Allentown Local News

 

LOCAL NEWS FOR THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2013

LOCAL NEWS FOR THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2013

  FORMER NORTHAMPTON COUNTY COUNCILMAN NICK SABATINE PLANS TO ADMIT TO FILING A FALSE TAX RETURN IN 2009.  SABATINE IS ACCUSED OF UNDERREPORTING HIS INCOME BY MORE THAN $31,000 EARNED THROUGH THE FAILED BLUE MOUNTAIN CONSUMER DISCOUNT LOAN COMPANY THAT IS SUBJECT TO A FEDERAL INVESTIGATION AND IS BEING SUED.  THE FBI RAIDED THE WIND GAP LOAN COMPANY'S OFFICES TWO-AND-A-HALF YEARS AGO.  SABATINE TELLS THE MORNING CALL "YEARS AGO I MADE A MORALLY WRONG DECISION WHEN I DID NOT DECLARE A PORTION OF MY INVESTMENT INCOME." 

  AN ALLENTOWN TEENAGER WILL SPEND THE NEXT THREE-AND-A-HALF TO 10 YEARS BEHIND BARS FOR HIS ROLE IN A DECEMBER SHOOTING NEAR ALLEN HIGH SCHOOL.  19-YEAR-OLD HANSON GORDON WAS SENTENCED WEDNESDAY FOR SUPPLYING THE GUN USED IN THE SHOOTING OF TWO STUDENTS IN THE 1600 BLOCK OF TURNER STREET.  17-YEAR-OLD SHATIEK RANSOME FIRED THE GUN AND WILL BE SENTENCED IN NOVEMBER.  GORDON ALSO PLEADED GUILTY TO STEALING A CAR IN ALLENTOWN AND STEALING FROM AN AMAZON WAREHOUSE, WHERE HE HAD WORKED. 

  THE MAN WANTED FOR A PHILLIPSBURG MURDER IS IN CUSTODY.  26-YEAR-OLD SALIM NEWTON, OF PHILLIPSBURG, WAS ARRESTED WEDNESDAY IN VIRGINIA AND AWAITS EXTRADITION BACK TO NEW JERSEY.  POLICE SAY NEWTON KILLED MELISSA WILLIAMS IN HER SPRUCE ALLEY HOME ON SEPTEMBER 18.

  AN INDUSTRIAL MANUFACTURER PLANS TO DOUBLE THE SIZE OF ITS FACILITY AND ADD 50 JOBS TO ITS 138-PERSON WORK FORCE.  FLEXICON CORP. IS ANNOUNCING PLANS FOR A $6.3 MILLION, 90,000-SQUARE-FOOT ADDITION TO ITS CURRENT 91,000-SQUARE-FOOT FACILITY IN BETHLEHEM TOWNSHIP.  FLEXICON CREATES BULK HANDLING AND PROCESSING EQUIPMENT AND SYSTEMS FOR COMPANIES THAT MAKE FOOD, CHEMICAL, MINING, CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS, PHARMACEUTICALS AND PETROLEUM.  THE COMPANY'S NEWEST PRODUCT INCLUDES A TUBULAR CABLE CONVEYOR DESIGNED TO CARRY FRAGILE ITEMS SUCH AS COFFEE, CEREAL AND NUTS.

  EASTON CITY COUNCIL HAS OK'D A 13.5% PAY RAISE SPREAD OUT OVER A FIVE-YEAR PERIOD FOR 82 CITY WORKERS WHO ARE AFSCME UNION MEMBERS.  THE DEAL CALLS FOR A 2 PERCENT PAY RAISE IN THE FIRST YEAR, A 2-AND-A-HALF PERCENT RAISE IN THE SECOND YEAR AND 3 PERCENT INCREASES IN THE FINAL THREE YEARS OF THE DEAL.  THE WORKERS ARE CLERKS IN THE POLICE DEPARTMENT, CLERKS AND INSPECTORS, WASTE WATER TREATMENT PLANT EMPLOYEES AND WORKERS IN THE PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT.

  GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT HAS SIGNED THE SO-CALLED 'APOLOGY BILL'.  "I'M SIGNING A BILL THAT WILL IMPROVE THE HEALTH CARE PROVIDER-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP.  IT WILL ALSO HELP LOWER THE COST OF HEALTH CARE," CORBETT SAYS.  THE LAW GIVES DOCTORS AND OTHER HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS WIDER LATITUDE TO APOLOGIZE OR OFFER EXPRESSIONS OF GRIEF WITHOUT IT COMING BACK TO HAUNT THEM IN CIVIL LITIGATION.  THE BILL IMMUNIZES MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS FROM THE NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES OF WHAT IT DESCRIBES AS "BENEVOLENT GESTURES."  CORBETT SAYS THE LEGISLATION WILL HELP IMPROVE COMMUNICATION WITH PATIENTS. 

  AS YOU MIGHT EXPECT, THE PENNSYLVANIA MEDICAL SOCIETY'S PRESIDENT IS PLEASED WITH THE NEW LAW THAT PROTECTS DOCTORS WHO APOLOGIZE OR OFFER SYMPATHIES TO PATIENTS OR THEIR FAMILIES.  "WE HAVE IN THE PAST SEEN SITUATIONS WHERE PHYSICIANS ARE AFRAID TO EXPRESS A BENEVOLENT GESTURE OUT OF FEAR OF IT BEING USED AGAINST THEM IN COURT," SAYS DR. RICHARD SCHOTT.  HE SAYS IT'S A DOCTOR'S MORAL AND ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITY TO COMMUNICATE FREELY WITH THEIR PATIENTS.  PRIOR TO GOVERNOR CORBETT SIGNING THE BILL INTO LAW, DOCTORS SAYING 'I'M SORRY' COULD AND WAS USED AGAINST THEM IN MEDICAL MALPRACTICE LAWSUITS.

  PEOPLE WHO WERE ADOPTED ARE CLOSER TO BEING ABLE TO ACCESS THEIR FULL BIRTH RECORDS IN PENNSYLVANIA FOLLOWING A UNANIMOUS VOTE IN THE STATE HOUSE.  THE HOUSE VOTED WEDNESDAY TO APPROVE A BILL THAT ALLOWS ADULTS TO GET UNREDACTED COPIES OF THEIR ORIGINAL BIRTH RECORDS.  CURRENT LAW ALLOWS THEM TO GET THE RECORDS, BUT DETAILS ARE SOMETIMES REDACTED, INCLUDING THE NAMES OF THE PARENTS.  THE BILL WOULD NO LONGER ALLOW THE PARENTS TO CONCEAL THEIR IDENTITIES.  THE BILL IS ON ITS WAY TO THE STATE SENATE.

  A BILL THAT WON THE APPROVAL OF PENNSYLVANIA STATE SENATORS TO ALLOW THOUSANDS OF BARS TO PROFIT FROM GAMBLING CONTESTS CALLED SMALL GAMES OF CHANCE FELL OFF THE FAST TRACK IN THE HOUSE.  A SPOKESMAN FOR GOV. TOM CORBETT WARNED WEDNESDAY THAT THE REPUBLICAN WANTS TO ENSURE THE CONSIDERABLE TAX PROCEEDS BENEFIT PROGRAMS FOR THE ELDERLY.  THE WARNING CAME JUST HOURS AFTER THE SENATE PASSED THE BILL, 39 TO 11.  HOUSE REPUBLICANS ALSO PUT OFF A PLANNED VOTE WEDNESDAY AFTER DEMOCRATS OBJECTED TO IT.  IT WOULD REPRESENT PENNSYLVANIA'S LARGEST EXPANSION OF GAMBLING SINCE 2010, WHEN TABLE GAMES WERE LEGALIZED IN SLOT-MACHINE CASINOS.  UNDER THE BILL, THOUSANDS OF BARS COULD SEEK LICENSES TO HOLD PULL-TABS CONTESTS, DAILY DRAWINGS AND RAFFLES.  INDIVIDUAL PRIZE LIMITS WOULD BE $2,000 FOR A SINGLE GAME AND $35,000 OVER SEVEN DAYS.

  PENNSYLVANIA'S TOP DEMOCRATIC STATE SENATOR IS CRITICIZING A PLAN BY A CONSERVATIVE HOUSE MEMBER TO SEEK THE IMPEACHMENT OF ATTORNEY GENERAL KATHLEEN KANE AS REPREHENSIBLE AND UNCONSCIONABLE.  SENATE MINORITY LEADER JAY COSTA TOOK TO THE SENATE FLOOR WEDNESDAY TO DEFEND KANE AND CALLED REP. DARYL METCALFE A "BULLY" WHO IS TRYING TO INTIMIDATE KANE.  COSTA ALSO URGED FELLOW SENATORS TO TAKE STEPS TO CONDEMN METCALFE'S ACTIONS.  METCALFE CIRCULATED A MEMO TO OTHER HOUSE MEMBERS THIS WEEK THAT SOUGHT CO-SPONSORS FOR ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT THAT HE PLANS TO INTRODUCE.  HE SAYS KANE, A DEMOCRAT, HAS VIOLATED HER CONSTITUTIONAL, STATUTORY AND ETHICAL DUTIES.  AT ISSUE ARE KANE'S OPINION THAT THE STATE'S SAME-SEX MARRIAGE PROHIBITION IS NOT CONSTITUTIONAL AND HER DECISION TO DELEGATE DEFENSE OF THAT LAW IN COURT TO GOV. TOM CORBETT.

  A MAN HIRED TO LOOK AFTER THE CARS OF PHILADELPHIA EAGLES PLAYERS DURING GAMES IS CHARGED WITH STEALING $225,000 FROM ONE PLAYER'S BANK ACCOUNT.  FEDERAL OFFICIALS SAID WEDNESDAY THAT 37-YEAR-OLD ROBERT VON RYAN OF PHILADELPHIA IS CHARGED WITH BANK FRAUD.  U.S. ATTORNEY ZANE DAVID MEMEGER SAYS VON RYAN WENT INTO EAGLES GUARD TODD HERREMANS' CAR AND TOOK DOCUMENTS CONTAINING THE PLAYER'S CHECKING ACCOUNT INFORMATION, ENABLING HIM TO TRANSFER MORE THAN $225,000 FROM HERREMANS' ACCOUNT TO HIS OWN FROM 2009 TO 2012.  AN EAGLES SPOKESMAN SAYS VON RYAN WORKED FOR A SUBCONTRACTOR SECURITY SERVICE THAT IS NO LONGER USED BY THE TEAM.  THE SPOKESMAN SAYS HERREMANS WAS REIMBURSED BY HIS INSURANCE COMPANY. 

  THE FLAGSHIP HERSHEY'S CHOCOLATE WORLD ATTRACTION DREW MORE THAN 2 MILLION PEOPLE THIS SUMMER, A RECORD FOR THE FACILITY THAT OPENED 40 YEARS AGO.  HERSHEY'S SAID WEDNESDAY THAT ATTENDANCE AT THE CHOCOLATE WORLD IN HERSHEY WAS UP 8 PERCENT OVER LAST YEAR.  THE COMPANY SAYS IT SOLD MORE THAN 1 MILLION POUNDS OF CHOCOLATE THERE, AND ABOUT 175,000 PEOPLE CREATED THEIR OWN CUSTOM CANDY BARS. 

  DEMOCRAT CORY BOOKER WILL START HIS SERVICE AS THE NEWEST U.S. SENATOR NEXT WEEK.  THE WHITE HOUSE SAYS VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN WILL SWEAR IN BOOKER ON OCT. 31 AT NOON AT THE U.S. CAPITOL.  BOOKER WAS ELECTED LAST WEEK TO COMPLETE THE 15 MONTHS REMAINING ON THE TERM OF FORMER SEN. FRANK LAUTENBERG, WHO DIED IN JUNE AT 89.  BOOKER WILL BECOME THE SECOND AFRICAN-AMERICAN IN THE SENATE.

 

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