A mother talks about the shooting of her 8-year-old daughter; Companies help United Way; Bryce Harper looks ready for Lehigh Valley

Good morning. Here are some of the top stories from around the region.


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Fanta Bility’s mother talks about her 8-year-old daughter and the tragedy of her death

Nearly a year after her daughter fell to her arms after shots were fired at an Academy Park High School football game, Tene Kroma opened up about who Fanta Bility was and how the family coped, recounting the events of the day Fanta died. Memorial services are planned for Saturday in Sharon Hill to commemorate the 8-year-old’s shooting death, and a GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family, which continues to deal with the aftermath of Fanta’s death.

Local businesses are helping build the United Way’s new headquarters

United Way of Chester County has purchased and renovated a 5,000-square-foot detached building at 150 John Robert Thomas St. in Lincoln Center in Exton, which will serve as the new permanent headquarters for United Way of Chester County staff and host a lab social innovation, leadership training center and financial independence center for society. The center is scheduled to be completed and ready to open in late September.

Springfield man who secretly photographed teenage girl in swimsuit pleads guilty to molestation

A Springfield Township man who authorities say secretly photographed and videotaped a teenage girl in her swimsuit, allegedly focusing on her buttocks for sexual pleasure, faces probation and sex offender counseling after pleading guilty to harassment. Stephen Stainbrook, 50, of the block of Whitemarsh Avenue in the Erdenheim neighborhood, was sentenced to one year of probation in Montgomery County after pleading guilty to one count of harassment in connection with incidents that occurred in the summer of 2021.

Norristown man pleads guilty to unlawful possession of firearm in fatal shooting

A Norristown man initially charged with homicide in connection with an alleged shootout between several men that left an innocent bystander dead in the crossfire has pleaded guilty to unlawful possession of a firearm during the incident. Brandon Dontay Darden, 26, of the 300 block of Center Avenue, pleaded guilty in Montgomery County District Court to a felony charge of being a person not in possession of a firearm in connection with the Sept. 18, 2021, incident. Specifically, Darden admitted that he was found in possession of a firearm, even though a prior drug conviction prohibited him from possessing a weapon.

The Lansdale Luxor building is included

One of Lansdale’s largest projects has reached a major milestone. Borough Manager John Ernst announced at the last council meeting that the Luxor Lansdale apartment building being built off Broad Street is now officially connected to the city’s electric grid. “As of yesterday, Tuesday, the Luxor Apartments on South Broad Street became our latest Lansdale Electric customer,” Ernst said.


Bryce Harper celebrates after hitting a solo homer against the Gwinnett Stripers in the first inning as he goes to bat for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs in Allentown, Pa., Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022. (Stephen M. Falk/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP)

Bryce Harper looks sharp in first rehab assignment for IronPigs

Looks like MVP is ready. Bryce Harper hit a two-run double for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Monday night in a rehab assignment as he nears his return from a broken left thumb. Harper had a solo shot in his first at-bat, then capped his night with a three-run opposite-field laser in the eighth inning. To start the night, he took a 2-2 offering from Gwinnett left-hander Jared Schuster over the right-field fence and smiled as he ran the bases. The longball had an exit velocity of 107 mph and traveled 375 feet.

Eagles “Old Head” Brandon Graham is still getting a breath of fresh air in the locker room

Training camp never gets old for Brandon Graham, the Eagles’ oldest player in his 13th season with the club. Now, for Graham, 34, the downsizing is simply a message that the season is approaching. And so on Tuesday, the Eagles released wide receiver Jarryd Williams, running back DeAndre Torrey and cornerback Josh Blackwell, and placed wide receiver Brett Toth and tight end Tyra Jackson on the physically disabled reserve list. The latter are recovering from ACL tears and should sit out at least the first four games of the regular season.

Union adds Jeremy Rafanello’s 19th Homegrown

The Union added another homegrown player on Tuesday with the signing of 22-year-old midfielder Jeremy Rafanello. The Delron, N.J. native signed an 18-month deal with club options for 2024 and 2025. Rafanello, the 19th home-grown player in the club’s history, has had one of the most unique journeys. He spent one season with the then FC Continental FC (now FC Delco) and graduated from the Union Academy after one season in 2018. He had a breakout season at Penn State, playing in 18 games, scoring three goals and making the All-Big Ten Freshman Team.

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