An early Wednesday morning incident on Route 22 ended up seeing two people dead and a third person wounded. Lehigh County DA Jim Martin says a woman was driving on 22 between 309 and Cedar Crest Boulevard when she had an encounter with the driver of a white Toyota Corolla. The DA says the driver of that Corolla was 45-year-old Za Uk Lian of South Whitehall Township, who shot and hit the second car. That driver didn't know she was shot at and drove to a Wawa on Schantz Road along Route 100. Martin says the Lian followed and then shot and wounded a man in the parking lot. After that, the Corolla's driver targeted another person. "After that the driver fired upon a driver who was pumping gas. He has been killed unfortunately," Martin says. That man is identified as 31-year-old Ramon Ramirez of Allentown. At that point, Martin says Lian ran from the scene about a quarter-mile away and then used the gun to kill himself. Martin credits a Wawa employee for saving more potential bloodshed by ushering two customers inside the Wawa, locking its doors and telling everyone inside to shelter in place.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health Wednesday added 4602 new coronavirus cases to Pennsylvania's overall total, which now sits at 1,118,470 since the pandemic's beginning. 60 new COVID-related deaths were also reported Wednesday. Pennsylvania's overall death toll is now 25,827.
Gov. Tom Wolf says there's no one metric that will be used to determine when Pennsylvania can fully reopen to pre-pandemic numbers. However, he says a vaccination rate of 65-to-70 percent is a general target number, but adds it's not set in stone. "To the extent we have people willing to wear masks, practicing social distancing and doing the things that can offset the disease, we can actually go faster on that," Wolf says. Right now, just over 25-percent of Pennsylvania's population is considered fully vaccinated.
Younger Pennsylvanians are driving the state's new surge of COVID-19 cases. Gov. Tom Wolf says the upsurge we have been seeing has been to a large extent focused on 16-to-24 year olds. Due to this increase, vaccine providers are now focusing their attention on young people to get them vaccinated. This comes after the state reported that 44-percent of the state's eligible population has received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
All students going to Lehigh University in the fall will be required to have a COVID-19 vaccine. The requirement applies to all students who will be participating in on-campus programs and activities. Students can request an exemption for medical or religious reasons, like they can for other required immunizations.
A group of New Jersey mayors is asking Gov. Phil Murphy to eliminate limits on outdoor school events, such as graduations. The group began last year with five mayors from Somerset County and has grown to include 22 mayors across the Garden State. Bridgewater Mayor Matthew Moench says students today should be allowed to enjoy important events in their lives such as graduation. He says the state has no limits on outdoor events such as weddings and funerals and that graduations should be treated the same.
Several job openings in the Poconos are still available for those seeking summer work. The Stroud Region Open Space and Recreation Commission is seeking to fill about 160 jobs for parks and pools across the region. Directors at the Pocono Family YMCA on Main Street in Stroudsburg say they're also looking to hire for positions including lifeguards and camp counselors. You can apply for any of those jobs by visiting the SROSRC's and the Pocono Family YMCA's websites.
The family of missing 18-year-old Amish woman Linda Stoltzfoos says her remains were found in Lancaster County. The FBI and State Police say the remains were uncovered in a rural area in the eastern part of Lancaster County. They were found as authorities were continuing their search for Stoltzfoos, who had been missing for almost ten months after she was last seen leaving church in June. A man is charged with Stoltzfoos' disappearance and death.
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission officials say their toll-by-plate collection method is helping it meet expectations. Only about 15-percent of the toll road's riders use toll-by-plate, since E-Z-Pass users see a roughly 60-percent discount. If a driver has too many unpaid toll-by-plate invoices, their vehicle registration could be suspended.
Lawmakers in Harrisburg are proposing legislation to ban the use of standard chokeholds during arrests. St. Rep. Patty Kim says the entire nation and whole world saw the deadly effects of a chokehold on an unarmed man in the death of George Floyd. She says we have to make changes to ensure something like that never happens again.