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Cocaine and meth use on the rise in Philly; It’s going to hit 90 degrees tomorrow | Morning Newsletter

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A woman shows an Inquirer reporter and photographer crystal meth near Kensington and Allegheny Avenues, a street corner known to be at the center of the opioid epidemic in Philadelphia.
A woman shows an Inquirer reporter and photographer crystal meth near Kensington and Allegheny Avenues, a street corner known to be at the center of the opioid epidemic in Philadelphia.Read moreJESSICA GRIFFIN / 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 October in Philadelphia, where we’re going to have record-breaking heat tomorrow 🙄. And, across the state, mixing drugs has become a phenomenon. Stimulants like meth and cocaine seem to be on the rise. Combined with the current opioid crisis, it makes creating a treatment strategy even more difficult.

— Josh Rosenblat (@joshrosenblat,

Fatal overdoses involving cocaine and methamphetamine rose dramatically between 2016 and 2017 in Philadelphia and stayed mostly stable in 2018. And as the city battles an opioid epidemic, mixing drugs has become a statewide phenomenon.

That can make drug treatment complicated. The treatments for the two types of drugs are very different, with opioid medication helping with cravings and treatment for stimulants focusing more on behaviors, according to the medical director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Poison Center.

Hybrid and all-electric cars have become cheaper and their batteries have become longer-lasting. Plus, Pennsylvania offers up to $1,500 in rebates to people who buy the cars. Still, the state falls behind in the adoption of electric vehicles.

In interviews with The Inquirer, owners of electric cars say they’re largely happy with them. Advocates, however, say that word-of-mouth endorsements aren’t really going to move the needle. There are steps the state can take to try to increase electric car sales and buy-in from electric utilities could help, too.

Brian O’Neill, a Republican who has repped Northeast Philly for 40 years, says that he prioritizes immediate neighbors’ concerns when evaluating development proposals.

Now facing one of the toughest reelection challenges of his career, O’Neill is doubling down on his control of zoning issues in the 10th District. “I ran in large part on zoning abuses that were going on prior to my election in ’80 and how wealthy developers not from the area were inundating neighborhoods with stuff that didn’t belong there,” he said. “I consider myself the equalizer in this.”

What you need to know today

  1. 🌡️Temps are going to be in the 90s tomorrow. Yes. That’s correct. And yes, it’s October.🌡️

  2. Damaged asbestos discovered within the shared campus of Benjamin Franklin High School and Science Leadership Academy will shut down the building for a couple days, officials said last night.

  3. An Upper Darby construction company has been tied to a FBI probe into fraud at SEPTA. The investigation focuses on some SEPTA managers who allegedly misused the transit agency’s credit cards, sources told The Inquirer.

  4. A Philadelphia councilmember sparked a Facebook firestorm after sharing an article from a far-right website about a Democratic presidential candidate’s support of gender-confirmation surgery.

  5. Montgomery County voters and poll workers had a number of issues with new paper ballots. Officials think they have a plan to make everything run smoother.

  6. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker hit his self-imposed fund-raising goal late Sunday, meaning that he will stay in the presidential race, for now.

  7. Red meat’s bad for you. Wait. Maybe it’s not so bad. A new study will probably just confuse us more.

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

Really cool perspective on this shot, @skinniry!

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

  1. Do you think Gabe Kapler should stay? Actually, it doesn’t matter because apparently one person holds Kapler’s fate. And unless you own the Phillies, it’s not you.

  2. Federal prosecutors in Pennsylvania are looking into scammers selling fake tickets to concerts and Eagles games.

  3. A Philly artist is starting a high-profile residency in Harlem this week (and they’ll bring their alter-ego along, too).

  4. When people say you look young for your age, is that really a compliment?

  5. The Flyers’ new coach Alain Vigneault will get the chance to deliver something to Philly that Flyers fans haven’t seen since 1975.

  6. Does your employer give you time off for community service? It’s a growing trend as companies are eclipsing churches as a source for volunteers.


“But censoring speech will always end up harming the people whom it aims to protect. Yes, you should raise your voice against racism. Yet when you try to restrict what others can say, racial minorities will suffer.” — Jonathan Zimmerman, an education and history teacher at Penn, writes about universities allowing racist speech on campus.

  1. With recent moves, Harrisburg is leading Pennsylvania backward on gun violence, The Inquirer Editorial Board writes.

  2. Pat Chrismas, the policy director for the Committee of Seventy, has some questions for City Council about new land bank proposals.

What we’re reading

  1. Did you know that you can walk 10 blocks using underground walkways to get from 8th and Market Streets to the Comcast Center? Billy Penn maps it out.

  2. California now has a law that would allow “college athletes to be compensated for the commercial use of their identities.” Sports Illustrated outlines what that could mean for the NCAA.

  3. NPR has a story on how the U.S. hacked ISIS.

Your Daily Dose of | Chicken thighs and Mashed Yuca 😋

Chef José Luis Reynoso and Ana Roque have taken their Dominican-European fusion cooking from a YouTube channel to in-person cooking classes to, eventually, a food truck. But it hasn’t been an easy road.