Police: Man provides false information about Eric Frein

Posted by 69News:.

State police continue their search for accused cop killer Eric Frein. Sometimes, the tips they receive don’t pan out; other times, they’re blatantly false.

Officials have been on the lookout for Frein, 31, after police said he ambushed two state troopers on Sept. 12 outside the police barracks in Blooming Grove, Pike County.

According to a state police news release, Michael Vincent Abuiso, 48, of Canadensis, Monroe County, walked into the Barrett Township Police Department on Sept. 18. He provided a statement to police between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. that said he knew Frein.

The officer provided the information to state police investigators. State police later interviewed Abuiso, who admitted he made up the story, police said.

Abuiso was arrested and charged with unsworn falsification to authorities and false reports to law enforcement.

Thousands of dollars raised for man repeatedly mistaken for Eric Frein

Posted by 69News:.

A community is rallying behind a man who claims he was mistaken for alleged cop killer Eric Frein more than a dozen times in the Poconos.

An online movement to help buy James Tully a car has now surpassed the five-figure mark.

For more than five months, the Monroe County man walked five miles each way to his work in Barrett Township.

The 39-year-old had sold his car so he could pay his bills and support his two daughters.

“It’s been really hard, really stressful, not only for my knees, but just the fact that at any given moment I could be stopped for any reason,” Tully said.

Last month, his on-foot commute turned downright dangerous when he walked right into the Frein manhunt.

“It just got to be routine after a couple weeks; it was a surprise if I didn’t get stopped,” Tully said.

Tully was repeatedly mistaken for the accused cop-killer wanted in the Sept. 12 ambush at a state police barracks in Pike County. Cpl. Bryon Dickson was killed and Trp. Alex Douglass was seriously injured in the shooting.

“Everyone was saying, ‘We should do something for this guy. This guy needs a car. We should get a car.’ I said, ‘Well, there’s only one way,’” said Dawn DeBiase, who started a GoFundMe account.

“Help James Get To Work Safe” on GoFundMe.com raised more than $12,000 in just 48 hours.

Tully told 69 News he’s also been offered rides and free cars.

“I am overwhelmed by all of the outpouring of the support from community and elsewhere,” Tully said.

Humbled by the outpouring, Tully said he would like to pay it forward.

“When I am in a situation where I can give to someone that truly needs help, I would be more than willing to give,” Tully said.

Foul language may stop plans to rename ASD football field for Andre Reed

Posted by 69News:.

The Allentown School Board has tabled plans to name the football field in the school district’s stadium for former pro football star Andre Reed, after learning the Hall of Famer used foul language while arguing with another Dieruff High School graduate on Facebook.

The board’s Thursday night action apparently has killed plans to have Reed come to Allentown so he can be honored on the renamed field at the Nov. 1 Allen/Dieruff football game in J. Birney Crum Stadium.

The school board’s next regularly scheduled meeting, where it might reconsider the proposal, is not until Nov. 20.

Ultimately, board members will decide whether they feel Reed still is an appropriate role model for ASD students before naming the field for him.

Reed, an Allentown native who graduated from Dieruff in 1981, was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in early August.

The issue of tabling was raised by school board member Elizabeth Martinez, who said she was uncomfortable proceeding to honor Reed by naming the field for him.

She later said she would not vote in favor of naming the field for Reed because of the “very strong language” he used in that Facebook argument.

She declined to be more specific about that language.

School board president Robert Smith, Jr., told his colleagues it was foul language.

But John Hughes, president of the Dieruff Alumni Association, said he’s spoken to Reed about the Facebook exchange and the only thing he knows Reed told the other unidentified individual was: “I’ll kick your butt.”

When she raised the issue during the school board meeting, Martinez said she had shared the information that sparked her concern with both the school board president and Superintendent C. Russell Mayo.

She later indicated both Mayo and Smith knew about the language Reed used in that Facebook argument before the board voted to recommend renaming the stadium field for Reed during its Oct.9 finance committee meeting.

On Thursday night, at least some other school board members still did not know what Martinez was talking about.

Explained Smith: “Just for full transparency, Andre Reed had a little verbal spat with another person on Facebook and I guess the wording got a little…strong language.”

Said board member Michael Welsh: “I’m not aware of what that communication was, to understand the legitimacy of the concern. If it is a legitimate concern that puts us in a different place than the place I have been in, then perhaps I need to gather that information before we make this vote.”

Asked Welsh: “Am I the only one who doesn’t know what this communication is?”

Other board members said he was not.

Said Smith: “It was basically an argument on Facebook and there was strong, foul language. That’s it in a nutshell.”

Welsh made the motion to table naming the field for Reed “until we have all the information we need to make the best decision.”

The vote to table was 7-1. (Board member Scott Armstrong was absent.)

Only Smith voted not to table.

“How long you want to table this for?” he asked after the vote.

“I’m hopeful that it’s nothing,” said Welsh, “but I can’t vote without knowing.”

Smith later said the proposal can’t come up again until the board’s November meeting.

After the meeting, Martinez said the Facebook argument between Reed and the other adult took place about two weeks ago and that Reed used “very strong language.”

She said they argued about naming of the field for the former football star. “What I understand is that Mr. Reed engaged in a very hostile argument with this other person.”

Martinez said she did not actually read the exchange of messages, because it had been removed from Facebook, but received many calls about what happened from former football parents and ASD graduates from both Dieruff and Allen.

Martinez was appointed to the school board in May to complete the term of another board member who resigned.

Regarding why she spoke up, she said: “I serve on the board for the betterment of our children. I’m not always going to make a decision that everyone’s going to be happy with. And I’m okay with that.

“We’re all held accountable for our actions and, if we’re considered to be role models, we also need to be responsible when we are engaging in any type of activity.”

She said she raised the issue because “I stand for the kids. It’s not to diminish his accomplishments. I commend Andre Reed for all of his accomplishments.”

Smith said renaming the field was not being done for Reed, “but for our kids and our school district.”

That renaming would be just another accolade for Reed since he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

On Oct. 1, Allentown City Council unanimously voted to change the name of Irving Street Park on the city’s East Side to Andre Reed Park.

The city also is renaming one block of East Washington Street, which runs between the park and the side of Dieruff High School, Andre Reed Way.

On Oct. 18, Kutztown University renamed its stadium for Reed, who played football when he was a student at the college after graduating from Dieruff.

Reed attended the Kutztown renaming ceremony, where he said many of the college’s players may not make it to the pros “but they can be good people and that’s probably the most important thing.”

After the school board meeting, an angry Hughes told Martinez that Reed “got baited.”

Dieruff’s alumni association has been working for months to coordinate Reed’s trip to Allentown for the field-naming ceremony the first weekend in November.

“At this point, I’m going to recommend that he not even come,” said Hughes. “Don’t waste the airplane ticket. It’s embarrassing.”

In addition to being honored at the football game, Hughes said Reed was going to introduce Dieruff high players at a Friday pep rally. Plans also were in the works for Reed to visit children in a city elementary school.

Hughes told reporters he was going to name names, but then declined to identify the Dieruff alumnus who got into the argument with Reed. He indicated the person also was a former Dieruff football player, but is younger and was not at the high school the same Reed went to Dieruff.

Hughes explained the alumni association has a Facebook page, where some graduates expressed opinions that naming both a city park and a stadium field for Reed was “a little bit over the top.”

“There were courteous responses back and forth,” said Hughes.

But he said the unidentified individual, whom he called a low life, said some derogatory things to Reed in a private message. Hughes said Reed responded in private and stood up for himself by saying: “I’ll kick your butt.”

“The guy takes a picture of it and posts it on the Facebook page,” said Hughes. But he said the picture was blurry and could not be read. “This guy took great pleasure in baiting Andre Reed.”

Hughes said he doesn’t know if stronger language was used by Reed because “by the time I saw it, you couldn’t read it.”

The school board is not considering changing the name of J. Birney Crum Stadium.

Before Martinez raised her concern, Smith stressed the proposal is only to name the stadium’s field for Reed.

It was the largest high school stadium in the state when built in 1948.

In 1982 the stadium was named for Crum, who had been a championship-winning football, basketball and baseball coach for 25 years at Allentown High School – now William Allen High School.

Wilson man dead after chase, police-involved shooting in Easton

Posted by 69News:.

A Northampton County man was killed in a police-involved shooting that followed a chase early Friday morning.

It happened around 1:15 a.m. after a police pursuit that began in Palmer Township. The chase, police said, started after they tried to stop a red pickup truck because of a traffic violation.

The driver, Richard Scheuermann III, of the 800 block of Miller Street in Wilson, failed to pull over, and instead led police on a pursuit through Palmer Township and Wilson and into Easton.

Officials said the pursuit ended when the 39-year-old man crashed his pickup into a utility pole in the area of North 13th Street, near Spring Garden Street, in Easton.

Police said Scheuermann backed up into a Palmer Township police car twice before his truck became disabled on the utility pole.

According to a state police news release, officers fired several shots at the truck, and Scheuermann was shot and killed at the scene.

It’s not clear how many shots were fired or which police department was involved.

The Northampton County district attorney asked the state police to handle the investigation since the shooting involved a local police department.

North 13th Street was closed between Spring Garden and Northampton streets while police conducted their on-scene investigation.

Pair jailed in theft of money from Rita’s Water Ice in Reading

Posted by 69News:.

Two men have been arrested in the theft of more than $2,000 from a Rita’s Water Ice store in Reading.

Police this week said they identified Peter Goodman and Navada Khammany as the suspects in a break-in at the store in the 1100 block of Lancaster Avenue in Reading on Sept. 5.

Goodman, 19, and Khammany, seen on the store’s surveillance video, forced their way inside shortly after midnight and took $2,381 in cash from the office safe, according to court documents.

Both men were charged with burglary, conspiracy to commit burglary, criminal trespass, theft by unlawful taking, and receiving stolen property. They were committed to the Berks County Jail on $100,000 bail.

Moody’s upgrades Reading’s credit rating on long-term debt

Posted by 69News:.

Reading City Hall has reason to celebrate.

The Spencer Administration announced Friday that Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded the city’s credit rating on long-term debt from Baa2 to Baa1.

“Since entering into the Act 47 distressed cities program, the city’s finances have stabilized, resulting in a return to structural balance and growing reserve levels, with an operating surplus expected in fiscal 2014,” Moody’s noted on its website. “While the city is still faced with challenges… the city’s improved flexibility helps to mitigate these risks.”

The city was assigned the Baa2 rating by Moody’s in February 2012.

The credit upgrade, officials said, will both lower the city’s borrowing costs as well as ensure greater access to capital for growth and investment in the city.

“This upgrade illustrates Wall Street investors’ confidence in our ability to stabilize the city’s financial health,” said Mayor Vaughn Spencer.

The city said it is focused on the revitalization and redevelopment of blighted properties, as well as zoning and land development restrictions to help encourage new development.

New video display system ready for Royals’ 2014-15 home opener

Posted by 69News:.

The Reading Royals will be kicking it up a notch when they launch the home portion of their 2014-15 regular season Saturday night.

Fans in attendance at the Santander Arena will notice a number of changes, including a new video display system, which includes a four-sided high-definition LED video board and a digital circular ribbon above center ice, as well as a digital board at each end-zone.

With the Royals on the road for a game in Elmira on Friday, the team’s front office tried out the new system, demonstrating some of the features fans will experience during each home game.

The puck is set to drop on the Royals’ first home game of the season at 7:05 p.m. Saturday, but fans can begin their celebration at 4 p.m. at “A Simply Smashing Royal Experience Block Party” on Penn Street in front of the arena.

The event will include music and food, a 30-foot inflatable, corn-hole competitions, a performance by a magician, and a ‘Smash-a-Car’ for “your sledge-hammer swinging pleasure.” Philadelphia Flyer’s legend Brian Propp will also be on hand.

Sunday’s game will feature free parking; a schedule magnet giveaway; $1 hot dogs, popcorn, nachos and soda; and a post-game skate.

This is the first season the Royals will play under new ownership and as an affiliate of the NHL’s Flyers.

Another change this season is a renovated and expanded team merchandise store, which also sports a new name — the Lion’s Den.

Talkback Feedback: Your Suggestions for Newswatch 16

Posted by WNEP.com.

We get a lot of Talkback 16 calls with suggestions about how we should do things differently here at WNEP.  You probably think we don’t pay attention, but we do!  Newswatch 16’s Scott Schaffer takes your ideas and tests them out in this week’s Talkback Feedback.

Car snaps off utility pole, 2 injured in Nesquehoning crash

Posted by 69News:.

Two people were taken to the hospital after the car they were traveling in hit a utility pole Friday morning in Carbon County.

The accident happened around 9:30 a.m. on Route 54 near Mountain Avenue in Nesquehoning.

Police said the car left the road and hit a utility pole.

Both passengers were hospitalized but there’s no word on their conditions.

Route 54 was closed for about an hour.

Life Sentence Handed to Convicted Killer

Posted by WNEP.com.

WILKES-BARRE — Life in prison without parole was the sentence handed down to a convicted murderer in Luzerne County. Kenneth Evans was given that sentence Friday morning.  He was found guilty in August of first degree murder. Evans shot and killed Shantique Goodson last November after an argument outside the troubled Sherman Hills apartment complex […]