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LOCAL NEWS FOR THURSDAY, JUNE 20, 2013

LOCAL NEWS FOR THURSDAY, JUNE 20, 2013

  POLICE IN ALLENTOWN SAY A DRIVER WHO WAS KILLED ALONG WITH HIS TWO PASSENGERS WAS MAKING AN ILLEGAL PASS AT HIGH SPEED WHEN HE LOST CONTROL.  ALLENTOWN POLICE CAPT. DARYL HENDRICKS SAYS 23-YEAR-OLD CHAD FLUCK HAD CROSSED A YELLOW LINE ON EAST SUSQUEHANNA STREET AND WAS ATTEMPTING TO PASS ANOTHER CAR AT THE TIME OF THE CRASH.  HE SAYS BOTH VEHICLES WERE GOING AT LEAST 70 MPH, TWICE THE SPEED LIMIT OF 35.  THE CRASH KILLED 23-YEAR-OLD CHAD A. FLUCK, WHO WAS DRIVING; HIS BROTHER, 35-YEAR-OLD KENNETH MARCKS, AND THEIR UNCLE, 46-YEAR-OLD THOMAS FALLSTICH.  THE DRIVER OF THE OTHER CAR, 22-YEAR-OLD TIMOTHY FLORES, ALSO CRASHED BUT HAS RECOVERED FROM HIS INJURIES.  POLICE SAY HE WAS DRIVING ON A SUSPENDED LICENSE.
 

  ALLENTOWN CITY COUNCIL VOTED 5-1 TO TABLE A PROPOSED BALLOT INITIATIVE TO CREAT TOUGHER ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROLS FOR A PROPOSED WASTE-TO-ENERGY PLANT.  THAT DECISION ESSENTIALLY PUTS THE QUESTION BEFORE ALLENTOWN VOTERS THIS NOVEMBER.  THE MOVE COMES AFTER THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION INFORMED THE CITY THAT THE INITIATIVE MIGHT VIOLATE STATE REGULATIONS.  THE BALLOT QUESTION WILL ASK IF THE CITY SHOULD REQUIRE REAL-TIME MONITORING OF EMISSIONS AT FACILITIES LIKE THE WASTE-TO-ENERGY PLANT PROPOSED FOR THE CITY.

  AFTER PUTTING OUT A FIRE ON NORTH JEROME STREET WEDNESDAY NIGHT, ALLENTOWN FIREFIGHTERS DISCOVERED A MAN'S BODY INSIDE THE HOME.  HOWEVER, ALLENTOWN FIRE CHIEF ROBERT SCHEIRER BELIEVES THE MAN HAD DIED SEVERAL HOURS BEFORE THE SMALL FIRE BEGAN.  IT'S BELIEVED 58-YEAR-OLD ANTHONY SUIDA WAS THE MAN FOUND DEAD.  NEITHER THE FIRE NOR THE MAN'S DEATH IS CONSIDERED SUSPICIOUS.

  A FORMER NAZARETH AREA MIDDLE SCHOOL DRAMA TEACHER WILL GO TO TRIAL FOR ALLEGEDLY SEXUALLY ASSAULTING A STUDENT OVER A TWO-YEAR PERIOD.  POLICE SAY SHAWN SALEVSKY FOLLOWED A BOY INTO A RESTROOM AND INAPPROPRIATELY TOUCHED HIM.  SALEVSKY, WHO WAIVED HIS PRELIMINARY HEARING ON WEDNESDAY, IS CHARGED WITH 22 OFFENSES AND IS FREE ON BAIL. 

  THE MOTHER OF A 10-YEAR-OLD PENNSYLVANIA GIRL WHOSE EFFORTS TO QUALIFY FOR AN ORGAN DONATION LED TO DEBATE OVER HOW ORGANS ARE ALLOCATED SAYS SHE'S IMPROVING AFTER HER DOUBLE-LUNG TRANSPLANT.  JANET MURNAGHAN SAYS ON HER FACEBOOK PAGE HER DAUGHTER SARAH WAS MOVED ON WEDNESDAY FROM A HEAVY-DUTY BREATHING MACHINE TO A TRADITIONAL VENTILATOR.  SHE CALLS THAT "A BIG STEP" TOWARD BEING ABLE TO WAKE SARAH FROM THE HEAVY SEDATION SHE'S BEEN UNDER SINCE LAST WEEK'S OPERATION.    SARAH IS FROM NEWTOWN SQUARE, JUST WEST OF PHILADELPHIA.  SHE SUFFERS FROM SEVERE CYSTIC FIBROSIS.  SHE UNDERWENT A SIX-HOUR OPERATION AT THE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL OF PHILADELPHIA AFTER A JUDGE INTERVENED IN HER CASE AND GAVE HER A CHANCE AT THE LIST OF ORGANS FROM ADULT DONORS, NOT JUST CHILD DONORS.  SARAH'S FAMILY HAD SAID PEDIATRIC LUNGS ARE RARELY DONATED.

  THERE'S A NEW DAY COMING IN THE PAROLE PROCESS IN PENNSYLVANIA.  BEGINNING IN SEPTEMBER, STATE REPRESENTATIVE MIKE VEREB SAYS CRIME VICTIMS WILL BE ALLOWED TO TESTIFY IN PERSON AT PAROLE HEARINGS.  VEREB SAYS UNTIL THEN, ONLY CRIMINALS WILL BE ALLOWED THAT UNRESTRICTED OPPORTUNITY.  "OUR VICTIMS WILL HAVE THAT FACE-TO-FACE MEETING AND OUR SYSTEM WILL BE EQUAL," VEREB SAYS.  GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT SIGNED THE BILL INTO LAW AND SAYS IT'S CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION.  "THE FAMILIES AND VICTIMS OF THE FUTURE WILL HAVE A DOOR TO GO TO AND A WAY TO COMMUNICATE TO THE PAROLE BOARD," THE GOVERNOR SAYS.  CORBETT SAYS THE NEW LAW REPRESENTS REACHING THE MOUNTAIN TOP FOR CRIME VICTIMS AND THEIR FAMILIES.

  THE NEW JERSEY ASSEMBLY IS POISED TO VOTE ON A MEASURE THAT PROVIDES NEW PROTECTIONS FOR SOME DOMESTIC VIOLENCE VICTIMS AND IS NAMED FOR A TOMS RIVER WOMAN KILLED BY HER FORMER FIANCÉE.  THE MEASURE SCHEDULED FOR A VOTE TODAY ESTABLISHES A FOUR-YEAR PILOT PROGRAM IN OCEAN COUNTY TO ELECTRONICALLY MONITOR SOME DEFENDANTS CHARGED WITH VIOLATING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ORDERS.  THE COURTS WOULD DETERMINE ELIGIBILITY, BASED IN PART ON THE LIKELINESS THAT MONITORING WOULD DETER THE ABUSER.  THE PROPOSAL IS NAMED "LISA'S LAW" FOR LETIZIA ZINDELL, WHO WAS KILLED THE DAY AFTER HER FORMER FIANCEE WAS RELEASED FROM JAIL AFTER VIOLATING A RESTRAINING ORDER.  A SIMILAR BILL IS PENDING IN THE STATE SENATE'S JUDICIARY COMMITTEE.  THE ASSEMBLY IS ALSO DUE TO VOTE ON ANOTHER BILL CREATING A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE TASK FORCE.

  LEGISLATION THAT WOULD EASE RESTRICTIONS ON CHILDREN HAVING ACCESS TO MEDICAL MARIJUANA IS DUE TO BE VOTED ON BY THE NEW JERSEY SENATE.  THE BILL SCHEDULED FOR A VOTE TODAY IN THE STATE SENATE WOULD ELIMINATE THE NEED FOR WRITTEN CONSENT FROM A PEDIATRICIAN AND A PSYCHIATRIST FOR JUVENILES TO BE ELIGIBLE.  IT ALSO PERMITS MEDICAL MARIJUANA TO BE PRODUCED IN AN EDIBLE FORM AND ALLOW FOR MORE STRAINS TO BE AVAILABLE TO PATIENTS.  THE BILL IS IN RESPONSE TO THE PLIGHT OF A SCOTCH PLAINS GIRL WITH SEVERE EPILEPSY, WHOSE PARENTS HAD NOT BEEN ABLE TO FIND A PSYCHIATRIST TO SIGN A CONSENT FORM.  SOME MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS, WHILE OFFERING SUPPORT FOR THE PROGRAM, SAID ELIMINATING REGULATIONS IS NOT AN ANSWER.

  ATLANTIC CITY'S NEWEST CASINO NOW ACKNOWLEDGES IT IS A CASINO.  REVEL, THE $2.4 BILLION RESORT THAT LASTED LESS THAN A YEAR BEFORE FILING FOR BANKRUPTCY, IS CHANGING ITS NAME TO REVEL CASINO-HOTEL.  THE NAME CHANGE IS PART OF A NEW REBRANDING AND MARKETING STRATEGY THE CASINO IS ADOPTING TO TRY TO INCREASE ITS CUSTOMER BASE AND COMPETE MORE EFFECTIVELY IN THE CUTTHROAT NORTHEAST GAMBLING MARKET.  SINCE IT OPENED IN APRIL 2012, REVEL PRESENTED ITSELF AS A DESTINATION RESORT THAT JUST HAPPENED TO HAVE A CASINO, TOO.  BUT REVEL'S NEW EXECUTIVES SAY THEY WANT TO PAY MORE ATTENTION TO THE GAMBLING SIDE OF THE BUSINESS, IMPROVING THE CASINO'S PERFORMANCE.  IT HAS RANKED NEAR THE BOTTOM OF ATLANTIC CITY'S 12 CASINOS IN TERMS OF THE AMOUNT OF MONEY WON FROM GAMBLERS.

  NEW JERSEY GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE SAYS THE DEATH OF "THE SOPRANOS" STAR JAMES GANDOLFINI HAS COME AS AN AWFUL SHOCK TO HIM.  HE SAYS GANDOLFINI WAS "A FINE ACTOR, A RUTGERS ALUM AND A TRUE JERSEY GUY."  NEW JERSEY'S U.S. SEN. ROBERT MENENDEZ SAYS HE'S SADDENED TO HEAR ABOUT THE DEATH OF GANDOLFINI.  MENENDEZ SAYS GANDOLFINI WAS A "TALENTED ACTOR WHOSE UNFORGETTABLE PERFORMANCES MADE HIM A TELEVISION ICON."  HE SAYS GANDOLFINI WAS A PROUD NEW JERSEYAN AND A RUTGERS UNIVERSITY GRADUATE.  GANDOLFINI DIED WEDNESDAY AT AGE 51 WHILE VACATIONING IN ROME.

 

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