Read This Quick: The End Is Near

Plus: the new soda war, City Council changes, Camden is dying (faster), and more of what Philly’s talking about this morning

Will The Last One Out of Camden Please Turn Off The Lights? Tomorrow, the troubled, dangerous city will lay off almost half of its police force. The police chief is promising that the city will not be any more dangerous with its force gutted; the mayor is hoping to save jobs by pushing for union concessions. [Newsworks]

A Change Is Gonna Come. Three City Council members (out of 17) won’t be running for reelection. (Anna Verna has yet to announce whether she’ll run.) This, in the Inky’s analysis, marks a “shake-up of seismic proportions.” [Inquirer] RELATED: This fact has Stu Bykofsky is on the warpath: There are four Council members left on the ballot who are enrolled in DROP—including Frank DiCicco and Frank Rizzo Jr., who openly plan to “retire,” cash out their six-figure bonuses and go right back to work—and Byko wants them all sent packing. [Daily News]

Are Charter Students Being Attacked Because of Their Uniforms? The DN suggests so—based on precisely one anecdote. [Daily News]

The New War on Soda. Being unable to tax the stuff, the city’s Health Department is launching a media campaign targeting sugary drinks (and tobacco); also, half of the city’s children are overweight. [Newsworks]

The End Is Nigh-Ish. Because it’s a slow news day, the Inquirer profiles those group of devout nuts who believe the world will end May 21. (If the world does in fact end on May 21, The Scoop would like to apologize to those aforementioned devout nuts.) Included in this story is a 49-year-old retiree who, one presumes, blew a decent hole in his 401k to go to spread the apocalyptic news in Ireland and Scotland. (One also presumes that he never heard the story of this guy.) Harold Camping, the 89-year-old (!) leader of this group, is absolutely cocksure about his prediction: “There’s no possibility—none, none, none—that it will not happen.” [Inquirer] Tangential note: Would you base your life decisions on the ramblings of this dude?

Associated Press via The Inquirer