One New Jersey mother is so thankful for her little miracle. Doctors told her that her daughter, born four months early, would have a slim chance of survival. She asked them to try to save her life, marking the beginning of an amazing journey. Aretha Franklin took us all on a decades-long journey through song. Music lovers, fellow artists, and fans across the world are showing love and R-E-S-P-E-C-T to the Queen of Soul as they remember her life and legacy. Philadelphia has set a city record, but it isn't one that is warranting celebration. City workers are racking up the overtime pay like they never have before.

The doctor had never seen a baby so small. In March, Makenna Spruill was born nearly four months premature. She weighed less than 14 ounces and her family was warned that her chances to survive were slim. Her mother's request: "Please just try."

More than 100 physicians were involved in her 113-day hospital stay. Now, she's home with her mother Alyssa and her four siblings in Atlantic City, a miracle Spruill struggled to imagine when MaKenna was born.  

One of her nurses dubbed her "Mighty MaKenna" during her hospital stay — a nickname she certainly earned as she overcame incredibly long odds to survive.

Philly is on a roll — when it comes to exceeding its overtime budget. The streak has now reached eight years and the latest tally set an overtime record.

According to the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation Agency, Philadelphia spent $175 million on overtime for city workers in fiscal year 2018 — $40 million more than what was budgeted. There are consequences to overtime for both taxpayers and employees themselves.  

The Police, Prisons, Fire and Streets Departments racked up the most overtime. One extreme case involved a youth detention center counselor who took home three times her salary thanks to overtime. City officials are unsure whether or not it's better to use overtime or hire more city workers.

The music world has lost one of its defining voices. Aretha Franklin, the powerhouse vocalist who delivered chart-topping hit after hit, died on Thursday at age 76.

Thanks to Franklin, the world will never forget how to spell "respect." The song and the singer went on to inspire black and female pride at a time in the nation's history when both were sorely needed. "Respect" went on to define Franklin's career.

In recent years, Philadelphia was lucky to be graced by Franklin's presence — in 2015 she performed during Pope Francis' visit to the city and she held her final Philly show in 2017 at the Mann Music Center. By the way, she even performed in Philly with a former secretary of state.

The world will sound a little different without the Queen of Soul to enrich it with her voice. But thanks to the gifts she left us, music lovers will never forget.

What you need to know today

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

I must agree with you, @lqnature. Philadelphia is really pretty. Congrats on winning this week's #OurPhilly fan poll.

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!

That’s Interesting

  • Have you ever used the phrase "what the kids are saying these days"? I had that experience with coworkers recently, and school teachers must go through it all the time. Luckily, Philly teachers will receive a new handbook from students that will unlock the mysteries of slang. All adults should read this jawn.
  • What does $749,000 buy you in the Northeast Pennsylvania real estate market? As reporter Jason Nark found out, if you're a lover of ghosts and all things haunted, it can get you a lot.
  • Food festivals, lots of dogs, and Miranda Lambert: It's shaping up to be a busy weekend in the Philadelphia area. Still looking for plans? We've got you covered.
  • You might know the West Philly native as Maurice DeLoach, but to some of the biggest names in music, he's DJ Aktive. This weekend, he'll celebrate his life in music by bringing a few famous friends to Philly. 
  • Have questions about Medicare? My colleague Sarah Gantz wants to hear them. Open enrollment starts Oct. 15 and we want to track down the answers to your questions so you're fully prepared.
  • City Hall wound up hosting a party in white last night for Philadelphia's annual Dîner en Blanc. Thousands of guests got to dine in style in the shadow of Billy Penn.


August 17, 2018
Signe Wilkinson
August 17, 2018
"Catholics are big about seeking forgiveness. We are taught that humans err, but that there is always the hope of a new beginning.
— I always held tightly to that most precious of sacraments, fully prepared to sin repeatedly over the course of my lifetime.
  • Columnist Michael Smerconish writes that if you're looking to assign blame for the election of Donald Trump, you shouldn't point to third-party candidates.
  • According to a report, Philadelphia takes 30 percent of bail deposits as a processing fee, even if the initial charges against someone are dropped. The Inquirer Editorial Board writes that this is putting a burden on those who can least afford it and should stop.

What we’re reading

  • Millennials have been blamed with killing everything from mayonnaise to country clubs, but do any of us really know what a millennial is? As Vox explains, the short answer is no, but it's time to define it and move on.
  • Tennis great Serena Williams is one Grand Slam singles title away from tying the all-time record. She's also in the midst of the most difficult comeback of her career. She opened up to TIME about her fear and her determination.
  • Do you remember the last time you online shopped for something and didn't see ads for it on every site you visit after? You're not alone. Stalker ads are real and the New York Times explains how you can make them stop.
  • NFL star cornerback Jalen Ramsey was brutally honest in a recent interview with GQ. He probably doesn't have nice things to say about your favorite quarterback — unless his name is Carson Wentz.
  • Cyclists in Montgomery County are in for a treat, but they must be patient. PhillyVoice breaks down the county's plan to add 800 miles of bike paths. Just so you know, you won't see any changes if you plan on riding this weekend — or this decade.

Correction: Yesterday's newsletter stated that Eagle Lane Johnson had previously played for the New England Patriots. He has not; he's always been an Eagle and likely bleeds green. Feel free to tease my colleague Aubrey Nagle for this egregious error of Eagles fandom.

A plaque hangs outside the Temple University elevator where Shari Rubin Schlesinger first saw Eric in 1972 and love later bloomed.
Joseph V. Labolito
A plaque hangs outside the Temple University elevator where Shari Rubin Schlesinger first saw Eric in 1972 and love later bloomed.

Your Daily Dose of | Love

Eric Schlesinger and wife Shari Rubin Schlesinger had a 45-year romance and a shared love for their alma mater. Temple will honor Shari's life in the elevator where the couple met.