Pennsylvania Republicans did not vote to censure Sen. Pat Toomey Wednesday night over his vote to convict former President Trump in his second impeachment trial. Toomey says he'd been mostly aligned with President Trump during his term in office. "President Trump and I were allies far more often, but not every time. If I disagree with the president from any party, I'm going to say so. As it happened, we were in agreement far more often than disagreement," Toomey said. State Republicans say they may take up the issue again next week however.
During Thursday's confirmation hearing for ex-Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine, Sen. Rand Paul asked Levine if minors should be allowed to make the decision to change their sex. "Senator, transgender medicine is a very complex and nuanced field and, if confirmed to the position of assistant secretary of health, I would certainly be pleased to come to your office and talk with you and your staff about the standards of care and the complexities of this field," Levine said. Paul told Levine he was alarmed Levine refused to say minors should not have the ability to take hormones that will change the rest of their life. Levine is nominated by President Biden to be assistant secretary of health.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health Thursday confirmed 2356 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's overall total to 922,990. 81 new coronavirus-related deaths were also reported, leaving the state's total-to-date at 23,868. 1972 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19. 433 of them are in the intensive care unit.
A bill is being proposed in the state House to allow for employees to refuse getting a COVID-19 vaccination. The House Labor and Industry Committee had a public hearing about House Bill 262 Thursday. If passed, the new legislation would make it illegal for employers to fire, threaten or discriminate against employees who refuse to get the vaccine or an invasive medical test.
A family is suing the Bethlehem Area School District for their young child's alleged sexual assault on a district school bus in 2019. Attorneys say for more than four months, the kindergartener from Farmersville Elementary School endured a pattern of violent, physical and sexual torture from another student who was older than him. They added the district knew about the student's violent tendencies but allegedly did nothing about it. The family is seeking $150,000 in damages to their son's mental health. BASD officials deny the allegations.
Northampton County customers of Pennsylvania American Water will still be paying more for their service, but not as much as originally expected. The state Public Utility Commission has approved a $70.5 million, two-year rate increase that will bump a typical residential customer's bill about $5 higher over that two-year period. Pennsylvania American Water originally proposed a rate hike that would've increased those bills by about $18 per month. The new rates are retroactive to January 28th.
The Delaware River Basin Commission voted unanimously Thursday morning to ban natural gas drilling and fracking in the watershed that supplies water to people in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Delaware. The commissioners claim fracking poses too great of a risk to the water supply.
Allentown's Department of Parks & Recreation is putting out the help wanted sign. Summer job opportunities include lifeguards, pool gate attendants, concession stand workers and summer playground program instructors. Starting salaries range from $9 to $12 per hour. To learn more, go to www.allentownpa.gov.
Pennsylvania State Police are looking for the driver of a truck they say caused an early morning crash Thursday on Route 22 that injured three people. The crash happened around 6:30 Thursday morning on Route 22 West just past the Route 512 interchange. A red Chevrolet Silverado truck reportedly cut off a Subaru Forester, causing the SUV to hit the concrete median and overturn. A 10-year-old in the SUV was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Muhlenberg for treatment, while the 38-year-old driver and a 12-year-old passenger suffered minor injuries.
A Carbon County man is accused of distributing child pornography. The U.S. Attorney's Office says Kenneth Persies of Nesquehoning was indicted by a grand jury this week.
The lawyer of the woman charged with killing her two children in Berks County is asking a judge to hold her trial elsewhere. A pre-trial hearing was held Thursday for Lisa Snyder, who's accused of hanging her eight-year-old son and four-year-old daughter in the basement of their home in Albany Township in 2019. Snyder's attorney filed a motion to have her trial take place in another county, as well as having her tried separately on charges of having sexual intercourse with the family's pit bull. Snyder's next hearing is scheduled for April 9th.