Here's what's trending for July 15.


Allentown City Councilwoman Ce-Ce Gerlach has started a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for her legal defense. Gerlach, who is charged with endangering the welfare of a child and failing to report suspected child abuse, is seeking $100,000 in the online campaign. Gerlach, who maintains her innocence, is charged with dropping a homeless 16-year-old boy off at a dangerous homeless encampment and then failing to send his case to child welfare authorities. Gerlach worked at Valley Youth House at the time and was obligated under state law to report the case.

The nation's only drive-in movie theater that shows 35-milimeter films is in jeopardy. Managers of the Mahoning Drive-In Theater say the land they lease may be taken over by a solar company, which plans to demolish the theater and build a solar farm in its place. Virgil Cardamone helps manage the theater and says they're fighting it. "It is an untouched, functioning museum and one that means the world to a lot of people," Cardamone says. Theater owners hope to buy the property and save the theater. An official with Greenskies Clean Energy LLC, the company planning to build the solar farm, says they haven’t made a final decision but they’re having second thoughts after an outpouring of support from the community for the drive-in.

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education is voting to merge six state universities into two. This means the California University of Pennsylvania, Clarion University and Edinboro University will now function as a single university with three partner campuses. The same goes for Bloomsburg, Lock Haven and Mansfield universities. All of the institutions will keep their names and identities. officials say this will ensure student and institutional success while providing the highest quality of education at the lowest possible price.

Pennsylvania's Department of Health Wednesday afternoon added 273 new cases of COVID-19 to the state's total of 1,214,927. 13 new COVID-related deaths were also added to a total that now stands at 27,772. Right now, there are 243 people hospitalized with COVID-19, 55 of whom are in the intensive care unit.

East Stroudsburg University is preparing to welcome students back in-person this upcoming school year. The university will be offering a number of incentives to students who get vaccinated and are willing to share their vaccination status on ESU's medical history form. Some of the incentives include tuition and housing waivers, campus meal plans, recreation center memberships, parking passes, textbook scholarships and a variety of gift cards. Students will still be required to wear masks in all public building areas and social distancing will be recommended this fall semester.

The Pennsylvania School Bus Association is launching a campaign to help recruit more drivers for the upcoming school year. Many districts statewide have been dealing with a shortage of bus drivers before the pandemic, but the risk of catching the virus only enhanced the problem. Officials say they're going to need well over 1000 school bus drivers if not more to transport nearly two-million students from school, sports and other activities. They added that they're offering hiring bonuses for cdl drivers and paid training. Those interested in becoming drivers are urged to go online at www.youbehindthewheel.com.

The Pennsylvania State Police say troopers confiscated nearly $20 million worth of cocaine, heroin, and other drugs in the second quarter of 2021. That's up from $17.7 million worth of illegal drugs seized by state police in the first quarter of this year.

It turns out, a chemical leak last Friday that shut down an I-78 ramp in Lehigh County was not hazardous. The county’s Office of Emergency Management says a white liquid that spilled onto the road was a chemical used to give paper a shiny finish during printing and was not hazardous. The tractor-trailer was carrying several different liquids, some that were corrosive in nature, but those hazardous ones did not leak out.

Tioga County is not allowing Republican lawmakers to use their voting machines to hold an election audit. It was one of three counties that St. Sen. Doug Mastriano requested to offer their election equipment to a third party for an audit of the 2020 election, similar to the gop-led one in Arizona. The governor's top election official warned counties that allowing third-party access to their equipment would decertify it, and they would need new ones for the future. Tioga County officials say that would be too expensive, and they need their equipment for the next election.

The disinterred remains of nine Native American children have been returned to relatives. The remains were released yesterday during a ceremony at a graveyard on the grounds of the U.S. Army's Carlisle barracks. The children died over a century ago while attending a government-run school in Pennsylvania meant to assimilate them into white society. Their remains will be returned to Rosebud Sioux tribal lands for burial.


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