WEATHER: Philadelphia: p.m. thunderstorms, high of 91; Harrisburg: p.m. thunderstorms, high of 89; Pittsburgh: p.m. thunderstorms, high of 86.
NEW THIS MORNING:
* In a packed Philadelphia City Hall courtroom, with dozens more observers watching from a nearby overflow room, lawyers on Wednesday argued before the state Supreme Court over whether it should invoke its power to rule on the constitutionality of the death penalty, the Inquirer reports.
* Once-secret records show how the police arbitration system overturned the firings or discipline of more than 100 questionable Philadelphia cops, revealing how department brass and lawyers have been outmatched trying to deal with problem police, the Inquirer writes.
* Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is deriding the tentative deal the makers of OxyContin have reached over its role in the nation’s opioid epidemic, the Patriot-News reports.
* The Capital-Star checks in to see how Pennsylvanians who received money from the now-defunded General Assistance program are faring without it.
* WHYY has a preview of the fall legislative agenda in Philadelphia City Hall as City Council resumes today.
* Philadelphia Magazine profiles Kendra Brooks, a public education advocate and Working Families Party candidate for a Philadelphia City Council at-large seat – and the recipient of an endorsement from Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren.
* Several Democratic presidential candidates are running on a promise to ban fracking – and stepping on unstable political ground in Pennsylvania in the process, the AP reports.
* Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday paid tribute to the lives lost aboard Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001, saying we “pay a debt of honor to the memory and the families of the 40 passengers and crew members” who rose up and fought back in the face of terrorists, the Inquirer writes.
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* The Inquirer breaks down just exactly what is wrong with – and what is behind – the statement by interim Philadelphia Police Commissioner Christine Coulter that she didn’t know a racist T-shirt she wore in the 1990s was racist.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: … PA Rep. Dom Costa … Want to wish someone a happy birthday in our newsletter? Email us their name, job title and upcoming birthday to firstname.lastname@example.org
10 a.m. - the PA Senate Community, Economic & Recreational Development Committee will meet. TierPoint Data Center in Audubon, 1000 Adams Ave, Norristown.
10 a.m - the PA House Democratic Policy Committee will meet. Steel River Playhouse, 245 East High St., Pottstown.
10 a.m. - the Philadelphia City Council will meet. Room 400, City Hall, Philadelphia.
11 a.m. - Department of Health Executive Deputy Secretary Sarah Boateng, BrainSTEPS program coordinator Dr. Brenda Eagan-Johnson, and Dr. Ron DeGuffroy, BrainSTEPS school re-entry team leader for Adams, Franklin and York counties will speak about brain injuries, how they affect students’ ability to learn and the programs available to help students transition back into the school environment after a brain injury.
4:30 p.m. - Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney will attend the official dedication ceremony for the new Charles Library at Temple University. Corner of Polett Walk and N. 13th St., Temple University, Main Campus, Philadelphia.
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KICKER: “This apparent settlement is a slap in the face to everyone who has had to bury a loved one due to this family’s destruction and greed. It allows the Sackler family to walk away billionaires and admit no wrongdoing.” – PA AG Josh Shapiro lambastes a proposed settlement with the Sackler family over the opioid crisis. From the Patriot-News.
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