Allentown Local News

 

LOCAL NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY, MAY 28, 2014

LOCAL NEWS FOR WEDNESDAY, MAY 28, 2014

  PENNSYLVANIA SENATOR PAT TOOMEY IS INTRODUCING A 'VA ACCOUNTABILITY' BILL THAT WOULD ALLOW VETERANS NEGLECTED BY THE VETERANS ADMINISTRATION TO SUE INDIVIDUAL VA EMPLOYEES WHO LIE ABOUT A VETERAN'S HEALTH STATUS.  TOOMEY SAYS THOSE VETERANS HAVE EARNED THAT RIGHT.  "THE MEN AND WOMEN WHO PUT THE UNIFORM OF THIS COUNTRY, PUT THEMSELVES IN HARM'S WAY, MADE HUGE SACRIFICES AND IN MANY INSTANCES SUFFERED GREATLY FOR HAVING DONE SO," TOOMEY SAYS.  HE SAYS AT LEAST ONE VETERANS AFFAIRS FACILITY IN PENNSYLVANIA IS AMONG 29 UNDER INVESTIGATION NATIONALLY OVER DELAYED APPOINTMENT TIMES, HOWEVER THE SENATOR SAYS HE DOESN'T KNOW WHICH ONE IT IS.


  IT'S 20 TO 40 YEARS IN PRISON FOR A MAN WHO SHOT AN ALLENTOWN MAN LAST JUNE.  62-YEAR-OLD HECTOR PIMENTAL-CABAN SHOT AND PARTIALLY PARALYZED 32-YEAR-OLD DERICK SMITH DURING AN ARGUMENT AND EVENTUALLY TRIGGERED A FIVE-HOUR STANDOFF WITH ALLENTOWN POLICE.  THIS ISN'T PIMENTAL-CABAN'S FIRST BRUSH WITH THE LAW.  HE ADMITTED TO SECOND-DEGREE MURDER IN 1975 FOR KILLING A WOMAN'S HUSBAND IN THE VIRGIN ISLANDS.


  DESPERATE FOR MONEY, THE LEHIGH-NORTHAMPTON AIRPORT AUTHORITY MIGHT BE SELLING ABOUT 8 ACRES OF LAND AT THE QUEEN CITY AIRPORT TO THE CITY OF ALLENTOWN.  THE CITY HAS UPPED ITS OFFER TO $1 MILLION FOR LAND THAT HAS BEEN USED AS A STREETS DEPARTMENT MAINTENANCE FACILITY SINCE 2000.  THE AIRPORT AUTHORITY NEEDS MONEY TO HELP PAY A $26 MILLION COURT RULING AGAINST IT FOR TAKING A DEVELOPER'S LAND IN THE MID-90s. 


  AN ALLENTOWN MAN IS CHARGED WITH THREATENING TO "SHOOT UP" THE SANDS BETHLEHEM EVENT CENTER.  POLICE SAY ALAN KOVACS IS CHARGED WITH MAKING TERRORISTIC THREATS AFTER HE ALLEGEDLY TOLD CENTER STAFF MEMBERS HE WAS GOING TO RETURN AND "SHOOT THIS PLACE UP."  A GENERAL MANAGER SAYS AN EARLIER INCIDENT MADE HIM BELIEVE THE THREAT WAS CREDIBLE.


  A SUBURBAN PHILADELPHIA COUNTY THAT HAD BEEN LEGALLY PREVENTED FROM ISSUING MARRIAGE LICENSES TO SAME-SEX COUPLES CAN NOW DO SO.  A MONTGOMERY COUNTY SPOKESMAN SAYS HE EXPECTS OFFICIALS TO BEGIN GRANTING LICENSES THIS MORNING IN NORRISTOWN.  COUNTIES THROUGHOUT THE STATE HAVE BEEN ISSUING THE LICENSES SINCE A FEDERAL JUDGE LEGALIZED GAY MARRIAGE IN PENNSYLVANIA LAST WEEK.  BUT MONTGOMERY COUNTY COULDN'T GRANT ANY DUE TO PREVIOUS VIOLATIONS OF STATE LAW.  LAST YEAR, THE COUNTY ISSUED LICENSES TO 174 SAME-SEX COUPLES BEFORE GAY MARRIAGE WAS LEGAL IN PENNSYLVANIA.  A COURT ORDERED THE ROGUE COUNTY TO STOP.  THAT ORDER WASN'T LIFTED UNTIL TUESDAY. COUNTY SPOKESMAN FRANK CUSTER SAYS THE RULING CAME AFTER OFFICES HAD CLOSED FOR THE DAY.


  A GROUP THAT SPEAKS FOR MORE THAN 15,000 WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA LABORERS HAS GIVEN TOM CORBETT'S RE-ELECTION CAMPAIGN ITS FIRST ENDORSEMENT FROM ORGANIZED LABOR.  THE LABORERS' DISTRICT COUNCIL OF WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA ANNOUNCED LAST WEEK THAT IT'S ENDORSING THE REPUBLICAN GOVERNOR BECAUSE OF HIS ROLE IN PASSAGE OF A $2.3 BILLION-A-YEAR BILL THAT IS SPAWNING NEW HIGHWAY AND BRIDGE CONSTRUCTION JOBS ACROSS THE STATE.  ITS PRESIDENT, PHILIP AMERIS, SAYS CORBETT IS "SOMEONE YOU CAN TRUST."  MEANWHILE, DEMOCRATIC NOMINEE TOM WOLF APPEARS TO HAVE A LEG UP FOR ENDORSEMENTS BY THE STATE'S TWO LARGEST PUBLIC-EMPLOYEE UNIONS - THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE EDUCATION ASSOCIATION AND COUNCIL 13 OF THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF STATE, COUNTY AND MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEES.  BOTH UNIONS HAD ENDORSED STATE TREASURER ROB MCCORD IN THE FOUR-WAY DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY, BUT HE FINISHED THIRD.


  PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING EDITOR BILL MARIMOW IS EXPECTED TO STAY ATOP THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER AFTER THE NEWSPAPER WAS SOLD AT AN INSIDER SALE.  BUSINESSMAN LEWIS KATZ AND PHILANTHROPIST H.F. "GERRY" LENFEST WON TUESDAY'S AUCTION WITH AN $88 MILLION BID. THEY BEAT OUT GEORGE NORCROSS, A BUSINESSMAN AND POWERFUL NEW JERSEY DEMOCRAT.  KATZ VOWS TO MAKE THE INQUIRER ONE OF THE COUNTRY'S GREAT NEWSPAPERS, WITH A FOCUS ON SERIOUS JOURNALISM.  YET HE CONCEDES THAT ADVERTISING AND CIRCULATION CONTINUE TO DECLINE.  HE SAYS IT WILL BE "AN ENORMOUS UNDERTAKING" TO STABILIZE THE COMPANY, WHICH OPERATES THE INQUIRER, THE PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS AND PHILLY.COM.  THE COMPANY IS BEING SOLD AMID AN OWNERSHIP FEUD BETWEEN KATZ AND NORCROSS.  THEY WERE AMONG A GROUP THAT BOUGHT THE COMPANY FOR $55 MILLION IN 2012.