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Pennsylvania school cop accused of molesting student, 14, while chaperoning dance



Pennsylvania school cop accused of molesting student, 14, while chaperoning dance

A twisted Pennsylvania school resource officer was arrested Wednesday for allegedly pressuring a 14-year-old student into a sexual relationship and molesting her during a school dance he was chaperoning.

Costas Nick Alestas, 43, is also accused of sneaking a disturbing up-the-skirt video of an 11-year-old girl as she walked down the hallway at East Hills Middle School in Bethlehem.

Alestas’ alleged abuse came to light last month when the teenager confided in a guidance counselor about the weeks-long relationship, officials said.

Costas Nick Alestas, 43, has been charged with sexually assaulting a 14-year-old middle school student. Bethlehem Police Department

Her mother had previously found a trove of dirty text messages between the pair, but Alestas — who was also the school’s co-ed soccer coach — tried avoiding capture by using a second phone number, the Bethlehem Police Department said Wednesday.


“There was deceptive behavior trying to mask who the text messages were from,” Bethlehem Police Chief Michelle Kott said at a press conference.

The teenager quickly gave him up when investigators questioned her, saying he had given her his personal phone number while they were on school grounds.

“The communication with Alestas included conversations about engaging in sexual acts. As the communication between Alestas and the victim continued, the interactions progressed into several encounters involving sexual contact between the two,” the department said in a release. 

The perverted encounters allegedly took place both during the school day in his office and after school inside Alestas’s car, police said.

Alestas served as a Pennsylvania school resource officer at East Hills Middle School in Bethlehem. Bethlehem Police Department

One horrifying incident even occurred “during a school dance while Alestas was on duty and in police uniform.”


That same day, the disgraced school cop also allegedly filmed the video of the second, 11-year-old victim, which was recovered when investigators combed through his phone.

An analysis of Alestas’ phone showed about 4,980 messages exchanged with the 14-year-old, and 49 phone calls, since March 26, according to a police affidavit obtained by Lehigh Valley News.

The arrest came as a shock to the Bethlehem Police Department, who said Alestas was a respected six-year veteran of the department.

Alestas’ alleged abuse came to light last month when the teenager confided in a guidance counselor about the weeks-long relationship, officials said. Google Maps

“There was no indication that this was going on or that this individual had engaged in any of this behavior. He was well-liked at the school. He had received awards of merit and the past. So this comes as an absolute shock and surprise,” Bethlehem Police Chief Michelle Kott said.

Alestas was immediately placed on administrative leave and has been charged with several felony offenses, including statutory sexual assault, institutional sexual assault and invasion of privacy.


Court records show Alestas was unable to post bail and remains in the county jail.

Alestas became the second school resource officer in Northampton County to be arrested and charged with allegedly carrying out an inappropriate relationship with a student in the last few weeks.

Ex-Easton Area High School officer John Smoke was busted last month after he allegedly “sent explicit photos to an underage student.”

“We need to start talking about whether there’s prophylactic measures. We can take as far as policy and procedures that can lessen opportunities for this kind of behavior,” Northampton County District Attorney Stephen Baratta said Wednesday.


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Here's What You Need To Know About The Newtown Memorial Day Parade



Here's What You Need To Know About The Newtown Memorial Day Parade

NEWTOWN, PA — The Newtown Memorial Day Parade, presented by American Legion Post 440, is scheduled to step off at 9 a.m. from the Newtown Commons, 642 Newtown-Yardley Road.

At about 9 a.m., the parade will pause for about 30 minutes at the Newtown Cemetery where veterans will lay wreaths at two gravesites to honor the fallen.

The parade will then continue into town, pausing at the World War I monument at the Newtown Library Company and then at the Newtown Borough Hall where guest speaker Matthew Allen, Bucks County’s director of Veterans Affairs, will deliver a keynote address.

The parade concludes at the Newtown Legion Morell Smith Post 440 at 41 Linden Avenue.


Temporary no parking begins at 7 a.m. on the following streets:

  • South Elm Avenue between Washington Avenue and Centre Avenue
  • Centre Avenue between Lincoln Avenue and Congress Street South Congress
  • Street between Centre Avenue and Washington Avenue State Street between
  • Greene Street Street Centre Avenue

Closures begin at 8:30 a.m. and will impact the following roads:

  • Washington Avenue between Terry Drive and Sycamore Street
  • Lincoln Avenue between Greene Street and Penn Street
  • State Street between Jefferson Avenue and Centre Avenue
  • Centre Avenue
  • Congress Street
  • Richboro Road between the Newtown Bypass and South Sycamore Street
  • South Sycamore Street between Washington Avenue and Cambridge Lane
  • Newtown Yardley Road between Terry Drive and Elm Avenue

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Thunderstorms with pea-sized hail to hit part of Pennsylvania Sunday



Thunderstorms with pea-sized hail to hit part of Pennsylvania Sunday

A weather alert was issued by the National Weather Service on Sunday at 9:45 p.m. for strong thunderstorms until 10:45 p.m. for Clearfield, Cambria, Blair, Huntingdon, Somerset, Bedford and Fulton counties.

The storms are expected to bring pea-sized hail (0.25 inches) and wind gusts of up to 55 mph.

“At 9:44 p.m., Doppler radar tracked strong thunderstorms along a line extending from 10 miles northwest of Nanty-Glo to near Portage to 15 miles south of Bedford. Movement was northeast at 40 mph,” states the weather service. “Gusty winds could knock down tree limbs and blow around unsecured objects. Minor hail damage to vegetation is possible.”

Locations impacted by the alert include Altoona, Hollidaysburg, Ebensburg, Bedford, Nanty-Glo, Portage, Breezewood, Northern Cambria, Warfordsburg, Roaring Spring, Clearville, New Enterprise, Martinsburg, Lakemont, Everett, Bellwood, Patton, Cresson, Gallitzin and Claysburg.


According to the weather service, “If outdoors, consider seeking shelter inside a building. If on or near an area lake, get out of the water and move indoors or inside a vehicle. Remember, lightning can strike out to 10 miles from the parent thunderstorm. If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck by lightning. Move to safe shelter now! Do not be caught on the water in a thunderstorm. A Severe Thunderstorm Watch remains in effect until midnight for south central and central Pennsylvania.”

Preparing for approaching lightning: Expert safety advice

Lightning strikes the United States approximately 25 million times each year, with the bulk of these electrical discharges occurring during the summer months. Tragically, lightning claims the lives of about 20 individuals annually, as reported by the weather service. The risk of lightning-related incidents escalates as thunderstorms draw near, reaching its peak when the storm directly looms overhead. However, it gradually recedes as the tempest moves away.

To ensure your safety during a thunderstorm, consider the following recommendations:

1. Lightning safety plan:

  • When venturing outdoors, it’s crucial to have a lightning safety plan in place.
  • Stay vigilant by monitoring the sky for ominous signs and listening for the telltale sound of thunder. If thunder is audible, it’s a clear indication of nearby lightning.
  • Seek a safe place to shelter, preferably indoors.

2. Indoors safety measures:

  • Once you’ve found shelter indoors, abstain from using corded phones, electrical appliances, or plumbing fixtures, and refrain from approaching windows and doors.
  • These precautions help reduce the risk of electrical surges, as lightning can follow conductive pathways.

3. Wait for the all-clear:

  • After the last lightning strike or thunderclap, wait at least 30 minutes before resuming outdoor activities.
  • It’s important to remember that lightning can strike even when a storm seems to have passed, so exercise caution.

When indoor shelter isn’t available:

If you find yourself outdoors without access to indoor shelter during a thunderstorm, take these steps to maximize your safety:

  • Avoid open fields, hilltops, or ridge crests, which expose you to greater lightning risk.
  • Steer clear of tall, isolated trees and other prominent objects. In wooded areas, stay close to lower stands of trees.
  • If you’re in a group, ensure that individuals are spaced out to prevent lightning current from transferring between people.
  • Camping in an open setting during a thunderstorm is strongly discouraged. If you have no alternative, set up camp in a valley, ravine, or other low-lying areas. It’s crucial to note that a tent provides no protection against lightning.
  • Do not approach water bodies, wet objects, or metal items. Although water and metal do not attract lightning, they conduct electricity effectively and can pose significant risks.

In summary, when facing the threat of lightning, vigilance and preparedness are your best allies. By following these guidelines, you can significantly reduce the chances of lightning-related accidents and prioritize your safety.

Navigating heavy rain: Essential safety measures for wet roads

When heavy rain strikes, safety is paramount. Equip yourself with these guidelines from the weather service to navigate wet roads and avoid hazards:

Beware of rapid water flow:

  • Avoid parking or walking in close proximity to culverts or drainage ditches, as the swiftly moving water during heavy rain can potentially carry you away.

Maintain safe driving distances:

  • Adhere to the two-second rule for maintaining a safe following distance behind the vehicle in front of you. In heavy rain, allow an additional two seconds of distance to compensate for reduced traction and braking effectiveness.

Slow down and drive with care:

  • On wet roads, reducing your speed is crucial. Ease off the gas pedal gradually and avoid abrupt braking to prevent skidding.

Choose your lane wisely:

  • Stick to the middle lanes to minimize the risk of hydroplaning. Outer lanes are more prone to accumulating water.

Prioritize visibility

  • Enhance your visibility in heavy rain by turning on your headlights. Watch out for vehicles in blind spots, as rain-smeared windows can obscure them.

Watch out for slippery roads:

  • The first half-hour of rain is when roads are slickest due to a mix of rain, grime, and oil. Exercise heightened caution during this period.

Keep a safe distance from large vehicles:

  • Large trucks and buses can reduce your visibility with tire spray. Avoid tailgating and pass them swiftly and safely.

Mind your windshield wipers:

  • Overloaded wiper blades can hinder visibility. If rain severely impairs your vision, pull over and wait for conditions to improve. Seek refuge at rest areas or sheltered spots.
  • If the roadside is your only option, pull off as far as possible, preferably past the end of a guard rail, and wait until the storm passes. Keep your headlights on and turn on emergency flashers to alert other drivers of your position.

By following these safety measures, you can significantly reduce risks and ensure your well-being when heavy rain pours down. Stay informed about weather conditions and heed advice from local authorities to make your journey safe and sound.

Advance Local Weather Alerts is a service provided by United Robots, which uses machine learning to compile the latest data from the National Weather Service.

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Fetterman claims credit for freeing American dad who was arrested in Turks and Caicos over ammo in his luggage



Fetterman claims credit for freeing American dad who was arrested in Turks and Caicos over ammo in his luggage

A Pennsylvania dad made a triumphant return home on Friday after being arrested in February the Turks and Caicos over ammunition that he had accidentally left in his luggage when he traveled to the Caribbean islands.

Now, Sen. John Fetterman (D-Penn.) is taking credit for helping secure the release of Bryan Hagerich, 39, despite the Pittsburgh-native facing up to 12 years in prison for the stray rounds.

Fetterman was the only Democrat to travel to the British territory as part of a delegation of lawmakers who pushed for the release of five Americans detained there — all of whom were caught with ammo in their bags.

“When we met with [Turks and Caicos] officials a few days ago, they made clear that they wanted this situation resolved,” Fetterman said in a statement after Hagerich’s release.

Bryan Hagerich hugs his children after returning home to the US. AP

“They recognized that Bryan and the other detained Americans are not gunrunners – they are just people who made a mistake.”

The Pennsylvanian senator met up with Hagerich after his return back to the US on Friday.

“From my family to yours…welcome home, Bryan,” Fetterman posted on X, with a photo of the Pennsylvanian.

Last Monday, Fetterman trekked to the island chain with Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.), as well as Reps. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Penn.), Michael Cloud (R-Texas), Josh Brecheen (R-Okla.), and Bob Good (R-Va.)

They met with the American detainees and local government officials to plead for leniency, contending that the individuals there had made an “innocent” mistake.


Hagerich, a former professional baseball player and father of two, had been arrested back in February.

Hagerich claims the stray ammunition in his luggage came from a prior hunting trip. He pleaded not guilty to the charges against him.

On Friday morning, a judge in Turks and Caicos suspended his 52-month sentence and directed him to pay a $6,500 fine.

The other Americans held in Turks and Caicos include Sharitta Grier, 45, of Florida; Michael Lee Evans, 72, of Texas; Tyler Wenrich, 31, of Virginia; and Ryan Watson, 40, of Oklahoma.

Bryan Hagerich spoke with reporters after landing in Pittsburgh. AP

All five US citizens had slightly different circumstances but had violated the island chain’s laws on ammunition. Both Evans and Wenwich have also pleaded guilty to the charges against them.


Evans was permitted to travel home for medical reasons but is supposed to return to the island chain.

Fetterman conveyed optimism that the others will be released soon as well.

Palmer Hagerich, 4, was excited to see his father return home. AP

“I’m hopeful that [Turks and Caicos] expedites the rest of these cases and that the other detained Americans will soon be released and reunited with their families as well,” he said.

Hagerich expressed gratitude for his freedom.

“It’s just amazing how, just in the matter of 12 hours, looking at 12 years to now,” Hagerich told reporters Friday, per Fox News.


“My biggest concern is coaching my kids’ baseball games tomorrow, and that is such a relief.”

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