It isn’t always sunny in Philadelphia, but this week we can count on the heat sticking around. If you’re in need of some patience to keep your cool with the summer temps, you might want to check out the breathing exercises of these local roofers who are working to build their emotional intelligence on the construction site. In other news, rapper Meek Mill came face-to-face with the contentious judge who previously sent him prison, while the U.S. Supreme Court looked the other way on ruling on Pennsylvania’s partisan gerrymandering.
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They spend most days working on the construction site, but a group of local roofers is putting new emphasis on building its workers’ emotional intelligence, too.
Two years ago, Ed DeAngelis decided his construction company, EDA Contractors, was archaic and dominated by “too much testosterone.” Workers didn’t know how to deal with their emotions on the job, and it was hurting their ability to make smart decisions, ask for help, lead a team, he said.
In search of vulnerability, DeAngelis turned to his Aunt Pat, a former hospital CEO who now aids the 200 roofers in constructive breathing exercises and learning to talk through their feelings. Apparently it’s working, and that’s something the “rough-and-tumble” crew is raising the roof about.
For the first time since his emergency release from prison, Philadelphia rapper and criminal justice reform advocate Meek Mill came face-to-face yesterday with the judge who sentenced him behind bars for violating the terms of his probation stemming from his 2008 conviction on drug and gun charges.
During the two-hour hearing, Common Pleas Court Judge Genece Brinkley repeatedly clashed with the rapper’s six lawyers, who accused her of acting like a prosecutor and of laughing at their expert witness. Brinkley — who will remain on the case despite Mill’s multiple appeals for a new judge — ultimately said she needed more time to decide if the rapper should get a new trial.
Around 300 supporters gathered outside the criminal justice center prior to the courtroom kerfuffle for a “Justice 4 Meek” rally in solidarity with the rapper.
The U.S. Supreme Court ducked the chance to rule on the issue of partisan gerrymandering Monday, deciding not to decide on the re-districting and returning two meaty cases to lower courts on narrow procedural grounds.
By not taking up the broader question of when partisan gerrymandering violates the constitution, the justices left the status quo in place, limiting the cases that can be brought in federal court. Here’s what that means for the future of Pennsylvania.
What you need to know today
- Police have identified two of the suspected gunmen in the Trenton arts festival shooting that left one person dead and 22 injured Sunday. Yesterday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy condemned the shooting and vowed to bring those responsible for “the lawlessness” to justice.
- Former Pennsylvania Governor and Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell publicly announced yesterday that he has Parkinson’s disease, but that his symptoms have stabilized with aggressive treatment.
- Philadelphia millennials have been criticized for years for not turning out to vote, but in the city’s May primary, they were the only age group that went to the polls at a higher rate than in the 2014 governor’s race.
- The practice of separating children from their parents, a result of the Trump administration’s new hard-line immigration enforcement policy, has unfolded largely in the dark, separated from the public and restricted to the media, but a new secret recording captures the cries of children housed by U.S. Customs and Border protection.
- A transgender woman accused of trying to burn a flag during Philadelphia’s Pride parade “dehumanizing” experience of being sent to a men’s prison and called by male pronouns is raising questions over how authorities treat transgender suspects.
- Debbie Sims Africa was released from state prison over the weekend, making her the first of nine MOVE members to be paroled after having served time for the 1978 shooting death of a Philadelphia police officer at the MOVE compound.
- Current Pennsylvania law forbids marijuana users from operating a car, truck, boat, or an airplane, but proposed legislation may soon give medical marijuana patients a pass to legally drive.
- A double shooting in South Philadelphia on Friday night that killed a 16-year-old boy and wounded a 12-year-old boy appears to have been a targeted attack and may be tied to gang activity.
Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly
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- Do you hear the pastries sing? Philly is in the middle of a croissant revolution, according to Inquirer food critic Craig Laban, and here are the top spots to take part.
- In New Jersey, new legislation is on the table to create an official “Anthony Bourdain Food Trail,” paying tribute to the recently-deceased Parts Unknown host’s 10 favorite dining spots across the state.
- Former Sixers great Charles Barkley appeared on Celebrity Family Feud last weekend, raising $25,000 for Hoboken’s Mustard Seed School and giving some, erm, awkward answers to host Steve Harvey’s questions.
- It’s offi-shell: New Jersey has joined the turtle club. Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation yesterday adopting the rare bog turtle as the Garden State’s official reptile.
- The Willows Mansion in Radnor Township is getting a renewed lease on life, thanks to $1 million from an anonymous donor who happened to wander in the room at the right time.
- Former Eagle-turned-actor Terry Crews took on a new role this weekend, hauling 500 bowls of Panera Bread’s Bacon Mac and Cheese from tent to tent at the Firefly Music Festival (and apparently having a great time) as part of the chain’s cheesy promotion.
“In this era of rampant misleading statements from elected officials, taxpayers also deserve factual conclusions from their controller, not sensationalized statements and recklessly inflated dollar figures designed more to grab headlines than to solve problems.“ — Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney defends the city’s bookkeeping, saying the purported $924 million in errors has “long since been resolved.”
- Whose side is God on in America’s moral civil war? That’s the question columnist Will Bunch asks as he condemns Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ “zero tolerance” immigration policy of separating children from parents at U.S. borders.
- The over-burdened foster care system needs to adopt digital record-keeping or risk losing key information about its children, foster parent Samuel Heidorn writes.
What we’re reading
- After she noticed her friends posting suicidal thoughts to social media as a freshman at North Penn High School in Montgomery County, Gabby Frost took action, establishing “Buddy Project,” an online network connecting peers seeking companions. Five years later, the nonprofit has paired more than 219,000 people and raised more than $40,000 to support mental health facilities across the United States, PhillyVoice reports.
- Philadelphia continues to invest in its public spaces, but who are they for and who’s designing them? PlanPhilly sat down with architect Ian Smith to discuss the importance of considering race in the public space.
- The younger generation of Liberal, Kansas — a small town in the southwestern part of the state — is beginning to develop a distinctive new accent. Atlas Obscura has the story.
- A vivacious young Massachusetts mother, beloved by her family and struggling with drug addiction, disappeared one night in 2014 as she stepped out to the store. Months later, her bones washed ashore on a nearby beach. Her killer was caught, but the mystery of her murder — why and how it happened — remained. The Boston Globe tracks the aftermath of Jaimee Mendez’s murder in this true crime retelling.
Meet Kathy Faul, the blind stone sculptress and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts student who sees the world – and her art –through touch.
- DC goes into lockdown - and it has nothing to do with COVID: Terrifying 'shoot-to-kill Democrats' plot forces 10,000 National Guard onto the streets and a ring of steel to go up for inauguration
- Gavin Rossdale, 54, goes shirtless as he works up a sweat during a tennis workout on Memorial Day
- RHOC's Meghan King goes Instagram official with new beau Will Roos... nearly two months after Christian Schauf split
- MTA worker, 31, who called in sick to join MAGA mob at Capitol appears in court to face federal charges and is released on $10,000 bond as New York authorities seek to fire him from his $73,000-a-year job
- Razor wire goes up around Capitol as more than 10,000 National Guard troops fortify the DC: Nation is on 'high alert' in response to multiple threats of 'extremist activity'
- Cambodia to have trade, labour courts by this year’s end
- US Capitol goes into temporary lockdown after fire breaks out nearby
- Meghan Markle’s dad says letter ‘shut me out and ended relationship’ after ‘I tried everything to get her to talk to me’
- Brexit deal goes to the wire: UK and EU 'are haggling over every fish' despite claims trade agreement is all-but DONE with Boris Johnson set to make historic announcement
- QAnon Shaman is supported by his mother in court as he's denied release after pushing conspiracy that Mike Pence 'is a child-trafficking traitor' and leaving a note for the VP saying 'it's only a matter of time, justice is coming'
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