Oh, goodie. Another casino. We all know which house tends to benefit, and it’s not yours. What’s more of a sure bet: Today’s jam-packed newsletter. From the SRC to Penn State sports, we’ve got you covered.
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— Tommy Rowan
SugarHouse Casino has dropped its years-long effort to block a second Philadelphia casino license, paving the way for Stadium Casino L.L.C. to build its Live! casino and hotel in South Philadelphia.
SugarHouse ended its fight against the second license after Gov. Wolf signed a bill passed by the legislature repealing the ownership limitation on casinos, which rendered objections to Stadium’s license “moot,” lawyers for SugarHouse said in their petition to the Supreme Court. Construction of the new casino will commence next year and it will open in 2020, David Cordish, CEO of Cordish Cos., told reporter Linda Loyd.
Cordish developed and operates Xfinity Live! in the stadium district.
Pitching local control of Philadelphia’s schools as the linchpin to the city’s future, Mayor Kenney on Thursday called for the School Reform Commission to disband itself in favor of a board whose members he will choose, reports Kristen Graham.
Seizing back governance of the schools will come with a hefty price tag. Kenney and City Council President Darrell L. Clarke said they would need to cover the Philadelphia School District’s looming deficit — $103 million next school year, $1 billion over five years — though they declined to say exactly how.
“Again and again, we’ve told the people of Philadelphia that the state of their schools are someone else’s responsibility,” Kenney said. “That ends today.”
Six years after the Sandusky scandal, despite ongoing friction between administrators and alumni, despite continuing suspicion from beyond Happy Valley, Penn State sports have never been healthier.
The signature football team has rebounded and prospered. James Franklin’s Nittany Lions have won 17 of their last 20 games. The financial engine of the athletics department, football made a $40 million profit in 2016 and attracted contributions of $39 million to the Nittany Lions Club.
So what happened? How, after being tainted by one of tawdriest episodes in collegiate sports history, did Penn State manage to win games, raise money and recruit quality athletes, in some cases better than before?
What you need to know today
- A jammed gun saved a Camden police officer from being shot in the face, reports Barbara Boyer. While the officer remains in good condition, the 19-year-old suspect is in jail, with no bail set.
- The body of Fred Anton, an 83-year-old Center City man known as a Republican power broker in Pennsylvania politics, was recovered from the Delaware River.
- The cooler temperatures on the way signal a full-blown La Nina event coming. That means cold, wet and snow for our region. Or it means, as the government’s Climate Prediction Center says, that the odds are tilted toward a mild winter for Philadelphia, the entire Northeast and roughly two-thirds of the rest of the country. Don’t worry, Tony Wood has figured it out for us.
- Frankie’s blood did not wash away. Maybe police thought that it would, writes Helen Ubiñas, the way the rain pounded the pavement that Sunday night. Or maybe the dark had made it hard for them to see the sidewalk, still stained deep red when his family arrived the next morning at Hancock and Susquehanna.
- Tricia Nadolny traveled to Utuada, an interior town in Puerto Rico that has lost its connection to the outside world after Hurricane Maria destroyed the one bridge into town. Now residents use a makeshift roped-pulled rafts to make the crossing, she writes in her latest dispatch from the Hinterlands.
- Prosecutors have concluded their racketeering case against payday lending pioneer Charles Hallinan on Thursday, after 21 days of testimony that painted him as a predator who capitalized on the financial distress of low-income borrowers to whom he loaned money at annual interest rates approaching 800 percent, writes Jeremy Roebuck.
Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly
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We want to see what our community looks like through your eyes. Show us the park that your family walks through every weekend with the dog, the block party in your neighborhood or the historic stretch you see every morning on your commute to work.
- It was billed as a “get out the vote” breakfast for African American ward leaders in Philadelphia. Then the rumors and recriminations started. Get your PhillyClout fill right here.
- Eagles pray in hot tubs, closets and on vibration plates, players tell Bible Study magazine.
- The Center City and Schuylkill skylines may be turning into glasshenge, but humans still yearn for buildings with the scale, texture and heft of masonry structures, writes Inga Saffron. The newly re-clad building for the East Market development provides that tactile experience. But will it be a harbinger of change?
- All over the city, new apartment and condominiums are being built as mixed-use buildings — retail goes on the ground floor so the street is lively, and upper levels are set aside for living. But what happens when a building owner decides to mix the commercial space with the residential space?
- The University of Pennsylvania plans to build 250,000 square feet of new undergraduate student housing on what’s now open space near the corner of 40th and Walnut Streets, beside the Free Library of Philadelphia’s West Philadelphia Branch.
- Baseball has long had unique personalities, and the Phillies’ new manager, Gabe Kapler, is one. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Kapler, columnist Mike Sielski writes, is in step with the modern media age, and the modern major-leaguer.
- Philadelphia is looking for a few good ideas to harness the potential energy flowing through the city’s waterways. No, seriously.
“Putin’s yen for revenge against Clinton and his desire to discredit the U.S. ballot. The Russian leader’s KGB mentality is the key to both.“ — Writes columnist Trudy Rubin, explaining why Russia President Vladimir Putin hated Hillary Clinton, and loved Donald Trump.
- You think it’s unseemly to enjoy the humiliating comeuppance of these men who use their power for sex? Columnist Ronnie Polaneczky says: Spare me.
- One month after the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, a nation’s collective shrug has been painful to watch. Will Bunch asks: How can we treat mass gun murder with the same urgency as terror attacks?
What we’re reading
- Coal miners in Pennsylvania and elsewhere are so confident Trump will restore their industry that they’re turning down alternate-career training. [Quartz]
- Can Germany fix Facebook? A new law seeks to protect “human dignity” on the internet. [The Atlantic]
- When you die, you’ll probably be embalmed. Thank Abraham Lincoln for that: The president was an “early adopter” of embalming technology, helping to bring the modern death industry to the mainstream. [Smithsonian]
- Opioids haven’t solved chronic pain. Maybe virtual reality can. [Wired]
- The origin story behind the Indiana Jones ride: One of the creators of several classic Disneyland rides tells the story. [Los Angeles Magazine]
Daily Dose Of | Illusion
What’s with the blue sky billboard in Old City?