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SWAT Christmas Carol Ends Standoff; Ocean City Fire; Donation Reopens Liberty Bell and Indy Hall
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 12/27/18 7:34 pm | updated: 12/27/18 7:34 pm
A police standoff and barricade situation that began on Christmas night in Chester County and lasted several hours finally ended when the SWAT negotiator sang a Christmas carol to the suspect. Family members of 34-year-old Nathaniel Lewis called police on Tuesday night, 12/25, saying that he was in the process of separating from his wife and was behaving erratically. Lewis, a member of the National Guard, had barricaded himself inside a home on the 300 block of Aftons Circle in East Vincent Township. During the course of the standoff, Lewis fired shots at police using a rifle. After nine hours, Lewis surrendered to authorities after a SWAT negotiator sang him "White Christmas." He was taken into custody at 7 a.m. on Wednesday. He has been charged with multiple counts of attempted homicide, aggravated assault, and other offenses. He is being held at Chester County Prison.

Heavy fire destroyed two homes and damaged others in Ocean City, NJ, early Thursday morning. It happed around 3:30 a.m. on the 4800 block of Central Avenue. When firefighters first arrived the fire was showing on the third floor of one home, but it quick spread before they were able to get it under control. No one was injured. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

The week between Christmas and New Year's is the second busiest week of the year for Independence National Historical Park. The partial federal government shutdown has closed Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Center to tourists. Those two sites usually see 25,000 visitors this time of year, second only to the Fourth of July. This week, visitors have resorted to taking pictures of the Liberty Bell through a window from outside. Visit Philadelphia has donated approximately $32,000 to reopen those two sites for the upcoming weekend so that visitors to Philadelphia can experience the historical sites. Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Center will reopen Friday, December 28 through Sunday, December 30, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. No tickets required. There are many sites around Independence Mall that are not affected by the shutdown. They include:

Independence Visitor Center
African American Museum in Philadelphia
Betsy Ross House
Christ Church
Franklin Square
Museum of the American Revolution
National Constitution Center
National Liberty Museum
National Museum of American Jewish History

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