A pair of Lehigh Valley shootings are being investigated. In Allentown, police are investigating a shooting that happened shortly before 1 o'clock this morning in the 400 block of Allen Street. Police aren't commenting on injuries or if anyone is in custody. Meanwhile, police in Easton are investigating a shooting that happened just before 11 last night in the area of 12th and Washington streets. A 31-year-old man was rushed to the hospital for what police say are very serious gunshot wounds. Investigators say they found evidence of a shooting at Cherry and Lehigh streets, about two blocks away and they also found several vehicles hit by gunfire, and a stolen handgun near where the victim was located. Investigators believe the victim was specifically targeted. Police say witnesses have been uncooperative.
Bethlehem Mayor Robert Donchez has chosen Capt. Michelle Kott to be his city's next police chief. The 38-year-old Kott hopes her nomination inspires others. "I'm very humbled, but I look forward to the challenge and leading the men and women of this department and hopefully inspire other girls that may be interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement," Kott said. Donchez says Kott would bring a new perspective and energy to the department. Bethlehem City Council will vote on her nomination next month. If approved, Kott will become Bethlehem's first female police chief.
The state House of Representatives wasn't able to override a veto from Gov. Tom Wolf on a bill that would have given schools the ability to set attendance limits at sporting events. There were 25 Democrats who had previously voted to support the bill who changed their stance Wednesday. Among those 25 are local lawmakers Bob Freeman, Jeanne McNeill, Steve Samuelson, Michael Schlossberg and Peter Schweyer. House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff said their override effort failed because those two-dozen caved to political pressure.
The PIAA is telling schools they are free to decide how many fans can come to games. This comes about a week after a federal judge ruled that Gov. Tom Wolf's limits on gatherings were unconstitutional. School boards are already making decisions on the matter.
Northwestern Lehigh High School is suspending football practices and games after one individual involved in the program tested positive for COVID-19. School officials say the person associated with both the junior varsity and varsity teams was last at the high school last Friday and they deemed it necessary to suspend all football activities until October 2nd. The school will no close its doors however, as the classrooms and spaces used by the infected individual has been cleaned and disinfected.
The Pennsylvania House has approved a measure to loosen restrictions for businesses and sent it to Gov. Tom Wolf, who has said he'll veto the bill. St. Sen. Pat Stefano from Fayette County says his measure would raise capacity at bars and restaurants and allow customers to order drinks without also having to order food. He says businesses have been working in good faith with the state to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but he says many of those businesses are having to close because of the restrictions.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy doesn't expect to increase indoor dining and gym capacity any time soon. He says he's not aware of any coronavirus outbreaks since easing restrictions, but essentially tells the public he needs to see proof that indoor venues aren't contributing to more positive cases. This comes as the state reported 435 new coronavirus cases and seven additional deaths Wednesday.
Pennsylvania health officials announced another 898 new coronavirus cases Wednesday, pushing that overall total to 152,544. Another 39 coronavirus-related deaths were added to the state's total, which now stands at 8062. Of the more than 181,000 tests administered over the past seven days, only 2.9-percent came back positive for the virus.
You are being urged to pay close attention to the directions on your mail-in ballot. Election officials fear thousands and thousands of mail-in ballots could be thrown out because they do not include the so-called secrecy envelopes when they are mailed back. Mail-in voters are being reminded to put the ballot inside of the secrecy envelope and to make sure you've signed it before sending it off. You can find more information on how to fill out a mail-in ballot at www.votespa.com/mailballot.
New Jersey is installing dozens of ballot drop boxes across the state. Officials say the drop boxes are secure and will be emptied at least once a day. Voters choosing paper ballots have four options, including hand delivering their vote to the board of elections, mailing the ballot, putting it in the drop box, or delivering it to a polling site on Election Day.
New Jersey's State Legislature is voting on a budget today and Gov. Phil Murphy says he's satisfied with the agreed-upon plan. He notes the reinstatement of the so-called "millionaire's tax", as well as a tax-rebate for some families with children, calling the policies rooted in fairness. Murphy admits there are some line items he wanted but didn't get, including "baby bonds" for low-income families. The governor touted aspects of the budget, including investments into education, infranstructure spending for things like mass-transportation and clean environment initiatives.
Commercial drivers across New Jersey are getting out of waiting in long lines at Motor Vehicle Commissions, for now. The agency has extended commercial license expiration dates until the end of the year, as long as the expiration date is March 1st or later. This is the MVC's third time extending expiration dates since commercial and bus drivers have to renew their license in person. The extension does not apply to noncommercial drivers who can typically renew their license online.
The Phillies buried the Nationals 12-3 last night, leaving them one-half game behind Miami for a playoff spot. Bryce Harper hit a pair of homers in the win and said he hopes the offense can push the team into the postseason. "If you get some runs up on the board, we're going to win a lot of ballgames and hopefully get deep into the postseason," Harper said. The Phillies are off today before finishing the regular season in Tampa Bay.