Fake The North Face jackets worth $80,000 uncovered in traffic stop, police say

Posted by Reblog: Lehigh Valley News.

Police said "several indicators of criminal activity were present" during the stop and they obtained consent to search the vehicle.

The North Face jacketView full sizeThe local on an authentic The North Face insulated winter jacket is seen. 

An Interstate 78 traffic stop uncovered an estimated $80,000 worth of counterfeit The North Face jackets crammed into a minivan, Pennsylvania State Police said.

Police stopped a 2004 Chrysler Town & Country at 1:16 p.m. Thursday on I-78 West at mile-marker 68.3 in Lower Saucon Township, according to a news release.

Police reported “several indicators of criminal activity were present” during the stop and said they obtained consent to search the vehicle, during which the trademark counterfeiting probe began to unfold.

Police charged Ho Young Choi, 37, of Chicago, in the incident.

8th District Congressional candidates square off

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Will there be a Congressional changing of the guard in Bucks County?

Democratic newcomer Kevin Strouse is challenging Republican Incumbent Mike Fitzpatrick for a seat in Bucks County’s 8th district.

“I am for redistricting reform and it should be done in a nonpartisan manner,” Fitzpatrick said.

“There’s only about 20 districts that are actually competitive and that’s one of the key reasons for the dysfunction of Washington,” Strouse added.

Voter redistricting reform was one of the few  things incumbent Republican Congressman Fitzpatrick and his Democratic Challenger for Bucks  County’s 8th Congressional seat Kevin Strouse agreed on. This during their second of three debates leading up to the November 4th election.

“Mr. Strouse says he’s not concerned about the 17 trillion dollars in debt. He said we believe we can grow our way to prosperity. In other words he wants to tax  and increase spending,” Fitzpatrick said about Strouse’s plan to lead the country out of debt.

“To me we would have a much more diverse economy if we simplified the tax code,” Strouse said about helping the middle class.

Aside from the shrinking middle class and congressional dysfunction, those who packed into the Bucks County Community College’s Bristol campus also heard the candidate’s views on Health Care.

Both agree Obama Care has both positive and negative points but disagreed on ways to improve it.

  “I think we need to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and preserve patient protection,” Fitzpatrick told the crowd.

“We need to reorient how we provide care in the country with the metrics and the emphasis on quality, not just quantity care,” Strouse noted.

The two agreed Americans have lost some of their privacy with the war on terror but disagreed  on how to handle the Ebola virus. Fitzpatrick is advocating travel bans but Strouse is not on board.

“Travel ban will be ineffective. It’s sticking your head in the sand,” Strouse said.

“This is a virus that needs to be contained and dealt with and destroyed where it is which is a couple of districts in West Africa,” Fitzpatrick added.

A final debate is tomorrow  at the Waterwheel Restaurant in Doylestown at 8pm.

 

Police: Shooting deaths of 2 Pottstown area men inside car near Barto a murder-suicide

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The deaths of two men found shot inside a parked car in eastern Berks County last week have been ruled a case of murder-suicide.

Joseph McCullough III, 20, shot and killed Stephen Mixon, 27, before turning the .38 caliber revolver on himself, state police said Thursday. Investigators offered no motive for the murder-suicide.

“Everyone is grieving in their own way,” said Shellie Feola, superintendent, Pottsgrove School District, where Mixon volunteered as a high school football coach. “We are working through it and bonding together as a community and trying to just understand what happened and also celebrate Stephen’s life and all of the things that he has done for the Pottsgrove School District and our community.”

A passing school bus driver found the bodies of both Pottstown area men inside a car parked on Forgedale Road in Washington Township early on the morning of Oct. 17, police said.

The Berks County coroner and district attorney assisted state police with their investigation.

At the request of the Mixon family, a memorial service for him will be held Saturday at the high school’s football stadium. The district is expecting a large crowd to attend on Saturday.

“There are a lot of students and a lot of community members that have close ties with Stephen, and they want to come out and honor him and just be a presence for his family as they are grieving,” said Feola.

Visitation for guests will be from 2 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. The memorial service will begin at 4 p.m.

“What I have been told about him from others who worked very closely with him is his commitment to the district, his Pottsgrove pride, wanting to be a part of this community,” said Feola.

Police: Shooting deaths of 2 Pottstown area men inside car near Barto a murder-suicide

Posted by 69News:.

The deaths of two men found shot inside a parked car in eastern Berks County last week have been ruled a case of murder-suicide.

Joseph McCullough III, 20, shot and killed Stephen Mixon, 27, before turning the .38 caliber revolver on himself, state police said Thursday. Investigators offered no motive for the murder-suicide.

“Everyone is grieving in their own way,” said Shellie Feola, superintendent, Pottsgrove School District, where Mixon volunteered as a high school football coach. “We are working through it and bonding together as a community and trying to just understand what happened and also celebrate Stephen’s life and all of the things that he has done for the Pottsgrove School District and our community.”

A passing school bus driver found the bodies of both Pottstown area men inside a car parked on Forgedale Road in Washington Township early on the morning of Oct. 17, police said.

The Berks County coroner and district attorney assisted state police with their investigation.

At the request of the Mixon family, a memorial service for him will be held Saturday at the high school’s football stadium. The district is expecting a large crowd to attend on Saturday.

“There are a lot of students and a lot of community members that have close ties with Stephen, and they want to come out and honor him and just be a presence for his family as they are grieving,” said Feola.

Visitation for guests will be from 2 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. The memorial service will begin at 4 p.m.

“What I have been told about him from others who worked very closely with him is his commitment to the district, his Pottsgrove pride, wanting to be a part of this community,” said Feola.

Pennsylvania lawmakers hold hearing on Ebola preparedness

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Health officials in Bucks County said they’re monitoring three people to make sure they don’t develop any symptoms of the Ebola virus.

Dr. David Damsker with the Bucks County Health Department said those three people recently traveled to the United States from West Africa within the past week. He added they’ll be monitored for the next 21 days.

The move is part of the new guidelines set forth by the CDC for Pennsylvania and five other states.

On Thursday, a public meeting was held in Harrisburg to discuss the state’s readiness to deal with an Ebola outbreak.

Even though there have been no confirmed cases in Pennsylvania so far, officials sayid they want to be ready for anything.

“EMS, fire, law enforcement, specialized rescue, hazardous materials teams. Everyone has been brought into the loop on preparedness for this,” said Glenn Cannon, director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

State health officials said lessons learned from what happened in Dallas, Texas, have had an impact on how they prepare, especially when it comes to funding if an outbreak were to occur.

“The purse strings are open when it comes to the protection of our staff and our patients. We’ll make that happen. We are not going to allow a Dallas situation to occur,” said Mark Ross, manager of the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania.

“I want to stress, Pennsylvania hospitals must be and are prepared to detect, protect against, isolate, test and provide treatment for many infectious diseases including Ebola,” he added.

Bucks County health officials said the three people will be asked to watch for symptoms and take their temperature on a daily basis for the duration of the incubation period.

Easton discusses income tax increase for commuters

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As growing pension debts continue to strangle city budgets, Easton leaders are asking for help from people who don’t even live in city.

The non-resident earned income tax is poised to go up again. Two years ago, the city raised the tax point 0.75 percent.

The increase in the 2015 budget won’t be that high, but city leaders said it is an increase allowed by state law.

“I told them that the 2015 would be a bad budget,” said Easton Mayor Sal Panto, “primarily because of healthcare costs and pensions.”

To alleviate some of the budget pressure, a lot of things are happening in Easton, including layoffs, budget trimming, and asking people who work in the city to fork over a little more of their hard-earned cash.

“Municipalities that have severely distressed pension funds could tax non-residents who work in their city as long as it is solely for pension purposes,” added Panto.

Two proposals are on the table for 2015: Raise the non-resident earned-income tax from 1.75 percent to 1.85 percent, and lay off two police officers; or, raise the tax to 1.95 percent without laying off any officers, a plan mayor Sal Panto supports.

“Public safety is still the priority for any city and everything else follows public safety,” said Panto.

The majority of people who will be hit with the increase work for Northampton County or Lafayette college, two places that are exempt from city property taxes.

Some workers we spoke with said they don’t agree with the increase. Others in Centre Square said they don’t mind helping out.

“Urban centers deserve a certain amount of tax revenue from the people who don’t live here,” said architect Steven Glickman.

Northampton County Executive John Brown’s office confirmed he is looking into whether Easton can legally raise the tax, and Panto said the city is working with the county on the issue.

“I’m not going to get into a political dogfight over this issue,” said Panto. “We’re confident we enacted it properly.”

Easton City Council must hold a public hearing on the issue by law. That will take place next month before deciding how much the increase will be.

Reading mayor expresses support for anti-privatization question on ballot

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Reading’s mayor is putting his support behind the efforts of some concerned citizens who pushed to get a referendum on the ballot.

Voters in Reading will see what’s known as “Question 7″ when they head to the polls on Nov. 4.

If it’s approved, the city would need voters’ approval before passing any proposal to sell or lease major city assets for more than a decade.

The movement came about because of the fight between Mayor Vaughn Spencer and city council over the future of the water authority.

Spencer said it’s an important topic as cities search for new revenue streams.

“We have to understand, particularly the amount of money issued on these proposals, that at some point or another, you need to allow the public to weigh in on those discussions,” Spencer said.

A group known as “Our City, Our Water” collected 1,800 signatures to get the question on the ballot.

Boscov’s breakfast benefits Exeter Food Pantry

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Breakfast was an even more important meal than usual Thursday at Boscov’s East in Exeter Township.

Anyone who took a nonperishable food donation to Boscov’s East Family Restaurant was treated to breakfast for just 99 cents.

All of the food collected Thursday morning will be donated to the Exeter Area Food Pantry.

Donors were also treated to live music and prize giveaways.

Berks County’s first Walgreens Pharmacy set to open Friday

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The first Walgreens in Berks County will open its doors to customers on Friday.

The 16,144 square-foot store, originally set to open this past summer, is located on the southeast corner of Lancaster Avenue and Museum Road in Cumru Township, just outside Shillington.

The store features a drive-thru pharmacy and employs about 20 people, according to the company.

A CVS/Pharmacy and Blockbuster video rental store previously occupied the site, which is also home to a liquor store and a Your Place restaurant.

Walgreens, headquartered in Deerfield, Ill., is the nation’s largest drug store chain with nearly 8,200 locations in the United States, including 122 in Pennsylvania, according to the company’s website.

Eric Frein manhunt prompts call for businesses to report associated losses

Posted by Reblog: Lehigh Valley News.

Monroe County and state emergency officials plan to forward claims for possible federal assistance.

Monroe County officials are preparing to seek help for businesses affected by the ongoing search for alleged cop killer Eric Frein.

The county Office of Emergency Management on Thursday issued a request for all businesses in the county affected by the hunt to report any impact or losses incurred due to the manhunt.

The office and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency plan to forward the collected information to the U.S. Small Business Administration, to request help “for the businesses within Monroe County and the surrounding area.”

Authorities spent their 41st full day Thursday looking for Frein, an FBI Top 10 Most Wanted individual sought in the Sept. 12 killing of a Pennsylvania State Police corporal and wounding of a trooper in an attack outside the Blooming Grove barracks in Pike County.

The office invites affected business owners to call the office between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. weekdays at 570–992-4113.