Easton Commuter Tax Challenge On Horizon

Posted by Lehigh Valley Ramblings.

Panto and a political advisor

Last week, Easton City Council did what everyone knew they would do – increase the commuter tax. They know commuters can’t vote them out of office. In fact, Mayor Sal Panto has betrayed more than a bit of disdain for anyone who lives in the ‘burbs.

“If you want to live in the lily white beautiful suburban community, you have to do something to pay for that,” he has said to nonresidents when this tax was first imposed, implying they are racists. “The county can continue to threaten to leave and I say ‘Go ahead,’” he has taunted.

Panto must be a Cowboys’ fan. His kind of arrogance begs for a law suit.

He’s getting one. Actually, I think there will be at least two separate lawsuits filed. One may very well be filed today.

Instead of imposing commuter taxes on the people least able to pay it, Panto should be asking the County for a payment in lieu of taxes. Has the man who claims he hates commuter taxes tried? I happen to know funds are available, where they are, and that they could be awarded to Easton without costing County taxpayers a dime.

In spite of Panto, Easton is the County seat and does provide services. It is unable to tax the County’s real estate. I think a deal can be reached. Several Council members are aware of this solution and seem supportive.

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

Posted by 69News:.

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.

Shoppers Skip Thanksgiving Meal For Early “Gray Thursday” Deals

Posted by WNEP.com.

DICKSON CITY – While many families enjoyed their Thanksgiving feast inside their warm homes, hundreds of people spent the afternoon waiting outside in the cold for “Gray Thursday” specials in Lackawanna County. The National Retail Federation expects more than 26 million people to shop on Thanksgiving Day nationwide. At the Best Buy in Scranton, Anthony […]

Fire Crews Battle Flames at Apartment Building in Lackawanna County

Posted by WNEP.com.

CLARKS SUMMIT — At least two people are out of their home after a fire at an apartment in Lackawanna County Thursday. Fire broke out just after 4 p.m. at the building on Maple Avenue. Crews said no one was home at the time. The fire chief said it is not suspicious and believes an […]

Two Men Walk Away From Prison in Clinton County

Posted by WNEP.com.

MCELHATTAN — Authorities in Clinton County said two 19-year-old inmates used the snowstorm to escape. Officials said Curtis Bertin and Quinton Neff walked away from their job shoveling snow outside the correctional facility Thursday morning. They were free for about six hours before authorities tracked them down. Neither man is considered dangerous. Both will be […]

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.

Canadian Pacific Holiday Train Pulls in to Steamtown

Posted by WNEP.com.

SCRANTON — A special train chugged into the Steamtown National Historic Site Thursday afternoon. The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train was in town to raise awareness of local food pantries. Anyone who stopped by to see the holiday train was able to donate food or money to food pantries in Northeastern Pennsylvania. The holiday train’s next […]

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

Posted by 69News:.

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.