Allentown Local News

 

LOCAL NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2013

LOCAL NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY, APRIL 17, 2013

  FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS ARE SADDENED BY THE DEATHS OF FOUR FAMILY MEMBERS WHO ARE SUSPECTED OF FALLING VICTIM TO CARBON MONOXIDE FUMES AFTER THE HUSBAND'S APPARENT SUICIDE.  BUCKS COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY DAVID HECKLER SAYS A STATE POLICE INVESTIGATION INDICATES THAT GARY REITNAUER WENT INTO A GARAGE ON THE FAMILY'S PROPERTY IN MILFORD TOWNSHIP IN RURAL BUCKS COUNTY ON MONDAY AND STARTED THE CAR FOLLOWING AN ARGUMENT WITH HIS WIFE.  HECKLER SAYS IT IS BELIEVED THE WIFE AND THE COUPLE'S TWO DAUGHTERS TRIED TO RESCUE HIM BUT WERE OVERCOME BY THE DEADLY FUMES.  A NEPHEW, ROB ZERN, SAYS "IT'S A TRAGEDY ALL AROUND."

  PENNSYLVANIA SENATOR PAT TOOMEY SAYS HE DOESN'T KNOW ANY MORE THAN YOU DO ABOUT THE BOSTON MARATHON BOMBINGS.  "WE'RE HEARING THAT THERE'S A TERRORIST CONNECTION.  THAT'S WHAT WE WOULD EXPECT.  BUT, I DON'T KNOW ANY MORE INFORMATION THAN IS GENERALLY AVAILABLE," THE REPUBLICAN LAWMAKER SAYS.  TOOMEY SAYS HE FELT OUTRAGE AND GRIEF WHEN HE LEARNED OF THE BOMBINGS AND SAYS HE WOULD EXPECT HEIGHTENED SECURITY FOR A WHILE, BUT BEYOND THAT HE CAN'T SAY WHAT WILL HAPPEN.

  SEVENTH AND EIGHTH GRADE EYER MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENT COUNCIL MEMBERS WERE SUPPOSED TO BE IN BOSTON WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY, BUT THOSE PLANS CHANGED AFTER THE BOMBINGS AT THE BOSTON MARATHON MONDAY AFTERNOON.  SCHOOL OFFICIALS SAY THE STUDENTS WERE SUPPOSED TO VISIT BUNKER HILL, QUINCY MARKET, THE OLD NORTH CHURCH AND PERHAPS THE JFK LIBRARY ON THE TRIP, WHICH MAY BE RESCHEDULED FOR LATER THIS SPRING.

  PENN STATE IS BANNING BACKPACKS, BAGS AND PURSES FROM BEAVER STADIUM FOR SATURDAY'S ANNUAL BLUE-WHITE INTRASQUAD FOOTBALL SCRIMMAGE.  THE UNIVERSITY SAID TUESDAY IT WAS RAMPING UP SECURITY IN THE WAKE OF THE BOMBINGS MONDAY AT THE BOSTON MARATHON. TOUGHER SECURITY MEASURES ARE EXPECTED AT UPCOMING MAJOR SPORTING EVENTS AROUND THE COUNTRY FOLLOWING THE EXPLOSIONS IN BOSTON THAT KILLED THREE PEOPLE AND INJURED MORE THAN 170.  PENN STATE SAYS THE SAME ITEMS BANNED FROM THE STADIUM ALSO WON'T BE ALLOWED AT ALL OTHER CAMPUS VENUES HOLDING EVENTS THIS WEEK.  PENN STATE IS HOSTING THE NCAA MEN'S GYMNASTICS CHAMPIONSHIP FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY.  THE SCHOOL SAYS LOCAL AND STATE POLICE, AS WELL AS THE FBI, WILL HAVE A HEAVIER STAFFING PRESENCE AND HIGHER VISIBILITY AT ALL EVENTS.

  A NORTHAMPTON COUNTY JUDGE HAS UPHELD THE CONVICTION AND SENTENCE OF A RETIRED NEW JERSEY POLICE OFFICER IN A CRASH THAT KILLED TWO MEMBERS OF A MOTORCYCLE CLUB FOR RECOVERING DRUG AND ALCOHOL ADDICTS.  JUDGE PAULA ROSCIOLI REJECTED 50-YEAR-OLD JOHN HEANEY III'S APPEAL IN THE JULY 2011 CRASH NEAR BANGOR THAT KILLED KEITH MICHAELSON AND MICHAEL ZADOYKO.  HEANEY, WHO REFUSED A BLOOD-ALCOHOL TEST, SAID HE PASSED OUT BEHIND THE WHEEL DUE TO LOW BLOOD SUGAR STEMMING FROM GASTRIC BYPASS SURGERY.  THE JUDGE SAID IN HER RULING TUESDAY THAT THE EVIDENCE INDICATED THAT THE FORMER LOPATCONG TOWNSHIP OFFICER HAD BEEN UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL AT THE TIME OF THE CRASH.

  A LOWER MACUNGIE TOWNSHIP MAN FACES MULTIPLE CHARGES AFTER ALLEGEDLY THREATENING TO SHOOT HIS NEIGHBOR AND TWO WORKERS LATE MONDAY MORNING.  POLICE SAY ROBERT HABERSTUMPF WAS APPARENTLY ANGRY WHEN WORK WAS DONE ON THE DRIVEWAY HE SHARES WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, KATHLEEN MOORE, WHO TOLD POLICE HABERSTUMPF HAD A GUN AND WAS THREATENING HER AND THE WORKERS FROM A WINDOW.  HE'S FREE ON $20,000 BAIL.

  A PENNSYLVANIA JUDGE IS ALLOWING A WHISTLEBLOWER AND DEFAMATION LAWSUIT AGAINST PENN STATE TO GO FORWARD.  THE SUIT WAS FILED IN OCTOBER BY FORMER ASSISTANT FOOTBALL COACH MIKE MCQUEARY, WHO TESTIFIED IN THE JERRY SANDUSKY TRIAL.  MCQUEARY CLAIMS THAT STATEMENTS MADE IN 2011 BY THEN-UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT GRAHAM SPANIER AFTER CHARGES WERE FILED IN THE CASE MADE MCQUEARY LOOK UNTRUTHFUL.  THE UNIVERSITY HAD REQUESTED THE LAWSUIT BE THROWN OUT, BUT JUDGE THOMAS GAVIN SAYS THE CLAIMS OF "OUTRAGEOUS CONDUCT" ON THE PART OF THE SCHOOL ARE SUFFICIENT TO KEEP IT ALIVE.  GAVIN'S DECISION TUESDAY GIVES THE SCHOOL 20 DAYS TO RESPOND.  SPANIER FACES CHARGES INCLUDING PERJURY AND OBSTRUCTION, ALLEGATIONS HE DENIES.

  GOV. TOM CORBETT IS PREPARING TO RETURN TO PENNSYLVANIA AFTER A 10-DAY TRADE MISSION TO SOUTH AMERICA, WITH HIGH HOPES FOR THE FUTURE AND FEW CONCRETE ACCOMPLISHMENTS TO TALK ABOUT.  IN A TELECONFERENCE WITH PENNSYLVANIA REPORTERS TUESDAY, CORBETT DESCRIBED A WHIRLWIND SCHEDULE OF MEETINGS IN SAO PAULO AND RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL, AND SANTIAGO, CHILE.  CORBETT SAYS THERE'S GREAT INTEREST IN PENNSYLVANIA'S NATURAL GAS RESOURCE IN BOTH COUNTRIES.  HE EXPRESSED OPTIMISM THAT THE GOVERNMENT AND BUSINESS LEADERS WITH HIM ON THE TRIP `"PLANTED SEEDS" THAT WILL PROVIDE LONG-TERM BENEFITS TO THE STATE.  LAST WEEK IN BRAZIL, CORBETT ANNOUNCED A HYDRAULIC CYLINDER MAKER'S PLAN TO CREATE 74 JOBS AT A NEW PLANT IN CHAMBERSBURG.  ON TUESDAY IN CHILE, HE ANNOUNCED THE SIGNING OF COOPERATION AGREEMENT BETWEEN PENNSYLVANIA AND CHILEAN BUSINESS LEADERS.

  THOUSANDS OF STATE RESIDENTS WITH DRUG AND ALCOHOL PROBLEMS WILL BECOME ELIGIBLE FOR INSURANCE COVERAGE NEXT YEAR UNDER THE NEW HEALTH CARE OVERHAUL, AND EXPERTS SAY THAT WILL PRESENT OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES.  ABOUT 101,000 PENNSYLVANIA RESIDENTS RECEIVE TREATMENT, AND ABOUT 96,000 MORE ARE PROJECTED TO BE ELIGIBLE NEXT YEAR.  AS MANY AS 873,000 PEOPLE IN THE STATE NEED TREATMENT FOR SUBSTANCE ABUSE.  BUT THE 5,381 BEDS AT TREATMENT FACILITIES ARE FULL, AND THAT MEANS NEWLY ELIGIBLE PATIENTS COULD HAVE TROUBLE GETTING TREATMENT.  PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF DRUG AND ALCOHOL PROGRAM SPOKESWOMAN CHRISTINE CRONKRIGHT SAYS IN A STATEMENT THAT PROGRAMS HAVE BEEN RESPONSIVE TO CHANGES IN THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE REQUIRING ASSISTANCE AND THEY EXPECT THAT TO BE THE CASE IN THE FUTURE.

  STATE LAWMAKERS ARE MOVING QUICKLY ON A BILL TO ALLOW COUNTIES TO ABOLISH THE OFFICE OF JURY COMMISSIONER AFTER THE STATE SUPREME COURT LAST MONTH THREW OUT A 2011 LAW UNDER WHICH 42 COUNTIES HAD ELIMINATED THE OFFICE.  THE STATE SENATE APPROVED THE BILL TUESDAY, 38-TO-12.  THE HIGH COURT THREW OUT THE LAW ON GROUNDS THAT IT VIOLATED THE STATE CONSTITUTION'S REQUIREMENT THAT BILLS BE CONFINED TO A SINGLE SUBJECT.  TWO JURY COMMISSIONERS OF DIFFERENT PARTIES SERVE IN EACH COUNTY.  THEY DEVELOP PROCEDURES TO PICK JURY LISTS, MAKE SURE JURORS ARE CHOSEN FAIRLY AND MANAGE PEOPLE WHO ARE CALLED TO SERVE.  THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE ASSOCIATION OF JURY COMMISSIONERS IS SEEKING A COURT ORDER TO PUT ELECTIONS FOR JURY COMMISSIONERS ON THE MAY 21 PRIMARY BALLOTS IN 52 COUNTIES.

  NEW JERSEY OFFICIALS SAY THEY'LL PRESENT A PLAN WITHIN TWO TO THREE WEEKS FOR BUYING APPROXIMATELY 1,000 FLOOD-PRONE HOMES FROM OWNERS WHO WANT TO SELL THEM.  ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN LARRY RAGONESE SAYS THE FIRST SALES ARE EXPECTED IN 2013.  THE DEP SAYS IT EXPECTS TO RECEIVE $250 MILLION OR MORE FOR BUYOUTS IN FEDERAL MONEY TO HELP RECOVER FROM SUPERSTORM SANDY.  GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE HAS BEEN SAYING FOR MONTHS THAT HE WANTS TO BUY OUT SWATHS OF CONTIGUOUS PROPERTIES, NOT JUST SCATTERED HOMES.  RAGONESE SAYS THE STATE HAS TALKED WITH DOZENS OF COMMUNITIES IN A SEARCH FOR NEIGHBORHOODS THAT ARE FLOOD PRONE AND WHERE RESIDENTS WANT TO SELL.  HE SAYS AREAS THAT ARE BOUGHT WILL BE REVERTED TO FLOOD PLAINS.

 

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