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Healing the wounds of a life upended | Morning Newsletter

And Philly-area teens are going to save the holidays

Welcome back after the holiday weekend to cold post-Thanksgiving day scraping the low 40s.

Today’s top story is the first in a new series chronicling the lasting effects of being a victim of gun violence in Philadelphia. Three-quarters of shooting victims survive in a city that just tallied its 500th homicide of the year.

Also, we look at Philly-area teens stepping up during a holiday labor shortage. And I’m taking suggestions on your Philly thing to do. Reply and we could feature it in Your Essential Philly on Thursday.

— Kerith Gabriel (@sprtswtr,

Evelyn Langley set out as she did every morning from her Germantown home to catch the bus to work, when a man walked up to her and said, “Hi, I got something for you.”

Then he shot her in the face.

Langley survived. But like so many who have become a statistic in unspeakable gun violence in Philly, her entire life has been upended. “It just tore my life apart,” she says.

Our reporter Anna Orso and photographer Jessica Griffin deliver a remarkable story of strength found amid tragedy.

What you should know today

  1. Philly schools have a serious staffing “crisis” as teacher vacancies and absences are growing.

  2. We talked to residents and business owners about the city ending free holiday parking.

  3. As jury deliberations begin in the trial of ousted Temple dean Moshe Porat, meet the guy who triggered the rankings scandal.

  4. Turnovers doomed the Eagles in a 13-7 road loss to the New York Giants.

  5. A fan of holiday house tours? Expect a bit of a change in the usual programming in a few festive homes this season.

  6. Goalkeeper Andre Blake was the difference in a shootout win that pushed the Union into its first-ever Major League Soccer Eastern Conference final.

  7. Barstool Sports is opening a bar in Center City and we found the likely location.

  8. Local Coronavirus Numbers: Here’s your daily look at the latest COVID-19 data.

No, seriously. Teens are picking up open retail jobs across the region, in line with a national trend of 16- to 19-year-olds entering the workforce in the highest numbers since before the Great Recession.

And they’re excited about it, too.

“This is my first job. I’m really enjoying it,” 15-year-old sophomore Nate McCollum says. “It’s really nice to have money in my pocket. And I’ve met a lot of new people. It’s helped me experience new things. [Plus], everyone’s bored and looking to get out of the house.”

Our reporter Erin Arvedlund has more on this bit of hopeful news just in time for the holiday season.

🧠 Philly Trivia Time 🧠

Fresh off COVID-19 protocols, Sixers star Joel Embiid returned to the court over the weekend and dropped 42 in a crushing double-overtime loss. The team is back tonight to host the Orlando Magic. Today’s question: How many players were on COVID-19 protocols at the same time for the Sixers? Take a guess and check out this story for the answer — as well as Embiid’s thoughts on fighting the virus himself.

Photo of the day

Yep, it’s the holidays. Our photographer Tyger Williams has more from South 13th Street in his festive gallery sure to get you into the holiday spirit.

Thanks for taking time out today, Philly. Until tomorrow...🤟