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How Pittsburgh has seen some success tackling overdoses; Pa.'s primary could actually matter this year | Morning Newsletter

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The eyes of the football-loving world will be on Philadelphia tonight as the Birds host old foe Eli Manning (yes, he’s probably starting again) and the New York Giants. Despite last week’s inexplicable loss to Miami, the Eagles still have a chance to win the NFC East.

The Eagles have been hard to predict this season, but a man in the Lehigh Valley makes a living off of his predictions. He sells his predictions on things such as clothing sales and flight delays. We also have articles on how Pittsburgh is seeing some progress in fighting the opioid crisis and why Pennsylvania’s presidential primary could have an impact this spring.

— Josh Rosenblat (@joshrosenblat,

The opioid crisis is “like being in a war. It’s like battle fatigue. Year after year, you work so hard," said the director of an overdose prevention program at a needle exchange in Allegheny County. After a record-breaking year for overdose deaths in the county in 2017, fatal overdoses dropped by more than 40% in 2018.


There isn’t one single reason, according to experts in Pittsburgh and the surrounding communities of Allegheny County. Some point to flooding the county with the overdose-reversing drug naloxone. Others credit drug treatment programs. Doctors are also prescribing fewer opioid painkillers. The area’s hardest-hit locations are being targeted with public health measures, too. In many ways, the plan is similar to Philadelphia’s, but the results, at least so far, have been different.

By the time the Pennsylvania primary rolls around in presidential election years, the candidates from the major parties are typically determined. But when the Keystone State votes on April 28, 2020, things might be different. State Democrats are expecting the primary to play a key role in deciding who will run against President Trump in November.

The reasons have to do with the still wide field of candidates and the party’s nominating process. Rep. Brendan Boyle, a Democrat from Northeast Philadelphia thinks that Pennsylvania “could potentially have six or seven weeks [in the spring] when we are the center of the political universe.”

Here are some of Bill “Captain” Kirk’s predictions (yes, he’s a Star Trek junkie): In March, warm weather will boost shorts sales in Chicago, and flight delays at PHL will be down next year because of less precipitation.

He’s the co-founder of a Lehigh Valley-based company that sells long-range forecasts to retailers and investors and has a list of big-name clients that includes JP Morgan, Coca-Cola, and Walmart. But scientists remain skeptical of the forecasts.

What you need to know today

  1. Sick of reading about the 2020 election? Well, how about Pennsylvania’s 2022 elections? The state will be picking its next governor and Republican Sen. Pat Toomey’s seat is up for election. But at a gathering of many potential candidates, they kept quiet on who’s actually running.

  2. Speaking of Toomey, he defended President Trump on impeachment last week, asking, “Where is the crime?

  3. Hundreds of students and adults gathered at City Hall for a youth-led rally against climate change Friday. Students as young as 6 turned up, and Philadelphia students will not be punished for missing class.

  4. A Pennsylvania state representative has resigned after being charged with stealing $500K from the nonprofit she ran. Inspectors found violations at the homes that the nonprofit looked after, including mouse droppings in a kitchen, bedrooms without proper lighting, holes in walls, and more.

  5. Philadelphia prosecutors want to give a man convicted of two first-degree murders a chance at parole. But one victim’s family says he should stay behind bars.

  6. After taking over control of Delco’s County Council following more than 150 years of GOP rule, Democrats are looking to install a crowd-sourced agenda as they transition to power.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

“Giant vape pen.” 🤣 That’s pretty good. My colleague Inga Saffron, our architecture critic, wrote in January that the Comcast Technology Center’s top “resembles a vulgar hand gesture or looks more like a cigarette being extracted from its box.” Anyways, great shots @dkrevolin!

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. 2019 is racing to a close, but before the year ends, we have a few tips that could help you save on your tax bill.

  2. Popeye the peacock was the mascot of a small New Jersey community. Then the unthinkable happened: Someone shot the multicolored bird. The community is trying to recover.

  3. In tonight’s matchup between the Eagles and Giants, the Birds’ franchise QB will have to step up. It might be time for Carson Wentz to get some of the tough love that his coaching staff appears not to be giving him.

  4. My colleague and Inquirer food critic Craig LaBan had jury duty, but he still found time to eat (of course). Can you all figure out where?

  5. These new-look Flyers are on hot, proving that a team that laughs together wins together. If you can’t get enough of the Flyers, you can sign up for our newsletter covering the team, which launches in January.

  6. The Free Library has a $1 million auto archive that’s moving to Philly’s world-famous car museum and to an attraction in Hershey.


“How do you persuade people who have soured on democracy to give it another go? Their teachers have to remind them that it has accomplished wonders and that it can do so again.” — writes Jonathan Zimmerman, who teaches education and history at Penn, about how educators can help future generations embrace democracy in ways millennials have not.

  1. Philadelphia and the Northeast U.S. could lose their seasons to climate change. Rachel Valletta, an environmental scientist at the Franklin Institute, writes about ways we can keep our seasons and avoid some of the potentially dangerous consequences of climate change.

  2. Why is Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood extra vulnerable to violence? The Inquirer’s Abraham Gutman writes that the city’s racist past policies shaped the area.

What we’re reading

  1. Philadelphia magazine writes that this city is the worst place to open a restaurant. The reason: It comes down to booze.

  2. A lot of people can run a loop on a 4.167-mile track. But imagine running that same track over and over and over again. Sports Illustrated tells the story of an ultra marathon where runners do just that, and the last competitor still running wins the race.

  3. It might be a little early in the day for tears, but this is the best love story you’ll read today. The New York Times writes about the reunion of two lovers who first met 72 years ago at Auschwitz concentration camp. One of them ended up settling in Philadelphia and, later, Levittown.

Your Daily Dose of | The UpSide

Michael Goldstein and his twin brother Bruce inherited their father’s full-service auto-repair shop in Nicetown. But there was an issue: It was an “eyesore.” Then, Michael learned about a city program that could help him beautify the shop and attract more business, which pushed him to stop kicking the can down the road on improvements.