If you’re hooked on fishing in Philly, there’s some good news for you. Despite its toxic past, Schuylkill River is on the upswing and home to a bevy of marine life, reporter Frank Kummer explains. Contamination apparently also was a serious problem at the Philadelphia Children’s Hospital in August 2016, when staff use of unclean equipment and failure to wear gloves spread an eye infection through the neonatal intensive care unit, affecting over half of the babies examined and allegedly killing at least one.

Kevin Rodenbaugh, 20, of King of Prussia, who recently caught a 45-inch Muskie in the Schuylkill, shown here fishing off the banks of the Schuykill River, near Bridgeton, PA, Tuesday, August 28, 2018. JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer
Jessica Griffin
Kevin Rodenbaugh, 20, of King of Prussia, who recently caught a 45-inch Muskie in the Schuylkill, shown here fishing off the banks of the Schuykill River, near Bridgeton, PA, Tuesday, August 28, 2018. JESSICA GRIFFIN / Staff Photographer

Looking to catch some local fish this Labor Day weekend? Turns out, you can find plenty of fish right in the Schuylkill, but the amount you can eat will be limited if you’re watching your PCBs.

In response to a reader's question submitted via Curious Philly, Reporter Frank Kummer took a deep dive into the steadily increasing health of the 135-mile-long waterway.

Once so polluted with man made toxins that it was declared a dead zone, thanks to the Clean Water Act of the 1970s and a little mussel, the Schuylkill today is home to bluegill sunfish, redbreast sunfish, minnows, shiners, white suckers, bass, catfish and carp. (And, until recently, this enormous 40-pound muskie.)

In August 2016, 23 infants contracted viral infections after undergoing eye exams in the intensive-care unit at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, an outbreak that the hospital attributed to some medical staff failing to wear gloves and a "lack of standard cleaning practices" of equipment used in the exams.

Calling the hospital's use of contaminated equipment "shocking"—especially on prematurely-born infants — the family of one child who allegedly died as a result of the infection has filed a lawsuit against the medical institution, but CHOP denies the eye infection is what lead to tiny Melanie Sanders' death.

Summer's end is a bittersweet time, but this Labor Day weekend comes with a silver lining: the stifling heat wave is behind us, but rain could dampen your backyard barbecue.

If you're staying in Philadelphia for the holiday, we've got the round-up of things to do if you're not braving the crowds of Made in America, and all the info on the festival if you are.

And if you're headed down the Shore, here's your guide to the weekend, as well as the ultimate shore guide.

If you decide to take a dip, just beware of the sea lice.

What you need to know today

  • A judge has given a South Jersey couple until this afternoon to hand over what's left of the $400,000 they raised through a GoFundMe campaign for Johnny Bobbitt Jr., the homeless man who last fall gave the woman his last $20 to help her out in a pinch.
  • Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has vowed to fight Philadelphia's plans to open safe-injection sites for drug users, but legal experts and advocates say the move may be seen as a life-saving measure amid the opioid crisis.
  • The 2019 Miss America competition began Thursday on the Atlantic City Boardwalk with waves, smiles, lots of hairspray, and no sign of the controversy that has characterized the last few months.
  • In an effort to drive down its debt, Camden-based Campbell's Soup is selling operations that accounted for nearly a quarter of the 149-year-old company's overall earnings last year.
  • Four women say they were sexually assaulted while receiving services at four separate New Jersey Massage Envy stores and allege the chain worked to cover up the abuse, joining a nationwide chorus of massage clients with similar complaints against the corporation.
  • Former Eagles tight end Brent Celek, who played 11 seasons for the Birds before he was released in March after the Super Bowl win, is expected to announce his retirement from the NFL today.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a petition from Philly-based Catholic Social Services to reinstate its foster care contract with the city, which was terminated after it was discovered that the agency would not work with same-sex couples. The appeal now returns to federal court.
  • In an unorthodox move, the grand jury members who spent two years investigating sexual abuse by Pennsylvania Catholic clergy are unanimously pushing for the full, unredacted jury report to be released to the public.

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

"Who framed William Penn?" – @kylehuff

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

  • You can now minor in marijuana at Stockton University, and many are saying it's high time for formal education on the growing industry.
  • Can braille survive in a smartphone world? Today, fewer than one in 10 people with low vision possess the reading skill as the popularity of assistive technology rises.
  • It's been said that love is a garden, and for the Jersey Shore's plant whisperer who plays easy listening love songs for his flora, the sentiment couldn't be truer.
  • After 47 years on 10th and Winston Streets, a South Philly bakery staple run by two brothers is closing its doors.
  • Were you salty or sawty over spellings of slang in the glossary Philadelphia students made for their teachers this year? Philly can't agree on how to spell its slang, but experts say it's a sign of an evolving language.
  • How do the Phillies decide who moves where? It all comes down to computer data stored in the outfielders' pockets.


Signe Wilkinson
Signe Wilkinson
Signe Wilkinson
"We will communicate with both campaigns and organize the actual event. We will solicit questions from the public so that the agenda is set by voters. We will ensure that the event is free, and make it available for anyone to watch in some manner." — The Inquirer Editorial Board invites Gov. Tom Wolf and challenger Scott Wagner to a "people's debate" organized by the paper.
  • Is Delaware's Kerri Evelyn Harris the next explosion to rock the Democrats? asks columnist Will Bunch. If elected, Harris would become the First State's first woman, first black, and first openly LGBTQ U.S. senator.
  • In the wake of the clergy sex abuse grand jury report, it's important to remember that many Catholic priests entered the profession to answer a calling, writes columnist Christine Flowers.

What we’re reading

  • Pennsylvania-based Roy Pitz Brewing's new ale comes with a kicker. Billy Penn sat down with Eagles star rookie Jake Elliott , the face of the new "4 the Win Giant Killer" IPA to be released just in time for tailgating.
  • Feeling slighted on salary? You're not alone. In fact, over half of the Philadelphians surveyed in a new study said they feel underpaid, PhillyMag reports.
  • Riding around on his Jeep or his Benzos, kicking it at Belmont Plateau, composing a rhyme, hustling to the mall. hopping in the water plug, visiting the family barbecue and still finding time to get a haircut and change clothes, all the while frontin' and maxin'? There's no contesting the Fresh Prince had a busy day in the seminal Philly classic, "Summertime," but was his itinerary even humanly possible? The Ringer investigates.
  • From using mummy leftovers to collecting sun-baked mango leaf-fed cattle urine, The New Yorker details the time before the days of chemically-created paint, when artists went to some serious lengths to keep their pigments popping.
DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer
David Maialetti
DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer

Your Daily Dose of | Shoobie

As the end of summer clouds the moods of Jersey Shore shoobies (“they start to get a little anxious,” one guard said), the Shore’s lifeguards patrol the sand, awaiting the next emergency.