Here's what's trending for October 18.


We're being told police in Whitehall Township are investigating an overnight murder. Police were called to the 600 block of Pennsylvania Street just after 4 o'clock this morning for reports of gunfire and the Lehigh County coroner's office says they too were called for what it calls a homicide.

Published reports indicate the Allentown Diocese has so far agreed to pay $5.3 million to 30 victims of sexual abuse by priests. And according to the Morning Call, the diocese will need to keep its checkbook handy. There are another 73 people who have filed claims to a compensation fund that was established in the past year. The window to file a claim closed on September 30th. The diocese has reportedly sold four properties, bringing in more than $1.6 million to help pay the abuse victims.

A 150-year-old barn has been destroyed by a Northampton County fire Thursday morning. More than a half-dozen fire companies were called to Apple Road in Lehigh Township shortly before 9 a.m. to help fight the blaze, which was especially difficult due to the strong winds. No injuries have been reported and the fire didn't spread to any nearby homes or fields.

An Allentown man is facing charges after he allegedly left his gas on for a month. Michael Melendez was arraigned Thursday on charges of risking a catastrophe and animal cruelty. Melendez allegedly abandoned his North Jasper Street apartment back in February 2014 but left four burners running on high settings and the pilot light exposed. He also reportedly left his dog there, which survived only by ripping open a bag of food left behind. Officials haven't said why it took more than five years to arraign Melendez.

Foliage fans are heading into a great time of year. The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources released its updated fall foliage map for the week and Schuylkill, Carbon and Monroe counties are among the places where leaf color is currently best. Lehigh and Northampton counties are considered to still be approaching the best colors.

Flags are flying at half-staff across Pennsylvania to honor the late U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings. Cummings, who died Thursday, served in Congress for about 23 years. Both the United States and Commonwealth flags will remain at half-staff until sunset tonight.

Hersheypark in the Dark opens this evening for its spooky season. The amusement park takes on a Halloween theme for its more than 50 open rides and attractions. Zoo America also holds its Creatures of the Dark exhibit, which focuses on North American animals and how they act at night. Hersheypark in the Dark is open for the next three weekends.

New Jersey's unemployment rate is dropping once again. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports unemployment in the Garden State moved down for the sixth straight month, dipping to 3.1 percent. That's the lowest monthly rate since the state-level records started to be kept in 1976 and also fall below the national rate of 3.5 percent.

Anglers from anywhere are getting a chance to fish the fresh waters of New Jersey this weekend. Saturday is Free Fishing Day in the Garden State, meaning residents and nonresidents can try freshwater fishing without having to purchase a fishing license or have a trout stamp. It could be a good time to try your luck as 14 counties will be stocked with thousands of trout this week.

Penn State's annual White Out game is tomorrow night when the Nittany Lions host Michigan. Head coach James Franklin knows it's going to be a dogfight. "We gotta push and we gotta keep fighting and climbing and scratching and clawing for every little inch we can because the margin of error is so small," Franklin says. Penn State and Michigan kickoff tomorrow night at 7:30 on WAEB.