Happy Friday, Philly. Spring has made its presence felt after a record-setting day on Thursday and we are in store for more heat today. If you're traveling with SEPTA this morning, check those train times. A derailment on the Northeast Corridor Wednesday is still expected to cause delays. Meek Mill is enjoying his freedom, but vows to use his platform to give a voice to those who feel like they can't speak out about criminal justice reform. The Sixers can't seem to find a rhythm as they dropped another game to the rival Celtics. The opioid crisis has hit Philadelphia hard and the spike comes as Pennsylvania experiences a stark increase in "deaths of despair." Thanks for spending your morning with us. Let's begin.

— Ray Boyd (@RayBoydDigital, morningnewsletter@philly.com)

during a news conference promoting Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposals to reform the criminal justice system at the National Constitution Center on Thursday, May 3, 2018.
TIM TAI / Staff Photographer
during a news conference promoting Gov. Tom Wolf’s proposals to reform the criminal justice system at the National Constitution Center on Thursday, May 3, 2018.

Last week, Meek Mill was in prison. Yesterday, he was at the Constitution Center with Gov. Wolf by his side. The rapper was there to push for criminal justice reform, a cause that Mill feels a sense of responsibility to fight for as he vows to represent "the voiceless."

The changes that Mill would like to see include reforms to the probation laws that allowed his judge to extend his supervision numerous times and to send him back to jail. 

While calling for change, Mill discussed what would have happened to him if he was one of the men arrested at Starbucks. While the rapper spoke, he was trailed by a camera crew that is filming an upcoming series.

They say young teams go through growing pains and the Sixers are really hurting right now. A 22-point first-half lead wasn't enough as the Celtics stormed back to take a 2-0 series lead last night.

The Celtics are riddled with injuries, so you have to imagine the Sixers have the talent to beat them. As my colleague Marcus Hayes writes, it may not be an issue of talent. It may be something much worse.

As the Sixers begin to fade in this series, so does their star. Ben Simmons was held to one point last night, but he isn't ready to give the Celtics credit for his bad performance. The Sixers will be back in action on Saturday at home.

From 2005 to 2016, Pennsylvania experienced a disturbing trend. "Deaths of despair" — deaths from suicide, alcohol and drug use — doubled in 10 years. Many of these deaths were tied to the opioid crisis that has gripped Philadelphia.

Nationally, these type of deaths rose by 50 percent during those years. In Pennsylvania, they rose at a much more rapid pace 

While deaths continue to climb in Pennsylvania, other states have seen no significant changes in overdose deaths. These deaths continue to plague Philadelphia as fentanyl has proved to be the most fatal drug.

What you need to know today

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May 4, 2018
Signe Wilkinson
May 4, 2018
I am sad to see Washington Avenue lose an important piece of its architectural heritage. But I am even sadder about the role a journalist played in its demise and the damage that these events will do to a profession that is crucial to preserving the architecture of our democracy."
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What we’re reading

In this photo released by Warner Bros., a taping of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” is seen at the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, Calif.
Michael Rozman/Warner Bros
In this photo released by Warner Bros., a taping of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” is seen at the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, Calif.

Your Daily Dose of | Surprise

Amber Connolly of Philadelphia has made several charitable efforts despite a dire financial situation. Her family is smiling after a major surprise from Ellen DeGeneres.