Happy Friday. Here's your look at five stories to know about before the weekend hits:
1. Remembering Mandela: The world is mourning the Thursday death of Nelson Mandela, who survived 27 years in prison and became president of post-apartheid South Africa. In Philadelphia, he is being recalled as an advocate for justice, and all city flags will be lowered to half-staff today in his honor. Mandela was a co-recipient of Philadelphia's Liberty Medal in 1993.
2. Medicaid waiver: Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett is slated to outline his Medicaid proposal today. The administration says it plans to submit a waiver to use Medicaid funds to provide health insurance for uninsured Pennsylvania residents. The system would use the federal money to cover private insurance costs, through the Obamacare exchange system, rather than expanding Medicaid.
3. Blind dogs: The heart-warming story of two Delaware County dogs is being recognized nationally. Jeffrey, a blind pit bull, and Jermaine, his brother who acts as his guide dog, are up for the Today show's pet of the year award. People can vote for the duo online through noon today.
4. Union award: The United Steelworkers Local 10-1 will honor two management officials at the union's annual banquet on Saturday, an unusual decision. Philadelphia Energy Solutions chief executive Philip Rinaldi and Carlyle Group managing director David Marchick are slated to receive the union's "Solidarity and Appreciation Awards" for saving a South Philadelphia refinery.