Happy Sunday, Inquirer Morning Newsletter readers. Here’s what is going on in the region.
Booster shots for COVID-19 are coming, and health leaders in Philadelphia and its suburbs are planning for the rollout. Officials say it’ll be better this time around. That’s for a couple of reasons. First, there will be plenty of vaccine supply for those ready for the booster. Second, an existing infrastructure for distribution will make the process smoother. But some are worried that the extra shot could increase hesitancy.
And here’s everything else you need to know about booster shots, including why they’re recommended and when to get yours.
The week ahead
Hurricane Henri is due to track well off the coast of New Jersey, but the entire Philly region is under a flood watch until Monday morning. Here’s what to expect.
About 200 people went to a concert at Four Seasons Total Landscaping in Philly. Yep, the same place where Rudy Giuliani held his now infamous press conference.
Pennsylvania will hire 100 coronavirus contact tracers to replace 1,000. Experts say it’s not enough.
As college students move in for a new year, some parents and students have concerns about unvaccinated roommates.
Diane Allen was a moderate N.J. Republican. She sounds a bit different running for lieutenant governor.
Real estate agents are warily watching as COVID-19 cases rise, hoping another industry shutdown doesn’t follow.
A Cape May lifeguard, a 16-year-old from Chester County, died from injuries suffered in a boating mishap.
Should the Columbus statue leave Marconi Plaza? We asked two Philadelphians in the latest Pro/Con.
Are we having fun at concerts yet? How concert goers and venues are navigating the new normal.
Mike Richards quit as Jeopardy! host after a report about his past misogynistic comments.
This week’s most popular stories
Behind the story with Dylan Purcell
Each week we go behind the scenes with one of our reporters or editors to discuss their work and the challenges they face along the way. This week we chat with reporter Dylan Purcell about his work on the investigative team.
How would you say the investigative team is different from other desks in the newsroom?
The similarities outweigh the differences. In some cases, the investigative team relies on beat reporters, who can be the first to spot a problem, or share insights that help crack an investigation. Our projects are time-consuming and expensive but lead to quality improvements for the public. It’s not a stretch to say each subscription or donation to our journalism makes a difference.
What are some projects you’ve worked on recently that you’re proud of?
The Inquirer is giving its full attention to the crisis of shootings in Philadelphia. That includes our ongoing series focused on a government that’s been largely ineffective for Black and brown communities most impacted by gun violence. In 2019, we did a series of stories about mass supervision called The Probation Trap. We found a court system piling on lengthy probation sentences that too often set people up for failure. Before that, our Toxic City series on environmental hazards spurred a major effort to protect children and staff from lead and asbestos in Philadelphia’s public schools.
How did you get into data reporting? What makes that different from traditional reporting skills?
Data is my preferred first approach to problem-solving. It’s routine now for most reporters to include some data in stories. Just like interviewing a person, data can tell us what’s broken, what people are experiencing, and how our region is changing.
What is something you wish more readers knew about your job?
Journalists need coffee because we spend more time and lose more sleep than is probably healthy worrying about fact-checking, accuracy and fairness.
What do you do for fun in your free time? What are you looking forward to this year?
Easy. I’m likely over-thinking fantasy football, telling my kids lame dad jokes, or watching The Thing again. I’m looking forward to hoodie weather.
Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly
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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!
How to help Afghan refugees
As Taliban forces continue to take control of Afghanistan, tens of thousands of people are attempting to flee the country and seek refuge in the United States and elsewhere. The U.S. government has plans to settle thousands of refugees coming to the country and Philly is one of a number of cities set to take them in. So, what can you do to help? You can donate money or supplies, or volunteer your time.
Eating: These are the best restaurants for a steak splurge in Philly.
Watching: Four bands, including Green Day and Fall Out Boy, came to Citizens Bank Park. It brought music fans back to the ballpark after last year’s date was rescheduled.
Missing: Joseph’s Pizza in Northeast Philly has closed after 55 years, and Moonstruck has also set its finale.
Exploring: The best free events in the Philly area. Check out our updated list.
Your Daily Dose of | Poetry
A poetry pop-up in West Philly is part of an initiative that seeks to bring art to community spaces. People can request poems be written for them or write their own — including adding to the “West Philly Community Poem.” This is where visitors are welcome to share words on the history and future of the neighborhood.