Here's what's trending for August 23.


As concerns over the delta variant among teachers grows, the Pennsylvania State Education Association is pushing for a universal mask mandate. The teachers' association has updated its school masking recommendations to encourage universal masking for ages 12 and up. Officials with the organization say they're following the CDC guidance for universal masking for everyone 12 years of age and older.

State lawmakers are drafting a bill that would block school districts from enacting mask mandates for students and staff. Republican St. Sen. Judy Ward from Blair County says parents should be the ones to decide whether their children wear masks to school to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Lawmakers are currently on recess and will return next month.

The mask mandate Gov. Tom Wolf has reinstated for all state employees, including contract workers, begins today. The governor announced the reinstatement Friday as a surge in COVID-19 cases continues to spread across the state. The mandate had been lifted June 28th. Wolf pointed to guidelines by the CDC that everyone in areas with high or substantial levels of the virus needs to mask up in indoor spaces.

When Penn State's football team opens its season next month, there will be full capacity at Beaver Stadium. But, will those fans be forced to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19? "To require a vaccination is not in our plans at this point," says Penn State Athletic Director Sandy Barbour. Penn State opens on the road September 4th at Wisconsin. Their first home game is September 11th against Ball State.

Emergency crews in Monroe County are responding to flooding in Stroudsburg. The Stroudsburg Fire Department reports flood conditions on Main Street and many people are being asked to evacuate their homes. A temporary shelter is set up at Koehler Field House at East Stroudsburg University. Officials say they will make contact with every resident in the flooding areas, and remind people not to drive on flooded roadways or go around barriers or emergency vehicles.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy will be in Middlesex County today touring areas flooded by Tropical Storm Henri. More than 200 people needed to be rescued from their homes on Sunday after about eight inches of rain fell turning roads into rivers and sending water into homes. "I left early in the morning and was evacuated and I have no idea what my basement looks like. I have no idea if my car is underwater. I'm anxious to go back and see, but we can't get their yet," one woman says. There were rescues also needed in several other Middlesex County communities.

A Met-Ed lineman is recovering after being shocked on the job over the weekend. It happened around 1:45 Sunday afternoon in the 2600 block of Northwood Avenue in Palmer Township. A Met-Ed spokesperson says the employee was taken to the hospital and is recovering.

A man is recovering after being shot in Allentown over the weekend. Police say they found a man wounded around 8:30 Saturday night in the area of 12th and Linden streets. Police have not released any other information about the incident or the victim's condition.

Pennsylvania State Police are cautioning motorists to be especially vigilant today on the first day back in school for some school districts. State police say most schools are returning to in-person instruction, which means more school buses and pedestrians will be on the roads than last year when the pandemic kept many people indoors for remote instruction.

Gov. Phil Murphy says New Jersey is poised to welcome Afghan refugees. He's urging the Biden administration to expand the special immigrant visa program in order to make this happen. He wrote a letter to President Joe Niden yesterday, saying many of these people have helped U.S. military personnel and will not be left be behind. Murphy believes the incoming refugees will make enormous contributions to the garden state's culture, community, and economy.

New Jersey is limiting contracts with immigrations and customs enforcement. Gov. Phil Murphy signed the law on Friday, several weeks after it was sent to his desk. Under the measure, public and private entities cannot enter new ICE detention contracts. They're also barred from renewing or extending contracts with ICE. The measure took effect immediately, with advocates calling it an important step towards recognizing the dignity of immigrant communities.


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