Welcome to The Philly Four, a daily recap of four of the top stories from the Philadelphia area, covering everything from local government to the Phillies bullpen. A one-stop shop for the most important news bites in the City of Brotherly Love.
- A new law passed in Philadelphia that bans marijuana testing in the hiring process came into effect on Jan. 1. Some of the city's largest employers are exempt from the ban but for many, the law greatly improves their job prospects, especially those with medicinal marijuana prescriptions. There are over 340,000 licensed medical marijuana users in the state and marijuana has been decriminalized in Philadelphia since 2014.
- Police are saying that across the Delaware Valley region carjackings at shopping center parking lots and gas stations are on the rise. Philadelphia has experienced 90 reported carjackings so far this year. Police officers in South Jersey are discussing the possibility of putting together a region-wide strategy to help stem the tide of car thefts.
- A "strike team" of out-of-state healthcare workers is being sent to hospitals in the Philadelphia area in an attempt to relieve the stress brought on by COVID-19. The Pennsylvania Department of Health entered into a $75.5 million agreement with General Healthcare Resources to provide the staffing, which includes nurses and respiratory therapists.
- The Philadelphia 76ers are reportedly interested in swapping disgruntled All-Star point guard Ben Simmons with Brooklyn Nets star James Harden but that hasn't stopped other teams from throwing their hat in the ring. The latest team to inquire about the former first-overall pick was rumored to be the Charlotte Hornets, however no new headway was made.