Allentown Local News

 

LOCAL NEWS FOR FRIDAY, MAY 23, 2014

LOCAL NEWS FOR FRIDAY, MAY 23, 2014

  THE MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND WILL GET OFF TO A FESTIVE START AS GAYS AND LESBIANS BEGIN TO MARRY ACROSS PENNSYLVANIA.  THE STATE COULD SEE SCORES OF WEDDINGS FOLLOWING A FEDERAL JUDGE'S DECISION TUESDAY TO THROW THE STATE'S 1996 BAN ON "THE ASH HEAP OF HISTORY."  MAYOR MICHAEL NUTTER IS EXPECTED TO OFFICIATE FOR SOME OF THE FIRST COUPLES WHO APPLIED THIS WEEK IN PHILADELPHIA.  CATHERINE HENNESSY AND KRISTIN KEITH SAY THEY COULDN'T SAY NO TO THE MAYOR'S OFFER.  THEY'VE MOVED UP THEIR WEDDING DATE.  PHILADELPHIA JUDGES WILL BE AT CITY HALL BOTH FRIDAY AND SATURDAY TO HELP OFFICIATE.  NEARLY 300 SAME-SEX APPLICATIONS HAVE BEEN HANDED OUT IN ALLEGHENY COUNTY. 


  THE ALLENTOWN SCHOOL BOARD HAS GIVEN A THUMBS UP TO ONE CHARTER SCHOOL AND A THUMBS DOWN TO A SECOND.  THE BOARD VOTED UNANIMOUSLY IN FAVOR OF THE EXECUTIVE EDUCATION ACADEMY CHARTER SCHOOL, WHICH WILL HAVE ABOUT 500 STUDENTS WHEN IT OPENS THIS FALL ON UNION BOULEVARD.  THE PROPOSED ARTS ACADEMY CHARTER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL WAS VOTED DOWN BY THE BOARD IN A 7-2 VOTE.  THE BOARD ALSO APPROVED A PROPOSED FINAL BUDGET THAT WILL RAISE TAXES BY ALMOST 6 PERCENT AND CUT 89 JOBS AT THE SAME TIME.


  VINCENT FRANKLIN IS CURRENTLY SERVING 25 TO 50 YEARS IN PRISON FOR REPEATEDLY RAPING A YOUNG GIRL FROM 2001 TO 2004, BEGINNING WHEN THE GIRL WAS ONLY SEVEN YEARS OLD.  HOWEVER, UP TO 20 YEARS COULD BE SHAVED OFF THAT SENTENCE WHEN HE IS RESENTENCED TODAY IN NORTHAMPTON COUNTY COURT.  FRANKLIN APPEALED HIS SENTENCE AND A FEDERAL JUDGE DETERMINED A RAPE STATUTE USED TO SENTENCE FRANKLIN DIDN'T TAKE EFFECT UNTIL MIDWAY THROUGH HIS SERIES OF RAPES AND HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN SENTENCED UNDER THE PREVIOUS LAW, WHICH CALLED FOR LESS JAIL TIME.


  A SALISBURY TOWNSHIP WOMAN WILL SPEND 9 TO 23 MONTHS IN PRISON FOR AN OCTOBER HIT-AND-RUN ACCIDENT IN ALLENTOWN.  APRIL FRAME WAS SENTENCED THURSDAY FOR DRIVING OFF AFTER HITTING A 3-YEAR-OLD GIRL AFTER THE GIRL RAN ONTO ST. JOHN STREET.  WHEN FRAME PLEADED GUILTY LAST MONTH, SHE APOLOGIZED FOR HER ACTIONS AND SAID SHE WAS TOO SCARED TO STOP.  THE CHILD SHE HIT SUFFERED BRAIN INJURIES AND A BROKEN HIP, BUT IS EXPECTED TO MAKE A FULL RECOVERY.


  THE 2014 FREDDY AWARDS HAVE BEEN HANDED OUT, INCLUDING THE ONE FOR THE OUTSTANDING OVERALL PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL.  FREEDOM WON THAT FREEDY AND FOUR OTHERS FOR THEIR WORK ON "CRAZY FOR YOU".  THE FREDDY FOR OUTSTANDING OVERALL PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL BY A SMALLER SCHOOL WAS SHARED BY MORAVIAN ACADEMY AND NOTRE DAME.


  THE 28TH ANNUAL MAYFAIR OPENS UP ITS TRADITIONAL MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND RUN THIS AFTERNOON AT THE ALLENTOWN FAIRGROUNDS.  THIS YEAR'S EDITION WILL INCLUDE 125 ARTISTS ON HAND, UP MORE THAN 70 PERCENT FROM A YEAR AGO; 20 FOOD VENDORS AND THREE PERFORMANCE STAGES FEATURING MORE THAN 70 LIVE SHOWS.  ADMISSION AT THE GATE IS $5.  THIS IS THE SECOND YEAR FOR MAYFAIR AT THE FAIRGROUNDS AFTER SPENDING ITS FIRST 26 MEMORIAL DAY WEEKENDS AT CEDAR BEACH PARK.


  MUSIKFEST HAS BOOKED ITS TENTH AND FINAL SANDS STEEL STAGE ACT FOR THIS AUGUST'S FESTIVAL.  THE ALL-AMERICAN REJECTS ARE BRINGING ITS POP-PUNK SOUND TO BETHLEHEM ON THE NIGHT OF AUGUST 2.  TICKETS, WHICH ARE PRICED AT $29 AND $39 GO ON SALE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC ONE WEEK FROM TODAY.  AMONG THE OTHER STEEL STAGE ACTS ARE SHERYL CROW, KEITH URBAN, STEELY DAN AND ZZ TOP.


  PENNDOT'S RON YOUNG EXPLAINS WHY ROUTE 22 WEST AT MacARTHUR ROAD FLOODED THURSDAY AFTERNOON.  "ALL THE PLANTINGS ON THE GRASS ARE FINISHED YET SO THEY STILL HAVE FILTER BAGS NEAR THE DRAINAGE INLETS.  IT'S AN EROSION AND SEDIMENTATION CONTROL FEATURE THAT IS REQUIRED BY ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS TO FILTER OUT SOME OF THE SEDIMENT THAT MIGHT WASH DOWN INTO THE DRAIN," YOUNG SAYS.  THURSDAY'S HEAVY DOWNPOURS AND HAIL CLOGGED THOSE DRAINS AND THAT FORCED ABOUT A FOOT OR TWO OF WATER UP ONTO ROUTE 22.  YOUNG SAYS ONCE ALL THE GRASS GROWS IN, THE FILTERS WILL BE REMOVED AND FLOODING NO LONGER SHOULD BE AN ISSUE.


  TOM WOLF, THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY'S CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR, WILL HAVE BREAKFAST WITH THE THREE CANDIDATES HE WHIPPED IN THE PRIMARY ELECTION AFTER THE CAMPAIGN TURNED PARTICULARLY NASTY IN THE LAST SIX WEEKS.  U.S. REP. BOB BRADY ARRANGED THE 9 A.M. BREAKFAST AT THE OREGON DINER IN SOUTH PHILADELPHIA.  FORMER GOV. ED RENDELL SAYS HE'LL ATTEND.  AND WHILE BRADY BILLED IT AS A "UNITY" BREAKFAST, RENDELL SAYS IT'LL TAKE TIME BEFORE HARD FEELINGS GO AWAY.  RENDELL SAYS HE THINKS THE ATTACKS SADDENED WOLF, EVEN THOUGH HE'D BEEN WARNED BY CAMPAIGN ADVISERS TO EXPECT THEM AND WARNED THAT POLITICS IS A DIRTY BUSINESS.  A FIRST-TIME CANDIDATE, WOLF SPENT MUCH OF THE LAST THREE DECADES RUNNING A FAMILY-OWNED BUILDING MATERIALS DISTRIBUTOR.  WOLF OUTSPENT HIS THREE RIVALS, THANKS TO $10 MILLION HE CONTRIBUTED TO HIS CAMPAIGN.


  GOV. TOM CORBETT'S CAMPAIGN IS CRITICIZING DEMOCRATIC CHALLENGER TOM WOLF OVER PLANS BY AN ENVIRONMENTALIST BILLIONAIRE TO SPEND MONEY TO DEFEAT CORBETT IN THIS YEAR'S ELECTION.  CORBETT'S CAMPAIGN MANAGER, MIKE BARLEY, SAID THURSDAY IT'S A CASE OF ONE SUPER-WEALTHY, WELL-CONNECTED POLITICAL INSIDER SUPPORTING ANOTHER.  WOLF'S CAMPAIGN SAYS IT'S LAUGHABLE FOR CORBETT TO CALL ANYONE ELSE A WELL-CONNECTED POLITICAL INSIDER AFTER TAKING HUGE CAMPAIGN DONATIONS FROM OIL AND GAS INTERESTS.  BILLIONAIRE TOM STEYER'S SUPER PAC PLANS TO SPEND $100 MILLION TO MAKE GLOBAL WARMING A MAJOR CAMPAIGN ISSUE AND ATTACK REPUBLICANS, INCLUDING CORBETT.  CORBETT MAINTAINS THERE'S SCIENTIFIC DEBATE WHETHER THERE'S IMMEDIATE IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE ON THE ENVIRONMENT.  BUT AUTHORS OF A RECENT U.N. REPORT ON CLIMATE CHANGE SAY THE WARMING CLIMATE IS ALREADY WORSENING THE DANGERS OF HEAT WAVES, WILDFIRES, DROUGHTS AND FLOODING.


  PARENTS OF CHILDREN KILLED IN THE 2012 NEWTOWN, CONNECTICUT, SCHOOL SHOOTING HAVE JOINED DEMOCRATS IN CALLING ON NEW JERSEY GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE TO SIGN A BAN ON AMMUNITION MAGAZINES THAT HOLD MORE THAN 10 ROUNDS.  THE MEASURE WAS PASSED BY THE NEW JERSEY ASSEMBLY THURSDAY AND WILL NOW GO TO CHRISTIE FOR HIS CONSIDERATION.  IT PREVIOUSLY PASSED THE STATE SENATE.  THE REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR AND POTENTIAL 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE SIGNED MANY FIREARMS BILLS INTO LAW LAST YEAR.  BUT HE ISSUED CONDITIONAL VETOES OF SOME OF THE MORE CONTENTIOUS ONES, INCLUDING A BAN ON .50-CALIBER RIFLES.  ADVOCATES SAY THE AMMO MAGAZINE LIMIT COULD MAKE MASS SHOOTINGS LESS DEADLY.  GUN RIGHTS SUPPORTERS SAY IT WOULD MAKE IT HARDER FOR CITIZENS TO PROTECT THEMSELVES AND COULD HAVE THE EFFECT OF BANNING CERTAIN GUNS.


  ADOPTEES IN NEW JERSEY ARE A STEP CLOSER TO GETTING ACCESS TO THEIR BIRTH RECORDS.  THE STATE ASSEMBLY ON THURSDAY VOTED TO APPROVE A CONDITIONAL VETO SETTLEMENT THAT WAS BROKERED BY GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE AND LAWMAKERS THAT WOULD OPEN THE RECORDS FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THEY WERE SEALED IN 1940.  THE COMPROMISE DELAYS ACCESS FOR NEARLY THREE YEARS TO GIVE BIRTH PARENTS TIME TO HAVE THEIR NAMES REMOVED FROM BIRTH CERTIFICATES.  BIRTH PARENTS OF CHILDREN ADOPTED BEFORE AUGUST 1, 2015 WOULD HAVE UNTIL THE END OF 2016 TO ASK THAT THEIR NAMES BE REMOVED.  THOSE WHO DO WOULD BE ASKED TO GIVE SOME MEDICAL HISTORY.  BIOLOGICAL PARENTS OF CHILDREN ADOPTED AFTER AUGUST 1, 2015 WOULD NOT HAVE THE OPTION OF REDACTING THEIR NAMES.


  SOME SHORE-BOUND MOTORISTS WILL GET A BREAK ON TOLLS ON THE ATLANTIC CITY EXPRESSWAY.  THE $3 TOLL WILL BE WAIVED FOR EASTBOUND TRAFFIC AT THE EGG HARBOR TOLL PLAZA BETWEEN 5 P.M. AND 6 P.M. TODAY.  THE MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND TOLL-FREE EVENT IS PART OF A PROMOTION TO LAUNCH THE UNOFFICIAL START OF THE JERSEY SHORE'S SUMMER TOURISM SEASON.  A SPORTS-BAR FRANCHISE, CHICKIE'S & PETE'S, WILL PICK UP THE TAB FOR THE ESTIMATED $13,000 IN TOLLS USUALLY COLLECTED DURING THE HOUR.  THE BREAK WILL APPLY TO MOTORISTS WHO PAY WITH CASH OR E-ZPASS.  TOLLS WILL RESUME AT 6 P.M. FRIDAY.


  STARTUP COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH INTERNET GAMBLING, AND THE CLOSURE OF ONE CASINO IN JANUARY, LOWERED ATLANTIC CITY'S CASINO EARNINGS BY 8.4 PERCENT IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF THIS YEAR.  FIGURES RELEASED THURSDAY BY THE STATE DIVISION OF GAMING ENFORCEMENT SHOWED THE CASINOS HAD A GROSS OPERATING PROFIT OF $38.7 MILLION.  BUT THE NUMBERS GET BETTER WHEN THE ATLANTIC CLUB, WHICH CLOSED ON JANUARY 13, AND CAESARS INTERACTIVE, THE ONLINE ENTITY THAT DOES NOT OWN A BRICKS-AND-MORTAR CASINO, ARE EXCLUDED.  WITHOUT THE ATLANTIC CLUB OR CAESARS INTERACTIVE, THE ATLANTIC CITY CASINOS SAW AN INCREASE IN GROSS OPERATING PROFIT OF 4.6 PERCENT FOR THE QUARTER.  GROSS OPERATING PROFIT REFLECTS EARNINGS BEFORE INTEREST, TAXES, DEPRECIATION, AND OTHER CHARGES, AND IS A WIDELY ACCEPTED INDICATOR OF PROFITABILITY IN THE CASINO INDUSTRY.


  OCEAN CITY HAS RECLAIMED ITS STATUS AS NEW JERSEY'S MOST POPULAR BEACH IN AN ANNUAL VOTING CONTEST.  THE CAPE MAY COUNTY RESORT TOOK TOP HONORS IN THE NEW JERSEY TOP TEN BEACHES CONTEST.  OCEAN CITY WON THE CONTEST IN 2009 AS WELL.  THE REST OF THE WINNERS ARE, IN ORDER:  WILDWOOD; WILDWOOD CREST; NORTH WILDWOOD; CAPE MAY; BELMAR; STONE HARBOR; ASBURY PARK; SEA ISLE CITY, AND ISLAND BEACH STATE PARK.

 

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