Fattah announces grants

The U.S. Department of Education is awarding $21.5 million to Pennsylvania under the School Improvement Grant program to turn around persistently lowest-achieving schools, U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah has announced.

Also, Connection Training Services, of North Philadelphia, will get a $1.17 million grant to improve the long-term labor-market prospects for ex-offenders, Fattah said. The grant, from the U.S. Department of Labor, is for the Reintegration of Ex-Offenders-Adult program.

Free summer workshops

At a time when the school district may have to cut summer programs, the Asian Arts Initiative is offering six weeks of free summer workshops in activities such as hip-hop dance, guitar, creative writing, videography, drawing, yoga and mural painting. The program is from 1 to 5 p.m., Mondays to Fridays, July 5 to Aug. 12, at the Asian Arts Initiative, 1219 Vine St.

It is open to all Philadelphia high-school students ages 14 to 21. To register, contact Ellen Hwang, the summer-program coordinator, at ellen@asianarts

initiative.org or 215-557-0455, extension 222.

Festival to focus on continent

The Philadelphia Zoo will host a festival showcasing the North American and the American Indian culture this weekend. The celebration, the second of four cultural events called the Creatures of Culture International Series, will feature authentic American Indian activities, performances and demonstrations, and focus on animals in the zoo that are from North America.

4 execs to learn fate

Four pharmaceutical executives from West Chester may learn today if they'll go to prison for medical-product testing that left three spine patients dead on the operating table.

The former Synthes Inc. officials have pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor involving the off-label use of a bone-cement product. The government accuses them of human experimentation. The defendants deny any intent to violate U.S. Food and Drug Administration protocols.

The sentencing before U.S. District Judge Legrome Davis resumes Tuesday. Defense lawyers spent yesterday raising objections to a government pre-sentencing report.

West Chester-based Synthes and a subsidiary, Norian Corp., separately pleaded guilty to a felony and 110 misdemeanors, and agreed to pay $23 million in fines.

Sextuplets introduced

The parents of sextuplets who were born at Abington Memorial Hospital are being introduced to the world. Stacey and Brendan Carey, from Feasterville, Bucks County, are the proud parents of the three boys and three girls.

The newborns remain in intensive care after they were born Wednesday in their 27th week.

All the babies weigh between 1 and 2 pounds and are responsive. Their names are Emma, Samantha, Olivia, John, Patrick and Connor. The Careys also have a 15-month-old daughter.

New vehicles for Corbett

Gov. Corbett said yesterday that he did not ask for the four new sport-utility vehicles that State Police purchased for about $186,000 for the executive security team to drive him, the lieutenant governor and their wives. Corbett said the purchase was a security issue, and noted that the car he had used in the first weeks of his administration was "pretty beaten up" after racking up 160,000 or 170,000 miles.

- Staff and wire reports