Picket lines are up outside the Advance Auto Parts warehouse in Weisenberg Township. Orlando Laboy says he's disappointed to be not working. "We've been almost a year fighting this contract, coordinating and negotiating but they don't want to give in," Laboy says. 550 workers walked off the job Wednesday looking for better pay and improved benefits.
Several local elected officials are not happy with comments made by a Lehigh County judge. During sentencing for a killer Tuesday, Judge James Anthony said violence has turned Allentown into a cesspool. That has prompted a Morning Call op-ed written by state representatives Peter Schweyer and Michael Schlossberg, Allentown Mayor Ray O'Connell and St. Sen. Pat Browne. Schweyer says "Our city deserves elected officials who are going to rally around the city and not take cheap shots." Schlossberg says, "To refer to this city, to the residents of this city as a cesspool it's over the top. It's unbecoming and it's certainly unbecoming from a Lehigh County judge to say from the bench." Browne calls the comment "unfortunate and inflammatory and does not reflect the circumstances in Allentown."
A 31-year-old man has died after a head-on crash in Lehigh County. Derek Brobst died a day after the two-vehicle crash Tuesday afternoon on Route 100 near Bittners Corner Road in Lowhill Township. He was a passenger in a car that crossed over the center lane and crashed head-on with another vehicle. The driver of that car, 25-year-old Ashley Whiteman, was flown to the hospital with serious injuries. Two people in the other car sustained minor injuries.
A Northampton County man is being accused of sexually assaulting the same underage victim at least three different times. Forks Township's Alexander Morales is facing charges of child endangerment and corruption of minors after he allegedly groped and forcefully kissed the female victim last November and then again twice in January. Morales was arraigned Wednesday and released on bail, but remains forbidden to have contact with the alleged victim or anyone else under the age of 18.
It appears the Locust Valley Golf Course in Coopersburg will be turned into housing for seniors. The Upper Saucon Township Planning Commission has voted in favor of Traditions of America converting 100 acres into an age-qualified community. The plan calls for 125 single-family homes with another 11 homes planned on 30 acres in neighboring Springfield Township, Bucks County. Township supervisors, who have the final say on the proposal, will hear from Traditions of America next month.
A parolee is back in Northampton County Jail after allegedly knocking out a woman to steal her pills. Kyle Rudolph is accused of hitting the female victim on Ferry Street in Easton. The woman, who is the mother of his child, suffered facial injuries. Rudolph, who previously spent time behind bars for drug possession, now faces assault and robbery charges.
Farmers in several Pennsylvania counties are getting the green light to apply for federal disaster relief money. The state says taht farmland owners in Monroe, Luzerne, Pike, Lackawanna, Susquehanna, Wayne and Wyoming counties are elgible following heavy rains that fell between July of 2018 and February. The excessive rainfall and flash flooding led to crop losses and those affected in those counties can apply for loans from the federal Farm Service Agency. Eligible farmers have eight months to apply.
New Jersey Democrat Sen. Bob Menendez is urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring gun control legislation to a vote. "How many more acts of mass murder will it take for Sen. McConnell to put American lives ahead of gun makers' profits?" Menendez asked. Menendez says McConnell is too cozy with the NRA to do anything on gun control.
The state of New Jersey is bumping up assistance benefits for recipients of WorkFirst NJ cash assistance benefits. Human Services Commissioner Carole Johnson says the amount of money going to those receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families and General Assistance is going up by 20-percent. A family of three using WorkForce NJ will see maximum benefits payment increase to $559 a month, up from $466. People receiving under General Assistance will see their monthly maximum benefit payment of $154 jump to $185.