Howard Dean coming to Bethlehem for Clinton campaign

The former 2004 presidential contender will help open a Broad Street campaign office.

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Howard Dean will be voicing support for Hillary Clinton during a…

Even Fed Ed’s Supporters Cringe

So last Sunday, Allentown Mayor Edwin “Fed Ed” Pawlowski was at Allentown’s Pride in the Park celebration, along with a gaggle of Democratic political hopefuls. Republicans were building a wall. The MC, probably Adrian Shanker Rob Hopkins, introduced F…

John Brown: NorCo’s MIA Exec Aboard the Trump Train

How Brown has expanded servicesI had to laugh when Northampton County Executive John Brown discussed absenteeism at Gracedale during the last County Council meeting. He piously condemned underpaid bastards who “abuse the system.” That’s precisely what …

NorCo DA to Drug Dealers: We Will Take Your Money, Car, House

Morganelli with Forks Tp Detective Philomena Kelly earlier this year,announcing
homicide charges against a drug dealer who provided a fatal overdose. 
Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli announced yesterday that his drug forfeiture Program netted $140,290 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016. This includes $119,632 in cash, $16,019.13 from the sale of 15 forfeited vehicles and $4,638 in shared proceeds from Attorney General Forfeitures. ​

​Forfeited money is used to purchase police equipment for police, fund undercover drug purchases and provide police training. It also pays for an assistant District Attorney. Seized vehicles are used by local police as unmarked or undercover vehicles or sold at auction. Real estate used to facilitate drug distribution can be forfeited as well, although the District Attorney only uses that tool against convicted drug dealers. “I will continue to return monies we have seized to our local police departments, block watch groups, civic groups and other organizations that assist us in prosecuting drug crime and in educating our youth on the dangers of drugs,” said Morganelli.

In a strange sign of economic recovery, the $140,290 forfeited over the past year is substantially more money than was taken in any of the last three years (2015 – $107,802; 2014 – $120,544; 2013 – $79,831). Since he began this program, which is authorized by state statute, Morganelli has seized over $2 million from drug dealers and returned it to the community.

“Just about every municipal political subdivision in Northampton County has at one time or another benefited from a donation from the drug forfeiture fund,” said the District Attorney. “The message that we want to send to those who deal in illegal drugs is a simple and clear one: be assured that you are doing it at your own risk. When we catch you we will seize your money, your house, your vehicle and any other ill gotten gains from your drug dealings. Drug use and drug dealing in Northampton County will be very unprofitable.”

The Karen Beyer Comeback: Boscola’s Seat?

Karen D Beyer, a former Republican State House member from Lower Saucon township, has made some changes in her life, big and small. seems to be positioning herself for a political comeback. For one thing, she looks completely different than she did whe…

Hanover Tp to Name New Park After First Responders

Hanover’s Supervisors, from L to R: Michael Prendeville, John Tanczos, John Diacogiannis, Steve Salvesen and John Nagle At a community forum in Bethlehem on Monday night, Police Chief Mark DeLuzio heard several complaints from citizens w…

Nazareth Cop Admitted He Hates Black People

On Monday night, Esther Lee and the Bethlehem NAACP conducted an overdue forum on race relations between the City’s minority population and a bunch of panelists about the City’s mostly white police department. Several instances of possible bias were reported, although they seem to really boil down to questions of respect. In fairness to Bethlehem police, whom I consider the best in the Lehigh Valley, it should be noted that beat cops were not invited. I think the discussion would have been even better had they been asked to come. Despite their absence, however, there were no reports of overt racism from the audience.

In Nazareth, things are different. A lot different. Two years ago, I reported claims that then Nazareth Police Officer Danny Troxell was referring on radio to blacks spotted in Nazareth as UNT (Unauthorized N—er in Town) or UNB (Unauthorized N—er in Town). This report came to me from other police officers. I went with this complaint to Nazareth Borough Council, which pretty much ignored me.

I now have additional evidence to support overt racism at Nazareth’s police department. It is a written and signed statement provided by Parking Enforcement Officer Mike Tarnok, who has retired and moved out of the area. Because he is gone, I have no fear that he will experience retaliation. That will pretty much be limited to me, and will consist of snide remarks on the newspaper comment boards.

I have thick skin.

Tarnok’s statement concerns Officer Daniel Troxell. His name is no longer listed on the active police roster, but until recently, he was very much in contention for a full-time job and might still be on the Civil Service list

I have decided against publishing the entire two-page, handwritten statement because Troxell makes references to others who should be kept out of this matter

Troxell starts with some bizzaro claims about the Masons: “[Troxell] feels that Stephen and Fred [two other cops] are using their membership in the Masons to try to make him look bad. Danny says you can’t beat the Masons and a lot of influence and power.”

From Masons, Troxell goes on to blacks.

“Danny told me he hates ‘ni–ers.’ He also told me he is not fond of [a Nazareth female] because she ‘fucked ‘ni–ers.'”

Troxell very nearly became a full-time Nazareth police officer. Troxell is the Nazareth police officer who smashed a door down when a mentally distraught Timothy Nixon had stolen a friend’s gun and then called him to tell him. He refused to call back-up, setup a perimeter or just call Nixon. When Troxell kicked in the door, Nixon committed suicide. A dismissal of Nixon’s wrongful death lawsuit is in the Third Circuit Court.

Incidentally, Timothy Nixon was black.

A Hopeful Bigot

Yesterday, some of you were outraged when a few people suggested, at a Bethlehem forum, that some police officers are racists. Some of you seemed to argue that driving with an expired inspection sticker is a capital offense for which cops should shoot …

DA: Mayor Strye Can Have ARD If He Resigns

Morganelli with former Nazareth Police
Officer Eric Schwab, who left for
Nazareth Mayor Carl Strye has been charged with skimming $8,000 from gambling operations at the Vig Hose, where he was president for many years before being appointed Mayor. He admitted his theft in Grand Jury testimony. After being charged, he waved his preliminary hearing, something innocent people don’t do. Last week, he applied for something called Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD). That’s a special program for first offenders in which charges are dismissed after a period of probation.

On Monday, I argued that Strye’s resignation should be a condition of ARD. NorCo DA John Morganelli agrees. (His letter approving Strye’s application is below). Morganelli is willing to admit Strye into this special program, but on two conditions. First, Strye must make full restitution of the $8000 he skimmed. Second, Strye must resign his position as Mayor.

Morganelli is troubled by Strye’s involvement in, not just theft, but illegal gambling. Some of you have wondered about this, so let me stop for a moment to make clear that a District Attorney enforces the Crimes Code, not the Liquor Code. The Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement investigates allegations of illegal gambling. The state usually acts administratively through the Liquor Control Board, and not criminally. That is why DAs across the state have little involvement in illegal gambling.

Still, I personally believe there is a direct connection between these machines and organized crime. Who supplies the machines these clubs use? Who gets part of the take? Who showers people like Strye with tickets to big sporting events? Strye has admitted to me that he accepts tickets, and I am sure those were never shared with members of the Vig, nor was the value of these tickets reported on income tax returns.

In 1990, the now defunct Pa. Crime Commission claimed that a loose confederation of racketeers, including Bootsie Shumar, were bookmakers who ran the poker machines in the Lehigh Valley. Feds raided the Easton Fleas, where Bootise was an owner, in 2004. According to the US Attorney, Bootsie was giving $1,000 per week kickbacks to club stewards. He was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison despite words of praise from Easton Mayor Sal Panto. It was Shumar’s sixth gambling conviction.

Was Bootsie supplying the machines used by “Sneakers” Strye, as they call the Nazareth Mayor?

Strye would know.

And that’s a problem. In addition to being associated with the gambling underworld, something he has continued at other clubs, Strye is in charge of Nazareth’s beleaguered police department. The fox is quite literally in the hen house.  So is Council member Larry Stoudt, who is also involved in the illegal poker operations at the clubs. He actually tried to use local police to rat out a state police informant at the Legion, where he tends bar.

Ironically, Borough Council President Dan Chiavaroli praised Strye in The Morning Call for his work on the police department, which they’ve emasculated. The last thing Strye or Council wants is an effective police department. 

Fortunately, Morganelli rejects Nazareth’s so-called  leaders. “This office would be remiss in allowing Mr. Strye to continue to be in charge of police operations and supervision as a result of his criminal conduct.”

Annual fair brightens August evenings in the Slate Belt (PHOTOS)

The annual Blue Valley Farm Show is an August favorite in the Slate Belt.

The 71st annual Blue Valley Farm Show opened Tuesday on the fairgrounds at 707 …

CEO of charter school embroiled in mailer controversy resigning

The Innovative Arts Academy Charter School is currently meeting behind closed doors.

The CEO of a fledgling Catasauqua charter school embroiled in controversy, following the…

Bethlehem’s OraSure gets up to $16.6M to develop Zika test

OraSure Technologies Inc. is working to speed diagnosis of the potentially serious virus spread by mosquitoes.

A Bethlehem-based company will receive up to $16.6 million in fede…

Dad accused in beating: Daughter ‘gets nosebleeds easily,’ cops say

Two neighbors heard the girl screaming and called Colonial Regional police, according to court records.

A father covered in blood after beating his daughter told investigators th…

Bethlehem man charged with kneeing ex in the face

The victim was also grabbed by the hair and dragged, according to police.

A Bethlehem man allegedly assaulted his ex-girlfriend multiple times when she showed up at his home to g…

Driver in Route 22 fatal faces previous DUI charge

The 52-year-old from Easton is also a Megan’s Law sex offender and once tried to run down two bar bouncers with his van.

The Easton man allegedly behind the wheel of a pickup truck that crashed Friday night on Route 22, killing one of his six passengers, is a sex offender facing a drunken driving charge in an unrelated incident, according to court records.

sheldon-krock.jpgSheldon L. Krock is seen in a photograph dated Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016, from his Pennsylvania State Police Megan’s Law profile. (Courtesy photo | For 

Sheldon L. Krock, 52, of the first block of South Mulberry Street, was driving west about 11:40 p.m. near Airport Road when he lost control of a Ford F-150 and struck the rear passenger side of a Chevrolet Cruz.

The pickup rolled several times, striking a third car that was pushed into a fourth vehicle. 

Passenger Renee Tenasse, 31, of Allentown, was partially ejected and pronounced dead at the scene. The Lehigh County Coroner’s Office ruled the mother of four’s death an accident caused by injuries suffered in the crash. Three boys, ages 7, 4 and 2, along with two men from Allentown, 52-year-old Robert Pierce and 25-year-old Andre Johnson, were taken to area hospitals, treated and released. 

Five more people in the other cars were also treated and released following the crash in Hanover Township, Lehigh County.

Krock, too, was hospitalized and since released. His most recent photograph on his Pennsylvania State Police Megan’s Law report is dated Sunday and shows him in a neck brace and hospital gown, with a head injury. 

Krock faces lifetime supervision under Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law as a Tier III sexual offender, under a registration period that began Sept. 14, 2001, according to his public profile from state police. He was convicted Feb. 16, 1996, of sexual assault with force, the profile shows; it was not immediately clear whether the offense involved a minor.

Krock did not immediately return a call seeking comment Tuesday.

Help sought to bury mother of 4 killed in crash

State police and the Lehigh County District Attorney’s Office continued Tuesday to investigate Friday night’s crash, and no charges had been filed as of the afternoon. Investigators have declined to comment on the ongoing probe.

Krock was arrested most recently March 7 by Easton police on a first offense of drunken driving, according to police. Carrying a driver’s license that had expired May 29, 2006, Krock was found passed out behind the wheel of a 2003 Dodge Dakota near his home, in the first block of South Mulberry Street, according to court records. 

The pickup truck’s engine was running, and the vehicle was in the middle of the road, blocking traffic, police had said. The responding officer, Patrolman David Costa, observed Krock attempt to put the pickup into gear and leave the scene, records show. 

He was found to have a blood-alcohol content between 0.10 and 0.16, above the 0.08 threshold for penalties that applies to most motorists.

Krock was arraigned April 20 and released on $1,000 unsecured bail. He is next scheduled to appear in Northampton County Court in that case Oct. 31.

Krock previously was sentenced in July 2006 to up to eight years in state prison for aggravated assault, and an unrelated charge of cocaine possession with intent to deliver. He had been thrown out of the former Drinky Drinkerson’s bar on Centre Square in Easton for being drunk and unruly on April 8, 2005, then got into his van and tried to run down two bouncers. 

Kurt Bresswein may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @KurtBresswein. Find on Facebook.

Sheldon L. Krock