FIrefighters called to Reading Eagle building

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Firefighters were called Tuesday morning to the Reading Eagle newspaper building at 345 Penn St. in the city. Check later today for more information about the incident.

Chris Christie presidential announcement looms in Livingston

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New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is slated to formally announce his presidential candidacy Tuesday morning at his alma mater, Livingston High School.

Members of the media from across the country are gathering at the school where Christie, who graduated from Livingston in 1980, may have first become interested in politics.  The 52-year-old spent three terms as class president.

The announcement, expected at 11 a.m., will make Christie the 14th Republican candidate to toss their hat into the ring for 2016.

Christie, known for his direct and unapologetic style, may face an uphill battle as he looks to separate himself from the pack of GOP candidates. In New Jersey, his approval rating is at its lowest point ever — 30 percent.

The governor will be charged with reintroducing himself to the national audience during Tuesday’s announcement and making a case for why Republicans and, eventually, all voters should back his presidential bid.

Drumming up competition in Allentown

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Monday night the sounds of drums and cheers could be heard echoing throughout the west end of Allentown.

J. Birney Crum Stadium was once again the site for a major drum and bugle corp competition, with a show titled “Drum Corps: An American Tradition.”

Six different bugle cores made up the performances, with performers and musicians from 15 different countries.

The show is in preparation for the so called “Super Bowl” of drum and bugle corps, set to take place this August in Indianapolis.

“The drum corps are rehearsing very intensely leading up to championships in August,” YEA!, Social Media Manager, Brian Angello said. “They are all really vying for that top spot.”

Among the performers, 10 time world champion Cadets from Allentown.

Schuylkill County boy hit by car, flown to hospital

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A 12-year-old boy was airlifted to the hospital Monday after being struck by a car as he rode a scooter in the Cumbola section of Blythe Township, police said.

The child suffered severe injury in the crash that occurred about 4:20 p.m. at Coal and Pine streets, according to Pennsylvania State Police at Frackville. Authorities did not release his name.

Police say the boy was riding a purple toy scooter east on Pine Street when Herman Garcia, 18, of Reading ran a stop sign as he traveled south on Coal Street. Garcia’s 1999 Honda Accord struck the scooter, knocking the 12-year-old to the ground, police said.

Garcia pulled over immediately after the crash, police said. He and his passengers, two 5-year-old children, were not injured in the collision.

The boy was taken to a landing zone and flown by medical helicopter to Lehigh Valley Hospital in Salisbury Township, police said. A news release doesn’t say whether Garcia will be charged in connection with the crash.

DA: Juvenile probation officer threatened teen, demanded sex, photos

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A juvenile probation officer and Notre Dame wrestling coach has been accused of threatening a teenager under his watch in the justice system.

Ryan Wasser, 31, of Nazareth, Northampton County, is accused of threatening a teenager under his supervision in the Northampton County juvenile probation system.  

Wasser, according to court paperwork, told a teenage girl he wanted to see nude photos of her, sent her photographs of himself naked and told her he wanted to have sex with her. The threats span from January 2012 until January of this year.  

Also according to court documents, Wasser began to show up at the girl’s home unannounced, called her often throughout the day and late into the night.  He would demand to know what she was doing, whom she was with and what she was wearing.

Wasser told the teen if she didn’t comply with his demands, he would violate her probation, which would send her back to juvenile detention, according to court documents. The teen said she also bought Wasser coffee and gas for his car.

Wasser also coached wrestling at Notre Dame High School, according to his Linked In account.  The girl said he would call her regularly at 8:30 p.m. on his way home from wrestling practice, court documents said.

Wasser’s actions continued through Jan. 5, when the girl reported his actions to the Northampton County district attorney’s office.

Two Gap stores closing at Promenade Shops

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Two Gap stores in the Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley in Uppeer Saucon Township will be closing before the end of July.

Both the main Gap store and Gap Kids/Baby Gap in the shopping complex are closing July 26.

On June 15, Gap announced it would be closing 175 specialty stores in North America over the next few years, with about 140 of those closures scheduled to happen this year.

Gap, Inc., sells clothing, accessories, and personal care products for men, women, and children under the Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Athleta, and Intermix brands.

The next days will feel sticky

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We’ve been dealing with cooler than normal temperatures.

Crafters busy at the Kutztown Folk Festival

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It is a busy week in Kutztown as hundreds of thousands of people come for the annual Kutztown Folk Festival.  

“We enjoy interacting with the public and trying to tell them what it takes to do this work,” said Bob Schultz, shaker box maker.

Bob Schultz says he looks forward to the Kutztown Folk Festival every year just as much as spectators do.

He makes shaker boxes, his wife Debbie Jarret makes sawdust dolls.  

Together, they have been bringing their hand-crafted items to people at the festival for the last 19 years.

“It is wonderful to have people ask all the questions about does this happen and why do you do it this way. So it is a great experience to be able to have the knowledge to be able to pass it on to the folks,” said Schultz.

Schultz tells us it takes two men eight hours just to make one box.

His wife designs the dolls and animals and hand-stuffs them with sawdust, a tedious process that can quickly go awry.

“I started out with dolls years ago and developed different sculptural pieces, more birds and things like that,” said Debbie Jarrett, crafts sawdust folk art.

Jarrett’s work has been featured in Early American Life magazine a number of times in the directory of fine craftsman.

While some have consistently attended the festival, others like Edward Burger are returning for the first time in five years.

Burger makes laminated wood turnings, everything from salad bowls to rolling pins.

“I make things that are both beautiful and artistic, but I also want them to be useful and usable. So all of my products have a food-safe finish on,” said Edward Burger, Edwood Custom Furniture.

His products feature several different kinds of wood, all from trees he harvested in Berks County.

He then demonstrates his favorite part of the process for spectators to see.

“I have always liked lathe turning best because it has allowed me to basically make everything one-of-a-kind,” said Burger.

The festival continues through Sunday July 5.

Police ID victim of deadly shooting in Reading

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Reading police have identified the man who was shot and killed in a homicide over the weekend.

Corey Boseman, 30, of Reading, died after being shot early Saturday morning in the 600 block of Schuylkill Avenue.

A second person who was seriously injured by the gunfire remained hospitalized Monday, police said. His name is not being released.

No arrests have been made, and detectives are not releasing any information about a motive for the homicide.

Anyone with information about the deadly shooting is asked to call Crime Alert Berks County at 877-373-9913. A cash reward is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.

Trial begins for man accused of 1968 murder

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A trial is underway for a man accused of killing a Bethlehem Steel worker nearly 50 years ago.

Richard Keiper was in Monroe County Court Monday for the opening of the trial. Officials said Keiper shot and killed Alfred Barnes in 1968 and left him in a field in Monroe County. Keiper also allegedly stole the victim’s car and then dumped it in New Jersey and then joined a traveling circus.

Keiper eventually moved to Texas where he was arrested and charged in 2013.