How powerful can a phone number be? Powerful enough to spark controversy between a defunct North Philadelphia funeral home and the man who claims he purchased its number to start his own business. The latest from reporter Valerie Russ is not to be missed. Something that definitely didn’t miss: the Russian disinformation campaign surrounding the 2016 U.S. elections. A new report has illuminated just how extensive the efforts were, and how they continued past Election Day.

— Aubrey Nagle (@aubsn, morningnewsletter@philly.com)

After Baker Funeral Home on North Broad Street, a Philadelphia institution, closed in 2017, Leychawne Johns said he bought the business’s phone number from Vince Baker for $80,000.

Johns, who grew up learning the funeral business in Chester and whose funeral trainee license was revoked in May, used the number for six months as a broker, pairing families of the deceased with funeral homes.

From Facebook and Twitter to YouTube and Instagram, Russia’s disinformation campaign around the 2016 elections used every major social media platform to help elect President Donald Trump, according to a report released Monday.

The report, prepared by major technology firms for the Senate Intelligence Committee, says the Russian campaign targeted conservatives with content on issues like gun rights and immigration while targeting left-leaning African Americans with content that discouraged voting.

The Flyers fired head coach Dave Hakstol Monday morning. He was in his fourth year with the team, which is currently in last place in the 16-team Eastern Conference.

Phantoms coach Scott Gordon has been named as interim coach.

It’s been a tumultuous few weeks for the Flyers. Chuck Fletcher was named the general manager Dec. 3 after Ron Hextall was fired from the position in November. Assistant GM Chris Pryor and assistant coach Gord Murphy were also dismissed.

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December 17, 2018
December 17, 2018

“These are issues more suited to Alice in Wonderland than a legitimate lawsuit. The latest case against Obamacare is not just an assault on American health care. It is an assault on logic.” — Robert I. Field on a federal judge ruling the Affordable Care Act’s insurance mandate is unconstitutional.

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A bas relief titled ÒThe LetterÓ hangs above the office door of the postmaster at the in Haddon Heights post office December 13, 2018.
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
A bas relief titled ÒThe LetterÓ hangs above the office door of the postmaster at the in Haddon Heights post office December 13, 2018.

Your Daily Dose of | Hidden Gems

Art is all around us. Visitors to the Haddon Heights post office have accidentally been basking in the work of one of the greatest American sculptors of the 20th century for decades.