Archive for category bethlehem township, pa

Street light scammer denied bid for work release

Robert Kearns said he wanted to get a landscaping job to help pay court costs but hasn’t paid a penny in restitution to date.

A Northampton County senior judge denied work-release Friday for one of two men convicted of taking $832,000 for street lights they failed to deliver to Bethlehem Township.

Robert Kearns asked for permission to take a landscaping job to start paying back the money handed over more than 10 year ago to his company, Municipal Energy Managers.

But District Attorney John Morganelli pointed out that the 53-year-old Lackawanna County man hasn’t paid back a cent in the five years since he was convicted of theft by failure to make required disposition of funds.

On top of that, Kearns filed court papers challenging the state’s authority to seek restitution because the money is owed to a government entity.

When asked by the judge whether he was dropping that claim, Kearns said he wants to work to pay back court costs, not restitution.

“Mr. Kearns is the ultimate con man,” Morganelli said. “He continues to con here this morning your honor that somehow he’s going to work for some lawn company when he hasn’t paid one cent in court costs and he hasn’t paid one cent in restitution in five years.”

Kearns appeared in court with a full beard and mustache. He had a thin frame and wore brown prison coveralls.

“I would love to be able to take care of my family,” Kearns said. “I would love to be able to take care of some of the obligations of the court.”

Defense attorney Brian Monahan said inmates convicted of more violent crimes are made eligible for work-release. It’s rare for a judge to overstep the administrative policy in the prison, which typically dictates when an inmate is eligible for work-release.

Neither of those factors matters, Morganelli said.

“The case law is absolutely clear,” Morganelli told Zito. “Prison inmates have no constitutional right to work-release. In Pennsylvania that privilege of work release is up to your honor.”

Valley crooks who stole $1M (or close to it)

Kearns, 53, of Scranton, and Patrick “P.J.” McLaine, 70, of Dunmore, Lackawanna County, were each convicted in 2012. They fought their convictions until their appeals ran out in April.

Zito sentenced each of them on May 12 to start serving his six month-to-one year county prison sentence.

Kearns and McLaine were convicted of making similar deals in three other Pennsylvania counties but only sentenced to prison in Northampton County.

They took $165,000 from Richland Township, Bucks County, but failed to install or maintain street lights there. They took $160,000 from Coplay in Lehigh County and took $1.3 million from Hampden Township, Cumberland County.

In each of those cases the men were sentenced to house arrest or probation. Monahan said Kearns’ sentences have expired in all of his cases except the one in Northampton County.

Rudy Miller may be reached at rmiller@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow him on Twitter @RudyMillerLV. Find Easton area news on Facebook.

Vehicle wrecks off Rt. 22 in Bethlehem Township

Three people were checked out by EMS, authorities say.

A vehicle crashed off Route 22 West on Tuesday afternoon just beyond the Route 191 interchange in Bethlehem Township, …

Know this guy accused of snapping intimate pic at Walmart?

Bethlehem Township police asked for the public’s help in tracking down an invasion of privacy perpetrator.

Bethlehem Township police asked Friday for the public’s help in identifying a man accused of taking “an intimate picture” of a female victim at Walmart.

The incident unfolded about 9:45 a.m. Thursday at the 3926 Nazareth Pike store, according to police.

The man seen in surveillance images from Walmart followed the victim around and made multiple attempts at taking a photo that invaded her privacy, succeeding once, police said.

Investigators ask anyone with information to contact Patrolman Mark Demetrovic at mdemetrovic@bethlehemtwp.com or 610-419-9681.

Anonymous tips may be submitted by texting TIP BETHLEHEMTWP followed by a message to 888777, or by visiting the department’s nixle.com account.

Kurt Bresswein may be reached at kbresswein@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow him on Twitter @KurtBresswein. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.

WATCH: Brazen thief steals hanging baskets from porch

Bethlehem Township police are looking for the public’s assistance.

Bethlehem Township police are looking for information on a man they say stole two porch plants from a home in the Vineyard at Wagner Farms.

The crime happened at 5 a.m. Monday and was captured on video, police said.

Anyone who knows who the man is is asked to call Patrolman John Meehan at 610-419-8250 or email jmeehan@bethlehemtwp.com.

People can also anonymously text TIP BETHLEHEMTWP and your message to 888777 or visit https://local.nixle.com/tip/township-of-bethlehem/

Tony Rhodin may be reached at arhodin@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow him on Twitter @TonyRhodin. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.

Easton man returned items from Lowe’s shelves for gift cards, cops say

The 60-year-old was also ordered held in a theft case in Easton for allegedly taking payment for work never completed.

An Easton man was arrested Thursday for allegedly taking it…

1 of nearly 800, this NCC grad wants to be a neurosurgeon (PHOTOS)

Nearly 800 students were awarded degrees at Northampton Community College’s spring 2017 commencement ceremony.

When Nadjarazthou Raicha Kamara first came to Northampton Community College from her West African nation, she was so anxious about her English she shook before class presentations.

Today, the 20-year-old international student has conquered her fears. She speaks flawless English and boasts an impressive list of clubs and activities she’s joined during her two years on campus.

On Thursday night, Kamara was one of nearly 800 graduates to cross the stage at NCC’s Arthur L. Scott Spartan Center during spring commencement, graduating from the college’s honors program with an associate’s degree in biological sciences. 

Raicha KamaraNadjarazthou Raicha KamaraCourtesy of NCC 

She’s one of 28 students graduating from the program, which means students have taken four honors classes and maintained a 3.5 GPA or higher.

Kamara plans to next attend LaSalle University in Philadelphia to earn her bachelor’s degree and then enroll in medical school. She hopes to become a neurosurgeon and work in the U.S. for about a decade to gain experience.

“The brain is so amazing. It controls everything in the body,” she said. “I want to learn more about it.”

She eventually plans to return home to the Ivory Coast and open her own hospital. Kamara’s elder sister, who is a pharmacist, inspired her to pursue a career in the sciences. And another sister led her to Northampton Community College.

“She got her associate’s degree and she told me about how amazing (NCC) is and how the professors are really nice and how the size of classes is really small,” Kamara recalled.

WATCH: Hamilton biographer raps for Lafayette grads

College classes in the Ivory Coast often have 500 students, making college a very impersonal experience, she said.

“The professor doesn’t really have the time to know the students; you don’t have time to talk to him if you have any questions,” she said. “It is not easy.”

Her sister inspired her to look into obtaining a student visa to study at NCC herself. The college has a thriving international program with 152 students from 50 countries enrolled for the spring semester.

It took several months and intensive English classes before Kamara obtained her student visa. She arrived at NCC in January 2015.

“It is not easy,” she said of the process. “You have to really explain yourself and say why you want to go there.”

Kamara lived in an off-campus apartment with her sister, who was then studying at Lehigh University. The first semester away from her family and home were quite difficult, she said.

In retrospect, she realizes she was dealing with culture shock and anxiety over the language barrier.

“I was so anxious I was always shaking and I didn’t know what to say,” Kamara recalled.

Things eased when she began taking science classes and having to interact with other students.

She’s a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society and the Student Senate, among other organizations. She worked as a chemistry tutor helping other students grasp concepts.

“It was just amazing,” Kamara said.

When Kamara got homesick, she recreated in her kitchen some of her favorite foods, including aloko, a fried banana dish, from the Ivory Coast. And she invited friends over to share in the traditional fare.

When her parents come to visit each year, they stock her up with ingredients she has trouble finding in the U.S. She was thrilled her parents made the trip for graduation on Thursday.

“They came with my older sister,” she said. “That was a surprise. I was so happy to see her.” 

Sara K. Satullo may be reached at ssatullo@lehighvalleylive.com. Follow her on Twitter @sarasatullo and Facebook. Find lehighvalleylive.com on Facebook.

Housenick Park mansion break-in try causes $1K-plus in damage, cops say

A 21-year-old from Bethlehem is charged with trespass and criminal mischief in the incident.

Michael P. Ohm (Courtesy photo | For lehighvalleylive.com) 
A Bethlehem man wa…

Police: College student had jar filled with marijuana

The 26-year-old also was charged with having a prohibited weapon, an expandable baton.

A 26-year-old college student was charged with drug crimes after police said they found mar…

Moravian College student accused in armed robbery faces more charges

The Moravian College student is accused of robbing another student at gunpoint.

A Moravian College student accused of robbing another student at gunpoint is facing two addit…

‘Phantom’ vehicle’s swerve leads to 2 I-78 wrecks, police say

Two people were hurt, authorities said.

Pennsylvania State Police say two vehicles crashed at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday on Interstate 78 East in Lower Saucon Township, before a se…