Skipping the salutations this morning, Philly. It’s too hot for that. Stay cool out there. Today, we have a profile of Helen Gym, the uber-popular city councilperson who has enjoyed an unprecedented rise as a leading progressive figure in Philadelphia. The Phillies finally won last night, ending their losing streak at seven games. And, 10 Philadelphia police recruits resigned after admitting to cheating on an open-book test.

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Helen Gym has risen from rabble-rousing public school activist to the city’s most noted progressive force. How? Well, she credits the major movements she has been a part of since she was first elected to City Council in 2015 — taking on issues like scheduling for city restaurant and hotel workers, immigration and renter’s rights, and drinking water safety.

Some critics express that Gym just finds the movements already getting the most attention.

Regardless, her popularity can’t be disputed. In the 2019 Democratic primary for reelection, Gym didn’t just win. It was a historic performance. Her 108,604 votes won her 56 of the city’s 66 wards. She was the first Democratic at-large Council candidate since the 1980s to earn more than 100,000 votes in a primary.

The Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery — where last week’s fiery explosion burned — has long been the city’s biggest polluter. And it’s also struggled financially. Just last spring, its owners came out of bankruptcy.

Local and federal investigators began their work at the refinery yesterday while the extent and cost of the damage remain unclear.

What is known is that Philadelphia Energy Solutions’ cash balance has fallen over the past six months, according to quarterly reports. In simple terms: the owner may not have the money to finance the cost of replacing the equipment that was destroyed in last week’s fire.

The school is arguing that the closure would violate its academic agreement with Hahnemann to train medical students and residents there, and would also “greatly disrupt the health and medical community in Philadelphia.”

In April, Joel Freedman, who controls Hahnemann and its parent, warned that he might close the hospital because it was running out of cash. In the past year, layoffs have impacted staffs at both Hahnemann and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. In the suit, Drexel criticizes Freedman’s management style.

The suit also seeks millions of dollars Drexel says it is owed for services by its physicians at Hahnemann.

What you need to know today

  • President Donald Trump signed an executive order yesterday that targeted Iran’s supreme leader and his associates with financial sanctions. It’s another step in the United States’ attempt to discourage Iran from developing nuclear weapons and supporting militant groups.
  • A high-ranking official in the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office says in a lawsuit that Sheriff Jewell Williams encouraged him to kill himself four years ago and offered guidance “on how to properly do it.”
  • A new report looking at the traffic congestion in Center City tried to quantify how much the brutal traffic is costing the city. Here’s what it found: people using Philadelphia’s Center City streets spend nearly 10 million hours sitting in traffic per year, costing over $150 million a year in time value and transportation costs.
  • Ten Philadelphia police recruits have resigned after they admitted to cheating on an open-book test. One recruit reported another for trying to distribute some type of answer key to his classmates the day before an early-June test on vehicle code law, according to a Philadelphia police captain.
  • The streak is finally over, folks. Last night, the Phillies throttled the Mets, 13-7, snapping a seven-game losing streak that stirred questions about Gabe Kapler’s job security and whether the team will act as a buyer or a seller at the trade deadline in five weeks.
  • The highlights from the $34 billion budget deal Pennsylvania lawmakers reached yesterday: millions more for public education, but no minimum-wage increase.

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

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That’s Interesting


Plastic Island
Steve Sack/The Minneapolis Star-Tribune
Plastic Island

“One day, we’ll realize that just because, by accident of birth, you are penniless and poverty-stricken, that doesn’t mean you are a throwaway. That you don’t still having meaning, or you don’t still need help.” An 80-year-old reader said in a voicemail to columnist John Baer about Pennsylvania’s General Assistance cash grants.

What we’re reading

  • Towns in Atlantic County want residents to beautify the raised portions of their homes. For one woman in Ventnor, a new mural became an important part of her grieving process, WHYY reports.
  • The South Philly Review has the story on why this month’s graduation ceremony at an 80-year-old Passyunk Square nursery school may end up being its last.
  • With the Brazil national team’s loss to France in the World Cup this weekend, we have quite possibly seen the final World Cup match for Brazilian soccer legend Marta. Over her illustrious career, Marta “gave girls permission to dream about becoming something no one had ever seen,” The New Yorker’s Louisa Thomas writes.
Left: The Swoop head that was swiped from a Philadelphia-themed dive bar in London. Right: Items left behind by the alleged perpetrators now decorate the establishment.
Passyunk Avenue bar
Left: The Swoop head that was swiped from a Philadelphia-themed dive bar in London. Right: Items left behind by the alleged perpetrators now decorate the establishment.

Your Daily Dose of | A Stolen Head

A Philly-themed bar in London has been robbed of a key part of its identity: Swoop’s head.