St. Luke’s University Health Network will buy Easton Hospital on July 1. Easton Mayor Sal Panto says he couldn't be more pleased. "It brings a real fine health care provider to our community and I think that it will eventually expand the services in our community," Panto says. In a statement, St. Luke's CEO Richard Anderson says, "St. Luke’s will replicate at Easton Hospital the success it has achieved at its other campuses, resulting in a ‘win-win-win’ for all. The community wins. Easton Hospital wins. Our Network wins."
After the Associated Press declared her the winner in the 7th Congressional Republican primary, Lisa Scheller did the same Wednesday afternoon. Scheller has a 1600-vote lead over Dean Browning with 100-percent of Tuesday's in-person vote and Northampton County's mail-in ballots counted. However, Lehigh and Monroe counties' 26,000 mail-in ballots have not yet been tabulated and Browning says he's waiting for all votes to be counted before conceding the race.
Tuesday's new-look Pennsylvania primary elections went smoothly according to Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar. However, she says there were some issues but everyone's votes were counted. "One county's printer printed some ballots that were too large for the scanners. Those ballots instead were deposited into ballot boxes and will be centrally counted by the county. Another county had some ballots that the code on the ballots was not properly scanning and the county will be scanning them centrally," according to Boockvar. She says there were fewer complaints this year than any other year in recent history.
Gov. Tom Wolf is now among a growing group of politicians and local officials who have taken part in protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Wednesday, the governor walked with protesters starting at the State Capitol steps. During the walk, Wolf said we must stop the divide in the country that separates white and black and that every Pennsylvanian should speak out against violence and oppression.
With protests and rioting erupting in major cities across the country, law enforcement is cracking down on people looking to further the chaos and destruction. Philadelphia police have arrested Talib Crump for allegedly trying to sell homemade dynamite sticks to looters and rioters. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro says investigators came across Crump's social media page, leading to his arrest. "Mr. Crump, who bragged on social media that using dynamite was better than using bullets for robbing an ATM, offered up explicit instructions on how to best set dyanmite up to blow up an ATM," Shapiro says. He says Crump went on to say he used that dynamite to blow up an ATM the night before and stealing more than $8500.
Residents in the Poconos are taking a moment of silence in memory of George Floyd. More than 100 people gathered at the Stroudsburg Wesleyan Church parking lot Wednesday, hours after they got word that all the officers involved in Floyd's death are being charged. Local police officers and members of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office were in attendance. Stroud Area Regional Police Chief Jennifer Lyon says we're all human and we have to stand together when something is wrong and injustice happens in the world.
South Whitehall Township Commissioner Matthew Mobilio is standing his ground after residents called for his resignation over a controversial Facebook post. Mobilio's post was in response to a video of peaceful protesters being booted outside of the White House to clear a path for President Trump's walk to a nearby church damaged by looting. Mobilio's said, "If you support him, you are also a disgrace and should be hung for treason." The commissioner now calls the comment ill-conceived, but he has no plans to resign. Other commissioners say the comment does not represent the views of the board and Mobilio spoke out as a private citizen.
Pennsylvania's Department of Health added another 511 COVID-19 cases on Wednesday. That pushes the state's total number of cases to more than 73,000. 75 additional coronavirus-related deaths were reported as well on Wednesday, pushing the state total to 5742 since the pandemic began.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is allowing the stay-at-home order to expire tonight. Wolf says the order will no longer be in effect as all 67 counties will be in either the green or yellow phase of the reopening process. Though coronavirus cases are dropping, the governor insists that residents continue to take precautions to keep themselves and their communities healthy. Wolf is also renewing the 90-day disaster declaration that was also set to expire tonight, which would provide continued support for state agencies battling COVID-19.
The reins will be loosened tomorrow on the final ten counties designated red in Gov. Tom Wolf's reopening plans. "Southeastern Pennsylvania is still on track to go to yellow on Friday," says State Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine. That includes Berks, Bucks, Lehigh and Northampton counties. Levine says her department will closely monitor for increased risk, such as significant outbreaks. If overall risk remains mitigated for fourteen days, those ten counties would then transition to the green phase.
Schools may resume in-person teaching in July. The eased restrictions are for school boards in the green and yellow counties of Gov. Tom Wolf's reopening plan. The announcement by the state Department of Education does not mean schools are forced to participate. Several colleges and post-secondary institutions can resume campus instruction on Friday if they have plans for social distancing. If health conditions were to get worse, schools would then be allowed to go back to online-learning classes.
Gov. Phil Murphy has advice for anyone who could not properly social distance at any of the dozens of rallies in New Jersey against the killing of George Floyd. His message is to get a coronavirus test. That recommendation comes from infectious disease experts concerned the rallies could be super spreader events.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy says the coronavirus picture looks better overall, but there are still new cases and deaths. The latest daily death toll is 112 higher and more than 650 new cases were also reported Wednesday. New Jersey's coronavirus-related death count now stands at more than 11,800.
As New Jersey prepares to enter Phase Two on June 15th, Gov. Phil Murphy is signing an executive order to permit in-person outdoor dining. Restaurants must maintain at least six feet of distance in table seating and they must abide by all sanitizing protocols. Murphy says restaurants could expand their service footprint outdoors and some may obtain a special one-time liquor license for those expanded services into outdoor areas and onto sidewalks. These licenses will be valid into November.
New Jersey's governor is announcing new recommendations to improve New Jersey's long-term care facilities currently facing the pandemic's assault. As New Jersey approaches Stage Two of its reopening on June 15th, Phil Murhpy cited a statewide study conducted by two health care officials. Recommendations include strengthening the state's emergency respons capacity, stabilizing facilities, bolstering the workforce, increasing transparency and accountability and building a more resilient care system.
One man has been arrested after SWAT crews were called to the 300 block of Brookfield Circle in Macungie overnight. The incident began around 10 o'clock Wednesday night and ended with the man being taken into custody around 2:30 this morning. Police have not said what led to the incident or if the man will face any charges.
At least three people are dead after severe thunderstorms ripped through Montgomery County. The storms brought damaging winds causing falling trees and power lines. Thousands of people experienced power outages throughout the region. Tornado warnings were in effect Wednesday for parts of Montgomery County.
Organizers are postponing a gun rights rally scheduled for the state Capitol next week. St. Rep. Daryl Metcalfe says it's in the best interest of the event's attendees, speakers and police to officially postpone the Rally To Protect Your Right To Keep and Bear Arms. The event was established in 2006 and there's no rescheduled date announced yet.
New Jersey will be the first state to incorporate climate change into the curriculum for every student from kindergarten through high school. Instruction will be based on why the climate is warming and what can be done to mitigate it. First Lady Tammy Murphy, who spearheaded the effort, says the effects are already here with sea levels rising on the Jersey Shore and in river communities and the extreme heat in New Jersey's cities.