All crowd size restrictions in Pennsylvania will be removed May 31st. Two weeks before that, those limits will be increased. Beginning Monday, May 17th, Gov. Tom Wolf is easing indoor and outdoor capacity limits. On that day, maximum capacity for indoor events will be increased to 50-percent. Maximum capacity for outdoor events will be increased to 75-percent. The governor stresses masks should still be worn for all events.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health Tuesday announced 2385 new cases of coronavirus, pushing the total since the pandemic began to 1,177,072. 57 new COVID-related deaths were reported Tuesday, leaving the state's overall total at 26,607.
Another Pennsylvania college is mandating students have the COVID-19 vaccine before returning to campus. Dickinson College's president says, "We're planning for a full return of students this fall to a vibrant campus and the safest way to do that is with a fully vaccinated student body." The college in Carlisle has not announced anything yet about vaccine requirements for faculty and staff.
Initially, Easton was only allocated about $2.5 million under the American Rescue Plan Act. Mayor Sal Panto says with Bethlehem handed $33 million and Allentown $57 million in federal COVID relief dollars, he knew Easton's share was way off. "We let people know, in the right positions, that we were not allocated properly. That's what you have to do. They're in Washington. They have no idea what's going on in Easton," Panto says. Now Easton will be getting more than $20 million, which the mayor says will be used to prevent furloughing city workers and to fill vacant jobs.
One person died and his wife was reportedly wounded after a shooting in Allentown late Monday night. 29-year-old Erik Mondragon died at Lehigh Valley Hospital - Cedar Crest shortly after a shooting on Lehigh Street in Allentown. It happened just before 11 o'clock Monday night in the 700 block of Lehigh Street. A witness says Mondragon's wife was also shot. There's no confirmation on that at this point. Less than an hour later, there was another shooting about two miles away at the intersection of 5th and Liberty streets. Police haven't given any indication if the shootings are related.
It appears property taxes are going higher in the Bethlehem Area School District. The school board has voted unanimously in favor of a preliminary budget of $315 million. It's a budget that calls for a two-percent increase in property taxes to help fill in a $7.7 million budget hole. The board has a final vote on the budget next month.
The Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission has closed the right lane of Interstate 78 east on the Pennsylvania side of the toll bridge. The single-lane closure is expected to remain in place through Wednesday morning. The lane closure was put into place due to a broken section of the expansion joint where the I-78 eastbound roadway meets the bridge. Temporary repairs are expected to be made sometime Wednesday morning. Until then, I-78 east will be reduced from three to two travel lanes from the Morgan Hill Road Interchange to the bridge at the Delaware River.
Eight people are displaced following a Monday evening fire in Phillipsburg. No one was injured in the blaze that began at an apartment building at 786 S. Main St. and spread to an adjoining apartment building at 784 S. Main St.
The United State Environmental Protection Agency is issuing a fuel waiver for multiple states, including Pennsylvania. This order was in response to the cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline, which has caused a fuel shortage in many states. EPA officials say this is to ensure that areas impacted by the shutdown will still have access to fuel while it's in short supply. This waiver is set to last until May 18th.
Pennsylvania's state Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward says she has been treated for breast cancer. Ward says she was diagnosed with stage-one cancer and underwent a lumpectomy. Ward says her future medical plan calls for a mastectomy and breast reconstruction. She's encouraging other women to pay attentioin to their health and to undergo regular health screenings as recommended by their doctors.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is urging Congress to curb the sale of so-called ghost guns. Shapiro was in Washington DC Tuesday to make his plea to a Senate Judiciary subcommittee, saying these kits can become fully-functioning firearms in minutes and are being used to kill people. He says those guns are untraceable firearms as they lack serial numbers. His appearance comes after the U.S. Department of Justice announced last Friday they're working to close a loophole that allows the sale of these ghost guns.
A Pennsylvania State trooper is recovering after being hit by a vehicle during a traffic stop early Tuesday morning. State police say the trooper pulled a vehicle over in Lancaster County. That's when a passenger in the vehicle gave a false ID. The 18-year-old then got into the driver's side of the vehicle and tried to drive off before hitting the trooper, who was treated and released. Police are still looking for the 18-year-old.
The Bloomsburg Fair is returning this year. The fair is opening at full-capacity from September 24th through October 2nd. Although the fair is slated to return at full-capacity, fair officials say they will continue to take COVID-19 precautions.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is signing legislation to protect expecting mothers. The governor has signed a law requiring professionals who treat pregnant women with perinatal treatment to undergo bias training. Murphy says the explicit and implicit training will help improve New Jersey's high rates of Black maternal and infant deaths, along with racial disparities that he says drive this crisis.