Roughly an hour after some sort of police activity began in Allentown, it ended. Police activity shut down the area of Union Boulevard and North Van Buren Street from just before 6am until just after 7am when several children came out of the home in the 2200 block of Union Boulevard, followed a little while later by a man. The Allentown PD says the situation was resolved without further incident or injury.
Pennsylvania's Health Department has added 467 new cases of COVID-19 to the state's overall total, which now stands at 77,613. Another 51 new deaths related to coronavirus were also reported Thursday. That leaves Pennsylvania's coronavirus-related death toll at 6113.
New Jersey has recorded 70 new coronavirus-related deaths, leaving the state total at 12,443. New Jersey's confirmed COVID-19 cases now stands at 165,816. Only New York has more cases. New Jersey officials say they're seeing progress however. The number of cases and deaths has falled steadily since their peak in April.
Another dozen counties, including Carbon, are moving into the green phase of the state's reopening plan today. That designation allows most businesses to resume, but with safety measures in place to stop the spread of coronavirus. In addition to Carbon County, Adams, Beaver, Columbia, Cumberland, Juniata, Mifflin, Northumberland, Union, Wayne, Wyoming and York counties go green today. There are now 46 counties in that phase. The remaining 21 are in the yellow designation.
Allentown City Councilwoman Ce-Ce Gerlach is pretty blunt about the financial status of her city. "We need money. Until that happens, you will see cities crumble," Gerlach says. She says Allentown is facing up to a $10 million deficit. So how does the city get out of the hole? Gerlach says taxing residents who are already stretched to the limit is not an option. Instead, she hopes the federal government will come through with relief.
A second COVID-19 stimulus bill looks unlikely at the moment. Republican leaders are not in favor of the plans from the Democrat-controlled House. Sen. Bob Casey says that's too bad. "I think we should do a number of things. I understand why Mitch McConnell didn't want to embrace the whole House bill. I get that. But to categorically reject it and then have nothing to say about what you would be for, is just not acceptable to the American people," Casey says.
Gettysburg Military Park is reopening today as Adams County moves into Gov. Tom Wolf's green reopening phase. Officials say more services are being restored today and public restrooms will reopen. Licensed park guides and permits will also be available. Groups will be limited to no more than 250 people.
Residents in Lowhill Township are on edge after random gunshots were heard again earlier this week. Pennsylvania State Police say there have been about seven drive-by shootings in Northern Lehigh County since April, including Wednesday's where residents heard six or seven shots. Police found multiple shell casings. No one was hurt. Police are still investigating a case from a few weeks ago when a couple houses were hit. Police encourage people in the area to stay vigilant and notify them of anything suspicious.
A Thursday night fire damaged a home in Catasauqua. It happened around 10:30 last night on Cambridge Place. It's believed the fire began in an attached garage and spread to the home. Authorities have not said what may have caused the fire, but no one was hurt.
Vice President Mike Pence will be in western Pennsylvania today. The White House says Pence will visit a Butler County business this afternoon for a roundtable discussion on the U.S. economy.
A tornado is to blame for storm damage in Beaver County. National Weather Service officials say an EF-2 tornado with winds around 120 miles-per-hour touched down last night near Beaver Falls. It was the strongest tornado to hit the county since 1985 and it caused widespread damage to trees and homes. No injuries were reported however.
New Jersey financial advisers and Gov. Phil Murphy are considering cuts to Senior Freeze and the Homestead Benefit Program to make up for revenues lost to the COVID-19 pandemic. The state is looking to cut a $220 million payment to Senior Freeze and $138 million to the Homestead Benefit program. The proposed cuts are part of a plan to cut or delay $5 billion in spending.
The Philadelphia Phillies concluded the five-round MLB Draft on Thursday. The Phillies made three selections last night. Shortstop Casey Martin, pitcher Carson Ragsdale and outfielder Baron Radcliffe were chosen a night after the Phils picked high school pitcher Mick Abel in the first round.