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Hotel for the holidays | Morning Newsletter

And another wrinkle in Philly’s gun epidemic

    The Morning Newsletter

    Start your day with the Philly news you need and the stories you want all in one easy-to-read newsletter

It’s a cloudy Christmas Eve, but with temperatures nearing the 50s, it should be a pleasant one.

Today we get a glimpse of the holidays for a few Chester County families still bearing the brunt of the devastation brought by Hurricane Ida’s remnants, and still desperately searching for a home of their own.

And what’s fueling Philly’s soaring gun violence? Stolen guns on the streets.

— Kerith Gabriel (@sprtswtr,

For the families still displaced by the remnants of Hurricane Ida, a hotel next to an Exton shopping center has been home. It’s not by choice, but with a shortage of affordable housing in Chester County, they have nowhere else to go.

And long-term hotel life is no picnic. They can’t cook, rooms meant for two are housing families — some of the most vulnerable families in Pennsylvania’s wealthiest county.

Despite all that, they’ve managed to build a community, looking after each other’s kids, sharing meals, and hosting a Christmas party our reporter Ellie Rushing attended. She provides this Christmas Eve glimpse at being in a hotel for the holidays.

What you should know today

  1. Federal authorities charged one man and arrested four other people in the carjacking of U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon.

  2. Modifications continue at many Philly restaurants as COVID-19 cases surge.

  3. There’s a “glaring giant loophole” in disclosures about how City Council spouses get paid.

  4. A Darby Township teacher made a sixth-grade Muslim student kneel and beg for his cell phone. Islamic advocates call the episode “reprehensible.”

  5. Eagles QB Jalen Hurts is a Pro Bowler along with center Jason Kelce and cornerback Darius Slay.

  6. Philly landlords filed fewer eviction notices than anticipated following the end of the federal eviction moratorium.

  7. Is Christmas music just too much around the holidays? Let’s debate.

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

Three overlapping trends are driving the rise of gun violence plaguing city streets:

  1. More gun buyers and owners.

  2. More gun-related arrests.

  3. And perhaps least discussed, more guns being stolen.

The number of stolen firearms last year spiked to its highest level since 2011. Police say reports of stolen guns are up again this year, 9% higher than 2020′s record pace.

Some surprising findings from our investigation include how often people don’t report stolen guns to police and where thieves have had the most success: cars.

Our reporters Mensah M. Dean and Dylan Purcell deliver this investigation of what’s helped fuel a violent year in Philadelphia.

🧠 Philly Trivia Time 🧠

Day by Day, the iconic brunch spot on 21st and Sansom Streets, is closing its doors at the end of the year, citing an irreplaceable aging workforce. It was one of the originators of a brunch-only menu in Philly. Today’s question: Do you know how many years Day by Day served up brunch? Our reporter Michael Klein has the answer and a look back at this Philly establishment.

Photo of the day

Have a great holiday weekend, everyone. We’re pressing pause on our Sunday Morning Newsletter, but I’ll be back Monday with a 2021 year-in-review special edition. My gift to you: a timely reminder of what’s open today for last-minute shoppers like me.