Biker killed in Center City

An unidentified motorcyclist was killed last night when he lost control of his bike in Center City and struck a pole, police said.

The accident occurred about 8 p.m. on 23rd Street near Walnut, police said. The victim was taken to Hahnemann University Hospital and pronounced dead about 8:30 p.m.

Police said the man was likely in his mid-30s and was not wearing a helmet.

30 years for armored-car job

A Philadelphia man was sentenced yesterday to 30 years in federal prison for the armed robbery of an armored car in September 2009.

Authorities said Brian Williams, 53, and co-defendant Anthony Reid robbed a guard during a cash delivery to ATMs at a gas station and convenience store on 52nd Street near Delancey, in West Philadelphia. Both men took cash and the guard's sidearm during the robbery, then fled in a car driven by Reid.

As cops pursued them in cruisers, Williams pointed a loaded handgun and fired from Reid's car. Eventually Reid crashed the car near 63rd and Grays Avenue in Southwest Philadelphia, where police arrested both men. Before the arrest, gunfire was exchanged and one of the officers was shot in the face and seriously injured. Williams pleaded guilty to robbery and firearms offenses in February. Reid was convicted at trial and is to be sentenced in July. He faces a mandatory-minimum sentence of 25 years.

Loan processors sentenced

Sholonda Y. Johnson, 39, of Philadelphia, and Kirk H. Kirby, 40, of Capital Heights, Md., were sentenced in federal court in Philadelphia yesterday to 30 months and 60 months in prison, respectively, in connection with a real-estate-investment scheme that caused millions of dollars in losses to lenders, U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger said. Johnson and Kirby pleaded guilty to three counts each of wire fraud.

Kirby owned and operated Invictus Financial Group, in Havertown. Johnson was a loan officer at various mortgage-brokerage companies. Memeger said that Kirby pretended to be a licensed mortgage broker who, between June 2006 and December 2007, identified properties in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and other states for unsuspecting investors to purchase. Kirby and Johnson obtained loans for the properties using bogus documents that were submitted to lenders, Memeger said.

Also, U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle III ordered Johnson to pay $2.4 million in restitution and Kirby to pay $3.9 million.

1,100+ inmates returned to Pa.

State corrections officials say that more than 1,100 inmates have returned to Pennsylvania prisons after being temporarily housed in Michigan for more than a year.

Corrections Secretary John Wetzel announced yesterday that a slight decrease in Pennsylvania's prison population combined with expansion projects allowed the convicts to return.

State prison officials moved inmates to Michigan and Virginia in early 2010 to alleviate overcrowding. About 1,000 prisoners continue to be housed in Virginia.

Electricity rates to drop

Atlantic City Electric announced yesterday that the average residential customer will see a monthly savings of $5.80 this summer. That's a reduction of about 4.5 percent.

The utility says the reduction was made possible by lower-priced supply contracts taking effect June 1.

Atlantic City Electric provides electric service to more than 547,000 customers in South Jersey.

- Staff and wire reports