Hello, readers of The Inquirer Morning Newsletter.
First: A woman seeking answers about being abandoned at birth in West Philly in 1967 shares her story.
Then: This is how workplaces are boosting mental health resources as workers return to the office.
And: Meet the barber behind the celebrity cut they call “a Pat Regan original.”
— Ashley Hoffman (@_AshleyHoffman, email@example.com)
As the coronavirus claimed the lives of several of Cheryl Edwards’ close friends, she realized she was still mourning her first unique kind of loss, the loss of her birth parents, whom she never knew.
Edwards isn’t sure how she came into this world, or when or where, but on Aug. 14, 1967, she was discovered inside a pillowcase hidden under a dresser in a vacant apartment of an otherwise occupied West Philadelphia rowhouse. She was 5 pounds, 7 ounces, and the umbilical cord that once tied her to her mother was cut but still attached.
The residents of the building who found Edwards mistook her for a chicken and threw her away in a trash bin behind the house that night. Her story might have ended there, if it were not the actions of one curious Philadelphia woman who ended up saving Edwards’ life.
Until two years ago, when Edwards contacted us to see if we had written an article about the day she was found, the details of her first hours on this earth were a mystery to her. Many still are. And until today, Edwards has shared her story with only a handful of people.
She reached back out to us this year to reclaim her story, seek closure, and to tell others who have been abandoned at birth that they are not alone.
As Philly employers bring workers back in-person, mental health has become more prominent in the conversation about what a post-pandemic workplace should look like.
Over the last 15 months, there has been a 5% increase in anxiety and depression among American adults, according to a survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, leading some employers to offer more mental health resources and focus on their workers’ well-being. More than 16% of employers expanded their mental health benefits as a result of the pandemic, per a recent survey. The vast majority of those employers said some of the services would be permanent.
And it’s the pandemic that has been pushing mental health toward a more central stage as employers have acknowledged that encouraging mental health visits and other resources is increasingly a workplace issue.
Read on for reporters Bethany Ao and Christian Hetrick’s story on employers’ renewed focus on mental health.
🆕 While we’re at it, this is how to ease workplace anxiety post-pandemic.
Track the latest data on cases in the region.
Here’s what experts feel safe doing — and what they don’t.
No, you shouldn’t ask for someone’s vaccination status. Here’s what to do instead.
Children may be afraid to remove their masks. These steps can help reassure kids about unmasking.
What you need to know today
Philadelphia’s restaurant industry is experiencing hangover-like symptoms upon hearing that the state is banning the sale of cocktails to-go.
Three cars, eight states, and at least one costume: Here’s how police from Mississippi to Philly tracked down an accused serial rapist who evaded them for weeks.
Ten jurors voted to acquit a man of murder. His retrial may hinge on a recanted statement from a key witness.
A very contentious Philly parking tax cut proposal fell apart.
Pennsylvania Republicans in the state House took another step forward with their proposed election overhaul legislation over the strong objections of Democrats, who called it a “farce” and an attack on voting rights.
Gov. Tom Wolf and Pennsylvania Democrats are pushing for passage of LGBTQ discrimination protections again.
Pennsylvania Congresswoman Madeleine Dean won’t run for Senate. This is how that shapes the 2022 Democratic primary landscape.
Crews dug up grounds of a Delco elementary school following a weekend spill of an estimated 4,700 gallons of gasoline from a gas station above the building.
Biogen’s new Alzheimer’s drug, Aduhelm, has won FDA approval. Now doctors, patients, and insurers face a seriously complex dilemma about how much of the cost insurance covers and care protocols. What will they do now?
Through your eyes | #OurPhilly
Bet you didn’t know how dino-mite a walk in the park can be.
Tag your Instagram posts with #OurPhilly, and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature here and give you a shout-out.
🚳 With even more restrictions on riding off-road vehicles in Philly streets, here’s a breakdown on Philly’s ATV/dirt bike riding culture and the consequences faced if you’re caught riding dirty.
🌷 These volunteers are bringing the bloom back to the tucked-away gardens that make up the Independence National Historical Park system.
🐕 One local researcher at Penn Vet’s Working Dog Center is unlocking the development of human language by observing dogs.
😮 OOO she got a book! Breakout comedian Quinta Brunson talks about how Philly remains a part of her, after Instagram stardom led to her very own meme-moir.
🟫 There might be some extra brownie points for anyone who hits all the best sweet spots listed here.
“If we are to decrease gun violence, we must start by listening to the men who are living it. And then we must spend the money where it belongs — on them,” columnist Solomon Jones writes that we must support the Black men in Philadelphia being destroyed by gun violence by paying for resources like job training and therapy.
“They say that losing a child creates unbearable pain. I’m not a parent but I don’t need to be one to recognize that emerging from that grief isn’t something most people can do easily. They need all kinds of support. Dads included,” columnist Jenice Armstrong writes that this Father’s Day, fathers of gun violence victims really need support.
Sending out probation officers as outreach workers without much to offer besides jail time is unlikely to reverse Philadelphia’s shooting trend, The Inquirer Editorial Board, which operates independently from the newsroom, writes.
What we're reading
Philly School District is leading the charge in going green after buying a handful of electric school buses for this upcoming school year, Patch reports.
Social media erupted after Kevin Hart’s take on cancel culture, BuzzFeed writes.
Employees at a northeastern Pennsylvania company are proud as a peacock — maybe two — after helping to rescue a pair of the colorful birds, WFMZ-TV reports.
Just when you thought you knew the world around you, National Geographic pulls the rug from underneath you to reveal a new ocean.
Want to get your kids involved in charity giving? Here are some helpful tips, from Parents.
Your daily dose of | Serious Snips
The Inquirer Morning Newsletter’s own captain of the Friday chaos, Tommy Rowan, is bringing you today’s uplifting endnote. He introduces you to a traveling barber to the stars with a client list that reads like a fantasy football team, Philly native Pat Regan. Just pick an NFL star, and they might be sporting “a Pat Regan original.” Can you guess who has taken a spin in his chair that made him starstruck? We won’t spell his name out for you ...