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Councilman helps friend flip city-owned lots, Philly hosts anti-deportation training | Morning Newsletter

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Councilman Kenyatta Johnson's lawyer said he was never informed that other developers besides his friend, Felton Hayman, wanted to purchase three lots in Point Breeze.
Councilman Kenyatta Johnson's lawyer said he was never informed that other developers besides his friend, Felton Hayman, wanted to purchase three lots in Point Breeze.Read moreDAVID SWANSON

    The Morning Newsletter

    Start your day with the Philly news you need and the stories you want all in one easy-to-read newsletter

It looks like it's going to be a beautiful if chilly day in our region. Take advantage of the sun now — the forecast says Turkey Day is going to be cold. But it's not quite holiday time yet and there's still plenty to chat about this morning. Take, for instance, the latest from my colleagues Mark Fazlollah and William Bender: They dug into how a developer made a killing flipping Point Breeze properties he bought from the city, making money that should have gone to taxpayers. Or a new report from Juliana Feliciano Reyes and Jesenia De Moya Correa on the city's anti-deportation training for Latino workers.

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— Aubrey Nagle (@aubsn,

» READ MORE: How a developer made $165,000 flipping city-owned lots with help from Councilman Kenyatta Johnson

The city's land disposition policies are always evolving, but there multiple rules in place to assure that city land is sold at fair market value, thus protecting taxpayers' interests.

But those safeguards proved useless when developer Felton Hayman wanted to purchase city properties at a fraction of their market value.

With the help of City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, a childhood friend, he pocketed $165,000 — two and a half times what he paid — by reselling properties in Point Breeze.

» READ MORE: Why Philly hosted anti-deportation training for Latino workers

Immigrant workers, especially those who are undocumented, are among the most vulnerable in Philadelphia. They're often subject to wage theft, informal work arrangements, and unsafe conditions and their work is largely invisible.

That's why, back in May, the City of Philadelphia launched the Immigrant Workers Academy to empower and educate immigrants about their rights on the job.

In a city with the nation's most aggressive ICE office, that includes anti-deportation training.

» READ MORE: Joel Embiid, Sixers take down Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns

Battling back from a 15-point first-quarter deficit, the Sixers prevailed against the Phoenix Suns to win 119-114 at home Monday night. It was the team's third straight win and their 19th straight home win.

Early on, it was all Phoenix. Devin Booker led all scorers with 37 points and the Suns had six double-digit scorers. But, after a slow start, Joel Embiid gave the Sixers their first lead in the third quarter and finished with 33 points.

The game was also a homecoming for Mikal Bridges, the Villanova and Great Valley High School star drafted by the Sixers in June before being traded to the Suns less than an hour later.

What you need to know today

  1. Four people, two men and two women, were found fatally shot, execution-style, in a home in the Cedar Park section of West Philadelphia, police said Monday. Investigators are still seeking witnesses and possible surveillance video to figure out what happened.

  2. The foreign exchange student who threatened to carry out a shooting at the Delaware County high school where he was studying earlier this year is being released from federal custody and deported to Taiwan. 

  3. Kate McClure, one-third of the trio recently charged with duping donors out of more than $400,000, says she had "no part" in the GoFundMe scam — at least, according to to her lawyer who played a secretly taped conversation on Good Morning America.

  4. After a four-year-long class-action lawsuit ended in a settlement Monday, approximately 5,000 Pennsylvania inmates will gain access to lifesaving hepatitis C treatment.

  5. Conshohocken-based bridal-stores chain David's Bridal filed for bankruptcy Monday. But don't panic, brides: the company says all its stores will stay open and operate as usual.

  6. Roy Halladay, the late pitcher who spent the last four of his 16 major-league seasons with the Phillies, leads the list of newcomers on this year's National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot.

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

Whoa. This looks like a movie still, @9thday_ofmarch.

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. Of all the strange medical bills you may have read about, this one may take the cake: when a couple had their first child at a Main Line hospital in August, they were charged $63 for olive oil. 

  2. Brrr. Yes, it's cold outside, but it also might be freezing in your office. Luckily there are plenty of ways (some weird, some … less so) to stay warm while you're working.

  3. Reporter Jeff McLane claims there are many lessons to be learned from the Eagles' brutal loss to the Saints Sunday. Unfortunately, they just aren't happy lessons.

  4. Apologies to those who have mentioned they wouldn't mind seeing less of the Flyers' mascot, but, for some reason, Gritty has become a meme with an uncommon resilience. 

  5. Deep in the vaults of Philadelphia's Jamie Record Co. live lost musical relics just waiting for their time to shine. When high-profile film Green Book was in need of a soundtrack, they got their chance.

  6. The Union announced some of its first off season moves Monday. Jim Curtin will stay on as the team's manager, though many players won't be back next year.


"No SEPTA rider should be forced to pay 66 percent more per ride because the new system was poorly designed. None of the emerging flaws … are the fault of SEPTA's riders. Why should they have to pay for them?" — Lance Haver, policy director for the PA Save Our Safety Net Coalition, on how the SEPTA Key system punishes poor commuters.
  1. A viral tweet judging U.S. Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's outfit on Capitol Hill is a much-needed reminder that the less money you have, the smarter you are at spending it, writes Sheri K. Cole, executive director of Career Wardrobe.

  2. After Amazon passed Philadelphia over for its second headquarters, the city should know not to cave to such strong-arm tactics in the future, writes Robert B. Engel of the Free & Fair Markets Initiative.

What we’re reading

  1. The Philadelphia Marathon may have passed this weekend, but WHYY's story on how the Mother Bethel A.M.E. congregation turned out the city's best cheer zone will still bring you joy this morning.

  2. Talk about a transformation: over the course of its life, Roberto Clemente Homes in Hunting Park, a new affordable housing building, has been a middle school and, before that, a pantyhose factory, PlanPhilly explains.

  3. If you listen to Philly's own Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air, you'll want to check out the New York Times' new chat with the long-time host where she provides tips for talking to people.

  4. Wired's deep, deep read on neutral and adaptive genes definitely requires a love of science, but if you're into the whole commercial DNA testing trend you might want to fall down this rabbit hole.

  5. For their latest long read, Esquire visited Chardon, Ohio six years after a school shooting rocked the tiny town. It's an intimate portrait of the aftermath of tragedy, one too often repeated in American communities.

Your Daily Dose of | Moo

Can being nice to cows save the world? A former college professor turned cow sanctuary owner is hoping to balance the world's karma in the Poconos.