Allentown Local News

 

LOCAL NEWS FOR FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013

LOCAL NEWS FOR FRIDAY, MARCH 29, 2013

  TWO KUTZTOWN UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL PLAYERS FACE CHARGES FOR UNRELATED ARMED ROBBERIES.  POLICE SAY SHAHAID SMITH WAS ONE OF THREE MEN WHO BROKE INTO A CAMPUS DORM ON MARCH 8 AND PISTOL-WHIPPED ONE OF THE PEOPLE INSIDE.  KALI SMITH IS CHARGED WITH AN UNRELATED HOME-INVASION ROBBERY OF OFF-CAMPUS STUDENTS LAST MARCH.  KALI SMITH AND THREE OTHERS ALLEGEDLY TOOK A BAG OF MARIJUANA AND $3700 WORTH OF ELECTRONICS IN THE ROBBERY.  SHAHAID SMITH LEFT THE FOOTBALL TEAM AT THE END OF LAST SEASON AND KALI SMITH WILL BE SUSPENDED FROM THE TEAM.

  A NORTHAMPTON COUNTY PRISON INMATE, WHO HAS BEEN ON A HUNGER STRIKE, IS BEING TRANSFERRED TO A STATE PRISON.  TYRE SMITH BELIEVES THE PRISON IS POISONING HIS FOOD AND WATER AND HAS REFUSED TO CONSUMER EITHER.  A JUDGE HAS RULED SMITH WILL NOT BE FORCE-FED, BUT RATHER TRANSFERRED TO A STATE PRISON UNTIL HE CAN BE SENT TO NORRISTOWN STATE HOSPITAL.  UNTIL HE'S MOVED TO STATE PRISON, SMITH HAS AGREED TO EAT FOOD BROUGHT INTO NORTHAMPTON COUNTY PRISON FROM THE OUTSIDE.  SMITH SAYS HE'S LOST 35 POUNDS SINCE ENTERING JAIL IN NOVEMBER 2010.

  GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT CAME TO THE LEHIGH CAREER & TECHNICAL INSTITUTE THURSDAY TO ANNOUNCE A GRANT THAT HE SAYS WILL PROMOTE MANUFACTURING JOBS HERE.  "I'M ANNOUNCING A GRANT OF $298,000 FROM THE DISCOVERED IN PENNSYLVANIA, DEVELOPED IN PENNSYLVANIA PROGRAM TO THE MANUFACTURERS RESOURCE CENTER FOR A PROGRAM DESIGNED TO CREATE A PIPELINE OF JOBS FOR TECHNICAL STUDENTS THROUGHOUT THE LEHIGH VALLEY," CORBETT SAYS.  THE MONEY WILL BE USED TO EDUCATE STUDENTS, PARENTS AND EDUCATORS ON MANUFACTURING OPPORTUNITIES AVAILABLE.

  THE OWNER OF A PIT BULL, WHICH INJURED TWO PEOPLE AND ALMOST KILLED THEIR DOG LAST MONTH HAS PLEADED GUILTY AND THEN APOLOGIZED FOR THE ATTACK.  MONTREAL HOWARD, WHO HAS BEEN ORDERED TO PAY MORE THAN $3600 RESTITUTION FOR MEDICAL AND VETERINARY BILLS, TOLD TAMMIE JESBERGER AND HER FATHER, WILLIAM TITTEL, "I'M SORRY ABOUT YOUR DOG."  HOWARD'S PIT BULL, WHICH WAS SHOT BY POLICE DURING THE FEBRUARY 4 ATTACK, BROKE THE JAW AND RIPPED THE THROAT OF JESSBERGER'S COCKAPOO.  AFTER TWO OPERATIONS, THE COCKAPOO IS EXPECTED TO SURVIVE.

  THE PRESIDENT OF THE PENNSYLVANIA PASTORS' NETWORK SAYS THE SUPREME COURT'S RULING ON TWO SEPARATE GAY MARRIAGE CASES WILL HAVE A HUGE IMPACT ON MORE THAN JUST GAYS HOPING TO BE MARRIED.  "THE COURT IS DEALING WITH AN ISSUE THAT'S NOT JUST A SOCIAL ISSUE, BUT IT'S A LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUE THAT PUTS MANY THINGS INTO EFFECT THAT HAVE A RIPPLE EFFECT ACROSS THIS ENTIRE NATION AS WE KNOW IT," SAYS SAM ROHRER.  HE SAYS IF THE COURT STRIKES DOWN OR WEAKENS THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT OR CALIFORNIA'S PROPOSITION 8, IT WOULD BE SAYING THEY ARE HIGHER LAW THAN GOD'S LAW, SOMETHING UNACCEPTABLE TO ROHRER.

  STATE POLICE SPOKESMAN MARC ALLEN SAYS THE FOUR-DAY EASTER DRIVING PERIOD WILL BE A BUSY ONE FOR STATE POLICE.  "WE'RE BEEFING UP PATROLS TO GET OUT AND MAKE SURE AGGRESSIVE DRIVERS ARE DETERRED," ALLEN SAYS.  ROVING PATROLS WILL BE PRESENT THROUGHOUT THE LOCAL STATE POLICE JURISDICTION THROUGH SUNDAY NIGHT AT MIDNIGHT.  LAST YEAR'S EASTER WEEKEND SAW LOCAL STATE POLICE ISSUE NEARLY 600 CITATIONS AND INVESTIGATE 27 ACCIDENTS.

  THE PENNSYLVANIA SUPREME COURT IS TAKING A CASE THAT WILL DETERMINE IF THE JUSTICES, OR ANY PENNSYLVANIA JUDGES, CAN SERVE ON THE BENCH PAST AGE 70.  THE COURT ANNOUNCED THURSDAY IT WOULD CONSIDER A CHALLENGE BY MONTGOMERY COUNTY JUDGE ARTHUR TILSON TO THE STATE CONSTITUTION'S REQUIREMENT THAT THEY RETIRE IN THE CALENDAR YEAR IN WHICH THEY TURN 70.  THE JUSTICES ARE FAST-TRACKING THE CASE BY HEARING ORAL ARGUMENT ON IT IN HARRISBURG IN MAY.  IT'S A MATTER OF PARTICULAR IMPORTANCE TO CHIEF JUSTICE RONALD CASTILLE, WHO IS RUNNING FOR RETENTION THIS YEAR BUT WILL TURN 70 IN 2014.  TILSON'S PETITION NAMES AS RESPONDENTS GOV. TOM CORBETT, CORBETT'S SECRETARY OF STATE AND THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM'S COURT ADMINISTRATOR. 

  EVEN BEFORE MONTGOMERY COUNTY COMMISSIONER BRUCE CASTOR DECIDES WHETHER TO SEEK THE REPUBLICAN NOMINATION TO RUN FOR GOVERNOR, AN ANTI-CASTOR WEBSITE IS ALREADY UP AND RUNNING.  THE WEBSITE IS WWW.CASTORWATCH.COM AND IT CRITICIZES CASTOR'S RECORD ON SPENDING, REFORMING GOVERNMENT AND CRACKING DOWN ON CRIME, BUT IT DOESN'T IDENTIFY ITS SPONSOR.  BRIAN NUTT, A POLITICAL ADVISER TO REPUBLICAN GOV. TOM CORBETT, SAYS CORBETT'S POLITICAL TEAM WASN'T INVOLVED IN ESTABLISHING THE WEBSITE, NOT EVEN INDIRECTLY.  NUTT SAYS HE WAS UNAWARE OF IT UNTIL A FRIEND SENT HIM A LINK TO IT WEDNESDAY.  CASTOR HAS EXPRESSED INTEREST IN CHALLENGING CORBETT'S RE-ELECTION BID IN THE 2014 GOP PRIMARY.  HE SAYS HE'S CONVINCED CORBETT'S PEOPLE WERE AT LEAST INDIRECTLY INVOLVED.  HE SAYS IT SUGGESTS THAT THE GOVERNOR IS CONCERNED ABOUT A PRIMARY CHALLENGE.

  THE STATE INSURANCE DEPARTMENT SAYS A WORKERS' COMPENSATION INSURANCE RATE REDUCTION WILL GO INTO EFFECT NEXT WEEK FOR EMPLOYERS.  THE DEPARTMENT SAID THAT THE OVERALL 4 PERCENT DECREASE THAT TAKES EFFECT MONDAY COULD MEAN AS MUCH AS $110 MILLION IN SAVINGS FOR PENNSYLVANIA EMPLOYERS.  IT SAYS THE ESTIMATE MAY VARY ACCORDING TO CLAIMS EXPERIENCE, PAYROLL AND OTHER FACTORS, AND NOT ALL EMPLOYERS WILL SEE A DECREASE.  WORKERS' COMPENSATION INSURANCE PROVIDES FOR THE COST OF MEDICAL CARE AND REHABILITATION FOR INJURED WORKERS, AND LOST WAGES AND DEATH BENEFITS FOR THE DEPENDENTS OF PEOPLE WHO ARE KILLED IN WORK-RELATED ACCIDENTS.  THE DEPARTMENT SAYS EMPLOYERS SHOULD CONTACT THEIR INSURANCE AGENT BEFORE THEIR NEXT RENEWAL DATE TO FIND OUT HOW THEIR PREMIUM WILL CHANGE.

  AUTHORITIES HAVE IDENTIFIED A FIREFIGHTER WITH THE NEW JERSEY FOREST FIRE SERVICE WHO WAS STRUCK AND KILLED DURING A CONTROLLED BURN IN HUNTERDON COUNTY.  JEFFREY SCHEURER WAS WORKING ALONG ROUTE 629 IN CLINTON TOWNSHIP THURSDAY.  THE COUNTY PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE SAYS THE PRELIMINARY INVESTIGATION INDICATES HEAVY SMOKE ASSOCIATED WITH THE CONTROLLED BURN MAY HAVE REDUCED VISIBILITY WHEN THE WIND SHIFTED AND CONTRIBUTED TO THE ACCIDENT.  THE NAME OF THE DRIVER WHO HIT HIM HAS NOT BEEN RELEASED.  THE INVESTIGATION IS ONGOING.

  ROY HALLADAY ALLOWED TWO RUNS OVER 4 1-3 INNINGS IN HIS FIRST BIG LEAGUE SPRING TRAINING APPEARANCE IN 11 DAYS, PREPPING FOR THE REGULAR SEASON IN THE PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES' 7-2 WIN OVER THE TORONTO BLUE JAYS ON THURSDAY.  THE TWO-TIME CY YOUNG AWARD WINNER HAD NOT PITCHED IN A MAJOR LEAGUE GAME SINCE MARCH 17, WHEN HE CAME OUT OF A START AGAINST BALTIMORE AFTER ONE INNING DUE TO A STOMACH VIRUS.  HE PITCHED IN A MINOR LEAGUE EXHIBITION LAST SATURDAY.  "PHYSICALLY THIS IS AS GOOD AS I'VE FELT COMING OUT OF SPRING TRAINING IN PROBABLY FIVE YEARS AS FAR AS TOTAL BODY," HALLADAY SAID.  "STUFF-WISE, I THINK LOCATION AND MOVEMENT I'M JUST A CLICK BEHIND WHERE I WANT TO BE."  AGAINST THE BLUE JAYS, HE GAVE UP EIGHT HITS AND TWO WALKS AND STRUCK OUT TWO.

 

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