Allentown Local News

 

LOCAL NEWS FOR TUESDAY, JULY 15, 2014

LOCAL NEWS FOR TUESDAY, JULY 15, 2014

  NORTHAMPTON COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY JOHN MORGANELLI IS ASKING A JUDGE FOR A COMPETENCY HEARING FOR MICHAEL BALLARD, WHO PLEADED GUILTY IN 2011 TO KILLING FOUR PEOPLE INSIDE A HOME IN NORTHAMPTON BACK IN 2010.  BALLARD SAYS HE WANTS TO BE EXECUTED AND THE D.A. SAYS A COMPETENCY RULING WOULE HELP THAT PROCESS ALONG.  MORGANELLI ALSO WANTS FEDERAL DEFENDERS BARRED FROM REPRESENTING BALLARD WITHOUT HIS PERMISSION AND A COURT ORDER PREVENTING ANY APPEALS WITHOUT BALLARD'S APPROVAL.  BALLARD STABBED TO DEATH HIS EX-GIRLFRIEND, DENISE MERHI; HER FATHER, DENNIS MARSH; HER GRANDFATHER, ALVIN MARSH JR; AND NEIGHBOR STEVEN ZERNHELT, WHO RUSHED TO THE HOME AFTER HEARING SCREAMS.


  LEHIGH VALLEY HEALTH NETWORK IS OPENING UP ITS ONE CITY CENTER FACILITY THIS AFTERNOON AT 3 O'CLOCK.  LVHN CALLS ITS 17 THOUSAND-SQUARE-FOOT SPORTS MEDICINE AND FITNESS FACILITY A "DESTINATION CENTER" THAT WILL ENHANCE THE HEALTH OF PEOPLE WHO LIVE AND WORK IN OR NEAR DOWNTOWN ALLENTOWN.  LVHN'S ONE CITY CENTER IS LOCATED RIGHT NEXT TO THE UNDER-CONSTRUCTION PPL CENTER.  THE NEW FACILITY WILL OFFER REHAB SERVICES, SPORTS NUTRITION, ORTHOPEDICS AND MORE.


  POLICE SAY THE MAN ACCUSED OF KILLING ANOTHER MAN AT A MOORE TOWNSHIP FARM ADMITTED TO KILLING HIM.  WHEN THEY FIRST ARRIVED AT THE SCENE EARLY FRIDAY MORNING, POLICE SAY ANDREW HESS TOLD THEM THE BLOOD ON HIS FACE CAME FROM A FIGHT HE HAD WITH HIS BROTHER.  LATER THOUGH, HESS TOLD POLICE HE STABBED RICHARD PARKER DURING A DISPUTE BETWEEN THE TWO AND PARKER'S GIRLFRIEND, WHO IS HESS' EX-GIRLFRIEND.  HESS REMAINS IN NORTHAMPTON COUNTY PRISON.


  THE BODY OF A LEHIGH COUNTY MAN WAS PULLED FROM LOYALSOCK CREEK IN MONTOURSVILLE, LYCOMING COUNTY ON MONDAY.  POLICE SAY 54-YEAR-OLD RICHARD KOWKER WAS FISHING IN THE CREEK WHEN HE FELL IN.  HIS BODY WAS RECOVERED MONDAY AND IT WAS DETERMINED KOWKER HAD HIT HIS HEAD AND DROWNED.


  THE PENNSYLVANIA LABOR RELATIONS BOARD SAYS IT WILL HEAR THE CASE BETWEEN THE SAUCON VALLEY TEACHERS UNION AND THE SCHOOL BOARD ON CLAIMS THE UNION USED UNFAIR LABOR PRACTICES WHILE NEGOTIATING A CONTRACT WITH THE BOARD.  THE BOARD FILED THE COMPLAIN LAST MONTH AFTER THE UNION SUBMITTED A SIX-YEAR CONTRACT PROPOSAL THAT INCLUDED 3 PERCENT RAISES ALL SIX YEARS OF THE DEAL.  THE SCHOOL DISTRICT SAYS THAT PROPOSAL PUT THE SIDES BACK AT SQUARE ONE AFTER MORE THAN TWO YEARS OF NEGOTIATIONS.  THE LABOR RELATIONS BOARD HAS SCHEDULED THE HEARING FOR NOVEMBER 24.
 

  TRAINS FILLED WITH CENTRAL AMERICAN CHILDREN REACHING OUR BORDER WITH MEXICO IS A FULL-BLOWN CRISIS ACCORDING TO SENATOR PAT TOOMEY.  HE TELLS BOBBY GUNTHER WALSH THE WHITE HOUSE MUST AND CAN PUT A STOP TO IT BY SENDING THOSE CHILDREN BACK WHERE THEY CAME FROM.  "AS SOON AS FAMILIES SEE KIDS COMING BACK AND THEY DISCOVER THAT IT'S NOT A TICKET TO AMERICA AFTER ALL, THEY WILL STOP SPENDING $5000 PER KID TO PUT THEIR KIDS ON THIS INCREDIBLY DANGEROUS TRAIN RIDE," THE SENATOR SAYS.  TOOMEY SAYS CHILDREN COMING TO OUR BORDER ON THESE TRAINS COME IN TERRIBLE CONDITIONS, WITH SOME OF THEM DYING, SOME OF THEM BEING SEXUALLY ABUSED BY ADULTS AND SOME OF THEM RIDING ATOP THE TRAINS.  THE SENATOR CALLS IT A SECURITY CRISIS FOR THE UNITED STATES AND A HUMANITRIAN CRISIS FOR THOSE CHILDREN WHO ARE PLACED ON THE TRAINS.


  A STATE LAWMAKER IS TRYING TO GET INCREASE PENALTIES FOR ANYONE WHO MAKES TERRORISTIC THREATS TOWARDS A SCHOOL.  REPRESENTATIVE KEVIN SCHREIBER IS PUSHING FOR THE BILL, WHICH WOULD ALSO LET SCHOOLS KNOW IF A PERSON WHO HAS THREATENED A SCHOOL IS RELEASED FROM JAIL.  THE MEASURE WOULD MAKE THE FIRST OFFENSE A FELONY, INSTEAD OF A MISDEMEANOR.  THE BILL IS THE RESULT OF AN INCIDENT AT PHINEAS DAVIS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, IN WHICH A MAN MADE THREATS, WAS ARRESTED AND RELEASED, THEN WENT BACK TO THE SCHOOL, DAMAGED THE LOBBY AND THREATENED TO KILL EVERYONE INSIDE.


  MORE THAN 1000 PEOPLE ARE LOSING THEIR JOBS AS ANOTHER ATLANTIC CITY CASINO GETS READY TO CLOSE.  TRUMP PLAZA OFFICIALLY NOTIFIED ITS EMPLOYEES MONDAY THAT THE CASINO WILL MOST LIKELY CEASE OPERATIONS IN SEPTEMBER.  IF IT DOES, IT WILL BE THE THIRD ATLANTIC CITY CASINO TO CLOSE THIS YEAR.


  AN INSTAGRAM PHOTO OF A NUMBERED PENN STATE FOOTBALL HELMET IS CAUSING QUITE A STIR.  MANY PEOPLE WERE CONVINCED THAT THE PHOTO, WHICH WAS SHARED BY FRESHMAN RUNNING BACK NICK SCOTT MONDAY, MEANT THE TEAM WOULD BE MAKING UNIFORM CHANGES.  COACH JAMES FRANKLIN SQUASHED THAT RUMOR THOUGH, SAYING THE HELMET IS JUST AN OFFICE DECORATION.


  POLICE ARE WARNING THE PUBLIC ABOUT SCAMS AFTER A MANHEIM TOWNSHIP MAN FELL VICTIM TO ONE.  THE MAN RECEIVED AN EMAIL SAYING HE HAD WON A MILLION DOLLARS AND NEEDED TO SEND $350 IN ORDER TO CLAIM THE PRIZE.  THE VICTIM SENT THE MONEY AND THEN GOT ANOTHER EMAIL ASKING FOR ANOTHER $1000, WHICH HE ALSO SENT.  HE NEVER RECEIVED THE PRIZE.  POLICE REMIND YOU NEVER TO SEND MONEY IN ORDER TO CLAIM A PRIZE.


  A FEDERAL JUDGE IS ALLOWING A FORMER STRIPPER TO GO AHEAD WITH HER LAWSUIT AGAINST A PHILADELPHIA GENTLEMEN'S CLUB.  PRIYA VERMA CLAIMS THE PENTHOUSE CLUB PHILADELPHIA FAILED TO PAY DANCERS MINIMUM WAGE AND OVERTIME MONEY.  HER LAWSUIT SAYS DANCERS ARE EMPLOYEES RATHER THAN INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS.  VERMA'S COMPLAINT SAYS THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR RECOGNIZED DANCERS ARE ENTITLED TO WAGE AND HOUR LAW PROTECTION.


  NEW JERSEY GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE IS ORDER ALL STATE BUILDINGS TO FLY FLAGS AT HALF-STAFF WEDNESDAY IN HONOR OF THE YOUNG JERSEY CITY POLICE OFFICER WHO LOST HIS LIFE IN THE LINE OF DUTY.  OFFICER MELVIN SANTIAGO WAS RESPONDING TO A CALL OF AN ARMED ROBBERY OUTSIDE A WALGREENS EARLY SUNDAY MORNING WHEN HE WAS KILLED ALLEGEDLY BY LAWRENCE CAMPBELL, WHO WAS THEN SHOT AND KILLED BY OTHER OFFICERS.  IN AN EXECUTIVE ORDER, CHRISTIE SAID, "OFFICER SANTIAGO'S SELFLESS DEVOTION TO PUBLIC SERVICE AND THE PROTECTION OF HIS COMMUNITY MAKES HIM A HERO AND A TRUE ROLE MODEL FOR ALL NEW JERSEYANS."  FUNERAL SERVICE FOR SANTIAGO WILL BE HELD ON FRIDAY.

 

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