Worker falls to his death

A 44-year-old construction worker plummeted to his death while working at a site on Temple University Hospital's North Philly campus yesterday.

Police said the worker, whose name was not released, fell from the 10th floor of a construction project to about the fourth floor. He was pronounced dead at Temple Univeristy Hospital at 8:15 a.m. The Office of Safety and Health Administration was investigating.

Holiday death ruled homicide

The death of a North Philly woman on Christmas Day was ruled a homicide yesterday. Police said Tina Whitener, 32, was found naked and bloodied behind a property on Sydenham Street near Cumberland at 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday.

Medics pronounced Whitener dead at the scene. Police said a medical examiner found that she had died of blunt-force trauma to the neck and head. She was the third person murdered in the city on Christmas. Police said two men were killed in separate shootings in North and West Philly.

McDonald House set to open

A grand opening for the new North Philly Ronald McDonald House will culminate with an inaugural house-lighting ceremony on Thursday at 6 p.m., officials said.

The 27,000-square-foot house will officially open Jan. 7 at Front Street and Erie Avenue on the campus of St. Christopher's Hospital for Children. The building will serve as a home for relatives of children who are being treated for cancer at local hospitals.

Hazing victim's parents sue

The parents of Gary DeVercelly Jr. filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against Rider University in New Jersey Superior Court yesterday.

DeVercelly, a freshman student from Long Beach, Calif., died March 30, two days, authorities said, after he consumed an excessive amount of alcohol at a fraternity-house pledge party. His blood-alcohol level was five times the state legal limit. The suit claims that the school didn't adequately supervise the frat house.

Judge admits threat to cops

Municipal Court Judge George Korpita yesterday pleaded guilty in state Superior Court in Morristown to charges that he threatened cops who arrested him for driving drunk.

As part of his plea deal, Korpita - who was arrested Nov. 6 in Roxbury, N.J. - will spend three years on probation, perform 100 hours of community service and lose his driver's license for a year. He is forbidden from holding public office again. *

- Staff and wire reports