Former U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah has been sentenced to 10 years in prison, one of the longest terms ever imposed on a member of Congress for corruption. At Monday's sentencing hearing, Fattah expressed regret but stopped short of fully acknowledging guilt. "The investigation and the trial has been the most disappointing event in my now 60-year life," he said. "I've helped tens of millions of people, and that has nothing to do with the fact that I have been found on the wrong side of these questions by a jury." U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III told the former 11-term congressman: "You abused the trust they placed in you time and time again." Read more
German grocery giant Lidl has acquired a Port Richmond site for what may be the discount chain's first Philadelphia location. Property records show that Lidl's U.S. unit paid $2.88 million for two parcels on East Butler Street near Aramingo Avenue. Lidl aims to eventually operate 150 stores in the eastern United States, with the first expected to open by 2018. Read more
A man wanted in connection to a July shooting was shot and killed in Oxford Circle by a federal marshal. Members of the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force were seeking to serve 28-year-old Kenneth Robledo with an attempted-murder warrant. When officers approached Robledo, he pointed a gun at them and was fatally shot, officials said. Read more
A proposed rail trail in Bucks County could move forward or hit a dead end when Northampton Township supervisors vote tomorrow on an engineering study of the project. The other four municipalities through which the trail would run have indicated support for it. The proposed $4.8 million Newton Rail Trail, which would run along unused SEPTA track, would link to Montgomery County's Pennypack Trail and extend the regional path for cyclists and pedestrians. But opponents in Northampton worry about crime, trespassing, wildlife disruption, insurance, law enforcement costs and quality of life. ""They're telling you it's all going to be rainbows and lollipops and sunshine. They don't tell you that it's going to be within 20 feet of people's houses," said Bruce Stamm, president of the Jordan Corners Homeowners Association. Read more
A new national effort, led in part by Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, will work to recruit 50,000 low- and moderate-income students to the nation's top colleges. About 430,000 low-income students attend the nation's top 270 schools now; the new American Talent Initiative aims to raise that number to 480,000 by 2025. The schools will work together at recruiting students and helping them graduate, share information on efforts that work and explore how to best provide financial aid. "It's really about strengthening the whole of college opportunity, building a much stronger bridge between high schools and the top-performing colleges," aid Daniel R. Porterfield, president of F&M. "We need to provide a ladder for students to pursue the strongest opportunities." Read more