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In his long road to acquittal, another example of a ‘flawed system’ | Morning Newsletter

And, how a South Jersey school is preparing to return to classrooms.

    The Morning Newsletter

    Start your day with the Philly news you need and the stories you want all in one easy-to-read newsletter

Happy Friday, readers of The Inquirer Morning Newsletter. Here is what’s going on.

First: A Philly man is finally free after three years in jail, two trials, and one vanished witness. He says his story is proof of a flawed system.

Then: Philly is spending $155 million on antiviolence. But a new analysis says most of that money won’t have an immediate impact.

And: Schools everywhere are preparing for a return to in-person learning. A look at how one South Jersey district is preparing to host students again.

— Lauren Aguirre (@laurencaguirre,

Tremell Foster spent three years in jail, going through two trials for the murder of the man he described as his closest friend. Foster was acquitted and released this week. In Foster’s view, the trial showed that many of the same issues that led to overturned murder convictions in recent years still persist now.

“I got to see the worst conditions a prison could ever deliver,” he said. “I been blessed to catch the door before it slammed shut on me.”

Reporter Samantha Melamed profiled his journey and his return home.

Philadelphia is making a big investment in antiviolence strategies, but a new analysis by the city controller says most of the funds won’t have an immediate impact. Just $33 million — or 21% of the total $155 million — would go toward intervention efforts that are most likely to have short-term results within one to three years.

“This increase in funding is a very good step, so I don’t want to overlook that,” Controller Rebecca Rhynhart said. “But as we move forward, we need to fund intervention programs at a higher level.”

Reporter Laura McCrystal breaks down five key takeaways from the controller’s report.

Reopening resources

  1. If you lost your vaccine card, here’s what to do.

  2. Have your vaccine card in hand? Here’s what to do with it — and what not to do.

  3. Here’s what Philly experts are thinking about the COVID-19 risk, while the delta variant’s outdoor transmission is still unclear.

  4. Track the latest data on COVID-19 cases in the region.

  5. Before you go out to eat, here’s a list of Philly restaurants requiring vaccination proof to dine indoors.

  6. What about COVID-19 booster shots? Here’s what you should know.

What you need to know today

  1. Afghans in the Philly area are waiting anxiously for their loved ones’ safety. Just getting inside the airport building in Kabul has been an ordeal for those trying to leave.

  2. After years in Afghanistan, these two New Jersey physician brothers are afraid for their patients and colleagues.

  3. A man who fatally shot a 2-year-old in Kensington was sentenced to at least 55 years in prison.

  4. Philly Mayor Jim Kenney firmly rejected calls for the National Guard to address gun violence, saying it’s not trained to fight city crime.

  5. Philadelphia will appeal a court order that prohibited the removal of the Columbus statue in Marconi Plaza.

  6. The new host of Jeopardy! disparaged women, Jewish people, and Haiti on a podcast, a report says.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

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Tag your Instagram posts with #OurPhilly, and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature here and give you a shout-out.

That's interesting

❤️ Haitians in Philly are sending aid after a massive earthquake. This is how you can help, too.

🍼 New moms latched on to remote breastfeeding help this past year. Will demand for these services decrease after the pandemic?

💰 Protecting New Jersey’s back bays from climate change-fueled storms could cost $16 billion, a federal report has found.

🌊 At the Jersey Shore, experts are on watch for stranded sea creatures. Here’s a look inside the only organization authorized to rescue these animals in New Jersey.

🥘 A new cookbook celebrates Gullah Geechee community and cuisine.


“In 50 years, what will the COVID-19 pandemic be in the American imagination? Unless we make a conscious decision to memorialize this era, it will be purposefully forgotten, like other pandemics,” writes English teacher Quinn O’Callaghan on why the U.S. should memorialize the COVID-19 pandemic with a holiday.

  1. President Biden, get our Afghan allies on evacuation planes. We have the means, writes Worldview columnist Trudy Rubin.

  2. Philly’s Vietnam success story shows why Pennsylvania must lead today in welcoming Afghan refugees, writes national columnist Will Bunch.

  3. “Look at all the hurt” as Philadelphia’s homicides climb and more children are shot and killed, writes metro columnist Helen Ubiñas.

  4. As someone who has been evicted, I want Congress to fully fund housing, writes Keena Minifield, the policy and civic engagement associate for the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania.

What we’re reading

  1. President Joe Biden is taking aim at states banning mask mandates, like Texas. The Texas Tribune has more.

  2. Planning to work remote permanently? Facebook has an app for that. It’s rolling out a virtual reality videoconference app. Learn more with Vox.

Your daily dose of | Stoppy

This is Stoppy, the stop sign that gets “knocked over constantly.” Estimates for how many blows Stoppy has suffered over the last decade range from 50 to 70. But each time, Stoppy reemerges. For some residents of Cheltenham Township, Stoppy is a beacon of resiliency.