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Local News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A former inmate at the Carbon County prison who assaulted three correctional officers and a fellow inmate was sentenced to a state prison term on Tuesday after entering a guilty plea.

Walter Alexander Bond, 19, no permanent address, pleaded guilty to one count of assault by a prisoner, a felony two. He also pleaded in a second assault incident at the prison to one count of simple assault.

Judge Joseph J. Matika sentenced him to serve a total of 36 to 72 months in a state correctional institution. The prison term will be followed by one year of state probation.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Northampton County man has been dubbed as new business manager in the Palmerton Area School District.

By a unanimous measure, the school board on Tuesday appointed Matthew Sawarynski to the post, effective Nov. 10, at the starting salary of $87,500, prorated.

Sawarynski will fill the vacancy created by the resignation of current business manager Diane Serfass, who resigned because she accepted a position as business manager at the Monroe Career & Technical Institute in Bartonsville.

Serfass took over as business manager in May 2012.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
A Royal Canadian Mounted Police intervention team walks past a gate on Parliament hill in Ottawa Wednesday Oct. 22, 2014. A soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial has been shot by an unknown gunman and there have been reports of gunfire inside the halls of Parliament. Emergency responders are still on the scene as paramedics performed CPR on the soldier before he was taken away by ambulance. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Adrian Wyld)

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) – A gunman shot and wounded a Canadian soldier standing guard at a war memorial in the country's capital Wednesday, then entered Parliament, where numerous shots rang out, police and witnesses said.

People fled Parliament by scrambling down scaffolding erected for renovations, witnesses said. Others were in lockdown. Police with rifles and body armor stood guard outside and blocked the normally bustling streets leading to Parliament.

Ottawa police Constable Marc Soucy said it was unclear whether there was more than one shooter.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A vehicle stop for speeding by Nesquehoning police led to the arrest of the driver and passenger on drug counts and other charges.

The stop occurred at 5:20 p.m. on Oct. 10 along Route 93 and the game lands.

Chief Sean Smith was monitoring traffic and running speed timing when a 2004 Chrysler Pacifica passed him going 76.5 mph in a 55 zone. Smith initiated a traffic stop.

The driver was identified as Ronald Ventura, 28, of 109 Henning Drive, Albrightsville, and his passenger as Alisen Vanger, 25, of 261 Rowe St., Tamaqua.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A basket raffle to benefit Pennsylvania State trooper Alex Douglass, who was injured in a shooting outside the Blooming Grove State Police barracks, will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday at the Jim Thorpe Masonic Lodge Social Hall at 501 Center St.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Last year was a bad one for fires in the gritty coal town of Mahanoy City. In February 2013, the former General Cigar plant burned. In April, two people died when their home caught fire. In May, lightning started a fire that injured a firefighter, and in August, the Washington Hook & Ladder Company was destroyed by a blaze that started in a firetruck.

Given the circumstances, calling in a false alarm at 11 p.m. Oct. 15, 2013, was probably not the best idea Tyler Mooney ever had.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

EAST BERLIN, Pa. (AP) — Authorities say an early morning fire in a central Pennsylvania home that killed scores of snakes doesn't appear suspicious in origin.

Officials in York County said the blaze was reported shortly before 5 a.m. Tuesday in the Washington Township home of a snake breeder.

Chief Larry Anderson of the Wellsville Fire Company said the heat and smoke killed three-quarters of the nonvenomous snakes that were kept in cages in the basement.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Social Security checks will rise by 1.7 percent which translates into $22 more each month for the average retired worker.

In 2015, the average worker will receive $1,328 a month, or $15,936 a year, according to the Social Security Administration.

Next year's annual cost of living increase is up from 1.5 percent this year, but still less than 2012's increase of 3.6 percent.

Seniors received no increases to their benefits for two years prior as prices fell due to the recession.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The 2014 District XI Cross Country Championships, which was slated for today, has been postponed to Thursday.

According to an email sent out this morning from Don Harakal, meet director, the weather forecast played a factor in the decision to postpone.

"After listening to the location weather forecast we have decided to postpone," he wrote.

The championships, which will be held at Bethlehem Municipal Golf Course, will now take place Thursday, beginning at 2 p.m.

Local forecast

Today brings with it a chance of rain.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014
LARRY NEFF/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Two women were killed Tuesday evening in a head-on collision in Lehigh County.

State police at Fogelsville said the crash occurred about 6:17 p.m. in front of 7955 Kings Highway, Lynn Township.

Troopers said Amy Mende, 60, of Kempton, Berks County, and Sylvia Koenig, 71, of New Tripoli, were both pronounced dead at the scene by personnel of the county coroner's office. Both had to be extricated from the wreckage, troopers added.

Coroner Scott Grim ruled both died of blunt force injuries.