Allentown Local News

 

LOCAL NEWS FOR FRIDAY, MAY 30, 2014

LOCAL NEWS FOR FRIDAY, MAY 30, 2014

  FOR DECADES IT HAS SEEMED AMERICAN JOBS WERE BEING OUTSOURCED TO CHINA.  THAT TREND HAS BEEN REVERSED, AT LEAST ON ONE OCCASION, IN THE LEHIGH VALLEY.  A CHINESE PLASTICS COMPANY IS BUILDING A PLANT IN LEHIGH COUNTY AND LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR JIM CAWLEY HOPES MORE PROJECTS LIKE THIS ONE ARE ON THE HORIZON.  "OUR SECRET IS GETTING OUT.  WE HAVE A TALENTED, SKILLED AND ABUNDANT WORKFORCE.  WE HAVE A CLIMATE FOR ECONOMIC GROWTH THAT SHOULD THRIVE FOR YEARS TO COME," CAWLEY SAYS.  TAIZHOU FULING PLASTICS IS BUILDING AN 88,000-SQUARE-FOOT FACILITY IN THE IRON RUN INDUSTRIAL PARK IN FOGELSVILLE.  THE COMPANY MAKES PLASTIC CUTLERY FOR COMPANIES LIKE McDONALD'S, BURGER KING, WALMART AND SUBWAY.  75 JOBS ARE EXPECTED TO BE CREATED.


  TEX WELLS SAYS HE HAS HAD ENOUGH.  THE OPERATOR OF TEX'S SMOKIN' BAR-B-Q HAS POSTED ON FACEBOOK THAT HE IS SHUTTING DOWN HIS BARBECUE TRUCK, WHICH HAD PROMPTED RESIDENTS IN NORTH WHITEHALL TOWNSHIP TO COMPLAIN ABOUT THE SMELL COMING FROM HIS MEAT SMOKERS.  IN HIS FACEBOOK POST, WELLS SAYS THE FINAL STRAW WAS A COMMENT MADE BY AN OPPONENT OF HIS BUSINESS AT A ZONING HEARING WEDNESDAY NIGHT.  WELLS TOOK THE REMARK TO MEAN HE IS FAKING HIS SYMPTOMS OF MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS.  THE MAN WHO MADE THE COMMENT SAYS HE DIDN'T MEAN TO RIDICULE WELLS AND THAT HIS COMMENT WAS MISINTERPRETED.


  A FOUNTAIN HILL POLICE OFFICER HAS QUIT.  GRADY CUNNINGHAM JR. HAD BEEN FIRED FOR USING EXCESSIVE FORCE AND LATER WAS REINSTATED, BUT TODAY'S MORNING CALL REPORTS HE HAS NOW RESIGNED.  AS PART OF THE SETTLEMENT, CUNNINGHAM IS PAID $35,000 AND WILL NOT SUE THE BOROUGH.  CUNNINGHAM'S PROBLEMS BEGAN DURING A 2012 ARREST WHEN INVESTIGATORS SAY HE SUED EXCESSIVE FORCE AGAINST A HANDCUFFED PRISONER AND THEN FILED FAKE PAPERWORK ABOUT THE INCIDENT.


  THREE ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS WERE LOCKED DOWN THURSDAY, NOT BECAUSE OF A HUMAN THREAT, BUT RATHER A BEAR THREAT.  NOTRE DAME, CLEARVIEW AND JAMES BUCHANAN ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS WERE LOCKED DOWN AND RESIDENTS WERE ADVISED TO STAY INDOORS FOR SEVERAL HOURS BECAUSE A BEAR WAS SPOTTED NEARBY.  THE BEAR, WHICH WEIGHED ABOUT 250 TO 300 POUNDS WAS EVENTUALLY TRANQUILIZED AND TAKEN TO NORTH CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA AND RELEASED BACK INTO THE WILD.


  A 17-YEAR-OLD BOY IS UNDER ARREST.  ALLENTOWN POLICE SAY THE TEENAGER WILL BE CHARGED AS AN ADULT WITH TRYING TO KILL A 59-YEAR-OLD CITY MAN INSIDE A CITY LAUNDROMAT THURSDAY AFTERNOON.  THE SHOOTING HAPPENED JUST BEFORE 4 O'CLOCK AT THE RIDGE AVENUE LAUNDROMAT.  THE VICTIM WAS SHOT SEVERAL TIMES, BUT HAS ALREADY BEEN RELEASED FROM THE HOSPITAL.  NEITHER THE SHOOTER NOR THE VICTIM HAVE BEEN IDENTIFIED BY POLICE.


  FOR THE 17TH CONSECUTIVE MONTH, THE LEHIGH VALLEY'S UNEMPLOYMENT RATE DIPPED LAST MONTH.  "IT DECREASED TWO-TENTHS OF A POINT, WHICH IS PRETTY GOOD.  IT'S NOW DOWN TO 6.2 PERCENT.  THE LAST TIME IT WAS THIS LOW WAS WAY BACK IN OCTOBER 2008 WHEN IT WAS 6.1," SAYS LABOR ANALYST STEVEN ZELLERS.  THE STATE JOBLESS FIGURE IN APRIL DIPPED BY THREE-TENTHS OF A POINT TO 5.7 PERCENT, WHICH IS NEARLY TWO FULL POINTS BELOW WHERE IT STOOD A YEAR AGO.


  A POLICE OFFICER WHO WAS ON-DUTY WHEN HE WAS INVOLVED IN A DEADLY CAR CRASH IN NORTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA HAS BEEN PLACED ON UNPAID ADMINISTRATIVE LEAVE.  NESQUEHONING BOROUGH COUNCIL PRESIDENT DAVID HAWK SAID THE COUNCIL VOTED TO PUT OFFICER STEVEN HOMANKO ON NON-PAID LEAVE UNTIL THE COMPLETION OF THE ACCIDENT INVESTIGATION BY PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE.  THE LEAVE IS EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY.  HOMANKO'S CRUISER AND A CAR COLLIDED ON ROUTE 209 BETWEEN NESQUEHONING AND JIM THORPE EARLIER THIS MONTH.  THE CRASH CLAIMED THE LIFE OF 69-YEAR-OLD CAROLA SAUERS, WHO WAS A PASSENGER IN THE CAR.  HER HUSBAND, MICHAEL SAUERS, WAS THE DRIVER AND SURVIVED THE WRECK.  NO CHARGES HAVE BEEN FILED IN CONNECTION WITH THE DEADLY CRASH IN CARBON COUNTY.


  A COMMUNITY COLLEGE STUDENT CHARGED WITH FLASHING A GUN IN A COMMUNITY COLLEGE IN PHILADELPHIA IS BEING HELD ON $250,000 BAIL.  AUTHORITIES SAID 23-YEAR-OLD RYAN FITCH WAS ARRAIGNED THURSDAY ON CHARGES OF RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT, TERRORISTIC THREATS, SIMPLE ASSAULT AND A WEAPONS CHARGE.  BAIL WAS SET AT $250,000 AND HIS PRELIMINARY HEARING IS SCHEDULED FOR JUNE 13.  POLICE WERE TOLD THAT A STUDENT HAD BRANDISHED A HANDGUN AFTER AN ARGUMENT WITH ANOTHER STUDENT IN A CHEMISTRY CLASSROOM AT COMMUNITY COLLEGE OF PHILADELPHIA SHORTLY AFTER NOON ON WEDNESDAY.  AN ATTORNEY FOR FITCH SAID HIS CLIENT NEVER PULLED THE WEAPON INSIDE THE SCHOOL BUT IT WAS VISIBLE ON HIS WAIST.  POLICE SAID FITCH HAS A LICENSE TO CARRY A GUN.


  A GOLFER HAS BEEN HOSPITALIZED AFTER BEING RUN OVER BY A GOLF CART IN THE MIDDLE OF HER BACKSWING ON A BERKS COUNTY COURSE.   THE ACCIDENT WAS REPORTED AROUND 9 A.M. THURSDAY ON THE FOURTH HOLE AT THE WILLOW HOLLOW GOLF COURSE IN BERN TOWNSHIP.  EMERGENCY RESPONDERS RESPONDED TO A REPORT THAT A GOLF CART ROLLED DOWN A HILL AND RAN OVER A WOMAN.  CAROLYN HOLLERAN, WAS TRANSPORTED TO A HOSPITAL FOR TREATMENT OF THREE BROKEN RIBS AND CUTS ON HER HEAD AND LEFT LEG.  THE OPERATOR OF THE CART, WHO WAS NOT INJURED, TOLD POLICE THAT SHE WAS UNABLE TO STOP BEFORE IMPACT.


  A FLORIDA MAN ACCUSED OF LEAVING HIS TRACTOR-TRAILER UNATTENDED ON EASTERN PENNSYLVANIA RAILROAD TRACKS MOMENTS BEFORE IT WAS STRUCK BY A FREIGHT TRAIN HAS BEEN CHARGED WITH RISKING AND CAUSING A CATASTROPHE.  SIXTY-FIVE-YEAR-OLD ALTON L. RUSSELL OF DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA IS ALSO CHARGED IN BERKS COUNTY WITH CRIMINAL MISCHIEF, RECKLESSLY ENDANGERING ANOTHER PERSON AND RELATED OFFENSES.  STATE POLICE SAID RUSSELL HAD PARKED THE 18-WHEELER ON THE TRACKS IN TOPTON SHORTLY AFTER 5 P.M. WEDNESDAY TO ASK DIRECTIONS.  POLICE SAID THE RIG WAS SPLIT IN TWO AND THE CRASH ALSO CAUSED ABOUT $35,000 DAMAGE TO THE NORFOLK SOUTHERN TRAIN AND THE CROSSING'S WARNING LIGHTS.  RUSSELL REMAINED IN CUSTODY IN LIEU OF $50,000 BAIL.


  A FORMER PHILADELPHIA TELEVISION SPORTSCASTER HAS BEEN ORDERED TO STAND TRIAL ON CHARGES OF STEALING ABOUT $250,000 SUPPOSEDLY MEANT TO GO TO CHARITABLE ORGANIZATIONS.  SIXTY-ONE-YEAR-OLD DON TOLLEFSON WAIVED A PRELIMINARY HEARING IN BUCKS COUNTY ON THURSDAY.  HIS ATTORNEY SAID HE WANTED TO SPARE WITNESSES FROM HAVING TO TESTIFY.  PROSECUTORS ALLEGE THAT HE SOLICITED MONEY FROM ABOUT 150 PEOPLE FOR BOGUS TRAVEL PACKAGES TO SPORTING EVENTS IN THE NAME OF CHARITY.  DISTRICT JUDGE DANIEL FINELLO ORDERED THE CASE TO COUNTY COURT, CALLING IT "A BIG DISAPPOINTMENT TO EVERYONE IN THE DELAWARE VALLEY."  HE TOLD TOLLEFSON THAT HE HAD BEEN "A TRUSTED AND RESPECTED MEMBER OF THE COMMUNITY."  DEFENSE ATTORNEY SHARIF ABAZA SAID HIS CLIENT HAD "AN ADDICTION PROBLEM" AND HAS BEEN WORKING DAILY "TO FIGHT THAT ADDICTION AND REMAIN IN RECOVERY."


  PHILADELPHIA FLYERS CHAIRMAN ED SNIDER HAS COMPLETED TREATMENT FOR A NON-LIFE-THREATENING FORM OF CANCER.  COMCAST-SPECTACOR SPOKESMAN IKE RICHMAN RELEASED A STATEMENT THURSDAY, SAYING THE 81-YEAR-OLD SNIDER, "IS DOING WELL AND CONTINUES TO BE WORKING.  HE IS HAPPY AND HEALTHY."  RICHMAN ADDED THAT SNIDER'S INVOLVEMENT WITH THE TEAM AND THE COMPANY HAD NOT BEEN IMPACTED.


  A GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL SAYS THE PHILADELPHIA 76ERS ARE CLOSE TO A DEAL TO BUILD A NEW PRACTICE FACILITY AND EXECUTIVE OFFICES ON THE WATERFRONT OF STRUGGLING CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY.  THE OFFICIAL SAYS THE PLAN COULD BE UP FOR APPROVAL BY THE STATE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY NEXT MONTH.  THE TEAM NOW RENTS PRACTICE SPACE IN PHILADELPHIA.  SIXERS CEO SCOTT O'NEIL SAID IN A STATEMENT THAT THE TEAM IS LOOKING AT MULTIPLE SITES IN NEW JERSEY AND PENNSYLVANIA.  A SPOKESMAN FOR CAMDEN MAYOR DANA REDD SAID BUSINESSES HAVE BEEN INTERESTED IN MOVING IN SINCE THE STATE PASSED NEW INCENTIVES LAST YEAR. 

 

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