Friends and family gathered Sunday at a prayer vigil for Xavier Stern, an Upper Darby teenager found fatally shot in a car in North Philadelphia. The discovery of the Upper Darby High School sophomore's death came nearly three weeks after he left his family's home and one day after his father reported him missing. His father, Richard Stern, said the boy "was on the run. But everyone knew where he was at. That's why I didn't report him missing until [Thursday]. By then, no one had heard from him or seen him." Richard Stern blasted the investigators handling his son's death: "The police aren't telling me anything." Authorities say they're working to piece together the final weeks of Xavier Stern's life, and detectives are investigating the teen's death as a homicide. He was placed on house arrest with an electronic monitoring anklet after a March assault case, police said, and cut off the device and left home after an argument with his family Nov. 22. "Despite what you've read about Xavier, he was compassionate, loving, and funny. He was just trying to find his way," said Sonantonious "Sonny" Moore, Stern's football coach for two years. Read more
UberBlack drivers say their business in Philadelphia has been cannibalized since the lower-cost UberX was introduced to the Philadelphia market. "It has all gone downhill," said Kenan Sabanai, an UberBlack driver in Port Richmond. "We've heard the complaints of the UberBlack drivers and are working with both sides of the equation to help them make more money," Uber spokesman Jason Post said. "It's in Uber's interest for drivers to make money." Some UberBlack drivers, who complain that UberX is not licensed by the Philadelphia Parking Authority but continues to operate, are planning to protest Wednesday afternoon near City Hall. The UberBlack drivers want authorities to stop UberX operations in the city. "Why are the state agencies sitting on their hands?" Ali Razak said. Read more
Just two of Chestnut Hill College's full-time professors are black, despite a student body that is nearly one-third black. All 29 members of the college's board of directors are white, and the school has no black deans or vice presidents. "Institutions that are what they have always been are missing something," said Antoinette Ford, an oceanographer who attended the Catholic college in the early 1960s and was the first African American woman picked as a White House Fellow. "They're missing a lot." Ford is a member of the Chestnut Hill College Alumni of Color Collective. The group is pushing for more diversity at the Northwest Philadelphia school, a position bolstered by a recent case before the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. "I do think there needs to be more people of color represented at every level of the administration, faculty and staff," said Sister Carol Jean Vale, president since 1992. "I understand young people of color need to see successful people who look like them. I think it is a totally legitimate desire." Read more
A freshman at Central Bucks West High School died from injuries he suffered when he was hit by a car while skateboarding on Route 611. Steven Kim, 15, was a quarterback on the school's football team. "The entire program is in mourning right now," said Chas Cathers, Central Bucks West's head football coach. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Kim family. We're going to do whatever we can as a team to help them get through this." Read more
Pennsylvania Republicans are worried that if Donald Trump is their party's presidential nominee, he could devestate Sen. Pat Toomey's chances for reelection. "There's a lot of concern that [with] Donald Trump, and one or two other candidates, that there will be a down-ballot drag. It's certainly going to affect Senate candidates more than anyone else," said Rep. Charlie Dent, an Allentown Republican. Dent and others are concerned that Toomey, who presents himself as a reasonable conservative, could be tied to the divisive Trump if the current front-winner leads the ticket and sets the tone. Read more