Clergy hits library closings

The Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity has publicly declared its opposition to Mayor Nutter's decision to close 11 branch libraries. In a statement released yesterday, the clergy said that the cuts fall heaviest on poor communities and don't take into account difficulties that children have traveling to libraries in other neighborhoods.

City officials have said that the cuts were based on a careful analysis of library usage and on available alternatives for library users.

Holiday transit schedules

SEPTA transit lines will operate on weekday schedules tomorrow, Christmas Eve. On Christmas Day, all SEPTA services will operate on Sunday or special schedules.

New regs for mortgage lenders

Pennsylvania's banking regulators are imposing tougher rules for the mortgage industry to better protect home buyers from the prospect of foreclosure.

Starting March 20, lenders and brokers will have to make sure that consumers can afford to repay and clearly understand the terms of their loan. Companies also will have to disclose whether the loan has features such as a variable interest rate or a prepayment penalty.

N.J. bank robber sought

Authorities are looking for a man who robbed the Sun National Bank on Evesham Road, in Gloucester Township, N.J., about 9 a.m. yesterday. He fled the bank on a mountain bike with an undisclosed amount of cash. Police found the bike not far from the bank.

The heist was similar to one on Oct. 10 at the TD Bank on Blackwood-Clementon Road, in Gloucester Township.

Tipsters are urged to contact the Camden County Prosecutor's Office at 856-225-8400, or Gloucester Township police at 856-228-4500.

An 'ade' to cancer-victim's kin

Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation, of Wynnewood, has teamed up with the TD Charitable Foundation of the TD Bank to launch a program to help families of children suffering from cancer get to medical facilities.

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is one of 11 hospitals eligible to take part in the program. Transportation, lodging and meals could be provided. Go to for additional information. *

- Staff and wire reports