Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Manafort indictment explained, hunting deer and finding human remains | Morning Newsletter

All the local news you need to know to start your day, delivered straight to your email.

Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort walks around the convention floor before the opening session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last year.
Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort walks around the convention floor before the opening session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland last year.Read moreCarolyn Kaster / AP file

The horror: Losing a beloved police officer to senseless violence. Standing trial for another man's crime. Fooled by a mascot whose interest in a single mother was her vulnerable son. Just keep these people in mind when you paint wounds on your chest and spread dark shadows under your eyes. Remember that for some, horror is not a costume. Happy Halloween.

If you like what you're reading, it's free to sign up to get this newsletter in your inbox every weekday. I would love to hear your thoughts, ideas, and feedback, so please email me, tweet me @tommyrowan, or reach our social team on Facebook.

— Tommy Rowan

» READ MORE: Two aides indicted, 3rd pleads guilty; Powerful Dem lobbyist resigns

Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III on Monday revealed charges against three former Trump campaign officials – former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, his longtime business partner Rick Gates and former foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos – marking the first criminal allegations to come from probes into possible Russian influence in U.S. political affairs.

Papadopoulos pleaded guilty earlier this month to making a false statement to FBI investigators who asked about his contacts with a foreigner connected to Russian officials. The plea agreement was unsealed Monday.

The foreigner was described as a London-based professor and Papadopoulos claimed the professor introduced him to Putin's niece and the Russian ambassador in London, according to the indictment. Manafort and Gates were charged in a 12-count indictment with conspiracy to launder money, making false statements and other charges stemming from probes into possible Russian influence in U.S. political affairs.

Meanwhile, powerful Democratic lobbyist and Podesta Group founder Tony Podesta is stepping down from the firm after coming under investigation by the special counsel.

» READ MORE: Rites of autumn: Hunters often find human remains

Last year on Halloween, a father and son and their dog stopped their car beside a trail in Bear Creek Township, Luzerne County. Just a few feet from their car, the dog caught a scent and the men discovered the dismembered remains of a Bucks County teen who had been murdered and tortured by her mother and stepfather.

This happens quite often in America, writes Jason Nark, because no one is in the woods, off-trail, more than hunters.

They solve missing persons cases and find suicide and murder victims, giving families some closure.

» READ MORE: City quietly settles suit from man acquitted of double murder

The City of Philadelphia this month quietly settled for $750,000 a malicious-prosecution lawsuit brought by Nafis Pinkney, the West Philly man who was arrested by notorious homicide detective James Pitts and charged with a 2009 double murder, for which Pinkney spent four years in jail awaiting trial.

A jury found him not guilty in 2013, and in 2016 another man, James Barrow, confessed to the double murder, to an additional murder and to a string of robberies. The District Attorney's Office has charged Barrow with everything except the double murder.

In a front page article last year, Pinkney's attorney and others speculated that the double murder remains "unsolved" because the DA's Office already tried the case with the wrong man.

What you need to know today

  1. Ten years after Officer Chuck Cassidy was shot to death while interrupting a robbery, David Gambacorta met with his wife and children as they reflected on their loss. "This time of year is always hard."

  2. On Monday, Michael Cripps donned a pair of green prison sweats and handcuffs instead of his usual work costume of SpongeBob Square Pants, Mickey Mouse or Elmo. The Colwyn man was charged with sexually assaulting boys whose mothers he allegedly befriended to get access to their children writes Joe Slobodzian.

  3. Twelve years ago Jo Quasney took a bus to Philadelphia, leaving behind a flooded out New Orleans apartment, a cat, 14 parrots and "her heart." Quasney, 72, was one of about 1,600 refugees who came to Philadelphia after Hurricane Katrina ravaged Louisiana and the Gulf Coast. She was greeted here with a red carpet and she's one of the few who never went back. Quasney's journey illustrates the way the city responded in 2005 – with federal money and an official emergency destination designation, writes Julia Terruso. Pennsylvania does not have that designation after this year's storms, but the city is still doing what it can to support the 400-plus refugees who've arrived so far.

  4. Emilio Vazquez, the Democratic leader of the 43rd Ward, easily won a write-in bid for North Philly's 197th District of the State House, amid complaints from other candidates about illegal electioneering. Now city and state prosecutors have filed charges.

  5. Two more Penn State fraternities have been sanctioned for violations of university policy, including one that held a "fifth and a friend" event, which was "designed to encourage alcohol consumption," the school said. The sanctions come more than mid-way through the fall semester as the university continues its crackdown on Greek life in the wake of the death of sophomore pledge Tim Piazza last February.

  6. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere surged in 2016, reaching the highest level in 800,000 years, says a report released Monday by the World Meteorological Organization. WMO's annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin says the surge occurred with "record-breaking speed in 2016."

  7. Gov. Wolf on Monday signed most of the remaining legislation needed to balance Pennsylvania's $32 billion budget, except for one outlining the details of education funding.

» READ MORE: #OurPhilly

We want to see what our community looks like through your eyes. Show us the park that your family walks through every weekend with the dog, the block party in your neighborhood or the historic stretch you see every morning on your commute to work.

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we'll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out to build those followers!

That’s Interesting

  1. Philadelphia Orphans' Court considers the next step in the saga of the Arch Street bones. All human remains have been removed from the First Baptist Burial Ground to the Rutgers-Camden campus. But there's a hitch: Where do they go from there?

  2. One year after our investigation, is SEPTA more reliable? We take a five-day look at the state of SEPTA's Regional Rail a year after we examined the issues that kept the railroad from running on time. Read on to find out what's better and what still needs work.

  3. How Amazon HQ2 could spike rent in Philadelphia: Apartment List predicts that a winning bid for Amazon would lead to rent increases of up to 2 percent per year in various cities wooing the online retailer.

  4. Marcus Hayes calls Gabe Kapler, the Phillies new manager, "the ultimate New World Man."  The hire is a headlong commitment to analytics and sports science … and an utter disregard for dugout experience. And maybe that's OK.

  5. NBC expects well over $1 billion in advertising for airing the Super Bowl and winter Olympics over roughly three weeks next February, one of the few times that the Super Bowl and Olympics have been televised within days of each other on one network.

  6. In emails revealed Sunday, ex-49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's attorneys all but accused Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins of being a liar. It was an insult to a man who, even if you disagree with him, deserves respect, writes columnist Mike Sielski.


"This is consistent with my rule of thumb that organizations, when faced with tough, difficult, if not, intractable, problems, ignore the real issues and do what's easiest: they move boxes around on their organizational charts or, in the case of the School District, change the governance structure." — Writes former school district CEO Phil Goldsmith, claiming the latest school governance plan is Einstein's definition of insanity.
  1. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 7. If you're heading to the polls in Pennsylvania or New Jersey, here are the local candidates our Editorial Board thinks you should support.

  2. It's easy to see hopelessness as spreading in terms of an increasingly splintered humanity. Forces of tribalistic entropy appear to be on the upswing. But not always. On a tour of Israel and its territories, Craig Snyder, president and CEO of the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, offers a story that carries a message of hope.

What we’re reading

  1. 17 days, 9 countries: One man's jaunt through Eastern Europe. [Tampa Bay Times]

  2. Profiting from Puerto Rico's Pain: Hurricane Maria finally scared away debtholders. But other vultures continue to feed off the island. [New Yorker]

  3. Promethea Unbound: A child genius living in poverty, her mother, and the benefactor who became their tormenter. [The Atavist]

  4. Joan Didion doesn't owe the world anything: The long-awaited documentary about her life makes clear: She has escaped the demands so often placed on other authors. [The Atlantic]

  5. The True, Twisted Story of Amityville Horror: Some players, from the start, were up front about admitting it was a hoax. Others insisted, to their graves, that the story was true, that the Lutz family had been haunted by something. It's just that the something may not have been paranormal at all. [Topic]

Daily Dose Of | Hot Dogs

How my boss got her corgi mad, and other Halloween do's and don'ts for pets.