Believe it or not, last night’s “snowfall” might have been the biggest of the slow-starting season. All it had to do was beat out the 0.1 inches that fell on Dec. 11 and the “traces” from Dec. 16 and 18.

In other news, a Philadelphia exoneration highlights flaws in the legal system, Pennsylvania’s new hemp rules could hurt industry-pioneering farmers, and President Donald Trump and Carrie Underwood are both planning trips to Wildwood.

In 1989, three drug dealers were lured to a housing project to buy guns, robbed, loaded into a van, and shot execution-style, their bodies left in different locations in North Philadelphia. Testimony from a man named James White helped convict two Germantown men — Christopher Williams and Theophalis Wilson — of the gruesome crimes.

Williams maintained his innocence for close to 30 years and was exonerated in December. And, based on “significant, material, exculpatory evidence,” Philly’s district attorney argued that Wilson should be cleared.

The case highlights a number of issues with Philadelphia’s and Pennsylvania’s legal systems, including, lawyers say, concealed evidence, corrupt relationships with informants, and an inadequate way of appointing and funding defense counsel that ultimately kept both men in prison for decades.

After two days of contentious legal arguments, Maddie isn’t going anywhere. A U.S. district judge has yet to rule whether the 6-year-old girl from Guatemala could leave the immigration detention center in Berks County with her father soon. She has been there for close to 200 days.

Federal immigration authorities have offered to immediately release Maddie to her mother in New Jersey. But the family’s lawyers said the failure to release her father makes the overture merely a different form of family separation.

What you need to know today

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

Last night’s weather had me like 😢 but I’m doing my best to 😄 today. Great find, @westofbroad.

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That’s interesting


“Despite some observations that the mayor’s second-term agenda isn’t as ambitious as his first, he and other incoming leaders seemed to find the right notes and words — prioritizing the safety of citizens, promoting equality and access for a city that once again has charged them to help make their lives better.” — Inquirer columnist Helen Ubiñas writes about her impressions of Mayor Jim Kenney’s plans for his second term.

  • One of the big things to come out of Kenney’s speech was his promise of street sweeping. Inquirer columnist Mike Newall writes that he supports the initiative but also that “it’s hard not to be a little bit cynical.”
  • The Inquirer Editorial Board writes about what a potential war with Iran would mean by looking back at the last two decades of U.S. involvement in the Middle East.

What we’re reading

Your Daily Dose of | a Revolutionary War traitor

Around here, it’s pretty common for streets to be named after Revolutionary War heroes. But what about a traitor? One reader asked us about Sandy Flash Drives in Ridley Creek State Park and Kennett Square by using our Curious Philly forum. And my colleague looked back through history to learn more about James Fitzpatrick, to whom the moniker Sandy Flash was attached.