Here's your daily look at five stories to know about:
1. Record donation: Officials at Mercersburg Academy will announce today that the south-central Pennsylvania school is receiving the second-largest donation ever made to a private secondary school in American history. Deborah Simon is giving $100 million to her alma mater.
2. Sharpton in Philly: The Rev. Al Sharpton will be in Philadelphia today to promote his new book, "The Rejected Stone." He will discuss the book, his third, at the Free Library of Philadelphia at noon.
3. Military death benefits: The benefits paid to survivors of military personnel killed in action have been suspended during the federal government shutdown, prompting the charity Fisher House Foundation to offer to pick up the costs of the payments. The Pentagon will reimburse the foundation after the shutdown ends. The House passed a bill to reinstate appropriations for the benefits, but it's unclear whether the Senate will take up the measure. The controversy comes as the body of a Pennsylvania Army Ranger killed in Afghanistan was returned to Dover Air Force Base on Wednesday.
4. Missing kayaker: Authorities are expected to resume searching today for Xiang "Billy He," a 38-year-old kayaker who went missing Tuesday afternoon on the Delaware River in Bensalem. A search wrapped up early Wednesday evening without any sign of him.
5. Assisted-suicide hearing: Lawyers for Barbara Mancini, a Philadelphia nurse charged with assisted suicide for allegedly giving morphine to her terminally ill father at his Pottsville home in February, will ask a judge to dismiss the case at a hearing this afternoon.