Allentown Local News

 

LOCAL NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24, 2013

LOCAL NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24, 2013

  THE LEHIGH-NORTHAMPTON AIRPORT AUTHORITY HAS AGREED TO SELL SIX PROPERTIES TO HELP PAY OFF A MORE THAN $14 MILLION DEBT.  THE ROCKEFELLER GROUP OF NEW YORK IS BUYING THE SIX PROPERTIES IN ALLEN AND EAST ALLEN TOWNSHIPS AND HAS PLANS FOR INDUSTRIAL COMPLEXES, OFFICE BUILDINGS AND LARGE WAREHOUSES FOR THE 753 ACRES OF FARMLAND.  AIRPORT EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR CHARLES EVERETT SAYS HE CONTINUES TO LOOK FOR BUYERS FOR OTHER AIRPORT PROPERTY, INCLUDING BRADEN AIRPARK AND LAND ALONG AIRPORT ROAD.

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  POLICE ARE LOOKING FOR TWO BETHLEHEM MEN CHARGED WITH ATTEMPTED MURDER FOR SHOOTING AN UNIDENTIFIED CITY MAN MONDAY AFTERNOON NEAR THE MARVINE-PEMBROKE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT.  POLICE SAY 38-YEAR-OLD ANGELO LOPEZ AND 28-YEAR-OLD DAN DAVID HERNANDEZ ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SHOOTING, WHICH LEFT THE VICTIM IN CRITICAL CONDITION.  IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION ON THE WHEREABOUTS OF EITHER LOPEZ OR HERNANDEZ, CALL BETHLEHEM POLICE DETECTIVES AT 610-997-7664.

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  THERE'S A SECOND ARREST IN A SERIES OF BOMB THREATS MADE AT EMMAUS HIGH SCHOOL.  TODAY'S MORNING CALL REPORTS A HIGH SCHOOL SOPHOMORE IS CHARGED WITH MAKING A MARCH 6 BOMB THREAT, THE LAST OF FOUR MADE DURING THE CURRENT SCHOOL YEAR.  A HIGH SCHOOL FRESHMAN HAD ALREADY BEEN CHARGED IN A DECEMBER 20 BOMB THREAT.  TWO FEBRUARY BOMB THREATS ARE STILL UNDER INVESTIGATION.

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  POLICE ARE LOOKING FOR A WHITE LATE MODEL DODGE S.U.V. WITH TINTED WINDOWS.  THEY SAY A WILSON BOROUGH WOMAN WAS PUSHED OUT OF THAT MOVING S.U.V. AND THEN HIT BY IT AS IT DROVE AWAY.  JESSICA REED IS EXPECTED TO RECOVER FROM INJURIES SUFFERED IN THE MONDAY EVENING INCIDENT AT THE PALMER PARK MALL.  POLICE SAY AN UNNAMED MAN SHOVED HER FROM THE VEHICLE.

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  SEVERAL HUNDRED GUN RIGHTS SUPPORTERS LINED UP OUTSIDE THE STATE CAPITOL TO FIGHT FOR THEIR SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS.  THEY HEARD FROM A NUMBER OF SPEAKERS INCLUDING ALLEGHENY COUNTY DEMOCRATIC STATE REPRESENTATIVE HARRY READSHAW.  "GUNS ARE NOT TO BLAME FOR CRIMINAL ACTIVITY NO MORE THAN THE PRESSURE COOKERS, THE NAILS, THE BB'S AND THE EXPLOSIVES ARE TO BLAME FOR THE TRAGEDY THAT HAPPENED IN BOSTON LAST WEEK," READSHAW SAYS.  THE RALLY WAS ORGANIZED BY ONE OF THE LEGISLATURE'S MOST OUTSPOKEN MEMBERS ON THE SUBJECT OF GUN RIGHTS, BUTLER COUNTY REPUBLICAN REP. DARYL METCALFE.

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  ONE OF FOUR MEN CONVICTED IN THE BASEBALL BAT BEATING DEATH OF A MAN IN CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA SAYS HE "DIDN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT WAS GOING ON" WHEN HE PLEADED GUILTY IN THE CASE.  24-YEAR-OLD SHANE ROOF OF PALMERTON IS ASKING A SCHUYLKILL COUNTY JUDGE TO LET HIM WITHDRAW THE PLEA AND CONTEST THE SIX CHARGES IN THE 2009 SLAYING OF 21-YEAR-OLD ANTHONY LOCASCIO.  ROOF IS SERVING A 47- TO 94-YEAR SENTENCE IN STATE PRISON ON CONVICTIONS INCLUDING THIRD-DEGREE MURDER.  JUDGE CHARLES MILLER ON MONDAY GAVE ROOF'S NEW ATTORNEY UNTIL NEXT MONTH TO OUTLINE REASONS HE SHOULD GRANT THE REQUEST.  MILLER DENIED 26-YEAR-OLD CURTIS FOOSE'S BID TO WITHDRAW HIS PLEA.  HE AND TWO OTHER MEN WERE SENTENCED TO LONG PRISON TERMS IN THE CASE.

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  THE SOLE CO-DEFENDANT IN THE MURDER TRIAL OF A PHILADELPHIA ABORTION PROVIDER COULD TAKE THE STAND, A DAY AFTER A JUDGE ROCKED THE TRIAL BY DISMISSING SOME OF THE MURDER CHARGES.  DR. KERMIT GOSNELL STILL FACES THE DEATH PENALTY IF CONVICTED OF KILLING FOUR BABIES ALLEGEDLY BORN ALIVE AT HIS CLINIC, DUBBED "THE HOUSE OF HORRORS" BY PROSECUTORS.  THE DEFENSE DENIES THERE WERE ANY LIVE BIRTHS AT THE CLINIC.  COMMON PLEAS JUDGE JEFFREY MINEHART HAS AGREED THE PROSECUTION DID NOT PRESENT ENOUGH EVIDENCE INVOLVING THREE OTHER BABIES TO SEND THOSE MURDER CHARGES TO THE JURY.  THE JURY IS NOW HEARING FROM THE DEFENSE, AND COULD HEAR FROM CO-DEFENDANT EILEEN O'NEILL TODAY IF SHE DECIDES TO TESTIFY.  O'NEILL, AN UNLICENSED MEDICAL SCHOOL GRADUATE, IS CHARGED WITH THEFT FOR ALLEGEDLY BILLING AS A DOCTOR.

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  A BILL THAT WOULD PREVENT COVERAGE FOR MOST ABORTIONS UNDER THE INSURANCE EXCHANGE BEING SET UP AS PART OF THE FEDERAL HEALTH CARE OVERHAUL IS ON ITS WAY TO THE PENNSYLVANIA SENATE AFTER APPROVAL BY THE HOUSE.  THE HOUSE ON TUESDAY VOTED 144 TO 53 IN FAVOR OF THE PROPOSAL THAT WOULD PROVIDE EXCEPTIONS ONLY FOR RAPE, INCEST OR WHEN THE MOTHER'S LIFE IS IN DANGER.  DEMOCRATIC OPPONENTS SAY THE BILL REPRESENTS A NEW RESTRICTION ON WOMEN'S REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS.  REPUBLICANS ARE DESCRIBING IT AS A CONTINUATION OF THE STATE'S LONGSTANDING BAN ON TAXPAYER FUNDED ELECTIVE ABORTIONS.  THE BILL WOULD KEEP PEOPLE FROM USING THEIR OWN MONEY TO BUY, THROUGH THE EXCHANGE, HEALTH COVERAGE THAT INCLUDES ABORTION SERVICES.  THEY COULD BUY COVERAGE ON THEIR OWN, BUT CRITICS SAY THAT'S NOT AVAILABLE.

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  STATE OFFICIALS SAY DRIVERS OF ELECTRIC VEHICLES WILL SOON BE ABLE TO RECHARGE AT FOUR PLACES ALONG THE PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE AND EVENTUALLY AT MANY MORE.  THE TURNPIKE COMMISSION ON TUESDAY SAID IT EXPECTS TO OPEN ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING STATIONS THIS SUMMER AT FOUR SERVICE PLAZAS.  THEY WILL BE AT THE OAKMONT PLAZA IN ALLEGHENY COUNTY, THE NEW STANTON PLAZA IN WESTMORELAND COUNTY, THE BOWMANSVILLE PLAZA IN LANCASTER COUNTY AND THE KING OF PRUSSIA PLAZA IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY.  CUSTOMERS WILL BE ABLE TO PAY WITH A CREDIT CARD AT THE CHARGING STATION.  THE COST TO CHARGE VEHICLES HASN'T BEEN SET BUT WILL BE ANNOUNCED BEFORE THE STATIONS OPEN.  EVENTUALLY, OFFICIALS PLAN TO OFFER ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING AT ALL 17 SERVICE PLAZAS ALONG THE 550 MILES OF THE TURNPIKE.

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  A JUDGE HAS RULED THAT THE PENNSYLVANIA CHARITY FOR TROUBLED YOUTHS STARTED BY CONVICTED PEDOPHILE JERRY SANDUSKY CAN TRANSFER $200,000 AND OTHER SMALL ASSETS TO A TEXAS MINISTRY, WHICH WILL ASSUME OPERATIONS OF SOME PROGRAMS.  ARROW CHILD & FAMILY MINISTRIES OF HOUSTON SAYS IN A RELEASE TUESDAY THAT IT WILL ASSUME OPERATIONS MAY 1 OF SOME PROGRAMS THAT WERE RUN BY THE SECOND MILE.  A COURT RULING FILED ON MONDAY ALSO ALLOWS THE SECOND MILE TO SEND DONOR AND PROGRAM DATABASES TO ARROW.  THE STATE COLLEGE-BASED CHARITY CONCLUDED LAST MAY THAT IT COULD NOT CONTINUE OPERATING AFTER THE SANDUSKY SCANDAL.  JUDGE WILLIAM MORGAN'S RULING NOTED THAT $200,000 IS LESS THAN 5 PERCENT OF THE SECOND MILE ASSETS AND THAT NO OBJECTIONS WERE FILED TO THE SMALL TRANSFER.

  ATTORNEYS FOR THE STATE AND A UNION REPRESENTING PUBLIC HEALTH NURSES ARE ARGUING IN COURT OVER WHETHER THE COMMONWEALTH HAS THE AUTHORITY TO CLOSE NEARLY HALF OF ITS STATE PUBLIC HEALTH CENTERS WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE LEGISLATURE.  THE SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION HEALTHCARE PENNSYLVANIA CONTENDS THAT THE 1996 STATE LAW FORBIDS CLOSURE OF SUCH CENTERS WITHOUT LAWMAKERS' ASSENT.  STATE LAWYERS, HOWEVER, SAY THE LAW IN QUESTION APPLIED TO A PREVIOUS EFFORT TO PRIVATIZE THE CENTERS.  THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH HAS SAID THE CONSOLIDATIONS WOULD ALLOW NURSES TO BE MORE MOBILE AND TREAT PUBLIC HEALTH PROBLEMS IN THE COMMUNITY.  OPPONENTS SAY THE PLAN, WHICH WOULD FURLOUGH DOZENS OF PUBLIC HEALTH WORKERS, WOULD DIMINISH THE STATE'S CAPACITY TO RESPOND TO PUBLIC HEALTH THREATS.

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  GOV. TOM CORBETT'S OFFICE SAYS IT WILL COMPLY WITH AN APPELLATE COURT RULING THAT SAYS IT CANNOT WITHHOLD CALENDAR AND E-MAIL RECORDS THAT WERE THE FOCUS OF A RIGHT-TO-KNOW REQUEST.  A SEVEN-JUDGE PANEL OF THE COMMONWEALTH COURT SIDED WITH THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ON TUESDAY IN A BATTLE OVER ACCESS TO THOSE RECORDS, SAYING THAT THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE FAILED TO JUSTIFY THE REDACTION OF 17 EMAILS AND 28 CALENDAR ENTRIES.  NILS FREDERIKSEN, SPOKESMAN FOR THE GOVERNOR'S GENERAL COUNSEL, SAYS THE WITHHELD RECORDS WILL BE TURNED OVER TO THE AP IN A MATTER OF DAYS.  FREDERIKSEN SAID THE RULING CLARIFIES HOW THE RIGHT-TO-KNOW LAW APPLIES TO CALENDAR ENTRIES.  HE NOTED THAT THE RULING ALLOW SOME ENTRIES TO BE WITHHELD, BUT ONLY UNDER CERTAIN, SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES.

 

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