2 guilty of killing pair

Damien Holloway, 28, was slain because he disrespected the sister of one of his killers. Timothy Clark, 15, was killed because he was "a loose end."

Yesterday, a Common Pleas jury convicted two men of first-degree murder in the July 2007 slayings in Northeast Philadelphia. Gerald Drummond, 26, and Robert McDowell, 28, could face the death penalty when sentenced next month.

Investigators said Drummond and McDowell killed Holloway because he disrespected Drummond's sister, who was also the mother of Holloway's child.

They said Clark was killed because Drummond said he was "a loose end."

Lenfest donates $750,000

The Lenfest Foundation has donated $750,000 to city efforts to increase the number of residents who complete college. The grant will fund the work of the PhillyGoes2College Office overseen by the Mayor's Office of Education.

When he came into office in 2008, only 18 percent of city adults had a college degree, Mayor Nutter said. Today that has risen to 21 percent. His goal is to boost the "college attainment" level to 36 percent by 2018. "This is an investment in Philadelphia's future," H.G. "Gerry" Lenfest said.

Pa. Marine killed in combat

Marine Cpl. Eric Torbert Jr., of Lancaster, was killed Dec. 18 during a combat operation in Helmand Province in Afghanistan.

Torbert, who enlisted in the Marines in 2007, was assigned to the 1st Combat Engineer Battalion, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif. Torbert, who graduated in 2003 from Penn Manor High School, told friends on Facebook last month that he was "heading to the other side of the world for a bit."

Christie rates high and low

A new poll finds that N.J. Gov. Chris Christie is the most polarizing New Jersey governor in at least 36 years. A Rutgers-Eagleton Poll finds that 21 percent of the state's voters rate his first 11 months in office as excellent; 29 percent rate him as poor.

The pro-Christie sentiment was weaker among adults who didn't vote in last year's elections. Poll director David Redlawsk said the Republican has among the best and worst ratings of any governor since 1974.

Guv balks at small-casino bill

Gov. Christie said he won't sign a bill that would allow smaller casinos to be built in Atlantic City before the rest of an ambitious package to rejuvenate the nation's second-largest gambling market is also approved.

The so-called "boutique casinos" bill has passed both houses of the New Jersey Legislature. Hard Rock International has said it would begin planning a boardwalk casino immediately after the law is signed by the governor.The Senate last night approved a state-run casino and entertainment district. The plans need Assembly approval.

- Staff and wire reports