5 things to know for your day -- Tuesday, January 28

A deep freeze sends the South shuddering. Obama faces a big test. And a folk icon passes away.

It's Tuesday, and here are the "5 Things to Know for Your New Day."


The big chill: The Deep South will be in the deep freeze. The Big Easy will become the Big Icy. And Hotlanta will be more like Hurtlanta. It'll be brrrrutally cold today, folks. C-O-L-D!! As in French Quarter-shutting-down cold. As in the world's busiest airport-canceling-hundreds-of-flights cold. As in, the polar vortex-don't-play cold. So bundle up, stock up and stay safe. If you hit the road, take a fully charged cell phone. And if you go to the store, don't be greedy -- save a loaf for your fellow man.


A defining test: This time last year, President Obama laid out several priorities in his State of the Union address. How many did he get through Congress? Zip. Congress ignored his calls for a new jobs program, for new gun controls and for sweeping immigration reform. That's why tonight's address is a biggie. Can Obama rebuild his standing? Force action on some of his priorities? Or will this be another year of gridlock -- a gateway to "lame duck" status?


"God's will will be done": That's Jonathan Ferrell's mother, Georgia, after a second grand jury indicted the cop who shot her unarmed son to death. The word "second" is important here. The first one refused to. You may remember the case: Officer Randall Kerrick of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg PD fatally shot Ferrell after a woman -- home alone with her 1-year-old child -- called 911 and reported someone was trying to break down her front door. This was last September, and Ferrell was reportedly seeking help after a car crash. Last week, a grand jury declined to indict Kerrick. But prosecutors sent the case back. And yesterday, the officer was indicted on a voluntary manslaughter charge.


A complicated case: Sasha Menu Courey was a freshman on the University of Missouri swim team when she was allegedly raped by a football player. Her parents say she told a campus nurse and a campus doctor about it, but the school didn't investigate. The school says it wasn't told about the suspected attack because one of its policies doesn't allow staffers to report sexual assaults without a victim's consent. Courey committed suicide in 2011. And now, after a piece by ESPN's "Outside the Lines," the school has referred the case to the Columbia PD for investigation.


An icon passes: He was an iconoclast. A legend. A tireless activist who gave voice to the voiceless until the very end. Pete Seeger, the man considered the father of folk music and who inspired legions of activist singer-songwriters, died yesterday. His grandson told CNN that the 94-year-old singer died of natural causes. Regardless of how old you are, there's bound to be one Pete Seeger song or another that has touched you, roused you to action or, at the very least, prompted you to hum along: "Where have all the flowers gone," "Guantanamera," "Turn, turn, turn." We learned of Seeger's death early this morning. And the tributes and tweets followed almost immediately.

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