Hello, devoted readers of The Inquirer Morning Newsletter.
First: After two years behind bars, Bill Cosby was released from prison on Wednesday, after the state’s highest court overturned his sexual assault conviction.
Then: Pools that are not reopening for a second summer are disproportionately located in lower-income neighborhoods.
And: Inside a couple’s search for the truth behind the death of their Marine son.
— Olayemi Falodun and Ashley Hoffman (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Bill Cosby was released from prison Wednesday after the Pennsylvania Supreme Court overturned his sexual assault conviction and barred him from being retried, upending the first high-profile celebrity conviction of the #MeToo era. The 83-year-old comedian served more than two years of a three- to 10-year sentence in a Montgomery County state prison.
The justices said Cosby was denied a fair trial, citing an agreement he struck with then-Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce L. Castor Jr. that the justices said barred Cosby from ever being charged with the 2004 assault of Temple University employee Andrea Constand. More than 50 women accused Cosby of rape, sexual assault, or some other form of sexual misconduct.
Reporters Jeremy Roebuck and Laura McCrystal have the story on the court’s decision and Cosby’s release.
The court’s decision shocked both his accusers and activists who saw his jailing as a great win for the #MeToo movement.
Freeing Cosby on narrow grounds disappointed lawyers seeking clarity on testimony by abuse victims.
Cosby’s release shined a light on firebrand former DA Bruce Castor. And Castor feels “vindicated.”
Celebrities, media figures, and accusers across the country quickly responded to the ruling.
Here’s where you can find sexual assault support and counseling resources in the Philadelphia region, including trauma counseling, 24-hour hotlines, support at appointments, and more.
As the temperatures swell, pools are reopening for the summer, but a number of lower-income neighborhoods will go another year without a place to take a dip and escape the heat.
Seventy-three percent of pools remaining closed are in zip codes where the median household income is less than $40,000. As for the pools opening this summer, 47% are in zip codes where the household incomes are $40,000 or higher.
Officials say a shortage of lifeguards is the reason behind 22 of the city’s 69 pools not reopening.
Ellie Rushing unpacks how the numbers tell a story of inequity in the city.
What you need to know today
For more than five years, the parents of a Marine from Kennett Square have looked for clues to what led to his unexpected death.
Take a look at the changes shoppers can expect to see at stores due to the plastic bag ban effective today. Philadelphia, meanwhile, is suing the state over a law prohibiting the enactment or enforcement of local plastic bag regulations.
Sen. Pat Toomey’s voting patterns might not have changed, but here’s why conservatives view him differently.
Gov. Tom Wolf vetoed a Republican rewrite of Pennsylvania’s Election Code, making clear his party’s opposition to stricter voter ID requirements and setting up a potential showdown on the issue at the ballot box.
Penn’s Amy Gutmann and Comcast’s David Cohen could land plum ambassador jobs thanks to their ties to Joe Biden.
Through your eyes | #OurPhilly
A picturesque summer is just getting started. Thanks for sharing.
Tag your Instagram posts with #OurPhilly, and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature here and give you a shout-out.
🍝 Take your pasta dinner for a stroll and a chomp along the boardwalk thanks to Ocean CIty’s DaMo Pasta Lab, which serves up fried pasta bites with all manner of the classics such as carbonara, amatriciana, and cacio e pepe. That’s amore for Craig LaBan.
🐱 You’re going to want to send your feline avoidant pals this story. The challenge of coming up with solutions for those allergic to pets has captured the imaginations of researchers working to “change cats” through their food, vaccines, and gene editing.
🌬️ New Jersey’s second offshore wind project is a go, and it’s going to power more than a million homes.
🍖 Time to bib up. The one-year-old venture Rick’s Backyard BBQ carries on the legacy of pit masters along New Jersey’s Route 40.
“I’m so conflicted. I hate to admit it, but it’s true. Part of me is secretly happy that Bill Cosby is out of prison. He’s so old and blind now. I highly doubt he will bother any more women ever again. I hated the thought of him being locked up like that. But then there’s the other part of me that’s shocked and angry. I believe women. I believe his accusers. I believe Andrea Constand,” columnist Jenice Armstrong writes about Cosby’s overturned conviction and release.
“On July Fourth, GOP legislators who know the truth about the 2020 elections and the Jan. 6 insurrection should consider whether their tolerance of the Big Lie is harming the country — and aiding China,” columnist Trudy Rubin writes how Chinese Communist Party’s 100th anniversary on July 1 relates to Independence Day in America.
Nicolas O’Rourke, a progressive faith leader, writes that he was arrested for protesting in Harrisburg because Pennsylvania’s students deserve a higher-quality education. The organizing director of the Pennsylvania Working Families Party makes the case for better school funding.
Pennsylvania leads the nation in pardon reform, and the system could realize hopes of starting over for tens of thousands who turned their lives around, writes Linda Dale Hoffa, a partner at Dilworth Paxson LLP.
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Your daily dose of | Keeping it real estate
With encouragement and a good deed from Grandmom Rose, Jamisa McIvor-Bennett, became a first-time homeowner and real estate investor when she was just 20. After she inherited her grandmother’s home in South Philly, she sold it and built her wealth through home ownership. And just eight years after a heartfelt conversation with Grandmom Rose, Bennett now owns 26 properties, while serving as both founder and CEO of Rosebud’s Investments. She is also holding a contest offering five families an opportunity to get one room in their home renovated for free.