Morning roundup

City changes COVID criteria; Barstool opens betting bar; Record ticket sales for Harry Potter | Sunday roundup

Free water ice this week — if you download the app🍨

Mark Henninger / Imagic Digital

💌 Want this daily digest emailed to you? Sign up for the free Billy Penn newsletter and it’ll land in your inbox every morning.

RECAP: Looking back on the week that was

• City announces return of (partial) street sweeping

Streets Department officials promised last week that the city’s much-troubled street sweeping pilot will restart in April. Plans call for mechanical brooms to sweep through 14 neighborhoods on a weekly basis, which — somewhat controversially, though it’s common in many other cities — will require residents parked in those areas to temporarily move their cars. [Billy Penn]

• Bus stops get upgrades, rail entrances stay closed

Nationwide, public transit ridership is at about 55% of pre-pandemic levels. As people return to SEPTA, they’ll find an upgrade at bus stops — at least 60 of them will show real-time arrival info, thanks to an OTIS project. But Center City rail stations remain tightly locked down, with many entrances gated or closed outside of peak hours. [AP/Billy Penn/Billy Penn]

• City drops percent positivity for response criteria

Two years after the first lockdown took effect, Philadelphia is in the “All Clear,” which means no masking requirements except where required by federal law (hospitals, public transit, nursing homes). With many fewer people getting tested each day — under 5k, versus more than 10k when omicron was surging — city health officials last week dropped percent positivity as a useful metric to measure the state of the pandemic. [WHYY/Billy Penn]

• Barstool opens Philly bar with gambling focus

Barstool Sansom Street opened to raucous crowds this weekend, as Barstool Sports looks to attract a ready audience for its sports betting app. Since the establishment doesn’t take bets itself, there was no gambling license required. It’s the same philosophy behind Bankroll, the forthcoming monster restaurant with Stephen Starr as a partner. [Inquirer$/PhillyVoice/Billy Penn]

Harry Potter exhibit on track to set records

The Harry Potter exhibition at the Franklin Institute is as much of a success as everyone expected. In just one month, Asha Prihar reports, the exhibit has welcomed people from all 50 states, D.C., three U.S. territories, and 19 countries. About 13% of tickets so far were bought by Philly locals.

VISION: Looking forward to the week ahead

• Fixing Philly’s dangerous recovery houses

A new group called HER will go public this week with its work to improve the city’s recovery house scene. Pa.’s first-ever regulations took effect this winter, and advocates hope it’ll cut down on unsafe conditions like bed bugs and rampant drug use in places meant for people trying to maintain sobriety. [BIlly Penn]

• Summer camp and job opportunities for young folks

City officials will this week announce plans for free summer programming and job opportunities available to Philadelphia youth and young adults. Those options include becoming a lifeguard — something that’s essential for the city’s public pools to open. [WHYY]

• First day of spring = free Rita’s

The water ice company founded by Philly firefighter Bob Tumolo has been ushering in the first day of spring with freebies for 30 years now. But Rita’s promo is different this time: To get your free cup, you have to download the app — today! — and then you can redeem it anytime this week. [Billy Penn]

Want some more? Explore other Morning roundup stories.

Mornings are for coffee and local news

Billy Penn’s free morning newsletter gives you a daily roundup of the top Philly stories you need to start your day.

You finished another Billy Penn article — keep it up!

We hope you found it useful, fun, or maybe even both. If you want more stories like this, will you join us as a member today?

Nice to see you (instead of a paywall)

Billy Penn’s mission is to provide free, quality information to Philadelphians through our articles and daily newsletter. If you believe local journalism is key to a healthy community, join us!

Your donation brought this story to life

Billy Penn only exists because of supporters like you. If you find our work valuable, consider making a sustaining donation today.

Being informed looks good on you

Thanks for reading another article, made possible by members like you. Want to share BP with a friend?