A Montgomery County company will begin tearing down the Allentown State Hospital in July. Today's Morning Call reports the state Department of General Services has awarded a $12.7 million contract to Neuber Demolition and Environmental Services in Gilbertsville to begin tearing down the 44 buildings on the property. The company hopes to have the demolition wrapped up by next February. As for what comes after that on the nearly 200 acres, a subsidiary of the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation has hired an engineering consulting firm to complete a reuse feasibility study for the property.
The Allentown Police Department has some fresh faces. Five new officers were sworn in and seven recent police academy graduates were given their badges during ceremonies at City Council chambers. Two others were promoted as well.
An Allentown man is now charged two weeks after allegedly assaulting his ex-wife. Police say 40-year-old Anwar Johnson assaulted his ex-wife at a home on North Penn Street on January 25th. He also allegedly set a stuffed animal on fire, which caused a larger fire which damaged the home. Johnson faces arson and simple assault charges.
Pennsylvania State Police say they're noticing a decrease in seat belt usage. In January alone, troopers issued 105 citations for people failing to buckle up. According to PennDOT data from 2018, there were nearly 400 people killed and about 1000 people seriously hurt because people weren't wearing a seatbelt.
Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale says the Legislature needs to increase dog licensing fees so that the dog law agency can stay afloat. He says the reason is pretty simple. "It may run out of money this summer," DePasquale says. Right now, dog licenses cost $6.50 a year for dogs that are spayed or neutered and $8.50 for dogs that are not.
The City of Philadelphia is spending more than any other city by far to deal with litter and trash. The nonprofit Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful has released a study that says Philly spends around $48 million annually to clean up its streets. That number is eight times higher than Pittsburgh, the next-highest Pennsylvania city, which spend about $6 million. The other cities in the study are much smaller than Philadelphia, but Philly also has the most businesses and draws the most tourists, which both mean much more in the way of garbage.