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LOCAL NEWS FOR THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013

LOCAL NEWS FOR THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013

  ACCU-WEATHER'S BRIAN THOMPSON SAYS YOU'LL WANT TO KEEP AN EYE TO THE SKY ON THURSDAY.  "IT LOOKS LIKE WE'RE IN FOR RAIN FOR A GOOD CHUNK OF THE RAIN.  WE COULD EVEN SEE A FEW THUNDERSTORMS AND ESPECIALLY AS YOU GET SOUTH OF THE LEHIGH VALLEY SOME OF THOSE COULD BE ON THE STRONG TO SEVERE SIDE WITH SOME GUSTY WINDS," THOMPSON SAYS.  RIGHT NOW, THOMPSON SAYS AREAS IN THE LEHIGH VALLEY COULD GET ANYWHERE FROM ONE TO THREE INCHES OF RAIN BEFORE THINGS SETTLE DOWN ON FRIDAY.

  FORECASTERS SAY A MAJOR WEATHER SYSTEM MOVING INTO PENNSYLVANIA COULD BRING HIGH WINDS, HAIL AND SIGNIFICANT RAIN THAT COULD CAUSE FLOODING.  THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS ISSUED A FLASH FLOOD WATCH FOR THE ENTIRE STATE THROUGH THE DAY THURSDAY.  OFFICIALS WARN THAT WATER MAY RISE RAPIDLY IN STREAMS AND CREEKS, ON ROADS AND IN URBAN AREAS, ESPECIALLY IN AREAS WITH POOR DRAINAGE.  METEOROLOGIST KEVIN FITZGERALD SAID THE GREATEST RISK OF FLOODING WAS IN THE NORTHERN PART OF THE STATE, WHILE THE WORST THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED IN SOUTHERN AREAS OF PENNSYLVANIA.  A PARKING AREA AT THE U.S. OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP IN SUBURBAN PHILADELPHIA HAS BEEN CLOSED, WHILE SOME EVENING AND SPORTING EVENTS IN PITTSBURGH WERE CANCELED ALONG WITH A THURSDAY FARMER'S MARKET, AND A HORSESHOES COMPETITION SCHEDULED FOR THURSDAY HAS BEEN POSTPONED.

  DEMOCRAT MATT CROSLIS IS LEHIGH COUNTY'S FOURTH COUNTY EXECUTIVE IN JUST MORE THAN A YEAR.  COUNTY COMMISSIONERS VOTED 5-3 IN FAVOR OF CROSLIS TO REPLACE TOM MULLER, WHO WAS SERVING ON AN INTERIM BASIS AFTER BEING APPOINTED BY BILL HANSELL, WHO RESIGNED LAST MONTH DUE TO HEALTH REASONS BEFORE DYING LAST WEEK.  CROSLIS, WHO IS AN ATTORNEY AND BUSINESSMAN, WON THE JOB OVER CURRENT COUNTY COMMISSIONER DAN McCARTHY.  CROSLIS WILL SERVE THE FINAL SEVEN MONTHS OF FORMER EXECUTIVE DON CUNNINGHAM'S TERM.  CUNNINGHAM LEFT THE JOB LAST YEAR TO TAKE OVER THE LEHIGH VALLEY ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION.

  AS THE NATIONAL ANTHEM WAS BEING PLAYED AT PARKLAND'S GRADUATION AT STABLER ARENA, A MAN WHO APPEARED TO BE A MARINE TOLD MEN BEHIND HIM TO STOP TALKING DURING THE ANTHEM.  WHEN THEY REFUSED, THE MAN ASKED AGAIN.  AT THAT POINT ONE OF THE MEN THREATENED TO PUNCH THE UNIFORMED MAN AND EVENTUALLY DID SEVERAL TIMES.  LEHIGH UNIVERSITY POLICE INTERVENED AND TOOK ONE OF THE ATTACKERS AWAY IN HANDCUFFS.  THE INCIDENT BEGAN DURING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM AND ENDED DURING A STUDENT SPEECH.

  THE LEHIGH COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE HAS CHARGED FIVE MEN IN A SERIES OF BURGLARIES ACROSS THE LEHIGH VALLEY FROM DECEMBER 2012 TO LAST MONTH.  THE DA'S OFFICE SAYS THE MEN BURGLARIZED OR ATTEMPTED TO BURGLARIZE 26 HOMES IN SALISBURY TOWNSHIP, ALLENTOWN, WHITEHALL TOWNSHIP AND BETHLEHEM FROM DECEMBER 12 THROUGH MAY 13.  INVESTIGATORS SAY THE BURGLARIES, ALL OF WHICH HAPPENED BETWEEN 8AM AND 7PM, NETTED THE FIVE MEN ITEMS VALUED AT ABOUT $83,000.  THE MEN ARE ACCUSED OF SELLING THE STOLEN ITEMS AND SPLITTING THE CASH.  THE ACCUSED ARE IDENTIFIED AS JEAN CARLOS RODRIGUEZ, ANTHONY RODRIGUEZ-PAGAN BOTH OF ALLENTOWN; HIRAM RODRIGUEZ JR. AND KYLE MEDINA BOTH OF BETHLEHEM; AND ANTHONY MACHADO, WHO HAS NO KNOWN ADDRESS. 

  POLICE IN EASTON HAVE ID'D ONE OF THREE SUSPECTS WANTED IN AN EARLY SUNDAY MORNING STABBING IN A PARKING LOT ON LARRY HOLMES DRIVE.  "EASTON POLICE ARE LOOKING FOR A CARL WILLBRIGHT JR., WHO ALSO GOES BY THE STREET NAME OF "CITY".  HE'S WANTED IN RELATION TO A STABBING THAT OCCURED AT 91 LARRY HOLMES DRIVE ON SUNDAY, JUNE 9 AT 2:06AM," SAYS LIEUTENANT MATTHEW GEROULD SAYS WILLBRIGHT MAY BE DRIVING A 2005 GREY NISSAN ALTIMA.  TWO WOMEN BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN THE ATTACKERS IN THE ASSAULT REMAIN AT LARGE AND UNIDENTIFIED.  THE STABBING VICTIM, IDENTIFIED ONLY AS A WOMAN, HAS BEEN RELEASED FROM THE HOSPITAL.

  A NORTHAMPTON COUNTY JUDGE HAS RULED THAT STATEMENTS ALLEGEDLY MADE BY A MAN FOLLOWING HIS ARREST IN THE BEATING THAT KILLED HIS MOTHER AND INJURED HIS FATHER CAN BE USED AT HIS TRIAL.  THE JUDGE RULED WEDNESDAY THAT ALTHOUGH A DETECTIVE DIDN'T INITIALLY READ 51-YEAR-OLD MICHAEL LINDGREN HIS RIGHTS, HE DID SO ONCE HE REALIZED THAT LINDGREN WAS COOPERATING.  LINDGREN IS CHARGED IN THE AUGUST ATTACK THAT KILLED 77-YEAR-OLD SHIRLEY LINDGREN AND SEVERELY INJURED 78-YEAR-OLD JOHN LINDGREN INSIDE THEIR BETHLEHEM HOME.  PROSECUTORS SAY LINDGREN AFTERWARD TOLD INVESTIGATORS THAT HE "HAD TO KILL THEM" AND HIS PARENTS "TOOK EVERYTHING" FROM HIM.  DEFENSE ATTORNEY DWIGHT DANSER ARGUED THAT HIS CLIENT'S MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES PREVENTED HIM FROM UNDERSTANDING THE RIGHTS HE WAS WAIVING.

  A HIGHER COURT HAS REJECTED A NEW JERSEY MAN'S APPEAL OF HIS CONVICTION IN THE GANGLAND-STYLE EXECUTIONS OF THREE PEOPLE.  THE PENNSYLVANIA SUPERIOR COURT HAS REJECTED ARGUMENTS FROM 34-YEAR-OLD DEMAR EDWARDS OF NEWARK, WHO IS SERVING THREE LIFE TERMS IN THE 2007 MURDERS AT AN EASTON APARTMENT.  PROSECUTORS SAID HE AND ANOTHER NEWARK MAN KILLED 20-YEAR-OLD ALPHE RENE, 23-YEAR-OLD CHANEL ARMOUR AND 19-YEAR-OLD ALEAH HAMLIN IN RETALIATION FOR GANG SLAYINGS IN NEW JERSEY.  EDWARDS ARGUED THAT PROSECUTORS PRESENTED CONFLICTING EVIDENCE ABOUT HOW MANY PEOPLE WERE CARRYING GUNS DURING THE SLAYINGS.  BUT THE HIGHER COURT SIDED WITH PROSECUTORS WHO SAID EDWARDS COULD STILL HAVE BEEN CONVICTED AS AN ACCOMPLICE EVEN IF EVIDENCE HAD BEEN PRESENTED THAT TWO OTHER MEN WERE THE SHOOTERS.

  A 10-YEAR-OLD GIRL AILING WITH CYSTIC FIBROSIS IS RECOVERING FROM A TRANSPLANT OF ADULT LUNGS MADE AVAILABLE TO HER BY A JUDGE'S CONTROVERSIAL RULING THAT EXPANDED HER OPTIONS FOR LIFESAVING SURGERY.  SARAH MURNAGHAN'S AUNT, SHARON RUDDOCK, SAYS THE OPERATION COULDN'T HAVE GONE ANY BETTER.  "WE'VE HEARD FROM A NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO WERE WATCHING THE OPERATION FROM THE NEXT ROOM THAT IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL SET OF LUNGS AND THAT THEY WENT IN REALLY WELL.  HE WAS ABLE TO RESIZE THEM AND THEY WERE ABLE TO FIT IN HER CHEST CAVITY ALMOST PERFECTLY," RUDDOCK SAYS.  SARAH'S HEALTH WAS FADING WHEN U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE MICHAEL BAYLSON IN PHILADELPHIA RULED JUNE 5 THAT SARAH AND 11-YEAR-OLD JAVIER ACOSTA OF NEW YORK CITY SHOULD BE ELIGIBLE FOR ADULT LUNGS.

  A $28.3 BILLION STATE BUDGET PLAN SHAPED BY REPUBLICANS WHO CONTROL PENNSYLVANIA'S HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IS ON ITS WAY TO THE SENATE.  THE HOUSE VOTED 108-92 WEDNESDAY AFTER NEARLY FIVE HOURS OF SHARPLY PARTISAN DEBATE.  REPUBLICANS, LIKE HOUSE MAJORIY LEADER MIKE TURZAI, SAY THE PACKAGE INCREASES SPENDING BY MORE THAN A HALF-BILLION DOLLARS, BENEFITING A WIDE ARRAY OF PROGRAMS WITHOUT INCREASING TAXES.  "IT IS A RESPONSIBLE BUDGET.  IT IS A COMPASSIONATE BUDGET.  IT'S A BUDGET WHERE WE SHOW WE ARE FISCAL STEWARDS OF TAXPAYERS' HARD-EARNED MONEY," TURZAI SAYS.  DEMOCRATS CONTRAST A PROPOSED $300 MILLION-PLUS TAX BREAK FOR BUSINESSES WITH A $100 MILLION BOOST IN PUBLIC SCHOOL FUNDING THAT CRITICS SAY WOULD FALL FAR SHORT OF WHAT MANY SCHOOL DISTRICTS NEED TO OVERCOME SERIOUS FINANCIAL PROBLEMS. 
 

  PENN STATE IS ASKING THE NCAA AND STATE OFFICIALS TO SETTLE LITIGATION OVER WHO WILL CONTROL THE $60 MILLION IT MUST PAY FOR CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION AS PART OF A CONSENT AGREEMENT IT ENTERED INTO NEARLY A YEAR AGO.  PENN STATE ATTORNEY FRANK GUADAGNINO WROTE TO OTHER ATTORNEYS TUESDAY, SAYING THE SCHOOL HAD NO DESIRE TO GET INVOLVED IN PENDING STATE AND FEDERAL COURT BATTLES.  HIS FOUR-PAGE LETTER, FIRST REPORTED BY THE ONLINE NEWS SERVICE CAPITOLWIRE, SAYS IT INTENDS TO HOLD THE FIRST $12 MILLION INSTALLMENT UNTIL THE NCAA ASKS FOR IT.  HE'S OFFERING TO MEET WITH THE PARTIES IF THEY THINK THE UNIVERSITY CAN HELP SETTLE THE MATTERS.  THE NCAA IS PURSUING A FEDERAL COURT CHALLENGE TO A NEW STATE LAW THAT REQUIRES THE MONEY STAY IN PENNSYLVANIA.
 

  A FEDERAL DRUG PLEA HAS BEEN POSTPONED FOR A PHILADELPHIA ABORTION PROVIDER ALREADY SERVING LIFE IN THE DEATHS OF THREE BABIES.  DEFENSE LAWYER JACK MCMAHON SAYS HE NEEDS MORE TIME TO CONSULT WITH DR. KERMIT GOSNELL ABOUT THE PLEA. GOSNELL IS DUE BACK IN COURT ON JUNE 26.  PROSECUTORS SAY THE 72-YEAR-OLD GOSNELL RAN A "PILL MILL" BY DAY AND A ROGUE "ABORTION MILL" BY NIGHT.  HE IS SERVING LIFE WITHOUT PAROLE AFTER HE WAS CONVICTED THIS YEAR OF KILLING THREE BABIES BORN ALIVE AT HIS ABORTION PRACTICE.  FEDERAL AUTHORITIES SAY HE SOLD PRESCRIPTIONS FOR OXYCONTIN AND OTHER PAINKILLERS TO PEOPLE WHO LINED UP AT HIS PHILADELPHIA CLINIC.  MCMAHON HAS SAID GOSNELL PLANS TO PLEAD GUILTY TO THE DRUG CHARGES, GIVEN THE OUTCOME OF THE MURDER CASE.

  GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE SAYS HE'S STAYING OUT OF THE SPECIAL PRIMARY ELECTION FOR U.S. SENATE BUT WILL FIND SOME TIME TO HELP THE WINNER IN THE FALL.  CHRISTIE SAID WEDNESDAY THAT HIS MAIN FOCUS IS ON RUNNING HIS OWN RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN.  THE REPUBLICAN SAID HE HAS A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH STEVE LONEGAN, THE FORMER BOGOTA MAYOR WHO IS SEEKING THE NOD.  BUT CHRISTIE SAID HE'S "NOT GOING TO GET INVOLVED" NOW.  LONEGAN IS FACING PHYSICIAN ALIETA ECK IN THE AUGUST 13 PRIMARY. THE WINNER ADVANCES TO THE OCTOBER 16 SPECIAL ELECTION TO FILL THE REST OF THE TERM OF THE LATE FRANK LAUTENBERG.  LONEGAN DID PICK UP THE ENDORSEMENT OF A NATIONAL POLITICAL FIGURE WEDNESDAY.  PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY ANNOUNCED THAT HER EAGLE FORUM POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE IS SUPPORTING HIM.
 

  AN ASSEMBLY PANEL IS SET TO CONSIDER A MEASURE THAT WOULD BAN LICENSED THERAPISTS FROM TRYING TO CONVERT GAY MINORS INTO HETEROSEXUALS.  THE WOMEN AND CHILDREN'S COMMITTEE IS SCHEDULED TO DISCUSS THE BILL TODAY.  THE STATE SENATE WAS DUE TO VOTE ON THE MEASURE LATE LAST MONTH, BUT THE VOTE WAS DELAYED SO SOME UNSPECIFIED CHANGES COULD BE MADE TO THE LEGISLATION.  THE IDEA OF WHAT IS SOMETIMES CALLED "CONVERSION THERAPY" HAS INCREASINGLY DRAWN CRITICISM.  IT'S ALSO SPURRED DEBATE ABOUT THE PRACTICE AND HOW MUCH SAY THE STATE SHOULD HAVE IN PARENTS' DECISIONS ON HOW TO RAISE THEIR CHILDREN.  LAST YEAR, FOUR GAY MEN SUED A JERSEY CITY GROUP FOR FRAUD, SAYING ITS PROGRAM INCLUDED MAKING THEM STRIP NAKED AND ATTACK EFFIGIES OF THEIR MOTHERS WITH BATS.

  WEARING YOUR PANTS TOO LOW IN ONE NEW JERSEY SHORE RESORT TOWN IS ABOUT TO GET EXPENSIVE.  WILDWOOD HAS PASSED A LAW BANNING OVERLY SAGGY PANTS, PROVIDING FOR FINES OF BETWEEN $25 AND $200 FOR VIOLATORS.  THE LAW WAS PASSED WEDNESDAY.  IT PROHIBITS PANTS THAT DROOP 3 INCHES BELOW THE WAIST, EXPOSING SKIN OR UNDERWEAR.  MAYOR ERNEST TROIANO SAYS MANY LONGTIME VISITORS TO THE POPULAR SHORE TOWN HAVE COMPLAINED ABOUT HAVING TO LOOK AT PEOPLE'S REAR ENDS "HANGING OUT" WHILE WALKING THE BOARDWALK.  VISITOR FRANK KRUEGER SAYS HE WANTS A "FAMILY ATMOSPHERE" IN WILDWOOD.  HIS WIFE, DENISE, SAYS SAGGY PANTS ARE "DISGUSTING."  CIVIL LIBERTARIANS SAY THE LAW IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL AND LIKELY WILL BE OVERTURNED IF IT'S CHALLENGED IN COURT.  THE BAN TAKES EFFECT JULY 2 AND APPLIES ONLY TO THE BOARDWALK.

  LEGISLATION THAT WOULD LIMIT NEW JERSEY EMPLOYERS FROM ASKING JOB APPLICANTS ABOUT THEIR CRIMINAL PAST IS DUE TO GO BEFORE A STATE SENATE PANEL.  THE LABOR COMMITTEE IS SCHEDULED TO CONSIDER THE BILL TODAY.  IT WOULD EFFECTIVELY "BAN THE BOX" ON JOB APPLICATIONS THAT ASKS JOB SEEKERS IF THEY HAVE A CRIMINAL HISTORY.  ADVOCATES SAY STUDIES SHOW EVIDENCE OF BUSINESSES THAT IMMEDIATELY TOSS OUT APPLICATIONS WHEN THEY SEE SOMEONE MARKED YES.  THE MEASURE WOULD STILL ALLOW EMPLOYERS TO ASK ABOUT A PERSON'S CRIMINAL HISTORY, BUT ONLY FURTHER ALONG THE HIRING PROCESS OR ONCE A CONDITIONAL OFFER IS MADE.  PROPONENTS AND SOME STATE LAWMAKERS SAY THE BILL GIVES PEOPLE A CHANCE TO SHOW EMPLOYERS THEIR SKILLS BEFORE BEING WRITTEN OFF FOR THEIR PAST.

 

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