Welcome to the 20th day of the partial government shutdown. If this lasts until Saturday, and it looks like it might‚ it’ll set a new record — not the good kind, of course. In the meantime, its effects continue to pile up and area domestic violence shelters are starting to feel the pressure as they face the uncertain future of federal funding. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump made his case for building a wall along the southern U.S. border, the request on which the shutdown hinges. He suggested it might help keep drugs out of the country, but my colleague Aubrey Whelan has found that a wall is not likely to keep heroin and fentanyl from getting to Philly.

— Aubrey Nagle (@aubsn, morningnewsletter@philly.com)

In his prime-time address Tuesday night, President Trump suggested the wall he wants built for the southern border of the U.S. might stop heroin from entering the country.

In reality, traffickers smuggle most of the heroin through legal crossing points that are patrolled, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

So, how does it happen? Inquirer reporting and recent DEA reports show that heroin and fentanyl come into the U.S. and to the Philadelphia region in ways unlikely to be stopped by a border wall.

The partial shutdown of the federal government continues and yesterday’s negotiating session between President Trump and congressional leaders ended almost as soon as it began.

The longer it goes on, the bigger domino-effect the shutdown has. Programs that rely on federal funding to aid vulnerable populations, for instance, are starting to worry.

Some area domestic-violence shelters say they could have to cut services if the shutdown continues, and they’re already starting to feel its effects.

In 2009, Michael Beautyman’s Porsche 911 Carrera was flooded by torrential rain in Florida. State Farm refused to pay for thousands of dollars in repairs, so Beautyman, a Flourtown-based lawyer, sued the insurer.

The case has gone nowhere in nine years, but a new twist has thickened the plot of the slow-moving drama.

Beautyman now claims that State Farm was helped by a judge who oversaw the case and was once State Farm’s lawyer. Legal experts, however, don’t see a problem.

What you need to know today

  • Today’s competitive affordable housing landscape has created a crisis for low-income seniors. In Philadelphia, the wait to get into an affordable senior housing unit can take years and demand is growing.
  • A man wanted in Delaware is still missing after a car chase to catch him wreaked havoc in Philly yesterday. Three officers chasing him by car were hurt during a crash on I-95 and the suspect subsequently crashed his car into a SEPTA bus before fleeing on foot.
  • Health officials have confirmed the first death of a New Jersey child associated with the flu this season. According to the New Jersey Department of Health, flu activity is high all across the state.
  • Johnny Bobbitt, the formerly homeless veteran charged in a $400,000 GoFundMe scheme, was arrested Wednesday in Fishtown after skipping a court hearing Tuesday. 
  • The Ocean Resort Casino, which just opened in the former Revel space in June, may be in hot water. The Denver-based developer who purchased the Atlantic City property last year is seeking a new buyer. 
  • Jessie Redmon Fauset, considered the “midwife” of the Harlem Renaissance, was once honored with a historical marker outside her North Philly home. It was removed for cleaning around 2014 and now nobody knows where it is.

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

I believe “wow” is the appropriate word here, @hswphilly.

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That’s Interesting


Democrats' Wall
Signe Wilkinson
Democrats' Wall

“Unfortunately, our state’s antiquated voter registration law — rather than harnessing this enthusiasm by making it easier for residents to vote — perpetuates an outdated system that restricts access and discourages participation.” — State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro on the case for same-day voter registration in Pennsylvania.

What we’re reading

Lou DiOrio poses for a portrait by the hole in the wall at a construction site in the Curtis building at 6th and Walnut where he found a woman's bag of her belongings from 20 years ago on Wednesday, Jan. 09, 2019.
HEATHER KHALIFA / Staff Photographer
Lou DiOrio poses for a portrait by the hole in the wall at a construction site in the Curtis building at 6th and Walnut where he found a woman's bag of her belongings from 20 years ago on Wednesday, Jan. 09, 2019.

A Daily Dose of | Pipe Dreams

Twenty years ago, Philly cardiologist Kimberly French’s bag was stolen with her keys and wallet inside. On Monday she finally got it all back after a plumber found the bag inside a wall.