Pennsylvania's Department of Health Wednesday added 5730 new cases of COVID-19, pushing the state's overall number to 1,087,792. 50 new COVID-related deaths were also reported, leaving the state at 25,522 since the beginning of the pandemic. The state also says it has given 40-percent, or more than 4.3-million people, at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
Investigators says a South Whitehall Township man repeatedly sexually assaulted a teenage girl for roughly two years. Denny DeJesus allegedly sexually assaulted a then-13-year-old girl inside his South Whitehall Township home. DeJesus remains in Lehigh County Jail under $250,000 bail.
When the DaVinci Science Center moves to its downtown Allentown location, it will bring a new name with it. PPL will be the center's title sponsor and that means the center's new name will be the DaVinci Science Center at PPL Pavilion. Center leaders expect ground to be broken next spring and the grand opening is set for spring 2024.
A global pharmaceutical packaging company is expanding in the Lehigh Valley and elsewhere in Pennsylvania. Sharp plans to expand operations at its existing facility in Allentown, as well as its recently-acquired facility in Macungie. The company's facility in Conshohocken will also be expanded. The expansions are expected to create 335 new, full-time jobs over the next three years.
Allentown is breaking ground on a new skate park at Jordan Park. The skate park will be built in two phases and cost about $1.5 million. The city previously received a $300,000 matching grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to help fund the project. It also got $10,000 from the Tony Hawk Foundation. The plan has been in the works for several years now.
A historic mansion in Carbon County is reopening public tours. Asa Packer Mansion located along Packer Hill Avenue in Jim Thorpe is now offering guided tours to ten people at a time. It has been closed for the past year due to the ongoing pandemic. The museum director says masks must be worn by visitors who are over four-years old.
Pennsylvanians who get veterans benefits are expected to receive Economic Impact Payments of up to $1400 starting this week. Congressman Matt Cartwright says veterans and their beneficiaries who receive Compensation and Pension benefit payments and who do not normally file a tax return can expect this monty. Most payments are automatic and those waiting on checks through the mail can expect them within the next several days.
Pennsylvania's Departments of Health and Education are urging all state college and university students to get vaccinated from COVID-19 before the summer. Officials say the vaccine will allow postsecondary institutions to provide more in-person learning and improve the safety of our campus communities for our students, faculty and staff. They added that students do not have to be state residents to get vaccinated. State colleges and universities will be working with providers to offer vaccination opportunities for its students.
State officials are considering bringing back some requirements for unemployment benefits. Nothing has been confirmed yet, but officials are thinking about reinstating the work search requirement for unemployment claimants, which has been suspended due to the pandemic. It could be brought back in June when the new unemployment compensation system launches. Officials are also considering having unemployment claimants register for a website that connects them to employers in September.
More doses of the Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines are on their way to Pennsylvania next week. This comes after the state decided to follow the CDC's suggestion to pause the administration of all Johnson and Johnson vaccines while officials investigate six rare cases of blood clots possibly associated with it. The incoming allotments are the second largest from each provider so far, as about 26-thousand more doses than the state received last week are expected.
Despite pleas from state education officials to the U.S. Department of Education to waive testing requirements this school year, statewide testing is resuming. This poses a problem as not every district in the state has returned to in-person learning. As of now, the U.S. Department of Education recommends that states extend the testing window, administer the federally required exams remotely or shorten the state assessment. The state Department of Education is planning to allow districts to delay the PSSA and Keystone exams to the fall.
The Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts is warning residents about a new phone scam that's been going around the state. The office issued an advisory yesterday that warns people of a scam that involves a mimic of its telephone number. Officials say targeted individuals are being told they have unpaid court fines and outstanding fees. Anyone who receives a suspicious call should hang up and contact a state or local police department.
Mister Rogers' home in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hills neighborhood is now up for sale. The five-bedroom, four-bath home on Northumberland Street was listed last week for 850-thousand dollars. Mister Rogers and his wife owned the home until the early 1960s.