It isn't always sunny in Philadelphia, but this week we can count on the heat sticking around. If you're in need of some patience to keep your cool with the summer temps, you might want to check out the breathing exercises of these local roofers who are working to build their emotional intelligence on the construction site. In other news, rapper Meek Mill came face-to-face with the contentious judge who previously sent him prison, while the U.S. Supreme Court looked the other way on ruling on Pennsylvania's partisan gerrymandering.

Reading this online? Sign up here to get this newsletter delivered to your inbox every morning.

— Oona Goodin-Smith (@oonagoodinsmith,

» READ MORE: ‘You need to breathe.’ Meet the rough-and-tumble roofers who aren’t afraid of their feelings

They spend most days working on the construction site, but a group of local roofers is putting new emphasis on building its workers' emotional intelligence, too.

Two years ago, Ed DeAngelis decided his construction company, EDA Contractors, was archaic and dominated by "too much testosterone." Workers didn't know how to deal with their emotions on the job, and it was hurting their ability to make smart decisions, ask for help, lead a team, he said.

In search of vulnerability, DeAngelis turned to his Aunt Pat, a former hospital CEO who now aids the 200 roofers in constructive breathing exercises and learning to talk through their feelings. Apparently it's working, and that's something the "rough-and-tumble" crew is raising the roof about.

» READ MORE: Meek Mill hearing before Judge Genece Brinkley devolves into a laughing matter

For the first time since his emergency release from prison, Philadelphia rapper and criminal justice reform advocate Meek Mill came face-to-face yesterday with the judge who sentenced him behind bars for violating the terms of his probation stemming from his 2008 conviction on drug and gun charges.

During the two-hour hearing, Common Pleas Court Judge Genece Brinkley repeatedly clashed with the rapper's six lawyers, who accused her of acting like a prosecutor and of laughing at their expert witness. Brinkley — who will remain on the case despite Mill's multiple appeals for a new judge — ultimately said she needed more time to decide if the rapper should get a new trial.

Around 300 supporters gathered outside the criminal justice center prior to the courtroom kerfuffle for a "Justice 4 Meek" rally in solidarity with the rapper.

» READ MORE: How the U.S. Supreme Court’s partisan gerrymandering non-decisions affect Pa.

The U.S. Supreme Court ducked the chance to rule on the issue of partisan gerrymandering Monday, deciding not to decide on the re-districting and returning two meaty cases to lower courts on narrow procedural grounds.

By not taking up the broader question of when partisan gerrymandering violates the constitution, the justices left the status quo in place, limiting the cases that can be brought in federal court. Here's what that means for the future of Pennsylvania.

What you need to know today

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

Why, hello to you, too, @philaflowerboxes.

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


"In this era of rampant misleading statements from elected officials, taxpayers also deserve factual conclusions from their controller, not sensationalized statements and recklessly inflated dollar figures designed more to grab headlines than to solve problems." — Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney defends the city's bookkeeping, saying the purported $924 million in errors has "long since been resolved."

What we’re reading

  • After she noticed her friends posting suicidal thoughts to social media as a freshman at North Penn High School in Montgomery County, Gabby Frost took action, establishing "Buddy Project," an online network connecting peers seeking companions. Five years later, the nonprofit has paired more than 219,000 people and raised more than $40,000 to support mental health facilities across the United States, PhillyVoice reports.

  • Philadelphia continues to invest in its public spaces, but who are they for and who's designing them? PlanPhilly sat down with architect Ian Smith to discuss the importance of considering race in the public space.

  • The younger generation of Liberal, Kansas — a small town in the southwestern part of the state — is beginning to develop a distinctive new accent. Atlas Obscura has the story.

  • A vivacious young Massachusetts mother, beloved by her family and struggling with drug addiction, disappeared one night in 2014 as she  stepped out to the store. Months later, her bones washed ashore on a nearby beach. Her killer was caught, but the mystery of her murder — why and how it happened — remained.  The Boston Globe tracks the aftermath of Jaimee Mendez's murder in this true crime retelling.

A Daily Dose of | Sculpting

Meet Kathy Faul, the blind stone sculptress and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts student who sees the world – and her art –through touch.