A popular Allentown police detective has died. 51-year-old James Stanko died Monday after being hospitalized for an undisclosed illness. Stanko joined the Allentown Police Department in February 2009, and most recently served as Youth Detective assigned to the Community Outreach Unit. Jessica Ortiz is a community activist and says Stanko's passing will leave a hole in the community. "It's going to be a great loss to miss him, not to have him out on the court. He was always joking around," Ortiz says. In a statement, Police Chief Charles Roca said, “Jim is the type of officer that represents the highest values and ideals of the Allentown Police Department." Stanko is survived by a wife and two daughters.
State police say a beauty and cosmetics store in Lower Macungie Township has been robbed for the second time in two months. A group of three men went into the Hamilton Crossings' Ulta Cosmetics location Sunday and stole more than $3,000 worth of merchandise. They used garbage bags to gather the items and then stole the products in under two minutes. Police say hits like this take place all over the country with the merchandise being sold online for profit.
The long-time owner of a Catholic business in Bethlehem says she'll be closing the 'Abundant Graces' store at the end of March after 20 years. Co-owner Terri O'Connell, who runs the store with business partner Laura Smith, says they've been praying for an answer and that came in the form of the pending expiration of the lease on the Easton Avenue store. She says she'll be 73 this year and would like to retire. O'Connell is sad, that the closing of her business will leave few stores in the Lehigh Valley that have an exclusively religious clientele.
Legislators and attorneys general in multiple states, including Pennsylvania, say they will be investigating and introducing regulatory bills overseeing pop-up COVID testing sites. The rise in unlicensed pop-up testing sites is the latest example of COVID-19-related fraud that regulators say they've struggled to overcome throughout the pandemic. The Federal Trade Commission says it has received over 650,000 reports of COVID-related fraud, identity theft and other scams.
The FDA is issuing a voluntary recall for more than 18,000 bags of peppermint flavor baking chips sold at Walmarts nationwide. The FDA recalled seven-ounce bags of Lily's Sweets Peppermint Flavor Baking Chips due to the presence of soy. Affected bags have an expiration date between January 24th and February 4th, 2022. Officials say those with a soy allergy or sensitivity to soy should not consume this product and will need to contact Lily's Sweets for a refund.
For the first time since 1943, Pennsylvania has a new state record for a typical whitetail deer taken with a firearm. But, the "new" record buck was shot about 60 years ago. State records show a man who has since passed away shot the 14-point buck, which measured 202 7/8 inches in Montgomery County sometime in the 1960s. The rack changed hands several times over the years, but recently ended up in the possession of the Bass Pro Shops, who had it officially measured. The Pennsylvania Game Commission just recently certified the rack as the new state record. It tops a 189-inch buck that had stood as the state record since it was shot by Fritz Janowsky in Bradford County in 1943.
The 1000 pounds of inedible butter that had been used to create the Pennsylvania Farm Show's 31st butter sculpture is being sent to a digester to eventually be used for renewable energy to heat homes. The sculpture was disassembled Sunday and will be recycled at Reinford Farms in Mifflintown, which has a methane digester. The butter, along with thousands of pounds of food waste, will be broken down in the digester to create renewable energy.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy will take his oath of office today. The Democrat will be sworn in for his second term at the Trenton War Memorial. Murphy narrowly won re-election in November after a tight race with Republican Jack Ciattarelli.