Wilkes-Barre Police Investigating Shooting

WILKES-BARRE, PA — City police are at a residence on Monroe Street investigating a shooting this morning.

Police were alerted to the shooting when a man arrived by private vehicle at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital at approximately 10:20 a.m.

Police and city detectives wearing body armor are at the scene questioning witnesses and neighbors.

Read more:

http://www.timesleader.com/news/breaking_news/152984712/

Homeless Man Charged With Homicide With Fatal Stabbing At Interfaith Heights Apartments

WILKES-BARRE, PA — City police charged a homeless man with fatally stabbing a homeless activist inside an apartment at Interfaith Heights earlier this year.

Matthew Vantine, 27, was charged with criminal homicide in the death of 53-year-old Bryan “Hippie” Hogan.

Hogan’s body was found inside his apartment on Jan. 30.

Vantine said he didn’t kill Hogan, saying “He was a good man.”

Read more: http://www.timesleader.com/news/home_top/152959164/

Two Arrested In Death Of Pottstown Man

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman and Pottstown Borough Police Chief F. Richard Drumheller announce the arrest of Richard Collins and Mariah Walton for first degree murder, conspiracy, and related offenses. These arrests are the result of a joint investigation into a homicide, which occurred in the area of Washington and Beech Streets, Pottstown Borough.

On Friday, March 20, 2015 at 11:27 AM, the Pottstown Borough Police Department responded to Washington and Beech Streets for an unresponsive person. The victim, Artie Bradley, age 38, of Pottstown was pronounced dead at the scene. On Saturday, March 21, 2015, an autopsy was performed on the body of Artie Bradley at the Montgomery County Morgue. The autopsy revealed that Bradley died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds. The manner of death was ruled homicide.

The Pottstown Borough Police Department and the Montgomery County Detective Bureau conducted a lengthy investigation, incorporating witness accounts, video surveillance, and various other technological tools they were able to piece together the murder of Artie Bradley. The investigation uncovered an existing relationship between Bradley, Collins and Walton. In the months leading up to Bradley’s murder, Collins and Bradley had a falling out over money.

The soured relationship between Collins, Walton, and Bradley culminated on March 20, 2015 when Collins and Walton were called to assist in an altercation against Bradley’s paramour. This altercation provided Collins and Walton the opportunity to facilitate a confrontation between Collins and Bradley, resulting in Collins fatally shooting the victim, Bradley.

The defendants will be arraigned at Magisterial District Judge Scott Palladino’s Court, which is located at 1 Security Plaza, Suite 101 in Pottstown at 12:30 today.

The cases will be prosecuted by Deputy District Attorney Samantha Cauffman.

Take Back The Night: Pottstown – Rally And Vigil

On Thursday, April 30th at 6:00pm – 8:00pm, the YWCA Tri-County Area will be hosting a Take Back the Night rally and vigil at Memorial Park in Pottstown in honor of all of the survivors and victims of sexual violence. Take Back the Night (TBTN) is a national movement to raise awareness about sexual violence and give a voice to survivors whose stories are too often silenced. The event will include a keynote speaker, a “Speak Out” section for survivors to share their stories, music, a candle light vigil and moment of silence, and community resources.

To learn more about Take Back the Night… http://takebackthenight.org/

Contact information:

Mary Kate Fain

mfain@ywcatricountyarea.org

610-323-1888 x202

Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Mary Kate Fain as soon as possible.

Wilkinsburg Tour To Highlight Blight In Hopes Of Spurring Redevelopment

It’s a home tour visitors don’t typically take: overgrown gardens leading to homes with boarded-up windows, peeling paint and broken stairs.

The Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation and a group of Carnegie Mellon University students hope to highlight hidden beauty in the borough and reframe how people see vacant properties. The students conceived the idea for a Vacant Home Tour on May 9 as a way to address blight.

They’ll walk people through the history of five vacant properties in Wilkinsburg that could be prime candidates for restoration.

At each house, volunteer docents from the neighborhood, who researched the homes’ histories and owners, will present old photos or documents to show the houses in their heydays, said Marlee Gallagher, communications and outreach coordinator for the CDC.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/8083071-74/wilkinsburg-tour-properties#ixzz3XCZ490tS
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Young Gang Busted: Thieves Sentenced For Targeting Homes With Sleeping Occupants

More than a dozen young males and females have been sentenced for their roles in a spree of Lancaster home burglaries and thefts in 2013.

The group, 14 people in all, targeted city homes with residents asleep inside during the three-month spree.

They stole cash, credit cards, and cars.

Their ages, roles and sentences varied, with the youngest being a 15-year-old girl and the oldest a 20-year-old man.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/news/local/young-gang-busted-thieves-sentenced-for-targeting-homes-with-sleeping/article_7f7c0aae-df9e-11e4-9ef5-b3bd03210add.html

Windows Smashed, ‘A Lot Of Damage’ In Shadyside Protest

Pittsburgh police are trying to identify a group of about 30 people who donned masks and ran through Shadyside on Friday night, smashing the windows of more than a half-dozen businesses and an unknown number of automobiles.

There were no injuries in the vandalism spree that began shortly after 8:40 p.m., when police first spotted the group, marching peacefully near Liberty Avenue and Baum Boulevard in Bloomfield, holding candles and telling officers they were holding a funeral procession for a friend, city Public Safety Department spokeswoman Sonya Toler said.

A few minutes later, there was chaos a few blocks away as the group turned onto Walnut Street and marched past the shops and restaurants filled with patrons.

“I saw a group of nine or 10 guys. I couldn’t see their faces because they all were wearing hoodies,” said Miranda Leanos, 18, a waitress at the Thai Place Restaurant.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/8149253-74/group-windows-police#ixzz3X0VEOheR
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With Crime On Their Minds, Concerned Residents Again Press Wilkes-Barre City Council On Rash Of Violence

WILKES-BARRE, PA — The topic won’t fizzle out.

Another city council meeting saw yet another gauntlet of pleas from concerned citizens about Wilkes-Barre’s recent rash of violence.

Council members spent most of Thursday’s hour-long meeting assuring residents that police and city administration were doing everything within their power to squash a three-week-long crime wave that produced six shootings, two deaths and six other injuries.

Council Chairman Mike Merritt conceded things will get worse before they get better.

Read more:

http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/152836901/Residents-press-council-about-crime

Wilkes-Barre Man Charged With Ransacking Interfaith Heights Apartment After Body Removed

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Dominick Meininger told police he’s no snitch.

Meininger, 19, allegedly admitted to stealing wine and prescription medications from an apartment at Interfaith Heights after the tenant was found dead in the residence on March 10. But Meininger, of East Northampton Street, denied he had stolen jewelry and a television, according to charges filed.

Meininger was arraigned Wednesday by District Judge Martin Kane on charges of burglary, possessing instruments of crime and theft. He was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $20,000.

The alleged burglary was not the first incident involving Meininger at Interfaith Heights on Coal Street.

Read more:

http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/152813436/

Two Shooting Victims — One Fatal — Found In Plymouth Were Shot In Norristown

NORRISTOWN, PA – A 28-year-old man who was shot in Norristown Monday night was discovered mortally wounded in Plymouth Township, according to a press release issued by the Norristown Police Department and the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office.

Police were called to the 1200 block of Locust Street at 8:52 p.m. and discovered shell casings and other evidence at the scene. Norristown police said two people were shot. The release stated that while police were investigating, the victim was found in Plymouth Township.

Read more:

http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20150407/two-shooting-victims-x2014-one-fatal-x2014-found-in-plymouth-were-shot-in-norristown

Violence Continues With Another Shooting In Wilkes-Barre

WILKES-BARRE, PA — City police said a man was found with a gunshot wound in the area of 247 S. Welles St. just before 1:30 a.m. Monday.

Police did not say where the man, whose name was not released, suffered the gunshot wound. The victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment, police said.

No further information was released.

The victim is the seventh person to be shot in the city within five days. Two of those shootings turned fatal.

Read more:

http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/152759001/

Some Pennsylvania Towns Evict Tenants Based On 911 Calls

Despite a state law signed last year to avoid such circumstances, some communities are still applying parts of local ordinances that allow them to have “disruptive” tenants evicted if more than a few calls to 911 have been made from a residence — even when those calls result from domestic abuse.

The American Civil Liberties Union is involved in a current case in Verona and worked with a woman in Mount Oliver who faced a similar situation last summer. In 2013, the ACLU filed a federal lawsuit against Norristown, Pa., after the organization said officials there pushed for the eviction of a woman who was a victim of domestic violence.

Sara Rose, an attorney at the ACLU of Pennsylvania, said it’s hard to tell how often these types of ordinances —  intended to prevent disruptive behavior — are being used as punishment when tenants call 911. Several municipalities in the state have such ordinances, but Ms. Rose said she’s not aware of any towns that have repealed or changed them since then-Gov. Tom Corbett signed the new law in November.

“Just having it creates a chilling effect on tenants who might be afraid to call the police,” she said.

Read more:

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/2015/04/04/Some-Pennsylvania-towns-evicting-tenants-based-on-911-calls/stories/201504040090

Man Found shot To Death In Wilkes-Barre Residence

WILKES-BARRE, PA — Three shootings. Three days. Two dead.

After more than six months without a gunfire-related homicide in Wilkes-Barre, city police investigated three separate shootings this week — two of them hours apart on Friday morning.

Meanwhile, a vigil in support of non-violence is planned for Public Square tonight.

The latest investigation concerns the shooting death of Peter Bielecki Jr., 49, at his home at 70 Carey Ave.

Read more:

http://citizensvoice.com/news/man-found-shot-to-death-in-w-b-residence-1.1858235

Two Wilkes-Barre Police Officers Assaulted By Drunken Driver

WILKES-BARRE, PA — A city police officer sustained a possible broken nose and another officer was punched in the face while arresting a suspected drunken driver early Sunday morning.

The incident happened on South Main Street near Ross Street when officers Daniel Roper and Erica Oswald stopped Steven Santiago, 33, for driving a vehicle without headlights.

During the traffic stop, Santiago exhibited signs of intoxication and was asked to exit his vehicle. While standing near the back of his car, Santiago refused to submit to a breath test, according to the criminal complaint.

Santiago admitted he consumed alcoholic beverages before he was stopped by police, the complaint says.

Read more:

http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/152641077/W-B-cops-assaulted-in-DUI-scuffle

Heroin, Cash Seized, 3 People Arrested In Drug Investigations

HAZLETON, PA — Three people face drug charges and cash and drugs were seized in two separate investigations Thursday, police said.

In one of the cases, a woman trying to flee police struck an undercover vehicle, police said.

Police identified the woman as Passion Tairi Flores, 24, of West Birch Street.

According to police: A controlled drug buy with Flores was arranged near the intersection of North Locust and Third streets at approximately 5 p.m. As officers closed in on Flores, she accelerated her vehicle and tried to get away, striking an undercover vehicle and preventing her escape. Flores and her passenger, Anthony Morales Jr. 22 of Brooklyn, New York were arrested. Approximately $900 in cash and 220 packets of heroin were seized from her vehicle.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news-news/152497462/

Camden County Police Chief Scott Thomson Gets Raise

The Camden County freeholders on Thursday approved a $66,800 raise for Metro Police Chief Scott Thomson, bringing his annual salary to $230,000.

Thomson’s new contract guarantees that he will stay in Camden until at least 2019, county spokesman Dan Keashen said Friday.

“This is about retaining one of the sharpest law enforcement minds in the country,” Keashen said.

No county funds are used for the operation of the Camden County Police Department, which is paid for by Camden City and the state.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20150321_Camden_s_police_chief_receives__66_800_pay_increase.html#Zl2PFt58e6hq4eVd.99

Three Wyoming Valley Turkey Hill Stores Targeted Overnight

KINGSTON, PA — Three Turkey Hill stores in the Wyoming Valley were targets of robbers Tuesday night into Wednesday morning.

Two stores in Wilkes-Barre and a store in Kingston were held up.

Here are the reported robberies by police in Wilkes-Barre and Kingston.

• Tuesday, 9:30 p.m., Turkey Hill, 335 E. Main St., Wilkes-Barre: A white man armed with an undisclosed weapon entered the store and demanded money from a clerk. City police considered the suspect armed and dangerous. The suspect is in his 20s, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, thin build, fair skin, and wore a grey hooded sweatshirt, black jacket and dark colored jogging pants.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/152424848/

Homegrown Middle Class: A Neighborhoods Policy For Philadelphia

To John Kromer the city’s persistent poverty is best tackled at the neighborhood level. In a four-part series of commentaries Kromer, an urban housing and development consultant and former city housing director, will explore different policy interventions the next administration can deploy to reduce poverty, stabilize neighborhoods, and finance anti-blight work. Kromer lays the foundation with this first installment:

Mayoral and City Council candidates rarely have to take strong positions on neighborhood issues because other topics, such as taxes, crime, schools, and drugs, are more likely to attract voter interest when presented in a citywide, rather than neighborhood-specific context. Given all the demands of a hectic campaign season, most candidates don’t bother to bring forward substantive proposals for improving the condition of Philadelphia neighborhoods until after the elections.

The lower-priority status of neighborhoods as a campaign issue is particularly unfortunate, because the city’s biggest problem—the persistently high level of poverty in Philadelphia—can only be solved at the neighborhood level.

Organizing a neighborhoods policy that can be effective in reducing poverty levels is doable but complicated. Doing so requires thinking about existing strengths and weaknesses and future opportunities in a new way and seeking to obtain political buy-in for a new approach immediately. Advocates for fundamental policy changes can’t afford to wait until after the inauguration ceremony, after the appointment of planning and development officials, and after the presentation of the new administration’s first budget. Anyone who’s serious about planning to significantly reduce poverty during the next city administration needs to begin now.

Read more:

http://planphilly.com/eyesonthestreet/2015/03/16/homegrown-middle-class-a-neighborhoods-policy-for-philadelphia

Phoenixville Borough Council Targets Crime On Bridge Street

PHOENIXVILLE, PA – After a recent increase in crime along Bridge Street, borough officials, residents and business owners say they’ve had enough and are searching for solutions.

During Tuesday night’s borough council meeting, Councilman Michael Kuznar added his voice to the growing number of people concerned about the borough’s safety. A recent armed robbery at the Save More Discount Center on Bridge Street and bricks thrown at two businesses were examples he used that something needs to be done.

“Since Jan. 1, Bridge Street has had over 900 calls to dispatch,” Kuznar said. “That’s a lot for just one street.”

Residents complained about “shady activity” at the Children’s Plaza at Bridge and Banks streets, too.

Read more:

http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20150313/phoenixville-borough-council-targets-crime-on-bridge-street

Special Report: What Is Being Done To Combat Crime In Pottstown?

Pottstown, PA – Ask law enforcement dealing with violent crime in Pottstown about the biggest obstacle to catching criminals and they are likely to say it’s silence.

Or, more specifically, silence when police ask witnesses to provide information about a crime.

Repeatedly in recent months, as police have been grappling with a wave of violence, Pottstown Police Chief Rick Drumheller has pleaded with people to come forward and say what they know.

“It’s time to pick a side,” Drumheller said during a Dec. 3, 2014 council meeting.

Read more:

http://www.pottsmerc.com/general-news/20150310/special-report-what-is-being-done-to-combat-crime-in-pottstown