Felony charges against four Lehigh County teens involved in an incident at a Whitehall basketball game have been dropped. While the felony charges have been tossed, the four boys will be admitting to the less-severe charges against them. It all stemmed from an incident at a January 28th Whitehall basketball game when a ninth-grade student was talking with his girlfriend in a restricted area of the building. School officials told the boy he had to return to the gym, but he didn't do that immediately according to attorney John Waldron. "He just wanted to know why he had to leave. Nobody gave him that information. Nobody told him what he had done wrong," Waldron says. He says that's when the officials tried to kick the boy out of the building entirely. A police officer already at the game was then called in as were three other officers and a police dog. The episode quickly escalated when three other teens entered the dispute, which ended with scuffles with police on the bleachers and floor. The boys, who are 14, 16 and two 17-year-olds, have now agreed to admit to disorderly conduct and other misdemeanors.
A Berks County woman was ordered to stand trial on murder charges in the hanging deaths of two of her children. Lisa Snyder is accused of killing her 8-year-old son, Conner, and her 4-year-old daughter, Brinley, by hanging them with a dog lead from the basement ceiling of the family's home in Albany Township on September 23. Snyder told investigators Conner was being bullied in school, wanted to commit suicide, and didn't want to die alone, so he killed his sister before himself. Snyder's hearing was held at the Berks County Courthouse rather than at a district justice's office due to threats made against her.
Residents in Washington Township say township commissioners didn't go far enough by putting Police Chief Scott Miller on unpaid leave Wednesday night. Many residents who spoke at last night's meeting say Miller should be fired after he was cited for failing to report an accident and driving at an unsafe speed after wrecking his truck January 6 on Kesslerville Road in Plainfield Township, Northampton Country. While Miller had spent about eight hours at a nearby bar and restaurant before the crash, investigators say they were unable to file DUI charges against him. Supervisors say a final decision on Miller's job status won't happen until his legal situation is completely resolved.
Nearly three months after a popular tourist attraction in the Poconos was discontinued, it will be brought back this weekend. Reading & Northern Railroad will resume its scenic train rides in Jim Thorpe starting Saturday at Winterfest after a tax dispute was been resolved. The company closed in November due to an amusement tax dispute with Jim Thorpe Borough Council.
Pennsylvania Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati says hs is not seeking another term. The Jefferson County Republican made the announcement Wednesday. He's held the leadership position for the last 14 years and was also the state's lieutenant governor from 2008 to 2011. He is the second legislative leader in the state to announce his pending retirement, after House Speaker Mike Turzai said last month that he wasn't seeking re-election.
A week after unveiling his budget proposal, Gov. Tom Wolf continues to pitch it on the road. At Lock Haven University, he pushed his idea of taking $204 million from the state's Horse Racing Development Fund and putting it into a scholarship fund for students in the State System of Higher Education. "The question is are you going to bet on horses or are you going to be on our kids? I'm going to be on the kids and I think that's what we ought to be doing," the governor says. Wolf says the new scholarship dollars would help shrink the debt many college students face after graduation. Opponents of the idea say stripping the money from the horse racing industry would kill that industry in the Keystone State.
Get rid of property taxes to pay for public schools. That's what a group of lawmakers in Harrisburg is pushing. Wednesday, the Senate Majority Policy Committee discussed Senate Bill 76, which would replace revenue by increasing personal income and sales taxes. Republican St. Sen. David Argall is the bill's sponsor and says property taxes are "unfair and archaic" relics from the past.
Gov. Tom Wolf is announcing more help for victims of sexual assault. Wolf says the state Office of Victims' Services is now accepting sex assault counseling claims for victims of abuse. According to the governor's office, the claim process, enacted as part of a law last year, covers the costs of therapy and counseling for victims of childhood and adult sex abuse in the state. More info can be found on the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency website.
A Chester County school is serious about its zero tolerance policy. Serious enough to call police on a kindergartner with Down syndrome at Valley Forge Elementary School. The girl's mother says her daughter got frustrated with her teacher and made a finger-gun gesture back in November saying 'I shoot you.' The mother says she understood everything except calling the police. She calls it ridiculous and asked the principal not to do it. The school defended its decision, but the district is now said to be evaluating its policy.
State officials are letting residents know that bats may already be flying overhead. The Division of Fish and Wildlife says while the animals are winter hibernators, they will come out during warm afternoons in the winter to feed and drink on occasion. They believe the bats are possibly showing up more frequently this time of year in New Jersey due to recent warmer winters. Residents should not worry about bats flying normally or snuggling under leaves, they say, but if you see one out in the open when it's really cold to call a state-licensed wildlife rehabilitation center for help.