With increased enrollment and national profile, Villanova University continues to build its acclaim, but its next-door neighbors, well, aren't so impressed. The school's making a dedicated effort to rebuild its rapport with the community, and reporter Erin McCarthy has the story. Meanwhile, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie may be looking to build rapport with President Donald Trump as reports say he may be considered as a replacement pick for the ousted Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General.
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— Oona Goodin-Smith (@oonagoodinsmith, morningnewsletter@philly.com)

In the last three years, Villanova University has won two national basketball championships, applications have increased, fundraising efforts have outpaced expectations, and gleaming, state-of-art buildings are emerging across the expanded campus.

But there's one group that has yet to be impressed by the college: its Main Line neighbors.

Some say it's the bright stadium lights beaming into family homes at night, some say it's the rowdy partying that turns them off. Now, university officials say they're on a mission to turn around the town-gown relations.

With Jeff Sessions' forced exit from the Trump administration on Wednesday, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie may be a possible pick for the next U.S. Attorney General, reports say.

The Washington Post reported that Christie was in D.C. yesterday to talk with President Trump about the job, but his longtime adviser says the trip was for a previously planned discussion on prison reform.

And while the president searches for a permanent replacement, Trump-selected acting A.G. Matt Whitaker has made it clear he's not a fan of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Spurred by Whitaker's appointment and Sessions' firing, several hundred people gathered in Center City last night for a #ProtectMueller march in support of the embattled special counsel.

The so-called "blue wave" that ushered in five new Democrat seats in the state Senate and flipped 14 in the House was acutely felt in Philadelphia's suburbs, fueled not only by anti-Trump sentiment, but by the legislature's failure in the weeks before the election to resolve the high-profile issue of how to help victims of Catholic clergy abuse, Democrats say.

That wave rippled into New Jersey, where Democrat Andy Kim is taking his victory lap after declaring his win over Trump-aligned Republican Rep. Tom MacArthur in the neck and neck Third District race, even though Burlington County election officials aren't finished counting the ballots.

Nationally, Tuesday's election results are expected to have an impact on healthcare and the protection of coverage for pre-existing conditions, as well as seismic shifts in the abortion landscape after Alabama and West Virginia approved measures that could lead to state bans on abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

What you need to know today

  • Amid furor over the Catholic Church's handling of clergy sex abuse, several of Pennsylvania's Catholic dioceses, including Philadelphia, announced plans Thursday to launch programs to financially compensate victims whose claims are too old to be taken to court. Although details on the reparation funds remain hazy, victims and advocates say it's a step in the right direction.
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court's oldest and most liberal justice, was hospitalized Thursday after falling in her court office and fracturing three ribs.
  • New details continue to emerge about the country's latest mass shooting in a western-themed Southern California dance bar, where an armed 28-year-old Marine Corps veteran opened fire, killing at least 12 people and injuring more than 20 others. Among the dead: a sheriff's officer, an art student, a Navy veteran, an a capella singer, and a security guard.
  • Although a federal investigation found punitive treatment and unconstitutional use of solitary confinement at the now-closed Cresson state prison had contributed to three prisoner suicides, the top psychologist manager at the prison is not only still on the department's payroll, but has received a promotion. Now, prosecutors want his license revoked.
  • An internal investigation by the Philadelphia Orchestra has found sexual misconduct claims against conductor Charles Dutoit credible, while a similar investigation into the maestro by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra has proven inconclusive.
  • Winter is coming … slowly. Snow is making its way into next week's Philly forecast predictions, but reporter Anthony Wood says we shouldn't take that too seriously, yet.

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

Looks like someone just remembered it's Friday. Thanks for the photo, @filladelphie.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we'll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

That’s Interesting

  • Controversial former Philly Mayor Frank Rizzo's estate is for sale, and everything must go. Among the items up for grabs: his billy club, bust, Rolodex, and garden hoses.
  • Uncle Joe's done it again. The former Vice President has once more cemented his place in internet meme culture after a photo of Biden leaving his Wilmington polling place, arms spread wide open, was Photoshopped to depict him using a Porta Potty, Batman, and everything in between. Enjoy.
  • When retired Abington-area music teacher and avid Philadelphia Orchestra supporter Jane H. Kesson died last year, it came as no surprise that a gift to the orchestra was included in the 90-year-old's will. What no one saw coming: the gift was for $4.7 million.
  • Electric scooters may not be coming to Philly any time soon, but electric bikes are a different story. On Thursday, the city's Indego bike-share program announced plans to roll out an e-bike pilot program.

Opinions

Years of the Woman
Signe Wilkinson
Years of the Woman
"Providing treatment and services to young people in their homes and neighborhoods will foster safer and stronger communities, produce better outcomes for youth, and help ensure that atrocities like those that occurred at Wordsworth and Glen Mills never happen again." Karen U. Lindell and Leola Hardy senior attorney at Juvenile Law Center and chief of the Juvenile Unit at the Defender Association of Philadelphia, respectively
— — on the importance of reducing reliance on institutional placements for Philly’s youth.
  • Writing George W. Bush's name alongside the Dalai Lama, Lech Walesa, and Thurgood Marshall on the roll of Liberty Medal winners at the National Constitution Center on Sunday is an embarrassment to Philadelphia, and a sign that nothing matters, writes columnist Will Bunch.
  • Philly's Edison High School lost 64 grads in the Vietnam War, and renovating the school's blighted annex into a veterans' housing and service center is the perfect tribute to honor their sacrifices, writes columnist Ronnie Polaneczky.

What we’re reading

  • Wondering how Mac from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia pulled off the elaborate, rain-soaked dance number in Wednesday's season finale? (Or how he got so ripped?) Vulture gives the break-down on Mac breaking it down.
  • The Eagles take on the Dallas Cowboys at the Linc Sunday, and, according to this NBC Sports writer, there's nothing — repeat, nothing — worse than a Cowboys fan from Philly.
  • If YouTube repeatedly suggests you watch "Bath Song | +More Nursery Rhymes & Kids Songs – Cocomelon," you're in good company. The Atlantic explains YouTube's algorithm, and why the platform is pushing kid-centric content.
  • For this 6-foot-tall emu and 5-foot-5 donkey, love knows no species. But the odd couple's unbreakable bond (they cuddle every night, according to the Charlotte Observer) is causing problems for a North Carolina shelter trying to facilitate their adoption.
ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer
ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer

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The age of the Victoria's Secret conventions of beauty may be coming to an end as a Pennsylvania-based lingerie company is promoting positivity and bras to a wider range of body types.