Today's Top Picks: April 20, 2017

After taking office in 2015, Lt. Gov. Mike Stack billed the state for thousands of dollars in hotel stays in Philadelphia, despite owning a home in the city, newly released records show. The Democrat from Northeast Philadelphia asked for $4,210.69 in hotel stays and other expenses in the city to be reimbursed between his January 2015 inauguration and February 2016, when he and his wife sold their Philadelphia home. He later reimbursed the state for about half of that amount. Read more
Charles Moorman IV, who became Amtrak's chief executive last year, toured the East Coast by train this week, using the ride to discuss Amtrak's future and explain the need for funding. He also emphasized training and safety; Amtrak trains derailed in deadly incidents in Philadelphia and Chester in the past two years. "We have to create a much stronger safety culture in Amtrak," Moorman said. Read more
The chief justice of New Jersey's Supreme Court has asked the Trump administration to refrain from arresting immigrants inside courthouses, warning that the practice could erode public confidence in the justice system. Chief Justice Stuart Rabner said federal immigration authorities recently arrested two people who showed up for state court appearances in New Jersey. "When individuals fear that they will be arrested for a civil immigration violation if they set foot in a courthouse, serious consequences are likely to follow," Rabner wrote in a letter to John F. Kelly, secretary of homeland security. The New Jersey arrests were in Passaic and Middlesex Counties. Read more
Eric Frein has been convicted of attacking two troopers, killing one, in a September 2014 ambush attack outside the state police barracks in Blooming Grove. Frein was "literally hunting humans" when he pulled the trigger and fatally shot Cpl. Bryon Dickson II, Pike County District Attorney Ray Tonkin told jurors in his closing argument. Frein showed no emotion as the verdict was read, finding him guilty on 12 charges, including murder of a law enforcement officer, terrorism and two weapons of mass destruction counts. Read more
A West Philadelphia handyman convicted in the 2015 rape and murder of a Drexel University graduate student committed suicide in his state prison cell. James Harris, 58, hanged himself in his Graterford cell last Thursday. He was found guilty in March of first-degree murder, rape and other charges in the July 2015 strangling of Jasmine Wright. Harris was serving a life sentence. Read more
What We're Reading
Source: The Record
Source: Inside Higher Ed
Source: NJ.com
Source: Hidden City Philadelphia
Source: Politico