A police-involved killing in Monroe County is back in the news. The family of 19-year-old Christian Hall says video shows just moments before he was shot and killed by Pennsylvania State Troopers, Hall had his hands in the air. In one hand he held what was later determined to be a BB gun. It all happened last December on the I-80 overpass in East Stroudsburg. For an hour-and-a-half, negotiators tried to get Hall to surrender, but when he failed to comply with repeated orders to drop the gun, troopers opened fire. Hall's family says their son had mental health issues. The Monroe County district attorney ruled the shooting was justified. Family attorneys have asked the Justice Department, the FBI, and the Pennsylvania Attorney General to review the investigation, saying the Monroe DA is biased because of his working relationship with state police.
After less than five months on the job, West Reading's police chief is preparing to step down. Glenn Granitz Jr. submitted his resignation Thursday as the borough's police chief to pursue a career in the private sector. Granitz's last day on the job will be Dec. 13. He went to West Reading after quitting at Allentown's police chief back in June.
A gun was discovered Wednesday at Lehigh Valley International Airport’s security checkpoint. Transportation Security Administration agents spotted a loaded 9mm handgun in a Bethlehem man’s carry-on bag. This is the fourth gun found at LVIA since July.
The new St. Luke's Carbon Campus hospital opens Saturday morning at 7 o'clock. At the same time, the Lehighton Campus ER will close. The new three-story, 80-patient room facility is the first new hospital built in Carbon County in 65 years. Next spring, St. Luke's plans to break ground on a 50,000-square-foot medical office building connected to the hospital.
Easton police are investigating a shooting that happened just after 7 o'clock Thursday in the 1000 block of Washington Street. Police say a 22-year-old gunshot victim walked into the hospital with injuries that are not life-threatening. Investigators says the victim is not cooperating with them.
A New York man is charged with threatening two unidentified Berks County judges. Tyrel Smith allegedly called one judge's wife and court administrators and in one message, the DA's office says he identified two judges and threatened to "be like a school shooter in the courtroom." Authorities said Smith also threatened to kill his ex-girlfriend. Smith had been scheduled to appear in court in Reading on terroristic threat and harassment charges. U.S. marshals picked him up in the Bronx without incident.
The statue of a Pennsylvania Dutch couple that used to be at the old Roadside America has been damaged by an arsonist. The fire happened at Creative Crafts in Lebanon County. The statue was purchased at auction back in January for $5000. The statue's current owner hopes to be able to restore the statue, which sustained at least $5000 in damage.
CVS is closing 900 stores over the next three years, amounting to nearly 10% of its footprint, in response to what CVS calls the changing of "consumer buying patterns." A list of locations shutting down, which will happen beginning next spring, was not immediately released.
Federal health officials say the number of overdose deaths in Pennsylvania jumped more than 13 percent in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control, the commonwealth also had the fourth most deaths of any state in the country. A little over 5410 Pennsylvania residents died of an overdose from May 2020 to April of this year. Officials say the consistent demographics of those fatally overdosing are predominantly white men between the ages of 25 and 44.
With drug overdose deaths up to record numbers, Pennsylvania health officials say everyone should carry Naloxone, the drug used to counteract an overdose. Department of Drug and Alcohol programs Secretary Jen Smith says you never know when you might run in to someone who needs it. "Naloxone saves lives and the more Pennsylvanians who have it in their homes, their vehicles, their briefcases, their handbags, the more we can normalize the accessibility of Naloxone," Smith says. She says getting Naloxone is easy and free.
The search for four people is over and the ending is sad. Former Baltimore policeman Robert Vicosa, his two children Aaminah and Giana and Tia Bynum, a suspended Baltimore County Police Sergeant all died Thursday near the Pennsylvania-Maryland border. Vicosa kidnapped the two young girls Monday in York and remained on the run until the car he was in was spotted Thursday. Maryland State Police said police tried to stop the suspect vehicle after the Pennsylvania State Police notified them of a chase. The vehicle then struck a fenced line. As police approached the vehicle, they found a child and Vicosa in the backseat, both dead from gunshot wounds. Another child was flown to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Bynum was in the driver's seat and she too was dead.
Gov. Tom Wolf has signed a variety of bills into law on Thursday, including one that may bring changes for district attorneys across the state. Among the seven bills are two measures from the House that commemorate law enforcement officers' service by naming roadways after them. A Senate bill is providing for new holidays in the state: March 6th will be designated as "Persian Gulf War Veterans Day," October 7th will be designated as "Global War on Terrorism Veterans Day," and September 27th of each year will be known as "First Responders Day." Additionally, Senate Bill 420 requires a district attorney to hold an active law license while in office. All seven bills were signed into law Wednesday.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro has opened a nationwide investigation into Meta Platforms, Inc., formerly known as Facebook. He and other attorneys general in other states say the social media giant promoted its social media platform, Instagram, to children and young adults in a way that violated state consumer protection laws and put the public at risk. Shapiro says the inquiry will help determine whether Facebook failed in its responsibility to protect children online in using techniques to increase frequency and how long they stayed on line. Eight other states have joined in on the investigation including New Jersey.
New Jersey is working to combat so-called gun violence across the state. The Department of Law and Public Safety is creating a $12 million grant program to reduce gun violence and support crime victims. Acting Attorney General Andrew Bruck says $10 million of those dollars will support community-based violence intervention programs while $2 million will provide emergency housing for crime victims. Bruck says gun violence won't end unless the state invests in the people who are working on the ground to make their communities safer.
New Jersey is allocating $10 million to food banks throughout the state. The amount will be split between six different organizations based on how many people they serve. Community Food Bank of New Jersey is receiving $5.3 million while Food Bank of South Jersey and Fulfill will each receive $1.5 million. Secretary of Agriculture Douglas Fisher announced the funds yesterday, saying more food insecure New Jerseyans will now have access to nutritious meals. The money will come from the American Rescue Plan.
For the second time, Bryce Harper has been named the National League Most Valuable Player. Harper says he's glad to have won this one in Philadelphia. "I love my team. I love the city of Philadelphia. I'm just so excited to be able to be there and be part of it. I just so grateful to know I signed with the right place, with the right people, with the right organization and the with the right mindset as well," Harper said. Shohei Ohtani of the Angels is unanimous winner of the AL MVP award.