It is shockingly cold this morning, friends. Like, “highs in the mid-teens" cold. We may have dodged the snowstorm that hit other parts of the country, but today’s flash freeze puts the city’s vulnerable at risk. Remember to really bundle up if you’re headed out to local Martin Luther King Jr. Day events. To kick off King Day, we’ve got a look at the women civil rights leaders whose stories often go untold this time of year. Whether you’re off for the day, going to work, or taking some time to give back, it’s a great read to mark the occasion.

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

Jamaal Simmons, imprisoned in 2012 for a murder in which he always denied involvement, was released from prison last month after a judge threw out his conviction and the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office declined to try him again.

And it happened in secret.

Simmons' case marks the fourth time in six months that a prosecution connected to ex-Philadelphia homicide detective Philip Nordo, who was fired in 2017, has either deteriorated or dissolved. And no one will say if there are more to come.

Throughout the country, many will spend today celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy and honoring the civil rights leader by participating in acts of service.

But, for all the events and memorials set to remember the civil rights movement each year, little is known about the women at the forefront of the struggle.

Today reporter Valerie Russ is shedding light on the women left out of the spotlight so you can learn their important stories.

If you submitted an absentee ballot in Pennsylvania for the 2018 midterm elections, your vote may not have been counted.

More than 4,600 of would-be voters' ballots arrived too late to be counted in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery Counties, and many of them have no idea.

Blame tight deadlines. The last day to request absentee ballots is the Tuesday before Election Day and the deadline for receipt is that Friday, leaving almost no room for error.

What you need to know today

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

View this post on Instagram

Keep fighting. It’s not over. #resist #persist

A post shared by Rebecca Adams (@rebecca___adams) on

Thanks for this peek inside the Women’s March, @rebecca___adams.

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

January 21, 2019
Signe Wilkinson
January 21, 2019

“Black women have been leading the fight so that the promise of Roe v. Wade, the ability to make the most personal decisions — whether and when to parent, to say no to sexual advances, to have dominion over our own health and lives — is realized for everyone.” — La’Tasha Mayes, founder and executive director for New Voices for Reproductive Justice, on black women being denied reproductive justice.

What we’re reading

Liv Tempesta in her freshman year dorm with her emotional-support cat, Skittles.
Handout
Liv Tempesta in her freshman year dorm with her emotional-support cat, Skittles.

A Daily Dose of | Support

Despite the punchlines over emotional support peacocks and goats, more college students are turning to therapy dogs and cats to help with mental health disorders.