Allentown Local News

 

LOCAL NEWS FOR TUESDAY, MAY 20, 2014

LOCAL NEWS FOR TUESDAY, MAY 20, 2014

  TOM WOLF MAINTAINS A 17 TO 25 POINT LEAD IN POLLS AND IF HE DOESN'T END UP WINNING TUESDAY'S GUBERNATORIAL PRIMARY, POLITICAL ANALYST TERRY MADONNA WOULD BE FLOORED.  "THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS A SURE THING, BUT IT WOULD BE AN UPSET THE LIKES OF WHICH WE HAVE NOT SEEN," MADONNA SAYS.  HE SAYS HE HAS SCOURED PRIMARY ELECTIONS FOR 40 YEARS OR SO AND HAS NOT EVER COME UP WITH A CANDIDATE HOLDING THAT BIG A LEAD AND LOSING IT IN THE FINAL WEEK OF THE CAMPAIGN.


  WHILE THE REPUBLICAN SIDE OF THE BALLOT ONLY HAS HIS NAME ON IT, GOVERNOR TOM CORBETT TELLS BOBBY GUNTHER WALSH HE ACTUALLY HAS FOUR OPPONENTS ON ELECTION DAY.  CORBETT SAYS TOM WOLF, KATIE McGINTY, ALLYSON SCHWARTZ AND ROB McCORD HAVE SPENT MOST OF THE CAMPAIGN RUNNING AGAINST HIM RATHER THAN EACH OTHER ON THE DEMOCRATIC SIDE.  "THEY'VE BEEN OUT THERE THE WHOLE TIME AND WE'VE ACTUALLY BEEN RUNNING AGAINST THE FOUR OF THEM," CORBETT SAYS.  A POTENTIAL REPUBLICAN OPPONENT, BOB GUZZARDI, WAS REMOVED FROM THE BALLOT BY THE STATE SUPREME COURT BECAUSE HE FAILED TO FILE HIS STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL INTERESTS ON TIME WITH THE STATE ETHICS COMMISSION.


  THREE REPUBLICANS ARE ON THE BALLOT IN THE 17TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT PRIMARY.  SCHUYLKILL COUNTY CORONER DAVID MOYLAN, SMALL BUSINESS OWNER MATT CONNOLLY AND PILOT MATTHEW DIETZ ARE TRYING TO MAKE IT TO NOVEMBER'S GENERAL ELECTION WHERE THEY WOULD FACE INCUMBENT CONGRESSMAN MATT CARTWRIGHT, WHO IS UNOPPOSED TODAY.  IN THE 40TH STATE SENATE DISTRICT, WHICH INCLUDES MUCH OF NORTHAMPTON COUNTY, THREE DEMOCRATS ARE TRYING TO WIN A SPOT IN THE NOVEMBER ELECTION AGAINST REPUBLICAN MARIO SCAVELLO.  ONE INCUMBENT FACES A PRIMARY CHALLENGE AND THAT'S REPUBLICAN STATE REP. JULIE HARHART, WHO IS RUNNING AGAINST MARC GRAMMES IN THE 183RD STATE HOUSE RACE.


  IT APPEARS FORMER ALLENTOWN MAYOR BILL HEYDT IS GETTING A NEW JOB.  TODAY'S MORNING CALL REPORTS CHAIRMAN OF THE LEHIGH COUNTY REPUBLICAN COMMITTEE WAYNE WOODMAN IS LEAVING THAT JOB, APPARENTLY OPENING THE DOOR FOR HEYDT TO REPLACE HIM.  WOODMAN HAS BEEN GOP CHAIR SINCE 2010.  THE VOTE TO NAME HIS REPLACEMENT COMES IN ABOUT A MONTH.


  TRUSTEES AT LEHIGH CARBON COMMUNITY COLLEGE HAVE CHOSEN ITS NEXT PRESIDENT.  ANN BIEBER, WHO HAS BEEN INTERIM PRESIDENT SINCE DON SNYDER RETIRED IN DECEMBER, WILL BECOME L-TRI-C'S FIFTH PRESIDENT ON JULY 1.  THE 57-YEAR-OLD BIEBER HAS BEEN AT L-TRI-C SINCE 1981.


  THE SANDS CASINO RESORT BETHLEHEM HAS BOUNCED BACK AFTER A ONE-MONTH DIP IN TABLE GAMES REVENUE IN MARCH.  THE SANDS REPORTS REVENUE FROM TABLE GAMES JUMPED UP BY 7.9 PERCENT IN MARCH WHEN COMPARED TO MARCH 2013.  FOR THE 29TH STRAIGHT MONTH, THE SANDS TOPPED THE STATE'S 12 CASINOS IN TABLE GAMES REVENUE.


  TAXES APPEAR TO BE GOING UP IN THE BANGOR SCHOOL DISTRICT.  SCHOOL BOARD DIRECTORS THERE HAVE OK'D A PRELIMINARY $51.6 MILLION BUDGET THAT CALLS FOR A 2.7 PERCENT TAX INCREASE.  THE BOARD MEETS AGAIN ON JUNE 23 TO APPROVE THE FINAL BUDGET AND DIRECTORS HOPE TO BE ABLE TO TRIM THAT TAX HIKE DOWN.


  CURT REIMER WAS ACCUSED OF STEALING UNDERWEAR YEARS AGO AND NOW HE'LL BE GOING ON TRIAL FOR DOING THE SAME THING AGAIN.  THE FORMER BANGOR TEACHER WAIVED HIS RIGHT TO A PRELIMINARY HEARING MONDAY, WITH A HOPE OF REACHING A PLEA DEAL IN THE FUTURE.  REIMER IS ACCUSED OF BREAKING INTO THE BANGOR HIGH SCHOOL BOYS LOCKER ROOM IN MARCH AND TAKING STUDENTS' BELONGINGS.  REIMER'S ATTORNEY SAYS HIS CLIENT HAD A LEGITIMATE REASON FOR BEING IN THE LOCKER ROOM.  IN 2002, REIMER WAS ACCUSED OF STEALING 40 PAIRS OF UNDERWEAR FROM STUDENTS AT THE SAME SCHOOL, HOWEVER NO CHARGES WERE EVER FILED.  HE'S DUE TO RETURN TO COURT JULY 10.


  GOV. TOM CORBETT IS REITERATING HIS OPPOSITION TO RAISING TAXES ON THE BOOMING NATURAL GAS INDUSTRY AS HE PREPARES TO FIND OUT WHICH DEMOCRAT WILL GET THE PARTY'S NOD TO CHALLENGE HIM.  THE FOUR DEMOCRATS RUNNING FOR GOVERNOR ARE PROPOSING TO RAISE TAXES ON THE NATURAL GAS INDUSTRY TO HELP PUMP MORE MONEY INTO EDUCATION.  BUT CORBETT SUGGESTS IT'S NOT RIGHT TO SINGLE OUT ONE INDUSTRY TO TAX IT AND ACCUSES DEMOCRATS OF NOT LIKING THE FREE ENTERPRISE SYSTEM.  HE SAYS THEY WANT TO PUNISH PEOPLE WHO ARE MAKING MONEY AND MAKE THEM PAY FOR EVERYTHING.  THE PRIMARY ELECTION IS TODAY.  POLLS OPEN AT 7 A.M. AND CLOSE AT 8 P.M.  CORBETT HAS NO PRIMARY CHALLENGER.


  LEHIGH VALLEY HEALTH NETWORK IS HOSTING FREE ORAL CANCER SCREENINGS TUESDAY NIGHT.  DR. MICHELE PISANO-MARSH SAYS GETTING CHECKED IS SIMPLE AND QUICK.  "IT'S VERY SIMPLE AND VERY EASY TO HAVE DONE AND IS SOMETHING THAT WE HOPE EVERYBODY IS HAVING DONE EVERY SIX MONTHS WHEN THEY VISIT THEIR DENTIST.  YOU WANT TO LOOK AT ALL THE TISSUE AND FEEL AROUND AND MAKE SURE THERE ARE NO LUMPS AND NO SORES OR ANYTHING THAT STANDS OUT AND STRIKES YOU AS SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED FURTHER," DR. PISANO-MARSH SAYS.  THE SCREENINGS ARE BEING DONE AT LEHIGH VALLEY HOSPITAL'S CEDAR CREST CAMPUS.  TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT, WHICH SHOULDN'T LAST MORE THAN FIVE OR 10 MINUTES, CALL 610-402-CARE.


  A JUDGE HAS RULED A WOMAN CHARGED WITH HER NEWLYWED HUSBAND WITH LURING A MAN THROUGH CRAIGSLIST AND KILLING HIM CAN FACE THE DEATH PENALTY.  THE NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY JUDGE RULED MONDAY A JURY WILL BE PERMITTED TO CONSIDER TORTURE AND ROBBERY AS AGGRAVATING FACTORS THAT COULD JUSTIFY THE DEATH PENALTY AGAINST MIRANDA BARBOUR.  INVESTIGATORS SAY BARBOUR STABBED TROY LAFERRARA ABOUT 20 TIMES IN HER PARKED CAR WHILE HUSBAND ELYTTE BARBOUR HELD A CORD TIGHT AGAINST HIS NECK FROM THE BACK SEAT LAST NOVEMBER AND THEN DUMPED HIS BODY IN AN ALLEY.  THE BARBOURS HAVE PLEADED NOT GUILTY.  BOTH FACE THE DEATH PENALTY IF CONVICTED.


  ATTORNEYS FOR FORMER STATE SUPREME COURT JUSTICE JOAN ORIE MELVIN ARE SET TO ASK AN APPEALS COURT TO REVERSE HER CORRUPTION CONVICTION OR, AT LEAST, THROW OUT PART OF HER SENTENCE.  MELVIN'S ATTORNEYS ARE SCHEDULED TO ARGUE THE CONVICTION APPEAL TUESDAY BEFORE A THREE-JUDGE PANEL IN LAWRENCE COUNTY.  THEY'LL ALSO ASK THAT MELVIN BE ALLOWED TO RESUME SERVING HER SENTENCE WHILE A DECISION ON HER APPEAL IS PENDING.  ATTORNEYS FOR THE 58-YEAR-OLD FORMER JUSTICE WILL BE MAKING THEIR CASE BEFORE THE SUPERIOR COURT.  MELVIN WAS A JUDGE ON THAT COURT WHEN SHE ILLEGALLY USED HER STATE-PAID STAFF TO HELP RUN HER CAMPAIGNS FOR THE SUPREME COURT.  SHE LOST IN 2003, BUT WON A SEAT ON THE STATE'S HIGHEST COURT IN 2009.  MELVIN LOST HER SEAT UPON HER CONVICTION LAST YEAR.


  MEMBERS OF A SENATE COMMITTEE HAVE APPROVED A BILL THAT WOULD BAN SMOKING AT BEACHES AND PUBLIC PARKS IN NEW JERSEY.  VIOLATORS WOULD FACE FINES OF AT LEAST $250 FOR THE FIRST OFFENSE.  THE MEASURE ON MONDAY WAS AMENDED TO ALLOW TOWNS TO SET ASIDE UP TO 20 PERCENT OF A BEACH OR PARK AS A SMOKING AREA.  THE STATE ASSEMBLY IN MARCH PASSED A BILL CALLING FOR THE SMOKING BAN.  SOME BEACH TOWNS ALREADY HAVE BANNED SMOKING ON THEIR SANDS, INCLUDING BELMAR, SEASIDE PARK, LONG BRANCH, AND SUNSET BEACH IN CAPE MAY POINT.  MORE THAN A THIRD OF NEW JERSEY'S MUNICIPALITIES HAVE LAWS ON THE BOOKS THAT RESTRICT SMOKING IN PARKS AND RECREATIONAL AREAS.


  NEW JERSEY LEGISLATORS INVESTIGATING LANE CLOSINGS AT THE GEORGE WASHINGTON BRIDGE ARE SET TO HEAR FROM A FORMER AIDE WHO WORKED IN THE OFFICE OF GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE AND ON HIS RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN.  MATT MOWERS HAS BEEN ORDERED TO APPEAR TODAY AND IS THE FIFTH PERSON SUBPOENAED BY THE PANEL.  IT IS TRYING TO DETERMINE WHO ORDERED TRAFFIC LANES BLOCKED IN SEPTEMBER AND WHY.  IT APPEARS THE PLOT WAS HATCHED TO RETALIATE AGAINST THE MAYOR OF FORT LEE, WHOSE TOWN BORE THE BRUNT OF THE GRIDLOCK. DEMOCRATIC MAYOR MARK SOKOLICH DID NOT ENDORSE CHRISTIE FOR RE-ELECTION.  MOWERS' JOB DUTIES INCLUDED COURTING MAYORS FOR ENDORSEMENTS. 


  GAMBLING REGULATORS SAY ILLEGAL INTERNET BETTING IS HAPPENING ACROSS THE UNITED STATES, AND THAT'S HURTING THE FLEDGLING ONLINE GAMBLING INDUSTRIES IN THE THREE STATES THAT HAVE LEGALIZED IT.  SPEAKING MONDAY AT THE EAST COAST GAMING CONGRESS IN ATLANTIC CITY, REGULATORS SAY ILLEGAL OFFSHORE GAMBLING SITES CONTINUE TO OPERATE.  THAT COMPETITION IS ONE OF THE REASONS INTERNET GAMBLING HAS GOTTEN OFF TO A SLOWER START THAN MANY EXPECTED.  NEW JERSEY SAW ITS FIRST DECLINE IN INTERNET GAMBLING REVENUE IN APRIL, FALLING TO $11.4 MILLION FROM $11.9 MILLION IN MARCH.  CALIFORNIA GAMBLING CONTROL COMMISSIONER RICHARD SCHUETZ SAYS $300 MILLION TO $400 MILLION A YEAR IS WAGERED IN HIS STATE ON ILLEGAL INTERNET SITES.  BRIAN MATTINGLEY, CEO OF 888.COM, SAYS ONLY 10 PERCENT OF NEW JERSEYANS REALIZE INTERNET GAMBLING IS LEGAL HERE.