When you read that a purchase is a “Product of the USA,” you’re pretty much assuming it was made here, right? Well, apparently that line gets a little fuzzy when it comes to mushrooms, and it’s putting the squeeze on mushroom growers in our region. My colleague Sam Wood’s report may have you rethinking your shiitake purchases. And yes, the government shutdown is indeed over, for now. But the mess it left behind has yet to be cleaned up. A look at how Immigration Courts will be impacted makes for a startling read this morning.

— Aubrey Nagle (@aubsn, morningnewsletter@philly.com)

Kennett Square, Pa., is known as the Mushroom Capital of the World. But Oakshire Mushroom Farms and several other mushroom producers in Southeastern Pennsylvania say their business is being clobbered by imports.

Oakshire, for instance, is laboring under more than $10 million in debt and has filed for bankruptcy.

Making matters worse, mushrooms that originate in China are being labeled “Product of the USA” thanks to a regulatory quirk.

The partial government shutdown has ended and the government has reopened (for now, at least). But that doesn’t mean everything goes right back to normal, especially for the Immigration Courts.

During the shutdown, immigration hearings were cancelled at a rate approaching 20,000 per week.

That means some migrants who have already waited two, three, or even four years for hearings may have to wait two or three more.

In the last election, Burlington County Democrats won over the county’s governing body. This month they took control, and they’ve already taken aim at a pipeline project in the Pinelands.

The controversial $180 million Southern Reliability Link pipeline cuts through the federally protected million-acre tract.

Now Democrats want the chairman of the Pinelands Commission to step down and the fight is escalating in the courts.

What you need to know today

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

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That’s Interesting


“Yes, we’re so afraid of asking people to move their cars that we’re going to deputize a small army of trash blowers to push rubbish under, around, and possibly over parked cars and into the path of the aforementioned street sweepers.” — Columnist Mike Newall on the city’s loud, odd, and very Philly solution to our filthy streets.

What we’re reading

Senior Nytasia’s desk she painted for the “No More Empty Desks” campaign at the Brimm Medical Arts High School in Camden Wednesday January 23. 2019.
DAVID SWANSON / Staff Photographer
Senior Nytasia’s desk she painted for the “No More Empty Desks” campaign at the Brimm Medical Arts High School in Camden Wednesday January 23. 2019.

A Daily Dose of | Activism

A Camden school nurse has turned her wish to end gun violence into a grassroots arts campaign, symbolized by empty desks painted by students