Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

North Philly student blazes improbable path to Oxford; Big Marijuana has a big day in Pa. | Morning Newsletter

All the local news you need to know to start your day, delivered straight to your email.

Hazim Hardeman, right, and his mother, Gwendolyn, sit for a portrait outside their West Philadelphia apartment on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018. Hazim Hardeman is Temple University's first Rhodes Scholar.
Hazim Hardeman, right, and his mother, Gwendolyn, sit for a portrait outside their West Philadelphia apartment on Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018. Hazim Hardeman is Temple University's first Rhodes Scholar.Read moreTIM TAI / Staff Photographer / TIM TAI / Staff Photographer

    The Morning Newsletter

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

Everyone loves a good story, and Hazim Hardeman, the Temple grad who became the school’s first Rhodes scholar, has one for the ages. The journey from his North Philadelphia neighborhood to Oxford, England, has twists, turns, and a happy ending. Reporter Susan Snyder’s two-part deep-dive into his past and present is full of hope and perseverance. For others, getting through college can be a much different story. In Ivy League schools, including Penn and Princeton, students with mental illness are claiming discrimination.

Reading this online? Sign up here to get this newsletter delivered to your inbox every morning.

— Aubrey Nagle (@aubsn,

Last year, Temple University graduate Hazim Hardeman was named the school’s first-ever Rhodes scholar, one of just 32 students chosen nationally.

Many of his peers come from Ivy League degrees and privileged backgrounds. But Hardeman’s road to the scholarship from his North Philadelphia neighborhood was much more unlikely, and he wants others to follow his path,

Across the Atlantic, he’s now settled into Oxford where he’s carving his own space at the school and confronting its fraught legacy.

A new report from a disability-inclusion foundation claims Ivy League schools, including the University of Pennsylvania and Princeton University, are discriminating against students with mental illness.

The report alleges the schools are forcing students to leave campus against their will and without medical justification via leave of absence policies that exacerbate the college mental-health crisis.

Good news for medical marijuana patients: Pennsylvania’s Department of Health awarded 23 new permits to cannabis companies Tuesday, doubling the number of marijuana dispensaries that it will allow to set up shop.

Each permit allows a company to operate three retail storefronts. When all the dispensaries are open the state will have 150 shops, including Center City’s first cannabis retailer.

But Tuesday’s announcement was also good news for Big Marijuana, as many of the permit winners were national outlets seeking to expand their footprints.

What you need to know today

  1. The Trump Foundation, President Trump’s charity, has reached a deal to dissolve amid a lawsuit alleging he misused its funds for personal and political ends. 

  2. The Trump administration is moving to officially ban bump stocks, devices which allow semi-automatic weapons to fire like automatic ones, under a law that prohibits machine guns. 

  3. The 31-year-old man charged Monday with fatally shooting his 24-year-old girlfriend in front of her newborn daughter Friday was once arrested and accused of assaulting the woman, court records show.

  4. In his first act of clemency in more than two years, Gov. Tom Wolf has ordered a Chester County man, who had been sentenced to 125 years in prison on drug charges, freed Tuesday. 

  5. Atlantic City is pageant-waving goodbye to the Miss America Organization. The troubled competition is shopping around for a new home after A.C. decided to end its funding.

  6. Center City District and Project HOME announced a new campaign to raise awareness of homelessness Tuesday. Its ads will include information about where people can access services and housing.  

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

Are you talking about the Grinch or SEPTA, @stylephilly? 🤔

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

That’s Interesting

  1. Do you like your cookies sparkly? Be sure to read the label on that decorative glitter: the FDA is warning bakers to check that the products you’re using are really edible. 

  2. Adam McKay, the Oscar-winning writer-director and Malvern native, is picking up award nominations once again for his new film, Vice. He credits Philly as the place where he fell in love with film. 

  3. If St. Nick Foles can rally the Eagles over their next two games, it will be a marvelous story. But columnist Mike Sielski warns it will be a short one as Foles is unlikely to stay with the Eagles

  4. After a tumultuous few weeks, the Flyers called up 20-year-old goalie Carter Hart for Tuesday’s match against the Red Wings. He’s now the youngest goalie in Flyers history to win his NHL debut.

  5. The chefs of Spice Finch, a Mediterranean-inspired restaurant that critic Craig LaBan gave three bells, are sharing their favorite Christmas recipes, from roast duck to shrimp cocktail. Lucky you.

  6. It’s National Signing Day, which means the top high school athletes in our region will be announcing which colleges they’ll soon attend. All day we’ll have updates on where Southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey athletes are headed.


“Maybe then we’ll finally move beyond this point. Maybe then we won’t be bogged down in reports and recommendations while in the real world, a generation of mostly young black men is gunned down on our streets.” — Columnist Helen Ubiñas on a report on the city’s violence prevention programs that may tap your inner Grinch.

  1. The U.S. government may not be acting to abate carbon emissions, but state and local governments can take action to tackle the problem, writes former senior vice president at The World Bank Vinod Thomas.

  2. Better mental health care is possible in Philadelphia, including innovative treatments, as long as there is proper financial support and the political will, writes writer and editor Alicia B. Grimaldi.

What we’re reading

  1. Philly’s “small landlords” may get help for repairs through new loans made possible by the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, according to WHYY’s latest report.

  2. Those traveling around Philly over the holidays might want to take a peek at Billy Penn’s guide to eating at every I-95 exit in the city. It’s true food for thought.

  3. If you’re thinking of popping the question in a big way, Philadelphia Magazine has the scoop on how to do it on a Jumbotron at a Philly sports game. (Just, for everyone’s sake, make sure they’re going to say yes first.)

  4. Movie buffs will want to take a spin through the most difficult special effects filmmakers have ever pulled off, from Game of Thrones to Star Wars, thanks to Vulture.

  5. Do you remember Jem and the Holograms? Strangely enough, the colorful eighties cartoon still has a huge following, and an international one to boot, reports Rolling Stone. 

A Daily Dose of | Swag

Could your dog pull of a purple mohawk? Pet groomer Rahanna Gray is turning Philly pooches into rock stars.