Ligambi hires big-time lawyer

Reputed mob boss Joseph "Uncle Joe" Ligambi has hired Atlantic City defense attorney Edwin Jacobs Jr. to head up his defense. Jacobs, who is not admitted to practice in federal district court in Philadelphia, filed papers yesterday to practice in the court.

Jacobs represented Ligambi's predecessor, Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino, in his 2001 racketeering case. Merlino was convicted of racketeering and related offenses but found not guilty of murder charges.

In 2004, Jacobs successfully defended a case in federal court in New Jersey in which Merlino was accused of ordering the murder of a North Jersey mob underling in 1996. Merlino was acquitted of murder and conspiracy charges.

Boy dies in pool

A 4-year-old boy drowned in a residential pool in Bridesburg last night, police said. The boy fell into a pool on Edgemont Street near Orthodox about 8:20 p.m., police said. He was taken to St. Christopher's Hospital for Children and was pronounced dead at 9:05 p.m., police said.

Pregnant mom killed

Toni Bolis, 29, of Washington Township and her unborn child were killed after another vehicle slammed head-on into her SUV Wednesday night.

Authorities said Bolis, who was nine months' pregnant with a boy she planned to name Ryan, was driving west on Pitman-Downer Road when a vehicle driven by Daniel Pereira, 21, crossed into her lane and struck her Ford Escape. She was taken to nearby Kennedy University Hospital, where she and the unborn child later died.

Pereira was taken to Cooper University Hospital, in Camden, with internal injuries. Police have not charged Pereira but are investigating. Bolis, a Washington Township High School graduate, left behind a husband and daughter.

Falling tree branch kills man

A 65-year-old man was struck and killed by a falling tree branch along a Radnor Township trail yesterday afternoon, police said. The man, whose identity was not released pending family notification, was sitting on a bench about 3 p.m. when a 45-foot live tree branch fell and struck him on the head, said Radnor Police Superintendent William Colarulo. A 17-year-old passer-by heard the crash, found the man and called for rescue. The victim was taken to Bryn Mawr Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Hospital fundraiser set

A fundraiser to benefit the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Nephrology Division will be held at noon tomorrow at the Aquatic and Fitness Center, 601 Righters Ferry Road, Bala Cynwyd.

The "Kidney Kicks!" benefit will include an hourlong kickboxing class, followed by light refreshments ($17). The benefit is co-sponsored by the fitness center and family members of nephrology patient Melika Roberts, 17, who is facing a second kidney transplant.

For information, contact Melika Roberts' aunt, Gail Ramsey, at 215-233-2303, or the fitness center at 610-664-6464, or visit www.giving.chop.edu/

goto/kidneykicks.

No wine at Wegmans

Wegmans Food Markets Inc. has pulled out of an agreement with the state Liquor Control Board to sell wine through automated kiosks at 10 of the company's Pennsylvania stores, citing problems with the machines and too many customer complaints.

- Staff and wire reports