Allentown Local News

 

LOCAL NEWS FOR MONDAY, JUNE 24, 2013

LOCAL NEWS FOR MONDAY, JUNE 24, 2013

  POLICE SAY ONE PERSON IS DEAD AFTER AN ACCIDENT THAT HAPPENED AROUND 5 O'CLOCK THIS MORNING IN UPPER MOUNT BETHEL TOWNSHIP.  THE CRASH HAPPENEED AT ROUTE 611 AND SLATEFORD ROAD.  THE NAME OF THE VICTIM HASN'T BEEN RELEASED AND POLICE ARE STILL INVESTIGATING THE ACCIDENT.

  A MAN IS IN CUSTODY AFTER BARRICADING HIMSELF INSIDE A CARBON COUNTY HOME.  THE STANDOFF BEGAN JUST BEFORE MIDNIGHT AND ENDED JUST BEFORE 7:30 THIS MORNING AT A HOME ON EAST BERTSCH STREET IN LANSFORD.  SEVERAL BLOCKS SURROUNDING THE HOUSE WERE BLOCKED OFF WHILE THE STANDOFF CONTINUED.  THERE ARE NO INJURIES REPORTED.

  SUMMER BEGAN FRIDAY AND ACCU-WEATHER'S BILL DEGER SAYS THERE'S A CHANCE WE'LL HAVE THE SEASON'S FIRST HEAT WAVE THIS WEEK.  "IT'S GOING TO BE CLOSE.  OUR FORECAST FOR BOTH TODAY AND THURSDAY ARE 89.  IN BETWEEN WE HAVE 90 TOMORROW AND 92 ON WEDNESDAY, SO WE EITHER END UP HAVING TWO DAYS OF 90 OR MORE OR FOUR DAYS OF 90 OR MORE," DEGER SAYS.  WITH THE HOT AND HUMID CONDITIONS, DEGER SAYS SHOWERS AND THUNDERSTORMS ARE POSSIBLE EVERY DAY FROM NOW THROUGH THURSDAY.

  POLICE IN ALLENTOWN ARE LOOKING FOR THE PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR A SATURDAY NIGHT SHOOING IN THE CITY.  JUST AFTER 8 O'CLOCK SATURDAY NIGHT, 37-YEAR-OLD ALEXA SANTIAGO-FIGUEROA WALKED INTO SACRED HEART HOSPITAL WITH A GUNSHOT WOUND TO HIS LEFT SIDE.  HE WAS THEN SENT TO LEHIGH VALLEY HOSPITAL-CEDAR CREST, WHERE HE IS LISTED IN STABLE CONDITION.  POLICE SAY THE SHOOTING HAPPENED IN THE 900 BLOCK OF PINE STREET.

  A LOWER MILFORD TOWNSHIP WOMAN IS CHARGED WITH SHOOTING A GUN AT A MAN SLEEPING ON THE FLOOR OF HER HOME AND THEN POINTING THE GUN AT HIM BEFORE SHE DROVE AWAY.  STATE POLICE SAY PATRICIA MITCHELL, OF VERA CRUZ ROAD, WAS FOUND A SHORT WHILE LATER AND ARRESTED.  HER 61-YEAR-OLD VICTIM WAS NOT INJURED.

  THE LEHIGH COUNTY CORONER SAYS THE BODY OF A MAN FOUND IN A RIVER HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED AS A CANOEIST WHO WENT MISSING A WEEK AGO.  THE BODY FOUND FRIDAY NIGHT IN THE LEHIGH RIVER WAS THAT OF 53-YEAR-OLD JEFFERY LACAVA OF NORTHAMPTON.  LACAVA WAS LAST SEEN ON THE RIVER IN A CANOE JUNE 16 WHEN HE WENT MISSING IN THE AREA OF CANAL STREET PARK IN NORTHAMPTON.  HIS BODY WAS FOUND NEAR THE TILGHMAN STREET BRIDGE IN ALLENTOWN, MORE THAN SIX MILES AWAY.  OFFICIALS SAID THE RIVER HAS BEEN RUNNING HIGH BECAUSE OF RECENT HEAVY RAINS.  THE CORONER'S OFFICE SAID AN AUTOPSY WAS DONE SATURDAY BUT FURTHER TESTS ARE NEEDED BEFORE THE CAUSE AND MANNER OF DEATH CAN BE DETERMINED.

  THE PENNSYLVANIA LEGISLATURE'S BEGINNING WHAT'S EXPECTED TO BE A BUSY WEEK BEFORE LAWMAKERS DEPART HARRISBURG FOR THE SUMMER.  ON TODAY'S AGENDA ARE A HOUSE COMMITTEE VOTE ON A MAJOR TRANSPORTATION FUNDING BILL, AS WELL AS SENATE COMMITTEE VOTES ON A BILL TO LIBERALIZE THE SALE OF WINE, LIQUOR AND BEER IN PENNSYLVANIA AND A $28-BILLION-PLUS STATE SPENDING PLAN THAT COULD INCLUDE SOME ADDITIONAL MONEY FOR DISTRESSED SCHOOL DISTRICTS.  LAWMAKERS ARE CONSIDERING A FEDERALLY FUNDED MEDICAID EXPANSION, AN OVERHAUL OF PUBLIC EMPLOYEE PENSION SYSTEMS, TOUGHER ETHICS RULES AND ACADEMIC STANDARDS FOR CHARTER SCHOOLS AND THE APPOINTMENT OF A STATE SUPREME COURT JUSTICE.  GOV. TOM CORBETT'S ALSO EXPECTED TO RESUBMIT A CONTRACT TO HIRE A PRIVATE MANAGER FOR THE PENNSYLVANIA LOTTERY AFTER ATTORNEY GENERAL KATHLEEN KANE REJECTED HIS FIRST ATTEMPT AS ILLEGAL.

  FIVE OF THE EIGHT MEN CHARGED EARLIER THIS YEAR IN AN INVESTIGATION OF CORRUPTION AT THE PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE ARE DUE IN COURT FOR A PRELIMINARY HEARING EXPECTED TO LAST FIVE DAYS.  THE PROCEEDING GETS UNDER WAY TODAY IN COUNTY COURT IN HARRISBURG.  A SIXTH DEFENDANT, FORMER STATE SENATE DEMOCRATIC LEADER BOB MELLOW, HAS WAIVED HIS APPEARANCE IN PERSON BUT HIS LAWYERS WILL BE THERE.  MELLOW IS SERVING A FEDERAL PRISON SENTENCE FOR AN UNRELATED CORRUPTION CONVICTION.  COURT OFFICIALS SAY THE WITNESS LIST CONTAINS MORE THAN 30 NAMES.  OTHER DEFENDANTS INCLUDE FORMER TURNPIKE COMMISSION CHAIRMAN MITCHELL RUBIN AND FORMER TURNPIKE CHIEF EXECUTIVE JOE BRIMMEIER.  A SEVENTH DEFENDANT'S HEARING WAS CONTINUED AND AN EIGHTH'S WAS WAIVED.  PROSECUTORS CLAIM VENDORS PROVIDED GIFTS AND CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS TO IMPROVE THEIR ODDS OF GETTING STATE CONTRACTS.

  WEST NILE VIRUS SEASON HAS ARRIVED BUT ACTING D.E.P. SECRETARY CHRIS ABRUZZO DOESN'T THINK THIS YEAR WILL BE TOO BAD.  "WE'RE EXPECTING THIS YEAR TO HAVE LOWER INSTANCES OF WEST NILE VIRUS REPORTS," ABRUZZO SAYS.  TO DATE, ABRUZZO SAYS WEST NILE VIRUS HAS BEEN FOUND IN ONLY ADAMS AND ERIE COUNTIES.  THE VIRUS IS USUALLY TRANSMITTED BY INFECTED MOSQUITOES.

  LOTTERY OFFICIALS SAY A WINNING POWERBALL TICKET WORTH $131.5 MILLION WAS SOLD IN SOUTH PHILADELPHIA.  THE PENNSYLVANIA LOTTERY SAYS THE WINNING TICKET FOR SATURDAY'S DRAWING WAS SOLD AT FEDERAL BEER DISTRIBUTOR IN THE POINT BREEZE SECTION OF THE CITY.  OFFICIALS SAY THE TICKET MATCHED ALL FIVE WHITE BALLS AND THE RED POWERBALL TO WIN THE $131.5 MILLION ANNUITY OR $77.4 MILLION CASH LESS 25 PERCENT FEDERAL WITHHOLDING.  THE RETAILER WILL RECEIVE A $100,000 BONUS FOR SELLING THE WINNING TICKET.
 

  AS IT STANDS NOW, PENNSYLVANIANS LIVING OVERSEAS OR SERVING IN THE MILITARY CAN RECEIVE AN ABSENTEE BALLOT ELECTRONICALLY BUT CAN'T CAST THAT BALLOT IN THE SAME FASHION.  DEMOCRATIC STATE SENATOR MATT SMITH SAYS IT'S TIME TO CHANGE.  "RIGHT NOW THEY CAN RECEIVE THEIR ABSENTEE BALLOT ELECTRONICALLY BUT THEY CANNOT RETURN IT ELECTRONICALLY.  THIS WOULD CLOSE THAT GAP AND GIVE MILITARY VOTERS, IN PARTICULAR, A MUCH GREATER OPPORTUNITY TO EXERCISE THEIR FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO VOTE," SMITH SAYS.  THERE ARE SIMILAR LAWS IN 30 OTHER STATES.  THE STATE GOVERNMENT COMMITTEE HAS UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED LEGISLATION ALLOWING OVERSEAS VOTERS TO CAST A BALLOT ELECTRONICALLY AND NOW IT MOVES ON TO THE ENTIRE SENATE.

  GETTYSBURG CHANGED THE DIRECTION OF AMERICAN HISTORY 150 YEARS AGO, AND THE TOWN HASN'T BEEN THE SAME SINCE.  THE COUPLE OF HUNDRED THOUSAND VISITORS EXPECTED AT EVENTS TO MARK THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE 1863 CLASH WON'T HAVE TO LOOK FAR TO FIND REMNANTS OF THE PIVOTAL CAMPAIGN OF THE CIVIL WAR, EVEN OUTSIDE THE GROUNDS OF THE METICULOUSLY MAINTAINED NATIONAL PARK.  CANNONBALLS AND SHRAPNEL REMAIN EMBEDDED IN A FEW OF THE ROUGHLY 200 BUILDINGS THAT REMAIN FROM THE PERIOD.  MANY OF THE BUSINESSES IN THE RURAL COUNTY SEAT CATER TO THE THRONGS OF TOURISTS THAT STREAM INTO ONE OF THE COUNTRY'S MOST HISTORIC PLACES, FROM GENERAL PICKETT'S BUFFET TO A BATTLE-ERA CLOTHING SHOP.  ABOUT 400 CULTURAL EVENTS WILL BE HELD IN AND AROUND GETTYSBURG FROM JUNE 28 THROUGH JULY 7.

  FLAGS IN NEW JERSEY WILL BE FLOWN AT HALF-STAFF MONDAY IN MEMORY OF "SOPRANOS" STAR AND NEW JERSEY NATIVE JAMES GANDOLFINI.  GANDOLFINI DIED WEDNESDAY IN ROME AT AGE 51.  A FAMILY SPOKESMAN HAS SAID AN AUTOPSY REVEALED THE CAUSE WAS A HEART ATTACK, THOUGH AUTHORITIES HAVE NOT RELEASED THE REPORT.  THE FLAG DIRECTIVE WAS ISSUED FRIDAY BY GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE.  IT SAYS GANDOLFINI WAS AN ICONIC ACTOR WHO "LEFT A TIMELESS IMPACT UPON TELEVISION AND FILM IN THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY AND ACROSS OUR NATION."  GANDOLFINI WAS BORN IN WESTWOOD.  HE GREW UP IN PARK RIDGE AND ATTENDED RUTGERS, THE STATE'S FLAGSHIP PUBLIC UNIVERSITY.  CHRISTIE HAS CALLED THE ACTOR, ACCLAIMED FOR HIS ROLE AS MOBSTER TONY SOPRANO, A "NEW JERSEY TREASURE."

  BOTH CHAMBERS OF THE NEW JERSEY LEGISLATURE ARE EXPECTED TO VOTE ON A BILL THAT WOULD BAN LICENSED THERAPISTS FROM TRYING TO CONVERT GAY MINORS INTO HETEROSEXUALS.  THE IDEA OF WHAT IS SOMETIMES CALLED "CONVERSION THERAPY" HAS INCREASINGLY DRAWN CRITICISM.  GAY RIGHTS GROUPS SAY THE PRACTICE IS DAMAGING TO YOUNG PEOPLE, BUT SOME SOCIAL CONSERVATIVES SAY THE BILL WOULD INFRINGE ON THE RIGHTS OF PARENTS TO DO WHAT THEY THINK IS BEST.  THE LEGISLATIVE VOTES ARE SCHEDULED TODAY.  LAST YEAR, CALIFORNIA BECAME THE FIRST STATE TO BAN THE PRACTICE.  BUT A JUDGE HALTED IMPLEMENTATION AMID ARGUMENTS ABOUT THE LAW'S CONSTITUTIONALITY.  LAST WEEK, THE LEADER OF ORLANDO, FLA.-BASED EXODUS INTERNATIONAL APOLOGIZED TO THE GAY COMMUNITY FOR YEARS OF PROVIDING THE COUNSELING.

 

 

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