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Local News

Monday, June 29, 2015
Dylan Messerschmidt/Times News West Penn Police Chief Brian Johnson, left, and Sgt. Jason Lorah, right, training K-9 unit dog Gunner

The West Penn Police Department continued last week's CSI camp on Thursday at the Commonwealth Connections Academy in Andreas with demonstrations from their K-9 unit.

The students in attendance got to learn about narcotics and drug searches from Sgt. Melissa Ruch and West Penn Chief of Police Brian Johnson. The officers also taught the kids about the dogs that work for the police department and all that they do.

"It's amazing how smart these dogs are. They learn us faster than we learn them," Johnson said.

Monday, June 29, 2015

BANGOR (AP) Authorities in eastern Pennsylvania say they have recovered 137 of the bronze urnlike receptacles stolen from eastern Pennsylvania cemeteries in recent weeks.

The (Easton) Express-Times reports that Slate Belt Regional Police arrested two men after they tried to sell 75 urns to a Plainfield Township salvage company.

Police said Thursday that 62 similar pieces were sold to the company in late May, but officials suspected they were stolen, so they set the pieces aside and alerted police.

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Carbon County driver and his passenger were killed in a one-vehicle crash on Saturday evening in Luzerne County.

State police at Hazleton identified the victims as Gerald Lynn Sweitzer, 57, of Weatherly, and Keith R. Frick, 38, of Pittston, Luzerne County.

Troopers said Sweitzer was driving a 2004 Ford Crown Victoria southbound on North Lehigh Gorge Drive, three-quarters of a mile north of Caplos Road, in Foster Township, at 7:25 p.m. "at a high rate of speed."

Monday, June 29, 2015
Muriel

A New York man, currently housed in the Carbon County Correctional Facility, is being extradited to New York to face charges for aggravated harassment.

According to the affidavit filed by Nesquehoning Police Chief Sean Smith, police were notified about Muhammad Calderon Muriel's outstanding warrant in New York by a prison sergeant on the morning of June 15.

Muriel had been in prison for drug-related charges for an earlier incident in the county, court papers say.

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Middleport man picked the wrong time to try to bum a cigarette.

Two Tamaqua police officers were asked near Tamaqua Borough hall on June 20 when a man walked up and asked one if he had an extra cigarette. After being told no, he turned and began to walk away. Sticking out of his back pocket was a syringe, plainly visible to the officers.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

BANGOR. (AP) — Authorities in eastern Pennsylvania say they have recovered 137 of the bronze urn-like receptacles stolen from eastern Pennsylvania cemeteries in recent weeks.

The (Easton) Express-Times (http://bit.ly/1RJhFnH ) reports that Slate Belt Regional Police arrested two men after they tried to sell 75 urns to a Plainfield Township salvage company.

Police said Thursday that 62 similar pieces were sold to the company in late May, but officials suspected they were stolen, so they set the pieces aside and alerted police.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The upcoming July 4th holiday brings with it family picnics and celebrations with friends.

Local law enforcement officials, however, are out to remind drivers of automobiles and watercrafts that getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol, using drugs or taking certain medications is a bad idea.

At a press conference held Thursday near Beltzville State Park's boat launch, Carbon County District Attorney Jean Engler said alcohol related crashes decreased in Pennsylvania last year, but it remains a top safety issue.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) — Chris Squire, the bassist and co-founder of the progressive rock band Yes who recently announced he had leukemia, has died, according to a statement from his band members on Sunday. He was 67.

The band posted a statement on its Facebook page saying Squire "peacefully passed away" Saturday in Phoenix, where he lived. No further details about the death were provided.

Squire announced last month that he had acute erythroid leukemia, a rare form of acute myeloid leukemia. He was receiving treatment before he died.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

MALONE, N.Y. (AP) — A three-week manhunt that began with a brazen prison break involving stolen power tools and hacksaw blades hidden in frozen hamburger meat ended Sunday when a single state police sergeant spotted a suspicious man walking down on a rural road near the Canadian border.

David Sweat's capture came two days after his fellow escapee, Richard Matt, was killed in a confrontation with law enforcement while holding a shotgun. Sweat was unarmed when he was shot twice by Sgt. Jay Cook as the fugitive ran for a tree line.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

MOUNT MORRIS, Pa. (AP) — Authorities say a coal miner was killed over the weekend in an accident at a mine in southwestern Pennsylvania.

The Green County coroner's office says 55-year-old John Kelly of Albright, West Virginia died shortly after 1:30 a.m. Sunday in the emergency room at Southwest Regional Medical Center.

Authorities said Kelly had been injured while working at a mine in Mount Morris.

The coroner's office said preliminary information indicates that he was injured by "some type of air shaft/mine door coming down upon him."