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🏘️ Suburban shifts | Morning Newsletter

And calls to reform the sheriff’s office

(USE AS DESIRED) The Philadelphia skyline is reflected in the water of the Cooper River at sunset in Pennsauken Cherry Hill Collingswood Oct. 16, 2022.
(USE AS DESIRED) The Philadelphia skyline is reflected in the water of the Cooper River at sunset in Pennsauken Cherry Hill Collingswood Oct. 16, 2022.Read moreTom Gralish / Staff Photographer

    The Morning Newsletter

    Start your day with the Philly news you need and the stories you want all in one easy-to-read newsletter

Welcome to Wednesday. It’s another hot day with a high near 95. Expect a series of storms to roll into the Philadelphia region starting today.

Between 2020 and 2023, the greater Philadelphia region’s population dropped by just 0.2%. But that decline was not felt equally. Our main story takes us through population changes in the suburbs.

And after an Inquirer report shed light on massive delays in the transfer of deeds from the troubled Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office, a local state representative is calling for major reform.

Let’s get into today’s news.

— Paola Pérez (

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The pandemic and the rise of remote jobs altered the way many people work, commute, and live. The impact continues to be felt in population changes across Philadelphia’s suburbs. But there are other factors at play, too, experts say.

Between 2020 and 2023, the combined population in the South Jersey suburbs of Cherry Hill, Evesham, and Mount Laurel increased by more than 6,100, while Lower Bucks County and southeastern Delaware County saw among the steepest drops in people living there, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

🏘️ A driving factor behind those shifts: the development of multi-family housing, planning experts suggest.

🏘️ In the last several years, Bucks and Delaware Counties had some of the fewest new multi-family housing units, while Chester and Montgomery Counties have seen some of the most in the region.

🏘️ From 2020 to 2023, suburban municipalities with higher incomes had stronger population growth than less-affluent municipalities.

How else have the suburban counties’ population totals changed? Dive into this data-centric analysis.

A lawmaker from Northeast Philadelphia is applying pressure for government intervention into the Sheriff’s Office.

State Rep. Jared Solomon said the troubled office continues to be a “train wreck” under the leadership of Sheriff Rochelle Bilal, whom Solomon accuses of “administrative malpractice” that is causing people to “lose faith in all government.” Behind closed doors, staffers have also long expressed their frustration with Bilal’s office.

The Sheriff’s Office has an extensive history of scandal, corruption, and dysfunction. Many leaders have called for its elimination over the years. In order for that to happen, City Council could amend Philadelphia’s Home Rule Charter, or lawmakers in Harrisburg could start impeachment proceedings.

Continue reading on the calls to overhaul the office.

What you should know today

  1. A judge ruled Tuesday that a teenage gunman was not acting in self defense when he shot at members of a rival gang outside of a Delco high school football game in August 2021, setting in motion a series of events that led to the police shooting of 8-year-old Fanta Bility.

  2. Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Philadelphia on Saturday to give a keynote speech at the Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote Presidential Town Hall.

  3. Powerbroker George E. Norcross III entered a not guilty plea Tuesday morning to racketeering charges alleging he illegally muscled rivals out of property deals in Camden to take advantage of millions of dollars in state tax breaks.

  4. Temple University’s board of trustees on Tuesday approved a 4.2% average tuition hike for both in-state and out-of-state students as the school anticipates another year of flat funding from the state.

  5. Temple Health is warning patients they may lose access to their providers as the deadline approaches to reach a new contract with insurer Keystone First for health services for low-income children and families.

  6. The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board must refund tens of millions of dollars to many bars in the state after the state Supreme Court affirmed a decision against the PLCB over its special-order system.

  7. Some Pennsylvania districts could ban cell phone use during the school day under a proposed pilot program if the bill is approved by the House.

  8. A former Philadelphia homicide detective who has long been accused of coercing false confessions is now on trial for perjury.

  9. Philadelphia-born TV star Amber Rose says she’s headed to Milwaukee next week to speak at the Republican National Convention — eight years after hoping Donald Trump wouldn’t be president.

  10. SEPTA’s trolley tunnel is due for its yearly overhaul and will close for 16 days starting Friday. Here’s what to know about the service changes.

🧠 Trivia time

A Wawa mega fan says he stops by the store “three or four times a day.”

What did he do that made him go viral on social media?

A) He got a striking 3D-style tattoo of the Wawa logo on his back

B) He collected every Wawa order slip number from 000 to 999

C) He ate at least one Wawa hoagie at every Pennsylvania location

D) He took a photo in front of every Wawa store in existence

Think you know? Check your answer.

What we’re...

🍨 Scooping: Indian ice cream while visiting these essential Jersey Shore restaurants this summer.

🌱 Viewing: Longwood Gardens’ rare century plant in bloom.

🥂 Bringing: Bubbly to these BYOBs in Philly and the suburbs.

🧩 Unscramble the anagram

New Pennsylvania license plate designs — along with matching highway signs — will host this patriotic phrase to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the country.

Hint: 🔔 + three words


Email us if you know the answer. We’ll select a reader at random to shout out here. Cheers to Marta Solimar who correctly guessed Tuesday’s answer: Frankie Beverly. Jalen Hurts joined the Philly icon onstage at his farewell concert with his band Maze this past weekend.

Photo of the day

That should get you started for the day. Julie will be back in your inbox tomorrow. Have a great one!

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