Woman shot dead in Mantua

Police said a 20-year-old woman was found shot several times at 40th and Aspen streets in Mantua Thursday night. The woman, who had not been identified yesterday, was pronounced dead at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania at 11:20 p.m. Tipsters can call detectives at 215-686-3334 or -3335.

No pay for state workers?

Pennsylvania government workers were warned yesterday that thousands will be sent home without pay at the end of the month if state budget talks deadlock.

Naomi Wyatt, Gov. Rendell's secretary of administration, told state employees that if the governor and Legislature have not agreed on a new state budget by midnight on June 30, furloughs would begin immediately.

Churchgoer: I'm not guilty

A Bucks County woman has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder and possession of a weapon in the shooting death of a fellow church member earlier this year.

Mary Jane Fonder, 65, faces life in prison if convicted of killing Rhonda Smith, 42, in Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Allentown on Jan. 23. Prosecutors say Fonder had romantic feelings for her pastor and was jealous that Smith, a volunteer secretary, was getting attention from him. Fonder has been in prison since her April 1 arrest.

Union to fight benefit cuts

A New Jersey state workers union plans a blitz against proposed benefit cuts. The Communications Workers of America yesterday said it would run ads, send mailings and contact legislators to protest proposed benefit cuts for newly hired state workers.

The cuts to the taxpayer-paid benefits were proposed Thursday by several legislators to try to save help alleviate state fiscal woes. Their plan would change how pensions are calculated, eliminate benefits for part-time workers, require people with multiple public jobs to collect only one pension and allow the state to offer incentives to state workers to opt out of health benefits.

1 corruption charge dropped

A federal judge has dropped one charge in a corruption case against former state Sen. Wayne Bryant. The Camden County Democrat had asked the judge to dismiss the entire case, arguing that it had been filed for political reasons.

Federal prosecutors say Bryant held government jobs to pad his pension. He's also accused of steering state money to one of his employers, the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Bryant is due to stand trial on Sept. 8. *

Daily News wire services contributed to this report.