The former headquarters of Bethlehem Steel is coming down this spring. At his State of the City Address Thursday at SteelStacks, Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez said Martin Tower will be imploded in either April or May, after sitting vacant since 2007. Martin Tower opened in 1972 on 53 acres along Eighth Avenue and is the tallest building in the Lehigh Valley.
A South Jersey man is in Northampton County Prison for allegedly cursing a police officer in two languages before smacking the officer. Natale Tassone was found by Freemansburg police earlier this week behaving in a reportedly drunk and aggressive fashion. Officers allege he cursed at them in Italian and then in English before lashing out and knocking the officer's glasses off. Tassone was jailed on counts of aggravated assault, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness.
A Poconos man is behind bars for having sexual online chats with underage victims. State police say East Stroudsburg's Daniel Siegfried was arraigned Wednesday on several charges, including endangering the welfare of children. Troopers allege Siegfried was communicating and exchanging photos with two 13-year-old girls.
A $170 million project is set to make improvements to I-78 in Berks County. PennDOT is planning to widen a nine-mile stretch of I-78 between Lenhartsville and the Lehigh County line. Crews will also add a climbing lane for tractor trailers. Work is expected to begin in the spring and last three years. Experts say the changes will modernize the highway and make it safer.
Lehigh Valley women will soon have one fewer fashion option. A month after filing for Chapter 11 backruptcy protection, retailer Charlotte Russe has announced it's closing all of its stores, including the one at the Lehigh Valley Mall. The company's online store has already closed and going-out-of-business sales began Thursday at its remaining stores. A closing date for the local store has not yet been announced.
Trustees at Kutztown University are agreeing to a $5.2 million renovation project at Keystone Field. The council voted unanimously to move forward on the project to transform the field's grass surface to artificial turf and install permanent lights. The field is used by the university's varsity women's soccer and lacrosse programs as well as other recreational, intramural and club sports. Work is expected to begin this spring and be completed by the fall semester.
Gov. Tom Wolf is pushing his Restore Pennsylvania Plan which he says would provide money to improve flood protection in his very flood-prone state. "How 'bout we create a fund to actually allow communities to do the things they need to do to prevent flood damage," Wolf says. Under the governor's plan, that fund would be filled with money raised by a severance tax on Pennsylvania's natural gas industry. Wolf says such a tax would result in $4.5 billion over the next four years. He says that money would be spent on upgrading flood walls and levees and replace high-hazard dams as well as helping flood victims rebuild their lives.
Health officials confirm that 16 cases of the mumps have been traced to Temple University. That's the highest number reported in Philadelphia since 2011. Experts say outbreaks are more common on college campuses because vaccinations are waning and students are living in close quarters. Students are advised to get the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine if they haven't already and anyone who's pregnant or suffering from a compromised immune system who's been exposed to mumps is advised to seek medical attention immediately.