Here's what's trending for August 12.


The Pennsylvania Department of Health Wednesday confirmed 1811 new cases of COVID-19 in the commonwealth, bringing the state's total since the pandemic began to 1,241,843. Another 22 new COVID-related deaths were also reported, leaving the state's overall total at 27,925. Right now, there are 847 people hospitalized with COVID-19, 204 of whom are in the intensive care unit.

All faculty and staff at Muhlenberg College will have to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or in the process of completing vaccination by August 23. Back in April, Muhlenberg said students will have to be vaccinated to return to campus for the fall semester and in July, the college announced everyone, regardless of their vaccine status, would have to wear a mask in indoor shared spaces or when social distancing wasn’t possible.

There's a proposal from St. Sen. Judy Ward to allow parents to have their kids opt out of mask mandates in schools. This mom says it should be up to parents. "We don't want somebody telling us what we have to do for the health of our children. When they get sick in school, they call us to come get them," one mother says. But another mom says it's a bad idea. "I want to make sure my 16-year-old goes to school and stays in school and our teachers stay healthy throughout the school year. I think it's an advantage for the school to have a rule. The kids follow rules. It's the parents who don't follow rules," she says. Ward is a Republican out of Blair County.

Philadelphia Eagles fans who plan to attend a game at Lincoln Financial Field this season will be required to wear a mask while indoors at the stadium. Masks will not be required outdoors, but the team said it strongly encourages those who are not fully vaccinated to wear a mask at all times unless actively eating or drinking. The new policy is in accordance with an indoor mask mandate that Philadelphia officials announced Wednesday morning. The Eagles will play their first preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at home on Thursday.

A Lehigh County woman has been sentenced for the 2017 death of her newborn. Ashley Caraballo will spend the next 5-10 years in prison but will be eligible for parole in five years. Back in June, she pleaded no contest to charges of murder, concealing the death of a child, and abuse of a corpse. Four years ago, investigators found Caraballo's newborn son's body in a five-gallon paint bucket in the basement of her former North Whitehall Township home. She denied giving birth, but doctors said her injuries were consistent with "ripping a baby" from the body. It's not known whether the baby was born alive or not.

A brand-new community health center has opened its doors in Bethlehem. The Northside Bethlehem Health Center opened Wednesday in the Broad and Wood Business Center on East Broad Street. It offers services primarily to the elderly, veterans and the poor. People can go there for services typically offered by a family doctor, counseling and substance abuse issues. The facility was funded through a grant.

The site of the old Checkers on South Fourth Street in Allentown will soon have a new tenant. Allentown city planners have approved a new Popeyes for the location, which has been vacant since 2018.

A Lancaster County man is facing homicide charges after showing officers a frozen, severed head. Police say Wednesday morning, they were dispatched to a home in Lancaster after a woman reported seeing the severed head of her loved one in a freezer. When officers arrived, they spoke with Donald Meshey Jr., who led officers to his kitchen and presented the frozen head to them. Meshey was then interviewed by investigators where he reportedly admitted to stabbing a cadaver doll that he found, which sounds and looked like his father, then dismembering the body. The investigation into the incident is ongoing, and Meshey is facing charges of homicide, abuse of a corpse and more.

A billboard campaign has been launched that targets state Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward over legislation to help adult survivors of child sexual abuse. The bill would give adult survivors their day in court, but Ward declined to bring the bill to a vote. The billboards of the Republican, which also feature a photo of Gov. Tom Wolf, urge them to do something about adult abuse survivors. The group putting up the signs says they'll hold a rally in Harrisburg when the legislature returns.

A collection of 2000 model trains is set to go on sale Monday. The collection belongs to a man from Palmyra who collected model trains for 65 years. Estate Auction Company says some of the trains were available only to dealers and some were made before World War II. It will be conducted in-person and online through Estate Auction's website.

Advocates are calling on Gov. Phil Murphy to sign legislation that would protect illegal immigrants in New Jersey. The measure would put an end to contracts between state, local, and private correction facilities and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Yesterday's demands came from the New York Family Immigrant Unity Project, which claims legal associations, like the New Jersey State Bar Association, have encouraged Murphy to veto the legislation. The bill has been waiting on the governor's desk since earlier this year, but he has yet to sign.

After winning eight straight, the Phillies have now lost back-to-back games against the Dodgers. After Wednesday night's 8-2 loss, Phils' manager Joe Girardi said his team needs to bounce back quickly. "It's kind of what you go through. We been through this a lot this season. We need to play well and that's the bottom line and that's what I'll look at and we'll continue to try to win every game," Girardi says. The Phillies host the Dodgers again this afternoon.


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