Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

SEPTA’s role in the U.S.-China trade war; What’s next for a supervised injection site? | Morning Newsletter

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

Donald and Maureen Wall are photographed in front of the Chester Co. Hospital in West Chester, Pa. Tuesday, October 1, 2019.
Donald and Maureen Wall are photographed in front of the Chester Co. Hospital in West Chester, Pa. Tuesday, October 1, 2019.Read moreJOSE F. MORENO / 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

The Eagles finished the weekend on a high note yesterday, notching a win over the New York Jets. Despite what ended up being a pretty easy victory, it wasn’t necessarily the prettiest performance. But hey, a win’s a win.

In other news to start your week, we’ve got stories on how SEPTA is embroiled in the U.S.-China trade war, a couple who has struggled to get federal help as they battle cancer and homelessness in Chester County, and the temporary closure of a Philly school building due to asbestos issues. Scroll down further to learn about the world of competitive meat judging. (Yes, it’s a real thing.)

— Josh Rosenblat (@joshrosenblat,

Maureen and Don Wall once owned a house where they raised two children. Now, they stay in cheap hotels, on friends’ couches, or in hospitals — Maureen in a bed and Don on a chair at her side. Maureen has gone through three years of cancer treatments while Don, who has been laid off twice, devotes his time to caring for her and looking for a part-time job.

While Medicaid covers hospital costs, they live off of what they get in food stamps and cash and gas money from friends, churches, and strangers. They’ve also applied for a government program called Supplemental Security Income that’s meant for disabled and destitute people who can’t work. The federal government has denied Maureen three times, and she’s not alone. Federal figures show that about two-thirds of applicants are turned down.

An order for new Regional Rail cars has launched SEPTA into the U.S. trade war with China. The reason: SEPTA awarded a contract to a branch of a company owned by the Chinese government. The company often bids significantly below competitors, which caught the attention of U.S. legislators, leading to the House passing a bill that makes it significantly harder for the company to do business in the United States.

Part of the issue is that there are concerns that Chinese companies could get data from the rail cars that could be used by their government. But some are skeptical about whether train cars really pose a legitimate risk.

After a judge ruled last week that Philadelphia’s proposed supervised injection site does not violate federal law, city officials, residents, and the site’s backers said they were focused on the next steps.

From political machinations to neighborhood feedback, and more, there’s still a number of things left before a supervised injection site can become a reality.

What you need to know today

  1. The Eagles got the W over the Jets yesterday, in a game that saw them be both dominant and disorganized.

  2. The Philadephia School District said it was going to close the building that houses two schools because of asbestos issues and try to find other locations for the nearly 1,000 students to resume their classes. Classes at the schools have been canceled for today and tomorrow. And, here’s what parents most need to know about the asbestos issue.

  3. The day after Atlantic City’s mayor resigned in disgrace, a new mayor was sworn in. So, who is Marty Small, Sr.?

  4. On Friday, a former Center City real estate agent received a sentence in the fatal shooting of her boyfriend in her Fishtown apartment building two years ago. The victim’s father called it a “disgrace.”

  5. A member of Philadelphia’s City Council has a new proposal: giving recent college grads a yearly tax credit to help those paying off student debt.

  6. Democrats in Delaware County have the chance to do something that has never been done before.

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

Personally, I just binged all seven “Harry Potter” books for the first time ⚡. Anybody got recommendations 📚? Great neighborhood shot, @jessburghaus.

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. The woman involved with some of the most (in)famous Phillies promotions from back in the ’70s is retiring after 48 years. She dishes on what happened when elephants relieved themselves in the Phillies’ dugout and when ostriches got loose and ran into the stands.

  2. They weren’t biological sisters, but two children grew up together in China and became best friends. One was adopted by a family in Phoenixville. The other by a family in Indianapolis. And then, this summer, they were able to reunite.

  3. The city wants to retroactively collect $480,000 in unpaid taxes from a historic Philly hostel.

  4. Yes, there are competitive meat judging teams. They came to Pennsylvania last weekend. And, of course, we were there as the competitors scrutinized frozen pig carcasses and other cuts of pork and beef.

  5. A Pennsylvania woman owns 3,000 handbags. And she keeps them in an army bunker.

  6. A Philadelphia narcotics cop was busted for using a confiscated Porsche to drive his stepdaughter to take pictures for her school prom.


“I’d like to take this opportunity to say, loud and clear, for once and for all, put [a supervised injection site] in my damn backyard. Or at least my neighborhood. (My backyard is, in fairness, very small.)” — columnist Mike Newall writes about his continued support for putting a supervised injection site in South Philly.

  1. Mitt Romney was the first to do it. But columnist Trudy Rubin writes about whether the GOP will still support who she calls “a lawbreaker in the White House.”

  2. If Pennsylvania legalized recreational marijuana, it would make the state 1) richer, 2) healthier, and 3) more just, The Inquirer Editorial Board writes.

What we’re reading

  1. NPR took a look at how Penn State is both cutting its greenhouse emissions and saving a bunch of money.

  2. The Atlantic writes about the latest viral video game, where you get to wreak havoc as a horrible goose.

  3. Chinese companies have suspended ties with the Houston Rockets after the franchise’s top basketball exec tweeted his support of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

A Daily Dose of | The UpSide

A tiny, mostly Italian borough has an unlikely bond with a southern college football powerhouse. And over 50 years, the ties remain as strong as ever, as the community gives their favorite program, and others, a boost.