A Schuylkill County man is being confirmed as one of five people who died during the riot at the U.S. Capitol. Benjamin Phillips, of Ringtown, died from a medical emergency during the protests. Meanwhile, there are also about a dozen Pennsylvanians who were arrested during the riot. The charges they face include curfew violations as well as unlawful entry and weapons possession.
These two local residents attended Wednesday's rally in Washington DC and they both say they are not happy with how the way the day ended. "I don't condone anything that was done violently," one protester said. Another said, "I will never support violence. I am a peaceful protester. I am disgusted with what has happened." Both say the vast majority of those who attended the rally remained peaceful from start to finish.
Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey is calling for the removal of President Trump after Wednesday's riot there. Casey says the President is a threat to our domestic and national security and it's evident he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. He is calling on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, which allows the VP to inherit the President's powers if he and other executive powers declare him unfit for the job.
An Allentown School District teacher has been placed on leave for attending the protests in Washington DC. District officials say members of the community were upset after they saw an image of the teacher at the protest, but the district says it also has an obligation to respect the First Amendment rights of staff and students. The teacher will remain on leave until an investigation of how he was involved is complete. District officials are also asking teachers to think carefully of what they post on social media and how it can impact their students and community. In his message, superintendent Thomas Parker said, "While we all have the right to express ourselves, it is important to do so respectfully. We ask the same of our students and families."
Gov. Tom Wolf is sending help to the U.S. Capitol after Wednesday's riot there. The governor is sending about 1000 members of the Pennsylvania National Guard to Washington DC to assist in maintaining order. The National Guard members will remain in the nation's capital until Joe Biden is inaugurated on January 20th.
New Jersey State Police troopers are on the ground in Washington DC. Gov. Phil Murphy says 74 members were sent to the U.S. Capitol, a slightly number than originally forecasted. Murphy didn't say how long troopers would be in Washington but, in a tweet, ensured they would help facilitate a peaceful transfer of power.
A former state representative has resigned his teaching position after social media posts showed him at Wednesday's rally in Washington DC. Rick Saccone, who had been serving as an adjunct instructor at St. Vincent College, stepped down from that position Thursday. Saccone said that he wanted to spare any negative press to the school. Saccone admits to being at the rally, but says that he did not take part on the invastion of the Capitol building. On social media Wednesday, Saccone had a posted picture of himself in Washington with the caption: "We are storming the Capitol. Our vanguard has broken through the barricades. We will save this nation. Are u with me?" But he says he didn't mean for the post to be taken literally.
What was likely inevitable has now happened here in Pennsylvania. "We did report one case of the UK COVID varient in Pennsylvania and that was travel-related from outside the country," says Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine. The case has been found in Dauphin County and Levine says the person had only mild symptoms and has completed their isolation at home.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported nearly 9700 new cases of coronavirus Thursday. The overall number now stands at above 693,000 since the pandemic began. Another 265 people who died from coronavirus-related issues were added to the state's total Thursday.
Pennsylvania officials are recommending that elementary schools return to in-person learning. The acting education secretary, Noe Ortega, announced the new guidelines, which recommend that elementary students across the state return to some form of in-person learning for the second half of the school year, which typically begins near the end of January. This could be all students attend 5 days a week, or a blended/hybrid model for just elementary students, depending on the local spread of COVID-19.
Kutztown University President Kenneth Hawkinson tested positive for COVID-19 Thursday morning. Hawkinson, whose symptoms are mild, is now working from home, where he will need to remain for the next 10 days. Since August 24, KU said 409 of its students and 22 of its employees have tested positive for the coronavirus. Five of the cases are currently active.
New Jersey reports a new record of daily coronavirus cases. Thursday, the state reported 6314 additional infections and confirmed 123 deaths related to the virus.
New Jersey leaders say the COVID-19 vaccination is going to be administered free of charge. Gov. Phil Murphy reminds the public as the state scales up its vaccination plan all health care providers must immunize people without billing them. That also applies to those without health insurance. Murphy hopes to start rolling out the vaccine to the general public by Memorial Day.
New Jersey is throwing a lifeline to small businesses struggling to survive the coronavirus pandemic. Thursday, Gov. Phil Murphy signed The Economic Recovery Act of 2020, with the goal of supporting small businesses while also nurturing the economy's recovery and growth for the next ten years. One initiative actually allots a total of $50 million in grants and loans to small and micro businesses while another invests in start-ups and the entrepreneur economy.
The Philadelphia 76ers are in quarantine in New York City after guard Seth Curry tested positive for COVID-19. The team reportedly learned of the positive test for Curry early during a 122-109 loss to the Brooklyn Nets. Curry left the floor immediately to go to an isolated area of the arena before leaving the building. The 76ers' next game is at home against Denver on Saturday.
Long-time Allentown City Councilman Julio Guridy was elected in a 6-0 vote to become the new council president. Guridy, who was council vice president last year, previously served as council president from 2012-to-2014.
Allentown police are looking for a Bethlehem man suspected of killing a pedestrian by vehicle in October of last year. Police say Issac Resto struck and killed Eliezer Montano-Lopez with his vehicle around 7pm on October 8th near Hanover Avenue and East Linden Street and then fled the scene.
New Jersey is bringing back civil trials after suspending them at the start of the coronavirus pandemic. The court system plans to bring back civil trials in a virtual format in eight of the Garden State's 21 counties starting February 1st. The first trials will involve single witness cases that can be completed within a few weeks. Meantime, the court system plans on expanding virtual jury trials statewide come April.
Coaching changes are being made with the Philadelphia Eagles. Senior offensive assistant Rich Scangarello and senior offensive assistant Marty Mornhingweg will not return to the team. Neither will defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz, who has decided to step away from his coaching duties after five seasons in Philadelphia.
Heinz Field is going to be pretty quiet this Sunday when the Steelers host the Cleveland Browns in a wildcard playoff game. The Steelers say no fans will be allowed to attend the game due to recent occupancy limits put into place for the spike of COVID-19 cases. The organization says the state is only permitting 2500 people inside the stadium which includes players, staff and coaches. The rest of the occupancy limit is being designated to family members of the players and coaches.