Briefly ... City/region
South Philly blaze injures 2 officers, lieutenant
Two police officers and a lieutenant were injured while rescuing an elderly woman who was trapped by a house fire in South Philly.
The fire started at 6:22 p.m. on Chaucer Street near Hartranft, across from the Eagles' practice facility. Four homes were damaged by the one-alarm blaze, which took firefighters about an hour to control.
Police spokesman Lt. John Stanford said the three cops suffered cuts to the arms when they forced their way into a house to save an 89-year-old woman. She emerged unharmed.
Philly man, 36, spared death penalty in murder
A 36-year-old Philadelphia man has been spared the death penalty by a Reading jury that convicted him of fatally burning his ex-girlfriend.
Donald Williams Jr. showed no emotion as Berks County jurors yesterday recommended a life-without-parole prison sentence. Williams was convicted this week of first-degree murder, arson, rape and related charges in the death of Maria Serrano, 49, of Reading.
Prosecutors said Williams broke into Serrano's home in June 2009, pulled her out of the shower and stabbed her in the head with a screwdriver before pushing her down steps, dousing her with gasoline and setting her on fire. She died six weeks later in a hospital.
Bill to OK horse racing on AyCee beach now law
A bill signed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will allow for up to two days of horse racing next month on the beach in Atlantic City.
The legislation clears the way for the city to host the American Palio Celebration, an event modeled after races run in Siena, Italy, for hundreds of years.
State Sens. Donald Norcross and Jim Whelan said yesterday that they hope the event will provide another boost to Atlantic City's revitalization efforts.
- Staff and wire reports