Mayor seizes control of schools, colorful Philly character dies, Puerto Rico gets brotherly love | Morning Newsletter

Good for Houston. After Hurricane Harvey broke so many residents’ spirits, I’m sure the Astros’ first-ever World Series win will help lift some back up. If Puerto Rico had a major professional sports team, would more people care about the devastation left by Hurricane Maria? I even have the perfect team nickname: The Outcasts.

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— Tommy Rowan


Mayor Kenney to seize control of Philly schools

Camera icon STEPHANIE AARONSON / Staff file photo
Jim Kenney talks to reporters.

Mayor James Kenney is making a power move.

In an address to City Council planned for Thursday morning, Kenney will announce that the city is taking back its public schools — and is promising to pay for them.

Kenney will outline the end of the state-dominated School Reform Commission and a path to local control of the Philadelphia School District by July 1, administration officials confirmed to reporter Kristen Graham Wednesday night. He will also pledge to have the city cover much of the $1 billion deficit the school system is projecting over five years.

“With a return to local control,” Kenney wrote in a letter outlining his decision, which was obtained by The Inquirer, “the people of Philadelphia will finally be able to hold one person accountable for their school system, the mayor.

In a flooded Puerto Rico town, help comes from Philly

The river rushed through Florida, Puerto Rico, sending people fleeing from their homes.

Many didn’t return for a month. When they did, the floors were still wet and a line of mold four or five or six feet tall showed how high the muddy waters had risen.

On Wednesday, a team of Red Cross volunteers from Philadelphia (four sheriff’s deputies and a PECO lineman) came here to pass out water and food. The supplies were appreciated. But it’s FEMA, many in town said, that they are really waiting for.

Staff writer Tricia L. Nadolny and staff photographer David Swanson have been dispatched to Puerto Rico to report on how the island and its residents are recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Maria. Tricia is filing daily dispatches while there. Here are a few:

Ex-police chief in South Jersey: Blacks are ‘like ISIS’

On Sept. 1, 2016, an 18-year-old black man, accused of not paying his motel bill, was pepper-sprayed and placed in handcuffs, and was being led to the top of a motel stairwell by two Bordentown Township officers when the police chief arrived.

Frank M. Nucera Jr. approached the suspect from behind and “slammed his head into a door jamb,” according to an affidavit filed by the FBI. He made a series of anti-black remarks following the assault, authorities said. Those remarks were secretly recorded by an officer in his department who was alarmed by the chief’s hostility toward the community.

The former police chief of Bordentown Township said blacks are “like ISIS, they have no value,” mused about joining a firing squad to mow them down, and used police dogs to intimidate black spectators at high school basketball games, federal authorities said Wednesday in announcing assault and hate-crime charges against him.

If the racism alleged by a former officer is true, writes columnist Jenice Armstrong, this is just another example of what the Black Lives Matter movement has been protesting all along.

What you need to know today

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

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.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out to build those followers!

That’s Interesting

Opinions

“Efforts to heal, let alone restore any trust, cannot occur until the crimes are confronted.Our editorial board, insisting that Maria Panaritis’ tale of a pedophile priest cries for a day in court for long-ago victims.

What we’re reading

  • A Very Old Man for A Wolf: The life and death of OR4, the patriarch of Oregon’s reintroduced wolves. [Outside]
  • A Protest Messenger for Our Times: Projectionist provocateur Robin Bell lights up the night. [The Washington Post Magazine]
  • Lost and Found: An elite group of forensic scientists, charged with finding hidden human remains, nears retirement age. [5280]
  • A Dark Victory in Raqqa: Kurdish revolutionaries helped the U.S. expel the Islamic State from its capital city. Will we soon abandon them? [New Yorker]
  • The future of online dating is unsexy and brutally effective. [Gizmodo]

Daily Dose of | TMI

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FOX SPORTS

Gabe Kapler: Phillies manager, lover of coconut oil.