Allentown Local News

 

LOCAL NEWS FOR FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

LOCAL NEWS FOR FRIDAY, JUNE 14, 2013

  BERKS COUNTY JUDGE JEFFREY SCHMEHL AND PHILADELPHIA JUDGE NITZA QUINONES HAVE BEEN APPROVED BY THE SENATE TO BEOME JUDGES IN THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA.  SENATOR BOB CASEY IS PLEASED VACANCIES HAVE BEEN FILLED.  "THESE JUDGES HAVE TREMENDOUS EXPERIENCE AS TRIAL JUDGES," CASEY SAYS.  SENATOR PAT TOOMEY SAYS QUINONES IS MORE THAN QUALIFIED.  "SHE HAS REALLY DEMONSTRATED A TERRIFIC COMMITMENT TO THE LEGAL COMMUNITY AND BEYOND THAT IN PHILADELPHIA.  SHE HAS SERVED ON THE PHILADELPHIA COURT OF COMMON PLEAS SINCE 1991.  SHE HAS  EXTENSIVE EXPERIENCE," TOOMEY SAYS.  THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA INCLUDES NINE COUNTIES INCLUDING BERKS, BUCKS, LEHIGH AND NORTHAMPTON COUNTIES.

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  A MAN WHO ALLEGEDLY PUNCHED ANOTHER MAN MULTIPLE TIMES DURING A HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION CEREMONY IS FACING A DISORDERLY CONDUCT CITATION.  THE MAN WAS HANDCUFFED AND TAKEN INTO CUSTODY AFTER THE ALTERCATION AT LEHIGH UNIVERSITY'S STABLER ARENA.  RICHARD COSTELLO, WHO IS A 2011 PARKLAND GRADUATE, WAS ASKED TWICE TO STOP TALKING DURING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM BEFORE HE PUNCHED THE MAN WHO MADE THE REQUEST.  THE VICTIM, 2009 PARKLAND GRAD CAMERON McNEILL, SAYS HE WAS PUNCHED IN THE FACE FOUR TIMES.  COSTELLO'S PARENTS CLAIM THEY WERE GREETING FAMILY WHO JUST ARRIVED FOR THE CEREMONY DURING THE ANTHEM AND THAT McNEILL INSTIGATED THE INCIDENT.  PARKLAND SCHOOL DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT RICH SNISCAK SAYS THE INCIDENT DIDN'T DISRUPT THE CEREMONY AND THAT NO STUDENTS WERE INVOLVED.

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  SUPPORTERS OF SAVING BRADEN AIRPARK IN FORKS TOWNSHIP WILL GET ANOTHER FOUR MONTHS TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO KEEP THE AIRFIELD UP AND RUNNING.  THE LEHIGH VALLEY AIRPORT AUTHORITY IS DELAYING A DECISION ON WHETHER TO CLOSE AND SELL THE AIRPARK.  LVIA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CHARLES EVERETT SAYS THE AIRPARK REQUIRES UP TO $500,000 IN IMPROVEMENTS AND IT MAKES NO FINANCIAL SENSE TO KEEP OPERATING IT.

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  THE TREASURER OF THE TRI BORO YOUTH SOCCER CLUB IN WHITEHALL TOWNSHIP IS CHARGED WITH STEALING MORE THAN $100,000 FROM THE CLUB OVER MORE THAN SIX YEARS.  DURING AN INTERVIEW WITH WHITEHALL POLICE LAST MONTH, 54-YEAR-OLD BRIAN FARLEY REPORTEDLY ADMITTED TO STEALING MORE THAN $100,000 FROM THE CLUB'S ACCOUNTS.  FARLEY IS FREE ON $100,000 BAIL.

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  GOV. TOM CORBETT'S OFFICE IS DECLINING TO DISCUSS THE FORCED RESIGNATION OF STATE CONSERVATION AND NATURAL RESOURCES SECRETARY RICHARD ALLAN.  CORBETT ANNOUNCED THURSDAY THAT HE HAD "ASKED FOR AND RECEIVED" ALLAN'S RESIGNATION.  CORBETT SPOKESMAN KEVIN HARLEY DECLINED TO DISCUSS THE SITUATION, CALLING IT "A PERSONNEL MATTER."  ASKED WHETHER IT INVOLVED ILLEGAL ACTIVITY, HARLEY SAID IT DID NOT.  THE 60-YEAR-OLD ALLAN HAS LED THE DEPARTMENT SINCE SHORTLY AFTER CORBETT TOOK OFFICE IN EARLY 2011. 

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  GOV. TOM CORBETT IS NOMINATING A FORMER U.S. REPRESENTATIVE AND TWO OTHER DEMOCRATS TO FILL SEATS AT THE PENNSYLVANIA LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD, THE PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE COMMISSION AND THE PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION.  HIS NOMINEES INCLUDE FORMER U.S. REP. TIM HOLDEN TO THE LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD, FORMER STATE SEN. SEAN LOGAN TO THE TURNPIKE COMMISSION AND GLADYS BROWN, A TOP STATE SENATE LAWYER, TO THE PUBLIC UTILITY COMMISSION.  CORBETT IS A REPUBLICAN.  BUT THE BOARDS OF THE THREE INDEPENDENT AGENCIES ARE TRADITIONALLY SPLIT UP BETWEEN REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS, AND THESE NOMINEES ARE FILLING SEATS PREVIOUSLY HELD BY DEMOCRATS.  ALL THREE WILL REQUIRE A TWO-THIRDS MAJORITY APPROVAL BY THE STATE SENATE.

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  U.S. SEN. BOB CASEY IS URGING STRONG ACTION IN SYRIA NOW THAT THE WHITE HOUSE SAYS IT HAS CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE THAT SYRIAN PRESIDENT BASHAR ASSAD'S REGIME HAS USED CHEMICAL WEAPONS AGAINST OPPOSITION FORCES.  A STATEMENT FROM CASEY REMINDS PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA THAT USING CHEMICAL WEAPONS HAS CROSSED A "RED LINE" THAT OBAMA HAS SAID WOULD TRIGGER GREATER AMERICAN INVOLVEMENT IN THE CRISIS.  CASEY SAYS ASSAD MUST GO, BUT THAT IT WON'T HAPPEN WITHOUT DECISIVE AMERICAN LEADERSHIP.  CASEY SAYS HE SPOKE WEDNESDAY WITH THE SYRIAN OPPOSITION'S MILITARY LEADER AND FEARS THAT MODERATE OPPOSITION FORCES WILL BE DEFEATED WITHOUT U.S. INTERVENTION.  HE SAYS OBAMA SHOULD CONSIDER GROUNDING THE SYRIAN AIR FORCE WITH STAND-OFF WEAPONS AND USING PATRIOT MISSILES IN TURKEY TO PROTECT A SAFE ZONE IN NORTHERN SYRIA.

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  A VETERAN PHILADELPHIA BUILDING INSPECTOR WHO APPARENTLY COMMITTED SUICIDE HAD INSPECTED THE SITE OF A DEADLY BUILDING COLLAPSE TWICE IN FEBRUARY, AND AN ADJACENT, RELATED PROJECT IN MID-MAY.  THE JUNE 5 COLLAPSE KILLED SIX PEOPLE WHEN A FOUR-STORY BUILDING TUMBLED ONTO A SMALL THRIFT SHOP.  THE DEMOLITION SITE CONSISTED OF THREE ATTACHED BUILDINGS.  RECORDS SHOW THAT RONALD WAGENHOFFER INSPECTED THE SITE BEFORE WORK BEGAN ON FEBRUARY 12 AND AGAIN ON FEBRUARY 25, AFTER IT WAS UNDERWAY.  HE RETURNED TO THE STRIP OF ATTACHED STOREFRONTS ON MAY 14 AFTER A CITIZEN COMPLAINED ABOUT THE DEMOLITION BEING CONDUCTED AT THE BUILDING NEXT DOOR TO THE ONE THAT COLLAPSED.  WAGENHOFFER FOUND THE COMPLAINT UNFOUNDED.  MAYOR MICHAEL NUTTER CALLS THE 52-YEAR-OLD WAGENHOFFER THE SEVENTH VICTIM OF THE TRAGEDY, AND SAYS HIS DEATH "ASTOUNDING" AND "PAINFUL."

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  THE PENNSYLVANIA SUPREME COURT IS TAKING ACTION AGAINST ONE OF ITS FORMER MEMBERS, SUSPENDING THE LAW LICENSE OF FORMER JUSTICE JOAN ORIE MELVIN.  THE HIGH COURT ISSUED A BRIEF ORDER THURSDAY THAT DESCRIBED IT AS A TEMPORARY SUSPENSION.  SHE FACES THREE YEARS OF HOUSE ARREST AFTER BEING CONVICTED EARLIER THIS YEAR OF MISUSING THE STATE-PAID EMPLOYEES IN HER 2003 AND 2009 SUPREME COURT CAMPAIGNS.

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  QUARTERBACK MATT BARKLEY AND THE PHILADELPHIA EAGLES HAVE AGREED ON A FOUR-YEAR CONTRACT.  BARKLEY WAS SELECTED IN THE FOURTH ROUND OF THE NFL DRAFT AFTER A STANDOUT CAREER AT SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.  THE MOVE LEAVES ONLY ONE DRAFT PICK UNSIGNED.  BARKLEY REWROTE THE CONFERENCE RECORD BOOK DURING A USC-RECORD 47 STARTS OVER FOUR SEASONS, BECOMING THE PAC-12'S LEADER IN TOUCHDOWN PASSES, YARDS PASSING, COMPLETIONS AND TOTAL OFFENSE.  HE'S COMPETING WITH MICHAEL VICK AND NICK FOLES FOR THE STARTING JOB.

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  PRIZED INCOMING FRESHMAN CHRISTIAN HACKENBERG IS OFFICIALLY IN THE PENN STATE QUARTERBACK DERBY BEFORE EVER TAKING A SNAP.  THE POST-SPRING DEPTH CHART RELEASED THURSDAY LISTED HACKENBERG AND JUNIOR COLLEGE TRANSFER TYLER FERGUSON, A SOPHOMORE, AS THE TOP TWO CANDIDATES TO TAKE OVER THE STARTING JOB LEFT VACATED FOLLOWING THE GRADUATION OF MATT MCGLOIN.  COACH BILL O'BRIEN HAD GIVEN EVERY INDICATION IN SPRING PRACTICE THAT HACKENBERG WOULD GET A CHANCE TO COMPETE FOR THE JOB WHEN PRESEASON CAMP OPENS IN AUGUST.  FERGUSON IS DESCRIBED IN HIS BIO AS "AN ACCURATE PASSER WITH GOOD POCKET AWARENESS AND THE ABILITY TO TUCK THE BALL AND RUN WHEN HE NEEDS TO."  HACKEBERG'S BIO LISTS HIM AS POSSESSING "SUPERB ARM STRENGTH AND MOBILITY."  BUT NEITHER PLAYER HAS EVER FACED A BIG TEN DEFENSE.

 

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