The year 2018 is over, and many Philadelphians share the same highlight of the last 12 months.
That, of course, would be the Eagles winning Super Bowl LII.
Celebrations took place all over the Northeast, from Leo Mall in Somerton to the Five Points intersection of Cottman, Oxford and Rising Sun avenues in Burholme to Frankford and Cottman avenues in Mayfair.
At Frankford and Cottman, an estimated 30,000 people gathered after the Eagles beat the New England Patriots, 41-33, for their first Super Bowl trophy.
The Eagles were honored in several ways.
There’s a new mural at Spike’s Trophies, 2701 Grant Ave., that features Super Bowl Most Valuable Player Nick Foles, tight end Zach Ertz catching the winning touchdown and center Jason Kelce in his Mummers costume at the victory parade.
A “celebration statue” is planned for Frankford and Cottman to mark the spot where fans gather after big sports wins.
And the Eagles were recognized at the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame ceremony.
At that ceremony, held in November at SugarHouse Casino, Northeast High School graduate and longtime Inquirer sports writer Mel Greenberg was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Greenberg created the first women’s college basketball poll in 1976 and is a member of the Big 5 Hall of Fame.
More celebrating was done at Jeanes Hospital and Nazareth Academy High School, both celebrating their 90-year anniversaries.
The Northeast said goodbye to the Sears store near Bustleton and Cottman avenues. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia closed St. Leo the Great Church for good. And the Turf Club closed at Roosevelt Mall after 17 years of betting on horse races. The building will be demolished.
The Northeast Times mourned in December with the death of its owner, Rich Donnelly.
Others we lost in 2018 included Frank Miller, who helped raise more than $825,000 for the American Cancer Society’s AstraZeneca Hope Lodge; Helen File, the longtime president of the Trustees of Byberry Meeting; acclaimed musician Jack LeCompte; Kevin Hughes, president of the Bustleton Bengals youth sports organization and a driving force behind the club’s new gym; Bishop Joseph R. Cistone, a Tacony native and leader of the Catholic diocese of Saginaw, Michigan; the Rev. Charles Garst, a parochial vicar at St. Dominic Catholic Church; and Carmella Rizzo, widow of former Mayor Frank L. Rizzo.
Politically, the state Supreme Court designed new congressional maps. All of the Northeast is now in the 2nd Congressional District.
State Rep. John Taylor retired after 34 years, and his Northwood neighbor, Joe Hohenstein, won his seat.
Lt. Gov Mike Stack, a former state senator from Somerton, lost in the primary and will leave office on Jan. 15. He is rumored to be mulling a challenge this year to City Councilman Brian O’Neill. ••