Our region dries out today with cloudy skies and temperatures approaching the upper 50s.

Today, we dive into the Chester County land trust that has aided some of the wealthiest in earning million-dollar tax breaks, most notably former President Donald Trump.

It’s a beast of a story, but it’s a really good one.

Also, today we have the latest on the gun that 12-year-old Thomas “TJ” Siderio allegedly had in his possession when he was killed by Philadelphia police.

And we are continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine and the effects here at home.

If you see this 🔒 in today’s newsletter, that means we’re highlighting our exclusive journalism. You need to be a subscriber to read these stories.

— Kerith Gabriel (@sprtswtr, morningnewsletter@inquirer.com)

The Chesco trust that helped Trump evade $21 million in taxes

For the last three years, the New York State attorney general has not-so-quietly been investigating Donald Trump’s finances.

A recent discovery shows that the former president had dealings with a Chester County-based land trust that assisted in a $21 million tax break on 213 acres of Trump’s Seven Springs estate in New York in 2015.

North American Land Trust, the Chadds Ford-based firm that helped Trump obtain what’s known as a “conservation easement” on the estate, blocked any future development. It also used documents that qualified the land for tax relief under 40-year-old preservation rules enacted by Congress.

But when it comes to policy around these agreements, NALT is not a member of the Land Trust Alliance, the Washington-based standard-setting group for conservation trusts, which has pushed for legislation that would effectively ban deals it views as abusive.

Our reporter Jacob Adelman delivers a whale of a story that I highly recommend you set aside some time for today. 🔒

What you should know today

The gun TJ Siderio allegedly tossed was found 60 feet from where he lay, shot

The equivalent of five doors down from where the 12-year-old South Philly boy was fatally shot by an officer last week, according to additional video and audio recordings obtained by The Inquirer.

Police have still been unable to confirm whether TJ was carrying the weapon at the time he was hit and have already begun the process of firing the officer, Edsaul Mendoza, who, according to police sources, fired the shot.

Through a compilation of obtained video footage, police-dispatch audio, police records, and interviews, reporters Barbara Laker and Ryan Briggs recount events that tell the story of a tragedy that unfolded in less than a minute.

🧠 Philly Trivia Time 🧠

It’s said that DeAndre Jordan, the Sixers backup center to star Joel Embiid, could be the key to the team’s title hopes. He’s also been called Embiid’s “understudy,” despite being in the NBA longer – and being older. Today’s question: How much older is Jordan than Embiid? Take a guess and find the answer here. 🔒

a. 6 years

b. 8 years

c. 10 years

What we’re…

🤔 Wondering: If she can’t get Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf to end his state ban on Russian spirits, what will this Slovakian woman do with the 30,000 bottles of Russian vodka in her possession?

📚 Reading: This piece on Bucks County teen murderer Cosmo DiNardo and what’s being referred to as “his descent into madness.”

📺 Watching: How Mehmet Oz’s GOP rivals are turning the tables on his celebrity status with the increase of television smear campaigns.

🧩 Unscramble the Anagram 🧩

He was once considered the world’s richest man and he lived here in Philadelphia.


Think you know? Send your guess our way at morningnewsletter@inquirer.com. We’ll give a shoutout to a reader at random who answers correctly. Today’s shoutout goes to Victoria in Powelton Village, who correctly guessed DIVINE LORRAINE as Wednesday’s answer.

Photo of the day

Always a pleasure, Philly. I’ll catch you tomorrow. ✌️