Here's what's trending for March 9.


The investigation continues into a Saturday night crash that killed two 2019 DeSales University graduates, a DeSales senior and seriously injured another. Officials say 2019 DeSales graduate Nick White was driving the car when it left Lanark Road in Upper Saucon Township, hit a pole and burst into flames, killing White, his girlfriend Emily Kattner and DeSales senior Sean Hanczaryk. The Rev. Jim Greenfield is DeSales president and says it's impossible to understand what happened. "The untimely and brutal way that these children died in that fiery car crash defies all analysis at this point. We all need to be together to work through that pain," Greenfield says. DeSales senior Brandon DiChiacchio is the only survivor of the crash and remains hospitalized. DiChiacchio, White and Hanczaryk were all teammates at one time on the DeSales baseball team.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health Monday reported a two-day total of 3176 new positive cases of COVID in the state, bringing the statewide total to 950,161. 39 new COVID-related deaths were also reported over that two-day period, leaving Pennsylvania with 24,356 coronavirus-related deaths to date. The 14-day moving average number of hospitalized patients per day is about 4300 lower than at its peak on Christmas Day and also lower than at the height of the spring peak back on May 3rd. Statewide percent positivity for the seven days ending on March 4th, stood at 5.7-percent.

Moravian College will hold in-person commencement ceremonies on May 8th for the class of 2020 and class of 2021. The school scheduled the outdoor ceremonies for the John Makuvek Field on the Main Street campus. Two ceremonies will be held for the class of 2021, and one ceremony will be held for last year's class of 2020, which missed out on commencement because of the pandemic. The three will be staggered through the day.

Northampton County is offering a call line to help senior residents schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments. The line is for residents 65-year-old and older who lack computer or internet access. The line will be available to Northampton County seniors every Friday at 8am. Beginning this Friday, those interested can call 610-865-7092.

Civil cases in New Jersey could have in-person juries this spring. Officials say socially-distanced trials could start taking place by May 17th. The change was authorized by the state Supreme Court and would only be made if coronavirus trends continue decreasing. New Jersey paused in-person criminal and civil jury trials less than two months ago due to a rise in coronavirus infections.

State police are asking for the public's help in tracking down the person involved in a road rage incident. The trouble began in the parking lot of Wawa in Upper Macungie Township shortly after 2:30 Sunday afternoon. As the victim was putting gas in her vehicle, a pickup truck was driving around the parking lot and its driver was yelling at customers from the vehicle. When the woman left Wawa the person in the truck followed her onto Interstate 78 westbound and rear-ended her Prius near the New Smithville exit and when the victim exited at exit 40/Kutztown, he followed her and then knocked the woman's vehicle into the concrete median, then stopped and yelled at her before fleeing back onto I-78. The truck is an older model, silver Toyota pickup with a tool box and tow chains hanging from the front bumper.

A 28-year-old Lehigh University graduate student “acting erratically” Sunday night in the Comfort Suites in the 100 block of West Third Street in Bethlehem allegedly assaulted three police officers and a sergeant who were taking him to a voluntary mental health evaluation. Kendra Beazer, of the 800 block of Wyandotte Street, was arraigned early Monday morning on several charges.

Palmer Township's community pool will open on Memorial Day weekend. Township officials say details about attendance and capacity will be announced later this spring. Palmer Township was able to keep its pool open last summer during the early stages of the pandemic.

The Berks County Coroner says a 30-year-old man died Saturday after falling into an industrial furnace at East Penn Manufacturing in Richmond Township. John Evanoff died from burns suffered when he fell into a refining kettle portion of the furnace just before midnight Saturday night. OSHA is investigating the death, which has been ruled an accident. It's the first death at East Penn since 2016 when a Lancaster County man was electrocuted.

The 2022 Pennsylvania Senate race sees another name added. Republican Jeff Bartos announced this morning he's seeking to replace current Sen. Pat Toomey who is not running for re-election. "I've spoken with small business owners in every corner of Pennsylvania. They're worried about keeping the lights on. They're worried about their towns and their communities," Bartos said in a campaign video. Bartos joins two other Republicans in the race. Four Democrats, including Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and St. Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta, have announced they're running as well. Bartos was the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor in 2018.

Gov. Tom Wolf has appointed Pennsylvania's new physician general. Wolf has chosen Dr. Denise Johnson to be the state's next physician general, permanently replacing Dr. Rachel Levine. Johnson was the chief medical officer at Meadville Medical Center in Crawford County. She'll serve as acting physician general until she's confirmed by the state Senate.

New Jersey lawmakers are pushing to change the law when it comes to underage marijuana and alcohol use. A bill has been introduced which would notify parents when their child is caught smoking pot or drinking alcohol the first time they're caught by police. Gov. Phil Murphy agrees with the proposal, calling it a step in the right direction. Under the recently passed law, authorities can only notify parents about their child's use of marijuana or alcohol if it's their second time being caught.

Former Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Rheal Cormier has died. The lefty passed away from pancreatic cancer at the age of 53. Cormier pitched 16 seasons in the big leagues with the Phillies, Cardinals, Red Sox, Reds and Expos.


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