From incarceration to re-fueled eminence, the last few months have been marked by decidedly positive change for Philly rapper Meek Mill, who's slated to headline the Made in America festival next week and credits Philly for his fighting spirit. Music critic Dan DeLuca sat down with Meek to discuss life after prison and the future of his career. In the case of Johnny Bobbitt, the Philly homeless man who made headlines after giving his last $20 to a woman in need of gas, the last few months have not been so positive. Once promised a new life through a $400,000 GoFundMe campaign in response to his generosity, Bobbitt is homeless and addicted to drugs once again, a court battle may be brewing over the management of the donations.
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— Oona Goodin-Smith (@oonagoodinsmith, morningnewsletter@philly.com)

Philadelphia rap artist Meek Mill at the Power Plant Studio on August 1, 2018. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer
Michael Bryant
Philadelphia rap artist Meek Mill at the Power Plant Studio on August 1, 2018. MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer

Six months ago, Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill spent 23 hours each day in a jail cell, facing up to three and a half more years behind bars on a probation violation. Now, he's released four new songs — including Philly anthem "Milladelphia" — and is slated to headline Jay-Z's Made in America festival on the Ben Franklin Parkway over the Labor Day weekend. Every day, though, he says he worries about returning to life in an orange jumpsuit.

Inquirer music critic Dan DeLuca sat down with the rapper and newfound criminal justice reform advocate to discuss Mill's music career, Philly roots and a legal battle that's far from over.

You may remember Johnny Bobbitt, the Philadelphia homeless man who made international headlines last fall after using his last $20 to help a New Jersey woman buy gas on the side of I-95, and whose viral heartwarming generosity inspired 14,347 donors to give over $400,000 to a GoFundMe campaign in hopes of helping him find a home and financial help.

But the feel-good story has taken a turn and may be headed to court. In less than a year since the world opened its hearts and wallets to the heartwarming cause, half the donated money has been spent without a paper trail, and the New Jersey woman and her boyfriend say they are withholding the other crowd-funded $200,000 until Bobbitt — now homeless, panhandling, and addicted to drugs — can get clean and find a job.

Bobbitt, on the other hand, claims the couple has been using the funds for vacations, vehicles and gambling.

Shoddy tour buses without air-conditioning in sweltering summer heat. Teenagers forced to provide medical care in lieu of professionals on staff. A known registered sex offender coaching the young performers.

This is Pioneer, a Milwaukee-based drum and bugle corps that crosses the country each summer performing theatrical marching band numbers to devoted fans. And now  — in a year that has brought unprecedented scrutiny of drum corps beginning in Allentown, Pa. — it's the latest to face questions about its leadership, and to inspire renewed criticism of the activity's governing body.

What you need to know today

  • Prosecutors did not correct court records when two retired city police detectives gave false testimony against a Philadelphia man who was later acquitted by a jury and paid $10 million after spending 25 years behind bars wrongly convicted for murder, a new complaint claims.
  • Last night's preseason game was a rough one for the Eagles as the Super Bowl champs fell 5-0 to the Cleveland Browns.
  • Relax, New Jerseyans. You probably won't have to pay an extra 5 cents each time you pick up a plastic carryout bag from Wawa. Gov. Phil Murphy is poised to veto the bill on bags, but a push for a full-on plastic ban may be coming to the Garden State.
  • Farming: it's not just for men, anymore. Meet the Pennsylvania and South Jersey women breaking into the agricultural boys club.
  • Calling diversity "a bunch of crap" didn't hurt this New Jersey congressional candidate. In fact, after Seth Grossman made his comment to the Inquirer and Daily News, his campaign donations tripled.
  • Almost all HPV-related cancers are increasing in the United States, and yet the vaccine with the potential to nearly wipe out the viruses remains underused, new data find.

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

Brilliant, @wickedawesometravels.

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

Opinions

Sean Delonas, CagleCartoons.com
"We failed these victims so badly for entirely too long. Now is our opportunity to do right. To make up for our transgressions of doing nothing in the past."
— Pennsylvania First Lady Frances Wolf urges state lawmakers to act quickly to protect victims of clergy sexual abuse.
  • While local solutions benefit individuals at a local level, the problem of food insecurity itself stems from under-investment in students and the future, writes Rowan University student Kevin Rescigno.
    As the new school year begins, the Inquirer and Philly.com are seeking local college students to share their views on the issues that matter most to them right now, like Temple junior Kimberly Burton on being a conservative,  Delaware Community College's Frederick Shegog on collegiate recovery programs, or University of Pennsylvania senior Aminata Sy on providing more support to students who speak English as a second language. If you're a student at a local college or university and would like to submit a commentary piece for future consideration, you can email 600-word pieces to Erica Palan at epalan@philly.com.

What we’re reading

  • The Ice Age may have wiped out its namesake, but the Mastadon social network may be the one forcing Philadelphia Twitter into extinction, says Technical.ly Philly.
  • Wonder what kind of fuel it takes to fuel a long-distance finish? Philly Mag lays out the menu on everything an elite runner eats during a week of marathon training.
  • Near-suicide experiences hold extraordinary power and can save lives, experts say. Cosmopolitan talks with suicide survivors on how they coped and came out the other side.
  • What do you really know about Burning Man? In this visually stunning piece, The Washington Post examines  how a hippie huddle became a lifestyle.
. ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer
Elizabeth Robertson
. ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer

Your Daily Dose of | Fudgy Wudgy

The tradition of mostly older military veterans selling cold treats at the Jersey Shore treats is fading, and the beach-based ice cream brigade is undergoing a youth movement. Call it the new era of the Fudgy Wudgy.