WNEP.com 2014-08-23 06:25:05

Posted by WNEP.com.

Woof-Stock 2014

Woof-Stock 2014 is an event to benefit animals in Monroe County and it’s held in Long Pond.  Come out for the great music, awesome food, fun games, pony rides, & blessing of animals.  Woof-Stock is Saturday, Sept. 6, noon – 7 p.m.
at Camp KCS on Long Pond Road in Long Pond.  The event benefits the Monroe Animal League and Monroe County Pets.

PA Endless Mountains Fiber Festival

PA Endless Mountains Fiber Festival is at the Harford Fair Grounds.  Spend the day or weekend learning how to shear, spin, knit & weave.  Visitors will find everything from finished scarves & shawls, to materials & products.  There’s free demonstrations through the day.  Fiber Festival at the Harford Fair Grounds Sept 6 & 7, Sat. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sun. 10 a.m. – 4.

Vehicles, Body Shop, Ruined by Fire

Posted by WNEP.com.

STROUD TOWNSHIP– The fire that swept through Jim Weiss’s auto body shop near East Stroudsburg ruined 16 vehicles.

One of those was the Jeep that was supposed take Imani Gonzalez away to college this weekend.

The freshman and her mom were going to drive to Erie. Now those plans are up in the air.

“I don’t know what I am going to do,” said Gonzalez.

On Thursday, the Jeep was involved in an accident and it was brought it to Weiss’s shop on Progress Street.

By daylight a state police fire marshal was looking for a cause.

Weiss was at home listening to the scanner around 4 a.m. when he heard the bad news.

“I just watched it burn from one end to the other, and there was nothing I could do about it,” said Weiss.

He said between the building, equipment, and vehicles, the losses total around half a million dollars.

While he does have insurance not everything is covered, for example, employee Steve Lyon’s tools.

“I probably have about $30,000 worth of tools, it is not easy to restart, that is for sure,” said Lyons.

Other damaged vehicles include a car belonging to the Stroud Area Regional Police, and a rare 1969 Mustang.

Not only are Weiss’ customers impacted, so is his family.

His grandson lost his car, and his son lost his motorcycle.

Jim’s son Benjamin Weiss said calls offering help are already coming in. He said he is certain his dad will rebuild.

“He likes just being able to produce something that is wrecked, just a bag of nothing and being able to turn it into something beautiful,” said Benjamin Weiss.

Weiss said his towing business is still up and running, and as soon as he can find a space he will begin doing body work again.

Caught on camera: Masked teens rob bar for Hersheypark money, police say

Posted by 69News:.

Four teenagers are facing charges for allegedly robbing a bar after closing time.

The suspects broke into Victor’s Café, 1813 Penn Ave., in the West Lawn section of Spring Township shortly before 3 a.m. Saturday as a lone female bartender was closing up, according to court documents.

“She was pretty shook up by it,” said Dean Wolf, the bar’s owner. “I was really glad to hear that [police] found them because she was concerned that they were going to come back.”

69 News obtained surveillance video of the robbery in which the four suspects can be seen wearing masks or hoods to cover their faces.

Police have identified them as: Marquise White, 19; Michael Gaffney, 18; Keion Wells, 18; and a 14-year-old boy.

According to court documents, one the suspects cleaned out the cash register while repeatedly asking the bartender if she was “scared.”

When she replied “yes,” the suspect allegedly said, “Do what I say and you won’t get hurt.”

“It’s disappointing,” said Wolf.

The suspects fled in a matter of minutes, stealing $700 in cash and two bottles of liquor. according to police.

Two of the suspects later went to a nearby Wawa, where a witness overheard one urging the other not to “spend all that money,” adding, “remember, we are going to Hersheypark tomorrow,” according to court documents.

Police arrested all four suspects early Thursday morning at their shared residence, a placement group home for boys, located in the 3000 block of Belmont Avenue.

“I saw six police cars and that was scary. I kept thinking, ‘Oh my gosh. What happened?’ I thought somebody was shot or… why would six cars be here?” said a neighbor who asked to remain anonymous.

“It was just very alarming. We didn’t know what was going on,” said neighbor Mary Putt.

Neighbors told 69 News that the group home is a “rowdy” nuisance in the neighborhood and a constant source of concern.

“I’m not happy they’re living here on the street. A lot of neighbors aren’t, but you gotta deal with it,” said neighbor John Struck.

“They’re a little out of control. They need more direct supervision. They’re not getting it right now,” said another neighbor. “We’re definitely concerned and we hope that they get things under control over there, for the safety of our kids and our neighborhood.”

A man who answered the door at the group home had no comment. Police said that the home is run by ChildFirst Services Inc. based in Philadelphia. When 69 News phoned ChildFirst, a representative there had no comment, and could not confirm how many individuals live in the home or what led to their placement.

Seven males were residing in the home when the four suspects were taken into custody, according to court documents.

The four suspects are all charged with robbery, conspiracy, criminal mischief and other offenses.

Bartender terrorized in violent robbery speaks out

Posted by 69News:.

A Spring Township bartender speaks out after four teenagers broke into a bar and terrorized her before fleeing with the stolen money.

“He made me come around the bar and told me just do everything we say and you will not get hurt,” said Olivia Burke, a bartender who was robbed.

Olivia Burke is recounting the moments she found herself alone in Victor’s Cafe at the mercy of four robbers.

It happened last Saturday around 3 a.m. in the 1800 block of Penn Ave.

Burke was closing up for the night when she heard loud banging on the door.

“I figured out what was happening. I went to grab my phone to call 911, but they broke in the door before I could hit send,” said Burke.

She says the four teenagers barged into the bar wearing masks and hoods to cover their faces.

They immediately asked her where the money was and started emptying out the cash register, while ordering her to grab them two bottles of liquor.

Spring Township Police say the entire robbery unfolded in a matter of four minutes, but the teens got away with $700.

“I live on a farm. I have never experienced anything like this and I am pretty shaken up over it,” said Burke.

According to police, the teens were later spotted at Wawa where a witness overheard them talking about saving money for a trip to Hershey Park.

It was through surveillance video at Wawa and Victor’s Cafe that police were able to identify the suspects.

The suspects are Marquis White,19, Michael Gaffney,18, Keion Wells,18, and a 14-year-old boy.

Police say they were all living at a group home off of Belmont Avenue where they were arrested early Thursday morning.

“Honestly I am mad about it because it has changed me. I am very alert and aware of things now. I lock doors and things I never used to lock. But I just hope they get them in jail, I hope they learned their lesson,” said Burke.

The four suspects are charged with robbery, conspiracy, criminal mischief and other offenses.

Man sentenced in tax evasion case

Posted by 69News:.

A Berks County man accused of failing to turn over more than $4.5-million to the IRS will be spending time behind bars.

Authorities say Harvey Bitler has been sentenced to 46 months in prison.

He’s also been ordered to pay restitution.

Authorities say Bilter owned “Big H Farms” and “B-H Farms.”

They say taxes were withheld from employee paychecks between 2007 and 2012, but no payments were made to the IRS.

Computer glitch voids tickets in Warren County

Posted by 69News:.

About 17,000 tickets to motorists charged with running red lights in New Jersey have been voided all because of a computer glitch.

This affects one township in Warren County.

The state sent a letter to Pohatcong Township and 16 other towns that have contracts with American Traffic Solutions notifying them of the problem.

A state judiciary spokeswoman says the computer problems between May 28 and June 30 resulted in motorists not receiving notices of violations.

New Jersey law requires that if a ticket hasn’t been served within 90 days, it must be dismissed.

Lehigh Valley Airshow organizers promise less traffic

Posted by 69News:.

Lehigh Valley Airshow organizers are hoping to avoid last year’s traffic troubles at this weekend’s event.

While the sky was filled with acrobatics last year, traffic on the ground became the unexpected sideshow.

“One of the issues last year is that we did not anticipate the crowds and we did not time the crowds appropriately,” said Charles Everett, executive director of the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority.

Everett said they only expected 30,000 visitors last year. That’s 10,000 fewer than actually came.

“Very good problem to have,” said Everett.

This year, expect a lot of parking changes. Gone are the shuttle buses. Instead, all parking will now be on the airfield — 11,000 spaces in all with another 2,000 contingency spots.

“We have reconfigured which lots we park first, so to make sure that we bring them in as deep into the airport as possible,” said Everett.

One of the big differences this year is the number of gates at the air show. Last year, there was only one way in and out, but this year, Everett said there at least four entry points. Electronic signs will direct visitors on Route 22 to take either Schoenersville Road (for westbound travelers) or Airport Road (for eastbound travelers).

Once drivers get there, Everett said a runway project will free-up more spots.

“Last year, that project was going on, so we were constrained from using a lot of the open space,” he said. “This year, that project is in a different phase so we will be able to take advantage of that.”

Visitors can now enjoy the view from above without getting snarled in traffic below.

Man in prison for 24 years released thanks to now-discredited arson science

Posted by 69News:.

A man freed from prison after his arson-murder conviction was overturned says it’s difficult to think about the 24 years he lost.

Seventy-nine-year-old Han Tak Lee was released on bail Friday from the federal courthouse in Harrisburg while prosecutors decide whether to appeal a ruling that threw out his conviction.

Lee had been serving life-without-parole in his mentally ill daughter’s death at a Pocono Mountains religious retreat in 1989.

A federal judge this month found the conviction was based on now-discredited arson science.

Lee spoke through an interpreter. He thanked supporters and vowed to make the most of his new life. The former New York City clothing store owner plans to live in the Flushing area of Queens.

Prosecutors have said they will probably appeal the judge’s decision, claiming other evidence still points to his guilt.

Pittston Tomato Festival Draws Crowds

Posted by WNEP.com.

PITTSTON — Thousands of people spent Friday night at the Pittston Tomato Festival in Luzerne County.

This year is the 31st annual festival celebrating all things tomato.

“What does it mean to me? It’s a time to get together, camaraderie, all the community gets together, people from out of town. This is a beautiful town,” said Ross Baccanari of IIII Guys, an Italian food vendor.

“Oh, I come for the quality of the people that come around, the community. Especially, I bring my kids here, you know I like seeing the bands and stuff like that,” said Desiree DeMace of Dupont, who came with her two young daughters.

There is entertainment, musical and other kinds too, as well as games, but mostly there are food vendors.

“I just ate something from Grico’s. I had their chicken spiedie sandwich. I always love it. It has lots of butter and cheese, always good. There’s just so many good things. I’m gonna go eat something fried after this I think,” said Ted Mielczarek of Madison Township.

“There’s funnel cake, we have fried oreos, fried Twinkies, fried vegetables, we have teriyaki chicken over seasoned rice. You have Polish stuff here, potato pancakes, haluski. It’s a place to come eat, have a good time,” said Peter Webby of Webby Concessions.

The Tomato Festival runs through Sunday in Pittston, with the tomato fight on Saturday.

Pittston Tomato Festival Draws Crowds

Posted by WNEP.com.

PITTSTON — Thousands of people spent Friday night at the Pittston Tomato Festival in Luzerne County.

This year is the 31st annual festival celebrating all things tomato.

“What does it mean to me? It’s a time to get together, camaraderie, all the community gets together, people from out of town. This is a beautiful town,” said Ross Baccanari of IIII Guys, an Italian food vendor.

“Oh, I come for the quality of the people that come around, the community. Especially, I bring my kids here, you know I like seeing the bands and stuff like that,” said Desiree DeMace of Dupont, who came with her two young daughters.

There is entertainment, musical and other kinds too, as well as games, but mostly there are food vendors.

“I just ate something from Grico’s. I had their chicken spiedie sandwich. I always love it. It has lots of butter and cheese, always good. There’s just so many good things. I’m gonna go eat something fried after this I think,” said Ted Mielczarek of Madison Township.

“There’s funnel cake, we have fried oreos, fried Twinkies, fried vegetables, we have teriyaki chicken over seasoned rice. You have Polish stuff here, potato pancakes, haluski. It’s a place to come eat, have a good time,” said Peter Webby of Webby Concessions.

The Tomato Festival runs through Sunday in Pittston, with the tomato fight on Saturday.