Court rules against gas firm seeking pipeline in N.J.

A federal appeals court dealt a defeat Tuesday to a gas company seeking to build a pipeline through parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, in a ruling the judges conceded could change how the natural gas industry operates.

The ruling by the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia reversed an earlier decision by a federal judge in New Jersey that had allowed PennEast to acquire properties in the state through eminent domain.

The three-judge panel wrote Tuesday that PennEast could not use eminent domain to acquire 42 properties that are owned by the state and preserved for farmland or open space. It ruled while the federal Natural Gas Act allows private gas companies to exercise the federal government’s power to take property by eminent domain, that doesn’t extend to state-owned properties.

The proposed pipeline would to extend from northeastern Pennsylvania to Mercer County in central New Jersey.

Stray bullet kills woman sitting on her front steps

Authorities reported that a woman was shot and killed while she sat on the front steps of her Philadelphia home apparently was an innocent bystander struck by a stray bullet.

The shooting occurred around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Authorities said 23-year-old Crystal Roman-Benitez struck in the head on the 2500 block of North 9th Street. She was taken to a hospital but died there a short time later.

A 54-year-old man was also hit by a stray shot and suffered a graze wound to his right shoulder. His name has not been released.

It’s not clear how many shooters may have been involved in the incident. Authorities say at least one shooter apparently fled the area in a car.

Jury convicts man arrested over fatal overdose

WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware man arrested more than two years ago after a woman died of an overdose has been convicted on conspiracy and drug distribution charges.

A federal jury returned its verdict against Donte Jacobs on Thursday after a three-day trial. He was indicted in October 2016 and charged with conspiracy to distribute heroin and fentanyl that resulted in the death of another person.

It was the first time federal prosecutors in Delaware leveled that charge against someone.

Before the jury verdict, Jacobs pleaded guilty to being a felon in possession of a firearm. He faces a possible life sentence at sentencing, scheduled for Jan. 10.

— Compiled from The Associated Press

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