Ben Simmons is big. Like, on-his-way-to-global-superstardom big. At least, that's what his many fans back home in Australia think, according to our new profile on his long-distance supporters. With their enthusiasm, I daresay they'd fit right in as Philly fans. What else are Philadelphians enthusiastic about? Complaining about transportation, from traffic to public transit. Thanks to the city's new transportation plan, which we have details on this morning, you have plenty to talk about today, from bike lanes to congestion.

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— Aubrey Nagle (@aubsn,

» READ MORE: Everyone in Australia loves Ben Simmons

Well, at least it feels that way. The Sixers star may be big in Philly, but Ben Simmons is even bigger in his home country. Ten thousand miles away, his jersey hangs in stores alongside those of LeBron James, Steph Curry, and Chris Paul  when they can keep it in stock, anyway.

As if he didn't have enough fans already, Simmons made some new ones Wednesday, too, as he traveled to Philly's William Cramp Elementary School to give away 750 coats.

Meanwhile his teammate Joel Embiid is also on the rise. He just signed a new deal with Under Armour, making him the NBA's richest center.

» READ MORE: Daylong standoff at Sen. Casey’s office ends for undocumented mother who left sanctuary

Carmela Apolonio Hernandez, 37, an immigrant mother of four, left the Church of the Advocate in North Philadelphia Wednesday morning on a rare trip.

She left the church, where she's spent nearly 10 months in sanctuary as her family faced deportation orders after being denied asylum, to visit the Center City office of U.S. Sen. Bob Casey. She said she would not leave until Casey agreed to help her and her children legally stay in the U.S.

Instead, the daylong standoff nearly ended in Hernandez's arrest by Philadelphia police as they forced her, her 14-year-old daughter, and their allies off the premises.

» READ MORE: How Philly hopes to improve transportation in the next seven years

On Wednesday Philadelphia released a plan outlining the city's goals for street safety and transportation for the next seven years.

What's on the docket? Well, the city's scaling back its goal of creating 30 miles of bike lanes in the next few years. And soon there will be new ways for residents to provide feedback about transportation — besides Tweeting angrily at SEPTA, that is.

In the meantime, truck traffic is still clogging up Center City and the city is considering all sorts of policy options to help free the streets.

What you need to know today

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Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

Gotta love a fresh fall apple! Nice picks, @thejonarons.

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That’s Interesting


"I hope to be around in 2030, at which point I would be 68; in 2052 I'll be 90. In other words, climate change is no longer something our children's grandchildren will have to deal with. It is unfolding on our watch."
— Columnist Michael Smerconish reacts to the IPCC’s report on the imminent effects of global warming.
  • After former governor and mayor Ed Rendell announced his support of a new safe injection site for Philadelphia, columnist Solomon Jones asks, how can you build a career on arresting those involved with drugs, and then decide to help addicts use them?

  • Everyone's been asking whether Squiggles, the Please Touch Museum's new mascot, is a boy or a girl but, President and CEO Patricia D. Wellenbach writes, Squiggles does not identify with either gender.

What we’re reading

Your Daily Dose of | Boos & Brews

Planning a trip to one of the Philly region's popular haunted house attractions? Don't forget to look for places to eat and drink nearby afterward.