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Category Archives: Community Watch

Women’s Town Hall and Expo Focuses on Veterans and Service Members

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Annville, PA – The Governor’s Advisory Council for Veterans Services (GAC-VS) is inviting women veterans and women service members to a town hall and expo on Saturday, June 30, from 9 a.m.-Noon at the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, 950 Soldiers Drive, Carlisle, PA 17013. Family members are invited to visit the Education Center while the expo is being conducted.

Led by the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA), the GAC-VS is Pennsylvania’s first interagency collaboration, which strives to enhance the quality of programs and services for the commonwealth’s 820,000 veterans.

“There are approximately 60,000 women veterans in Pennsylvania and we want to ensure that we are meeting their needs,” said Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Eric Weller, DMVA deputy adjutant general for Veterans Affairs and chair of the GAC-VS. “This event will help to prepare current women service members for when they separate from the military, while providing veterans with the resources they need to live a quality life long after their military service has ended.”

Weller is also the keynote speaker and will talk about the various programs and services available to veterans through the DMVA. Other speakers will focus on county, state, federal and health care benefits, in addition to the women veteran’s survey and other committee initiatives. Representatives from multiple state offices and organizations will be in attendance to provide information and assistance.

No registration is required. Questions can be directed to Crystal A. Petery at 717-861-6904 or by email at cpeteryshe@pa.gov

PennDOT to Repair Rt. 23 Bridge Northeast of the City of Lancaster; East Walnut Street span over Conestoga River to be restricted through April 2019

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​Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) today announced that on Wednesday, June 27, weather permitting, its contractor will set channelizing devices restricting travel to a single lane in each direction as crews begin to repair the deck and superstructure of the bridge that carries Route 23 over the Conestoga River between Pleasure Road and the ramp for U.S. Route 30 East at the City of Lancaster-East Lampeter Township Line in Lancaster County. The existing eight-span, pre-stressed concrete spread box beam bridge was built in 1992.

PennDOT awarded the $1,085,721 contract on April 20, 2018, to J. D. Eckman, Inc. of Atglen, Chester County. Work includes minor concrete superstructure and substructure repairs, concrete bridge deck repairs, bridge deck resurfacing with a polyester polymer-modified concrete overlay, and new guiderail, signs and pavement markings.

Pennsylvania has some of the oldest bridges in the country, with their average age over 50 years. Preventative maintenance is extremely important in extending the life a structure. PennDOT inspects most state bridges at least once every two years. Based on inspection results or structural needs, PennDOT schedules bridge replacements or structural repairs to steel or concrete components.

PennDOT advises motorists that Route 23 will be restricted to a single lane in each direction over ​the Conestoga River until April 2019 while the bridge deck is repaired. Work under this construction contract is scheduled to be completed in April 2019.

This portion of Route 23, locally know as East Walnut Street, averages more than 16,300 vehicles traveled daily. To avoid delays, travelers should allow for additional time in their plans or seek an alternate route.

Motorists are reminded to be alert for these operations, to obey work zone signs, and to slow down when approaching and traveling through work zones, not only for their safety, but for the safety of the road crews.

Construction to Begin on Route 462 Bridge over Little Conestoga Creek

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​Harrisburg, PA – Construction on the bridge carrying Route 462 (Columbia Avenue) over Little Conestoga Creek in East Hempfield, Lancaster and Manor townships, Lancaster County, is scheduled to begin during the week of July 9 as part of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation’s (PennDOT) Rapid Bridge Replacement Project.
During full replacement of the bridge, Route 462 (Columbia Avenue) between Stone Mill Road and Jackson Drive will be reduced from three to two travel lanes (one lane in each direction). The bridge will be replaced using stage construction – i.e., one-half of the bridge will be demolished and rebuilt while the other half carries traffic. Motorists are advised to allow extra time when traveling through the work areas because slowdowns will occur. Construction is anticipated to be complete by the end of 2018.
In the event of unfavorable weather or unforeseen activities, this schedule may change.
This bridge is referred to as JV-259 and is one out of the 558 bridges being replaced under the Rapid Bridge Replacement Project. JV references the joint-venture partnership between Walsh/Granite, which is leading construction for the entire project.
The Rapid Bridge Replacement Project is a public-private partnership (P3) between PennDOT and Plenary Walsh Keystone Partners (PWKP), under which PWKP will finance, design, replace, and maintain the bridges for 25 years. The P3 approach will allow PennDOT to replace the bridges more quickly while achieving significant savings and minimizing impact on motorists.

Route 41 (Gap Newport Pike) Overnight Lane Restrictions Scheduled for Milling in Chester County

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King of Prussia, PA – Overnight lane restrictions are scheduled on Route 41 (Gap Newport Pike) from the ramps at the U.S. 1 Interchange to Route 10 (Limestone Road) in London Grove, Londonderry and West Fallowfield townships, on Sunday, June 24, through Thursday, June 28, from 7:00 PM to 5:00 AM, for milling operations as part of an improvement project to repair and resurface 40 miles of state highway in Chester County, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today.

Motorists are advised to allow extra time when traveling through the work area because slowdowns may occur. The contractor’s schedule is dependent on the weather.

State highways completed under this resurfacing project include:

• Route 52 (Lenape Road) between Route 926 (Street Road) and Creek Road in Pennsbury, Pocopson and Birmingham townships;
• Route 82 (Doe Run Road) from east of Tapeworm Road to Strasburg Road in West Marlborough and East Fallowfield townships;
• Strasburg Road between Route 372 (Valley Road) and Route 82 (Doe Run Road) in Sadsbury and East Fallowfield townships; and
• Chadds Ford Road/Creek Road between the Delaware state line and the Delaware County line in Pennsbury Township.

Additional state highways scheduled for resurfacing under this contract include:

• Route 472 (Hickory Hill Road/Market Street/Lancaster Avenue/Lancaster Pike) between Freese Road and the Lancaster County line in East Nottingham and Lower Oxford townships and Oxford Borough;
• Saginaw Road between Route 472 (Hickory Hill Road) and Big Elk Creek in East Nottingham Township;
• Cypress Street/Baltimore Pike/State Street from west of Thompson Road to west of Mill Road in New Garden and Kennett townships;
• Route 352 (North Chester Road/Sproul Road) between Route 3 (West Chester Pike) and U.S. 30 (Lancaster Avenue) in Westtown, East Goshen and East Whiteland townships;
• Northbrook Road between Brandywine Drive and Route 842 (Unionville Wawaset Road) in West Bradford and Pocopson townships;
• 5th Avenue/Elm Street/Black Horse Road/Black Horse Hill Road between Business U.S. 30 (Lincoln Highway) and Caln Road in the City of Coatesville and Valley and Caln townships; and
• Faggs Manor Road between Route 926 (Street Road) and Route 41 (Gap Newport Pike) in Londonderry Township.

Under this improvement project, PennDOT is milling the existing roadway surface and repaving the state highways with new asphalt. The new pavement will seal the roadways and provide motorists with a smoother riding surface.

Allan A. Myers, LP, of Worcester, Montgomery County, is the general contractor on the $7,959,000 project, which is financed with 100 percent state funds from Act 89, Pennsylvania’s Transportation Plan.

Work on the entire project is expected to be completed in October 2018.

I-95, U.S. 422 and U.S. 202 Among Several Highways to be Restricted This Week for Tree Trimming Operations in the Philadelphia Region

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King of Prussia, PA – Travel restrictions are scheduled on several state highways next week, including Interstate 95, U.S. 422 and U.S. 202, for tree trimming operations in the Philadelphia region, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today.

The work schedule is:

• Monday, June 25, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, lane restrictions with flagging are scheduled on Bustard Road at Route 73 (Skippack Pike) in Worcester Township, Montgomery County;
• Monday, June 25, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, lane restrictions with flagging are scheduled on Fayette Street at Elm Street in Conshohocken Borough, Montgomery County;
• Monday, June 25, through Friday, June 29, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, lane restrictions with flagging are scheduled on Hill Road from Route 29 (Gravel Pike) to east of Swinging Bridge Road in Upper Frederick Township, Montgomery County;
• Monday, June 25, through Friday, June 29, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, lane restrictions with flagging are scheduled on Route 252 (Darby Paoli Road) between the U.S. 202 off-ramp and Valley Forge Road in Tredyffrin Township, Chester County;
• Tuesday, June 26, from 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM, lane restrictions are scheduled on Warfield Street from just west of Wharton Street to just east of Moore Street in Philadelphia;
• Tuesday, June 26, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, a right lane closure is scheduled on southbound I-95 between the Allegheny Avenue and Girard Avenue interchanges in Philadelphia;
• Tuesday, June 26, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, lane restrictions with flagging are scheduled on U.S. 202 (Dekalb Pike) between Haines Road and Township Line Road in Whitpain Township, Montgomery County;
• Tuesday, June 26 and Wednesday, June 27, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, lane restrictions with flagging are scheduled on eastbound U.S. 422 between the Route 29 (Phoenixville/Collegeville) and Route 363 (Trooper Road) interchanges in Upper Providence and Lower Providence townships, Montgomery County;
• Thursday, June 28, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, lane restrictions with flagging are scheduled on Philmont Avenue between Byberry Road and Hillside Road in Lower Moreland Township, Montgomery County;
• Thursday, June 28, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, lane restrictions with flagging are scheduled on Route 23 (Crawford Avenue) at Barr Harbor Drive in Conshohocken Borough, Montgomery County; and
• Friday, June 29, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, lane restrictions with flagging are scheduled on Cowpath Road between County Line Road and Morwood Road in Franconia Township, Montgomery County.

Motorists are advised to allow extra time when traveling through the work areas because slowdowns will occur during these tree removal operations. All scheduled activities are weather dependent.

Media Road to Close Saturday for Pipe Replacement in East Nottingham Township, Chester County

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King of Prussia, PA – Media Road is scheduled to close between Pugh Road and Fisher Road in East Nottingham Township, Chester County, on Saturday, June 30, from 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM for pipe replacement, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today.
During the closure, motorists are advised to follow the detour of 5th Street and Route 472 (Hickory Hill Road/Market Street). Local access will be maintained up to the work zone. The operation is weather dependent.
Media Road Closure.JPG

CWD CASES MULTIPLY IN PENNSYLVANIA

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HARRISBURG, PA – The number of chronic wasting disease cases continues to multiply in Pennsylvania, and more of the state’s residents are being impacted by rules that aim to slow the spread of the disease, which always is fatal to the deer and elk it infects.

In 2017, chronic wasting disease (CWD) was detected in 78 free-ranging deer in Pennsylvania.

That’s more than three times the number of free-ranging, CWD-positive deer documented in the state in 2016, when 25 were detected.

Most of the new free-ranging positives – 75 of them – either were within or near the boundary of Disease Management Area 2 (DMA 2) in southcentral Pennsylvania. Three free-ranging CWD-positives were within or near DMA 3 in northwestern Pennsylvania.

Both of these DMAs have been expanded as a result of CWD-positive deer being detected near their boundaries.

And with the creation earlier this year of DMA 4, which was established after CWD was detected at a captive deer farm in Lancaster County, more than 5,895 square miles within Pennsylvania lie within DMAs, in which special rules apply to hunters and residents.

It’s unlawful to feed deer within DMAs. Hunters are prohibited from transporting high-risk parts (generally the head and backbone) from deer they harvest within a DMA to points outside a DMA. And the use or field possession of urine-based deer attractants also is prohibited within DMAs.

Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans stressed the importance of becoming familiar and complying with these rules.

“The escalating number of CWD detections and the sudden emergence of this disease in new parts of the state should put all Pennsylvanians on guard to the threat CWD poses and the disease’s potential to have damaging impacts on Pennsylvania’s deer and deer-hunting tradition,” Burhans said. “It’s important for each of us to take this threat seriously and do all we can to slow the spread of the disease where it exists.

“By discontinuing feeding of deer and curbing other behavior that induces deer to congregate, and potentially spread disease, and by responsibly disposing of high-risk deer parts and not transporting them outside DMAs, those living within DMAs can do their part in helping fight CWD,” Burhans said.

 

CWD sampling in 2017

In 2017, the Pennsylvania Game Commission tested 7,910 free-ranging deer and 128 elk for CWD. More than half of these deer – 4,753 – were associated with DMAs 2 and 3. Samples from 3,304 deer from DMA 2 and 1,449 deer from DMA 3 were tested.

And only within or near these DMAs did free-ranging deer test positive.

With the additional 78 CWD-positives, a total of 125 free-ranging CWD-positive deer have been detected in Pennsylvania since 2012 – all of them within DMAs 2 and 3.

CWD sampling increased in 2017, compared to the 5,707 deer and 110 elk collected in 2016 and tested. This largely is due to the Game Commission’s decision to provide free CWD testing for deer that hunters harvest within DMAs.

More than 1,533 deer harvested by hunters within DMAs were tested, at no cost to the hunter, after hunters deposited the heads from their deer in collection boxes set up in public areas. And 28 CWD-positive deer were identified through the collection boxes.

Since 2002, the Game Commission has tested over 69,000 deer for CWD.

 

Expanded DMAs

In a state where CWD has been a growing problem, it’s important for hunters and residents to stay up-to-date on how DMA boundaries might have shifted due to the detection of new CWD-positives.

DMAs 2 and 3 have been expanded due to 2017 CWD sampling, and the newly established DMA 4 was put into place in February.

The most up-to-date maps and descriptions of DMA boundaries always can be found at www.pgc.pa.gov on the Chronic Wasting Disease page.

Due to an early print deadline and the number of samples that were tested for CWD, an updated DMA 2 map could not be included in the 2018-19 Pennsylvania Hunting & Trapping Digest.

DMA 2 now totals more than 4,614 square miles and includes parts of Juniata, Mifflin and Perry counties, in addition to all or parts of Adams, Bedford, Blair, Cambria, Clearfield, Cumberland, Franklin, Fulton, Huntingdon and Somerset counties.

Meanwhile, DMA 3 has been expanded to more than 916 square miles. It now includes parts of Armstrong, Cambria and Clarion counties, as well as parts of Clearfield, Indiana and Jefferson counties.

And DMA 4 in parts of Lancaster, Lebanon and Berks counites encompasses 364 square miles.

Turn-by-turn descriptions of all DMA boundaries are available in the Game Commission’s executive order on CWD available on the Chronic Wasting Disease page at www.pgc.pa.gov.

While hunters are prohibited from removing high-risk deer parts from DMAs, the meat, hide and antlers attached to a clean skull plate may be removed from a DMA.

High-risk parts are where the CWD prion concentrates. They are: the head (including brain, tonsils, eyes, and lymph nodes); spinal cord/backbone (vertebra); spleen; skull plate with attached antlers, if visible brain or spinal cord material is present; cape, if visible brain or spinal cord material is present; upper canine teeth, if root structure or other soft material is present; any object or article containing visible brain or spinal cord material; and brain-tanned hide.

 

DMAP within DMAs

The Deer Management Assistance Program again will be employed within Pennsylvania’s DMAs in the 2018-19 deer seasons.

As with DMAP permits allocated elsewhere, hunters can obtain up to two permits in each unit. Each permit allows for the harvest of one antlerless deer, and the permits can be used within any open deer season – including the antlered-only firearms deer season.

Hunters with permits for DMA 4 (Unit Number 3468) can use them anywhere within the DMA. DMA 3 is split into three DMAP units: from north to south, Units 3466, 3045 and 3461. Hunters with permits for any of these units can use them within the unit’s defined boundary.

And there are six units within DMA 2: Units 3460, 2874, 3458, 2875, 4359 and 3468.

Maps and boundary descriptions for all units within DMAs are available on the Chronic Wasting Disease page at www.pgc.pa.gov.

Because DMAP units established within DMAs contain a mix of public and private land, hunters who obtain permits for these units need to make certain they have permission to hunt on land within the DMAP units.

DMAP permits cost $10.90 each and will be available beginning June 18.

All DMAP permit holders are required to submit reports on their success, regardless of whether a permit is used to harvest a deer. Hunters will be encouraged to provide deer heads for CWD testing. Intensive testing within these areas provides better understanding of distribution of disease across the landscape.

 

More on CWD

First identified in 1967, CWD affects members of the cervid family, including all species of deer, elk and moose. To date, there have been no reported cases of CWD infection in people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But the disease is always fatal to the cervids it infects.

As a precaution, CDC recommends people avoid eating meat from deer and elk that look sick or that test positive for CWD.

More information on CWD can be found at CDC’s website, www.cdc.gov.

There currently is no practical way to test live animals for CWD, nor is there a vaccine. Clinical signs of CWD include poor posture, lowered head and ears, uncoordinated movement, rough-hair coat, weight loss, increased thirst, excessive drooling, and, ultimately, death.

Much more information on CWD, as well as a video showing hunters how they can process venison for transport and consumption, is available at the Game Commission’s website

NEW GAME COMMISSIONERS WELCOMED

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HARRISBURG, PA – Two vacancies on the Pennsylvania Board of Game Commissioners were filled recently by Scott H. Foradora, of DuBois, and Dennis R. Fredericks, of Amity, to bring the board to its full complement of eight.

Foradora was selected from Region 3, which includes Cameron, Centre, Clearfield, Clinton, Elk, Jefferson, McKean and Potter counties. This position was left vacant when former Game Commissioner David Putnam’s term expired.

Fredericks was selected from Region 2, which includes Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Washington and Westmoreland counties. This position was left vacant when former Game Commissioner Robert Schlemmer’s term expired.

Commissioners are selected from eight geographic areas of the Commonwealth to ensure uniform representation throughout Pennsylvania. Once appointed, however, commissioners represent all Pennsylvania citizens, not just those from their regions.

Foradora grew up in Brockway in Jefferson County, where the hunting tradition runs deep in his family. He’s been hunting since he was 12, more than 40 years. He enjoys hunting all game and trapping in Pennsylvania, but, like many hunters, deer are his favorite, followed by turkeys.

Foradora is a member of the NRA and the Eastern Wild Sheep Foundation.

“The Eastern Wild Sheep Foundation spends a lot of funds for wildlife conservation right here in Pennsylvania,” he said.

When he’s not hunting, fishing or trapping, Foradora can be found in his insurance-business office in DuBois, where he puts his accounting and economics degree from Indiana University of Pennsylvania to use.

Foradora said his extensive experience in outdoor Pennsylvania will serve him well while on the Game Commission board.

“I’ll look at issues from our hunters’ perspective,” he said. “It’s an honor to be on the board of an agency with such a proud and storied history. I want to work toward increasing hunter participation, especially with the Mentored Youth Hunting Program. I have three sons who participated in the program, and my wife Paula, who hunts, got involved in that program with my boys as well,” he said.

Fredericks is serving his second term on the board. He served a prior term from 1991 to 1999. He’s the sixth individual to serve a second term as a commissioner. During his prior tenure on the board, he served as chairman of the Wildlife Management Bureau committee for six years of his eight-year term.

Fredericks was born and has lived his entire life in Washington County. He’s a lifelong hunter and trapper, and has hunted all big and small game, but now really enjoys hunting for ruffed grouse.

Fredericks graduated from Penn State Mont Alto campus in 1972 with a degree in forest technology. In 1992, he attended Colorado State University for a structured course in wildlife management designed for individuals who have been politically appointed to a position to affect management policy for wildlife resources.

Fredericks, now retired, had a 42-year career as an environmental engineer and manager of conservation properties and activities for CONSOL Energy, where he was responsible for coordinating natural-resource management on 500,000 acres in several states.

Fredericks is a member of many sportsmen’s organizations and conservation groups, including the NRA, Ruffed Grouse Society, National Wild Turkey Federation and Ducks Unlimited, to name a few.

As a commissioner, Fredericks said he relishes the opportunity to once again work with Game Commission staff to improve the way our wildlife resources are managed.

“First and foremost, the agency needs to be adequately funded, and I will do all I can to get this done,” Fredericks said.

Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans said he welcomes the two new commissioners.

“I’m glad we now have eight Game Commissioners once again,” Burhans said. “I’m sure both gentlemen will put their vast experience in the outdoors and with conservation groups to use for the benefit of sportsmen and women, and all Commonwealth citizens.”

Foradora and Fredericks were appointed June 5. Each will serve four-year terms.

Pennsylvania State Police Launches Body Camera Pilot Program

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Program will allow the department to evaluate policy and training associated with body-worn camera technology
Harrisburg, PA – Acting Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) Commissioner Lieutenant Colonel Robert Evanchick announced this week that the department has deployed its first body-worn cameras in three troops as part of a pilot program. Select patrol troopers in Troop B, Uniontown; Troop J, Avondale; and Troop T, Somerset have received the appropriate training and will wear the cameras while on duty through the end of 2018.
“I am an ardent supporter of the use of body-worn cameras by law enforcement,” said Lieutenant Colonel Evanchick. “The real-world experiences and information learned through this pilot program will help the department fine-tune internal training, regulations, and processes to ensure the department is best prepared for wider implementation.”
Last summer, the Pennsylvania State Police was awarded a $52,000 federal grant to develop policy and training surrounding the use of body-worn cameras. The grant funds were used to purchase approximately 30 body-worn cameras for a pilot study. Since then, the department has developed an interim policy regulating equipment use, data storage, and duties and responsibilities related to the new technology. The policy was created with input from the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association.
“Engaging stakeholders throughout the process empowers the State Police to use this important technology to benefit of all Pennsylvanians,” said Lieutenant Colonel Evanchick. “Backed by sound policy and training, body-worn cameras have the potential to not only increase public confidence in law enforcement but also serve as a valuable investigative resource.”
The interim policy, which is subject to change, is available to the public here.
The procedure for individuals to request the release of footage from law enforcement body-worn cameras was established by Act 22 of 2017 and is posted on the Pennsylvania State Police website.
The department is using body-worn cameras manufactured by WatchGuard Video for the pilot program, which is not intended to evaluate camera hardware. Any future purchases of body-worn camera hardware, storage, and infrastructure will be subject to established testing and purchasing requirements of the Pennsylvania State Police and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The significant cost of not only camera hardware but also data storage and bandwidth remain significant hurdles to widespread use of body-worn cameras within the Pennsylvania State Police, which has more than 4,300 enlisted members and patrols over 80 percent of the land area of the commonwealth. The department continues to explore all available funding options to help make department-wide use a reality.

Pennsylvania State Police Announces Child Exploitation Arrests

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Harrisburg, PA – The Pennsylvania State Police, Computer Crimes Task Force conducted a statewide enforcement detail targeting possession and online distribution of child pornography. The proactive detail resulted in the arrest of six individuals across Pennsylvania. These individuals were charged with a host of serious felonies associated with possession and distribution of child pornography.

  • Jack William Hunter, 54 years old, Athens Township, Bedford County
  • Mark Robert Lampi, 40 years old, Lehigh Township, Northampton County
  • Keith Richard Lanken, 46 years old, South Park, Allegheny County
  • Thomas Moore,44 years old, West View, Allegheny County
  • Ryan Redmond, 28 years old, Philadelphia City, Philadelphia County
  • Justin Suydam, 48 years old, Easton, Northampton County

The public is reminded that anonymous tips can be submitted over the phone to Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers at 1-800-4-PA-TIPS and online to the Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s CyberTips website.