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Daryl Bell

Mo’Ne Davis will be the first American girl to play in the Little League Baseball World Series in a decade.

Davis pitched a three-hitter on Sunday to lead Taney Youth Baseball Association Little League of Philadelphia to an 8-0 victory over a squad from Delaware in the Mid-Atlantic Regional championship game in Bristol, Conn.

Davis, who struck out six batters, will become only the 18th girl to play in 68 years in the Little League Baseball World Series, which begins Thursday in South Williamsport, joining Emma March of the Canada Region Champions from South Vancouver Little League, British Columbia.

Little League officials said it will also be only the third time that two girls will play in the same Little League championship series.

Taney scored six runs in the first three innings, with Jared Sprague-Lott hitting an RBI double in the first inning and a two-run single in the second inning.

Courage. Character. Loyalty. It’s a trademark of Little League Baseball and it fits the Taney Dragons perfectly.

Taney, in only its second year since being chartered in 2012, could do wonders in promoting youth baseball. Davis is one of several African-American youngsters on the team. Recently, Taney manager Alex Rice spoke about how winning could help revitalize inner-city baseball.

“We have a great group of kids,” he said. “It’s terrific winning and exciting for the kids. They’ve [dreamed] of getting to Williamsport. I think the winning is more of a vehicle to draw attention to the kids.

“If you give them a chance to excel, they will absolutely excel. They’ll break stereotypes. I love baseball. These kids love baseball. The idea is to get more kids in love with baseball and the ability to play it and excel at it in Philadelphia.”

Taney, will begin play 3 p.m. Friday at Lamade Stadium. The Dragons will play South Nashville LL from Tennessee which won the Southeast Region title on Friday in Warner Robins, Ga. This will be South Nashville’s second straight appearance in the LLBWS. Two years ago, another Nashville area team, Goodlettsville, won the United States title and finished world runner-up.

Little League is celebrating the 40th Anniversary of girls in Little League and the founding of Little League Softball.

Only California has sent more teams to the Little League Baseball World Series than Pennsylvania. Including the 22 leagues that qualified for the World Series from 1947-1956, when Pennsylvania was guaranteed to have a representative at the series, 30 Pennsylvania leagues have won region titles or participated in the Little League World Series. Four Pennsylvania leagues have won the Little League World Series: Williamsport Maynard (1947), Lock Haven (1948), Morrisville (1955), and Levittown American (1960).

TheAssociated Press contributed to this report.

Contact staff writer

Daryl Bell

at (215) 893-5746



Larry Miller

Tribune Staff Writer

Matthew Amato, the co-defendant in the federal investigation of Chaka Fattah Jr., pleaded guilty on Monday to making false statements to banks.

If the case against Fattah Jr., the son of 10-term Philadelphia Congressman Chaka Fattah, goes to trial, Amato could testify against him as part of a plea agreement.

According to the indictment, in their continuing effort to secure lines of credit with local banks, Fattah Jr. and Amato allegedly submitted a series of fraudulent applications. Investigators said that on Aug. 8, 2005 Amato submitted false statements to Sun National Bank and secured a $25,000 line of credit under the same pretenses. Once the loan was approved, prosecutors said he wrote another check for Fattah Jr. in the amount of $24,000, payable to 259 Strategies.

Altogether Amato is alleged to have handed over to Fattah Jr. an excess of $60,000.

The United States Attorney’s Office said Amato, 31, of Broomall, pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements to banks. Amato’s guilty plea comes in contradiction to Fattah Jr.’s plea of not guilty last week in federal court and his assertion that he has done nothing wrong. A sentencing hearing for Amato is scheduled for November 12.

Amato admitted to federal prosecutors that between July 11, 2005 and August 9, 2005, he knowingly made and caused to be made false statements to Wachovia Bank, PNC Bank and Sun National Bank for the purpose of influencing the actions of the banks upon lines of credit for which he had applied. Amato faces a maximum possible sentence of 30 years in prison and up to five years of supervised release.

According to prosecutors, Amato admitted he falsely claimed to be the sole proprietor and chief executive officer of Chaka Fattah, Jr. & Associates (CFJA), an existing business entity which previously had earned revenue, and falsely claimed that he would use the proceeds of the commercial loans for the working capital and business purposes of CFJA, as required under the terms of the loans.

Investigators said Amato managed to secure the loans and then wrote checks to Fattah Jr.’s companies for thousands of dollars.

Federal agents said in July 2005 Amato made false statements to PNC to obtain a $15,000 revolving line of credit. Amato allegedly claimed he was the owner and CEO of CFJA and the company had $139,000 in revenue. Allegedly, Amato knew that CFJA didn’t have more than $100,000 in revenue, that the company was not an existing business entity nor was he the owner or CEO. Investigators learned that in September 2005, Amato wrote a check in the amount of $5,500 from the line of credit to Fattah Jr.

On October 20, 2005 he allegedly wrote another check in the amount of $9,000 to Fattah Jr. Prosecutors also said that on July 26, 2005, Amato managed to secure another line of credit in the amount of $25,000 from Wachovia bank using the same deception and later wrote a check in the amount of $24,000 to 259 Strategies.

Contact staff writer

Larry Miller

at (215) 893-5747


Housing authority signs new labor contract

Damon C. Williams

Tribune Staff Writer

The Philadelphia Housing Authority has negotiated an agreement with construction unions that’s expected to significantly reduce costs for building affordable-housing.

“This is an historic agreement that has been reached between PHA and the Building and Construction Trades Council [BCTC],” said Kelvin A. Jeremiah, PHA president and CEO. “The agreement is beneficial on many levels for PHA — not only will the reduction in labor costs aid PHA in its goal to provide 6,000 affordable-housing units in five years, but the agreement will also help secure more jobs for PHA residents, women and minorities.”

The agency and the trades council have agreed to a 20-percent reduction in construction wages and benefits, which will enable the authority to build six family homes for needy families for the cost of five. The agreement runs five years and covers construction and major rehabilitation projects of more than $5 million.

“We are excited to be a part of this historic agreement that brings stability to our workforce,” said Sam Staten Jr., business manager for Laborers Local 332. “We look forward to our continued partnership with Kelvin Jeremiah and the Housing Authority and being a part of the solution to bring more affordable housing to Philadelphia.”

PHA, established in 1937, is the fourth-largest public housing authority in the nation and ranks as Pennsylvania’s largest landlord. It has an annual budget of $371 million, serves 81,000 people with affordable housing and employs roughly 1,400 people.

The authority has more than 50 developments in its portfolio, more than 4,000 occupied scattered housing units and manages the successful Housing Choice Voucher Program, with more than 16,000 households enrolled.

The agreement also requires the employment of PHA residents, as well as women, and includes work rules that promote efficiencies and the timely completion of construction projects.

That clause supports the public housing authority’s long-term vision of creating employment opportunities for its residents and other under-represented groups. Twenty-five percent of all employees covered by this agreement will be PHA residents, at least 20 percent of all employees will be women and at least 20 percent of all employees covered by the agreement will be minorities.

Mayor Michael Nutter said this is a win-win for the housing authority, the trades, residents and job seekers, and will specifically help Philadelphia in the city’s quest to become a premier residential destination.

“By adopting a project labor agreement strategy, the Philadelphia Housing Authority has taken a significant step toward increasing its capacity to build affordable housing in this city at affordable costs,” said Nutter, who, like President Barrack Obama, has signed executive orders encouraging the use of project labor agreements (PLA) in connection with large-scale projects to promote economy and efficiency while maintaining high standards of construction. “As the PHA Board noted in the resolution it adopted, our administration initiated a PLA process in 2011, which ensures greater employee diversity at worksites along with timely completion and cost management of major public works projects.”

The PHA-BCTC agreement is also in line with City Council President Darrell Clarke’s 2000 New Affordable Home Initiative and with Clarke’s sweeping Philadelphia Community Sustainability Initiative, which looks to transform many of the city’s most troubled neighborhoods.

“This historic agreement between the building trades and PHA means more jobs, less wasteful overtime and more quality affordable housing for Philadelphia residents: A win-win-win,” Clarke said. “I am grateful to the building trades and to Kelvin Jeremiah of PHA for their commitment to City Council’s workforce housing strategy. The need for affordable housing in Philadelphia only keeps growing, and this agreement brings our goal of 2,000 new units closer to reality.”

Contact staff writer

Damon C. Williams

at (215) 893-5745