Customers stand by barbershop after shooting

Posted by 69News:.

As police search for the shooter in Wednesday’s shooting at a barbershop in Reading, the owner is speaking out exclusively with 69 News.

Shots were fired around 2:45 p.m. into All Stars Barber Shop, a crowded business at the Rockland Plaza shopping center at North 11th and Rockland streets.

Four people were shot, one of whom remained in critical condition Thursday.

It was the second shooting within 24 hours. A gunman also fired into the shop around 8:15 p.m. Tuesday. None of the two employees and nine customers inside was injured in that shooting, police said.

The barbershop owner, a veteran and church-going man, told 69 News he is shocked the shootings happened in his place of business.

“Unfortunately, this can happen randomly anywhere, and it just happened to happen here at my business,” he said. “I do not want anybody to think that my business is a drug haven because that is one thing that I do not allow.”

The owner, who would only identify himself as Mr. C, said he believes one of his customers, who was not shot, was the gunman’s target. He has since banned that customer from his store to ensure the future safety of all of his clients and young children in the shop.   

He believes there is roughly $5,000 in damage, but what he is most concerned about is the well-being of the shooting victims, especially the person in critical condition.

“That does not count for nothing compared to the gentleman that is fighting for his life right now, which I pray for,” he said. “I do not even know the gentleman. I just hate the fact that it happened in my establishment, and I just pray for him.”

The owner also said he wants to thank his customers for supporting his business over the last 10 years and hopes they continue to do so. He also thanked the police for their continued efforts to find the shooter.

Investigators said the shooter was captured on several surveillance cameras.

If you have any information about the shooting call Crime Alert Berks County at 877-373-9913. A cash reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for information that leads to an arrest.

Shoppers out for Black Friday deals in Berks

Posted by 69News:.

Bargain hunters on are the prowl this Thanksgiving, hungry for a good deal.

“We are trying to get some cheap TVs,” said Miguel Santandrea, a shopper from Blandon.

“I am going here for a bunch of video games,” said Maxx Wolf, a shopper from Exeter Township.

Some have strategies on what stores to hit when.

“I look through the ads, see who is having the best deals and I come out and I know the store because I go where I am familiar,” said Danielle Ninfo, a shopper in K-Mart.

And some travel great distances for a great deal.

“I came all the way from Canada to do some Thanksgiving, Christmas shopping and for Black Friday sales,” said Sonya Roteliuk.

While others, like Dylan Noll, just try to be the first in line. Noll set up camp outside of Best Buy on Tuesday morning.

“It has been like hell out here,” said Noll, a shopper from Reading.

He had high hopes of scoring a 50-inch television for his aunt. But then, the snow storm came.

“My tent got flooded like twice. One time, it actually collapsed because of the weight of the snow,” said Noll. “I do not think it is really worth it that much, but it is for my aunt.”

Despite some skipping out early or delaying their Thanksgiving meal, many people are still trying to remember what the holiday is all about.  

“I am just very excited to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving and have family and friends and support and love. I know there are a lot of people out there that unfortunately do not have that. So I hope that there is a place for them to go today and have a meal and be able to celebrate,” said Ninfo.

Stewie, the cat, is rescued from tree after two days

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After two days stuck in a tree in Easton, a cat named Stewie has been rescued.

The one-year-old cat got out of the house Tuesday and had been high above the ground in a tree ever since, even during Wednesday’s snow storm.

“He gets out a lot but he always comes back. This time he didn’t come back,” said Stewie’s owner, Brandi Diehl. “He’s kind of just stuck up there.”

People in the neighborhood tried to help get him down and even brought out ladders, but had no luck.

69 News aired Stewie’s story at 10 p.m. Thursday and shortly after received word that a tree service came out to rescue Stewie.

Shoppers race to stores for doorbuster deals

Posted by 69News:.

This year, thousands of shoppers sacrificed at least part of their Thanksgiving celebrations to get in early on Black Friday deals.

“We are thrilled to have the amount of people here at our store tonight,”  Vice President and Store Manager of Macy’s in Whitehall Township, Robin Grim said.

The Macy’s at the Lehigh Valley Mall was bustling with a packed parking lot when doors opened. 

And it was the same story at the Best Buy in Whitehall Township.

Ivette Disla of New Jersey had been camping outside of the store since 1am Thursday morning to purchase a television discounted $500 dollars.

“Come early and get it done,” Disla said.

Kohl’s in Trexlertown was no exception, large crowds, lots of cheering and shoppers ready to cash in on the deals.

“For us we look at this as the kick off,”  Store Manager of Kohl’s in Trexlertown, Scott Keys said.  “It really sets the pace for the rest of the Christmas season.”

And if Thursday is any indication of the Christmas season, it seems like stores will be in pretty good shape.

Boscov: An American Story

Posted by 69News:.

You know the name

But do you know the man behind Boscov’s?

Tonight as a special holiday treat WFMZ will be airing a documentary on Al Boscov  at 9pm.

“Boscov: An American Story” with Jaccii Farris tonight.

Volunteering at the Lehigh Valley Zoo

Posted by 69News:.

The Lehigh Valley Zoo is in need of volunteers.

If you are inclined to answer the call of the wild, the zoo could use your help.

There are many terrific and exotic animals at the zoo and Manly Offutt, a docent at the zoo, talked about some of the fun volunteers could experience.

He said in the summer, kids run around in circles at the zoo and swim with otters.

Another interesting fact he said, is that Otters do not hibernate. They have to be out in the cold hunting.

Manly’s job is to explain anything and everything happening at the zoo.

Richard Rosevear, general curator at the zoo said there are various tasks that volunteers can perform, even if they happen not to like working directly with the animals.

He said volunteers can help with education or with guest services.

The only requirement officials say, is to be dependable.

This time of year though, animals are taking a back seat to elaborate illumination.

From now through Christmas the Zoo is showcasing its first ever winter lights spectacular.

There are over 600 hundred thousand lights in the park, zoo officials said.

Applications to volunteer can be filled out at the Zoo’s website.

Game delay causes ire among fans

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A Thanksgiving Day tradition didn’t happen this year.  The 108-year-old Easton-Phillipsburg football match-up was postponed until Saturday because of Wednesday’s snowfall.  Fans have mixed feelings about the decision.

“It’s a big deal,” said Bob Colabaugh, who grew up in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, but now lives across the river. “It really is”

But on this holiday, there was no football game. The gates and the seats at Lafayette College’s Fisher Stadium in Easton were empty; the field covered in snow.

“It’s disappointing, but it’s a beautiful day,” said Courtney Fein of Easton. “I mean, you’ve got the snow on the ground.  It’s gorgeous here.”

Just to give you an idea how rare this is — this rivalry has been going on for 108 years, and in that time, this game has been pushed back only three times.

“It’s hearty game,” said Bob DiCosmo of Easton. “They’ve played in the snow before, and it was a traditional Thanksgiving Day feat.”

He’s right.  The game went on during a snowstorm four years ago. This time around, school leaders haven’t given a specific reason why it was pushed back. Fans are divided.

“It probably was a good decision,” said Colabaugh. “I would have went, but I think overall — because you have such a variety of folks, like I say, older people coming — for them, it’s a nice thing.”

Other rivalries, like Catasauqua-Northampton, went on as planned. In Quakertown, Bucks County, students even cleared the field themselves, but fans of the interstate rivalry will have to wait a little longer.

“We have friends that were going to come and now have plans on Saturday,” said Sue Kinney of Easton. “They have to work, so they’re a little bummed about it.”

Pre-game festivities will happen on Friday night. Easton’s annual bonfire happens at 5 p.m., and Phillipsburg’s community-wide pep rally will occur an hour later. A limited number of extra tickets will go on sale Friday afternoon at the Phillipsburg High athletic office from 2 to 4 p.m.

Christmas shoppers get an early jump on sales Thanksgiving night in Lower Nazareth

Posted by Reblog: Lehigh Valley News.

N.J. state Sen. Richard Codey says he's considering legislation limiting when stores can open on Thanksgiving.

Hundreds of shoppers converged at Kohl’s in Lower Nazareth Township Thursday as the retailer opened its doors 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.

Retailers over the years have opened their doors on Black Friday, the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, earlier and earlier. Many stores decided this year to open just as families were finishing their pumpkin pie.

The Lehigh Valley, Phillipsburg and Palmer Park malls each opened 6 p.m. Thursday.

Liberty Village Premium Outlets in Flemington and The Crossings Premium Outlets in Tannersville, Pennsylvania, also opened 6 p.m. Thursday.

The wave of early Thanksgiving Day shopping hours has one New Jersey lawmaker mulling legislation to limit when retailers can open on the holiday.

State Sen. Richard Codey, D-Essex/Morris, issued a news release this week saying he consider legislation that will prevent “big box” stores from opening for business before 9 p.m. Thanksgiving Day.

“The increased pressure among these stores to open earlier and stay open later cuts into their holiday or eliminates it altogether for the store workers,” Codey said in a prepared statement. “They are put in position to either work on Thanksgiving or risk losing their jobs. This would allow them to be with their families to give thanks, as other families do.”

Massachusetts, Maine and Rhode Island currently prevent stores from opening earlier than midnight on Thanksgiving, according to the statement. Codey also noted that Bergen County voters have supported a county-wide ban on business on Sundays.

“We already have Black Friday to kick-off the shopping season, we don’t need a Black Thursday that replaces Thanksgiving,” Codey said. “Consumers have a choice on whether to interrupt their holiday to go shopping but most employees don’t.”

In the Chicago suburb of Naperville, Illinois, the parking lot of a Wal-Mart store was full roughly 30 minutes before Thanksgiving deals started at 6 p.m., including $199 iPad minis.

In New York City, there were 500 people in line by the time a Target store in the East Harlem neighborhood opened at 6 p.m.

And 200 people rushed at the Toys R Us in New York City’s Times Square when it opened at 5 p.m.

Mary Smalls, 40, was at Target trying to get all her shopping done on Thanksgiving because she wanted to avoid going out on the day after the holiday, known as Black Friday.

“I’m going to try to avoid the crowds,” said Smalls, who plans to spend $300 to $400 on gifts this year.

A number of petitions have been circulating on targeting Wal-Mart, Target and other retailers for opening their stores on Thanksgiving, or starting their sales that day. Most of Wal-Mart’s stores already open around the clock.

Not every store was open on Thanksgiving. Some, including GameStop, Costco and Ikea, said they wouldn’t open because they want their workers to enjoy the holiday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Shoppers skip leftovers and warmth at home to go shopping

Posted by 69News:.

A holiday sport of a different kind was in full swing on Thanksgiving. 

Shoppers were “huddling up” at their favorite stores, getting the jump on Black Friday bargains.

Ivette Disla of New Jersey spent the day outside of the Best Buy in Whitehall.   “Come early and get it done,” Disla said.

And she wasn’t the only one with that mentality this year.  While Disla had been waiting since 1 am, many of the hundreds in line at Best Buy said they had pretty much spent the Thanksgiving holiday outside of the store.

One of the most highly anticipated deals was a $700 dollar 50 inch television on sale for $199. 

This year the Whitehall Best Buy opened at 5pm instead of 6pm. 

“Retail is constantly pushing the envelope of maximizing the business,”  Best Buy General Manager, James Pascoe said.  “It is something we need to do to stay competitive.”

Meteorologist forecasts clear sailing for Saturday’s Easton-Phillipsburg football game

Posted by Reblog: Lehigh Valley News.

National Weather Service also calls for chilly Peace Candle lighting ceremony.

The National Weather Service reports Thursday that the weather should cooperate when Easton and Phillipsburg meet Saturday at Lafayette College’s Fisher Field in Easton to make up the annual Thanksgiving Day football game.

Wednesday’s early season snow storm postponed the annual Easton-Phillispburg Thanksgiving Day game for only the third time in the series history. Greg Heavener, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Mount Holly, N.J., said the area could see some isolated sprinkles or flurries Saturday afternoon, putting the possibility of precipitation at about 20 percent.

The likelihood of flurries will be higher for the Poconos region in Pennsylvania and northwest New Jersey, according to Heavener. Temperatures Saturday should top out at 40 degrees with temperatures hovering in the upper 30s by kickoff at 2 p.m. and throughout the game, he said.

Fans shouldn’t see much in terms of wind chill, Heavener said. There will be a “bite in the air,” but not a stiff wind, he said.

“It’ll be cold, but not awful,” Heavener said.

On Friday, Easton will hold its annual Peace Candle lighting ceremony in Centre Square and Bethlehem will light the Christmas tree at Payrow Plaza. Holiday revelers should be spared any precipitation, but they should be prepared to bundle up.

A high pressure system over the region should keep things relatively dry, according to Heavener. Temperatures will likely drop below freezing once the sun sets and further dip into the upper 20s by 8 p.m., when organizers flip the switch on the Peace Candle, he said.