A Philadelphia jury acquitted a South Philadelphia man of in the 2008 shooting death of Beau Zabel, an aspiring teacher who had recently arrived in Philadelphia from Minnesota. Jurors deliberated for about two hours before finding Marcellus Jones not guilty of murder, robbery and other charges. Jones, 37, is already serving a life sentence for a murder connected to the Zabel case. "This was a very difficult case," defense lawyer Richard J. Giuliani said. "I always believed there were problems with the prosecution case." Read more
The war of words between Mayor Michael Nutter and Donald Trump ramped up Wednesday, with Trump calling the mayor a "low life" and Nutter describing the Republican presidential candidate as "a cartoon character." The two have traded barbs in the wake of Trump's call to ban Muslims from entering the United States. Trump posted jabs on Twitter, say Nutter was a "crude dope" and doing a terrible job. "Rather than tweeting at me, what he needs to be doing is apologize to Muslims here in America and all over the world for his inappropriate and insulting proposal," Nutter said. Read more
The Pennsylvania Senate has voted unanimously to begin the process that could remove Attorney General Kathleen Kane from office. The chamber has scheduled a Jan. 12 hearing on whether Kane, who faces criminal charges and has a suspended law license, can continue in her post as the state's top law-enforcement official. Kane, and her lawyer, will be able to speak and present evidence at the hearing. Legislators said the move didn't necessarily mean they would vote to remove her. "While we agree there should be a hearing, we remain cautiously concerned about what happens after that," Sen Anthony H. Williams said. Read more
As the country fights a heroin and opiate epidemic and Philadelphians die from overdoses in record numbers, more babies are being born battling drug withdrawal. The condition, called neonatal abstinence syndrome, has led to rising numbers of critically ill infants in hospitals nationwide, including in Philadelphia. "Some of these babies stay for weeks," said Endla K. Anday, clinical director for neonatal services at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children. "Many weeks." The babies suffering from withdrawal are irritable and restless, and have high heart rates, fevers, diarrhea and tremors. They often vomit, cry excessively and stay awake constantly. "Some of them can't settle enough to take milk from the bottle," said Heidi Taylor, medical director for Temple University Hospital's intensive-care nursery. Read more
When Bill the Navy goat suffered from nausea and was struggling to breath, possibly after eating an azalea bush, his handlers rushed him from Annapolis, Md., to the University of Pennsylvania's New Bolton Center. Veterinarians at the large-animal hospital administered medicine to absorb the toxins, and the goat will be healed and healthy in time for Saturday's 116th Army-Navy game at Lincoln Financial Field. "He's doing great now," Naval Academy spokeswoman Jennifer Erickson said. Read more