About

Madison is a writer, reporter and editor based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She enjoys being outside, traveling and meeting new people. Madison is a student at Temple University double majoring in Journalism and Economics, expecting to graduate in May 2022. She is a freelance reporter, Editor-in-Chief of The Temple News, Temple University's independent student-run newspaper, and social media manager for Philadelphia Neighborhoods, a publication of Temple's Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab that covers underserved communities. Madison's reported on breaking news and features coverage of housing and food insecurity, employment, small businesses, gentrification, nonprofits and more.

Follow Madison on Twitter @madraekaras.

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Philadelphia Weekly June 25 Print

Featured

COVID inked

Their employees are medically trained by the American Red Cross. Their facilities have months’ worth of personal protective equipment stocked. And they can see less than a handful of customers each day. So why are they one of the last businesses to reopen from COVID-19 restrictions? That’s the question Philadelphia tattoo shop owners and artists have asked for three months. “We’re more prepared to open up than any barber, any salon, any nail salon, anything like that,” said Bryan Holland, 39,

Temple student: George Floyd’s death in my hometown brings back memories of my classmate | Opinion

But as I watch from Philadelphia this week, as another black man in the Twin Cities is dead after an incident with local police, I see the same high school classmates and teachers who I mourned with after Khaleel, Jamar, and Philando’s shootings. This time, though, the protests have been days long and more intense. The Twin Cities police have been teargassing and shooting rubber bullets at protesters, the governor has deployed the National Guard, many neighborhoods and buildings are burned down,

Cutting staff, hours and prices: Temple food businesses prepare to adjust to online classes

On and off campus, food trucks, vendors and stores are seeing business and staff leave as the university transitions to online learning and services. Sylvia Ndreu is shutting her food truck down. With no students on campus, there’s no point to keep it open, she said. “Two weeks, anybody can handle,” said Ndreu, owner of Foot Long Truck on 12th Street near Norris. “But we’re talking eight weeks now.” As Temple University transitions to online learning and students leave campus for the remainde

'Not everybody can just drop everything and run': Temple students move out eight weeks early

The university instructed students in on-campus housing to vacate by March 21 over concerns of the COVID-19 outbreak. Scrambling to leave early is emotional and difficult for them and their families. Boxes of shampoo on the sidewalk. Pairs of shoes left behind in dormitory halls. Security guards and police officers standing outside residence halls as students frenziedly unite with parents in pickup and moving trucks. Temple University students living in university housing, along with their fri

How Temple’s class of 2020 celebrated graduation from home

The university’s largest graduating class yet took part in Zoom toasts, grill outs and photo shoots to salute their achievements on Thursday. Still, they await their official commencement day. Four years ago, Ananya Bhowmik’s family flew to Philadelphia from Dhaka, Bangladesh to watch her brother graduate from college, but she wasn’t able to make the ceremony. This year, though, she expected to celebrate her college graduation with 18 of her family members who had booked flights to see her gra

Remembering Angeline Henry, 106, a 1935 Temple alumna

Angeline Henry immigrated to the United States at eight years old in 1920 and attended Temple in the 1930s. Angeline Bambina Henry, 106, died in her sleep at her assisted living home in Robinson Township, Pennsylvania on Nov. 13. She was a 1935 alumna of Temple University. Henry was born on Dec. 24, 1912, in Bugnara, Italy, a small mountain village, where she grew up close to her parents and extended family. Henry’s father, Joesph Castrucci, immigrated to the United States as a 22-year-old in

Unlabeled bar supports small brewers, distillers

Up through the side-door of Abyssinia Ethiopian restaurant and atop a red-carpeted stairwell, you’ll come to a set of two blue-trimmed white doors. A sign covering the small, square window reads “Bar open @ 6:00.” Every day of the year after 6 p.m., Fiume opens its doors on the second floor of Abyssinia on 45th Street near Locust. Unlabeled to street pedestrians, the cozy, splotchy-painted and dimly-lit six-stool and five-table bar offers more than 150 kinds of beer, 80 types of whiskeys, and a

Missed connections in a Paris corner store

On a hot June Saturday in Paris, I strolled the ivory-white shopping streets behind the Musée d’Orsay museum wearing a black sundress and green-tinted aviator sunglasses. It was the furthest I’d ever been from home, and I was excited about getting to know the world on my own, but I was still learning how to maneuver in a foreign country. I went into a local corner store and while checking out, struck a conversation with a cashier. “Find everything ok?” he asked. Almost defensively, I asked how

Temple Contemporary’s Stetson Bell concerts ring with nostalgia

Tyler School of Art and Architecture’s art gallery is hosting a concert series with the bell from the former John B. Stetson Hat Company. Angelo Tirado remembers riding his bike as a teenager with friends around the old John B. Stetson Hat Company factory on 4th and Cadwallader streets in 1973. “We used to call it ‘The Castle,’” said Tirado, a security officer at Tyler School of Art and Architecture. “Years later, we saw there was no more people going in and out of the building because they sh

Tied in leases, Temple students grapple with off-campus housing amid COVID-19

As the university encourages students living off campus to return home, many students are still expected to pay rent for leases that go through the end of the semester. Taylor Franck has no plans of returning home to Easton, Pennsylvania or leaving her off-campus apartment on Montgomery Avenue near Willington Street. And she’s not alone, either, she said. “I’m on a pretty popular college student street, so I do still hear the parties going on, you know the frat houses and everything, so overal

‘Scared’ and ‘unclear’: Students react to Temple’s move to online teaching to combat COVID-19 spread

Temple will move to online course instruction on March 16 to combat the spread of COVID-19, a disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Hanna Pronina doesn’t want to leave her off-campus apartment to go home to Kharkiv, Ukraine. But she fears she has to. “I personally do not know how I would be affected to the fullest, cause my parents, especially my father might want me to come home,” said Pronina, a junior biology major. “… In reality, I just really do not know what’s about to happen.” Proni
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