Here's what's trending for October 2.


An Easton man's lawyer is saying his client did not intend to hurt police when he threw Molotov cocktails at them in 2018. Jeffrey Folkner's trial began in Easton Tuesday, with Folkner facing charges of attempted murder and assault. Folkner allegedly tossed the flaming bomb at officers during a standoff in July of last year, when he also allegedly fired a shot out a window, then taunted police with a machete in one hand while making an obscene gesture with the other. Folkner's lawyer told jurors Tuesday that his client was attempting to commit suicide-by-cop when he did all that and was not actually intending to hurt any officers.

A hiker who went missing on the Appalachian Trial is safe and sound. The female was reported missing Monday night along the trail in Northampton County. Following an overnight search in the Wind Gap area, officials say the woman was found early Tuesday morning along the trail. Police say she was uninjured but have not identified her or the person who reported her missing in the first place.

There's strike talk at one of the biggest Lehigh Valley employers. Members of the United Auto Workers reported to work at Mack Trucks as usual today, but will they tomorrow? The contract between the union and Mack expires today and the UAW has already voted to authorize a strike if needed. The two sides are still negotiating. Three years ago, a deal was struck right before the deadline preventing a walkout then.

Easton's mayor is proposing a 2020 budget that will keep taxes in check. Sal Panto's $120.3 million budget proposal would keep the city's tax rate at 24.95 mills and also hold the line n sewer or trash fees. If approved as proposed, this would be the 12th straight year without a property tax increase in Easton.

Mealey's Furniture is closing all seven of its stores and that means Mealey's store off of MacArthur Road in Whitehall will be closing. The local Mealey's opened in 2012. There's no word yet on when that store will close.

The state Department of Aging is warning senior citizens across the Commonwealth about a DNA testing scam. The scheme offers Medicare beneficiaries a phony DNA testing service that is supposedly covered by their Medicare, but actually gives scammers access to victims' personal information. Tips to avoid the scammers include refusing offers of genetic testing services at public events and tossing any DNA kits that come unsolicited in the mail.

Some state lawmakers are introducing a bill that would allow college athletes to be paid. The bill would allow student-athletes to sign endorsement deals, letting them earn money for their name and likeness. The measure would also permit the athletes to hire an agent.

State officials are considering a bill that would raise the salary cap on local elected officials. The bills, if approved, would allow townships and boroughs the option to increase salaries for their leaders, based upon the size of the community. The largest communities could see the amount of compensation rise from $5000 to near $8400 per year. The bills could come up for a vote as soon as October 21st.

Two iconic Pennsylvania tastes are teaming up. Yuengling officials say they're working with the Hershey Company to create a limited-edition chocolate porter. The beer will only be available at certain bars and restaurants in the commonwealth as well as a dozen other states. There are no plans to package the product for sale. It's expected the beer will be available by mid-October. Yuengling describes the porter as a deliciously unique, smooth porter with hints or roasted malts and a rich chocolate finish.

The former Gilberton police chief who went viral for his video rants isn't getting a new trial for lying to attempt to purchase a gun. Tuesday, the state Superior Court ruled Mark Kessler's conviction and probation sentence will stand. Kessler wanted a new trial or the charges fully dismissed for what he called misconduct by a prosecutor. Kessler was awaiting trial on terroristic threat charges when he tried to buy a .45-caliber pistol at a Frackville sporting goods store in May 2016. Kessler had claimed he wasn't under indictment for any felony when he tried to make the purchase.

Police in State College are asking for help identifying whoever was involved in a large fight after the Penn State-Pitt football game last month. The altercation happened at Bagel Crust on the 200-block of West Beaver Avenue, leaving several people with moderate injuries.

New Jersey officials are announcing the first confirmed vaping-related death in the Garden State. The Department of Health says a woman from northern New Jersey died in August due to the use of a vaping product, although details concerning how that victim was directly impacted weren't mentioned. There are 14 cases of serious lung disease in New Jersey that have been connected to the use of e-cigarettes or vaping products, with 32 more cases still being investigated.