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Adults with disabilities in crisis, GOP tax plan's local impact, Eagles lose | Morning Newsletter

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

Annette Scott strokes her son Justin’s head while laying his head on her lap.
Annette Scott strokes her son Justin’s head while laying his head on her lap.Read moreMichael Bryant

Good morning, Philadelphia. I spent the weekend in sunny Florida and would've stayed, too, but nobody sold soft pretzels for breakfast. But then I heard it's about to get very, very cold here and I officially regret my decision.

If you like what you're reading, it's free to sign up to get this newsletter in your inbox every weekday. I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas, and feedback, so please email me, tweet me @aubsn, or reach our social team on Facebook.

— Aubrey Nagle

» READ MORE: Adults with disabilities, and their families, face a crisis

Parents of children with intellectual and developmental disabilities call their 21st birthdays "falling off the cliff." That's when their entitlement to education in a regular school setting ends   and the predictable schedule, supervision, and services with it.

After that, families end up on waiting lists for the services their adult children still need. In Pennsylvania there are 13,700 families waiting for government help in the form of waivers exchanging their right to state institutional care for at-home or community care. There aren't enough waivers to go around, and institutionalization costs the state (and tax payers) five times as much.

Columnist Ronnie Polaneczky's new four-part series, Falling Off the Cliff, explores how families are dealing with this crisis and how the system could be changed for the better. We'll be taking a look at the series all week, but you can read all four parts right now.

» READ MORE: Eagles’ winning streak ends in Seattle

It was a rough night for the Birds. Seattle ended the Eagles' nine-game winning streak, capitalizing on the Eagles' sloppiness to win 24-10. Russell Wilson dominated the field and Carson Wentz made mistakes all game long, including committing two turnovers.

Columnist David Murphy writes that the Wilson-Wentz match-up was a preview of things to come during playoffs, a somber reminder that winter is coming. But, as reporter Jeff McLane notes, coach Doug Pederson made his fair share of mistakes last night, too.

The Eagles are no longer alone with the league's best record, and now share it (10-2) with the Vikings and the Patriots. They face the Rams next week.

» READ MORE: How the GOP tax plan will affect Philly, suburbs

Senate Republicans passed their tax bill Saturday now what? Well, first they'll have to reconcile their version with the House bill that passed in mid-November before it can move on.

Democrats are united in their opposition to the bill, which, among other sweeping changes, will cut the top corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 20 percent. Although, just hours after it passed, President Trump suggested he's open to changing that.

How will the final bill affect you?  State and local tax deductions may be reduced or eliminated, many people could move to a lower tax bracket, and college costs could rise. The Pennsylvania Institute of CPAs are recommending taxpayers take some defensive steps now, including paying 2017 state and local tax liabilities in full by the end of the year.

What you need to know today

  1. President Trump spent the weekend tweeting criticisms of the FBI. His former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI Friday; Trump also took to twitter to deny meddling in the investigation.

  2. Hunger is declining nationwide, but it's actually increasing in Philly. It's all linked to the city's poverty levels.

  3. It's not just you: the King of Prussia rail line is taking a long time. Why is the 5 mile project on a 10-year plan?

  4. The Metropolitan Opera's famed conductor and longtime music director James Levine has been suspended after three men accused him of sexually abusing them when they were teenagers. The Philadelphia Orchestra's music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, is set to succeed Levine beginning in the 2020-2021 season.

  5. The night of Jenna Burleigh's murder, a fellow student called Temple Police to report a woman screaming nearby. Twice they came and twice they left, and questions remain about the police response. 

  6. After the February death of sophomore Tim Piazza, Penn State took over monitoring Greek life from a third-party firm. Reporter Susan Snyder tagged along for a night with the "social checkers."

  7. Philadelphia has seen nearly 300 homicides this year, and only a handful of victims are publicly remembered for their lives, and not their deaths. The Philadelphia Obituary Project wants to change that. 

» READ MORE: #OurPhilly

We want to see what our community looks like through your eyes. Show us the park that your family walks through every weekend with the dog, the block party in your neighborhood or the historic stretch you see every morning on your commute to work.

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 to build those followers!

That’s Interesting

  1. Have you noticed an uptick in snowy owls in the region? No, you aren't getting that Hogwarts letter after all; they're just following their food.

  2. Jay-Z was in town Friday night and the Sixers attended his show, donning "Stand with Meek Mill" hoodies in support of the imprisoned Philly rapper.

  3. A Bucks County shopping mall Santa, known for "Naughty" and "Nice" tattoos and funny poses, was told to tone it down and his fans aren't happy.

  4. Marc Vetri has left URBN, the Philly-based retail giant (Urban Outfitters, Antrhopologie) to which he sold the bulk of his restaurant empire two years ago.

  5. Feeling lucky? The Pennsylvania Lottery is trying to attract a younger audience with new online games and virtual sports betting.

  6. Penn scientists are using Grand Theft Auto to make driverless cars safer. But no, that doesn't retroactively make your hours of gaming "science."

  7. Highly-regarded Quaker school Germantown Friends School has opened early-childhood and after-school programming in Center City.

  8. Penn State will be playing in the Fiesta Bowl this year against the University of Washington, and Temple will join the less-catchy Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl against Florida International.


"There are some things I'd like to change about Jesse, namely his horrific taste in music, his abject refusal to empty the dishwasher, and his constant stealing of the covers. His level of education is not one of those things."
— Lifestyle and arts editor Molly Eichel responds to research
  1. Americans are still buying billions of greeting cards each year, and columnist Stu Bykofsky would like to send a thank you note to millennials for keeping the tradition alive.

  2. On Friday, Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey added an amendment to the GOP tax plan to help a right-wing Michigan college, but columnist Will Bunch says that's not even the worst thing he did this weekend. 

What we’re reading

  1. If you've been wondering what disgraced former state senator Vince Fumo is up to these days, Philadelphia Magazine's lengthy new profile will get you up to speed.

  2. The Los Angeles Times released an in-depth, three-part look at migrants reversing the traditional route over the Mexican border and the difficulties they face returning home this weekend. It's powerful stuff.

  3. Humans are strangely fascinated by twins, and over at The Cut two real life ones explain how growing up as a dynamic duo has some not-so-rosy repercussions on your love life.

  4. A trend in Chinese furniture is choking the U.S. acoustic guitar industry. I love how this NPR story explains the domino effect of rosewood regulations. 

  5. Thanks to Refinery 29 I know I wasn't just imagining that my entire Instagram feed has perfect teeth: turns out veneers are on trend right now.

Your Daily Dose of | The Shore

Not something you see every day: Ocean City without a boardwalk. Sections of the walkway are being replaced and the photos of the project are apocalyptic.