Happy Friday, Philly. We hope you got some Fourth of July festivities in yesterday. Many of you are on vacation today, too, so get up to speed with a quick look at five stories we're following:
1. Sainthood for Pope John Paul II: Pope Francis has cleared Pope John Paul II for sainthood, and a canonization ceremony is expected before the end of this year. The Vatican says the miraculous curing of a Costa Rican woman's brain aneuysm is attributed to him. More than one million people turned out to see the beloved pontiff when he visited Philadelphia in October 1979.
2. Realtor fired over vermin case: A Main Line realtor says she was fired from an area Prduentail Fox & Roach office after she and her husband were accused of dumping dead critter carcasses on a rival neighbor's home. Police say Andrea and Jonathan Straub were trying to sabotage the sale of their neighbor's home. Andrea Straub has issued a statement saying she was fired earlier this week; her attorney says the couple was "falsely accused" and plans to hold a news conference Tuesday to explain further.
3. Autopsy for boy found in creek: The family of 13-year-old Brandon Boyle says his body was recovered from Pennypack Creek on Thursday. The boy and his brother were playing in the water Monday and got swept away in the rain-swollen waters; 11-year-old Anthony survived, but rescue crews had been searching for Brandon for days. Authorities say the medical examiner will perform an autopsy on the body.
4. Heat watch: The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat watch for the Philadelphia region. The watch will be in effect from Saturday morning through Sunday evening, and heat index values near 100 degrees are expected.
5. Friday shutdowns for Pa. Army base: Starting today, the Tobyhanna Army Depot in northeastern Pennsylvania will shut down industrial operations on Fridays for 11 weeks due the sequester. The base is the military's largest electronics maintenance facility.