Free COVID tests for events; “Jawn Morgan” Promotional Poster Blitz; Insomnia Cookies New Center City HQ | Summary in the morning

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As the summer season begins, the Philly Public Health Department knows that despite an over 50% surge in COVID cases, people won’t stop gathering.

  • That’s why the city is giving away free test kits. They can spend $7 to $14 per test, and the hope is that not having to pay makes party throwers and promoters more likely to give them to guests.

An online application must be completed, reports Lizzy McLellan Ravitch, and priority is given to areas with less access to health resources.

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

  • That Florida personal injury attorney co-opting local dialect has generated eye rolls, wounds and newspaper columns – and that’s the point. John Morgan has long been known for controversial ads.

But there’s a very specific reason he’s promoting in Philly, reports Jordan Levy: The city has a reputation for being a plaintiff’s attorney’s paradise.

New podcast from Billy Penn reporter Michaela Winberg
Now available: Episode 1: “Kiss the Ring” | Next up: Ep. 2, June 2nd

$ = pay wall

  • Josh Shapiro, the Democratic nominee for governor of Pennsylvania, is being portrayed by the national media as a potential savior of democracy. [Billy Penn]
  • people gathered for a Minute of silence at City Hall commemorating the second anniversary of the police killing of George Floyd. [@Nina_Baratti/6ABC]
  • Two new members join the Philadelphia Board of Ed. with: Therapist Sarah-Ashley Andrews, whose nonprofit focuses on suicide prevention, and former school administrator Chau Wing Lam, who has a background in public finance. [Chalkbeat]
  • The stalled project to dredging Philly’s Schuylkill River, which is vital for hosting regattas to continue, received a $13 million boost from the federal infrastructure bill. [WHYY]
  • Insomnia Cookies is moving its headquarters to South Broad, transforming the former Walgreens supermarket into offices, a “Cookie Vation” area and a retail area where new packaging is tested. [Biz Journal$/PhillyVoice]
  • ‘Selena Forever,’ the traveling dance party honoring the late Tejano singer, lands in Philadelphia for the first time this weekend (en español). [Billy Penn]
  • Note to Road Authority staff (especially the new crew): You should take out the traffic cone *before* You’re paving a pothole. [Billy Penn/@SarahMackAttack]

Three memorial services for Mayor Kenney today. He first welcomes representatives of the United Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry to City Hall (12 noon). The afternoon brings Kenney to the school district headquarters to pay tribute to outgoing Superintendent Bill Hite (4:00 p.m.). He then returns to City Hall to attend RISE, a celebration of AAPI Heritage Month (5:00 p.m.).

🎸 support bands Billy Penn: We’re hosting a music show at The Fire, the female-owned indie music venue and bar on Girard Avenue. Get stuck at our table while listening to local bands with sounds ranging from blues rock to surf goth. Tickets are $15, and a portion of the proceeds will benefit BP’s journalism. (8pm to midnight, Wednesday 1 June)

🐦 The Academy of Natural Sciences kicks off Black Birders Week with a cocktail party featuring some of the top Phillys who will give a short talk about their birding experience as Black. Tickets start at $25. (Saturday, May 28, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.)

🎆 Kick off the summer season with a free fireworks display over the Delaware River. The celebrations begin with a show by the 78th Army Band’s Latin Ensemble at Penn’s Landing. (Show 8:00pm, Fireworks 9:30pm Saturday 28th May)

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