WEATHER: Philadelphia, isolated thunderstorms, high of 94; Harrisburg, scattered thunderstorms, high of 88; Pittsburgh, scattered thunderstorms, high of 84.
NEW FROM CITY&STATE:
* In his first City Council appearance since being targeted in FBI raids, Bobby Henon revealed the city has assigned him a defense attorney – a lawyer who once represented a consultant that bilked the councilman out of $50,000.
NEW THIS MORNING:
* Also back for the first day of Council: convicted former councilmember Rick Mariano, who said he was “looking for work," writes the Daily News.
* Pittsburgh’s police department reversed course after taking heat for a policy that would have allowed the department to ignore certain minor 911 calls, the Post-Gazette writes.
* Allentown axed a $2 million city contract to upgrade streetlights that had been eyed in an ongoing federal corruption investigation, the Morning Call reports.
* The PA Gaming Control Board voted to ban Philly mobster Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino from all casinos in the state, Newsworks reports.
* The state has resumed awarding grants to developers, after funds were briefly frozen during budget talks, the Inquirer reports.
* Increasingly dependent on cigarette taxes, Philly’s Board of Health is nevertheless seeking to curb the number of city tobacco vendors, the Inquirer reports.
* State courts loosened a ban on gun ownership for low-level criminal offenders, according to the AP.
* Pennsylvania won a $3 million federal grant to expand access to Obamacare, according to the Patriot News.
* PA’s Department of Human Services claims it saved $65 million last year through “increased security” measures, Newsworks reports.
* The state fined the popular “PA Hero Walk” fundraising group for not being properly registered as a charity, writes the Tribune-Review.
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THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:
* Some pollsters now say Pennsylvania may be “back in play” for the presidential race after previously leaning heavily towards Clinton, according to the Morning Call.
* Donald Trump’s campaign has doubled down on the GOP candidate’s public admiration for Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, the New York Times writes.
* Congressional Republicans vowed to continue investigations into Hillary Clinton’s conduct even if she wins, Politico reports.
* Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson was caught seemingly unaware of basic geography in the Syrian civil war during an interview, CNN reports.
* The Intelligencer explores NJ Gov. Chris Christie’s threat to end the tax agreement that allows PA residents working in NJ to only pay PA taxes, and vice versa.
* The Daily News’ Will Bunch has a stinging follow-up to his Tuesday op-ed on the state’s investment in Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the Dakota Access Pipeline that is threatening the way of life for Native American tribes.
* A PennLive op-ed offers two tragic examples of why it is long past time to reform the state’s ineffective – and dangerous – bail system.
* The Pocono Record congratulates state employees on their recent raise, but justifiably asks how those raises will be paid for, and if it will worsen the pension crisis.
* Newsworks’ Dick Polman jumps on the dogpile ripping Matt Lauer’s execrable performance questioning Clinton and Trump at the Commander-in-Chief Forum.
* A Post-Gazette editorial renews the call for justice for the victims of the 1968 Farmington coal mine disaster, and for tougher mine safety laws, more vigilance and harsher penalties for companies that break those laws.
* The Times-News supports the formation of the Minority Community Investment Coalition, a group dedicated to advocate for Erie’s minority population.
* The Times-Tribune throws its support behind a proposed ordinance change to make Lackawanna’s property taxes fairer.
* The Daily Times still has many questions about what’s really behind the sudden “retirement” of Upper Darby school superintendent Richard Dunlap, who received glowing reviews and a substantial raise just a year before his departure.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Philadelphia City Councilwoman Cherelle Parker … Philadelphia Sheriff Jewell Williams … Want to wish someone a happy birthday in our newsletter? Email us their name, job title and upcoming birthday at email@example.com
10 a.m. - Philadelphia City Council Committee on Public Health and Human Services will meet. Room 400, City Hall, Philadelphia.
11 a.m. - Mayor Kenney, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Kathryn Ott Lovell and City Representative Sheila Hess will announce the presenting sponsor and officially kick off the first-ever Philadelphia International Unity Cup. City Hall, North Apron, Philadelphia
2 p.m. - Democratic candidate for US Senate Katie McGinty and US Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) will appear together at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology. 3260 South St., Philadelphia.
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KICKER: "He ought to think about getting out of this, however he can...I'm experienced with the federal system and they don't lose,” Convicted Philly Councilman Rick Mariano has some advice for Bobby Henon – the city legislator targeted in recent FBI raids. From the Daily News.