Pottstown Shooting Death Ruled Homicide

POTTSTOWN, PA — The victim of a fatal shooting Thursday night has been identified.

Steven Mitchell, 20, was found dead in a car in the 400 block of Jefferson Avenue.

Mitchell died from a single gunshot wound to the torso, according to Dr. Walter Hofman, the Montgomery County Coroner. Hofman was not able to confirm where Mitchell lived.

Mitchell’s death was ruled a homicide, Hofman said.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20140606/update-pottstown-shooting-death-ruled-homicide

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Snake-Handling Kentucky Pastor Dies From Snake Bite

Map of the Middlesborough Micropolitan Statist...

Map of the Middlesborough Micropolitan Statistical Area (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MIDDLESBORO, KY (AP) — Jamie Coots, a snake-handling Kentucky pastor who appeared on the National Geographic television reality show “Snake Salvation,” died Saturday after being bitten by a snake.

Coots was handling a rattlesnake during a Saturday night service at his Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name Church in Middlesboro when he was bit, another preacher, Cody Winn, told WBIR-TV http://on.wbir.com/1cLrs8A 

“Jamie went across the floor. He had one of the rattlers in his hand, he came over and he was standing beside me. It was plain view, it just turned its head and bit him in the back of the hand … within a second,” Winn said.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/news/1199267/Snake-handling-Ky.-pastor-dies-from-snake-bite

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Potent Heroin, Painkiller Mix ‘All Over Pittsburgh’

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Allegheny County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The deadliest batch of heroin to hit Western Pennsylvania in more than 25 years killed as many as 13 people during the past week as authorities scrambled to warn users.

The unknown distributors of the drug apparently mixed in the powerful painkiller fentanyl and sold it in stamp bags marked with the brand name Theraflu — the same as the over-the-counter cold medication. The potent combination is causing overdoses and deaths in Allegheny and Westmoreland counties.

“I’m only at the very beginning of investigating the number of deaths,” said Dr. Karl Williams, Allegheny County‘s medical examiner. His office identified 13 people ranging in age from 25 to 51 whose deaths were believed to be connected to the batch. In four cases, authorities found bags with the Theraflu stamp with the victims.

“It’s all over Pittsburgh. It’s all over Allegheny County. It’s all over the surrounding counties. It’s a major regional issue,” said Williams, who with officials in Westmoreland County raised alarms about the drug on Friday.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/5484258-74/heroin-county-deaths#ixzz2rcfvDBra
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Death Of Woman Found In Clay Township Ruled A Homicide

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The death of a woman who was found Sunday in a Clay Township wildlife area has been ruled a homicide.

Lancaster County Coroner Dr. Stephen Diamantoni said Monday afternoon that the woman died of “substantial trauma” to her body.

He declined to elaborate on the trauma.

The coroner said dental records are being used to identify the woman, who had been dead in Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area for “at least days.”

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/943494_Death-of-woman-found-in-Clay-Township-ruled-a-homicide.html#ixzz2qJPFC1nd

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Investigation Continuing Into Homicide At Pottstown Apartment

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

POTTSTOWN, PA — One man was killed and another man injured early Friday in a middle of the night shooting in the King Street Commons apartments at King and Charlotte streets.

The victim was identified Friday as George Hashimbey, 22, who was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Montgomery County Coroner Dr. Walter Hofman.

Court records obtained by The Mercury show Hashimbey with addresses in Pottstown and in Philadelphia.

Hofman said Hashimbey died of a gunshot wound to the stomach and chest area. Hofman ruled the death a homicide after the autopsy was completed Friday.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20131227/updated-pottstown-shooting-victim-identified

DA: Deaths Of Lancaster Twp. Couple Investigated As Homicides

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Twelve days have passed since a Lancaster Township couple were found dead in their home on Thanksgiving morning.

What killed Darryl Leroy Morton and Aida Judy Cora remains unknown, according to investigators.

They were a respected and well-liked couple in the community.

They had a turkey in the kitchen and appeared to be planning a holiday celebration.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/929865_DA–Deaths-of-Lancaster-Twp–couple-investigated-as-homicides.html#ixzz2n7AO8qg4

After Philly’s Running Of The Santas, A Tragic Death

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HE LAST SUIT Adam Herr wore was an outward expression of the ideals he embodied – joy, generosity and love.

The last suit Adam Herr wore was a Santa Claus suit.

Herr, 24, of Lebanon, Pa., was in Philadelphia for the annual Running of the Santas on Saturday when somehow, about 10:25 p.m., he found himself in costume and on foot on Interstate 95 South near the I-676 interchange.

Motorist Augustine Bangura, 27, of Philadelphia, was also on I-95 at the same spot at the same time, State Police said. Apparently he did not see Herr or his red suit.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20131209_After_Philly_s_Running_of_the_Santas__a_tragedy.html#Soa0zLfdrT4BTO5b.99

Report: Traffic Deaths Rose In Pennsylvania And U.S. In 2012

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and ...

Map of Pennsylvania, showing major cities and roads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pennsylvania’s increase in traffic deaths in 2012 was smaller than the rise nationwide — the first increase in U.S. fatalities since 2005, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported today.

The NHTSA reported a 3.3 percent increase in U.S. traffic fatalities for the year to 33,561 people killed, an increase of 1,082 from 2011.

Seventy-two percent of the increase — 778 of the 1,082 deaths — came in the first quarter of the year, and over half of those deaths were motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians and other people not in vehicles, NHTSA reported. The agency noted that the first quarter of the year was also the warmest on record.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2013/11/14/Report-Traffic-deaths-rose-in-Pennsylvania-and-U-S-in-2012/stories/201311140293#ixzz2kfoIVzGT

Bus Driver And Three Passengers In Critical Condition Following Fatal Crash

NEW COLUMBIA, PA — One woman was killed and 44 people were injured early this morning when a Greyhound commercial passenger bus and tractor trailer collided on Interstate 80 in Union County.

Approximately 20 ambulances from five counties responded to the crash site on Interstate 80 westbound at Mile Marker 206, about four miles west of the Route 15 interchange in White Deer Township.

State police at Milton said the accident occurred at 1:41 a.m., but no other details have been released.

A total of 49 passengers, plus the bus driver, were aboard the passenger bus traveling non-stop from New York City to Cleveland, Ohio.

Read more: http://dailyitem.com/0100_news/x703134040/BREAKING-NEWS-Charter-bus-and-tractor-trailer-crash-in-Union-County

Mother Says Victim’s Life Was On An Upswing

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The mother of a woman slain in Northampton County Sunday remembered the time her daughter helped deliver a baby goat about two years ago on the family farm in Hunlock Creek.

“The goat needed help and, as gross as it was, she reached in saved that animal,” said Elaine Smith, who lives in Nanticoke.

Amanda Stratford, 28, of Wilkes-Barre and Nanticoke, was found dead around 11:30 Sunday night in a pickup truck in Easton. The Northampton County coroner ruled her death a homicide after she was shot multiple times.

Smith and her husband did not get word of her death until Wednesday when the coroner called. Unanswered questions swirl around the woman’s death. Run-ins with the county judicial system speckled her past, and Easton police say her death was drug-related. Smith knows her daughter had trouble with the law years ago, but she said things seemed to be on the upswing.

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/866319/Mother-says-victims-life-was-on-an-upswing

Woman Killed In Apparent Hit-And-Run In Lower Pottsgrove

Location of Lower Pottsgrove Township in Montg...

Location of Lower Pottsgrove Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

LOWER POTTSGROVE TOWNSHIP, PA — A bus reportedly struck an elderly woman on Mervine Street in an apparent hit-and-run in Lower Pottsgrove early Monday morning.

The woman was apparently struck around 7 a.m. by what police are describing as a bus.

It is unknown if the striking vehicle was a school bus or one from a transportation company, but police are still looking for the vehicle.

Both Pottstown and Pottsgrove School Districts said the bus was not affiliated with them.

Read more: http://www.pottsmerc.com/article/20130909/NEWS01/130909478/(updated)-breaking-woman-killed-in-apparent-hit-and-run-in-lower-pottsgrove-#full_story

Death Leaves BARTA With Big Hole To Fill

English: BARTA bus in downtown Reading, Pennsy...

English: BARTA bus in downtown Reading, Pennsylvania, July 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

BARTA will send off the first bus from its restored Franklin Street Station in Monday, taking the final step in realizing its dream of reopening the once-abandoned city transportation hub.

But agency officials who have been scrambling to start the new Reading-Lebanon route will have something else on their minds: the man whose vision for the station started it all.

Dennis D. Louwerse, BARTA’s longtime executive director, died Thursday night from complications related to a respiratory infection, according to agency officials.  He was 68.

He took the helm of the then-financially troubled bus agency 30 years ago and transformed it into an organization that’s recognized in the national transportation industry.

Read more: http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=509443

Reinholds Man Killed When SUV Collides With Tractor-Trailer

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United Stat...

Map of Berks County, Pennsylvania, United States with township and municipal boundaries (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Reinholds man was killed Friday when his SUV collided with a tractor-trailer on Route 422 just east of Monacacy Hill Road, Amity Township.

Officials said Royce A. Ochs, 65, was driving east shortly before 5:20 a.m. and was rounding a left curve when the rig driver pulled onto the highway from a business on the left side of the road.  Ochs’ SUV hit the rear of the trailer.

Ochs was pronounced dead at the scene by Deputy Coroner Matthew Mears at 6:37 a.m. Ochs died of severe head injuries, and the death has been declared accidental, said Chief Deputy Coroner Jonn Hollenbach.

The rig was operated by Kevin Coulson, 42, of Wyomissing. He was not injured.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=502855

‘Bachelor’ Star Gia Allemand Dies At 29

Reality TV star and model Gia Allemand, who notably appeared on season 14 of ABC’s The Bachelor, died Wednesday of an apparent suicide in New Orleans.  She was 29.

Allemand was discovered Monday night in her home by boyfriend, NBA Pelicans player Ryan Anderson, who dialed 911, it says in the statement released by her family following her death.

“Due to a critical loss of brain and organ function, life support was withdrawn,” the statement says. “Ms. Allemand passed away peacefully with her mother, boyfriend, and other lifelong friends by her side.”

She was taken Monday night to University Hospital following “a serious emergency medical event,” her rep shared in a statement released Tuesday.  The details of her condition were not immediately disclosed.  She was later placed on life support.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/entertainment/television/Bachelor-star-Gia-Allemand-dies-at-29.html#g0TyHxtYhILBopK2.99

Woman, 30, Plunges To Death In Philly

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Somehow, the cellphone slipped out of her hand.

Ngoc Tran Vo, a 30-year-old beauty with a checkered past, was on a 12th-floor balcony of the Residences at Dockside in the wee small hours Friday, looking south on the Delaware River, when her phone tumbled to a patio eight floors below.

Vo, and the man whose apartment she was visiting, called security from the posh condominium and asked them to retrieve the device, said police Capt. Laurence Nodiff, of South Detectives.

“They said they could do it at a reasonable time, but it wasn’t even 4 a.m.,” he said.  “They couldn’t disrupt the sleep of anybody who was in the [fourth floor] apartment.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/Woman_30_plunges_to_death.html#752BlWWjbeIMLqzs.99

Murder-Suicide Reported In Home Of Wounded War Veteran In Northampton County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton C...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Northampton County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Authorities in Northampton County are investigating a suspected murder-suicide that happened in a Moore Township home built for a wounded veteran two years ago.

The fatal shooting happened just before midnight Monday at a home at 3001 Delps Road.  Authorities remained on scene until early Tuesday, but have not released the identities of the victims.

Township police said the shooting has preliminarily been ruled a murder-suicide and involved a man and a woman, but details are being withheld pending further investigation by the Northampton County coroner’s office.  Police said there were children in the home during the shooting, but they were not injured.

Read more: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-d-pa-wounded-veteran-murder-suicide-robert-kisl-20130730,0,4704431.story#ixzz2aXlYUAP4
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Pennsylvania Officials Warn About Potentially Fatal Heroinlike Drug

State officials have issued a warning about a heroin like drug that has caused 50 deaths in Pennsylvania already this year, including four in Berks County.

Berks District Attorney John T. Adams confirmed Thursday that toxicology reports have shown that four overdose deaths reported earlier this month all involved the drug fentanyl.

The state Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs said Thursday that fentanyl and its derivative, acetyl fentanyl, has been blamed for at least 50 deaths in 15 counties. Five nonfatal overdoses also have been reported.

The state also is awaiting toxicology reports from overdose deaths in several other counties.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=488448

Grand Jury To Probe Bathtub Death

A grand jury will investigate the death of Julia Papazian Law, the 26-year-old paralegal found dead in a bathtub in her boss’ Center City apartment last month.

Word of the inquiry came as toxicology tests revealed that at the time of her death, Law had a blood-alcohol level higher than 0.40 percent – five times the threshold for legal intoxication, according to court sources. Medical experts say a blood-alcohol content of 0.35 percent or greater may be fatal.

The District Attorney’s Office confirmed Friday that it had asked for the grand jury probe, but declined to elaborate.

Law, who worked for high-profile defense lawyer A. Charles Peruto Jr., was found facedown in his tub on May 25.

Peruto, 58, who described Law as his girlfriend, told police he was in Avalon, N.J., on the night she died. He said he learned of her death from a maintenance worker who found her body in Peruto’s Rittenhouse Square apartment.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20130608_Grand_jury_to_probe_bathtub_death.html#fu7x6vMTOwwOYFpw.99

Dead Woman Was His Girlfriend, Peruto Says

English: Map of Philadelphia County highlighti...

English: Map of Philadelphia County highlighting Center City (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

High-profile criminal defense attorney A. Charles Peruto Jr. confirmed Sunday that a 26-year-old woman found dead Saturday in the bathroom of a Center City home he owns was his girlfriend.

Peruto, who answered the door at the three-story brick building at South 20th Street and Delancey Place, declined to comment beyond stating that the woman “was my girlfriend.”

The woman’s identity had not been released by police as of Sunday morning, but a police source identified her as Julia Law.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20130527_Dead_woman_was_his_girlfriend__Peruto_says.html#MHtkQtdPDIX068yz.99

Oklahoma Twister A Top-Of-The-Scale EF-5

Map of Oklahoma highlighting Cleveland County

Map of Oklahoma highlighting Cleveland County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MOORE, OK (AP) — The National Weather Service says the tornado that hit Moore, Okla., was a top-of-the-scale EF-5 twister with winds of at least 200 mph.

Spokeswoman Keli Pirtle said Tuesday the agency upgraded the tornado from an EF-4 on the enhanced Fujita scale to an EF-5 based on what a damage assessment team saw on the ground.  The weather service uses the word “incredible” to describe the power of EF-5 storms.

The weather service says the tornado’s path was 17 miles long and 1.3 miles wide.

Pirtle says Monday’s twister is the first EF-5 tornado of 2013.

For more stories and video directly from Oklahoma, click here: http://newsok.com/oklahoma-twister-a-top-of-the-scale-ef-5/article/3828315