Republicans in the 7th Congressional District still don't know who their party's candidate will be this November. With about 99-percent of in-person votes counted, Lisa Scheller leads Dean Browning by roughly 900 votes. However, tens of thousands of mail-in and absentee ballots have yet to be counted leaving the race undecided. Northampton County says it has tallied most of its 37,000 mail-in ballots, but Lehigh and Monroe counties both say it will take until sometime today until all their mail-in ballots are counted. Tuesday's winner will take on incumbent Democrat Susan Wild in the general election.
In contested state House races Tuesday, incumbent Peter Schweyer held off the challenge of Enid Santiago in the Democrat primary in the 22nd House District. In the 131st Republican House race, Milou Mackenzie earned more than half the in-person votes Tuesday in a four person race to replace Justin Simmons, who is not seeking re-election. In Northampton County, Republicans appear to have chosen Ann Flood over Tony Tarsi in the 138th state House race. Incumbent Republican Marcia Hahn is not seeking re-election in that district. Democrats in the 9th Congressional District have given Laura Quick a 1500 vote edge over Gary Wegman with 10-percent of the vote yet to be counted.
Pennsylvania elections officials are reporting that voting across the commonwealth went relatively smoothly Tuesday. Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar says there were some minor issues in several counties that were resolved.
Pennsylvania health officials are reporting another 612 new cases of coronavirus, bringing the state total to just below the 73,000 mark,. 100 new coronavirus-related deaths were reported Tuesday, bringing the commonwealth's death toll to 5667.
New Jersey reported an additional 51 deaths in Tuesday's coronavirus report. The pandemic death toll in the Garden State now stands at 11,770. New Jersey added 708 new positive cases, bringing the state total to 161,545.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is confident that his state is on track to enter Stage Two of its reopening on June 15th, with COVID-19 spread data down. That means that outdoor dining at restaurants may resume, along with non-essential in-person retail operations as well. Barbershops and beauty salons may reopen business on June 11nd. The governor has yet to elaborate on any opening plans for gyms and health clubs.
Another sign that life is slowly returning to normal in Pennsylvania. "We are beginning, once again, driver's skills tests at our centers that are currently open," says PennDOT's Kurt Myers. Testing began Tuesday morning but only in counties labeled as yellow or green under the governor's reopen plan. Those still in red counties cannot take their test until they're shifted into the yellow designation, which should happen Friday. Myers says those who had their test cancelled by the pandemic are being pushed to the front of the line to get in. "Over the next essentially three weeks those individuals will have the opportunity to reschedule their test," Myers says. To do that, call 717-412-5300. Changes include the tester will not be in the vehicle with the driver; drivers in the yellow counties will be given a health screening before taking the test; and the test itself will remain in the test facility's parking lot.
Bethlehem officials are planning to help businesses maximize space to offer outdoor dining as the city transitions into the yellow phase of the reopening process. The initiative is a three-pronged approach that will utilize green space, shutting down streets at certain times and adding raised platforms to expand sidewalks. The outdoor spacing the city will help provide will also be used for retail shopping.
It's not officially summer, but Accu-Weather's Joe Lundberg has a very summer-like forecast. "I'd watch out for a strong thunderstorm or two this afternoon and early evening. There could be some damaging wind gusts, some hail and flooding downpours," Lundberg says. He says the best chance for those storms is this afternoon but he can't rule out a rough evening storm as well.
A 30-year-old man is in custody after he allegedly fired four shots at a 15-year-old boy then proceeded to beat him with the gun. Emmaus police say Zacharie Grim admitted that he fired four shots at the teenager on Monday night in Lower Saucon Township. Police added that the beat down Grim allegedly gave the teen left the boy with injuries to his face above his right eye and nose. Grim is charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and several other offenses. His preliminary hearing is set for June 15th.
Overnight, the 10-foot-tall bronze statue of former Philadelphia mayor and police commissioner Frank Rizzo was removed from the steps outside the city's Municipal Services Building. Earlier this week, Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner told MSNBC he understood why rioters tried to knock it down on their own. "It does not surprise me that protesters were trying to break it, were trying to tear it down. This is our Confederate general," Krasner says. The Rizzo statue had long been a target of vandals. Rizzo was mayor of Philadelphia from 1972 to 1980. During his tenure, Rizzo was praised by supporters as tough on crime but accused by critics of discriminating against minorities. There's no word yet on what the statue's fate is.
Hundreds of Pennsylvania Turnpike employees will lose their jobs to new technology. The Turnpike Commission voted Tuesday to make the toll road a completely cashless operation, eliminating the need for fare collectors and other employees. The transition to the use of E-Z Pass and automated license plate readers began in March. The job cuts will begin later this month. The move will cost about 500 people their jobs.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy says the pain and fatigue in the state's minority communities are real and palpable. He adds it's the result of decades of inequality and systemic racism, which is why he's asking New Jersey's Attorney General Gurbir Grewal to outline the state's "Excellence in Policing Initiative" to build trust and strengthen the bonds between law enforcement and the communities they serve. Murphy says that's why the state is a leader in community policing as it moves closer to what he calls a reimagined police culture.
Looking to cut costs, the Philadelphia Phillies have released 26 players, including a pair of former IronPigs. The Phils cut pitcher Brandon Leibrandt, who hasn't pitched for the IronPigs since June of 2018 due to arm surgery. They also cut the IronPigs' offensive player of the year last season. Ali Castillo hit .316 last season and knocked in 58 runs.