Monday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health added 744 new coronavirus cases spread out over a four-day reporting period. Statewide percent positivity for the seven days ending June 17th stood at 1.4-percent.
New Jersey is launching a pay-it-forward program to support those looking for jobs post-pandemic. Gov. Phil Murphy says the initiative will give out zero interest loans and grants to support low income career seekers who are participating in approved training programs. The money comes from a revolving fund and it's the first in the nation to put resources towards this issue.
The state House is expected to take a final vote on an election reform bill today. The legislation would add restrictions to mail-in voting, allow for early in-person voting starting in 2025 and cut off voter registration earlier. The bill would also require voters to show ID at the polls. Gov. Tom Wolf and other Democrats say the changes are unnecessary because they say the state's elections are already safe and secure.
A unnamed Lehigh County man is in critical condition after a fireworks explosion in a pickup truck. The 35-year-old man was rushed to the hospital after fireworks exploded late Sunday night in the 200 block of Green Street in Emmaus. Police chief Troy Schantz describes what type of fireworks exploded. "It's just a large quantity of some sort of ignitable powder that was meant to ignite with a boom and not with an aerial display of lights as you'd typically see in a Fourth of July fireworks display," Schantz says. Investigators believe the man may have chosen that neighborhood because it has a large field in which he could have used the device. However, police say the man had the explosive for about a year and that it may have deteriorated or dried out, causing the ignition time to shorten.
Three family members are dead following an early Monday morning fire in Pottstown. 48-year-old Joseph Norton and his son died in the blaze, while Norton's wife was flown in critical condition to Lehigh Valley Hospital, where she died Monday night. According to investigators, the fire broke out around 2 o'clock Monday morning and it was concentrated on the first floor.
One person is dead following a crash in Carbon County. The accident happened Monday morning on Route 903 and Yellow Run Road in Penn Forest Township. Authorities are still investigating what caused the crash.
St. Luke's Hospital-Anderson Campus in Bethlehem Township wants to relocate its emergency department to the north side of the building. The hospital is also proposing the addition of 112 parking spots, along with relocating the emergency entrance.
The Bethlehem Township Board of Commissioners has approved construction of a Fairfield Inn & Suites on the southwest corner of Emrick Boulevard and Cook Drive. Plans call for a nearly 59,000-square-foot, four-story, 107-room hotel with 118 parking spots on the 3.4-acre site.
The threat of bad weather has once again put Allen High School's graduation on hold. Allen High's commencement ceremony for seniors was supposed to be held Monday, but school officials postponed it because of poor weather until tomorrow evening at 6 at J. Birney Crum Stadium. This is the second time Allen's graduation has been delayed due to stormy weather. It was originally supposed to be held this past Saturday.
Pennsylvania State Police are taking another look into a nearly 50-year-old cold case in Berks County. Police are looking for new leads in the murder of Roy Metz. The incident occurred in November 1972 when Roy and his wife stopped in Bethel Township at what used to be the Seven Stars Hotel to ask for directions. When the couple returned to their car, somebody entered their vehicle and stabbed Roy, causing him to die later at a hospital. His killer was only described as a thin man. Investigators hope they can use modern technology to get a DNA match and close the case. Anyone with information on the cased should call 1-800-4PA-TIPS.
Former Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge is now listed in stable condition after suffering a stroke last week. The 75-year-old reportedly underwent a procedure to remove a blood clot after arriving at the hospital near Washington, DC. Former Pennsylvania First Lady Michelle Ridge said last week the family is hopeful for a full recovery.
Lawmakers have less than two weeks to get a budget deal done at the Capitol. Democratic St. Rep. Matt Bradford says there's a sense of optimism with a lot more money flowing into Harrisburg than anyone had planned on. "They want to get back to normal and that's a great thing and we should all celebrate that but it's also injected a lot of liquidity into our economy and that what we were all hoping. Now we need to use that to deal with the challenges of school funding and property taxes," Bradford says. However, GOP Sen. Dave Argall says they have to be careful with the extra federal funds flowing in this year. "The last thing we want to do is to give everyone buckets of new money this year and encourage school districts to go out and hire a new music department and then next year say the money dried up and fire everybody. That's just bad for everybody involved," Argall says. A budget is supposed to be in place by July 1st.
One New Jersey town is changing its tune and reinstating holiday names on its calendar. Outrage poured in when the Randolph Board of Education decided to mark holidays as "day off" rather than their names. The board sat through a nearly four-hour public hearing last night before agreeing to list holidays by name in a vote of eight yesses and one no. Most speakers at the meeting said they wanted the calendar to be changed to exactly the way it was, which also included naming "Columbus Day."
A face or voice that may be familiar to New Jersey residents is getting a building named in her honor. Gov. Phil Murphy says the new Department of Health building in downtown Trenton will be named for Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli. Murphy says she has been the right leader through the coronavirus pandemic, adding everyone who walks through the Judith M. Persichilli building will remember her selfless and honorable service to the state during the greatest public health crisis.
Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman and former Penn State star Carl Nassib has made a historic announcement. "I want to take a quick moment to say that I'm gay. I've been meaning to do this for a while now," Nassib said on a social media post. He is the first active NFL player to reveal he's gay. He said he has been meaning to do it for a while, but now feels comfortable.