Election Day has arrived and while turnout is expected to be light, there are still several important races on the local ballots. Residents in Allentown have a mayor's race to decide. Interim Mayor Ray O'Connell is looking to finish the remaining two years of ex-Mayor Ed Pawlowski's term. Republican Tim Ramos is running against O'Connell. In Easton, incumbent Democrat Mayor Sal Panto is looking for another term. He's opposed by Republican and city fireman Timothy Reilly.
Voters in Northampton County will elect a new district attorney today for the first time in 28 years. Democrat Terry Houck and Republican Tom Carroll are looking to replace John Morganelli, who is leaving that job to seek one of two county judge seats up for grabs today. Morganelli is joined by fellow Democrat Abe Kassis and Republican Victor Scomillio on the ballot. Lehigh County residents are choosing four new commissioners today from nine candidates on the ballot.
Today is the day voters will decide whether crime victims get more than a dozen new state constitutional rights. The Marsy's Law Crime Victim's Rights Amendment is on the ballot across the state. If passed it could mean changes that would relate to privacy, bail conditions, victim's safety, information made available and the receiving of restitution, among other changes. Critics say the proposal violates the constitutional rights of the accused.
The New Jersey Assembly is up for grabs today during the general election. All 80 seats are on the ballot and a Republican wave could dramatically alter the current political scene. Democrats currently have decisive majorities in the Assembly and the state Senate and with Gov. Phil Murphy's Democrat affiliation, the state today remains firmly a blue majority.
A man is behind bars after sending sexual messages to a 12-year-old girl via Instagram. Police say Joseph Rosa used the social media platform to converse with the girl, often discussing having sex and how to go about it. Police say they were made aware of the messages by the victim's mother who found them in the victim's phone.
A man accused in the murder of four men in Bucks County will testify in his own defense. The trial of Sean Kratz begins Wednesday. He allegedly helped his cousin, Cosmo DiNardo, kill three of the four ment at DiNardo's farm in 2017. During a pre-trial hearing Monday, Kratz's attorney indicated that his client will be taking the stand. DiNardo has already pleaded guilty and is serving consecutive life sentences.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike is going cashless. The new system will be in place starting in 2021 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission says it will make for quicker and safer travel. For drivers without E-Z-Pass, a photo of their license plate will be snapped and they will be sent an invoice in the mail.
"We need to make sure we give everybody an opportunity to get a second chance," says Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who has given two people exactly that. George Trudel and Naomi Blount both had their mandatory life sentences commuted earlier this year and beginning yesterday they're now working on the state's Board of Pardons to reform the state's commutation process. Trudel gets the job after spending 30 years behind bars for a second-degree murder conviction. "It's a bit surreal, but in the same fashion, it just seems right," Trudel says. Fetterman says Trudel and Blount will help essentially audit the state's lifer population.
The state agriculture secretary is asking for research proposals to curb chronic wasting disease. The highly contagious disease causes lethargy and emaciation and can decimate deer and elk populations. Agriculture Secretary Russell Reading has put out the call for applications focusing on understanding the spread of the disease and how to curb it. The department has received $1 million in funding for this project.
State officials remind hunters that any legislation passed recently concerning Sunday hunting won't be affecting Sundays this year. The state Game Commission says that while the House of Representatives passed legislation last week that would provide expanded Sunday hunting opportunities in Pennsylvania, it has neither passed the Senate nor been signed into law. The bill, which would permit a Sunday for hunting during archery deer season, firearms deer season and a third to be decided, would not go into effect until 90 days after being passed. In other words, there will be no Sunday hunting in 2019.
Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson will likely miss the remainder of the season after aggravating an abdominal injury Sunday against Chicago. Coach Doug Pederson says they might need to bring in another receiver. "At this point, it's something we've gotta take a look at. It's real. We're at the halfway point of our season and we've got time this week to make these decisions," says Pederson. Jackson is expected to have surgery, perhaps as soon as today.