A Lehigh County judge has ruled Allentown cannot impose its business privilege tax on Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network from 2012 to 2016. Judge Melissa Pavlack ruled Good Shepherd wasn't subject to the tax because it was not engaged in business activities as defined by city law. This ruling sets a precedent for more than a half-dozen nonprofits which are appealing the city's retroactive business privilege tax bills. Among other nonprofits to appeal the tax are Lehigh Valley Physicians Group, St. Luke's Physicians Group, Phoebe Services and the Parkettes.
The Lehigh Valley's youngest serial killer has received an odd offer from Lehigh County Judge Edward Reibman. After being resentenced Tuesday for the rape and murder of an Allentown woman, Harvey Robinson was asked by the judge if he would consider donating his brain after he dies. Robinson, a Muslim, told Reibman he'd have to determine if the donation was consistent with his religion. Robinson was 17 in 2012 when he was sentenced to life, but that was reduced to 35 years-to-life Tuesday. Even with that resentencing, Robinson is still facing the death sentence for another murder and a life sentence for a third murder, plus almost 200 years for other crimes.
Police are reminding bicyclists they are subject to the rules of the road. Colonial Regional Police say they handle several complaints concerning underage people riding bikes recklessly in Hanover Township. Police say that anyone using a pedal-powered cycle must obey the laws of the road, including that riders cannot travel in groups that have more than two people lined up in a row. Officials have posted a photo of minors breaking traffic rules online and are asking anyone who recognizes them to call police so the youths can be informed about related laws.
LANTA says it's adding nearly a dozen green buses to its fleet. LANTA says it has received ten compressed natural gas buses and it claims the compressed gas is the cleanest burning transportation fuel available today.
Jerry Sandusky's resentencing hearing is set for next month. In an order filed Tuesday, the former Penn State assistant football coach will be in a Bellefonte courtroom on November 8th as the judge takes another look at the sentence given following Sandusky's 2012 conviction on 45 child sexual abuse charges. Sandusky's attorneys successfully appealed, saying some mandatory minimums weren't properly followed when he was given a sentence of between 30-and-60 years.
Federal prosecutors rejected a plea offer from the man accused of shooting and killing 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. Robert Bowers sought a plea deal to avoid a potential death penalty sentence should he be convicted for the Squirrel Hill shooting that also wounded six others last October. Bowers' trial could begin in September 2020. He faces 63 federal charges.
The official White House Christmas tree this season is a Pennsylvania native. A tree from Mahantongo Valley Farms in Northumberland County has been selected to be placed in the Blue Room of the White House, which makes the tree the official tree usually trimmed by the First Lady. That tree will be cut down and taken to the White House next month.
New Jersey is reporting a healthy gambling revenue increase. The state Division of Gaming Enforcement is sharing stats that show the total gaming revenue for September is up by more than $20 million over September of 2018. Internet gaming wins are also way up, with September 2019 seeing a nearly 60-percent increase in revenue. However, casino wins did drop over the same period of time, but by only about three percent. For the year to date, the industry's total gaming revenue is up around 20 percent.
Former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman is blasting President Trump and comparing him to Adolf Hitler. Responding to a video that used a movie scene to depict fake violence against news organizations, Whitman tweeted that "Hitler has nothing on Trump." Meanwhile, the president's staff says he hasn't seen the video but comdemns its content. Whitman has taken to social media to criticize President Trump, a fellow Republican, in the past.