While Hurricane Florence is hammering the coast of North Carolina, it looks like our region will receive some pretty nice weather over the weekend partly because of it. Sports betting is also slated to soon come to Pennsylvania, and colleges are already wagering that students will cheat, leaking confidential information about players' and classmates' game day prospects. Meanwhile, Philadelphia's Archdiocese plans to host a lengthy vigil tonight in hopes of atoning for the clergy sex abuse scandal roiling the church.

Jose F. Moreno / Staff Photographer
Jose F. Moreno / Staff
Jose F. Moreno / Staff Photographer

As Pennsylvania prepares to approve its first sports-wagering license next month, college athletics officials are readying themselves for inevitable scandal from the inside.

It's not that they're worried as much about shaving points or fixing a game, officials say. Instead, they fear that gamblers, including classmates and neighbors, will try to cajole confidential data from insiders — say, about injuries or academic standing — to get an edge.

And, officials say, unpaid student athletes are predicted to be more susceptible than pro athletes to payments to rig a game's outcome or disclose confidential information. So, they're stepping up surveillance and training efforts to curb the cheating.

In the wake of the scathing grand jury report detailing decades of child sex abuse by clergy across Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Archdiocese will host a seven-hour vigil at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul tonight, rallying the faithful to pray that the church atones for the sin of sexual abuse, and that the victims will be healed.

The ceremony entitled "Have Mercy on Us Lord, O Lord: A Prayer Vigil of Reparation and Petition," comes a day after West Virginia Bishop Michael Joseph Bransfield – who was first accused of sexual misconduct during his tenure as a Philadelphia priest – resigned from his post as the pope authorized an investigation into claims that Bransfield had also sexually harassed adults.

Working for ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft is always a gamble, as drivers hope each day that the cost of a passenger’s trip will outweigh the out-of-pocket fees of maintenance and gas.

But at the Philadelphia International Airport, the stakes are heightened as up to 200 drivers queue in a side parking lot for sometimes hours, hoping the app will partner them with a profitable passenger.

A Lyft spokesperson said negotiations are currently underway to find better driver accommodations —something parking lot attendants across the city also say are necessary.

What you need to know today

  • While Hurricane Florence is expected to wreak havoc on the Carolinian coast this weekend, it now looks as though the weather pattern will help create unusually pleasant conditions in Philadelphia.
  • It looks like a guilty plea and potential prison time won't keep Mychal Kendricks off the football field for long. The ex-Eagle is expected to sign with the Seattle Seahawks, possibly playing as early as next week.
  • The family of a woman run over while cycling in Center City last year has received a $6 million settlement from the owners of the garbage truck that killed her.
  • Thanks to a crowd-funded campaign, Delaware County's Nile Swim Club — the nation's first African American-owned swim club —  has averted foreclosure. Now, its members are calling on Will Smith, who once  DJ'd there, for help.
  • After receiving a tax break to move the headquarters of supplier Holtec International to Camden, the company's CEO has come under fire for criticizing the quality of workers in the city. But he is now trying to clarify his comments.
  • Can't get enough of the Mutter Museum's medical oddities? There's good news for you: the collection of curiosities has announced plans to double its size.

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Signe Wilkinson
"… it's clear that the teacher education system we've had until now has failed to produce the teachers we need for the students of today. And the Michigan program speaks to something teachers themselves often say is important to their profession and to their students: Their own learning."
— Philadelphia Citizen Executive Editor

What we’re reading

  • As mass evictions and tenant displacement gain popularity in Philly, WHYY explains how to fight back.
  • With Philly's focus back on the city's controversial 10-year tax abatement, a Twitter bot has emerged, posting each tax-abated property and the amount of lost revenue it represents. Hidden City caught up with the local software engineer behind the operation.
  • How do you create a strong book or movie character? Start by dressing them for success, Vox explains.
  • Every morning, like clockwork, Othea Loggan boards the train for his 90-minute commute to a diner nestled in one of Chicago's glitziest suburbs, where he whips butter and freshly squeezes oranges into juice before tending to the tables. The Chicago Tribune sat down with the 72-year-old busboy who's been in the same job for 54 years and isn't planning on stopping anytime soon.
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer
Tom Gralish
TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer

Your Daily Dose of | Giant

Left over from the bygone “See The USA in Your Chevrolet” era, larger-than-life fiberglass figures loom over highways and byways across America, and some are within an easy driving distance of Philadelphia.