Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is calling on Republican House leaders to censure St. Rep. Russ Diamond for what the governor calls an attack on Pennsylvania's LGBTQ community. In a social media post Wednesday, Diamond released a nearly verbatim parody of state Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine's call for acceptance of the LGBTQ community. In Diamond's post, he swapped out the term "LGBTQ" for the word "unmasked." Wolf wasn't amused. "It doesn't make any sense to me at all. I thought it was factually incorrect and nasty," Wolf says. The governor calls Diamond's post abhorrent, disrespectful and dangerous.
More than 30 people are displaced after a fire in Allentown ripped through at least one row home. Firefighters were called around 2:30 Thursday afternoon to a fire that began in the 300 block of West Washington Street and quickly went to three alarms before firefighters got it under control.
The Schuykill County man who threatened then-Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli and President Trump and led authorities on a six-state chase has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. Investigators said Shawn Christy posted messages on social media, threatening to shoot President Donald Trump in the head, threatening to kill Morganalli and threatening to kill any police officers who tried to arrest him. Christy also burglarized his uncle’s Luzerne County home, where authorities said he stole three guns. While on the run for three months, he stole vehicles, broke into a Maryland church and stole money, burglarized a home in Kentucky, broke into a school for the deaf and left a threatening note against the U.S. Marshals Service. He led authorities on a three-month chase across six states and Canada until he was captured in September 2018 in Ohio.
St. Rep. Daryl Metcalfe is rescheduling his Right to Bear Arms Rally for Harrisburg for this fall. The Butler County Republican says the rally will now happen Tuesday, September 29th on the Capitol steps. The event was postponed from earlier this summer amid other protests organized by Black Lives Matter supporters.
Fire crews from Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties battled a big fire at an apartment complex Thursday night. It broke out at the Ashwood Apartments in North Coventry Township, Chester County. Nearly 100 people may be displaced according to the Red Cross. Four people were reportedly taken to the hospital, including two firefighters who suffered heat exhaustion.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health has added 860 new COVID-19 cases to the commonwealth's total. That brings Pennsylvania's number to 111,078 confirmed cases. 14 more coronavirus-related deaths were also reported Thursday.
Speaking at a campaign event in western Pennsylvania, Vice President Mike Pence acknowledged this is a difficult time for the country with coronavirus cases rising once again. But he told supporters President Trump will spare no expense to fight the virus. "President Trump and our team with the task force will continue to marshal the full resources of the federal government and the full power of the American economy to meet this moment and put the health of America first," Pence says. Total U.S. cases now approach 4.5 million.
The Trump campaign bus carrying Vice President Mike Pence to an event in western Pennsylvania was involved in a minor fender bender. A large dump truck was seen with a damaged front driver's side fender. No one on board Pence's bus was injured and the vice president was transferred to a limousine to continue traveling to the event. After Pence was transferred to the limo, there was a second motor vehicle accident involving motorcycle escorts. An ambulance was called to the scene checking out police officers.
The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence is launching a new campaign to encourage more men to get involved in the fight against domestic violence. The Hear Me Out Campaign Challenge is meant to increase engagement with men to promote healthy relationships and help them become role models for others and spread the word. One agency says they want to ensure that men don't feel isolated from promoting the message because they can be victims too.
About 200 people turned out Thursday for a rally against coronavirus restrictions at the New Jersey State House. Speakers at the rally called for an end to race mask requirements and business closures. Attendees openly ridiculed anyone wearing a mask at the rally and social distancing was not practiced.
New Jersey lawmakers have passed bills to change how people are sentenced and treated after release from prison. Among the bills passed on to Gov. Phil Murphy for his signature is one to criminalize calling 911 to threaten someone because of their race. Another would expand police officers' diversity training. Another measure provides help and housing to anyone who finishes their prison sentence.
While the PIAA is moving ahead with plans for fall sports, a local high school conference isn't. The Eastern Pennsylvania Conference has decided that fall sports that involve contact, meaning field hockey, soccer and football, will be put on hold because of the coronavirus pandemic. Noncontact sports like cross country, golf and girls tennis might be allowed to start on time. A decision on girls volleyball has not yet been made. The East Penn Conference consists of 18 teams in Lehigh, Northampton and Monroe counties.
COVID-19 has forced the Phillies to cancel all activities at their ballpark. The move comes after two staffers, including a coach, have tested positive for the coronavirus. The Phillies have also been dealing with the fallout of the Miami Marlins coronavirus outbreak where at least 17 players and staffers tested positive for the virus during and after playing the Phillies last weekend. No Phillies players have tested positive.
It's been a long time coming, but basketball is back for the Philadelphia 76ers. The team will restart their season Saturday against the Indiana Pacers. NBA teams in contention for the playoffs are in a bubble in Florida and will play an eight-game schedule before the playoffs begin.