Morning roundup

Free COVID tests for events; ‘Jawn Morgan’ billboard blitz; Insomnia Cookies new Center City HQ | Morning roundup

Pride podcast drops today 🌈

Danya Henninger / Billy Penn

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Free COVID tests for party throwers and event organizers

With the summer season arriving, the Philly Health Department knows people aren’t going to stop gathering, despite an over 50% rise in COVID cases.

  • So the city is giving away free test kits. They can run $7-$14 per test, and the hope is that not having to pay makes it more likely party throwers and event organizers will give them to guests.

There’s an online application to fill out, Lizzy McLellan Ravitch reports, and priority will be given to areas with lower access to health care resources.

What’s up with the ‘Jawn Morgan’ billboard blitz?

If you’ve been in Philadelphia recently, you’ve seen the ads proclaiming “I’m Jawn Morgan.” They’re on billboards, wrapping buses, and in the subways.

  • The Florida personal injury lawyer co-opting local dialect has generated eyerolls, excoriations, and newspaper columns — and that’s the point. John Morgan has a long reputation for controversial ads.

But there’s a very specific reason he’s advertising in Philly, Jordan Levy reports: the city has a reputation as a plaintiff attorney’s paradise.

March On: The Fight for Pride

New podcast by Billy Penn reporter Michaela Winberg
Out now: Ep.1: “Kiss the ring”  | Next up: Ep. 2, June 2

RECAP: What else happened?

$ = paywalled


Three commemorations for Mayor Kenney today. He first welcomes representatives from the United Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry to City Hall (12 p.m.). Afternoon brings Kenney to School District HQ for a tribute to outgoing Superintendent Bill Hite (4 p.m.), after which he heads back to City Hall to join RISE, a celebration of AAPI Heritage Month (5 p.m.).


🎸 Bands supporting Billy Penn: We’re emceeing a music show at The Fire, the woman-owned indie music venue and bar on Girard Avenue. Come hang at our table as you check out local bands with sounds ranging from blues-rock to surf-goth. Tickets are $15, and a portion of sales benefit BP’s journalism. (8 p.m. to midnight, Wednesday, June 1)

🐦 The Academy of Natural Sciences kicks off Black Birders Week with a cocktail party of some of Philly’s best, who’ll give a short talk about their experiences of birding while Black. Tickets start at $25. (5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 28)

🎆 Kick off the summer season with a free fireworks show over the Delaware River. Festivities start with a show by the 78th Army Band’s Latin Ensemble at Penn’s Landing. (Show 8 p.m., fireworks 9:30 p.m. Saturday, May 28)

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