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LOCAL NEWS FOR TUESDAY, APRIL 30, 2013

LOCAL NEWS FOR TUESDAY, APRIL 30, 2013

  THE AREA JUST OUTSIDE ALLENTOWN'S ARENA DISTRICT IS GETTING $300,000 IN CORPORATE MONEY TO REMAKE STOREFRONTS IN THAT AREA.  CITY CENTER INVESTMENT IS DONATING $200,000 OF THAT MONEY AND PPL IS WRITING A CHECK FOR THE REMAINING $100,000 TO OFFER GRANTS TO HELP EXISTING BUSINESSES AND PROPERTY OWNERS IMPROVE THE FACADES OF THEIR BUILDINGS IN THE 1000 AND 11O0 BLOCKS OF HAMILTON STREET.  THE FIRST PHASE OF THE PROGRAM IS EXPECTED TO IMPROVE 15 TO 30 FACADES OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS.

  THE BETHLEHEM SCHOOL BOARD HAS TRIMMED ITS PROPOSED TAX INCREASE TO 2.1 PERCENT, BUT SOME SCHOOL DIRECTORS WOULD LIKE A HIGHER TAX HIKE TO PAY FOR MORE TEACHERS.  PROPONENTS OF A HIGHER TAX RATE WANT TO ADD FIVE MORE KINDERGARTEN TEACHERS OR MORE MIDDLE-SCHOOL TEACHERS.  THE CURRENT 2.1 PERCENT TAX INCREASE WOULD RAISE THE AVERAGE HOMEOWNER'S TAX BILL BY ALMOST $48.  THE BUDGET COULD BE OK'D AT A MAY 13 MEETING.

  23-YEAR-OLD KENNETH ORTEGA WILL STAND TRIAL FOR ALLEGEDLY TRYING TO KILL 19-YEAR-OLD TYRONE CONCEPCION ON JANUARY 31 IN BETHLEHEM'S MARVINE-PEMBROKE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT.  AT A MONDAY PRELIMINARY HEARING, CONCEPCION SAID ORTEGA AND TWO OTHERS FLASHED GANG SIGNS AND INDICATED THEY WANTED TO FIGHT.  CONCEPCION SAYS HE WAS SHOT IN THE LEG WHILE INTERVENING IN A FIGHT THAT HAD BROKEN OUT.  ORTEGA REMAINS IN NORTHAMPTON COUNTY PRISON UNDRE $750,000 BAIL.

  IT TOOK FIREFIGHTERS A LITTLE LESS THAN AN HOUR TO EXTINGUISH A FIRE IN A DOWNTOWN ALLENTOWN HIGH RISE APARTMENT BUILDING.  SEVERAL PEOPLE INSIDE THE SEVEN STORY BUILDING AT 9TH AND HAMILTON STREETS WERE EVACUATED AND ONE WOMAN, WHO WAS SCREAMING FOR HELP FROM HER WINDOW, WAS RESCUED FROM HER THIRD FLOOR APARTMENT AND TAKEN TO THE HOSPITAL FOR SMOKE INHALATION.  IT'S BELIEVED THE FIRE BEGAN IN A THIRD FLOOR KITCHEN. 

  AN EASTON BANK BUILDING IS GONE.  THE BUILDING ON NORTH FOURTH STREET WAS DEMOLISHED MONDAY TO MAKE WAY FOR A PARKING LOT.  AFTER THREATENING TO SEIZE THE PROPERTY VIA EMINENT DOMAIN, THE CITY PAID THE PROPERTY'S OWNER $125,000 FOR THE LAND.

  A PHILADELPHIA JURY IS SET TO START WEIGHING MURDER CHARGES AGAINST A VETERAN ABORTION PROVIDER CHARGED WITH KILLING FOUR VIABLE BABIES ALLEGEDLY BORN ALIVE.  A DEFENSE LAWYER INSISTS DR. KERMIT GOSNELL HELPED POOR, DESPERATE WOMEN AND TEENS WHO HAD NO OTHER ACCESS TO MEDICAL CARE.  HOWEVER, PROSECUTORS SAY HE ROUTINELY KILLED LIVE BABIES BECAUSE HE DID NOT KNOW HOW TO DO A PROPER ABORTION IN THE WOMB.  GOSNELL ALSO IS CHARGED IN THE 2009 OVERDOSE DEATH OF A WOMAN PATIENT ALLEGEDLY SEDATED BY TWO UNTRAINED MEDICAL ASSISTANTS.  GOSNELL'S CLINIC HAS BEEN SHUTTERED SINCE THE FBI RAIDED THE CLINIC ONE NIGHT IN 2010 LOOKING FOR PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSES.  INSTEAD, THEY FOUND GOSNELL'S ABORTION CLINIC IN FULL SWING.  THE JURY BEGINS CONSIDERING THE CASE TODAY.

  A JUDGE HAS POSTPONED A HEARING ON THE NCAA'S REQUEST TO DISMISS GOV. TOM CORBETT'S ANTITRUST LAWSUIT OVER SANCTIONS COLLEGE SPORTS' GOVERNING BODY IMPOSED ON PENN STATE OVER THE JERRY SANDUSKY SEX ABUSE SCANDAL.  U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE YVETTE KANE HAS POSTPONED THEM UNTIL MAY 20, CITING PLANS TO ATTEND THE FUNERAL FOR CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE GARY LANCASTER.  CORBETT SUED THE NCAA IN JANUARY, ARGUING THE SANCTIONS VIOLATED FEDERAL ANTITRUST LAWS.  HIS LAWSUIT ACCUSES THE NCAA OF EXPLOITING THE SANDUSKY CASE TO INCREASE THE POWER OF THE ORGANIZATION'S PRESIDENT AND HELP SOME UNIVERSITIES GAIN A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE.  THE NCAA SAYS ITS CONSENT DECREE DOESN'T VIOLATE FEDERAL ANTITRUST LAW.  PENN STATE ISN'T A PARTY TO THE LAWSUIT.

  DEMOCRATIC STATE SENATOR MIKE STACK SAYS THE STATE'S COURTS ARE OWED MORE THAN $1.5 BILLION IN UNPAID FINES AND COSTS.  HE SAYS HE'LL SOON BE INTRODUCING LEGISLATION AIMED AT COLLECTING THAT MONEY.  "WHAT MY LEGISLATION PROPOSES TO DO IS DENY ANYONE A RENEWAL OF THEIR DRIVER'S LICENSE OR AUTO REGISRATION IF THEY HAVEN'T PAID ANY FINES OR COSTS THAT THEY MAY OWE," STACK SAYS.  HE SAYS CONSERVATIVE ESTIMATES SHOW THE COURTS WOULD COLLECT AT LEAST A HALF-BILLION DOLLARS TO REDUCE THE BURDEN ON TAXPAYERS.

  PENNSYLVANIA'S RANKING STATE SENATOR IS WARNING THAT THE NEARING JUNE 30 END OF THE FISCAL YEAR DOESN'T BODE WELL FOR THE COMPLETION OF A BUDGET AND GOV. TOM CORBETT'S AMBITIOUS AGENDA IF THE PACE OF WORK DOESN'T PICK UP.  SENATE PRESIDENT PRO TEMPORE JOE SCARNATI SAYS THE LEGISLATURE IS TOO FIXATED ON PROPOSALS TO PRIVATIZE THE STATE'S LIQUOR AND WINE SYSTEM.  HE SAYS LAWMAKERS AND THE GOVERNOR HAVEN'T DISCUSSED CORBETT'S $28.4 BILLION BUDGET PROPOSAL. HE ALSO SAYS THE PARTIES NEED TO FOCUS MORE ON CORBETT'S PENSION OVERHAUL PLAN AND TRANSPORTATION SPENDING, WHICH THE SENATE FAVORS.  HE SAYS HE RECOGNIZED THAT CORBETT WANTS A COMPLETED LIQUOR PRIVATIZATION BILL BEFORE JUNE 30, BUT HE SAYS EIGHT WEEKS ISN'T A LOT OF TIME TO WRAP UP A COMPLICATED ISSUE.

  PEOPLE SEEKING MEDICAL ATTENTION FOR SOMEONE OVERDOSING ON DRUGS WOULD BE PROTECTED FROM PROSECUTION UNDER A BILL THAT HAS PASSED THE NEW JERSEY LEGISLATURE.  BOTH THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY APPROVED THE MEASURE MONDAY.  IT WOULD PROTECT THOSE WHO SEEK MEDICAL ASSISTANCE IF THEY ACT IN GOOD FAITH TO HELP SOMEONE.  THE BILL ALSO ALLOWS HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS TO TREAT OVERDOSING VICTIMS WITH NALOXONE.  THE DRUG COUNTERACTS LIFE-THREATENING DEPRESSION OF THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM.  THE MEASURE IS A HYBRID OF TWO BILLS THAT WERE CONDITIONALLY VETOED BY GOV. CHRISTIE.  THE NEW BILL NARROWS THE SCOPE OF WHO IS PROTECTED.  IT NO LONGER ALLOWS THE GOOD SAMARITAN TO BE IMMUNE TO RESTRAINING ORDER VIOLATION SANCTIONS.  PAROLE AND PROBATION TERMS WOULD BE MODIFIED, INSTEAD OF REVOKED, AND CONTRABAND IS NOW SUBJECT TO FORFEITURE.

 

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