BLOTTER: Kutztown Borough Police Department

Editor’s note: Blotter entries are pending matters; any listed defendant is innocent of charges listed until proven guilty by jury or plea agreement.

Sept. 06, 2019

  • Police charged Michael Geary, 22, of Fairless Hills, with violation of the borough noise ordinance following an incident that occurred at 231 W. Main St. A Disruptive Conduct Report was also issued.
  • Police charged Colin Lynch, 21, of Great Meadows, N.J., with violation of the borough peace and good order ordinance following an incident that occurred in the 100 block of W. Main St.
  • Police charged Lauren Steckel, 18 of Effort, with purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of liquor or malt or brewed beverages following an incident that occurred in the 00 block of Noble St.
  • After completing their investigation, police charged Joshua Weber, 33 of Breinigsville, with indirect criminal contempt following an incident that occurred at a residence in the 200 block of E. Walnut St.

Sept. 07, 2019

  • Police charged Ryan Wetzel, 19, of Downingtown, with purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of liquor or malt or brewed beverages following an incident that occurred in the 00 block of Noble St.
  • Police charged Ryan Nelson, 21 of West Milford, N.J., with violation of the borough peace and good order ordinance following an incident that occurred in the 200 block of W Main St.
  • Police charged a 17-year-old Philadelphia resident with purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of liquor or malt or brewed beverages following an incident that occurred at Wells Fargo Bank Parking Lot, 301 W. Main St.

Sept. 08, 2019

  • Police investigated the report of vandalism to a vehicle after it was reported that the hood of the vehicle was damaged while the vehicle was parked at a residence in the 300 block of W. Main St.
  • After completing their investigation, police charged Stephen Wagner, 21, of Lansdale, with violation of the borough noise ordinance following an incident that occurred at 137 E. Main St. A Disruptive Conduct Report was also issued.
  • Police charged Collin Phillips, 20 of Branchville, N.J.; and Kevin Lewis, 21 of Sussex, N.J., with violation of the borough peace and good order ordinance following an incident that occurred in the 200 block of W Main St.
  • After completing their investigation, police charged Zabrina Zulaica, 19, of San Antonio, Texas, with driving under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, driving while operating privileges are suspended, minor prohibited from operating a vehicle with alcohol in system and for period requiring lighted lamps following an incident that occurred in the 100 block of Sander Alley.

Sept. 10, 2019

  • After completing their investigation, police charged Dakota Smith, 23, of Easton, with harassment/physical contact following an incident that occurred in the 300 block of W Main St.

Sept. 12, 2019

  • Police charged Kyree Williams, 19, of Philadelphia, with possession of a small amount of marijuana and for possession/use of drug paraphernalia following an incident that occurred in the 300 block of S Baldy St.

Temple native Sonon volunteers summer break in Jamaica

Paige Sonon of Temple spent a week of the 2019 summer break working in Negril, Jamaica, through Alvernia University’s Alternative Breaks program. Sonon is studying BSN Nursing at the university.

During the Alternative Break to Jamaica, Sonon engaged with children while assisting them with their educational and creative skills, painted a school, sorted clothing donations, attended mass and learned about the Franciscan charism. The team also learned information about poverty, environmental sustainability and education in Jamaica.

Alvernia’s Alternative Break programs organize weekend and week-long service and immersion trips for students to inspire and empower them to lead lives dedicated to serving the underserved, promoting peace and justice and working towards the common good.

BLOTTER: Kutztown Borough Police Department Aug. 16 through Sept. 5, 2019

Aug. 16

  • Police investigated the report of burglary after it was reported that two TV’s were missing following an incident that occurred at a residence in the 500 block of Briar Circle S.

Aug. 24

  • Police arrested Taylor Molfetto, 21, of Newton, N.J., for public drunkenness and for violation of the borough peace and good order following an incident that occurred in the 300 block of W Main St.

Aug. 25

  • Police arrested Drew Walker, 21, of Newton, N.J., for public drunkenness following an incident that occurred at Shorty’s Bar, 272 W Main St.
  • Police arrested Gage Danas, 20, of Kutztown, for purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of liquor or malt or brewed beverages following an incident that occurred in the 00 block of S Whiteoak St.

Aug. 26

  • Police investigated the report of vandalism to a store front window after it was reported that the window was scratched following an incident that occurred at Casa Le’nda Beauty Salon, 160 W Main St.

Aug. 28

  • Police arrested Donald Wynne, 64, of Blandon, for defiant trespass/fencing enclosure following an incident that occurred at a residence in the 200 block of E Walnut St.

Aug. 29

  • Police arrested Bret McLean, 19, of Northport, for purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of liquor or malt or brewed beverages following an incident that occurred in the 100 block of W Main St.

Aug. 30

  • Police arrested Alexis Kister, 24, of Lyon Station, for public drunkenness following an incident that occurred in the 300 block of W Main St.
  • Police arrested Kelli Patrick, 20, of Huntingdon Valley, for purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of liquor or malt or brewed beverages following an incident that occurred in the 100 block of Noble St.
  • Police arrested Vincent Griffin, 18, of Wallingford, for purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of liquor or malt or brewed beverages following an incident that occurred at the intersection of W Main and S Whiteoak Sts.

Aug. 31

  • Police arrested Michelle Cartagena, 19 of Reading, for violation of the borough peace and good order ordinance following an incident that occurred in the 400 block of W Main St.
  • After completing their investigation, police arrested paul novak, 19 of kutztown, for violation of the borough open container ordinance following an incident that occurred in the 00 block of Noble St.

Sept. 1

  • Police arrested Kaitlin Kudel, 21 of Shenandoah, for violation of the borough peace and good order ordinance following an incident that occurred in the 200 block of S Baldy St.
  • Police arrested Kandyce Clark, 31 of Kutztown; and Chase Santiago, 30 of Reading, for harassment/physical contact following an incident that occurred at a residence in the 200 block of Highland Ave.
  • Police arrested Jesse Porter, 20 of Pottsville, for public drunkenness and for purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of liquor or malt or brewed beverages following an incident that occurred in the 400 block of W Main St
  • Police investigated the report of vandalism to a fence and siding after it was reported that the fence was knocked over and the siding damaged following an incident that occurred at Edward J Hildenbrand Funeral Home, 346 W Main St.
  • Police are investigating the report of vandalism to a gate after it was reported that the gate was broken following an incident that occurred at a residence in the 00 block of Noble St.
  • Police arrested a juvenile, 17 of Reading, for purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of liquor or malt or brewed beverages following an incident that occurred in the 300 block of W Main St.

Sept. 3

  • After completing their investigation, police arrested Juwel Milhouse, 20 of Kutztown, for harassment/physical contact following an incident that occurred at a residence in the 200 block of E Walnut St.
  • Police arrested Qion Lewis, 19 of Kutztown, for strangulation, simple assault, reckless endangerment/person and harassment/physical contact following an incident that occurred in the 100 block of Constitution Blvd.
  • Police arrested Joseph Gillespie-Porco, 19 of Milford, for public drunkenness following an incident that occurred at Turkey Hill Minit Market, 50 W Main St.

Sept. 4

  • After completing their investigation, police arrested Hailey Amato, 19, of Parsippany, N.J.; and Elena Delduca, 19, of New Providence, N.J., for violation of the borough open container ordinance following an incident that occurred in the 00 block of Noble St.

Sept. 5

  • After completing their investigation, police arrested Ashley Salen, 20 of Saint Clair, for violation of the borough peace and good order ordinance following an incident that occurred in the 400 block of W Main St.
  • After completing their investigation, police arrested Oscar Kelchner, 21 of Hamburg, for simple assault, harassment/physical contact, disorderly conduct and for public drunkenness following an incident that occurred at Shorty’s Bar, 272 W Main St.

USDA opens 2019 enrollment for Agriculture Risk Coverage and Price Loss Coverage Programs

2020 enrollment period to open in October

Agricultural producers can now enroll in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs, two popular safety net programs, for the 2019 crop year. Interested producers must sign up for either program by March 15, 2020.

The 2018 Farm Bill reauthorized and made updates to these two USDA Farm Service Agency programs. ARC provides income support payments on historical base acres when actual crop revenue declines below a specified guarantee level. PLC program provides income support payments on historical base acres when the price for a covered commodity falls below its effective reference price.

“The ARC and PLC programs, in combination with crop insurance, are the bedrock of the farm safety net for crop farmers and something I hear about frequently on the road,” said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. “This exciting opportunity for enrollment in these programs marks the first time folks will have the opportunity to switch their elections since the 2014 Farm Bill was implemented. I am pleased to add that today’s announcement means our staff met yet another major Farm Bill implementation goal and they are continuing to move full speed ahead.”

Covered commodities include barley, canola, large and small chickpeas, corn, crambe, flaxseed, grain sorghum, lentils, mustard seed, oats, peanuts, dry peas, rapeseed, long grain rice, medium grain rice (which includes short grain rice), safflower seed, seed cotton, sesame, soybeans, sunflower seed and wheat.

Elections and Enrollment

Updated provisions in the 2018 Farm Bill allow producers with an interest in a farm to enroll and elect coverage in crop-by-crop ARC-County or PLC, or ARC-Individual for the entire farm, for program year 2019. The election applies to both the 2019 and 2020 crop years. If a 2019 election is not submitted by the deadline of March 15, 2020, the election defaults to the current elections of the crops on the farm established under the 2014 Farm Bill. No payments will be earned in 2019 if the election defaults.

For crop years 2021 through 2023, producers will have an opportunity to make new elections. Farm owners cannot enroll in either program unless they have a share interest in the farm. 

Once the 2019 election and enrollment are completed, producers on the farm for 2020 can complete an enrollment contract for the 2020 crop year beginning Oct. 7, 2019 and ending June 30, 2020. 

Although 2019 enrollment begins Sept. 3, 2019 and must occur first, a producer waiting until Oct. 7, 2019 to enroll is afforded the opportunity to enroll in either program for both 2019 and 2020 during the same office visit. During this time, farm owners have a one-time opportunity to update PLC payment yields that takes effect beginning with crop year 2020. If the owner accompanies the producer to the office, the yield update may be completed during the same office visit.

Web-Based Decision Tools

In partnership with USDA, the University of Illinois and Texas A&M University are offering web-based decision tools to assist producers in making informed, educated decisions using crop data specific to their respective farming operations. Tools include:

  • Gardner-farmdoc Payment Calculator, the University of Illinois tool that offers farmers the ability to run payment estimate modeling for their farms and counties for ARC-County and PLC.
  • ARC and PLC Decision Tool, the Texas A&M user friendly tool that allow producers to analyze payment yield updates and expected payments for 2019 and 2020. Producers who have used the tool in the past should see their user name and much of their farm data will already be available in the system.

Crop Insurance Considerations

Producers are reminded that enrolling in ARC or PLC programs can impact eligibility for some forms of crop insurance. Producers who elect and enroll in PLC also have the option of purchasing Supplemental Coverage Option through the USDA Risk Management Agency. Producers of covered commodities who elect ARC are ineligible for SCO on their planted acres.

Upland cotton farmers who choose to enroll seed cotton base acres in ARC or PLC are ineligible for the stacked income protection plan on their planted cotton acres. To be eligible for STAX coverage, producers must not enroll their seed cotton base acres into the ARC or PLC programs.

More Information

For more information on ARC and PLC, download our program fact sheet or our 2014-2018 farm bills comparison fact sheet. To sign up for the program, visit your FSA county office.

KU Observatory Discovers New Exoplanet

Pictured are Dr. Phill Reed and student Daniel Johns.

Kutztown University’s Observatory has discovered another exoplanet, KELT-23Ab. The discovery was featured in an article in the Astronomical Journal with KU student Daniel Johns, undergraduate physics and astronomy major, and his advisor Dr. Phill Reed, professor of Astronomy & Physics, serving as the lead authors. KU student Ryan Rauenzahn is also a contributing author.

The 0.6-meter on-campus research telescope at KU captured the exoplanet passing in front of a star on July 3, 2018, but more than a dozen other telescopes and 50 additional co-authors were involved in the discovery.

“Being the lead author of a large project like this really opened my eyes to the amount of work and collaboration that goes into discovering an exoplanet,” Johns said.

Reed and his fellow researchers at the Observatory are members of a follow-up observing network for the Kilodegree Extremely Little Telescope (KELT) exoplanet discovery project, which is owned and operated by Lehigh University, The Ohio State University and Vanderbilt University.

“KELT is a wonderful collaboration of exoplanetary scientists,” Reed said. “I am extremely grateful for the valuable opportunities they have afforded me and my students!”

The newly-discovered exoplanet orbits a star, KELT-23A, that is located 408 light-years from Earth and is nearly identical to our own Sun. The planet itself is a “hot Jupiter,” meaning that it is a giant, gaseous planet like our Jupiter; however, this exoplanet is slightly different than our Jupiter because it lies extremely close to its host star. At a mere 2.8 million miles from KELT-23A, KELT-23Ab completes a full orbit every 2.26 days. Using additional data from the European Space Agency’s Gaia spacecraft, the team determined that KELT-23A is actually a member of a wide binary star system.

The KELT-23A system orbits another star, KELT-23B, that is much smaller and cooler than the Sun. KELT-23A and KELT-23B lie about 600 astronomical units from each other, taking more than 10,000 years to complete a single orbit. This discovery is important because it contributes to currently developing models about how hot Jupiters are formed. Jupiter-like planets must form farther from their host stars, where temperatures are cooler, and then migrate inward toward the star. This inward migration may be occurring via interactions with a distant companion star. In the case of KELT-23Ab, the planet is still migrating in towards KELT-23A and will likely reach the star within the next billion years.

The position of the exoplanet is ideal for future observations by space-based telescopes. Due to its proximity to the constellation Ursa Minor, KELT-23Ab is near the continuous viewing zones of both NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS) and the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) space-based observatories. TESS, which will begin observing the northern sky later this year, has the precision to discover other planets in the KELT-23A system, and possibly even Earth-sized objects. JWST, which is expected to launch in 2021, will study the formation and evolution of galaxies, stars and planetary systems using infrared technology, which gives the JWST a better advantage at examining cool objects and makes KELT-23Ab a prime candidate for study.

For more information about the Observatory and KU’s participation in this exoplanet discovery, please contact Dr. Phill Reed at preed@kutztown.edu. To read the full paper, please visit https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.3847/1538-3881/ab24c7.

Reading Public Library to feature college planning presentation

A free back to school program on the “College Process for Parents and Teens” will be held at Reading Public Library’s Teen Loft, 100 S. 5 th St. on Monday, September 9 from 5 pm to 6:30 pm.

The presentation, designed for high school students and their parents, will focus on admissions and financial aid. Lou Blair, a teacher who has taught SAT preparation for 23 years, will answer questions about putting together college plans, matching a college to a student, scholarships, and financial aid.

No registration is required. For more information, call or email the Teen Loft, 610.655.6350 ext. 241 or rplya@reading.lib.pa.us.

Gabriel Kane of Reading Member of 2019 Kutztown University Women’s Soccer Team

Kutztown University will have 31 student-athletes representing its women’s soccer program for the 2019 season, including Gabriel Kane of Reading, PA (19606).

Read the full season preview online

The 2019 season will bring a new look to the Kutztown University women’s soccer team. With the renovation of Kutztown Field, KU will have a ton of positive energy around the program, as it continues to compete to achieve its lofty, yearly goals of winning championships.

Not only will the field be different for the Golden Bears this year, but the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) has also changed up its format for women’s soccer. Since 2010, the PSAC has had a single division. With the addition of Shepherd University to the conference, the PSAC is now instituting two divisions (East and West), a first since it last had two divisions in 2009. Each team plays each other twice during the regular season.

Kutztown was recently voted second in the Eastern Division of the PSAC preseason poll, behind defending conference champs and nationally-ranked Bloomsburg. Nationally-ranked West Chester, 2017 PSAC champion East Stroudsburg, and 2018 semifinalist Millersville round out the top-five in a very competitive division featuring a majority of the top teams in the Atlantic Region.

But head coach Erik Burstein, beginning his 13th season as head coach, once again has an experienced and talented team that has played in big, postseason games earlier in their careers.

“I have tremendous faith in this group,” said Burstein. “We have some exceptional athletes who work hard, have great attitudes, buy into our culture, believe in our system and have worked hard to adapt to their new roles and responsibilities. They are an exciting group who truly want to be successful, and I believe they will be. However, we all know this new divisional format will provide some very different and unique challenges. We need to focus on one game at a time and make sure we finish in the top-four in the East. Once that is accomplished, we can start thinking about competing for championships. Stay humble and stay focused; one game at a time.”

KU finished the 2018 season at 14-4-2 overall and qualified for both the PSAC and NCAA Atlantic Region tournaments. It was the third consecutive NCAA berth and eighth in 10 years. Dating back to the 2008 season, Kutztown has earned 11 straight PSAC Tournament appearances.

Kutztown begins its 2019 campaign with back-to-back road games. It will take on the University of Charleston (WV) in the season opener on Thursday, Sept. 5, and then play at Millersville on Wednesday, Sept. 11. The home-opener in the brand-new Keystone Field complex will be Saturday night, Sept. 14, under the lights at 6 p.m., against East Stroudsburg.

News from Lebanon Valley College

Lebanon Valley College Opens with Record First-Year Class Third Consecutive Year

Lebanon Valley College opened its fall semester with a record number of first-year students. The new class of 478 students, the most in the College’s 153-year history, surpasses last year’s record of 473 first-year students. In fall 2017, LVC opened with 466 first-year students, also a record at the time.

Thirty-seven transfers students join the class, bringing total undergraduate enrollment to 1,638 students. There was also an increase in the number of full-time graduate health professions students (master’s and doctorate), from 84 to 93.

“The record first-year class is due to several reasons, including the personal attention provided by our faculty and coaches, offering majors desired by students and employers, and the tremendous employment success of our graduates,” said Edwin Wright, vice president of enrollment. “Combined, Lebanon Valley College has created a culture that enables students to go further and achieve more, personally and professionally.”

About the Record First-Year Class

*45 are members of The Pride of The Valley Marching Band*40% are student-athletes*The class represents 15 states and seven international countries (Trinidad and Tobago, China, Finland, India, Czech Republic, the Netherlands, and Northern Ireland)

*Exercise science, physical therapy, actuarial science, biology, and early childhood education are the top majors

*Alumni referred 40 students through the inaugural Alumni Referral Scholarship, which awards incoming students $1,000 per year for up to four years

*28% of the class are enrolled in the health sciences (athletic training, exercise science, physical therapy, or speech-language pathology)

KU student selected for Writing Wrongs Project to produce book in 72-hour marathon workshop Labor Day weekend

Fifteen students from a variety of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York colleges have been selected to labor during this year’s Labor Day weekend Writing Wrongs project. During a 72-hour workshop held in Berks County, the students, working as staff writers, photographers, designers and social media managers, will conduct research and interviews, draft articles and design pages for a printed book available for sale through national book sellers that highlights stories of members of the LGBTQ+ community, this year’s Writing Wrongs topic.

Among this year’s participants is KU student Jamilee Hoffman of Chalfont, Pa., who will serve as the social media manager. Hoffman is a senior communication studies major at KU. Learn more about Hoffman at the Writing Wrongs website.

“Hopefully, I’ll be able to make a difference by getting certain issues spread throughout the media,” Hoffman said. “This way, issues can reach to whoever they need to (such as a government officials) who will be able to create justice for those issues, even it is only in my surrounding town/community. That change could contribute to the overall change that is needed in the world.”

In its fifth year, Writing Wrongs – a community journalism project dedicated to generating awareness and promoting understanding of critical social issues – is the brain child of Dawn Heinbach, a Reading Area Community College and Kutztown University graduate. Heinbach’s sophomore year honors project – to develop a community-based journalism workshop to share the stories of local people impacted by societal issues – has grown into a nonprofit organization that has produced one newspaper and three books on a variety of issues ranging from homelessness and addiction, to sexual and domestic abuse.

In discussing the growth of Writing Wrongs, Heinbach said, “every year the program is expanding to include students from a wider radius. We have students from well-known, competitive schools volunteering their time and skills to explore these important issues as they pertain to the residents of Reading. The point to remember when looking at the book and videos they create is that the students accomplish all this in just one weekend.”

The LGBT Center of Greater Reading is partnering with Writing Wrongs this year, providing speakers and a space for interviews with members of the LGBT community whose stories will frame this year’s book.

Learn more about Writing Wrongs at seekreporttruth.com.