5 stories to follow: Sept. 9

Superintendent Bill Hite (right) talks with Principal Dan Lazar of Greenfield Elementary in this file photo. Today is the first day of school for Philadelphia public school students.

It's a new week, the first day of school for Philadelphia students and the first regular-season game for the Eagles. Here's your look at five stories to know about:

1. First day of school: Today is the first day of classes in the Philadelphia School District. Schools open today amid ongoing talks about the district's budget crisis and teachers' union contract. This year, the school year will begin with larger classes, fewer teachers and school staff, and many students attending new schools after 24 buildings were closed.

2. Eagles season opener: The Eagles open their season tonight against the Washington Redskins. The hype is high as Chip Kelly makes his debut as head coach. Check out Philly.com's complete coverage.

3. Medical pot in N.J.: The New Jersey Assembly is set to vote today on changing the state's medical marijuana law to let dispensaries grow and sell more than three varieties of pot  and to provide an edible form of the drug to children. The Assembly is convening for the first time since June, and gun legislation and tax breaks for businesses are also on the agenda.

4. Lonegan's tax returns: Steve Lonegan, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in New Jersey, is slated to release three years of tax returns today. His Democratic opponent, Cory Booker, let reporters spend three hours reviewing 15 years of returns last week.

5. Vacant properties: Philadelphia is hosting the national Reclaiming Vacant Properties Conference, a three-day event that kicks off today at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Advocates hope the conference will spur city officials to establish a long-discussed land bank -- an agency with the power to acquire and dispose of Philadelphia's 40,000 vacant properties.