2399 new cases of COVID-19 were reported Monday by the state Department of Health. Those numbers are over a two-day period. Monday's report showed only 1023 new cases, the lowest daily number since last October. 18 new COVID-related deaths were reported over the same two-day period. Statewide percent positivity for the seven days ending May 6 stood at 6.6-percent.
21 Pennsylvania senators are asking Gov. Tom Wolf to move up the removal of of most coronavirus restrictions. 20 of those senators are Republican. The lone Democrat is the Lehigh Valley's Lisa Boscola. The governor plans to remove all but the mask mandate on May 31st, Memorial Day. The 21 senators are pushing him to move that up to the Friday before Memorial Day, May 28th. The governor's office responds by saying those 21 senators would be better served by pushing residents to get vaccinated.
New Jersey is moving to vaccinate some of its younger citizens as the FDA approves the Pfizer vaccine for children as young as 12. The Department of Health aims to vaccinate kids in familiar places, like schools and local pharmacies. This comes as New Jersey's coronavirus cases continue to sharply decline as vaccination efforts ramp up. The Garden State reported 459 additional infections Monday and confirmed another ten deaths.
Police in Allentown are investigating two shootings late Monday night. Police were called to the 700 block of Lehigh Street around 10:30 last night. About 45 minutes later and a couple miles from the Lehigh Street shooting site, police responded to another reported shooting in the area of Fifth and Liberty streets. Police say the investigation is ongoing and aren't commenting on how many people were hurt or the extent of injuries.
A 79-year-old Allentown woman has died from burns suffered in an April 10th fire. Maria Pilar died Monday morning, exactly one month after being caught in a house fire in the 400 block of Railroad Street. The Lehigh County coroner's office says she died of complications of 3rd degree burns.
The man accused in the one-punch death of a friend in Northampton County in 2019 has learned how much time he'll spend behind bars. Calvin Brown was sentenced Monday to 3-6 years in state prison after pleading guilty to aggravated assault and involuntary manslaughter in the June 2019 death of Dennis Hodge Jr. outside an apartment building in Wilson.
A mini-market in Easton’s West Ward was robbed Sunday night. A man held up the Express Mini Market, on Butler St., at gunpoint just before 6:30 pm. The robber took cash and headed east on Butler Street.
Property taxes are going up in two Lehigh County school districts. In a 6-1 vote, the Whitehall-Coplay School Board has moved forward with a proposed 2021-22 budget of $81 million. The district school board will vote June 14 on the budget for next year. If the plan passes in its current form, property taxes will go up 3.5%. Meanwhile, property owners in the East Penn School district can expect a 2.83% tax increase for the upcoming school year. The East Penn School Board has voted unanimously in favor of adopting the more-than-$162-million school budget for the 2021-22 school year. Final adoption of the budget is expected at the first board meeting in June.
The Slatington Farmers Market held a ribbon cutting and open house over the weekend and is open for business. The market features more than 40 vendors who are providing produce, prepared and packaged foods and more. The farmers market is located inside the old Keystone Lamp Factory.
Blue Mountain Resort in the Poconos is now under new management. Officials confirm KSL Resorts is now managing the resort in Palmerton. KSL Resorts also owns Camelback Resort in Tannersville. A company official says Blue Mountain is the ideal complement to Camelback's numerous indoor and outdoor adventures because of its close proximity.
Residents in Monroe County are being invited to dispose of their electronic devices for free this weekend. The county's Waste Authority is hosting the event Saturday from 8am to 2pm at the Military Recycling Center located near Shaffer Schoolhouse Road in Stroudsburg. Computers, monitors, TVs, networking devices, printers, power supplies wire, cabling, hardware and peripherals will be accepted at the event. You can bring up to four devices per household and proof of residency is required to participate.
The deadline to request a mail-in ballot in Pennsylvania for the primary election is today. Primary election day is set for next Tuesday, May 18th.
Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey is proposing a set of bills for police reform. "This bill with strengthen and enhance two emergency call systems," Casey says. One of the bills would enhance calling systems to have non-criminal emergency calls directed to mental health professionals instead of law enforcement. The other bill would improve the way police engage with people with disabilities by offering grants for nonprofits to train police officers.
The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry is preparing to start transitioning to its new unemployment compensation system on May 30th. This may impact some claims as the current system will be offline between May 30th and June 7th. The new system officially launches on June 8th. Workers are being offered to prepare those receiving unemployment benefits for the transition. To see the full list of scheduled workshops, go to www.uc.pa.gov.
Child sex abuse survivors and supporter are demanding that the state Senate vote on a bill that would give them more time to sue their abusers. Child sex abuse survivors are not allowed to file civil lawsuits if they're older than 30 under current law, but the bill advocates want passed would give them a two-year window to take legal action. It would also allow them to sue institutions that protected abusers in known instances of abuse. The bill was already passed by the House, but the Senate has yet to take action.
A Pennsylvania based convenience chain announced a $2.00 an hour wage increase for all store employees. Sheetz operates over 600 stores across the Mid-Atlantic. The company announced Monday that all 18,000 of their store employees will be given the wage increase effective May 21st.
New Jersey is suggesting ways to improve health care at lower costs for employees. The State Health Benefits Quality and Value Task Force released its final report Monday, which impacts roughly 820,000 people at the cost of state and local employers who are part of the State Health Benefit Plan and School Employees' Health Benefits Program. The task force makes nine suggestions with three main focuses: primary care and care coordination, behavoral health and specialty care.
The Flyers ended a disappointing season with a 4-2 win over the New Jersey Devils Monday night. Flyers center Sean Couturier says there must be improvement next season. "We have a lot of young guys are going to get better and better and I think that's what we hope for next year. I don't know what's going to happen this offseason. There might be changes. There might not. No matter what happens, we've just gotta be better," Couturier says. The Flyers finished the shortened season 25-23-8, good for sixth place in the East Division.