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How Elizabeth Warren became a liberal firebrand; Delco prison chief to retire after Inquirer/Caucus investigation | Morning Newsletter

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 This 1976 photo provided by Sen. Elizabeth Warren's campaign shows her with her parents, Pauline and Donald Herring, and daughter, Amelia, at her Rutgers Law graduation in Newark N.J. (Elizabeth Warren campaign via AP)
This 1976 photo provided by Sen. Elizabeth Warren's campaign shows her with her parents, Pauline and Donald Herring, and daughter, Amelia, at her Rutgers Law graduation in Newark N.J. (Elizabeth Warren campaign via AP)Read moreElizabeth Warren Campaign (custom credit) / AP

Today, we’re talking about change, and lots of it, like how Elizabeth Warren shifted from a conservative at Rutgers to the forefront of some of the most liberal politics. Or, how Philly’s weather can snap from 66 degrees on Monday to a possibility of snow on Tuesday and record cold on Wednesday. (Yes, really. ☃️)

And, following an Inquirer investigation into his allegedly racist and abusive behavior, the superintendent of Delaware County’s privately-owned jail is stepping down from his job.

— Oona Goodin-Smith (@oonagoodinsmith,

Decades before Elizabeth Warren came to call herself a Democrat — let alone a liberal firebrand promising “big, structural change” — she was a young mother who identified as a “political conservative” at Rutgers Law School.

In fact, according to many of her former classmates, it was the 2020 presidential contender’s time at Rutgers in North Jersey and later, University of Pennsylvania, that influenced the politics she now embraces.

Through interviews with more than a dozen of Warren’s classmates, teachers, colleagues, and students, along with a review of yearbooks, Penn archives, and Warren’s legal writing, reporter Jonathan Tamari shows how the schools influenced and offered early glimpses of defining traits Warren now uses to drive a campaign around big and politically risky policy plans.

Days after The Inquirer and the Caucus released a report detailing allegations of racist and abusive behavior by John A. Reilly Jr., the superintendent of Delaware County’s jail, Reilly told county officials he plans to retire from the post he’s held since 2008.

Some of the allegations against Reilly include calling black corrections officers by the N-word in front of senior staffers, referring to Latino workers as “tacos,” and once saying he hoped a pregnant female employee would have a child with birth defects.

In an interview last week, Reilly denied the assertions.

More than a month after HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College eliminated mental health counseling across its five campuses, there is still confusion about how students can access care. And a Spotlight PA review of the list of resources being given to students found outdated phone numbers and providers with long wait times.

For one student, the lack of resources almost meant the difference between life and death.

What you need to know today

  1. An 11-year-old boy was fatally shot in the chest by his older brother in Overbrook Monday, making him at least the fifth child killed by gunfire in Philadelphia in the last month.

  2. Delaware County has a new district attorney, and he says a criminal investigation into the reported violence at Glen Mills Schools is a “top priority.”

  3. He’s pleaded not guilty to the federal charges against him and said that he intends to keep Philadelphia City Council’s No. 2 job. But Council Majority Leader Bobby Henon may face a fight in keeping his leadership position.

  4. A Catholic high school in South Jersey is under scrutiny after allegations that two football players got barely a wrist slap for what some claim amounted to a sexual threat against a female student.

  5. For the most part, last week’s election went pretty smoothly in Philadelphia — even with the introduction of thousands of new voting machines. But it’s in the 2020 election that the new system will face its true test.

  6. The Eagles have signed Brandon Brooks to a four-year, $56.2 million contract extension, making him the highest-paid guard in the NFL.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

Now, there’s a bit of light in the darkness. 🌌Thanks for the photo, @westofbroad.

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. Cape May wasn’t just a place that Harriet Tubman visited. The Shore town was also an epicenter of the abolitionist movement in the Northeast. Now, its community is raising money for a museum paying homage to Tubman and her story.

  2. For the first time in more than 80 years, the Met Philadelphia is adding opera back into its repertoire.

  3. Is old farm equipment on lawns part of rural Pennsylvania’s charm — or just junk? In Highland Township, it depends on whom you ask.

  4. So you want to cut down on using plastic bags, but making the switch to reusable options isn’t always as simple as it sounds. Reporter Grace Dickinson offers eight strategies to making the eco-friendly transition stick.

  5. Before his art career gained steam, Jimmy McMenamin honed his graffiti technique by tagging freight trains in New Jersey. These days, he’s considered one of the Philadelphia region’s premier muralists.


“Like the ugly American tourist convinced a foreigner will understand him if only he speaks English louder, Bloomberg somehow thinks his luminescence will cause voters concerned about Biden’s health at age 76 to turn to him at age 77, and that a party base wary of Biden’s past politicking on behalf of big-bank billionaires will somehow fall in love with an actual billionaire.” Columnist Will Bunch on Michael Bloomberg’s potential run for president.

  1. In the Philadelphia region and throughout the country, the Republican party has lost touch with suburban voters, writes the President and CEO of the Republican Main Street Partnership.

  2. The Inquirer Editorial Board asks: Will Philadelphia’s Delaware Water Front become the Delaware Wawa Front?

What we’re reading

  1. A new, online tool illustrates the toll gun violence takes on Philly, Billy Penn reports.

  2. Mister Rogers’ unconditional love seemed to know no bounds, and even extended to a cynical journalist-turned-lifelong-friend. But, that journalist wonders in The Atlantic, what would Pennsylvania’s kindest native son make of the world today?

  3. Far, far away from Area 51, scientists have their sights set on these deep sea creatures who may offer a first look at alien life, National Geographic explains.

Your Daily Dose of | Natural beauty

The Pinelands are picture-perfect, and these 2019 photography contest winners prove it.