The Diocese of Allentown is establishing a program to provide compensation to past victims of sexual abuse at the hands of clergy. The diocese made the announcement Thursday that this comes from recognition of its responsibility to better provide victims and abuse survivors a way to recover from past crimes. Compensation will be determined by an independent administrator. Dioceses in Scranton, Harrisburg and Philadelphia also announced the creation of similar funds Thursday.
The former campaign adviser to the jailed ex-Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski will be sentenced on February 7th for his role in an Allentown City Hall pay-to-play contracting scheme. Mike Fleck pleaded guilty to tax evasion, bribery and conspiracy to commit extortion two-and-a-half years ago. After being confronted with evidence of his own crimes, Fleck helped investigators build a case against Pawlowski by agreeing to wear a wire and record conversations with the mayor.
A head bouncer for an Allentown nightclub is facing charges for allegedly knocking out a patron. Juan Acosta-Morales is accused of chasing after a man identified as Harold Renovales of Reading outside the View Lounge and then down North 13th Street back on October 21st. In a clip that's gone viral on social media, Acosta-Morales is seen punching Renovales, dropping him to the ground. As a result of the punch, Renovales spent several days in the hospital for treatment of facial fractures, chipped teeth and a brain bleed.
A woman is facing charges for stealing money out of a wallet she found at the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem. A customer Wednesday night reported that she lost her wallet and security called the State Police. An investigation and use of video surveillance showed she dropped her wallet, which was then allegedly picked up by a woman identified as Yan Zhen Zhu, who had reportedly taken out almost all the cash and several credit cards. Zhu was arraigned and then placed in the Northampton County Prison.
Because of expected terrible weather tonight, all District 11 playoff football games have been postponed until tomorrow. The Bethlehem Catholic-Pottsville game is now at 1 o'clock Saturday, while the Saucon Valley-Northwestern game is tomorrow night at 7. The North Schuylkill-Notre Dame-Green Pond game will now be played tomorrow at 1 o'clock in Lehighton. Freedom and Parkland play each other while Emmaus and Easton tangle Saturday night at 7 o'clock.
Among the 40 newly-announced stores to be closed by Sears is one at the Stroud Mall in Monroe County and the Sears in the Berkshire Mall in Berks County. The Lehigh Valley's Sears store, at the Whitehall Mall has survived as has the area's three remaining Kmarts in Wilson, Walnutport and Wind Gap. The company announced last month the Kmart on South Fourth Street in Allentown would be closing.
Ex-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie could become America's next attorney general. Christie wanted the job while helping Donald Trump win the presidency and he hinted he still is interested while speaking at Rowan University last month. "If I were to go back into government, it would only be for something that I felt I was uniquely qualified to do, where I thought I could make a big enough difference so I could go back to my wife and say, 'okay, one more time'," Christie said then. Christie and the president's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, reportedly have a strained relationship however. While working as a federal prosecutor, Christie worked out a plea deal that sent Kushner's father to prison in 2004 for tax evasion, illegal campaign contributions and witness tampering.
A new study finds New Jersey has the safest hospitals in the nation with 57-percent earning top marks. The Leapfrog Group is the only national rating system that focuses entirely on errors, accidents, injuries and infections. Its latest report gives New Jersey the most "A" grades.
A great white shark named Jane is checking out the Jersey Shore. Ocearch says Jane was tagged in Canada last month and has been pinging away all week off Cape May. Like Mary Lee, another great white that frequently visited New Jersey, this teenage shark has her own Twitter account that explains she's excited about her own adventures.