Allentown Local News

 

LOCAL NEWS FOR THURSDAY, MARCH 28, 2013

LOCAL NEWS FOR THURSDAY, MARCH 28, 2013

  FOR MORE THAN 40 YEARS, MARTIN TOWER IN BETHLEHEM HAS BEEN THE LEHIGH VALLEY'S TALLEST BUILDING.  THAT WOULD CHANGE IF BIG PLANS BECOME REALITY IN ALLENTOWN.  DEVELOPER BRUCE LOCH HAS UNVEILED PLANS FOR A 33-STORY SKYSCRAPER TO BE BUILT AT NINTH AND WALNUT STREETS IN ALLENTOWN.  THE $60-MILLION LANDMARK TOWER WOULD INCLUDE ALMOST 200,000 SQUARE FEET OF OFFICE, RETAIL AND RESIDENTIAL SPACE.  PLANS INCLUDE 10 FLOORS OF APARTMENTS, 19 FLOORS OF OFFICES, A HEALTH CLUB, A CONFERENCE CENTER AND A PENTHOUSE RESTAURANT AND OUTDOOR TERRACE.  THE PROJECT, WHICH WOULD BE BUILT ON A LOT CURRENTLY OWNED BY THE ALLENTOWN PARKING AUTHORITY, FALLS IN THE CITY'S NEIGHBORHOOD IMPROVEMENT ZONE, WHICH ALLOWS DEVELOPERS TO USE TENANTS' STATE AND CITY TAXES TO PAY FOR CONSTRUCTION.

  IT'S TWO TO FOUR YEARS IN JAIL FOR JOANNA SCANDLEN, WHO SAYS SHE ROBBED A CONVENIENCE STORE AND A GAS STATION BECAUSE SHE WAS ADDICTED TO HEROIN AND WAS BEING THREATENED WITH EVICTION.  USING AN UNLOADED BB GUN, SCANDLEN STOLE $700, CIGARETTES AND LOTTERY TICKETS FROM THE QUICK FILL ON LINDEN STREET IN ALLENTOWN LAST SEPTEMBER.  A DAY LATER, SHE STOLE MONEY, LOTTERY TICKETS AND CIGARETTES FROM A NEARBY 7-ELEVEN.

  IF YOU ARE IN A PLACE OF BUSINESS AND VIOLENCE BREAKS OUT, LEHIGH VALLEY PALADIN'S DIANA SORRENTINO SAYS YOU NEED TO FOLLOW THESE STEPS IF AT ALL POSSIBLE.  "GET OUT OF THE BUILDING.  COMPOSE YOURSELF.  CALL 911.  STAY ON THE PHONE BECAUSE THE SITUATION IS GOING TO EVOLVE VERY RAPIDLY.  IT'S USUALLY OVER IN THREE TO FIVE MINUTES, MANY TIMES BEFORE LAW ENFORCEMENT CAN EVEN ARRIVE," SORRENTINO SAYS.  LOCAL BUSINESSES ARE GETTING TIPS LIKE THESE THURSDAY MORNING AT A SEMINAR AT THE HILTON GARDEN INN OFF OF AIRPORT ROAD.  SORRENTINO'S SEMINAR WILL INCLUDE TIPS ON EVERYTHING FROM WHAT TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN CALLING 911, TO CREATING SAFE ROOMS WITHIN A BUSINESS TO THE PROS AND CONS OF TAKING SHELTER WITHIN A BUILDING WHEN SHOOTING BEGINS.

  A POCONOS MAN HAS PLEADED GUILTY IN THE STABBING DEATH OF A PREGNANT WOMAN AND HER UNBORN CHILD TWO YEARS AGO.  42-YEAR-OLD RUBEN VELAZQUEZ JR. ENTERED THE PLEA TO TWO COUNTS OF THIRD-DEGREE MURDER ON WEDNESDAY IN MONROE COUNTY COURT.  HE WAS CHARGED IN THE FEBRUARY 2011 KILLINGS OF 24-YEAR-OLD KRYSTLE ANN VASQUEZ AND HER UNBORN CHILD.  AUTHORITIES SAID SHE WAS EIGHT MONTHS PREGNANT.  HE FACES FIVE TO 40 YEARS IN PRISON ON EACH COUNT WHEN HE IS SENTENCED JUNE 21.

  A HEALTH CARE ADVOCACY GROUP SAYS NEARLY 900,000 PENNSYLVANIA ADULTS AND CHILDREN WOULD BECOME ELIGIBLE FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT'S HELP TO PAY FOR HEALTH INSURANCE BEGINNING NEXT YEAR.  ACCORDING TO THE FAMILIES USA REPORT, MOST OF THOSE NEARLY 900,000 ARE WORKING FULL- OR PART-TIME.  A FAMILY OF FOUR WITH AN ANNUAL INCOME OF ABOUT $23,500 TO $94,000 WOULD BE ELIGIBLE FOR A TAX CREDIT ON A SLIDING SCALE TO HELP LOWER THE COST OF HEALTH INSURANCE.  FAMILIES MAKING LESS WOULD BE ELIGIBLE FOR COVERAGE THROUGH MEDICAID, BUT ONLY IF CORBETT AND STATE LAWMAKERS DECIDE TO RAISE THE PROGRAM'S INCOME ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES.

  A MEDICAL EXAMINER SAYS HE COULDN'T FULLY ANALYZE A WOMAN'S DEATH FOLLOWING A 2009 ABORTION UNTIL THE CLINIC WAS RAIDED MONTHS LATER.  ASSISTANT PHILADELPHIA MEDICAL EXAMINER GARY COLLINS SAYS HE INITIALLY RULED IT AN ACCIDENTAL OVERDOSE DEATH.  BUT HE SAYS HE CHANGED THE CAUSE TO HOMICIDE AFTER GETTING CLINIC RECORDS AND WITNESS STATEMENTS.  DR. KERMIT GOSNELL IS CHARGED WITH THIRD-DEGREE MURDER IN THE ALLEGED OVERDOSE DEATH OF KARNAMAYA MONGAR, A 41-YEAR-OLD REFUGEE. PROSECUTORS SAY HE LET UNTRAINED STAFF ADMINISTER CONTROLLED DRUGS.  DEFENSE LAWYER JACK MCMAHON HAS SUGGESTED THAT MONGAR HAD UNDISCLOSED RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS THAT COULD CAUSE FATAL COMPLICATIONS.  BUT A TOXICOLOGIST TESTIFIED THIS WEEK THAT MONGAR DIED OF AN OVERDOSE OF THE PAINKILLER DEMEROL.  MCMAHON WILL CONTINUE TO CROSS-EXAMINE COLLINS TODAY.  GOSNELL IS ALSO CHARGED WITH KILLING SEVEN BABIES ALLEGEDLY BORN ALIVE.

  A CHARITY FOR CHILDREN FOUNDED BY JERRY SANDUSKY IS GETTING A JUDGE'S PERMISSION TO SELL ITS HEADQUARTERS BUILDING IN STATE COLLEGE.  JUDGE WILLIAM MORGAN SIGNED AN ORDER TUESDAY THAT ALLOWS THE SECOND MILE TO SELL THE PROPERTY FOR $650,000.  MORGAN SAYS THE MONEY WILL BE HELD ON DEPOSIT UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.  THE 69-YEAR-OLD SANDUSKY STARTED THE ORGANIZATION TO HELP AT-RISK YOUTHS IN 1977.  SANDUSKY IS SERVING A LENGTHY PRISON SENTENCE AFTER BEING CONVICTED OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE LAST YEAR.  PROSECUTORS SAY HE MET MOST OF HIS VICTIMS, IF NOT ALL OF THEM, THROUGH THE CHARITY.  THE SECOND MILE IS STILL FUNCTIONING, AND PLANS TO MOVE ITS OPERATIONS TO RENTED SPACE IN NEARBY BELLEFONTE.  THE PURCHASER IS A.G.L. 2 LIMITED PARTNERSHIP.  SANDUSKY CLAIMS HE WAS WRONGFULLY CONVICTED AND IS PURSUING APPEALS.

  THE NEW JERSEY MAN WHO WON THE $338 MILLION POWERBALL JACKPOT OWES APPROXIMATELY $29,000 IN CHILD SUPPORT.  AUTHORITIES STOPPED BY PEDRO QUEZADA'S PASSAIC APARTMENT ON WEDNESDAY, ONE DAY AFTER THE 44-YEAR-OLD CLAIMED A LUMP-SUM PAYMENT WORTH $221 MILLION, OR ABOUT $152 MILLION AFTER TAXES.  NO ONE ANSWERED THE DOOR.  A SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN SAYS THE UNPAID CHILD SUPPORT PAYMENTS GO BACK TO 2009.  IT'S NOT KNOWN WHICH OF QUEZADA'S FIVE CHILDREN ARE COVERED UNDER THE PAYMENTS.

  NEW JERSEY'S GOVERNOR IS ASKING HIS ATTORNEY GENERAL TO INVESTIGATE THE STATE'S VISIT TO THE HOME OF A MAN WHO HAD SHARED A PHOTO OF HIS SON HOLDING A MILITARY-STYLE RIFLE.  THE STATE CHILD WELFARE AGENCY AND LOCAL POLICE WENT TO THE CARNEYS POINT HOME OF SHAWN MOORE ON MARCH 14 FOLLOWING WHAT POLICE SAY WERE ANONYMOUS CALLS EXPRESSING CONCERN ABOUT THE SAFETY OF A CHILD.  MOORE HAS SAID HE BELIEVES HE WAS INVESTIGATED BECAUSE OF THE PHOTO HE POSTED ONLINE OF HIS SON HOLDING THE GUN HE GOT FOR HIS 11TH BIRTHDAY.  THE WEAPON WAS A .22-CALIBER RIFLE MADE TO LOOK LIKE AN ASSAULT RIFLE.  HE SAYS CASEWORKERS WERE AGGRESSIVE AND THE VISIT UNCALLED FOR.  NO CHARGES WERE FILED.

  REVEL SAYS IT WOULD HAVE SHUT DOWN HAD A BANKRUPTCY COURT JUDGE NOT APPROVED TEMPORARY FINANCING FOR ATLANTIC CITY'S NEWEST CASINO.  ON THE FIRST DAY OF ITS CHAPTER 11 CASE IN CAMDEN, A LAWYER FOR REVEL SAID THE $2.4 BILLION RESORT WAS WITHIN DAYS OF RUNNING OUT OF CASH AND HAD JUDGE JUDITH WIZMUR NOT AUTHORIZED A $250 MILLION PLAN ON WEDNESDAY FOR TEMPORARY FINANCING DURING BANKRUPTCY, THE COMPANY WOULD HAVE "LIQUIDATED."  WIZMUR APPROVED THE SO-CALLED "DEBTOR-IN-POSSESSION" FINANCING THAT WILL ALLOW REVEL TO KEEP OPERATING DURING BANKRUPTCY, A PROCESS THE CASINO HOPES TO COMPLETE BY MAY 30.  UNDER A DEAL WORKED OUT WITH LENDERS THAT STILL NEEDS THE JUDGE'S FINAL APPROVAL, REVEL WILL ELIMINATE 82 PERCENT OF ITS $1.5 BILLION DEBT BY CONVERTING MOST OF IT INTO EQUITY FOR LENDERS.
 

 

 

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