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Roof Collapse Endangers Jim Thorpe Firefighters

Two firefighters had to be rescued while battling a late-night fire in Carbon County.

The home in Jim Thorpe was vacant but crews said they had to work to protect surrounding homes.

The deputy chief tells Newswatch 16 the home in the 200 block of South Street was full of flames when they arrived just before midnight and was endangering occupied homes next door.

Crews were able to get the flames under control and neighbors were allowed back into their homes early Thursday.

The two firefighters were searching the home when the roof collapsed. They were not injured.

Man Faces Child Sex Charges

An elderly man from Schuylkill County is behind bars, accused of sexually molesting a teenage boy.

Gene Lutz, 79, of Barnesville is accused of having inappropriate contact with a 14-year-old boy and showing him and another boy sex videos.

Police the incidents happened between September of last year and last month.

Lutz is being held on $50,000 bail.

Recyclables Piling Up in Hometown

Recycling is supposed to make things cleaner and greener, but that’s not always the case.

Recycling bins in Hometown are overflowing.  They are there so people can drop of their bottles, cans, cardboard and other things instead of tossing them into the trash.

Claudia Gogal pulled up to drop off some stuff Tuesday but decided not to get out of her car.

“It seems that the bins are too full to do that so I won’t leave the trash there. I will just hold on to my things for a few more days,” Gogal said.

The Hometown bins are on land owned by the fire department. The fire chief said this has been an issue for years and recycler John Shigo is not surprised.

“It’s a shame. Three people pulled up in the 10 minutes that we were there with my recyclables and trying to shove it in or just dropped it in the parking lot which is unfair to the Hometown Fire Company where the bins are located,” Shigo said.

Workers React to Hospital Closure

One day after Saint Catherine Medical Center in Schuylkill County filed for bankruptcy protection staff members were called for a meeting to talk about the future of the hospital and the future of their jobs.

Newswatch 16 was not allowed in the meeting, but the workers Tuesday shared their emotions.

The laid-off workers gathered in groups, talking about their futures and what will be the next step for Saint Catherine Medical Center in Fountain Springs.

They were ushered into a private meeting with hospital administrators.

The state closed Saint Catherine’s for a number of reasons, including what is contained in a federal report. The report said there were no surgical gloves, needles or syringes in certain parts of the hospital, or medicated soap. One doctor went as far as saying the hospital was dangerous to patients.

Pennsylvania Outdoor Life Preview 4/15/12

It’s the long awaited opening day of the Pennsylvania trout season.  Follow us stream side to find out how the anglers did.

This Week On Home & Backyard

Don’t miss Home & Backyard, Saturday morning at 9, only on WNEP.

Homicide Victim Identified, State Police Make Arrest

State Police said late Friday night they have identified the homicide victim, who was found dead inside his Mahanoy City home, and they said they arrested a man for his death.

The 48-year-old man found dead inside this home on West Centre Street in Mahanoy City is Gene Slavinsky.

Police have arrested Jarvin Huggins, 18, of Mahanoy City and charged him with Slavinsky’s homicide.

This information comes after hours of investigation work and much speculation by neighbors.

“I didn’t know what was going on,” said neighbor Pat Kurdinsky. “I just came home from church and I saw police cars all over the place and I didn’t know what was going on until my neighbor called me.”

Police said Huggins came to Slavinsky’s home Tuesday morning and went in through the basement with the intention of burglarizing the place.

Huggins allegedly cut the electricity to the home in order to lure Slavinsky down to the basement.