Hello, dedicated readers of The Inquirer Morning Newsletter.

First: The primary election is today. Here’s what you need to know about voting — and here are the key factors we’re watching in the Democratic race between Philly DA Larry Krasner and challenger Carlos Vega.

Then: Meet the Eagles’ rookie wide receiver DeVonta Smith, whose character was forged from his mom’s values in a tiny Louisiana town.

And: And while you’re getting to know valuable players, meet the top teachers in Philly.

— Ashley Hoffman (@_ashleyhoffman, morningnewsletter@inquirer.com)

What to watch for in the Democratic primary between Philly DA Larry Krasner and Carlos Vega

The polls opened this morning and close at 8 p.m. Today’s the day Democratic voters make the choice between Philly District Attorney Larry Krasner and challenger Carlos Vega. The run-up has been tense.

Incumbent Krasner, formerly a civil rights lawyer, has spent his first term focused on changing what he views as systemic corruption, including focusing on exonerating people wrongly convicted and reducing mass incarceration. His challenger, Vega, a homicide prosecutor whom Krasner fired in 2018, has promised to continue reforms while returning to a more traditional approach to prosecution and close collaboration with police.

Let reporters Chris Brennan and Sean Collins Walsh be your guide to what to watch for in the Democratic primary between Krasner and Vega.

DeVonta Smith’s path to the Eagles began in a tiny Louisiana town, with a mother whose values helped forge his character

Meet Eagles rookie wide receiver DeVonta Smith, the No. 10 overall pick in this year’s NFL draft and the reigning Heisman Trophy winner.

Everyone saw his talent on display thanks to his one-handed touchdown catch last December against LSU. Rookies aren’t known for their maturity, but coaches and players say Smith has it. His mother says his upbringing had a lot to do with it, starting with her role as a social worker. ”I always asked, ‘Is this a time I can come?’ … You go into families’ houses and take their children away from them. … It’s not always the easiest job. I’ve been there when I’ve heard things [said to her] and it wasn’t so safe,” he told us in conversations with Les Bowen. Smith and those who know him best talk about the lessons he learned from coaches and mentors.

Our story brings you to Amite, La., where the former Alabama wide receiver developed the skills he’ll bring to the Eagles.

Helpful COVID-19 Resources

🆕 Everything you need to know about Philly’s reopening.

What are the CDC mask rules? Use our simple flowchart.

Symptoms of COVID-19, flu, common cold, and allergies can overlap. How to tell the difference.

Here’s our guide to safety and side effects of the vaccine for kids and teens.

Side effects mean your COVID-19 vaccine is working. But what if you don’t have a reaction?

What you need to know today

  • Here are the standouts of the 2021 Lindback winners, from the teacher who keeps expectations sky high for her pupils to the teacher who will not even hear any misconceptions about deficits of Philly’s students.

  • A judge dismissed all charges against ex-Philadelphia SWAT Officer Richard P. Nicoletti. The judge ruled that Nicoletti had not committed a crime when he pepper sprayed protesters on the Vine Street Expressway during last summer’s protests over the murder of George Floyd.

  • Starting this fall, every Stockton University student will take mandatory courses on race and racism. Will it lead other colleges to do the same?

  • Want proof that former president Donald Trump has maintained a grip on Pa. Republicans? Look no further than Sean Parnell, Liz Cheney, and Rudy Giuliani.

  • Election directors are stepping up to fill Pa.’s gaps after 2020′s challenges, and the experience they bring is varied.

  • This Philly lawyer works to empty death row. His new book reveals just how broken the system is.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

Right there with you living la vie en rose. Thanks for sharing this “sweet corner.”

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout-out!

That’s interesting

💖 Vanessa Bryant gave a heartfelt speech for Kobe at his induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

💀 First impressions matter, which is why this corpse flower that bloomed on Temple’s Ambler campus does the most to stand out with over-the-top antics, filling the air outside the greenhouse with a rancid odor to live up to its death-themed name. The showstopper deserves its own flower show, so here it is blooming in time-lapse form.


“Sports are supposed to be about developing character and team spirit. These bills, aimed only to exclude, do the opposite,” the Inquirer Editorial Board, which operates independently from the newsroom, writes that Republican lawmakers should target real issues where intervention is required, not bills that bully transgender children and should be dropped.

  • Ice cream social ready? No, you shouldn’t ask for someone’s vaccination status. There are things you can do, instead, columnist Elizabeth Wellington writes. Here’s how to ethically navigate the vaccination conversation.

  • Pennsylvania’s wildlife must be protected, and we humans depend on it, too, Pennsylvania Habitat Connectivity’s co-founders Anthony Bastian and Sally Ann Sims write.

What we’re reading

  • Next fall, Delaware Art Museum will re-create a sprawling Black art exhibition that was on view in 1971 in Wilmington, WHYY reports.

  • Let eagle-eyed Vanity Fair take you down a Mare of Easttown rabbit hole filled with all the clues about how this show might end presented with GIFs of the blink-and-you miss it telling moments.

  • Flying from Thailand to Mexico for the vaccine? For those who can afford it, people are taking plane trips from places with shortages, and VICE spoke to the vaccine seekers.

Your Daily Dose of | Access

Students at Penn State are determined to help with period poverty — the lack of access to affordable menstrual supplies. It’s an education issue, and one they’re addressing by distributing products. As many as 13% of 500 students surveyed have skipped class due to the lack of free period products in schools. Emma Cihanowyz, of the school’s Days for Girls Club, says Penn State falls somewhere “in the middle, toward the end of the pack” when it comes to menstrual equity at Big 10 universities.