Man steps into traffic, dies

A man died in Northeast Philadelphia yesterday morning when he stepped into the flow of traffic on Roosevelt Boulevard, police said.

Joshua Hess, 33, of Edmund Street near Levick in Tacony, stepped onto the Boulevard near Welsh Road shortly before 5:30 a.m. and was struck by a vehicle traveling northbound on the high-traffic roadway, authorities said. He was pronounced dead at 6:15 a.m. at Aria Health's Torresdale hospital, police said.

The 53-year-old male driver, who stayed on the scene, was not expected to be charged, police said.

Man charged in pharma scam

Jacques Duplessis of Boynton Beach, Fla., was charged by a federal grand jury yesterday in a scheme to sell 6,000 boxes of counterfeit LifeScan OneTouch diabetic test strips he had bought from suppliers in China and England.

Authorities said Duplessis, 60, who was president of two Florida-based corporations, sold the bogus diabetic test strips to wholesale customers in the U.S. and Canada who would in turn sell them to pharmacies and other stores in the U.S. One pharmacy was in Philadelphia and another in Allentown.

Duplessis was charged with mail fraud, trafficking in counterfeit goods, making a false statement to a federal agency and related offenses. LifeScan is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, and its diabetic test strips are used by patients with diabetes

to monitor their blood-glucose levels.

Report: Local tourism on rise

A new report says that 33 million leisure travelers visited the five-county Philadelphia region last year, 10 million more than in 1997. The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corp. said that downtown leisure hotel bookings tripled during that same period. Leisure travelers filled 827,000 downtown rooms in 2010, up from 254,000 in 1997.

Marketing research firm Longwoods International prepared the report for the tourism office.

Boy, 3, dies in grease pit

A 3-year-old boy died after falling into a grease pit outside a South Jersey food market yesterday.

Authorities say the child fell into a 5-foot-deep pit containing kitchen grease and food waste outside Cidra's Supermarket in Vineland, Cumberland County, shortly after 2 p.m.

Store employees tried to get him out, but were unable to find him. Vineland EMS Chief Al Lincks said he and two firefighters were able to remove the boy after two to three minutes, but were not able to revive him.

- Staff and wire reports