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LOCAL NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY, MAY 8, 2013

LOCAL NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY, MAY 8, 2013

  THE FBI HAS ASKED FOR A FEDERAL ARREST WARRANT FOR ULYSSES RODRIGUEZ, WHO IS ACCUSED OF KILLING A MAN JANUARY 26 OUTSIDE THE SCOOBIES STRIP CLUB IN BETHLEHEM.  LEHIGH COUNTY D.A. JIM MARTIN ASKED FOR THE FEDERAL WARRANT TO HELP FIND RODRIGUEZ, WHO IS BELIEVED TO HAVE FLED TO NEW YORK AFTER KILLING TYREE WIMBERLY.  THE FEDERAL WARRANT ALLOWS FEDERAL AGENTS TO LOOK FOR RODRIGUEZ IN NEW YORK.

  A CONTROVERSIAL STRIP CLUB HAS BEEN DAMAGED IN AN EARLY MORNING FIRE.  FIREFIGHTERS WERE CALLED TO THE SCOOBIES GENTLEMEN'S CLUB ON THE ALLENTOWN-BETHLEHEM BORDER JUST AFTER 2:30 THIS MORNING.  THE FIRE WAS CONTAINED QUICKLY, BUT THE FIRST FLOOR SUSTAINED FIRE DAMAGE AND THERE'S EXTENSIVE SMOKE DAMAGE THROUGHOUT THE BUILDING.  THERE'S NO WORD YET ON WHAT CAUSED THE FIRE.  BACK IN JANUARY, A MAN WAS SHOT TO DEATH OUTSIDE THE CLUB AND NEARBY RESIDENTS ARE TRYING TO HAVE THE CLUB DECLARED A NUISANCE.

  ATTORNEYS IN THE TRIAL OF A MAN CHARGED IN A STABBING DEATH ARE CONTESTING WHETHER THE DEFENDANT ACTED OUT OF FEAR OR ANGER.  FORTY-FIVE-YEAR-OLD LAWRENCE GAINES IS CHARGED IN NORTHAMPTON COUNTY WITH CRIMINAL HOMICIDE IN THE JULY DEATH OF 43-YEAR-OLD WILLIAM THOMPSON.  A WITNESS TESTIFIED TUESDAY HE HAD TO PULL GAINES OFF THE VICTIM TWICE DURING A PROLONGED EARLY MORNING FIGHT.  HE SAID GAINES PUNCHED THE VICTIM, WHO FLED BUT RETURNED WITH A LONG WOODEN RAIL AND STRUCK GAINES, AND THE DEFENDANT THEN PULLED A KNIFE AND STABBED HIM.  DEFENSE ATTORNEY ROBERT SLETVOLD SAYS HIS CLIENT ACTED IN SELF-DEFENSE.  HE NOTED THAT THE VICTIM RAN OFF AFTER HE WAS STABBED, AND HIS CLIENT MADE NO ATTEMPT TO PURSUE HIM.

  THE OLD J.P. O'MALLEY'S IN ALLENTOWN HAS RECEIVED THE GREEN LIGHT TO REOPEN.  THE ALLENTOWN ZONING HEARING BOARD IS ALLOWING A NEW OWNER TO REOPEN THE TROUBLED BAR WITH THE STIPULATION THAT IT HAS ONLY 100 SEATS AND CLOSES AT MIDNIGHT.  O'MALLEY'S WAS CLOSED IN 2009 FOR FINANCIAL REASONS, MUCH TO THE DELIGHT OF NEIGHBORS WHO COMPLAINED THE BAR WAS A NUISANCE.  EDWARD HANNA IS LISTED AS THE RESTAURANT'S NEW OWNER AND HAS PROMISED NEIGHBORS THERE WON'T BE ANY LIVE BANDS, WHICH WILL KEEP NOISE AT A MINIMUM. 

  FORTUNE MAGAZINE IS OUT WITH ITS ANNUAL FORTUNE 500 LIST AND THE LEHIGH VALLEY IS REPRESENTED ONCE AGAIN BY PPL AND AIR PRODUCTS.  THE ALLENTOWN-BASED PPL IS RANKED 224 ON THE LIST, WHILE TREXLERTOWN'S AIR PRODUCTS IS SLOTTED AT NUMBER 273 ON THE LIST.  OVERALL, 21 PENNSYLVANIA COMPANIES CRACKED THE LIST INCLUDING COMCAST, RITE AID, HERSHEY AND UGI.

  THE THIRD SINKHOLE IN A LITTLE OVER A MONTH HAS OPENED UP IN PALMER TOWNSHIP.  THE SINKHOLE OPENED UP MONDAY AFTERNOON AND MEASURES 20 FEET WIDE AND 15 FEET DEEP.  THE FIRST TWO SINKHOLES OPENED UP APRIL 4 ON NORTHWOOD AVENUE BECAUSE OF A WATER MAIN BREAK.  CREWS AREN'T SURE IF THE MOST RECENT SINKHOLE IS RELATED TO THE FIRST TWO.

  THE PENN STATE COACHES CARAVAN HAS STOPPED AT THE HOLIDAY INN IN BREINIGSVILLE  AND FOOTBALL COACH BILL O'BRIEN SAYS HIS FIRST SEASON IN HAPPY VALLEY WAS A LEARNING EXPERIENCE.  "I MADE MISTAKES DURING GAMES.  GOING FOR IT ON FOURTH DOWN AS MUCH AS I DID, PROBABLY A FEW OF THOSE I SHOULD'VE PUNTED OR KICKED A FIELD GOAL.  I'LL TRY TO REVIEW THOSE MISTAKES THIS OFFSEASON AND CORRECT THEM," O'BRIEN SAYS.  LIKE THE LATE JOE PATERNO, O'BRIEN SAYS HE REALIZES PART OF HIS JOB IS TO HELP SELL TICKETS, RAISE MONEY AND GIVE PEOPLE A POSITIVE FEELING ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY.

  GOV. TOM CORBETT, FACING STUBBORNLY LOW APPROVAL RATINGS 18 MONTHS BEFORE NEXT YEAR'S ELECTION, HAS ONE FEWER POTENTIAL OPPONENT TO WORRY ABOUT.  MONTGOMERY COUNTY COMMISSIONER BRUCE CASTOR HAS DECIDED NOT TO CHALLENGE CORBETT IN THE 2014 REPUBLICAN PRIMARY.  IT'S UNUSUAL FOR A SITTING GOVERNOR TO FACE A SERIOUS PRIMARY CHALLENGE, BUT SEVERAL DEMOCRATS SAY THEY PLAN TO COMPETE FOR THE NOMINATION TO CHALLENGE CORBETT.  CASTOR SAYS IT'S BEEN DIFFICULT TO FIND TIME FOR HIS WORK AS A LAWYER AND COUNTY COMMISSIONER, AND FOR HIS FAMILY, WHILE HE TOURS THE STATE TO DRUM UP SUPPORT.  HE SAYS IT'S AN ENORMOUS TASK TO UNSEAT THE PARTY'S ELECTED GOVERNOR, AND HE SAYS HE'S UNCERTAIN WHETHER ENOUGH PEOPLE WOULD HAVE AN OPEN MIND TO HIM IF HE HAD DECIDED TO RUN.

  FORMER PENNSYLVANIA SUPREME COURT JUSTICE JOAN ORIE MELVIN HAS BEEN SENTENCED TO THREE YEARS OF HOUSE ARREST FOLLOWED BY TWO YEARS OF PROBATION FOR ILLEGAL POLITICAL CAMPAIGNING.  AN ALLEGHENY COUNTY JUDGE ON TUESDAY ALSO FINED MELVIN $55,000.  HE ORDERED HER TO HAVE HER PICTURE TAKEN OF HERSELF IN HANDCUFFS AND SEND THE PHOTO TO EVERY JUDGE IN THE STATE WITH AN APOLOGY FOR ABUSING HER OFFICE.  MELVIN WAS CONVICTED OF USING HER FORMER COURT STAFF AND THAT OF HER SISTER, A FORMER STATE SENATOR, ON HER POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS.  A THIRD SISTER, JANINE ORIE, WAS ALSO SENTENCED TO ONE YEAR HOUSE ARREST AND TWO YEARS' PROBATION FOR HER ROLE IN THE ILLEGAL CAMPAIGNING.  FORMER STATE SEN. JANE ORIE IS SERVING JAIL TIME FOR MISUSING HER OWN STAFF FOR POLITICAL PURPOSES.

  A JURY WEIGHING MURDER CHARGES AGAINST A PHILADELPHIA ABORTION PROVIDER WILL RE-HEAR SEVERAL HOURS OF TESTIMONY BEFORE RESUMING DELIBERATIONS.  DR. KERMIT GOSNELL IS CHARGED WITH KILLING A PATIENT AND FOUR BABIES ALLEGEDLY BORN ALIVE. PROSECUTORS SAY THE 72-YEAR-OLD GOSNELL ROUTINELY KILLED BABIES BORN ALIVE.  THE JURY IS SET TO SPEND MUCH OF WEDNESDAY REVIEWING THE TESTIMONY OF MEDICAL ASSISTANT LYNDA WILLIAMS.  ONE OF THE INFANT DEATHS GOSNELL IS CHARGED WITH RELATES TO WILLIAMS.  SHE HAS TESTIFIED THAT SHE CUT THE CHILD IN THE BACK OF THE NECK AFTER IT WAS ALIVE FOR ABOUT 20 MINUTES.  GOSNELL IS CHARGED WITH FIRST-DEGREE MURDER FOR ALLEGEDLY CONSPIRING WITH WILLIAMS TO KILL THAT BABY.  WILLIAMS HAS PLEADED GUILTY TO THIRD-DEGREE MURDER.  THE JURY HAS BEEN DELIBERATING FOR A WEEK.

  PENNSYLVANIA'S ATTORNEY GENERAL IS BLAMING DEFENSE MOTIONS FOR DELAYS IN THE CRIMINAL CASE AGAINST FORMER PENN STATE ADMINISTRATORS ACCUSED OF COVERING UP CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE COMPLAINTS ABOUT JERRY SANDUSKY.  A SPOKESMAN FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL KATHLEEN KANE SAYS THAT SINCE CHARGES WERE FILED IN NOVEMBER, THE DELAYS ARE "EXCLUSIVELY" ATTRIBUTABLE TO DEFENSE FILINGS.  KANE'S OFFICE IS RESPONDING TO AN ORDER BY THE JUDGE SUPERVISING THE GRAND JURY THAT INVESTIGATED FORMER PENN STATE OFFICIALS GRAHAM SPANIER, GARY SCHULTZ AND TIM CURLEY.  JUDGE BARRY FEUDALE SAYS THE CASE NEEDS TO MOVE FORWARD.  SIX MONTHS AFTER CHARGES WERE FILED, THERE HASN'T BEEN A PRELIMINARY HEARING, WHICH IS UNUSUAL.  LAST MONTH, FEUDALE DECLINED TO THROW OUT THE CASE, A DECISION THAT'S BEEN APPEALED TO THE STATE SUPREME COURT.

  THE PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES ARE STILL UNSURE HOW LONG THEY'LL BE WITHOUT INJURED TWO-TIME CY YOUNG AWARD WINNER ROY HALLADAY.  HALLADAY, ON THE 15-DAY DISABLED LIST BECAUSE OF INFLAMMATION IN HIS THROWING SHOULDER, MET WITH DR. LEWIS YOCUM IN LOS ANGELES ON TUESDAY, BUT PHILLIES MANAGER CHARLIE MANUEL SAID HE HAD YET TO HEAR RESULTS OF THE EXAMINATION.  "I HAVEN'T TALKED TO HIM BUT I LOOK FORWARD TO TALKING TO HIM," MANUEL SAID BEFORE PHILADELPHIA PLAYED SAN FRANCISCO.  HALLADAY IS 2-4 WITH AN 8.65 ERA IN SEVEN STARTS THIS SEASON AFTER MISSING NEARLY TWO MONTHS LAST SEASON WITH A STRAINED BACK MUSCLE.

 

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