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🏈 ‘You just can’t help but be giddy’ | Morning Newsletter

🚓 And an MIA police captain

Just before midnight, at Chickie’s & Pete’s in South Phila., Justin Wilfon of Haddonfield celebrates after the Phillies won the best of three series against the St. Louis Cardinals on October 8, 2022.
Just before midnight, at Chickie’s & Pete’s in South Phila., Justin Wilfon of Haddonfield celebrates after the Phillies won the best of three series against the St. Louis Cardinals on October 8, 2022.Read moreElizabeth Robertson / 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

Happy Friday. Expect clear and sunny skies with a high of 68 degrees.

We’re about to enter an epic weekend of Philly sports. I won’t lie and say I follow them religiously, but I do love how they unify the city. The camaraderie is unparalleled. I like getting my morning coffee and hearing “Go Birds” as a greeting that is as interchangeable as “Good morning.”

Our lead story is all about the joy that has infiltrated the Philly region.

— Taylor Allen (@TayImanAllen, morningnewsletter@inquirer.com)

If you live in the region and noticed an uptick in your mood lately, it might be because Philly sports teams are giving you a reason to smile. Sports atheists, you’re probably not immune to the spike in positive feelings, either. Happiness is contagious.

  1. The Phillies are stirring excitement in their first playoff run in more than a decade.

  2. The Eagles are undefeated.

  3. The Union have home-field advantage heading into the playoffs.

It’s true that the excitement and anticipation doesn’t solve global or individual stressors, but their impact on the region’s communal happiness and well-being should not be dismissed, psychology experts say.

And fans have every reason to stay fired up. Postseason baseball is set to make its return at Citizens Bank Park this weekend and the Eagles will face the Cowboys across the street Sunday in primetime.

Notable quote: “Happiness is contagious,” said Eric Zillmer, a clinical psychologist and Drexel University professor who teaches courses on happiness and sports psychology. “That’s the beauty of these events that are happening right now. You just can’t help but be giddy.”

Keep reading to dissect the four qualities of happiness that have been spreading in town since Philly sports team have been winning.

Quick question: You might be a fan but can you top the Phillies fan who flew 3,500 miles to catch today’s game?

What you should know today

  1. Police arrested a second suspect in the Roxborough High School shooting.

  2. More than 2,000 nurses and techs are edging closer to striking at Temple University Hospital.

  3. A federal safety board confirmed that a faulty, corroded pipe caused the massive 2019 Philly refinery explosion.

  4. Philadelphia is extending its eviction diversion program through June 2024.

  5. Local coronavirus numbers: Here’s your daily look at the latest COVID-19 data.

North Philadelphia’s 22nd Police District has seen more violent crimes than any other part of the city so far this year — over 2,800 reported shootings, homicides, gunpoint robberies and assaults.

  1. But the district’s captain, Nashid Akil, is often nowhere in sight. He’s known as an absentee boss and four district police sources told The Inquirer he left a critical leadership void in a department plagued with low morale, staffing shortages, and a surge of gun violence.

  2. Despite this, he might get a promotion.

The Inquirer investigated and found:

  1. On days he was scheduled to work, his city-issued vehicle could often be found parked outside his home, eight miles from the district.

  2. On seven out of eight days when Akil was assigned to work 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. shifts over the past two months, the unmarked police vehicle sat outside his home until at least noon. On three of those days, it didn’t budge during his scheduled hours.

Keep reading to uncover how a Police Department veteran with a spotty record — including a suspension for allegedly physically and verbally abusing a disabled man before illegally arresting him — can climb the ranks to get top jobs.

The University of Pennsylvania has notified several students they will face disciplinary hearings for taking part in protests on campus — including one calling for the university to invest in University Townhomes, a low-income housing complex, whose residents are facing relocation.

  1. At least nine students have received notifications from Penn that they violated university rules and at least one student was scheduled for a disciplinary hearing this week.

  2. Students who received these notifications see this as a an attempt to limit student speech.

A quick refresher: One protest interrupted the university’s freshman convocation ceremony in August, with student activists joining up with the Coalition to Save the UC Townhomes. They called out Penn for what residents and supporters see as gentrification and displacement of West Philadelphia residents in what was once known as the Black Bottom, a neighborhood of primarily Black families.

Keep reading to hear from the students.

What we’re...

📰 Reading: Columnist Jenice Armstrong’s latest, “To Ryan Pownall: You will be forever haunted by your actions.”

💭 Wondering: What’s next after the Jan. 6 panel subpoenaed former president Donald Trump for testimony on the Capitol attack.

🧩 Unscramble the Anagram 🧩

Hint: A heavily tattooed Philly sports fan

BOHR NYPUD

Think you know? Send your guess our way at morningnewsletter@inquirer.com . We’ll give a shout-out to a reader at random who answers correctly. Today’s shout-out goes to Claire Chepurny, who correctly guessed Nightmare Before Tinsel as Thursday’s answer.

Photo of the Day

And that’s it for your Friday. Have a great weekend and my colleague Ashley Hoffman has you covered on Sunday.