Police are searching for a Dollar General robber

Posted by 69News:.

PSP Reading are investigating a robbery that occurred at a Dollar General Store in Topton.

Police said at about 5:27 p.m. on Sept. 28, a man entered the store on 330 W. Weis St. and took a soft drink.

He  then attempted to pay for the drink with change but when the cashier opened the drawer, the man reached in and took money out of the drawer. 

The man fled out of the store and went south on foot. Police say he did not display a weapon and he did not threaten anyone.

He was later seen at the Hess gas station in Topton immediately after the crime, according to police.

He exited a maroon color Jeep Cherokee SUV (late 90s model), then continued to walk away from the Hess.

He was wearing a Tan color baseball hat, White T-shirt that was tucked into his pants, blue jeans and white sneakers.

He is said to be 5’5, 160 pounds and possibly has white hair.

Anyone who was at the Hess gas station in Topton about that time who can identify the robber or the jeep is asked to contact PSP Reading at 610-378-4011.

Man Caught on Camera Stealing Cash from Walmart Register

Posted by WNEP.com.

PITTSTON TOWNSHIP — Police are trying to identify the man they believe stole from Walmart.

Officers in Pittston Township said a man used a key to get into a cash register and stole $1300 Saturday afternoon.

The man was caught on surveillance cameras.

He took off in a newer, silver-colored Cadillac.

Harrisburg Couple Charged with Homicide of Mentally Disabled Son

Posted by WNEP.com.

HARRISBURG — Police have charged Jarrod Tutko, Sr. and his wife Kimberly Tutko with criminal homicide in connection with the death of their young son.

According to court documents, Jarrod Tutko, who used to live in Shenandoah, didn’t check on his mentally disabled eight-year-old son for two days over the summer.

His wife spoke with Newswatch 16 back in August and said she smelled something in the house and thought it might be a dead mouse. Instead it was her son who had been dead for several days.

Authorities removed the Tutkos five other children from their home in Harrisburg.

More questions but no verdict in Dual Language Charter School hearing

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The latest chapter in the Lehigh Valley Dual Language Charter School’s long-running battle with the Bethlehem Area School District to expand their operations was written during a public hearing Monday night at the East Hills Middle School.

After nearly two hours of presentations, question and answers and audience comments, charter school officials were unable to persuade directors to render any kind of a verdict Monday night.

“We are quite simply out of space,” Principal Lisa Pluchinsky told directors as the reason the school wants to move their middle school students in grades six through eight to the former Seton Academy school, located on 623 Sixth Avenue in the city.

The school has been instructing all their students from kindergarten through eighth grade out of a smaller facility at 551 Thomas St. but is running out of room and is seeking the second location for a science laboratory and a larger gym.

The district has blocked the move, arguing that only charter schools operating in the City of Philadelphia can operate out of two locations in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the issue has been tied up in court and endless legal arguments.

On Monday night Dual Language attorney Brian Leinhauser attempted to mollify dozens of concerns from the district in a lengthy presentation that featured testimony from Carlos Lopez, a board of trustee member, who answered questions about the lease the Dual Language school negotiated with the Diocese of Allentown, the owner of the property, which once housed a Roman Catholic elementary school in the location.

Lopez testified that the school negotiated a price of $6.50 per square foot for the facility which was built in 1966.

The facility is equipped with fire alarms, hot water, heat and about two-thirds of the facility is equipped with air conditioning, making the facility a viable locale to educate students.

Answering questions from Leinhauser, Lopez stated the Diocese of Allentown has removed all symbols of the Roman Catholic faith from the building, making it suitable for usage as a public school facility.

He added that while the school and diocese have entered into an agreement, that “no educational services have taken place so far” at the facility, adding that the school is only operating an administrative office from the locale presently while the verdict remains up in the air.

Under questioning from the administration, Superintendent Joseph Roy asked Dual Language officials if they had in fact entered into the agreement with the Diocese of Allentown without consent of the board of directors, which they acknowledged they had, but reiterated that they had not conducted any educational instruction on the premises.

Director Michele Cann questioned Leinhauser about terms of the contract, using the word “ambiguous” at one point to describe certain language about the lease itself and whether the diocese, as the landlord, would seek the “lowest bidder” to address maintenance on the property.

Directors also questioned language in the contract that indicated activity in the location should not violate the confessions of the Roman Catholic faith.

In response Leinhauser noted the wording was standard for contracts from the diocese and could likely be altered.

After the questioning was complete, public comments were voiced on the matter.

“My children have prospered there,” said Adalee King, mother of three children – in fifth, fourth and second grades – at the school. “…It is an exceptional school.”

Santiago Castillo told the board through an interpreter in Spanish that he hopes they would “come to a decision that will benefit everyone.”

A public comment period on the matter will remain open for 30 days.

Teacher’s aide arrested on suspicion of DUI

Posted by 69News:.

A teacher’s aide in the Hamburg Area School District was taken into custody near an elementary school on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Police say Patricia Castellitto pulled out of a parking spot at Perry Elementary in Shoemakersville this morning and crashed into a backhoe twice. 

She then hit several curbs, drove into someone’s front lawn,  and struck a parked car, according to police.

Police say witnesses were eventually able to approach her car and remove the keys.

Castellitto was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and related offenses.

Reading duo walk off with stolen ATM in trash can

Posted by 69News:.

A couple of Reading residents were caught pulling a trash can along Franklin Street with a stolen ATM machine stuffed inside, and cameras were rolling the entire time.

Police say they found 43-year-old John Nieves and 48-year-old Kathy Schadler pushing the trash can in to a building in the 900 block of Franklin Street.

A police officer had earlier in the day seen Nieves outside of the Nueva Imagen Furniture store on N. 9th Street putting something heavy in a trash can and recognized him by his bright green shirt.

“He broke the door,” said Andres Torres, who added it took at least 30 minutes to pull off the crime.

Torres has owned Nueva Imagen Furniture Plus on North 9th Street for the past three years. He said he found a brick, which was used to smash the glass at his store, and the ATM was stolen. It happened around 3:20 a.m. Sunday.

“I didn’t think anyone would go into the store and steal the ATM,” said Andres Torres Jr., who also works at the store with his dad.

According to police, that’s exactly what Nieves did as Schadler served as the lookout. 

Surveillance cameras captured their every move. At one point you can see the trash can roll away. He tried to load the machine into the can again, but it rolled once more. Then, the suspect dropped the ATM on the ground and walked away.

In a minute or so he was back in front of the furniture store and struggled to lift the machine, before he was seen wheeling it away.

“I think it’s really strange but being on this block it doesn’t surprise me at all,” said Roma Tolani, who owns a store across the street.

A police officer who was responding to a call saw the activity. He radioed in and officers saw the trash can being dragged up Franklin Street.

Police said Schadler answered the door and they found the machine and Nieves inside.

“I’m just happy they caught the guy,” said Andres Torres Jr.

“I’m very happy because the police did a good job,” said Andres Torres.

According to court documents, Nieves was wanted by the Berks County Sheriff’s Department for drug charges and Schadler had a scofflaw warrant.

Both are locked up in the Berks County Jail facing a long list of charges.


Residents Hoping Police Are Closer to Finding Frein

Posted by WNEP.com.

BARRETT TOWNSHIP — It`s now the third week of the search for suspected cop killer Eric Matthew Frein.

“They keep saying they have him cornered so I hope they get him,” said Denise Soehngen of East Stroudsburg.

State police have shifted their search along Route 390 in the Mountainhome area of Monroe County.

“I`m hoping that this change means he`s actually going to be found,” said Darlene Fylstra of Barrett Township.

Law enforcement searched an area near the closed Barrett Township Elementary School, vacant buildings, and an old resort in the area.

“I hope they find the guy because it`s been long enough. First of all, he`s got all the caves in the woods and all these holes in the woods,” said Teresa Demontreux of Barrett Township.

“I`m wondering if they even know where he is because it`s been so long, you know? It`s been two and a half weeks,” said Jennifer Drescher of Barrett Township.

Troopers lined up along Route 390 in Barrett Township with their eyes and weapons trained on the woods.

“God bless them. They have to be getting worn down and you know, we`re all behind them and hopefully it will end soon. We`re all behind them,” said Steve Mullet of Gouldsboro.

Oct. 6, is last day to register to vote in Pa.

Posted by 69News:.

Secretary of the Commonwealth Carol Aichele is reminding Pennsylvanians that Monday, Oct. 6 is the last day to register to vote for the November 4, general election.

In the general election, voters will elect candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, U.S. House of Representatives, and State House and Senate.

Citizens can find information to register here. They can also check their registration status, download a voter registration form and find information on polling places.

Applications from those registering for the first time, changing their addresses or changing party affiliation must be postmarked or delivered to the applicant’s county board of elections by the close of business on Monday, Oct., 6.

Those applying to register to vote for the election must meet the following criteria:

Be a citizen of the United States for at least one month before the primary
Be a resident of Pa. and the election district in which the individual desires to register and vote for at least 30 days before the election
Be at least 18 years of age on or before election day.

Residents may apply in person at a county voter registration office, the state departments of public welfare or health, PennDOT photo and driver license centers, Armed Forces recruitment centers, county clerk orphan’s courts or marriage license centers, area agencies on aging, county mental health and intellectual disabilities offices, student disability services offices of the State System of Higher Eduction, offices of special education in high schools and Americans with Disabilities Act-mandated complimentary paratransit providers.

For more information on voter registration, call the Department of state’s toll-free hotline at 1-877-863-3772 or visit this website

Allentown Fair leader William Albert dies Sunday

Posted by 69News:.

William J. Albert, president of the Lehigh County Agricultural Society, non-profit owner and operator of the Allentown Fairgrounds and the Allentown Fair, died Sunday morning in Lehigh Valley Hospital.

Albert was elected president of the society by its members every year since 2008.

Society spokesperson Bonnie Brosious said members mourn the loss of a leader recognized for relentlessly promoting the organization’s 162-year-old mission to support agriculture.

“Bill coined and personified his passionate reference to our annual agricultural showcase as ‘the heart of the fair’,” said Brosious in a news reelase.

“He took every opportunity to remind fair-goers: ‘If you come to the fair and do not visit Agri~Land at the west end of the grounds, you missed the fair.’”

Society Executive Committee Chairman-CEO Raymond Hoffman added: “The society has lost its biggest cheerleader and I have lost a great friend. Bill always had a smile on his face and enjoyed being around people and telling them stories about his many experiences at the fair. The executive committee and board of directors will greatly miss his fine leadership.”

A community stalwart throughout his life, Albert became involved in the fair during the 1960s as a partner in Rileigh’s, Inc. responsible for decorating the exhibit areas of the fair.

He was elected to the society’s executive committee in 1987 and appointed its liaison to the competitive exhibit operation of the fair.

He championed the development of entry categories that would engage more participation and provide for innovative and interesting displays and competitions.

He and his predecessor as president, the late William Greenawald, co-chaired the committee to celebrate the society and fair’s 150th anniversary in 2002.

With his decorating talent and love of history, Albert produced a retrospective walk-through exhibit that took thousands of fair-goers through the decades and centuries of the fair. Parts of the exhibit remain displayed in the foyer of Agri~Plex’s William T. Harris Agricultural Hall.

Albert worked closely with Lehigh and Berks counties 4-H, Agriculture Extension Services, Agriculture Education and FFA.

During the fair’s annual awards night, he relished handing out agricultural scholarships and awards to youth and deserving contributors to local agriculture.

He was surprised last year as the recipient of the Lehigh County Farm Bureau’s Distinguished Service to Agriculture award and in 2012 as the selected Allentown Fair winner of Pennsylvania’s Outstanding Fair Ambassador distinction.

Albert was instrumental in resurrecting the Allentown Fair’s queen contest in 2009, annually selecting a young woman to extend agricultural education and fair promotion throughout the community year-round.

As a past president of AAA Lehigh Valley, he enlisted the travel organization’s support in the development of the fair’s “passport to the world of agriculture” program that offers fair-goers incentives and passport stamps as they use booklets to guide their visit to the fair’s agricultural attractions.

Funeral arrangements will be announced by the family.

Neil Diamond to kick off 2015 tour in Allentown

Posted by 69News:.

It will likely be more of a cold February evening rather than a hot August night when legendary singer-songwriter Neil Diamond kicks off his 2015 world tour at the PPL Center in Allentown.

Diamond posted his upcoming tour dates on his website. The Allentown show is scheduled for February 27th, 2015.

Ticket information was not immediately available. Diamond’s latest release, “Melody Road”, will be available October 21st, according to the website.

Diamond began his career as a songwriter in New York City’s famed Brill Building. He penned the hits “Sunday and Me” for Jay and The Americans and “I’m a Believer” for The Monkees before beginning his own singing career which yielded dozens of top ten hits such as “Sweet Caroline” and “America”.