A former Allentown restaurant owner has been sentenced to two years probation and must pay $89,000 in restitution after admitting to failing to pay that amount of money in state sales taxes. Louis Belletieri pleaded guilty Monday to six misdemeanor counts of theft, more than three months after being charged with 31 felony counts of theft. The Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office had said he failed to pay, in full, monthly sales taxes generated from Louie's Restaurant, which closed at the end of last year. While Louie's is closed, Belletieri's attorney tells the Morning Call his client is considering opening another restaurant.
There's new blood on Allentown City Council and it's young blood. 25-year-old Joshua Siegel and 33-year-old CeCe Gerlach have both been sworn in to begin their time on council. Siegel plans to be an advocate for the city's young people. "I want to make sure we invest in younger residents and give them some of the same leadership opportunities that helped mold me into a young leader," Siegel says. Gerlach you should expect her to push for affordable housing and reduce the city's homeless problem. "Right now there are people who are sleeping in tents outside and it's freezing cold. A lot of them are there through no fault of their own," Gerlach says. Gerlach and Siegel replace Roger MacLean and Courtney Robinson on council.
History was made at the Lehigh County Board of Commissioners annual reorganization meeting held last night. Democrat Zakiya Smalls was sworn in as the first black female county commissioner for the first Democrat-controlled panel since the late 1970s. Smalls, who is the CEO and co-founder of J-And-Z Professional Services, said "voices not heard will now be heard."
A Bethlehem mom is in custody for allegedly beating a man with a metal pipe for trying to kiss her nine-year-old daughter. 35-year-old Shantika Briley told officers that she confronted the 39-year-old in her home last week, where she accused him of licking her daughter's lips and trying to kiss her. Briley then allegedly grabbed a metal pipe and hit the man in the face and head, before following him home as he fled. She was arrested, while the man was taken to the hospital for treatment. Although she disputes using a metal pipe, Briley has been charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and harassment. Police are still investigating the allegations against the man.
The Great Allentown Fair has announced another Grandstand show and it's a biggie. Superstar Carrie Underwood will be back at the Grandstand for the third time on Friday, September 4th. Underwood previously headlined the show in 2007 and 2015. Tickets go on sale Friday morning at 10 o'clock.
PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission are getting started on the 60-day pre-enforcement period for Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement. From now through March 4th, the automated units will be deployed in active work zones, though violations will not be issued. The acting PennDOT secretary says the goal is to encourage drivers to slow down and save lives, not to issue violations.
Pennsylvania Farm Show visitors have no excuse not to get their flu shot. Nurses from Penn State Health will be on site every day at the state Department of Health's booth in the main hall administering the flu shots. The shot is free and no insurance is required.
Flags are flying at half-staff to honor an EMT killed in the line of duty in Western PA. Gov. Tom Wolf made the announcement Monday after paramedic Matthew Smelser was struck and killed while working at a crash site on I-70 in Westmoreland County Sunday morning. It's believe weather may have contributed to the accident that called Smelser to the scene. His death is under investigation.
Philadelphia is granting around $1 million to community groups who provide services and support to prevent and reduce gun violence. Over 50 community-based organizations will receive funding toward efforts such as career skill-building, mentoring and connecting returning citizens to their communities. The groups were chosen from among more than 300 applicants. The grants are part of the Philadelphia Roadmap to Safer Communities initiative and Mayor Jim Kenney says the grass-roots programs being funded are important as solutions to gun violence can be found within the communities where such violence takes place.
Pennsylvania State Police are looking for the person responsible for unleashing an infestation of bedbugs at a Walmart in Edinboro. Customer Russ Gaylord is confident Walmart will handle the problem. "If it's actually a fact, the management here at Walmart, they are not reactive. They are more proactive," Gaylord says. A manager found a pill bottle with bugs inside of a jacket for sale last Thursday, the same day an employee reported seeing bedbugs in the men's changing room. A second bottle with dead bugs was also found in the men's department.
President Donald Trump will visit the Jersey Shore soon. A public rally is being scheduled for January 28th at the Wildwoods Convention Center in Wildwood. Anyone looking to attend can register for up to two tickets at www.donaldjtrump.com. Wildwood is in New Jersey's 2nd congressional district, which is represented by Jeff Van Drew, who recently switched from the Democrat party to the Republican party.