh Valley to Philadelphia, the Jersey Shore and Delaware.

Wildfire in Jackson Township, Ocean County 100% contained

A wildfire that burned 82 acres in Jackson Township, Ocean County has been 100% contained, the New Jersey Forest Fire Service said Wednesday.

The fire, named Glory Fire, started burning in the area of East Commodore Blvd and Cedar Swamp Road in Jackson Township just before 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. No injuries were reported due to the blaze.

NJ wildfire: Bass River fire 100% contained after burning 5K acres

After days of firefighting efforts, the massive wildfire in Bass River State Forest is now 100% contained, the New Jersey Forest Fire Service said Saturday.

It was by far the largest "major" wildfire in the state this week. In a news conference, NJFFS Chief Greg McLaughlin said the fire was 5,950 acres and that the service had fought nine major wildfires this year.

The smoke was so thick it closed the Garden State Parkway for a few hours due to visibility issues.

Sources: Analysis of Upper Darby Parking Department shows "incompetence" within government

Upper Darby Township officials believe nearly 1.5 million in parking ticket revenue was never collected. That's your money.

As multiple sources have put it, this internal audit's findings aren't a good look for the township.

The multiple-page report had been kept under wraps for months until last week when we started asking why wasn't the taxpayer-funded report made public.

From the start, the analysis alleges a lack of communication at the township, a lack of oversight and a lack of internal controls and procedures.

The township council ordered the analysis back in February, a day after a CBS News Philadelphia investigation aired finding more than 18,000 parking citations were never sent to local courts for adjudication in almost a two-year period.

Two young girls discuss meeting Kamala Harris

It's the moment that stole the show during Vice President Kamala Harris' visit to Philadelphia. Two young girls were front and center as Harris arrived in the city.

One of the girls gave Harris a note stating that she loved that Harris is the first Black vice president of the United States of America.

"She was incredibly thankful, she said, 'Oh is this for me?' and she read it wonderfully," explained Naomi. "She said, she had great penmanship, and she also drew a picture of her. And she was praising her artistic skills as well."

It was such a special moment for the young girls to meet someone like Harris who inspires them every day.

"You can be who you want": Thousands attend Pride March in Philadelphia

Tens of thousands of people came out to celebrate Pride in Philadelphia Sunday.  

A massive symbol of acceptance, the Pride Flag, moved through the streets of Center City carried by those celebrating the LGBTQ+ community during the Pride March. 

Organizers say the 200-foot-long Pride Flag is one of the largest in the country.

"You can be who you want, and everyone is pretty accepting. I love it here. It's my second home now,"  Kalila Goulding-Huckle said.

"Wherever you are in that progression you are supported here today," Jennifer Gehret said. 

"I was so moved": Delaware County's first Pride Parade in Media

For the first time ever, Delaware County held a Pride Parade in Media Saturday. It's a moment many in Delaware County have been waiting their entire lives for.

The historic Pride parade brought hundreds of people together to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community. They waved flags of all colors while groups marched on State Street.

The parade only lasted less than an hour but people say it will leave a lasting impact on the community.

"To have a celebration in our small community, says to everyone here, young and old, 'Hey, you're welcomed and accepted to be exactly the way you are right here. You don't have to go anywhere,'" Courtney Rodriguez said.

What kills spotted lanternflies? Scientists find potential solution to invasive bug

Summer is almost here, which means it won't be long before swarms of spotted lanternflies come to the Philadelphia area. It's been almost 10 years since the invasive species first appeared in the region, but are scientists making any progress in getting them under control?

Researchers in Delaware say they traveled to China and came back with a couple of natural predators with major potential.

"The species name is Dryinus sinicus," Kim Hoelmer, with Beneficial Insects Introduction Research Unit, said, "and it has no common name."

Inside a USDA laboratory on the University of Delaware's campus, researchers have been studying spotted lanternflies ever since they arrived in Berks County, Pennsylvania, nearly 10 years ago.

"Gram" Mamie Plummer shares secrets to long life before 101st birthday

When Mamie Plummer was a little girl, Babe Ruth was swatting home runs for the New York Yankees, gas was 30 cents a gallon and Warren Harding became the first president to broadcast on radio. This weekend, she'll be celebrating a special birthday.

According to Plummer, it's simple. Cherishing family and lots of laughter are the keys to a long life.

Plummer was born in Germantown and has always called Philadelphia home. She invited CBS News Philadelphia into her home as she prepares to celebrate a milestone birthday.

"If I make it," she said jokingly. "If I make it."

Always joking but hates a fuss.

Plummer says people are surprised when they hear about her age.

"I don't know why," Plummer said, "because you see on television all of the time people 100 years old sitting around enjoying themselves."

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