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BUSINESS
April 20, 2016 | By Jason Laughlin, Staff Writer
Safety permissions designed to protect maintenance workers on the rails had been granted before a fatal train crash in Chester this month, according to a federal report released Monday. According to the National Transportation Safety Board preliminary report, a backhoe was being used in a 55-hour maintenance cycle scheduled to clean the rocks on the rail bed and clear mud spots from April 1 to 4. Amtrak controls four tracks in the area just south of Highland Avenue Station in Chester and the maintenance crew was working on Track 2 on April 3. The backhoe was positioned on Track 3 so it could perform work on Track 2. Track 2 had been removed from service entirely, and Tracks 1, 3, and 4 were granted "intermittent foul time," a safety designation that should prevent trains from being routed onto tracks where workers or equipment are present, to accommodate the backhoe.
NEWS
April 19, 2016 | By Rob Tornoe, Staff Writer
Three people were shot and killed inside a Kensington home in Philadelphia early this morning, and a fourth was shot outside before the suspected shooter was arrested, according to police at the scene. Police say events began about 3:45 a.m. at the rowhome on the 600 block of Westmoreland Street. Multiple people called 911 after apparently hearing gunfire. When police arrived, the suspected shooter barricaded himself inside the home for little more than an hour. He surrendered to police shortly after 5 a.m. Detectives said the dead included the suspect's brother, the brother's girlfriend, and an unrelated man who lived at the home.
NEWS
April 17, 2016 | By Laura McCrystal, Staff Writer
The April evening began with a trip to the Phillies game. But the fun night out for a group of 21-year-olds from Lansdale ended with a gruesome accident that split a car in half. One passenger was left dead on the side of the road as the driver fled the scene. Emotion generated by the tragedy remained fresh three years later, as a Montgomery County judge Friday sentenced Sean Sperl, now 24, to three to six years in a state prison for the 2013 accident that killed Ryan Petrille. "This is a really, really sad day for two families who are in such pain on so many levels," said Judge Gary S. Silow.
NEWS
April 16, 2016 | By Emily Babay, STAFF WRITER
Police have identified men who were slain in separate shootings in Philadelphia this week, as investigators continue to search for the gunmen. Philadelphia police on Thursday identified 19-year-old Miguel Colon as the man who was found shot to death in a 1998 Honda CRV in Juniata Park on Wednesday afternoon. Officers found him suffering from gunshot wounds to his head, chest and arm inside the SUV, which was stopped with its engine running on the 4000 block of Howland Street just before 2 p.m. Medics took Colon, of Juniata Park, to Temple University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:34 p.m. In a separate case of a man found shot to death inside a vehicle, police identified 25-year-old Jahil Hubbard as the victim in an early Tuesday killing.
NEWS
April 16, 2016 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Staff Writer
For most people, the 21st birthday is the real beginning of adulthood. But when Jonathan Rosa turned 21 Thursday, it marked his entry into the netherworld of the state prison system: He was given a 45- to 90-year sentence for his role in the 2014 carjacking that ended in a crash that killed a mother and her three children as they sold fruit on a North Philadelphia sidewalk. "I messed up. I have made some very idiotic decisions," Rosa told Common Pleas Court Judge Rose Marie DeFino-Nastasi before she imposed the sentence, negotiated as part of his guilty plea.
NEWS
April 15, 2016
A 26-year-old man has pleaded guilty to fatally stabbing a woman in Camden three years ago, the Camden County Prosecutor's Office said Wednesday. Charles Sheppard, of Camden, pleaded guilty Tuesday to the first-degree murder of Rhonda Scott, 38, of Camden. Scott was stabbed to death in an abandoned home on the 1700 block of Tioga Street in Camden on Feb. 8, 2013. She died from multiple stab wounds, and her body was then set on fire, authorities said. Under the terms of the plea, Sheppard is to receive 30 years in state prison without parole when he is sentenced June 3 before Superior Court Judge Kathleen Delaney, prosecutors said.
NEWS
April 15, 2016 | By Julie Shaw, STAFF WRITER
A 19-year-old man was fatally shot inside an SUV in the Juniata Park section of the city Wednesday afternoon, police said. Officers responded to the shooting at 1:58 p.m. and found the man shot three times - in the head, chest and left arm - inside a silver Honda CR-V on the 4000 block of Howland Street. Medics took the victim to Temple University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:34 p.m., police said. No arrest has been made and no weapon has been recovered. The victim's name has not been released.
NEWS
April 14, 2016 | By Julie Shaw, Staff Writer
Tears flowed inside a Philadelphia Common Pleas courtroom Tuesday as a 28-year-old Sharon Hill woman pleaded guilty in a hit-and-run accident last year that left a 4-year-old Kingsessing boy dead. Under a negotiated deal, Shanika Mason was sentenced to two to five years in state prison after admitting leaving the scene of a fatal accident and involuntary manslaughter. Mason, who had been out on bail, was immediately taken into custody. Mason sobbed uncontrollably in court and was unable to finish reading a letter she wrote asking the boy's family for forgiveness.
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