Good morning, good people. You’re reading The Inquirer Morning Newsletter, catching you up on all the news that’s fit to email. Today we look at the Philly blocks gun violence has ravaged the most, explore who determines whether a school closes due to COVID cases, and dive into the new Amazon jobs coming to Philly.

— Tommy Rowan (@tommyrowan,

Philly blocks besieged by shootings have long endured poverty, blight, and systemic racism

In Philadelphia, the epidemic of gun violence has been intensely concentrated in just a handful of neighborhoods and several dozen blocks, according to an Inquirer analysis.

There are more than 50 blocks in Philadelphia where 10 or more people have been shot since 2015, and these shootings have left behind a breathtaking level of fear and trauma among a fraction of the city’s residents, nearly all of whom are Black and brown.

As gun violence has reached heights this year, it has continued to disproportionately batter these same communities. So five Inquirer journalists crunched the numbers, sought out perspectives from residents of these blocks, and asked officials how, or if, perpetual violence has informed strategies to reduce the bloodshed.

Read the full report here.

How are schools deciding whether to close due to COVID-19 cases?

Barely three weeks into this academic year four Philadelphia schools are back to virtual learning as coronavirus cases have led to temporary closures.

Which leads to a few important questions: What determines whether a school closes, or classes quarantine, and who gets to decide?

Well ... it depends.

Reporters Maddie Hanna, Sarah Gantz, and Melanie Burney walk readers through the decision-making process.

Reopening resources

What you need to know today

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

Heaven on earth.

Tag your Instagram posts with #OurPhilly, and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature here and give you a shout-out.

That's interesting

😜Frank Stallone, Sly’s brother, quietly loved being the butt of so many of Norm Macdonald’s jokes on Saturday Night Live. Macdonald died earlier this week at the age of 61.

🏈Nearly 700 days later, Widener football returns home to uplifting fans and a sense of normalcy.

🍕Gregorio Fierro, a pizza consultant, has had a hand in some of the region’s best-regarded pizza formulas.

🍻In time for the weekend: Check out the best weekend happy hours in Philly.

⚾As the Phillies’ playoff odds fade, here’s where they stand in a crowded NL wild-card field.


“By refusing vaccination, and then fighting to skip out on COVID-19 testing, these state employees are not only risking their own health. They’re imposing the consequences of their decisions on a vulnerable population,” writes columnist Solomon Jones, pushing for Pennsylvania corrections officers to either get vaccinated or find new jobs.

What we're reading

  • Before COVID, the Uptown Theater in North Philadelphia had a real shot at a revival, writes PhillyMag. But a combination of the pandemic and the death of the theater’s No. 1 champion has threatened that revival. Will the iconic venue have a second act?

  • A 26-year-old Spanish Twitch streamer is scoring interviews with soccer’s biggest stars. He counts Lionel Messi as an admirer, and Gerard Piqué as a business partner. The New York Times wondered why everyone is talking to Ibai Llanos, and considered whether his work might offer a glimpse into the future of sports media.

Photo of the Day

Spectacular, but brief: more strong storms are possible this week.