Federal Judge Juan R. Sanchez this morning sentenced the former campaign consultant to ex-Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski to 5 years in federal prison for tax evasion and his role in trading Allentown city contracts for donations to Pawlowski’s campaigns. The judge also ordered that Fleck pay about $134,000 in restitution and serve 3 years supervised release. Following his sentencing, Fleck was immediately taken into custody as Pawlowski’s family looked on from the gallery. A federal jury convicted the four-term Democrat last year, and he was sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.
Pennsylvania's Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence and conviction of Eric Frein, the man who killed a Pennsylvania state trooper and wounded another outside their barracks. The state Supreme Court's decision Friday upholds lower court decisions in the case. Frein was convicted in the 2014 murder of Cpl. Bryon Dickson II outside the Blooming Grove barracks. Another trooper, Alex Douglass, was badly wounded. Frein led authorities on a 48-day manhunt through the Poconos before U.S. marshals caught him at an abandoned airplane hangar.
A Bethlehem church already damaged by arson earlier this week has now been hit by an arsonist for a second time. The Iglesia Pentecostal Church de Bethlehem was reportedly set on fire early Thursday morning by somebody splashing gasoline across its roof and igniting it. The Bethlehem City Fire Marshal previously confirmed that the blaze which destroyed the interior of the church early Tuesday morning was also an act of arson. No motives have been announced in connection to the two arsons. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is offering a reward of up to $5000 to anyone who can supply information that leads to charges.
A Northampton County man is behind bars for sexually assaulting four different underage girls. Gary Smith, of Bath, was jailed Thursday for allegedly sexually assaulting the four victims when they were between the ages of six and 17. State police say one victim tried to escape Smith during an assault and responded by punching her in the face and breaking her jaw.
Closing arguments are today in a Northampton County murder trial. Testimony ended Thursday in the trial of Gregory Lewis, who is charged with killing Michael Davis of Palmer Township and a series of cellphone store robberies. Prosecutors say Lewis and another man planned to kidnap Davis and force him to drive them to the Verizon Wireless store in Palmer Township, where Davis worked, so they could steal cellphones. The second man, Vaughn Felix, testified against Lewis. Lewis and Felix are also charged with another murder in Berks County.
Tomorrow marks the 17th National Take Back Day and Lehigh County police departments are helping you get rid of unused or expired over-the-counter medications. If you have capsules, pills, liquids or pet medications you'd like to dispose of safely, there are 14 places to do it Saturday from 10am to 2pm. Among them are police departments in Catasauqua, Fountain Hill, Macungie and South Whitehall, Upper Macungie and Upper Saucon townships. Syringes and sharps are not accepted.
Pennsylvania’s Democrat U.S. Sen. Bob Casey endorsed Joe Biden for president, just minutes after the former vice president entered the crowded 2020 race. In a statement this morning, Casey touted Biden as a fighter for the middle class who can beat President Donald Trump in Pennsylvania if Biden becomes the Democratic nominee. In a tweet, Casey said, "I am proud to endorse my friend, Joe Biden, for President."
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is making it easier for New Jersey students to repay college loans. Thursday, Murphy signed a bill into law that will offer alternative payment options for borrowers who are struggling financially. "It will give real peace of mind to countless borrowers juggling their student loan repayments in the face of joblessness or other financial distress," Murphy says. A second bill he signed allows students to pay defaulted loans through more affordable monthly payments and helps repair their credit rating. Murphy says this will give peace of mind to a number borrowers who are juggling student loans while facing financial stress.
The Philadelphia Eagles traded up to the 22nd pick overall and took Washington State offensive tackle Andre Dillard. Eagles Executive Vice President of Football Operations Howie Roseman says Dillard was worth trading up in the draft to get. "He was a guy that we had ranked as one of the top ten players in the draft," Roseman said. To get Dillard, the Eagles traded the 25th pick, the 127th pick and the 197th pick to the Baltimore Ravens.