Happy Friday, Philadelphia. We're two days away from Super Bowl LII. Let's not forget about the players we're rooting for under the helmets. The judge who sent Meek Mill back to prison has hired a lawyer, and the settlement amount paid to Rep. Pat Meehan's sexual harassment accuser has been revealed. Today's also Groundhog Day. Are you hoping for an early end to winter? There's plenty to discuss, so let's get started.
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With their faces covered (sometimes by wrestling masks), it's easy to forget who the players are donning midnight green and seeking to bring our city its first Super Bowl title. My colleagues have worked to peel back the underdog masks to get to know the players.
On the road
Those stories are just a snippet of what my colleagues have been collecting from Minnesota and several stops along the way. The Philadelphia Inquirer is on the road for the Super Bowl and you can see what we're seeing right here.
On newsstands today
Grab a copy of our 24-page special section on the Eagles vs. Patriots in today's keepsake edition of the Inquirer and the Daily News, with exclusive insights from our 24 sports reporting pros on the ground in Minneapolis. See the special "Episode LII: A New Hope" cover for yourself.
Things have not quieted down for the Philadelphia judge who sent rapper Meek Mill back to prison. If anything, things have only gotten louder and now Judge Genece E. Brinkley has hired lawyer A. Charles Peruto Jr., and is ready to fight back.
Peruto denies allegations that Brinkley tried to extort personal favors from Mill and used his sentence as a means to lash out at the rapper, calling it "a ridiculous and outrageous claim." He added that his client is prepared to sue.
In an effort to fight one accusation, late last week, Brinkley unsealed a transcript of a meeting she had with the rapper which was the subject of a serious allegation lodged against her by Mill.
According to sources familiar with the case, the former aide who accused Rep. Pat Meehan of sexual harassment last year, received nearly $40,000 in a settlement funded by taxpayers.
Meehan announced that he will not seek reelection as criticism intensified around the settlement. He stated that he would repay the public funds if the ethics committee finds that he actually committed sexual harassment.
The married Meehan, 62, has maintained that he did not sexually harass the former aide and never sought to have a romantic relationship with her. He claimed that he saw the aide as a "soul mate" and developed strong feelings due to their close working relationship.
The Eagles are headed to the big game, so here's your chance to show them your support. Send us your photos showing your Eagles pride: we're looking for displays of super-fandom with a good luck message to the team.
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