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5 stories to follow: Dec. 20

Happy Friday. Here's your quick look at five stories to know about:

5 stories to follow: Dec. 20

Methodist pastor Frank Schaefer reacts to the news that he has been defrocked by the Methodist church during a press conference at First United Methodist Church of Germantown on December 18, 2013. ( RON TARVER / Staff Photographer )
Methodist pastor Frank Schaefer reacts to the news that he has been defrocked by the Methodist church during a press conference at First United Methodist Church of Germantown on December 18, 2013. ( RON TARVER / Staff Photographer )

Happy Friday. Here's your quick look at five stories to know about:

1. Minister defrocked: United Methodist Church Rev. Frank Schaefer has been defrocked for officiating at his son's same-sex wedding, and is appealing the decision. The case garnered widespread attention and appears likely to remain in the spotlight as the church deals with gay-rights issues.

2. Record warmth ahead?: A few days of unseasonably warm weather are ahead. With the mercury expected to reach the mid 60s on Sunday, the record high for the date of 64 could fall.

3. Shale ruling fallout: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has struck down parts of the state Oil and Gas Act that took the authority to decide where drilling activity could occur in their boundaries away from municipalities. The decision is blow to the shale industry and victory for environmentalists. The ruling poses much uncertainty for the expanding industry.

4. Ex-GOP leader in court: A preliminary hearing is scheduled for today for Robert Kerns, a former Montgomery County Republican leader charged with rape, sexual assault, tampering with evidence and lying to authorities.

5. Youth immigration: Minors are increasingly entering the United States illegally without parents or adult guardians accompanying them. 

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PhillyLists is a Philly.com blog. Contributors: Emily Babay, Frank Kummer, Brian X. McCrone, Bob McGovern, Peter Mucha, Alex Wigglesworth and Sam Wood. Reach The Breaking News team at breakingnewsdesk@philly.com.

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