Today's Top Picks: May 19, 2017

Amtrak engineer Brandon Bostian being escorted into the 9th district police station in Philadelphia at 21st near Callowhill on Thursday, May 18, 2017. Bostian, 34, is facing charges of involuntary manslaughter in connection with a fatal train crash two years ago in North Philadelphia.

Brandon Bostian, the engineer operating an Amtrak train that derailed in 2015, surrendered to authorities on charges related to the deaths of eight people who were on the train. He was arraigned Thursday night and released on $81,000 "sign-on bond." His next court hearing is June 7. Defense attorney Robert Goggin called the charges by the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office rushed and said they ignored the "mountains of evidence" compiled by crash investigators. Read more
The chair of Philadelphia's Commission on LGBT Affairs has been ousted from her post for making offensive comments about race, gender and sexual orientation. The board voted to remove Sharron Cooks, elected as head of the 23-person commission in April, as chair; she then decided to resign. She told Philadelphia Magazine that she "was accused of ‘attacking' the white race and accused of ‘attacking’ the bisexual community." Screenshots of Facebook messages show Cooks questioning whether a white, bisexual female board member should be on the commission. Read more
The State Auditor General's Office will audit the $10 million state grant given to the Philadelphia 2016 Host Committee for last year's Democratic National Convention. Gov. Wolf and state Republicans requested the audit after the Inquirer and Daily News reported that the host committee used surplus money to give staff members nearly $1 million in bonuses. Read more
Fred Mullison, a fossil preparator at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, chips away at sediment to reveal ancient bones trapped inside. The scientist has been working on fossils for more than 20 years, a behind-the-scenes participant in major discoveries. He is known for his precision, patience and intense focus, but says the work isn't complex: "This is a simple process. You follow the bone and remove what’s not bone." Read more
A Philadelphia police officer has been suspended with intent to dismiss for allegedly firing his gun at people in a car while off-duty last year, sending at least one bullet into a Temple University Hospital lobby. Officer Ross Scott, a nine-year veteran assigned to the 22nd District in North Philadelphia, is accused of firing three shots at a vehicle on May 31, 2016, after he was thrown from his motorcycle when the car turned across Broad Street and collided with him. Read more
What We're Reading
Source: NBC Philadelphia
Source: Philadelphia Weekly
Source: The Record
Source: The Philadelphia Citizen
Source: Plan Philly