Three area businesses raided on suspicion of prostitution activities

Posted by 69News:.

Charges are pending against three Pocono area businesses suspected of promoting prostitution activities.

Investigators said a two-year, undercover investigation into the activities of the businesses, led to a simultaneous, early morning raid at three Pocono area massage parlors on Friday.

The businesses are registered as “massage parlors” but authorities said they were actively engaged in “the acts of prostitution.”

“This is a quality of life issue for our township and reflects the values, ethics and sentiments of our residents,” said Chief Kent J. Werkheiser.

“The message will be clear by these actions that the criminal act of prostitution will be dealt proactively by this department to ensure the residents’ expectations,” he concluded.

According to officials, the investigation was conducted with direct assistance from the Monroe County DA’s office.

Assisting with the search warrant included the Monroe County Adult Probation, PA Department of State and members of the Monroe County Detective Bureau.

Officials also said The Department of Homeland Security was also involved as some of the workers at Tokyo Spa were possibly undocumented aliens

Warrants will be available next week at Judge Olsen’s.

  The businesses involved include:

Tokyo Spa (100 Rt. 611)American Dolls (15 Pocono Peddlers Village Rt, Tannersville, PA 18372)Affinity Massage (104 Shelleo Dr, Tannersville, PA 18372)

Israeli educators visit a pair of local schools

Posted by 69News:.

For the past 12 years, the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley has brought teachers from almost 6,000 miles away to Allentown schools to learn and share ways to make schools better for kids.

The Israeli educators visited the Jewish Day School and Allentown School District’s Muhlenberg Elementary School on Friday.

“I am hoping my educators can take ideas back to their classroom just as my visitors will take ideas back to their country,” said Melissa Smith, Principal at Muhlenberg Elementary School.

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Israel is the second most-educated country in the world. America takes the fourth spot.
Educators from both countries say they are taking away new ideas and lessons from one another.

“One of the things I learned from them is not to forget the appreciation of art and integrating that into student projects,” said Jennifer Serrao, teacher at Elementary School.

“It was very interesting to see that they learn in groups and they sit near computers,” said Onit Hazan, educator from Israel.

The American and Israeli educators say by far the most important lesson, is to continue teaching the youngest generations about the importance of tolerance and respect of all cultures throughout the world.

Lehigh Valley Health Network hosts non-aloholic drink event

Posted by 69News:.

The Lehigh Valley Health Network is serving up a big glass of holiday cheer, sans spirits!

The Health Network teamed up with the Lehigh Valley DUI Highway Safety Task Force for the 14th annual Spirit-Free Mix-Off today.

Guest mixers served up non-alcoholic cocktails at the hospital’s Muhlenberg campus.

Organizers say the event is held to remind people about the dangers of drinking and driving, and to encourage alcohol-free alternatives.

Pennsylvania home delivery of beer to follow ruling

Posted by Reblog: Lehigh Valley News.

Properly licensed businesses can legally bring beer to the front door, according to the advisory opinion from the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board.

A new ruling by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board is clearing the way for something few if any state residents have experienced — home delivery of beer.

PLCB lawyer Rob Diaz said Friday the advisory opinion outlined that businesses that have retail licenses can legally bring suds to the front door as long as they also obtain what’s known as a transporter-for-hire license.

The customer can’t pay when the beer is delivered, because sales have to occur at the retail establishment. There’s also a 192-ounce limit, which equates to a 12-pack of 16-ounce beers. Wine and liquor aren’t allowed for delivery.

The Pennsylvania Licensed Beverage and Tavern Association is calling it a win for consumers.

Bethlehem Township restaurant credit card fraud suspect arrested, court records say

Posted by Reblog: Lehigh Valley News.

The former owner of Valley Family Restaurant is the second of four people charged in the alleged scheme to be arraigned.

Authorities on Friday took into custody a 41-year-old Northampton County woman accused of helping to defraud American Express of $160,005, court records say.

Irene Remache, of the 3500 block of Driftwood Place in Bethlehem Township, was arraigned before District Judge Joseph Barner and released on $50,000 unsecured bail.

She is the second of four people charged in the alleged scheme to be arraigned; authorities continued searching Friday for two alleged co-conspirators, according to court records.

Remache, former owner of Valley Family Restaurant at 2816 Easton Ave. in Bethlehem Township, admitted to running the transactions earlier this year at the business using fraudulently obtained American Express credit card numbers supplied to her, township police allege.

The restaurant is under new ownership, and a staff member there said Remache no longer works there. Remache could not immediately be reached for comment Friday.

Remache would run the credit card transactions at the restaurant then withdraw the money from a bank account and give the money to her one-time boyfriend, 29-year-old Allentown resident Marcos Diaz, and his nephew, 22-year-old Jonathan “Joseph” Hernandez, of Fort Lee, New Jersey, police allege. Remache and Diaz each received a 10 percent cut of three transactions, for $10,000, $100,005 and $50,000, court records say.

Diaz told township police during an Oct. 8 interview he had gotten involved after meeting a man named Steve in the Bronx, New York, who had asked if he knew anyone with a restaurant who would run a credit card transaction so he could receive a cash advance on the account, court records say.

Hernandez was arraigned Wednesday in the case and sent to Northampton County Prison. Police have arrest warrants for Diaz and the fourth person, identified in court records as Steven C. Casas, 30, of New York City.

Casas allegedly also supplied Remache with a credit card skimming device to fraudulently obtain more credit card numbers. It is unclear from court records whether the device, which Remache turned over to police, was ever used; the detective investigating the case has not responded to several calls for comment.

The charges are the same against the four: three felony counts each of conspiracy, access device fraud, theft by deception and receiving stolen property.

Ripken and Maddon Join Together for HIP

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Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation President and Executive Director Steve Salem made the announcement. “Why don’t we renovate this gym? We’ll build an indoor park and so that’s what we’re going to do,” said Steve Salem. Ollie’s Bargain Outlet CEO and Ripken Board Chairman Mark Butler then presented a check for $180,000 dollars to Joe Maddon […]

Boscov’s Angel Tree for Veterans

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SCRANTON — There’s  a Christmas tree on the second floor of Boscov’s department store in Scranton tucked away in the back. On the tree are Christmas lists of items you might not expect. “Sweaters, socks, slippers, blankets, it’s all basic essentials that they’re asking for, it’s not toys or video games. It’s all basics,” said […]

Bradley Stone attempted carjacking report leads to arrest, newspaper says

Posted by Reblog: Lehigh Valley News.

The report Monday night brought a massive police response to a Bucks County neighborhood near Delaware Valley College, and set residents on edge.

Bradley StoneView full sizeBradley Stone 

Authorities have arrested a Bucks County man for allegedly reporting an attempted carjacking that led to a massive shift in the manhunt for alleged mass murderer Bradley Stone, the Doylestown Intelligencer reports.

Luke S. Sanderlin, 54, of Doylestown, Pennsylvania, was being arraigned about 5 p.m. Friday in Bucks County on multiple felonies.

Doylestown Township police on Tuesday afternoon labeled as false the report Monday night about the carjacking try by a man matching Stone’s description. Police said at the time they were continuing to investigate.

Stone’s body was found about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday near his home in Pennsburg, Montgomery County. He allegedly went on a rampage Monday morning in three Montgomery County communities, murdering three members of his former sister-in-law’s family and grievously wounding the only survivor; his ex-wife’s mother and grandmother; and finally his ex-wife, following a custody dispute over their daughters.

The search following the attempted carjacking report brought police en masse, plus helicopters and K-9 teams, to a neighborhood near Delaware Valley College. Residents were on edge, calling police about noises in their homes and yards, according to emergency radio broadcasts Monday night. Several calls for assistance came from homeowners with firearms, and police had to ask 911 dispatchers to ensure weapons were secured as they responded, broadcasts indicated.

The report at 7:09 p.m. Monday indicated a man matching Stone’s description had approached a man with a knife, ordering him to turn over his car keys. The purported victim was armed and fired several rounds, police confirmed.

Doylestown Township police said they asked residents to “shelter in place as a precaution” until the request was lifted about 11:30 p.m. Investigators stayed on scene until about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, planning to return during daylight.

After the discovery of Stone’s body, the department issued a statement saying: “At this time is does not appear that Stone was involved in the attempted carjacking reported on 12/15/2014.”

Sanderlin is charged with three felony counts of risking catastrophe plus misdemeanor false alarm to a public safety agency, reckless endangerment and false reports.

Military Greeting: US Navy PO1s William & Christy Kunkel

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Navy PO1 William Kunkel and PO1 Christy Kunkel, Whitehall, Lehigh County

PPL Giving $5,000 For New Bethany Food Bank

Posted by Lehigh Valley Ramblings.

On Monday, PPL Electric Utilities will present New Bethany Ministries with a $5,000 donation for its emergency food pantry as part of a $250,000 commitment this winter to help people in need.

“We are grateful to PPL for their demonstrated commitment to helping people in need,” said New Bethany’s Executive Director, Diane Elliott. “Many families are struggling, and this gift will help us continue providing critical services to the community.”

In 2013, New Bethany Ministries distributed 4,292 food baskets from its emergency food pantry, representing 70,389 meals. The agency reported a 149% increase in the number of children receiving food from the pantry and a 336% increase in the number of elderly utilizing the pantry from the previous year.

Celebrating its 29th year, New Bethany Ministries provides assistance to families affected by poverty, hunger and homelessness; and individuals with mental illness. For more information about New Bethany’s programs, call 610-691-5602 or visit