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Valley View: A mistaken murder, relived in court three times

Her son's killer knocked on the wrong door. Now she must relive the memory a third time in court. A Northampton County judge has ordered Paul Serrano III to be resentenced Friday, Nov. 16 for a 2006 shooting in which he gunned down a 15-year-old boy -- a mistaken target in a gang order. A series of mistakes in the judicial system has led to this being Serrano's third go-around in court. In this episode, reporter Riley Yates explains what happened, and Nancy Muzila-Vegas - Kevin's mother -...


Valley View (replay): Gruesome crimes through the eyes of court reporters and detectives

Enjoy one of our favorite episodes from last year as we spend time preparing the release of a new, bigger project. This episode was originally published Dec. 15, 2017. Discussions with two Morning Call court reporters, as well as the director of the Petzold Laboratory -- a digital crime lab serving Lehigh County, located at Desales University -- about what it's like to be the ones who sort through digital evidence of crimes like child pornography and murder. Warning: Parts of this podcast...


Valley View: When heroin and fentanyl masquerade as opioids

Whatever the reasons are, many people resort to buying narcotics on the street to treat their pain or feed an addiction. But officials are now warning the public in the Lehigh Valley that those drugs could be laced with deadly doses of fentanyl and heroin. This week on Valley View: Why this is happening, and what can be done to stop it. Valley View is a production of The Morning Call in Allentown, Pennsylvania, sponsored by the Lehigh Center for Clinical Research. Kayla Dwyer is the host and...


Valley View: Pressure mounts ahead of the midterms (Episode 55)

It’s no secret that Pennsylvania is chock-full of competitive races. But the state has also gone through a contentious redistricting battle that may have significant impacts in the voting booth. In this week’s podcast, we examine Pennsylvania’s key races: why they’ve been the center of national attention, and how much those national interests are having an impact. Plus: Has an increase in voter registration this year actually resulted in better voter turnout? That, and more shocking numbers....


Valley View: 65 beagles and counting -- The hidden dangers of hoarding (Episode 54)

Someone reported there were 25 dogs being neglected in a home. When authorities got to the small farm in Upper Saucon Township, they found 65 beagles. Here's where they came from and where they are headed. Guests include Jones; Mary Shafer, executive director of the humane society; and Morning Call reporter Michelle Merlin. Valley View is a production of The Morning Call in Allentown, Pennsylvania, sponsored by the Lehigh Center for Clinical Research. Kayla Dwyer is the host and producer....


Valley View: The story behind the Allentown car explosion (Episode 53)

(WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT) Some questions have been answered about the car explosion that ignited fear in a usually quiet Allentown street on Saturday, Sept. 29. Jacob Schmoyer, 26, confessed in letters to family and Allentown police that it was an act of murder-suicide, taking with him his 2-year-old son Jonathan and a 66-year-old man, David Hallman. But why? The letters provide some clues, but the whole picture has yet to be completed. Our Morning Call reporters take us through the...


Valley View: A year after Hurricane Maria, part two (Episode 52)

Last week, we spoke to those who came here to the Lehigh Valley after Hurricane Maria. This week, we look at what they left behind in Puerto Rico. Two journalists join us to discuss what they have documented on the island in the year since Maria made landfall Sept. 20, 2017. The remnants of the natural disaster are much more than physical: The storm laid bare issues tied to Puerto Rico's territorial status that existed long before disaster struck. Special guests include Milton Carrero...


Valley View: After Hurricane Maria, Part One (Episode 51)

A year after Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, evacuees are making the best of a new life here that they did not choose. Organizations are out of money but still taking on cases as they come. And they are still coming. This is part 1 of a two-part series: Those who came here. Stay tuned next week for part 2: What they left behind in Puerto Rico, and what is being swept up by business interests and political stalemate. Valley View is a production of The Morning Call in Allentown,...


Valley View: The Case of the Spotted Lanternfly (Episode 50)

In southeastern Pennsylvania, the spotted lanternfly is all the rage. And the deluge is far from over. Here's the scoop on why this invasive species is different from the rest, and what scientists are doing to try to stop it. Are they really pests with nothing good to offer? Morning Call reporter Michelle Merlin has answers -- and more questions. We're also joined by Emelie Swackhamer, horticulture educator at the Penn State Extension. Valley View is a production of The Morning Call in...


Valley View: How a miracle saved Allentown's warming station (Episode 49)

Allentown's winter warming station for the homeless has been shuffled around among locations and organizations for the past 5 years. It almost had nowhere to go this winter. Then a miracle happened. Finally, some good news on Valley View this week. Special guests include Morning Call columnist Bill White; Bob Stevens, pastor of Zion's Liberty Bell United Church of Christ; and David Fagerstrom, CEO of the Greater Valley YMCA. Valley View is a production of The Morning Call in Allentown,...


Valley View: What's so great about grape stomping? (Episode 48)

You might think you know all there is to know about grape stomping -- it's something our ancestors did to make wine, and it lives on as a cultural spectacle at harvest festivals. But that's not the full story. Valley View host Kayla Dwyer was invited to take part in the sixth annual grape stomp at the Allentown Fair on Sunday, Sept. 2. Beforehand, she brushed up on some history. This episode answers some key questions: Is it sanitary? Why grape stomp with feet at all, when wine presses have...


Valley View: Opioids as a Community Crisis, Part Four (Episode 47)

As The Morning Call's health reporter Binghui Huang puts it, there are simply not a lot of places where separate healthcare entities come together to solve multiple problems. When it comes to the opioid epidemic, it's all about solving co-mingled hoards of problems, requiring a complicated coordination of resources and services. People at the front lines of the opioid crisis are facing it as such. But how can they work within a health system infrastructure that is so fragmented? "Treatment"...


Valley View: Woman shares her story of priest sex abuse in Pennsylvania (Episode 46)

Thousands of victims, hundreds of priests. But the Pennsylvania grand jury report only scratches the surface, investigators say. Juliann Bortz, one of the victims named in the report accusing 300 priests across six dioceses of child sex abuse, shares her story on Valley View this week. Then, a Morning Call reporter and editor describe the challenges behind reporting that story, and others, both immediately after the Boston Globe expose in 2002, and today. Valley View is a production of The...


Valley View: How has Musikfest stayed free for 35 years? (Episode 45)

Eleven days. More than 500 free performances on 17 stages. 35 years and running. How has Musikfest, billed by founding organization Artsquest as the largest free music festival in the country, managed to stay free all this time? Answers from our guests this week: Artsquest President and CEO Kassie Hilgert and Morning Call music writer John Moser. Valley View is a production of The Morning Call in Allentown, Pennsylvania, sponsored by the Lehigh Center for Clinical Research. Kayla Dwyer is...


Valley View: Police shooting sends shockwaves through the valley (Episode 44)

This week we’re taking you through what we know about the shooting death of Joseph Santos by a South Whitehall police officer, which happened on Hamilton Boulevard on July 28. And we ask a law enforcement trainer about the use of deadly force. Law enforcement is still investigating, as are we. Guests in this episode include Morning Call reporters Tom Shortell and Sarah Wojcik. Scanner audio is from Broadcastify. Valley View is a production of The Morning Call in Allentown, Pennsylvania,...


Valley View: A call to arms for area school districts (Episode 43)

Lehigh Valley school districts have heard the call: Enough talk. We need action. A Morning Call survey found tangible measures of increased security and officer trainings at area schools, with one district even implementing student IDs with computer chips. What is being accomplished, and does any of it go too far? Guest-host Harrison Cann, The Morning Call's news intern, talks with Michelle Merlin to break it down. Valley View is a production of The Morning Call in Allentown, Pennsylvania,...


Valley View: From Opioids to Cannabis (Episode 42)

The opioid epidemic casts a wide net of pain, and it includes those who use opioids but aren’t necessarily addicted. This week on Valley View: the story of a woman who has lived for decades with chronic pain, and why she turned to medical marijuana. Plus, an update on Pennsylvania's young medical marijuana program, which now has 50,000 patients registered. Guests include health reporter Binghui Huang and business reporter Andrew Wagaman. Valley View is a production of The Morning Call in...


Valley View: The Lehigh Valley story of family detention (Episode 41)

Audio and video recordings of children being taken from their parents at pop-up immigrant detention centers near the U.S.-Mexican border have drawn media frenzy and public outcry. But in Berks County, advocates have been speaking out for years. Outside Reading is a family detention center of a different kind: one of just three permanent shelters in the country. This week, a look at the Berks County Residential Center and its legal place in the battle over the border. Guests include Peter...


Valley View: How a traffic stop almost turned fatal (Episode 40)

It began as a routine traffic stop and ended with a "knock-down, drag-out" gunfight with state troopers along a busy Pennsylvania highway. In the attempted murder trial of Daniel K. Clary, the man accused of nearly fatally wounding Corporal Seth Kelly in in the brawl, jurors had to decide: Was Clary a killer avoiding arrest, or was he a man who acted in fear for his life? Riley Yates, The Morning Call's Northampton County courts reporter, explains. Valley View is a podcast by The Morning...


Valley View: Seeking answers behind the Bucks County bombings(Episode 39)

Early-morning explosions have been rattling Bucks County for the past three months, straining police resources and leaving residents of this quiet country bewildered. This week on Valley View, some answers in the mystery behind the Upper Bucks Bomber. Plus, a hand surgeon's precaution for the Fourth of July, in light of the new Pennsylvania law that allows residents to purchase consumer-grade fireworks. Guests include Harrison Cann, The Morning Call's news intern; and Laurie Mason Schroeder,...