The sentencing of ex-Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski's friend and campaign manager Mike Fleck has been pushed back. Federal prosecutors requested Fleck's sentencing be postponed until April 12th. Fleck played a key role in the pay-to-play schemes that ended up with Pawlowski and former Reading Mayor Vaughn Spencer convicted of corruption charges. After investigators showed Fleck their evidence against him, he agreed to record his conversations and phone calls with the two men to help prosecutors build their cases. Ex-Allentown Managing Director Francis Dougherty's sentencing is scheduled for tomorrow morning. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in the scheme.
Allentown police said they recovered a gun after investigating alleged death threats left on a man’s voicemail. The victim told police that Christopher Walters left death threats on his voicemail. An officer listened to the message in which Walters allegedly threatened to shoot the victim in the face and kill him. Authorities responded to the Royal Motel at 1117 N. Irving St. and found Walters. Police apprehended the 56-year-old and found a gun. We don't know why Walters made the threats. Walters failed to post bail and was sent to Lehigh County Jail to await a preliminary hearing scheduled for Feb. 11.
Easton Mayor Sal Panto wants to keep that job. In his announcement, Panto said, "I'm running for re-election because Easton is at a critical time and needs not only a proven leader, but we need continuity and a continued progressive vision for the future." Panto is currently serving his third consecutive term after serving two terms as mayor beginning in 1984.
A longtime Easton fireman will become that city's next fire chief. Mayor Sal Panto says Mike Krill will replace John Bast, who resigned in September. Krill has been with the Easton Fire Department for 33 years and ran against Panto in the 2011 mayoral election.
A new 30-room, 24,000-square-foot pediatric unit opens tomorrow at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest. Dr. Nathan Hagstrom says all the new rooms will be private. "The single-family rooms make a lot of things easier. First of all, there's more privacy for the families for conversations between families, staff and physicians," Hagstrom says. The current pediatric facility will remain open in case of emergencies and to handle overflow.
The state is reporting another six Pennsylvanians have died from the flu. According to data released Wednesday, the fatality count in Pennsylvania due to the flu has now risen to 31 for the current season. There have been more than 24,800 reported cases of the flu state-wide, 1457 of them in Northampton County, which the third highest number in the state. Lehigh County has 1367 flu cases, fifth most in the commonwealth.
Officials are confirming a patients at the Hospital of the University Of Pennsylvania is not suffering from Ebola. The patient had met the criteria necessary to consider an Ebola infection but the person has been determined to be affected by a different health issue. Privacy laws prevent any information about the patient to be shared publicly. Ebola is considered to be a rare illness, but often deadly for those who get it.
Pennsylvania's Game Commission is telling bluebird fans it's time to get their nest boxes ready. Vibrantly-colored male birds will start looking for nesting space by early March and officials say the earlier a nest box is placed out in a yard or field, the better chances are a male bluebird will choose it. Once the bird attracts a female, pairs will set up in boxes and possibly raise chicks an April and again in June. The Game Commission annually works to protect bluebirds by encouraging Pennsylvanians to consider providing nesting shelters, as bluebird populations have previously been impacted by pesticides and the introduction of foreign birds.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is setting new "survivor-centered" rules for sexual misconduct investigations in New Jersey. They include clarifying that victims can file both a criminal complaint and a civil complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Office and that "corrective measures" can be taken to protect the victim, such as removing the accused from the workplace. The new rules come after the questionable handling of a sex assault claim by one campaign staffer against another. Katie Brennan accused Albert Alvarez of sexually assaulting her in 2017 but her claim was ignored by Murphy's senior staffers, Alvarez was hired and prosecutors decided not to pursue the case.
New Jersey's Division of Fish and Wildlife is battling illegal hunting with a robo-deer. The robotic stag, which appears to be an actual deer, has been deployed in South Jersey with the intention of attracting people hunting past legal hours. Whenever night hunters illuminate the fake animal or shoot at it, police who are watching nearby move it to make arrests. Seven people were charged while attempting to harvest the robo-deer over the six-day firearm deer season.
The Philadelphia 76ers have acquired Malachi Richardson, a 2022 second round pick and the draft rights to Emir Preldzic from Toronto for cash considerations. Richardson has appeared in 70 career NBA games with Toronto and Sacramento.