FBI officials have made contact with three Oklahoma college students linked to racist messages sent to black freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania. Whether charges will be filed depends on whether investigators determine that they intended to inflict fear on the Penn students, who were added to a text-message app group named "N- Lynching." "They would have to discern that there was intentionality on the part of one or all of the three males," said Maureen Rush, Penn's vice president for public safety. One of the students attended the University of Oklahoma; the school said Tuesday that he is no longer enrolled. Another student has been suspended from Tulsa Community College. Read more
Two would-be robbers were shot, one fatally, at a Bucks County pizza shop Tuesday night. Two men armed with guns announced a robbery at Porfirio's II in Levittown; a customer then pulled his own weapon and fired several shots, killing one suspect and wounding the second. Read more
Joyce Wilkerson got an earful at her first meeting as chair of the School Reform Commission. "Ms. Wilkerson, we are glad you have joined the SRC, but we want our schools back," said Antoine Little Jr., a parent unsatisfied with the system's plan to revamp 11 schools. "We look forward to the day when you as the chair call for a vote to abolish the SRC. Enough is enough." Wilkerson responded politely but firmly, and said she was braced for challenges. "It's important for us to hear what you have to say," she told the audience. "It's a different perspective than we might get every day." Read more
Pennsylvania may be on the way to a ballooning, billion-dollar budget deficit, state officials say, potentially reviving a recurring fight about new taxes and spending cuts. A report by the nonpartisan Independent Fiscal Office said the state was on track to fall more than $500 million short of what it needs for this fiscal year, and the deficit could grow to $1.7 billion the next year. "Things haven't changed too much over the last few years," fiscal office director Matthew Knittel said. "There is a long-term fundamental imbalance, and that's driven by many factors. ... But fundamentally, it's also the fact that our revenue sources, based on the tax base, they do not grow fast enough to meet the expenditure needs." Read more
Ex-Eagles wide receiver Josh Huff knew about a New Jersey court hearing on drug and weapon charges but didn't need to appear for it, according to his attorney. Andrew Smith said the Tuesday hearing was a "case screening" in which prosecutors decide whether to keep a case in Superior Court or move it to municipal court. "It’s not like it was waived or he was excused. Just in light of all the circumstances, it was unnecessary for him to appear,” said Smith, who said the case would stay in Superior Court. Huff was charged with speeding, possession of a small amount of marijuana and unlawful possession of a weapon after he was pulled over on the Walt Whitman Bridge earlier this month. Read more