In what may be a preview of the 2020 general election, both President Trump and ex-Vice President Joe Biden spent Wednesday in Pennsylvania. Biden campaigned in Scranton, where he grew up. "Donald Trump inherited a strong economy from Barack Obama and me. Things were beginning to really move. And just like everything else he's inherited, he's in the midst of squandering it," Biden said. While Biden was in the northeast corner of Pennsylvania, President Trump was on the western side of the state at a shale energy conference in Pittsburgh. "These Democrat plans would destroy millions of Americans jobs and devastate communities across Pennsylvania and bankrupt families all across our nation. As long as I am your president that will never, ever even come close to happening," Trump said. The president told conference-goers he would always remain friendly to the energy industry.
An Allentown man wanted for a Wednesday morning murder is in custody after a standoff in Lower Milford Township. Police arrested Walter Martinez after he first allegedly refused to exit a home near Limeport Pike and Kings Highway. The man allegedly killed a Massachusetts man early Wednesday morning outside the Chicago Sports Bar and Grill on Airport Road. A second person who was allegedly with Martinez during the shooting has also been arrested for lying about Martinez's whereabouts. A third suspect remains at large.
An Allentown man is under arrest for allegedly committing three robberies. Ted Hansley is accused of robbing three stores between October 16th and 22nd, stealing money and cigarettes every time. Police say he either showed a gun or suggested he had one during each robbery.
Catasauqua is getting $1 million to clean up an old iron works site. Gov. Tom Wolf has announced the former Crane Iron Works building is one of seven projects that has been funded via the state's Industrial Sites Reuse Program. Catasauqua was granted $1 million to remove asbestos-containing material throughout the structure, remove any debris and then cap the site with clean fill. Once that's done, the site is expected to be transformed into a mixed-use development.
A former policeman is facing charges he raped a DUI suspect. Steven Mertz, a former corporal with the Pocono Mountain Regional PD, is under arrest for allegedly coercing a woman to perform sex acts on him last week in exchange for him not filing charges after he arrested her for driving under the influence. Monroe County DA David Christine says the charges show nobody is above the law. "In this county, the entire law enforcement community joins me in this pledge. When a crime occurs, everyone is going to be held accountable, to degree of the seriousness of the crime, whether or not they work for the government, whether or not they wear a badge," Christine says. Mertz's attorney says his client has now retired from the force after 22 years on the job.
State officials are warning drivers to watch out for deer. The Pennsylvania Game Commission says deer are becoming more active right now due to their fall breeding season, commonly known as the "rut." Young bucks are actively searching for new ranges while older bucks are chasing does around while looking to mate. All this activity means more deer on or crossing roadways, making them a hazard to drivers.
The Lieutenant Governor's residence at Fort Indiantown Gap may soon be under the control of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. In a Wednesday vote, the state Senate approved a bill that would allow the property to be used for veterans' programs and military families. The bill now goes to the state House for a vote.