We've learned a bit more about the April 21st incident that left a man dead at the Wawa in Upper Macungie Township and his killer dead from a suicide. The Lehigh County DA's office says Za Uk Lian of South Whitehall Township shot at a woman's car on Route 22 as both drivers were going at a speed of about 70 miles per hour. Lian then drove to the Wawa, where he shot and wounded one person and then shot and killed Ramon Ramirez as Ramirez was pumping gas. The DA says Lian also pointed a gun at a group of people at the Wawa and tried to steal two different vehicles but failed when police began arriving. Lian then ran off and killed himself at a nearby daycare center. Lian's motive remains unknown.
Alcohol played a role in the fiery crash that killed three current or former DeSales University students and badly injured a fourth. An investigation shows Nicholas White was driving the car that crashed on the 4400 block of Lanark Road back on March 6th. His blood-alcohol level was .14-percent, nearly twice the legal limit. Sean Hanczaryk, a senior at DeSales; White and Emily Kattner, who both graduated last year were all killed. Brandon Dichiacchio, a senior at DeSales, remains hospitalized.
Authorities say a husband killed his wife and then himself late Tuesday night in Northampton County. 42-year-old David Paul killed himself after shooting and killing his 34-year-old wife Shakeeyah Jackson inside the Canal Park Apartments on Easton's South Side. A 63-year-old woman in a neighboring apartment was shot in the leg when a bullet went through the wall. She was treated at the hospital and released. Two children, ages seven and five, were in the apartment for at least part of the incident according to the Easton police department.
Both Pennsylvania senators offered comments following President Biden's speech on Capitol Hill last night. Republican Pat Toomey said, "At his Inauguration, President Biden called for national unity while stressing that he would be a president for all Americans, not just those who supported him. To date, these words have rung hollow." Democrat Bob Casey said, "During his address to a joint session of Congress, President Biden demonstrated that he and Democrats in Congress aren't done making progress for working families and children."
The Pennsylvania Department of Health Wednesday confirmed 3686 new cases of coronavirus, pushing the state's total number of cases to 1,143,076. 57 new COVID-related deaths were also reported, leaving the state's total at 26,129. As of now, 2448 people are hospitalized with COVID-19. Of that number, 516 are in the intensive care unit.
Pennsylvania is receiving shipments of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine again after a pause on its use. About two weeks ago the FDA and CDC recommended a pause on its use while they investigated several cases of rare blood clots possibly associated with the vaccine. The pause was lifted last Friday. Nearly 30,000 doses of the J&J single-shot vaccine are arriving next week. With the third vaccine back in use, Pennsylvania is expected to receive more than 700,000 doses collectively from Moderna, Pfizer and J&J.
The Pittsburgh Penguins are putting plans together to create separate sections for vaccinated fans at their home games. The team recently asked the state to increase the capacity at PPG Paints Arena for the final two home games in the regular season as more people are getting vaccinated in the area.
New Jerseyans could be seeing more coronavirus rollbacks as soon as Monday. Gov. Phil Murphy says he'll have more news next week as neighboring New York starts lifting several restrictions in relation to bars and restaurants. He says he's going to start accelerating the opening of the state, noting COVID-19 indicators are improving. For now, the governor says New Jersey's outdoor mask policy remains unchanged, which means people will have to wear a mask if you can't stay socially distant.
New Jersey's summer camp programs are back in action this summer season. Gov. Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 237, allowing youth sleepaway and day camps for the 2021 season. He says declining COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations coupled with vaccination efforts make these re-openings possible.
New Jersey is holding a contest and asking for video submissions as they look to grow their "vaccination awareness" program. Gov. Phil Murphy explains they're looking for fun and creative videos that show the various coronavirus vaccines are safe. He praised the state's creativity when it comes to platforms like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok, noting those types of videos will be accepted here. It's called the "your voice, your shot" program and a vote will be held to determine the winning video that will then become part of the state's campaign.
The Nazareth Area School Board has unanimously approved the proposed budget for 2021-22, which calls for a 3.6% tax increase. The school board has one final vote on the budget scheduled for its June 8th meeting.
A judge has ordered a teenager's accused killer to stand trial. During a Wednesday preliminary hearing, a Carbon County judge ordered Luis Sierra of New York to stand trial for the murder and dismemberment of 15-year-old Evelyn Colon in 1976. Sierra is being held in Carbon County Prison without bail.
The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education is moving ahead with a plan to combine six state-owned universities into two groups. Officials say the plan would save the state millions-of-dollars and each group of schools would keep their campuses, but work under two administrations. One group would include Bloomsburg, Lock Haven and Mansfield universities and the other would include Clarion, California and Edinboro universities. The decision is not final and officials have opened a 60-day period for public comment.
The state Senate has passed a bill that would halt the PennDOT plan to toll nine bridges across the commonwealth. PennDOT says tolls would pay to maintain and repair the bridges, but GOP lawmakers argue their process has lacked transparency. The bill would have PennDOT undergo a new process for initiatives like the bridge toll plan that would include approval from the legislature. Democrats and the Wolf administration oppose the bill. The legislation now heads to the state House for consideration.
The U.S. Supreme Court is now considering their ruling for a First Amendment case from a former Mahanoy Area High School cheerleader. Brandi Levy was kicked off the cheerleading team for a year by the school district back in 2017 for her post on Snapchat that dropped a string of F-bombs. Both the school and Levy had their arguments heard by the court Wednesday. Levy says they had no right to step in and punish her. The school district argued that the internet's ubiquity, instantaneous and mass dissemination and potential permanence make the speaker's location irrelevant. The Supreme Court has until June to make its decision on the case.
You'll have the chance to check out some historic planes from World War II at the Reading Regional Airport. The airport is hosting World War II Weekend from June 4th until June 6th. The event will feature special guest visitors who will be sharing their wartime stories as well as 80 aircraft and 200 military vehicles set on display across the airfield.
It was a scary moment in the 6th inning of the Phillies game in St. Louis Wednesday night. Right fielder Bryce Harper was hit in the face with a 97-per-hour fastball. He was able to leave the field under his own power and posted to social media after the game. "Everything feels good. Everything came back good, CT scan, all that stuff. Face is still there. We're all good," Harper said. The Phillies ended up beating the Cardinals 5-3. They'll visit St. Louis one more time this afternoon.