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Man Charged for Climbing SteelStacks; Old City Fire/Power Outage; 80yo Fugitive Caught in CO
 
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 07/14/19 10:20 pm | updated: 07/14/19 10:23 pm
 
The man who climbed high up on the rusting structure of the blast furnace at a former steel mill in the Lehigh Valley on Friday night, 7/12, is facing felony charges. 25-year-old Jonathan David Wallace of Mertztown is charged with felony risking a catastrophe, as well as reckless endangering and defiant trespass. He climbed to the top of the steel structure at the old Bethlehem Steel Corp. site around 7 p.m. Friday. The site has been been converted into SteelStacks, an arts and entertainment venue. Around 1,500 people attending an outdoor concert on Friday night were evacuated and other events this weekend were also canceled. Wallace had dangerous perched himself on a single I-beam. Bethlehem police and the Bethlehem Crisis Negotiation Team climbed up to an area about 25-feet below him to talk. At 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, 7/13, after over 21 hours, Wallace climbed down and surrendered to police. He was taken to the hospital for a mental health evaluation.

An underground fire early Saturday morning, 7/14, caused power outages in Old City and to many Independence attractions. It began just after 1 a.m. near 4th and Market Streets. An underground explosion started the blaze. Flames were shooting out of a manhole cover several feet high. The fire was brought under control within an hour, but power was out much longer. Attractions such as Liberty Bell Center, Independence Visitors Center, National Museum of American Jewish History and the Benjamin Franklin Museum were dark and had to close or limit operations. PECO did setup generators so some key attractions could open for all the visitors in town for the weekend. As of Sunday, most customers' power had been restored. They are still investigating the cause of the explosion.

An elderly Northampton County, Pennsylvania man wanted in the murder of his wife has been arrested in a hotel in Colorado. 80-year-old Edgar Himel was taken into custody around 1 a.m. Saturday, 7/13, in Sterling, Colorado. Police in Palmer Township have been searching for Himel since his wife was found shot to death last week. He had been staying in various hotels in Nebraska and Wyoming. 66-year-old Penny VanTassel-Himel was found shot to death in their home on the 100 block of Old Orchard Drive. Police found her on July 7th after performing a welfare check. On July 4th, a 911 call had been placed from Penny's cell phone saying there was an emergency. Palmer Township police officers went to the home and saw an older man fitting Himel's description through a window, but they did not go inside. Himel now awaits extradition back to Pennsylvania on a criminal homicide charge.

 
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(1) response

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 by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA | responded: 07/14 10:23 pm
 
Manhole cover near 4th and Market Streets. An underground explosion started the blaze.

 

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