Allentown Local News

 

LOCAL NEWS FOR THURSDAY, JULY 18, 2013

LOCAL NEWS FOR THURSDAY, JULY 18, 2013

  THE HEAT IS ON AND ACCU-WEATHER'S BRIAN THOMPSON SAYS IT'LL REMAIN THAT WAY FOR A FEW MORE DAYS BEFORE RELIEF ARRIVES.  "IT LOOKS LIKE WE'RE LOOKING AT A SEVEN-DAY HEAT WAVE," THOMPSON SAYS.  THAT HEAT WAVE SHOULD END WITH A FINAL DAY IN THE 90S ON SATURDAY.  THERE'S THE POTENTIAL FOR SOME PRETTY HARD THUNDERSTORMS ON SATURDAY THAT WILL BRING ABOUT COOLER TEMPERATURES AND LESS HUMID CONDITIONS.

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  ABOUT 100 PEOPLE, SOME CARRYING SIGNS READING "WE MARCH FOR JUSTICE", "WE ARE ALL TRAYVON" AND "MY SON LOVES SKITTLES...IS HE NEXT?" GATHERED OUTSIDE BETHLEHEM CITY HALL WEDNESDAY EVENING RALLYING FOR LEGAL REFORMS FOLLOWING THE GEORGE ZIMMERMAN NOT GUILTY VERDICT LAST WEEKEND.  LOCAL CHAPTERS OF THE NAACP ORGANIZED THE PROTEST, WHICH FOCUSED ON FLORIDA'S 'STAND YOUR GROUND' LAW AND OTHER SELF-DEFENSE LAWS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.  SOME ORGANIZERS CALLED ON SUPPORTERS TO BOYCOTT FLORIDA AND PRODUCTS COMING FROM THERE.

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  A PREGNANT 15-YEAR-OLD GIRL ONLY SUFFERED MINOR INJURIES WHEN SHE FELL ABOUT 30 FEET FROM AN ALLENTOWN ROOF EARLY WEDNESDAY MORNING.  POLICE SAY THE GIRL TOLD THEM A BABY GATE FELL OUT OF A WINDOW AND ONTO THE ROOF OF THE SECOND FLOOR IN THE 100 BLOCK OF NORTH NINTH STREET.  WHEN THE TEEN WALKED ONTO THE ROOF TO PICK UP THE GATE, A PIECE OF PLYWOOD GAVE WAY, SENDING HER ABOUT 30 FEET DOWN ONTO A CEMENT STAIRWELL.  REMARKABLY, THE GIRL WAS ABLE TO WALK BACK TO HER APARTMENT AND APPEARS TO HAVE ONLY SUFFERED SOME BRUISES AND SCRAPES.

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  A SLATINGTON MAN IS DEAD AFTER A WEDNESDAY EVENING ACCIDENT.  THE LEHIGH COUNTY CORONER'S OFFICE SAYS 71-YEAR-OLD JAMES WHITE WAS KILLED IN THE ACCIDENT THAT HAPPENED JUST AFTER 6 O'CLOCK WEDNESDAY EVENING.  STATE POLICE SAY WHITE WAS STRUCK BY A CAR IN FRONT OF 4972 MOUNTAIN ROAD IN WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP.  THE INVESTIGATION CONTINUES.

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  POLICE ARE INVESTIGATING A PAIR OF ARSONS IN BETHLEHEM THAT CAUSED MORE THAN $40,000 IN DAMAGES.  INVESTIGATORS SAY THE FIRST FIRE HAPPENED JUST BEFORE 11 O'CLOCK TUESDAY NIGHT IN A VEHICLE AT 1416 LORAIN AVENUE.  ABOUT THREE-AND-A-HALF HOURS LATER A GARAGE AT 1208 LORAIN AVENUE WAS SET ON FIRE.  INVESTIGATORS ARE TRYING TO DETERMINE IF THE TWO ARSONS ARE RELATED.

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  ALLENTOWN CITY COUNCIL HAS VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO HIRE 24 NEW WORKERS TO MANAGE THE CITY'S WATER AND SANITARY SEWER SYSTEMS.  21 OF THOSE EMPLOYEES WILL HANDLE THOSE DUTIES AND THE THREE OTHERS WILL BE BROUGHT IN FOR AN OFFICE OF COMPLIANCE TO MAKE SURE THE LEHIGH COUNTY AUTHORITY REMAINS COMPLIANT WITH ITS 50 YEAR LEASE TO RUN THE CITY'S WATER AND SEWER SYSTEMS.  THE CITY BELIEVES THE NEW HIRES WILL COST THE CITY ABOUT $2.3 MILLION, BUT ALLENTOWN'S DEPUTY FINANCE DIRECTOR SAYS THE CITY HAS ENOUGHT MONEY IN ITS WATER FUND TO PAY THOSE SALARIES AND BENEFITS.

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  THE 2013 EDITION OF SPORTSFEST OPENS UP TODAY, WITH MOST OF THE EVENTS WITHIN THE ALLENTOWN PARKS SYSTEM.  RAY ATIYEH SAYS THERE ARE PLENTY OF SPORTS TO PLAY AND WATCH BETWEEN NOW AND SUNDAY.  "THIS YEAR WE HAVE MORE THAN 30 DIFFERENT TOURNAMENTS," ATIYEH SAYS.  THEY RANGE FROM BASKETBALL, TO DODGEBALL, TO POWER LIFTING.  13 DIFFERENT VENUES HOST SPORTSFEST COMPETITIONS.  GET THE LIST BY ENTERING THE KEYWORD "SPORTSFEST".

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  A HIGH-RANKING STATE ELECTIONS OFFICIAL IS EXPECTED TO TESTIFY AT THE TRIAL ON PENNSYLVANIA'S YET-TO-BE ENFORCED VOTER IDENTIFICATION LAW.  JONATHAN MARKS, COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE'S BUREAU OF COMMISSIONS, ELECTIONS AND LEGISLATION, BEGAN TESTIFYING WEDNESDAY ABOUT THE EVOLUTION OF THE SPECIAL PHOTO ID AVAILABLE TO VOTERS WHO CANNOT OBTAIN OTHER ACCEPTABLE IDENTIFICATION.  HE IS EXPECTED TO CONTINUE HIS TESTIMONY TODAY IN COMMONWEALTH COURT.  MARKS CONFIRMED THAT FEWER THAN 4,000 OF THE IDS, WHICH BECAME AVAILABLE IN AUGUST, ALONG WITH ABOUT 13,000 PENNDOT NON-DRIVER IDS, HAVE BEEN ISSUED SINCE THE LAW TOOK EFFECT.   PLAINTIFFS ARE SEEKING TO OVERTURN THE LAW, ONE OF THE STRICTEST VOTER ID LAWS IN THE COUNTRY, ON CONSTITUTIONAL GROUNDS.  THE COURT BLOCKED ENFORCEMENT OF THE LAW IN LAST YEAR'S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AND THE MAY PRIMARY.

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  GOV. TOM CORBETT SAYS HE'S HIRING HIS THIRD CHIEF OF STAFF AND HIS THIRD SECRETARY OF LEGISLATIVE AFFAIRS IN AS MANY YEARS AS HE STRUGGLES TO IMPROVE HIS PUBLIC IMAGE AND HIS CLOUT INSIDE THE CAPITOL.  VETERAN REPUBLICAN LOBBYIST AND POLITICAL STRATEGIST LESLIE GROMIS BAKER WILL REPLACE STEVE AICHELE AS CORBETT'S CHIEF OF STAFF.  AICHELE WAS CORBETT'S CHIEF COUNSEL WHEN HE TOOK OFFICE IN JANUARY 2011, BUT BECAME CHIEF OF STAFF LAST YEAR IN A SEPARATE SHAKE-UP.  CORBETT'S LEGISLATIVE SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER CARUSONE IS LEAVING AFTER A YEAR TO BECOME A PARTNER IN A PHILADELPHIA-BASED LAW FIRM.  ANDREW RITTER, CARUSONE'S DEPUTY, WILL SERVE AS HIS REPLACEMENT ON AN ACTING BASIS.

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  A SON OF FORMER PENN STATE ASSISTANT FOOTBALL COACH JERRY SANDUSKY IS SEEKING TO HAVE HIS NAME CHANGED MORE THAN A YEAR AFTER HIS ADOPTIVE FATHER WAS CONVICTED OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE.  MATT SANDUSKY FILED PAPERS TUESDAY IN CENTRE COUNTY COURT SEEKING TO HAVE THE NAMES OF HIM AND HIS FAMILY CHANGED.  THOUGH THE DOCUMENTS ARE SEALED, THEY SHOW HE FILED FOR A NAME CHANGE, ALONG WITH HIS WIFE AND FOUR CHILDREN.  MATT SANDUSKY HAD BEEN EXPECTED TO BE A DEFENSE WITNESS UNTIL THE TRIAL, WHEN HE TOLD INVESTIGATORS THAT HE ALSO HAD BEEN ABUSED BY JERRY SANDUSKY.   JERRY SANDUSKY WAS CONVICTED ON 45 COUNTS OF SEXUAL ABUSE.  HE IS SERVING A 30- TO 60-YEAR PRISON SENTENCE AND MAINTAINS HE WAS WRONGFULLY CONVICTED.  HE IS PURSUING APPEALS.

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  CREDIT AGENCY FITCH RATINGS IS DOWNGRADING PENNSYLVANIA'S $10.9 BILLION IN OUTSTANDING GENERAL OBLIGATION DEBT BECAUSE IT SAYS POLICYMAKERS HAVEN'T ADEQUATELY ADDRESSED RISING COSTS THAT ARE OUTPACING TAX COLLECTIONS.  THE DOWNGRADE COMES THREE YEARS AFTER FITCH PUT PENNSYLVANIA ON A NEGATIVE OUTLOOK. THE DOWNGRADE TAKES PENNSYLVANIA FROM AA PLUS TO AA AND PUTS IT IN THE BOTTOM ONE-THIRD OF STATES FITCH RATES.  FITCH CITES PENNSYLVANIA'S FAILURE TO BOOST FUNDING FOR PUBLIC EMPLOYEE PENSION OBLIGATIONS AND ITS LACK OF A CASH RESERVE. THE RATINGS AGENCY SAYS THAT SIGNALS AN INABILITY OR UNWILLINGNESS ON THE PART OF POLITICAL LEADERS TO MAKE DIFFICULT FISCAL DECISIONS. 

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  A FORMER NEW JERSEY MAIL CARRIER WHO USED HER DAILY ROUTE TO MOVE COCAINE SHIPMENTS IN FALSELY ADDRESSED PACKAGES HAS BEEN SENTENCED TO NEARLY FOUR YEARS IN PRISON.  THIRTY-YEAR-OLD CHRISTINA NUNEZ OF LYNDHURST ALSO WAS ORDERED WEDNESDAY TO SERVE TWO YEARS OF SUPERVISED RELEASE ONCE SHE'S FREED FROM PRISON. SHE HAD PLEADED GUILTY TO A COMPLAINT CHARGING HER WITH MAIL THEFT AND CONSPIRACY TO POSSESS AND DISTRIBUTE COCAINE.  HER HUSBAND ALSO PLEADED GUILTY IN THE CASE AND IS NOW SERVING A 37-MONTH SENTENCE.  AUTHORITIES SAY NUNEZ, WHO WAS ASSIGNED TO A POST OFFICE IN SECAUCUS, WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR MOVING MORE THAN 18 KILOGRAMS OF COCAINE FROM OCTOBER 2010 UNTIL HER ARREST LAST AUGUST.

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  PHILADELPHIA EAGLES LEFT TACKLE JASON PETERS WILL GET NEARLY $2 MILLION IN A LAWSUIT OVER A ROLLING WALKER WHICH HE SAYS BROKE AND CAUSED HIM TO REINJURE HIS TORN ACHILLES TENDON.  THE LAWSUIT SAYS PETERS WAS USING A ROLL-A-BOUT KNEE WALKER IN MARCH 2012 WHEN IT BROKE BELOW THE HANDLEBAR, THREE WEEKS AFTER HIS INITIAL SURGERY.  LAWYER MICHAEL TRUNK SAYS PETERS HAD TO ENDURE A SECOND OPERATION BECAUSE OF THE SETBACK.  HE MISSED THE ENTIRE SEASON.  TRUNK SAYS THE PRODUCT WAS SOLD FOR PATIENTS WEIGHING UP TO 500 POUNDS, WHILE PETERS WAS LISTED AT 340. 

 

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