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What’s next for Wawa | Morning Newsletter

And school safety officers stretched thin

It’s Monday morning, which for many across the region means a pilgrimage to Wawa to start the day. And to keep up with the future of shopping, the Delco-based convenience store chain is ramping up plans to make ordering easier for customers.

From more drive-through windows to self-checkout kiosks and on-demand delivery, the future of your favorite order could get much (wait for it) — shorti.

And we take a look at a shortage of resources for Philly’s school police. All this during a gun violence crisis, so what does it mean for schools and student safety?

Let us know what you think of today’s email by sending me one back.

— Kerith Gabriel (@sprtswtr,

Imagine going to your local Wawa, searching for your name, and grabbing the order you just placed through your smartphone. Or, instead of fighting for parking out front, you can pull up to a drive-through.

All of that is not as much a question of if, but rather when it will happen, as Wawa says it’s no longer competing with just other brick-and-mortar convenience stores, but also the Gopuffs of the world.

Our reporter Christian Hetrick takes a look at what’s next for this local business institution.

While Philly police have stepped up patrols near schools, district safety officers say they’re lacking the manpower to keep students safe. Several district safety officers — formerly known as school police — say they don’t have the resources to protect students or themselves.

Besides breaking up fights and other disturbances, officers are increasingly having to deal with parents and students’ family members who bring disputes to school and threaten staff members.

“There’s a lot of gun situations, people coming up to the school,” one veteran officer said. “We’ve got parents who are jumping out of cars and acting the fool, and we can’t protect ourselves.”

Our reporter Kristen A. Graham examines what’s being done to keep a potential crisis at bay.

What you should know

  1. Former Temple dean Moshe Porat heads to court this week to face federal fraud charges stemming from a college rankings scandal.

  2. The Eagles and Chargers had a close game, but the defense faltered in the end and Los Angeles won on a field goal.

  3. The market for standby power generators is soaring during the pandemic, which made power interruptions more than a minor inconvenience for millions of families working from home.

  4. Smith Memorial Playground got a $25,000 donation from a service organization for professional women of African descent that got its start in the city.

  5. A new esports start-up in Center City gives Philly gamers of all types space to play.

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

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

This shot isn’t from last night’s sky over Philly, but it’s essentially a carbon copy. Thanks, @phillyfaddist for the reminder. Have a pic you’d like to share? Use #OurPhilly.

That’s interesting

💉 Temple students might have discovered how to overcome vaccine hesitancy among Philly’s high schoolers: getting to their parents.

🏀 I kinda love that Philly hooper and Maryland standout Donta Scott didn’t even know who Michael Jordan was.

🎙️ If there was a Mr. Pennsylvania Award, this 95-year-old yodeler would win.


“This gives me hope, something I haven’t felt for a long time. Every parent who fought for a spot on Day 1 gives me hope that someday, maybe soon, I can start living my life with less vigilance,” Alison McCook writes of her decision to get her kids vaccinated on Day 1.

  1. You’re going to love this story of the Philly neighbors who fought for their right to host a block party.

  2. And this South Jersey writer and avid concert-goer grapples with the anxiety of heading back out to concert venues with COVID-19 still a concern.

What we’re...

  1. Floored by: Our own Joseph N. DiStefano’s account of someone with his identity trying to steal his money. Find out whether these savvy bank tellers got involved in time.

  2. Putting on our calendars: This roundup of the 15 best concerts heading to Philly next year.

  3. Reading: Philadelphia Weekly has an interesting look at how Big Rental is taking over the market, leaving mom-and-pop landlords and renters alike hurting for affordable housing.

Photo of the day

This photo makes for a fantastic start to the week. For more from yesterday’s parade, our photographer Monica Herndon has this gallery.

Have a great day, everyone. 👋🏾