Eric Frein Look-Alike Continues To Attract Police Attention

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CANADENSIS — School was closed for the fifth time in the Pocono Mountain School District due to the manhunt for a suspected cop killer. Nearby in the Canadensis area, we found one man who can’t seem to walk to work without being mistaken for alleged cop killer Eric Frein. Down Snow Hill Road and across […]

Officials: Inferno damage to Reading outlet building at least $12 million; collapse potential examined

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The flames are out, but the investigation of an inferno that ravaged a former Reading Outlet Center building is far from over.

The multi-alarm fire over the weekend caused at least $12 million in damage, authorities said Tuesday.

Federal investigators from as far away as Nevada are still trying to figure out what sparked one of the largest fires in the city’s history.

Thirty high-skilled investigators with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosive’s (ATF) national response team evaluated the scene Tuesday. They’ve traveled from across the country to conduct a thorough but methodical investigation at the former Reading Outlet Center’s Building 10.

“They’ve made a minimal entry so far, but they got to make sure there isn’t collapse risks that can harm investigators when they enter the building,” said Special Agent Steven Bartholomew.

A crane arrived Tuesday to help inspect the integrity of the building and search for fire patterns.

The flames erupted early Saturday morning at North Eighth and Oley streets. Investigators told 69 News the fire started in the northeast corner of the six-story building and spread to the roof. The building was in the process of being redeveloped into commercial and residential space.

“There was a significant amount of property damage,” said Bartholomew. “We will make every effort to determine whether it is an accidental fire or an intentionally set fire.”

The Reading Fire Department reached out to the ATF for assistance. The city’s fire marshal, Larry Moyer, said his office is bogged down with 11 arson cases across the city from the end of September to early October. Moyer said there are only two investigators in his office, so they needed outside resources to help get a hand on this investigation.

“They bring experience to the table. They’ve seen commercial buildings like this before and they get called out on these things a lot,” said Moyer.

The Reading Fire Department is the lead agency, but it’s a collaborative effort with the ATF and the Reading Police Department.

Officials could not determine how long it would take to determine a cause, but they said they are still in the beginning stages of what is expected to be a long process.

Some charges dropped against Brian Creazzo

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Some charges against Brian Jeffrey Creazzo were dropped during a preliminary hearing in Lehigh County Court Tuesday.

Prosecutor declined to explain why any charges were dismissed.

On the afternoon of May 13, Creazzo was merging from Route 309 onto Route 22 in South Whitehall Township when he hit and killed 28-year-old Shane Uttard, who was standing by his car on the shoulder of the road.

Uttard, who was pronounced dead at the scene, resided in Bethlehem Township, Northampton County.

Police reported blood tests showed Creazzo had methadone and opiates in his system

The 41-year-old defendant, who resides in Allentown, was arrested last month. He initially faced a long list of charges, including homicide by vehicle while under the influence of controlled substances.

That charge still stands, but some of the others have been dismissed. They include involuntary manslaughter, homicide by vehicle and recklessly endangering another person.

Other charges that still stand against Creazzo include not being properly licensed when involved in an accident that caused death, driving under the influence, disregarding traffic lanes, reckless driving and not driving at a safe speed.

The crash happened just after  3 p.m. on May 13, when Uttard’s parked vehicle was rear-ended by Creazzo, who was driving a pick-up truck.

A portion of eastbound Route 22 was shut down for nearly four hours.

Creazzo has been confined to Lehigh County Jail, unable to post bail, which was set at $250,000.

Formal arraignment is scheduled for Jan. 12.

Bethlehem police seek public’s help in solving check cashing business theft

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Bethlehem police are hoping the public can help identify two men being sought in connection with a theft from a check cashing business.

Today, police released surveillance video showing two men authorities believe are responsible for the Oct. 13 theft of seven money gram checks valued at $1,7000 from the Envios Giraldo check cashing business in the 300 block of South New Street.

Anyone who can identify these two men are asked to contact Detective Moses Miller at 610-997-7674.

Proposed Silica Sand Transfer Station Unwelcomed by Some

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TUNKHANNOCK TOWNSHIP — Some people in the Tunkhannock area of Wyoming County want it known that they don’t want a silica sand transfer station outside of Tunkhannock. Many of those homeowners took their concerns to the Wyoming County commissioners meeting on Tuesday. “Tunkhannock is going to become a ghost town. It’s quaint. It’s sweet. It’s […]

16-Year-Old Boy Found Shot In Alley

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WILLIAMSPORT — A teen is the victim of homicide in Lycoming County. The 16-year-old boy was found with a single gunshot wound just after midnight Tuesday in Williamsport, and officers quickly determined it was a case of homicide. Williamsport police say they found a teenager unconscious around 12:30 a.m. with a single gunshot wound to […]

Tenant Hit With Arson Charges For Stroudsburg Blaze

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STROUDSBURG — Charges were filed Tuesday in Monroe County in connection with a fire that displaced residents and damaged a business. Paul York, 72, has been charged with arson. Authorities say York set the fire along Main Street in Stroudsburg in August. He was one of more than a dozen people who lived in upstairs […]

Tom Wolf campaigns for Pennsylvania governor in Lehigh Valley

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The York businessman vying to be Pennsylvania’s next governor stopped in the Lehigh Valley on Tuesday.

Democrat Tom Wolf toured businesses in historic Bethlehem, alongside local leaders endorsing him.

“Looking forward, personally, to working with him as governor, and it’s very important to show him our downtown. It’s the anchor of Bethlehem,” said Mayor Robert Donchez.

Most polls currently show Wolf with a double-digit lead over incumbent Gov. Tom Corbett, though that lead has narrowed slightly within the last month.

According to experts, polls show Wolf has also won over more than 80 percent of the Democratic Party in Pennsylvania, while Corbett has solidified about only 70 percent of his Republican base.

Experts said Wolf will likely focus on swing-areas like the Lehigh Valley.

“The Lehigh Valley has always been one of the key swing regions in Pennsylvania politics. Often the way Lehigh and Northampton goes, so goes the state,” said Chris Borick, a political science professor at Muhlenberg College in Allentown.

“He wants to win the swing voters, the quintessential voters, that often decide major elections,” said Terry Madonna, the director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs and Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster.

Wolf has made several stops in the Lehigh Valley since winning the primary in May, while Corbett has yet to pay a visit. Experts said that’s probably because Corbett is likely focusing much of his attention to Republican voters.

“If I am Gov. Corbett right now, the first thing I need to do is secure my base. I got to go to Republican areas, and make sure Republicans are coming back to the fold,” Borick said.

Though, a spokesperson for Corbett said the governor continues to travel across the state, regardless of political dominance.  The spokesperson said Republican-only support wouldn’t be enough to win the election.

Wolf told reporters his victory depends on voter turnout. 

“The key is all going to come down to turnout, how big the margin is. I hope no one gets complacent because I really need people to come out,” Wolf said.

A Wolf victory would make Corbett the first-ever incumbent governor in Pennsylvania to lose.

“Every single incumbent that has sought re-election has won and have won by overwhelming margins. On average, they win by 20 points in Pennsylvania gubernatorial elections,” Borick said.

But according to Madonna, if Corbett wins, he’ll overcome the largest deficit in the race’s history.

A Corbett campaign spokesperson said the team is confident Wolf’s lead will continue to narrow and eventually result in a Corbett victory.

The election is Nov. 4.

Jill Kelly McComsey named WomenHeart champion

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Jill Kelly McComsey, a Bethlehem lawyer who was struck with a heart attack “completely out of the blue” when she was 36 years old, has been named a WomenHeart champion after graduating from the 2014 national WomenHeart Science & Leadership Symposium at Mayo Clinic.

McComsey now is considered a national spokesperson on women’s heart health and will provide support for women living with heart disease.

A litigation attorney at Seidel Cohen Hof & Reid of Bethlehem, she said she had no prior health problems when struck by a heart attack.

She is one of 41 women from around the country – all heart disease survivors – selected from a nationally competitive application process to attend the three-day symposium “and return home as a leader to educate, advocate, and support her community” on the issue of women and heart disease – the nation’s leading cause of death for women.

WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease, which is based in Washington, D.C., is the nation’s leading organization representing the 42 million women living with or at risk for heart disease.

“These 41 women are living with the most devastating of chronic diseases, and yet have made a conscious decision and selfless commitment to help other women live heart healthy lives and support those currently living with heart disease, by establishing a WomenHeart Support Network in their community,” said Lisa M. Tate, chief executive officer of WomenHeart,  in a news release.

“I am thrilled and honored to represent this very important campaign to fight heart
disease in women,” said McComsey.

“I look forward to getting started right here in the Lehigh Valley — educating the community and supporting all women in their quest to live a heart healthy life. Together, we can do it and make a difference.”

By becoming a national volunteer WomenHeart Champion, McComsey is one of 650 women from across the country to be honored with the WomenHeart  Champion title.

The women are available to speak to community, state, and national audiences about the prevalence of heart disease in women and how
it is so often under-diagnosed and mistreated.

 WomenHeart advocates for prevention, early and accurate diagnosis, and proper treatment of heart disease, and WomenHeart Champions run the
only national community based, patient-led network of support groups for women living with heart disease.

“Heart disease can be a very emotionally and physically isolating condition for women,” said Tate. “Our network of support groups enables women to have the camaraderie and support they need to make the lifestyle changes necessary to live a heart healthy life.”

WomenHeart was founded in 1999.  The Science & Leadership Symposium at Mayo Clinic was founded as an integral part of WomenHeart in 2002.

Go for more about WomenHeart.

Attempted Bank Robbery In Luzerne County

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EXETER — Police are investigating an attempted bank robbery in Luzerne County. According to police, a man tried to rob the Wells Fargo Bank in Exeter after 4 p.m. Tuesday. Officers released a security camera photo of the man.