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❤️ The man who met his own heart | Morning Newsletter

And with cars, what’s $1 trillion really going to change?

    The Morning Newsletter

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

Welcome to what’s forecast to be a mild Wednesday across the region with temperatures reaching into the 60s.

Today’s top story is one we’ve been excited to drop because, frankly, it’s a bit unbelievable. Imagine going to a museum to visit your own heart. Wild, right? On display at Philly’s Mütter Museum is the oversize heart of a man who had a rare condition that was quietly killing him until an old friend-turned-cardiologist saw him decades later and knew right away something was different.

Also, now that President Joe Biden’s $1 trillion infrastructure bill has been signed, how transformative is it really? We take a look.

— Kerith Gabriel (@sprtswtr,

On the outside, Robert Pendarvis just looked like a massive man. Someone described shaking his hands as like “shaking hands with a bunch of bananas.” His stature was impressive.

But it was also abnormal.

Pendarvis had what’s known as acromegaly, the same hormone condition that felled Andre the Giant. And if it wasn’t for a high school friend, Pendarvis might have met a similar fate.

Now Pendarvis’ heart is on display at the Mütter Museum. As for Pendarvis, he’s alive and well after a heart transplant. And he even got a chance to visit his old ticker. Our reporter Tom Avril dives into this rare condition through the remarkable man who survived it.

What you should know today

  1. Philly School Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. says students will “most likely” keep wearing face masks after the state’s mask order expires.

  2. A witness testified yesterday in the trial of former Temple dean Moshe Porat that he told an employee to “keep a lid on” the initial report of ranking errors.

  3. Hunger, filth, constant danger. Inmates explain what life is like on the inside of Philly’s prison system.

  4. Longtime labor leader John “Johnny Doc” Dougherty resigned as head of the IBEW Local 98 after being convicted of federal bribery charges.

  5. The Mummers will be strutting their stuff down Broad Street on New Year’s Day.

  6. Center City’s historic Arch Street Methodist Church is in drastic need of repairs to the tune of $5 million.

  7. Legendary 6ABC anchor Jim Gardner sits atop the pantheon of Philly media, writes media exec Larry Ceisler in this op-ed.

  8. Penn Medicine suggests its COVID-19 text bot kept a few people from getting seriously ill at the height of the pandemic.

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

Part of President Biden’s massive trillion-dollar plan to “Build Back America” has an emphasis on the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, replete with crumbling bridges and unsafe roads.

But while the massive law is a historic achievement in a time of toxic partisanship, transit advocates and environmentalists say it doesn’t solve for the fundamental emphasis on cars, an embed in federal transportation policy.

The argument is also embedded in dollars:

  1. 💰 $110 billion: The amount in approved spending for highways, roads and bridges.

  2. 🤑 $85 billion: The amount Biden initially proposed to improve America’s public transit.

  3. 💸 $39 billion: The amount that cleared for public transit in order to get the proposal passed through the Senate.

Our reporter Thomas Fitzgerald with more on what this money might actually change and what unfortunately will remain status quo.

🧠 Philly Trivia Time 🧠

He might play, he might not. But for every day he’s not with the team on their six-game road trip, Sixers star Ben Simmons will rack up hefty fines. Think you know how much? I’ll give you a hint: It’s a LOT. Take a guess and then check out this piece from Sixers beat writer Keith Pompey, who has the correct answer.

Photo of the day

Make a point to get outside today. As always, thanks for reading. ✌️