A Wilson Borough man died Wednesday night following an argument outside his apartment building on South 25th Street. Dennis Hodge Jr. was pronounced dead about 10:15 p.m. Wednesday after he was found laying unconscious in the parking lot at P&J Apartments. Wilson police were dispatched to the apartment building shortly before 9:45 pm to investigate an assault report. Officers arrived to find Hodge unconscious in the parking lot, bleeding from the head and not breathing. Investigators report that Hodge was punched in the head by another resident during an argument. After being punched, he fell and hit his head on the pavement. Police said the other man, described as a 26-year-old black male with a thin build, fled in a vehicle. Authorities said Hodge and the other man knew each other and that the argument was not a random incident.
The Pennsylvania Senate has passed 50-0 a bill which would create a competitive bidding process for the sale of the 195-acre Allentown State Hospital. The Pennsylvania House passed the bill Tuesday night by a 200-1 margin. The Pennsylvania Senate had already passed the bill 49-0 on June 11 but needed to approve the bill one more time Wednesday, since the House added an amendment to the original bill. Assuming Gov. Tom Wolf signs the bill, a committee will be formed to review bids and recommend a buyer. That committee would consist of a representative from the City of Allentown, General Services Secretary Curt Topper, St. Rep. Michael Schlossberg and St. Sen. Pat Browne, who sponsored the Senate bill.
An Easton man is being charged for lewd behavior committed while strolling around a local mall. Samuel Gimel is charged with both open lewdness and pot possession. Ginel was allegedly spotted touched himself inappropriately while walking around the lingerie and kids clothing departments in the Palmer Park Mall's Boscov's store. He was previously charged with indecent exposure and open lewdness last January after an undescribed incident committed in South Whitehall Township.
Two Lehigh County residents are admitting to animal cruelty charges. Macungie's Jason Wieder pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges of cruelty to animals while Melanie Rehrig admitted to charges of neglecting animals. Those charges stem from the discovery of dead animals at their home last October and another 81 animals living in squalid conditions. Animals found there include dogs, pigs, rabbits, reptiles and frogs.
Lower Saucon Township police are looking for a pair of men who pulled a phony water worker scam on an area resident. Police say they responded Tuesday to a Waldheim Road home after a resident claimed to have been robbed by two men who said there was a problem with the water supply. The victim refused entry to one man, but when the suspect returned with another man saying he was a supervisor, the homeowner allowed them in. The victim says the suspects, who weren't wearing badges or uniforms, stole money after running the water in his home.
Several cars are damaged after a hit-and-run crash took out power lines in Berks County. The crash happened early Wednesday morning on Route 100 in Bally. A truck took out a pole holding the major distribution power lines for the entire borough. The crash also caused major damage to cars at a nearby dealership. State police have not yet released any information on the crash.
State senators from both sides of the aisle are finger pointing for Wednesday's shouting and name calling incident inside their chamber. The two sides were arguing over a program that offers people who are unable to work $200 a month to help pay bills other support programs won't cover. Republican Sen. Jake Corman, at one point, called Lt. Gov. John Fetterman a partisan hack. As Fetterman left the pulpit to head to the floor to make an attempt at peace, President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati began to preside over the chamber. Following a walkout by Senate Democrats, the senators voted nearly completely along party lines to eliminate the decades old program.
Wednesday marked the one month anniversary of the death of Kerry Acker, who Congresswoman Susan Wild describes as her life partner. On the floor of the House Wild revealed Acker's death was a suicide and she explained why she decided to make that public. "Why am I sharing this very personal story? Because we all need to recognize that mental health issues know no boundaries. I do not want anyone else to suffer as he suffered, nor for any other family to suffer as mine has over the past month," Wild said. She urged anybody struggling to call National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK.
PennDOT is trying to get a jump now on hiring workers for this winter. They're searching for diesel mechanics, equipment operators and welders in eight counties. Last winter, PennDOT says it struggled to hire the part time workers they needed to deal with the winter weather.
Pennsylvania officials are putting out their annual 4th of July safety messages. There will be plenty of warnings about drunk driving. But the head of the PA Fish and Boat Commission also says you should remember not to drink and boat. "Bottom line: when you wear your life jacket and you don't drink, the chances of having a boating accident go down dramatically. We invite everyone to get outside and fish and boat all the beautiful waters that Pennsylvania has to offer this holiday weekend and all summer long, but please do it responsibly," Tim Schaeffer says.
Pennsylvania is giving anglers a free shot at state waters on Independence Day. The Fish and Boat Commission says the Fourth of July will be an official "Fish-For-Free" day in Pennsylvania. That means fishing licenses won't be necessary on July 4th. However, all other regulations still apply.
A bill that would end Pennsylvania's ban on Sunday hunting is on its way to the state House. The state Senate approved a measure Wednesday that would permit hunting on three Sundays each year. Supporters say Sunday hunts will allow more young people to get involved in the sport.
Pennsylvania's Game Commission is asking you to keep an eye out for wild turkeys. The agency is running its annual Wild Turkey Sighting Survey starting on July 1st and then through the end of August. Details on what people are seeing helps with analyzing current turkey reproduction. Last year's state turkey population of around 229,000 was higher than the previous ten-year average of 220,000. The bird's population had once jumped as high as 280,000 in the 2000s following restoration efforts and hunting restrictions.