Republican Sen. Pat Toomey says there's no reason to delay filling the Supreme Court vacancy left by last week's passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. In a statement, Toomey says “Four years ago, I noted that my decision to oppose moving forward with the Supreme Court confirmation process for Judge Merrick Garland was related to the circumstances present at the time. The circumstances surrounding the current vacancy are, in fact, different. While there is a presidential election this year, the White House and the Senate are currently both controlled by the same party. The Senate’s historical practice has been to fill Supreme Court vacancies in these circumstances."
Pennsylvania's Department of Health added 834 new COVID-19 cases to the state's total Tuesday, pushing that number to 151,646 since the pandemic began. Another 19 coronavirus-related deaths were added to the state's overall total Tuesday. That number is now 8023.
Gov. Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine are launching the COVID Alert PA app. The app is designed to notify users if they were in close contact with another user who tested positive for the coronavirus by sending them a notification and it offers guidance on what to do next. Levine says the app will not track your location or gather information from you, but is rather simply an exposure notification tool. The COVID Alert PA app is available to download for free in the Google Play and Apple App stores.
A federal judge has denied Gov. Tom Wolf's request for a stay on a ruling that some of the governor's COVID-19 restrictions were unconstitutional. Despite that, the governor says the issue is far from settled. "The attorney general applied for a stay and that was denied, so we'll move ahead now with an appeal to the 3rd Circuit," Wolf said. Judge William Stickman IV says the public interest would be ill-served if the court would grant the stay allowing the unconstitutional measures to remain in place. Last week, the same judge ruled that the governor's stay-at-home order, nonessential business closures and limits for gathering sizes were unconstitutional.
The state House of Representatives is expected to consider a vote to override Gov. Tom Wolf's veto of a bill that focused on school sports crowds. The bill passed both the state House and Senate with bipartisan support earlier this month only to be vetoed by Wolf Monday. If there's a two-thirds majority in both chambers, school districts could get the ability to determine how many spectators would be allowed to attend K-through-12 sporting events.
Fayette County St. Sen. Pat Stefano's bill to relax restrictions on bars and restaurants has won Senate approval and will be taken up by the House today. Stefano's proposed bill would set minimum capacity for bars and restaurants at 50-percent. It would also lift Gov. Tom Wolf's ban on bar service and would let restaurants once again let customers sit at the bar.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney is in quarantine. He said he recently came in close contact with someone who had the virus. Kenney said he got tested on Monday and it came back negative, but he will retest again next week. As for now, Kenney has plans to stay away from City Hall this week.
A Hellertown man is charged with raping a 12-year-old girl for more than a year-and-a-half. 31-year-old Jason Messics allegedly assaulted the girl several times from February 2019 through lsat month at a home in Bethlehem. Messics is in Northampton County Jail under $200,000 bail.
Police are looking for the man who robbed the Santander Bank on North Third Street in Easton Tuesday afternoon. Nobody was hurt in the holdup, which happened just after 12:30 Tuesday afternoon. The robbery prompted nearby Lafayette College to be placed on lockdown for about 40 minutes.
The re-election campaign for President Trump was back in Pennsylvania Tuesday night. At a campaign stop near Pittsburgh, the President told supporters they have him to thank for the Second Amendment still existing. "If I weren't President, you know the pressure, your Second Amendment would be obliterated. It would maybe be gone, but at the minimum it would be obliterated. They haven't touched the Second Amendment, not even touched it, because I'm here to block," the President said. President Trump will return to Pennsylvania on Saturday with a rally at the Harrisburg International Airport.
The Somerset County Clerk is teaching people how to complete mail-in ballots. County Clerk Steve Peter made a step-by-step video after receiving several questions about mail-in ballot details. Officials say they're mailing out more than 250,000 ballots that should be arriving by the first week of October. Gov. Phil Murphy signed an executive order making the 2020 election mostly mail-in, but people can still show up to their local polling sites.
Some New Jersey Transit riders are complaining people aren't wearing masks on public transit. One disgruntled rider took to Twitter, saing she's been in multiple train cars where people aren't wearing masks, suggesting there should be a dedicated car for people who don't want to wear masks. The agency says it's offering free masks at customer service desks and police officers are also equipped with extra masks. It also launched a pilot program allowing people to use vending machines to obtain PPE.
New Jersey is changing the amount of nursing home residents one nurse will be assigned. Each nursing home typically has one nurse for every six residents, but the state's Assembly Budget Committee is adjusting the ratio, making it one nurse to every eight patients. Nursing homes have been facing staffing challenges for years, but claim the pandemic has made it even worse. New Jersey's long-term care facilities reportedly have the nation's highest death rate per-capita.
The Philadelphia Phillies say players will autograph the facial cutouts that have been hit by homeruns at Citizens Bank Park. Team officials say that accounts for 48 cutouts. Those people will get their cutouts mailed to them to treasure it as a keepsake. In addition, the fans will receive tickets to a game, as well as special promotional items.