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Hebrew school students remember lives lost in Pittsburgh, Pa. school district set to let teachers carry guns | Morning Newsletter

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Frank Wenzel, a sixth-grade math teacher at Tamaqua Area Middle School and head of the teacher's union, opposes arming teachers and school employees. Tamaqua Area School District in Schuylkill County has become the first in the state to pass a policy providing for teachers and other school employees to carry firearms.
Frank Wenzel, a sixth-grade math teacher at Tamaqua Area Middle School and head of the teacher's union, opposes arming teachers and school employees. Tamaqua Area School District in Schuylkill County has become the first in the state to pass a policy providing for teachers and other school employees to carry firearms.Read moreJUSTINE MCDANIEL

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Throughout our region, Jewish communities spent Monday honoring those lost in this weekend's mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue. Today, President Trump is set to visit the city and, for many, the grieving process is just beginning, so there is much more to come as Squirrel Hill looks for ways to move forward. Meanwhile, this morning we have an all-too-timely report on a Pennsylvania school district that's reacting to mass shootings by allowing teachers to carry guns. The school board may have passed the landmark policy, but the debate is far from over in Schuylkill County.

By the way, if you're a smart speaker fan and want to listen to your morning news, I'm happy to report that you can now hear the Philadelphia Inquirer on Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and your favorite podcast apps.

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— Aubrey Nagle (@aubsn,

» READ MORE: This Pa. school district is set to be first where teachers carry guns

Last month, the school board for Tamaqua Area School District in Schuylkill County, Pa., passed a landmark policy allowing teachers and employees to carry firearms.

Guns are a way of life in rural Schuylkill County, but this reaction to national school shootings has highlighted the region's sharp disagreements about how to prevent them.

Where some see teachers saving lives in the event of a tragedy, others see more opportunities for things to go dangerously wrong.

» READ MORE: Hebrew day school students start week with prayers for Pittsburgh shooting victims

Students at Jewish schools and academies throughout the region began their week memorializing the 11 people killed at Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue Saturday. They sang songs of solidarity, recited psalms, or wrote prayers while teachers tried to answer their tough questions.

Residents of the Squirrel Hill neighborhood where the anti-Semitic attack took place continue to grieve. One friend has found comfort hearing the voice of one of the victims in an old voicemail.

President Trump will travel to Pittsburgh today but so far leaders at Tree of Life have been split on whether they'd welcome his visit. Meanwhile, a preliminary hearing for the accused mass shooter is set for Thursday morning.

» READ MORE: In contrast to Pa., N.J. House contests, a very different Trump effect defines key Senate races

This election season the Philadelphia region has been dominated by House races which, across the country, show a path to a potential Democratic majority.

But those campaigns have found their polar opposite in key Senate races where Republicans are hopeful of keeping their stronghold and are embracing Trump's agenda.

Looking for more information ahead of next week's elections? Don't miss our voters guide and check out Clout, a weekly newsletter from our politics team.

What you need to know today

  1. The Florida man accused of mailing bombs to prominent critics of President Trump attended a court hearing Monday just as another suspicious package sent to CNN was intercepted in Atlanta.

  2. An outburst from the widow of late Philadelphia Police Officer Daniel Faulkner got her ejected from the courtroom Monday after a Common Pleas Court judge extended the appeal hearing of convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal.

  3. Sean Kratz, charged with helping Cosmo DiNardo kill and bury three young men on a Bucks County farm last year, will now be represented by high-profile criminal defense attorney Chuck Peruto. The move further delays his case, which was expected to go to trial early next year.

  4. A ninth patient has died after receiving treatment in the pediatric unit of a New Jersey nursing center. Eight of the nine were confirmed to have been infected with an adenovirus.

  5. An alarming new report released by the World Wildlife Fund Monday says they've found a 60 percent decline in wildlife populations around the world in just the last 40 years.

  6. After surviving the threat of closure and a merger, the future of the beloved St. Cyril's Roman Catholic Church in Delaware County is uncertain again thanks to much-needed building repairs.

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

Those light trails give the Society Hill Towers a fresh look, @datleib.

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. After 100 regular-season games, Joel Embiid's stats put him in line with some of basketball's top athletes. But it was Ben Simmons who brought the Sixers to victory over the Hawks last night.

  2. If your street sign is faded or missing, it might take a while to have it replaced. In Philadelphia, just three people are responsible for over 100,000 signs. Yikes.

  3. Buckle your seatbelts: the NFL trade deadline is today at 4 p.m. and yesterday Eagles coach Doug Pederson basically said anything is possible.

  4. Should you keep your employer-sponsored health insurance or switch to Medicare once you're eligible? Even for those well-versed in the insurance world, the choice can be daunting.

  5. Halloween isn't until tomorrow, but thanks to local shopping habits we can already tell what costumes we'll see in Philly: teeny outfits for dogs and lots of Gritty.

  6. To commemorate yesterday's 10th anniversary of the Phillies' World Series win, we asked readers to share their memories of the historic day and they did not disappoint.


"We can give people a chance at a better life, whether they are born in Philly or Aleppo or Tegucigalpa, in Keren or Kuringu or Khartoum. America is a place that people go when they have nowhere else. That cannot be erased by a bloody morning in Pittsburgh."
— Rona Buchalter, director of Refugee Programming and Planning for HIAS Pennsylvania, on
  1. Following this weekend's shooting in Pittsburgh, Shira Goodman of gun violence prevention organization CeaseFirePA has compiled a list of questions those tired of gun violence should be asking their elected officials.

  2. Cartoonists around the country have captured America's fear following last week's pipe bomb mailings and the Pittsburgh shooting.

What we’re reading

  1. As we remember those lost in Saturday's shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, BuzzFeed has a touching story about one of the victims, a doctor remembered as a hero during the AIDS crisis.

  2. Philly traveled all the way to New Mexico for their latest story and found a lot Philly might learn from Albuquerque's approach to workforce development.

  3. Another place Philly might look for solutions it can use? Stanwood, Wash., where, NPR reports, they're treating the opioid crisis like a natural disaster. 

  4. Advocates for historic preservation will want to read Billy Penn's latest on an Underground Railroad stop in Spring Garden that's on the verge of collapsing.

  5. Development along the Schuylkill River has moved so rapidly it's hard to keep up. Curbed Philly's interactive map on recent projects is like a time capsule of its growth.

Your Daily Dose of | Glamour

Philadelphia's own James Galanos may be America's most unsung fashion designer, columnist Elizabeth Wellington writes. Now Drexel University is showing off his glamorous garments.