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Paradise Township Home Destroyed
Tuesday April 30th 2013

A Paradise Township woman is homeless after her house went up in flames last night. Today, the homeowner told News 13 she was watching TV with her 6-year-old grandson when the TV went out. She went to check what was wrong. That's when she discovered flames ripping through her home. While the homeowner and her grandson got out safely, her four dogs didn't survive.
Fire crews are still investigating the cause of last night's blaze. The Fire Marshall says it doesn't look suspicious.

Lehigh Co. Man Sentenced for Sex Assault
Tuesday April 30th 2013

A Lehigh County man is sentenced for sexually assaulting an elderly Carbon County woman. The assaults go back to 2007 when the victim was first attacked in her Lower Towamensing Township home. Today, 30-year-old John Vega of Washington Township received 16 to 37 years in prison for two attacks on the elderly woman. Vega is also accused of similar incidents in Lehigh and Northampton Counties. Vega will serve his Carbon County sentence consecutively with his sentence in Lehigh County Court. He also must register as a sex offender.

Carbon Co. Man Sentenced for Rape of a Child
Tuesday April 30th 2013

A Franklin Township man is sentenced after previously pleading guilty to raping a child. In October 2009, Jason Ahner was spotted inside a camper performing sexual acts with a 6-year-old girl. A Carbon County judge sentenced Ahner to 6 years in a state prison today. Ahner also received 9 months for leaving the area before his sentencing.

Lehigh Co. Party Stabbing Investigation
Monday April 29th 2013

Police are looking for a man accused of stabbing and slashing several people at a weekend party in Lehigh County. Police say around three o'clock Saturday morning, several fights broke out at a large party at 8996 Kings Highway in Lynn Township. In the course of the fights, five people were slashed or stabbed by what police call an edged weapon. The victims are between the ages of 17 and 26. After the party disbursed police say a possible gunshot was also fired in the area of the home. The suspect and actors fled the scene prior to police arriving. The suspect is described as a black male between the ages of 18 and 21. He has a thing build and dreadlocks. Anyone with information is asked to contact State Police at Fogelsville.

Walmart Bathroom Incident
Monday April 29th 2013

A Nesquehoning man is charged with invading someone's privacy in a restroom over the weekend. It happened Sunday afternoon at the Walmart in Mahoning Township. Police say 48-year-old Anthony Mistretta was in the men's room for almost an hour from about 1:49 to 2:45. During that time, he admitted to using a mirror to view people in the stalls. Surveillance video shows 19 people going in and out of the restroom during that time. Anyone who believes they may have been a victim is asked to contact the Mahoning Township Police Department.

Ametek Evacuated and Searched
Friday April 26th 2013

A Nesquehoning business is evacuated this morning for a search. The director of the Carbon County Emergency Management Agency tells News 13 Ametek was evacuated around 11 o'clock this morning after suspicious activity by an individual. Employees were sent home and the facility was searched. State Police cleared the scene after finding nothing unusual.

Proposed Bill To Stop Bullying
Friday April 26th 2013

State legislators want schools to do more to stop bullying. The House Education Committee in Harrisburg is looking at a new bill. If it passes, it would change how our school districts handle harassment and bullying. It would give more money toward training our educators to detect and crack down on such behavior. Legislators hope to get enough votes and have the bill in full effect by November.

Slatingon Man Arrested After Hitting Cop
Thursday April 25th 2013

A Slatingon man is arrested after allegedly physically assaulting a police officer. Last night around 8, police were called to a home on Main Street for a disturbance. Officers say William Brown was visibly intoxicated. During their response police found out someone in the home had a PFA against Brown. He then approached the victim. As police ordered him to sit back down, Brown kicked the officer and then punched him in the face. Brown was tased but still refused to cooperate as they tried to cuff him. He also threatened to kill the officer and became combative as EMS tried to help. Brown has been charged with multiple offenses. He was unable to post bail.

East Penn Township Brush Fire
Thursday April 25th 2013

Fire fighters are called out to a brush fire endangering some homes in East Penn Township this afternoon. It happened just after 1:30 in the 1600 block of Germans Road. The fire was in a heavily wooded area behind several homes. Fire fighters were able to stop the flames from spreading to those structures. The Department of Forestry was also on hand. Smoke could be seen from miles away. Fire officials say they believe a home owner was burning tires when the fire got out of control.

Marching for Sexual Assault Victims
Wednesday April 24th 2013

Every two minutes, someone is the United States is sexually assaulted. Tomorrow, some victims will march from Monroe County Courthouse Square to East Stroudsburg University. It's for an annual march called "Take Back the Night," hosted by Monroe County Women's Resources. It starts at 5:30. After the march, victims will be able to share their experiences and concerns with the group.

Monroe County Plans to Expand Courthouse Through Eminent Domain
Wednesday April 24th 2013

Monroe County Commissioners are expected to approve the plan to take the five-story downtown Stroudsburg office building by eminent domain. The overcrowding and overwhelming case-load in the courthouse has had commissioners in debate for over a year on how to alleviate the problem. It took so long the former Shearson-Lehman building, at seventh and main streets, was sold out from under the county to Grist Mill Development Company.
The county is not permitted to a pay a purchaser more than a building's appraisal. Grist Mill Development declined the offer of market value, that gave the county the legal right to impose a property acquisition for the public good. Commissioners agree the higher cost of new construction isn't necessary, but Commissioners still have differing opinions about the condemnation action. If condemnation proceedings get approved by commissioners for the 701 building on May 1st, the current owner will have 30 days from then to challenge the forced sale.

White Haven Man More Theft Charges
Tuesday April 23rd 2013

A White Haven man already accused of stealing from a Kidder Township restaurant is now facing more charges. On Monday, police charged 33-year-old James Huff with multiple thefts at Jack Frost Ski Area between January and March. He is accused of taking almost $4,000 in cash from the ski resort. Last week Huff was charged by Kidder Township Police in a seperate case where he is accused of stealing cash from the Boulder View Tavern.

Middle Smithfield Township Prescribed Burn
Tuesday April 23rd 2013

A plan had been in the works for over a year to have a prescribed burn in Middle Smithfield Township, encompassing an area of 70 acres. It's called a prescribed burn because there's actually a prescription written, just like how a doctor would write, except it's for the woods. The prescription may be to remove trees, spray the ground or start a fire. In this case, it resulted from a timber sale requesting a fire to help regenerate more oak in the area. The Pennsylvania Bureau of Forestry will use fire to take out some of the black birch trees, allowing the competition of the black birch to go away and the oak trees to come up from that. Forest fire specialists recommend not burning in the months of April and May, unless you are a trained professional, have the right protective gear and an understanding of weather patterns.

Man Dead After Electrocuted in Monroe Couty
Monday April 22nd 2013

Officials say, a man was fatally electrocuted while trimming trees at a Jackson Township home earlier today. 32-year-old Jimmy Hernandez of East Stroudsburg was trimming trees at this home on Magnolia Lane, when part of the tree came in contact with an electrical line. At the time, Hernandez was standing on an aluminum ladder, holding a metal saw. Witnesses say Hernandez arrived at the scene in a truck with "Leon Clapper Plumbing and Heating" written on the side. But Monroe County Coroner Bob Allen says Hernandez wasn't working in the US legally and was using his brothers ID. Allen said, "He had gone door to door in Jackson Township to solicit people to trim trees for them." According to Allen, since Hernandez was working illegally, he didn't have insurance. That means, responsibility could fall on the homeowner. Allen hopes this is a lesson for everyone to know who you hire.

Hang Glider Accident Near Blue Mt. Ski
Monday April 22nd 2013

A New Jersey man is taken to the hospital after crashing his para glider into a tree in Lower Towamensing Township. The accident happened yesterday afternoon just before three. State police were called out to a possible plane crash near the Valley Lodge at Blue Mountain Ski Area. Officers say the 60-year-old Hoboken man's para glider began to spin while in the air. The lines became twisted on one side causing the flap to deflate and then crash to the ground. The pilot sustained minor injuries and was taken to the hospital. Police say the FAA will further investigate the incident.

Medication Issues
Friday April 19th 2013

A new study shows Americans--especially senior citizens--are often skipping doses of prescription drugs to cut back on spending. Physicians warns while you may be saving a few bucks now, you'll end up paying for it in the long run. Ignoring health issues now may mean increased issues later on. Carbon County's Agency on Aging offers a "Prize Program" enrollment for Prescription Medicines begin in October.

Carbon County Drug & Alcohol Expo
Friday April 19th 2013

Over the past few years there's been a major increase in drug and alcohol use in carbon county youth. In an effort to raise awareness, parents were invited to take part in a substance abuse and prevention program. Every day, thousands of kids make the decision to experiment with drugs for the first time. The average age a child will first try drugs is 13, that’s why state representative Doyle Heffley held an expo to educate the community Thursday night. Parents had the opportunity to listen to several speakers about how to talk to your kids about substance abuse prevention and addiction to substance abuse. Parents also got a chance to search a mockup of a teenager’s bed room, to see if they could spot any hidden drugs or paraphernalia. Kids who attended the expo were also urged to make a pledge to be drug and alcohol free , with encouragement from former hockey pro Dennis Bonvie .

Monroe County Homeowners Nervous About Possible I-80 Widening
Friday April 19th 2013

PennDot has proposed widening about six miles of Interstate 80 in Monroe County. While construction isn't expected to begin for more than 10 years, a group of property owners just received letters from PennDot telling them to get ready for the initial work. The letter gives about 280 property owners from Bartonsville to East Stroudsburg a heads up that crews will come onto their properties to take core samples and conducts surveys. If PennDot needs to, they will eventually take the land through eminent domain. If you’re one of the people who received one of these letters, it does not mean PennDot will definitely be taking any of your land.

Still Didn't Get Your Tax Bill?
Thursday April 18th 2013

For people who live in Monroe County, if you're still waiting for your county or township tax bills, there's a problem.
The bills were sent out last month. But, commissioners are seeing a large increase in returned mail. They blame it on 911's re-addressing. To fix the problem, contact your tax collector and let them know what you’re new address is. If you don't know who your tax collector is, just call your township's municipal building -- they'll put you in the right direction. There's also a list online at: www.MonroeCountyPA.Gov
If you pay your bills by April 20th, you get a discount.

911 Boosting Communication for Public Safety
Wednesday April 17th 2013

From major tragedies like the Boston bombing, to a small house fire, communication is key in getting everyone to safety. That's why today, emergency officials from eight counties including Monroe, Pike and Wayne, came together to make sure their equipment is ready and able to assist in saving lives. They tested satellite phones, radio frequencies and internet connections. This training series "Operation OverReach" started back in January. While this was a first for our region, officials say they hope to have trainings like this at least once a year.

Kidder Twp. Tavern Theft Arrest
Tuesday April 16th 2013

A White Haven man is arrested for allegedly stealing from a Kidder Township eatery. On Monday, 33-year-old James Huff was arrested for felony theft by unlawful taking and several other related offenses. Kidder Township Police say the arrest stems from a theft on September 12, 2012 at the Boulder View Tavern. Over $6,300 in cash was taken from a safe. Huff has been arraigned, and bail was set at $40,000 cash. He remains at the Carbon County Correctional Facility.

Lehigh Twp, Northampton Co., Burglaries
Tuesday April 16th 2013

Police in one Northampton County community are investigating several home burglaries. Lehigh Township Police say the latest burglary happened Monday in the 4100 block of Wood Drive while the homeowner was present. The burglar was confronted after he entered the residence by breaking open a door. The suspect is described as a white male standing about 5'8" - 5'10", weighing between 140 and 160 pounds. He's between the ages of 18 and 25. He was wearing a black wool coat, dark colored pants and dark colored sneakers. Several home burglaries have happened since March 14th. Investigators believe the actor in Monday's burglary is responsible for several others. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Lehigh Township Police Department.

Housing Market Rebound
Friday April 12th 2013

When the housing market crashed in 2007, many real estate experts feared it would never be the same again. Now, nearly six years later, real estate brokers in the Poconos say things are starting to look up. Officials contribute the drastic change in business to the banks and how they’re starting to sign off on more mortgages than they did just a few years ago. Also, the Federal Reserve is holding interest rates steady at near-record lows. Officials are warning all buyers they can expect a more competitive market this year.

Canal Victim Identified
Wednesday April 10th 2013

Authorities have identified the man found yesterday in the Lehigh Canal. 83-year-old Ralph Wentz of Franklin Township died during a walk Tuesday with friends. The Carbon County Coroner says Wentz died from heart complications and that drowning was not a factor in his death. It has been ruled an accident.

Charges Pending in Palmerton Dog Attack
Wednesday April 10th 2013

Palmerton Police are still investigating a dog attack on two children. The incident happened Friday afternoon on Sixth Street. Two girls suffered deep gashes to their bodies and faces. Palmerton Police today tell News-13 that charges against the dog owner are pending further investigation. The pit bull remains in quarantine. The two girls are recovering after receiving stitches.

Bowmanstown Death Investigation
Wednesday April 10th 2013

State Police are looking into the death of a Bowmanstown man. 36-year-old Bradley Allan was found dead Monday at a home on Pine Street. An autopsy has been conducted, and police say the investigation remains open pending toxicology results.

Lehigh Gap Nature Center Prescribed Burn
Wednesday April 10th 2013

Those driving on Route 248 in the Palmerton area in the coming days may notice a large brush fire, but those flames are planned. The Lehigh Gap Nature Center will hold a prescribed burn in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The nature center is located on part of the Palmerton Superfund site which is contaminated with heavy metals. Prairie grass planted on the land keeps the metals safely underground, but if trees and shrubs start to grow they take in the metals. So this prescribed burn is being used to manage growth. A professional forestry and fire service company is handling the burn. The fire can only be done in the right weather conditions. With the current forecast, organizers say the fire may take place Sunday, but it can happen any time between the 13th thru the 27th.

petition to stop milford beach closure
Tuesday April 9th 2013

Milford Beach is set to close tomorrow in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area because of federal budget cuts. An online petition has been created on the White House's website asking people if they support reversing the decision to close the beach. The petition is trying to get 100-thousand signatures. So far about 300 people have signed. The national park service is closing Milford Beach and Kittatinny Point in New Jersey for the rest of the year. You can find a link to the petition here

Schulkyill County Burn Ban Remains in Place
Tuesday April 9th 2013

Schuylkill County residents are reminded that there is a countywide burn ban in place. New Ringgold and Orwigsburg fire fighters were called out to a brush fire this afternoon on New Philadelphia Road in East Brunswick Township. The State Department of Forestry also responded. The county burn ban went into effect on April 5th and will remain in place until May 5th. Residents who violate the ban face fines. It's not clear what started today's brush fire in East Brunswick Township.

Attempted Burglary at Polk Township Home
Monday April 8th 2013

Residents in a Polk Township neighborhood are on alert after an attempted burglary this weekend. According to police reports, between four and seven people tried to break into the home on Pleasant View Drive through the basement windows and doors. When they heard someone was home, the people fled in three cars. The targeted house is rented by 41-year-old John Oneil and his family. Neighbors tell News 13 this is the third time the house has been targeted. If you have any information you're asked to contact Lehighton State Police: (610) 377-4270

Monroe County Homeless Camp Removed
Friday April 5th 2013

For years, a group of people have been calling the Veterans Memorial Bridge in Stroudsburg home. Today, crews busted out rubber gloves and trash bags and started removing everything on the Stroudsburg side. Crews worked for about five hours and filled a 30 yard dumpster with trash. Crews will clean the East Stroudsburg side of the bridge next week. PennDot officials say once everything is finished, they may put gates up – blocking access to the former homeless camp. Or they may put no trespassing signs near the bridge.

Donating Old School Buildings to Township?
Thursday April 4th 2013

Pocono Mountain School Board members are questioning whether they should sell or donate two of their old school buildings. Both Coolbaugh Learning Center and the old Barrett Elementary buildings are already up for sale. Even though an offer is on the table, district officials have decided to first ask the townships if they can put these buildings to good use. Before they were schools, these buildings were used as municipal offices. But with a 4 to 3 vote, not everyone feels this is a smart move.

Federal Cuts Hurt Park Service
Wednesday April 3rd 2013

If you're one of the millions of people who like to visit the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area's beaches and parks - you may be disappointed. If you're employed by the Park Service, you're feeling even more pain. Sequestration is cutting the Park Service's budget by more than $473,000. That's 5% of their annual budget. To make up for the loss, they're scaling back on services, ranger training, overtime, jobs and two popular sites – Milford Beach and Kittatinny Point. The two sites will close next Thursday - the 10th. The cuts are expected to save the Park Service about $500,000.

Looming Question Mark From A Monroe County Police Department
Tuesday April 2nd 2013

Mount Pocono Borough officials are still undecided whether or not they should stick with the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department. Mount Pocono is one of four municipalities served by the department. While they're happy with their protection, officials say it's too much money. They pay the department more than $768,000 a year -- close to half their annual budget.
If Mount Pocono pulls away from the department - officials have discussed creating their own police department or relying on state police. Borough officials expect to reach a final decision next month.

Sick of Traffic Jams?
Monday April 1st 2013

Whenever there's a big crash or roadwork, chances are it's going to be a slow-go. That's why PennDot is working on an extended $5.4 million Traffic Management Device System. Once completed, there will be a total of 7 cameras and 9 digital message boards placed along Interstates-80 and 380 in Monroe County. Someone will monitor the flow of traffic 24-hours a day. The project has two parts. So far, two cameras have already been installed along I-80, and one on I-380. You can check out live feed at The first part will be done this fall. The entire project should be completed sometimes in early 2015.

Hampton Inn Fire - Carbon County
Monday April 1st 2013

A state police fire marshall is investigating the cause of a Friday night fire at a Carbon County hotel that remains closed. No one was hurt, but the Hampton Inn on Route 209 in Franklin Township was heavily damaged and hotel guests were displaced. The fire broke out around 11:30 p.m. in a dumpster at the back of the hotel and the flames spread up an exterior wall. Fire fighters from multiple departments responded and quickly knocked down the flames and ventilated the building. Hotel guests were reloacted to the Country Inn and Suites just down the road. On Saturday emergency responders returned to the hotel along with a state police fire marshall. Investigators have not released a cause of Friday night's blaze.

BRC13 News Archive