Speaking at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia Tuesday, President Biden hit back at people still claiming last year's presidential election was rigged. "The big lie is just that. A big lie," President Biden said to cheers. The President also said Republican efforts for voter reform have nothing to do with election security but everything to do with voter suppression. "They want to make it so hard and inconvenient that they hope people don't vote at all. That's what this is about," said the President. Republicans say these new voting laws passed in Republican-controlled states will make elections more safe and secure.
Pennsylvania's two senators had two different opinions of President Biden's comments in Philadelphia. Republican Pat Toomey said, "Suggesting that election integrity measures such as voter ID and prohibitions on ballot harvesting are reminiscent of Jim Crow is false, offensive, and trivializes a dark period of actual systemic racism in parts of America." Democrat Bob Casey said, "Today in Philadelphia, the birthplace of American democracy, the President issued a clarion call: The Senate must pass the For The People Act and John Lewis Voting Rights Act. If that means changing an arcane Senate rule, so be it. Our democracy is on the line."
The Pennsylvania Department of Health confirmed 334 new cases of COVID-19 Tuesday afternoon, pushing the state's overall total since the pandemic began to 1,214,654. Nine new COVID-related deaths were also added to the state's total, which is now 27,759. For the seven days ending July 8, the state's percent positivity rate was 1.2-percent.
More than one-million Pennsylvanians are missing their second-dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Some pharmacists say perhaps the reason for people's hesitancy for the second dose is due to stories from others regarding side effects. However, they emphasize the importance of getting the second dose as individuals are not considered fully vaccinated until two weeks after getting it.
A package delivery tax is being considered as a way to help maintain roads in Pennsylvania. It could mean a tax on every package delivered in the commonwealth. PennDOT's Jennie Granger. "I think this could be a significant funding source, whether it was for transit or freight or highways or local roadway networks," Granger says. A report on the idea will be presented to Governor Wolf in August. It could mean a tax on every package delivered in the commonwealth by companies like Amazon, Fed Ex and UPS to help maintain the state’s highways.
Pennsylvania is third when it comes to the number of people charged for the January 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol. So far, 42 residents have been charged for their alleged actions that day, trailing Florida and Texas. Over 500 people have been charged nationwide, with 300 more being sought.
Pennsylvania Task Force One is still in Surfside, Florida looking for the remaining individuals unaccounted for. As of yesterday, 95 people have been confirmed dead and 14 people are still unaccounted for. The team was deployed earlier this month following the sudden collapse of the Surfside condominium and they have been working 12-hour shifts around the clock 24-seven. Members say it was saddening to see their mission shift from rescue to recovery, but they're determined to find the remains of loved ones to bring closure to families. The team is expected to return to Pennsylvania later this week.
Community Music School Lehigh Valley & Berks is one of 35 music organizations to receive nearly $2M in recent support grants from The Presser Foundation. The Community Music School reported that they received $75,000 from The Presser Foundation to help fund the construction of, and technology for, a state-of-the-art audio and video recording studio at the home of the non-profit, located in Allentown.
PPL has received a top score of 100% on the 2021 Disability Equality Index, earning PPL the designation as one of the best places to work for people with disabilities.
A Monroe County man is being accused of uploading child pornography online. Nicholas Taylor of Polk Township was recently taken into custody after detectives say he uploaded child porn on different social media websites including Instagram. Detectives say the victims shown in the videos and photos were as young as five-years-old. He is being charged with two counts of child pornography and criminal use of a communication facility.