Weekend news headline roundup: Pa. church stages kidnapping of teen

>> Up to 8,000 people participated in Philadelphia’s “million hoodie march” from 30th Street Station to Love Park Friday night to commemorate slain Florida teen Treyvon Martin, CBS Philly reports. Mayor Michael Nutter reportedly called Martin’s killing by a neighborhood watch captain an “assassination” and District Attorney Seth Williams tweeted a photo of himself in a hoodie as a show of support.

>> The Nutter administration plans to crack down on bandit signs by enlisting interns at the Streets Department to sniff them out, Brian Abernathy of the Managing Director’s Office told KYW. The nuisance solicitations on trees and utility poles have already spawned local community coalitions that advocate for their removal, like BanditProject.org. The signs have even inspired a grassroots PSA:

>> The mother of a 14-year-old Dauphin County girl filed a police report after her daughter was, along with the rest of her youth group, “mock kidnapped” by their church to teach a lesson about religious persecution, the Associated Press reports via ABC News. The church reportedly did not tell the “victims” or their parents that the violent abduction was staged until after it was over.

>> Three people were killed in as many hours overnight, bringing the city’s homicide count to 85 for the year.

>> The bank that holds the mortgage on North Broad Street’s storied former hotel The Divine Lorraine has expanded its search for bidders and is evaluating proposals from several firms, according to a report in The Inquirer.

>> Hours after police released surveillance footage of a possible suspect, nine more tires were slashed in the Oxford Circle section of Northeast Philadelphia last night.

>> Jurors are likely to see thousands of pages of extremely sensitive personnel files from the Catholic church’s “secret archives” at the clergy sex abuse trial that begins in Philadelphia Monday, according to The Inquirer.

More from our Sister Sites