For the sixth time in seven years, the Allentown Police Department needs to find a new police chief. Glenn Granitz's resignation is effective June 16th and he starts his new job as West Reading's police chief on June 28th. Granitz, who was born and raised in Allentown, will move from a department of more than 200 officers to one that has only 12. He has been with the Allentown PD since 2001 and became chief in September 2019.
Thursday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed 1430 new cases of coronavirus in the state, bringing the statewide total to 1,191,532. There were 40 new deaths attributed to the virus as well, leaving the state's overall total at 26,965. Meanwhile, the state reports more than 9.9-million vaccinations have been administered here, with more than 55-percent of Pennsylvania's entire population having received at least one dose and half of all Pennsylvanians age 18 and above are fully vaccinated.
Gov. Tom Wolf is renewing the state's disaster declaration. This comes after Pennsylvania voters limited his powers when it comes to emergency disaster declarations. Wolf says this allows for more medical professionals to administer COVID-19 vaccines, provide SNAP benefits and ensure that Pennsylvania counties and businesses remain eligible for federal disaster funds.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health is terminating its contract with Insight Global over last month's data breach. Insight Global was hired to assist with contact tracing in the state and last month's data breach potentially exposed the personal health information of more than 72,000 Pennsylvanians. DOH officials say they take the security and safety of personal information very seriously and the termination will take effect on June 19th.
Phillies fans won't have to wear masks while attending games at Citizens Bank Park beginning today. The team is lifting the park's mask mandate following the city's decision to remove its outdoor mask order. The Phillies will also be increasing their fan capacity to 16,000 beginning with tonight's game against Boston.
A former high school teacher and band director has admitted to having a sexual relationship with a student. Eric Hahn has pleaded guilty to having a sexual relationship with a student at Bangor Area High School. Investigators say Hahn gave the girl music lessons before the relationship turned inappropriate, and that the relationship lasted between October 2019 through January 2021. Hahn will be sentenced in August.
Gov. Wom Wolf has apologized after Pennsylvania State Troopers say he insulted all police in a letter sent to state employees earlier this month. In the letter, Wolf wrote, "The continued death of African Americans at the hands of police and rise in violent attacks against Asian Americans are painful reminders that racism and intolerance are still with us today “ President of the PA State Troopers Association, Dave Kennedy found that offensive towards PSP and police as a whole. Wolf responded by saying "I did apologize and I'm sorry they took it that way. It certainly was not intended that way."
Accu-Weather's Bill Deger says this weekend will have a very definite summer feel to it. "The first half of May was quite chilly across the Lehigh Valley but the next few days are certainly are going to make up for that," Deger says. Today's high is expected in the mid-80s, tomorrow's in the upper 80s and Sunday's above 90.
A Powerball ticket worth $100,000 was sold in Berks County. That ticket, sold at the Turkey Hill in Blandon, matched four of the five white balls in the Wednesday night drawing. The store will get a $500 bonus for selling the winning ticket.
New Jersey's governor is pushing abortion rights in his state. "The Reproductive Freedom Act is about a healthier future for every New Jerseyan. We must pass it now so these ideals are front and center as a matter of state law," says Gov. Phil Murphy. He says the Reproductive Freedom Act assures the right to get an abortion and access to birth control.
New Jersey's economy is slowly on the road to recovery. The Garden State gained 3900 jobs during April, marking the fourth straight month jobs have been added to the local economy. The state's unemployment rate slightly dropped last month to 7.5-percent, down from 7.6-percent in March.
New Jersey authorities are launching their annual seat belt enforcement campaign. The "Click It or Ticket" crackdown has been around for a number of years, since seatbelts became mandatory. Attorney General Gurbir Grewal also notes it comes as the busy bummer travel season gets underway. Beginning Monday, state, county and local police departments will all be on the lookout for people not wearing seatbelts while out on the road.
The schedule for the Philadelphia 76ers first round of the NBA playoffs has been released. The top-seeded Sixers host Washington Sunday afternoon at 1 and Wednesday night at 7, with games three and four in Washington next Saturday and Memorial Day Monday.