Developer of new hotel revealed

From the rooftop Hamilton Garden at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, developer Carl Dranoff, owner of Dranoff Properties and sbe, a hospitality, lifestyle and real-estate development company, announced yesterday that Philippe Starck a French interior designer, will be the exclusive designer of the new SLS LUX Philadelphia Hotel and SLS International Residences, that will be built at the corner of Broad and Spruce streets.

The hotel, which will have a 47-story tower and 152 hotel rooms, will be Starck's first project in Philadelphia.

Although the building that once housed Philadelphia International Records, at 309 S. Broad St., is being prepared for demolition to make way for the new hotel, which will also have 90 condominiums, Dranoff said that the history of Philadelphia International Records will be incorporated into the design of the new building. And Sam Nazarian, CEO of sbe, said that the name SLS International Residences included the name "International" to pay homage to The Sound of Philadelphia musical legacy that Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff created.

Gamble said an arson fire that was set at the studios that produced international hits in the '60s and '70s, like "Ain't No Stopping Us Now" and "Love Train," destroyed the interior of the building and made preserving it a hardship.

Senator blasts PSU for inviting bomber to speak

The presiding officer of the Pennsylvania Senate wants Penn State to cancel plans to have a co-founder of the Weather Underground group speak on campus next week.

President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati, a Jefferson County Republican, says in a letter sent yesterday to university president Eric Barron that he wants to know how much it is costing the school to host Bill Ayers next week.

The Weather Underground was an organization that opposed the war in Vietnam. It claimed responsibility for bombings, including at the Pentagon and the U.S. Capitol.

Ayers was a fugitive for years but turned himself in in 1980 and charges were later dropped.

Scarnati says he doesn't see value in having Ayers speak, "in light of his documented misconduct."

Homeless man crushed in garbage truck

The Lehigh County coroner says a homeless man was crushed to death inside a garbage truck in Allentown.

Coroner Scott M. Grim says in a news release that the 53-year-old man was pronounced dead at 11:05 a.m. yesterday at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest. The coroner ruled the manner of death an accident.

Grim says the man was crushed inside the truck shortly before 6 a.m. The coroner says the man's name will be released once his family is located and notified.

- Valerie Russ, Associated Press