Here's what's trending for February 19.


After more than four-and-a-half inches of snow fell yesterday and this morning, Accu-Weather's Joe Lundberg says we've now picked up more than 52 inches of snow this season, with more on the way Monday. "Looks like it's a late morning-afternoon event and a couple of inches seems likely. There may be some rain that mixes in before it comes to an end, but it looks like it's mostly a snow event," Lundberg says. After that however, Lundberg says temperatures will be moving into the 40s.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed 3345 additional positive cases of COVID-19 Thursday, bringing the statewide total to 905,995. There were 94 new coronavirus-related deaths reported as well. That figure now sits at 23,413. As of Thursday, there are 2174 people hospitalized with the coronavirus. 465 of them are in the intensive care unit.

New Jersey's average coronavirus caseload seems to be trending downward. The state reported another 2246 cases Thursday and 89 additional deaths related to the virus. The number of patients in the state's hospitals was also down for the 15th straight day. That number Thursday was just above 2300.

The PIAA is going to be enforcing face mask requirements during upcoming Pennsylvania state championship tournaments this year. The PIAA says all athletes, coaches and officials will be required to wear masks this year for all state's tournaments. Teams will also be required to submit COVID-19 screenings before entering any tournament.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy says reopening efforts are up against a roadblock. He says much more would be in the works since vaccination efforts are underway, but more contagious COVID variants are hanging over the state's head. Murphy says if numbers continue to decline and hospitalizations continue to drop, there's no question he'll take more steps to open up. It comes after he signed an executive order Wednesday, extending New Jersey's public health emergency by 30 days.

New Jersey's application window is open for small businesses looking to secure a discount on PPE. Small and micro businesses with fewer than 100 employees can now apply to receive a 65-percent discount on personal protective equipment products. All businesses and non-profits qualify for least ten-percent off of PPE from approved retailers. The online form can be found at www.ppe.covid19.nj.gov.

PennDOT has named nine bridges on six interstates, including I-78′s Lenhartsville Bridge, that need upgrades and says it will consider for tolling to help generate the cash. Another bridge to be perhaps tolled is the Lehigh River Bridge on I-80. Tolling would be electronic and collected through E-ZPass or license-plate billing. The money collected on a bridge would go to its construction, maintenance and operation. However, several Republican senators are sponsoring a resolution to stop it, saying it would hurt the economy, while trucking industry associations oppose it.

If you know somebody looking for a job, a local company is hiring tomorrow. Shipping company Uline is looking to hire 200 new employees for its warehouse in Upper Macungie Township. Uline is hosting an in-person hiring event Saturday from 8am to 3pm at 700 Uline Way on Saturday. Anyone interested must pre-register online for an interview at www.uline.jobs. Jobs start at $23 an hour.

Northampton County Executive Lamont McClure says his county is getting $3.4 million from the state this year to save farmland and, in turn, fend off warehouse development. McClure says the best way to prevent warehouses from being built on land is to own the land or pay to ensure that it remains undeveloped.

South Whitehall Township has approved a plan to tear down a two-story mosque on Ridgeview Drive and replace it with a three-story, 26,000 total square foot structure. Township commissioners approved the plan 5-0.

If passed, a proposed bill would ban all dog, cat and rabbit sales in Pennsylvania pet stores. The bill was announced Wednesday and supporters say the it would restrict the sale of dogs, cats and rabbits at stores to help prevent pet mills from operating in the commonwealth. Lehigh Valley St. Sen. Lisa Boscola is one of the sponsors of the bill, which has support from both political parties.

Pennsylvania St. Sen. John Blake will resign next month to take a new job as district director for Congressman Matt Cartwright. Blake says he'll leave office on March 8th. He was first elected in 2010. A special election to fill Blake's seat will take place on a date to be determined by Lt. Gov. John Fetterman.

The Hershey Company is going organic with two of its confections. They'll start selling organic Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and Hershey Bars this month. They'll come in both milk and dark chocolate and will not contain any genetically modified organisms.

New Jersey's gaming industry pulled in nearly $350-million last month. That's a 15-percent increase when compared to January 2020. Internet gaming nearly doubled this year compared to last, bringing in a whopping $103-million.

More than 100 people have visited New Jersey hospitals because of carbon monoxide poisoning so far this year. The New Jersey Department of Health says residents can take a few steps to prevent this from happening, like keeping generators at least 20 feet away from homes. Some other tips include clearing snow from your vehicle's tail pipe, never running a car in a closed garage and never using a grill, oven or kerosene heater to stay warm.

The deadline to approve recreational marijuana legislation is looming for New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. The decision has been pushed back twice, with the most recent extension only giving the governor a day to decide. Officials have been working out details behind closed doors and Murphy is believed to be taking up issue with the penalties for underage people caught with marijuana. If passed, the legislation would legalize recreataional marijuana for those 21 and older.

New Jersey officials are aiming to target a health crisis separate from the coronavirus pandemic. Attorney General Gurbir Grewal announced four regulatory initiatives addressing New Jersey's opioid addiction epidemic. Under the new rules, doctors who prescribe opioids for pain management must also prescribe nalozone to patients who have a higher risk of fatally overdosing. The three other actions would, if adopted, serve similar purposes for dentists, nurses and optometrists.

Carson Wentz wanted out of Philadelphia and Thursday he got his wish. Wentz was traded to Indianapolis for a third round pick in this year's NFL Draft and a conditional second rounder next year that could become a first round choice if Wentz plays 75-percent of the Colts offensive snaps or 70-percent of the snaps and Indianapolis makes the playoffs.

Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto will miss about a month of spring training after breaking his thumb. It happened last week while blocking a pitch, but a MRI just revealed the small fracture. Realmuto expects to be ready for Opening Day. The two-time All-Star signed a five-year, $115.5 million contract weeks ago.

For the fourth straight year in a row, Joel Embiid is going to the NBA's All-Star game. He's averaging 29 points and nearly ten rebounds per game this season.


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