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Philly schools plan to drop their mask mandate
The School District of Philadelphia expects to make mask-wearing optional this week for students, teachers, and staff, potentially starting Wednesday.
- The move follows relaxed guidelines from the city and CDC. Some students are worried about the safety risk and confusion it’ll cause, highschooler Kaitlyn Rodriguez reports for Billy Penn.
Meanwhile, the Health Department may have been misrepresenting the % of kids 5 to 11 who are vaccinated, per The Inquirer — if it’s around 45,000 kids, as shown, that’s about a third of the age group’s total population, not half.
New passenger train service across Southeastern Pa.?
Montgomery, Chester, and Berks counties are working to form a new transit agency called the Schuylkill River Passenger Rail Authority.
- Passenger train service would run from Reading to Philly, with stops in Norristown and Pottstown along the way. County officials are holding public hearings this spring, according to The Reporter.
RECAP: What else happened?
- The Pa. race for Senate has no clear leaders on either side, a Franklin & Marshall poll last week confirmed. With a high margin of error, the survey showed Fetterman leading the Dems and McCormick atop the GOP, but by slim margins. [Sunbury Daily Item/PennLive]
- RAD Diversified owns nearly 100 properties in Philly neighborhoods with lower incomes. The company is apparently lying to investors about being profitable while letting homes fall into disrepair. [Inquirer$]
- In-person visits to Philadelphia prisons are now allowed again, as long as visitors are vaccinated. [WHYY]
- UPenn Trustees approved a 2.9% tuition hike last week, which means students will owe more than $80,000 annually. There’s also a bigger pool of financial aid, which is used by about 44% of undergrads. [Penn Today]
- Local food delivery biz Black and Mobile is up and running again in Philadelphia after a two-month break. It’s also expanding to NYC and Los Angeles. [Technical.ly]
- Maybe women can rejuvenate Philadelphia hockey? The Flyers are reportedly one of 10 NHL teams partnering with the PWHPA in its push for a new pro league. [AP]
- Stateside Vodka ended up collecting 352 Ben Simmons jerseys last month. They were donated to a shelter in Brooklyn, there’s video proof. [Billy Penn/@statesidevodka]
- ICYMI: Reading Terminal Market is going all out for Harry Potter, with themed treats, a photo backdrop, and a decorated pig sculpture. [Billy Penn]
No events on Mayor Kenney’s public schedule today, but he did make an appearance over the weekend, joining the (postponed from a month ago) Lunar New Year celebration at the Parkway Central Library.
ON THE CALENDAR
🍸 Billy Penn event: Join us for pub trivia about the city you love. Our monthly Philly Quizzo night is back at Jose Pistola’s in Center City. Free RSVP, happy hour specials, and prizes for the top score. See you there. (6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 23)
🔭 Stargazers of all ages are welcome for a night of astronomy at Lemon Hill in Fairmount Park. Tickets are pay what you can, and if you can’t make it this time, you can sign up for next month. (6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 8)
🪓 Kensington’s Urban Axes invites you to celebrate International Women’s Day by throwing hatchets, with half of proceeds going to Women Against Abuse. Tickets are $50 to play or $25 to watch. (7 to 10 p.m. Tuesday, March 8)