Tuesday, the Pennsylvnaia Department of Health reported a four-day total of 574 new cases of COVID-19 in the state, bringing the overall total to 1,213,135 since the pandemic began. Over that same four-day period, 13 new deaths attributed to the virus were also reported, leaving the state's total at 27,708. Statewide percent positivity rate for the seven days ending July 1 stood at just 1.1-percent.
More than 5300 PPL customers, most of them north of the Lehigh Valley, are without power this morning after Tuesday storms. More than 3800 of those affected are in Wayne and Pike counties. Nearly 1000 Monroe County PPL customers are without power. PPL hopes to have all service restored today.
Tuesday's forecast was very hot and humid with thunderstorms. Today's forecast is the same according to Accu-Weather's Joe Lundberg, who give his best estimate when one of those storms might roll through your neighborhood. "Not everyone will get one today but I think most places will see something from about 4 or 4 o'clock this afternoon to maybe 9 o'clock tonight. That's the window of opportunity to get a thunderstorm," Lundberg says. After another high of the mid-90s today, Lundberg thinks we'll slip into the 80s for the rest of the week.
Tolls are going up again on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Starting in 2022, both E-Z Pass and Toll-By-Plate customers will experience a five-percent increase. The Turnpike's CEO, Mark Compton, says the increase is the first time in six years the hike was less than six-percent.
Fire chiefs from across the state are calling for the repeal of a law that allows residents to buy commercial-grade fireworks. This comes after an explosion at a recycling plant in Lebanon County and the death of a Montgomery County firefighter in the line of duty. Both fires may have been caused by fireworks. Fire officials say the indiscriminate, inconsiderate and reckless use of fireworks is disgusting, and it's allowed because of the state legislature, the fireworks law and an 18-percent tax on fireworks.
Gov. Tom Wolf is ordering flags to fly at half-staff to honor a Montgomery County firefighter who died in the line of duty over the weekend. Sean Demuynck reportedly collapsed while fighting a fire in Wynnewood and later died in the hospital. The cause of death for the 35-year-old has not been confirmed by officials. The governor asks all Pennsylvanians to participate as he orders the commonwealth flag at all state facilities, public buildings and grounds in Montgomery County to fly at half-staff until this Saturday.
There is now a new leader in charge of the Kutztown Folk Festival. Event officials announced yesterday that Berks County native Heather Zimmerman has been named director of the festival. The festival will be hosting a series of in-person events this fall, and you can find the full schedule of planned activities by going to the Kutztown Folk Festival's official website.
You're invited to enjoy one of the world's largest slip-and-slide festivals at Bear Creek Mountain Resort this summer. Slide the Slopes will be taking place at the ski resort July 16th through Labor Day. Many different-sized slides will be placed on the mountainsides with the longest one being more than a thousand-feet-long.
A group of Pennsylvanians and organizations are calling on Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey to support the for the people act. The groups gathered outside of his office yesterday, saying that the legislation would expand voter registration, guarantee early voting and vote-by-mail options. It would also create independent redistricting commissions, combat gerrymandering and more. Toomey opposes the bill, saying that the act would nullify state voter ID laws, mandate public funding of political campaigns and transform the federal election commission into a partisan body empowered to limit free speech.
The federal moratorium on evictions ends on July 31st. Acting Pennsylvania Human Services Secretary Meg Snead urges those in jeopardy of being evicted to apply for help from the state. "We encourage landlords and tenants to come forward now. Do not wait until the eviction moratorium is lifted. It's more important than ever that we do as much pre-planning as we can to get these dollars out before the eviction moratorium is lifted," Snead says. To find out more about the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, go to www.dhs.pa.gov/erap.
Heinz is leading a campaign to make the packaging for hot dogs and buns match. The company launched a petition yesterday and it is encouraging people to sign it to support the change in getting hot dogs and buns sold in the same quantities instead of in packs of ten and packs of eight. You can sign the petition by going to www.heinzhotdogpact.com.