Strong winds overnight caused power problems this morning. PPL reports more than 26,000 customers were without power, more than 2000 of them in Schuylkill County and another 1100 outages in both Lehigh and Monroe counties. Fewer than 300 outages were reported in both Carbon and Monroe counties. First Energy was also hit by downed power lines with more than 900 of its Monroe County customers in the dark as of 6 o'clock this morning. There were another 400 First Energy customers without service in Lehigh and Northampton counties combined.
An 88-year-old Monroe County man is facing charges for the shooting death of his girlfriend. Chris Wagner is the police chief with the Pocono Mountain Regional PD and says they're still sorting through what happened. "There are a couple different versions of what happened in the residence and that is still under investigation," Wagner says. Bernard Pedreira told police he was cleaning a gun Thursday morning when his Lydia Bulaon tried to take it from him and it went off. Police say Pedreira later told them he had his finger on the trigger when she tried to take the weapon away and that the two of them had been fighting for 25 years. Police records indicate a history of domestic violence complaints within the Tunkhannock Township house.
Police are on the lookout for a man who stole a big TV after threatening an employee. Colonial Regional Police has posted photos of a person wanted for the theft of a TV valued at more than $2400. Police say the man took the TV from the Walmart in the Northampton Crossings Mall. The suspect allegedly stole the flat-screen TV after telling an employee he'd shoot them if they alerted management to what he was doing.
A Lehigh County man is staying behind bars for the sexual assault of children at a Whitehall Township daycare center. After waiving his preliminary hearing Thursday, a judge refused to alter the $75,000 bail set for defendant Zachary Zimmerman, who allegedly had sexual contact with at least three victims between the ages of ten and 13 who were in the care of the "A Lot Like Home Daycare" center at the time of the alleged assaults. The center, which belongs to Zimmerman's mother, has since ceased operation.
An election reform bill is now law in Pennsylvania. Gov. Tom Wolf signed the measure Thursday and says it will make it easier for people to vote. The bill allows counties to be partially reimbursed for the cost of their new voting machines as well as changes to mail-in voting and moving the voter registration deadline closer to Election Day. One of the bill's provisions eliminates the straight-party voting option.
Police in one Northampton County community are saying a man who looked like a gunman was just wearing a Halloween costume. Police were called to Park Plaza at Sullivan Trail in Forks Township Thursday after getting a 911 call about a man dressed like a mass shooter. However, police soon confirmed the man, dressed in a long jacket and carrying two rifles, was wearing the get-up as a costume and the guns were fake. By the time officers tracked down the man, he had changed to other clothes, but they still gave him a pat-down and identified him before letting the man go without being charged.
PPL officials are warning residents of a scam. They say someone set up a fake call center and phoned several businesses claiming the customer was several payments behind. The caller is reportedly asking for the bills to be squared up using gift cards, which PPL says they would never do. Representatives say they would always precede a power shut off with a letter ten days prior.
Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller says the commonwealth's Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program application process is getting underway ahead of the winter of 2019-2020. "The LIHEAP season runs from November 1st through April 10th of 2020. During this period, eligible Pennsylvanians can get assistance paying their home heating bills," Miller says.
Hunters looking forward to elk season can soon get started. The elk season begins Monday and ends on November 9th. Killed elk must be ear-tagged immediately and before the animal is moved and then must be taken to a Game Commission check station within 24 hours for disease checks.
Anyone boarding a kayak or canoe in Pennsylvania legally must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life jacket. The state Fish and Boat Commission says that as of today and until April 30th, anyone using one of those crafts or any vessel under 16 feet in length is required to do so. Lower water temperatures are a main reason why, as unexpected cold-wter immersion can lead to physical reactions making swimming difficult. Around 80-percent of boating deaths occur when victims aren't wearing life jackets and many of those fatalities occur between November and April.
New Jersey is going to provide fresh fruit and veggies to nearly 160 low-income schools before summer break next year. The state Department of Agriculture says that almost $4.5 million have been allocated to its Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program. More than 79,000 students across 14 counties are expected to benefit from the move. The program requires participating schools provide Jersey Fresh produce at least two days a week between September to November and again from April to June.
Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid is being suspended two games for fighting with Minnesota's Karl-Anthony Towns Wednesday night. Towns was also given a two-game suspension.