Hello, loyal readers of The Inquirer Morning Newsletter.
First: As U.S. overdose deaths soar, Rhode Island legalized supervised injection sites, but Philly’s effort remains in limbo.
Then: Pennsylvania’s 2022 Senate candidates just filed new fund-raising reports. Here’s what the money tells us.
And: Pennsylvania requested $340 million in emergency contracts in 2020 with little oversight.
— Olayemi Falodun (email@example.com)
Rhode Island’s decision to allow sites where people in addiction can use drugs safely has sparked new optimism that momentum for the movement may be building despite Philadelphia’s own stalled bid to open a supervised injection site.
The facilities, where medical workers can revive those who overdose and connect people to treatment, already exist in dozens of countries.
In the wake of the highest overdose death toll the country has ever seen — 93,000 in 2020, a 30% rise from the year before — advocates say that the need for sites that studies have shown decrease fatal overdoses is more urgent than ever.
But in Philly, the efforts remain in limbo, Aubrey Whelan reports.
Pennsylvania’s top two Democratic hopefuls for U.S. Senate have outpaced the fund-raising of the top three Republican candidates, according to their latest reports.
None of the Republican hopefuls in the nationally watched contest cracked $600,000 in donations for the quarter that ended June 30. By comparison, three Democrats either in the race or likely to join were near or above the $1 million mark, led by Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s $2.5 million haul.
As the race intensifies, reporter Jonathan Tamari explains what the fund-raising reports show.
What you need to know today
A probe this week by state lawmakers will explore the urgency and validity of $340 million emergency contracts procured last year during the pandemic.
Families hit hardest by the pandemic are also struggling the most with medical bills, according to a new report by the Commonwealth Fund.
Catholics welcomed the return of in-person Mass with COVID-19 precautions in place.
Travelers vented frustrations over the permanent closing of the PreFlight Airport Parking long-term lot on Sunday, while the economy lot also remains closed.
There are delays yet again on construction to convert five lanes on South Philly’s Washington Avenue to three driving lanes, two parking lanes, and two bicycle lanes.
Through your eyes | #OurPhilly
You have to keep your head up to see the bright spots. Thanks for sharing.
Tag your Instagram posts with #OurPhilly, and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature here and give you a shout-out.
🥊 Meet the 16-year-old from North Philly who’s rising quickly among the amateur boxing ranks.
🎸 Check out the new tunes from some notable artists bringing out the summer vibes.
“Instead of shying away from the homicide conversation, I’d love to see the left take ownership of it. That means a) making sure people know the facts about crime in America and b) taking the lead on pushing solutions that will bring real public safety to urban neighborhoods, rather than ducking, and allowing conservatives to repeat the insanity of the same over-policing and mass-incarceration regimes that have failed us for so long,” columnist Will Bunch writes.
Rachel Sumekh, founder and CEO of Swipe Out Hunger, and national advocacy fellow Haley Schusterman, write about the state public institutions of higher education providing students direct financial assistant to afford food and textbooks.
Physician Leigh Finnegan stresses that it’s time to mandate the HPV vaccination for school attendance, on the heels of the COVID-19 inoculation campaign.
What we're reading
About 100 people came together in West Philadelphia to voice their opposition to the razing of the Carousel House, which is Philly’s only recreation center designed for people with disabilities. Billy Penn reports on their push to repair and reopen the center.
Get familiar with the Berks County company behind Team USA gymnasts’ uniform for the Tokyo Olympics. Philly Voice takes you inside Reading-based GK Elite.
The cost and risks of pursuing a master’s degree don’t put elite schools in a favorable light, Slate reports.
CNN reports on how a $3 million grant is helping to preserve Black cultural sites.
Your daily dose of | Riverside dining
The appeal of the Landing Kitchen in Bala Cynwyd is what the riverside dining spot serves up for curious patrons. The all-day cafe features a number of tasty dishes highlighted by local flavors. Restaurant critic and columnist Craig LaBan offers a sample of the eatery.