Here's what's trending for August 31.


The Pennsylvania Department of Health added 9078 new cases of COVID-19 over a three-day reporting period. That leaves the commonwealth's overall total at 1,297,119 since the pandemic began. 34 new COVID-related deaths were also reported in that three-day time frame. Pennsylvania's death toll due to COVID is now at 28,214. Right now, there are 1768 people hospitalized with COVID-19. 476 of them are in the intensive care unit. Statewide percent positivity for the seven days ending August 26th stood at 7.8-percent.

Extended federal unemployment benefits are ending this Saturday. This includes pandemic unemployed assistance and the additional $300 claimants have been receiving with their weekly benefits. Department of Labor and Industry officials say this impacts more than 500,000 Pennsylvanians. They added that there are some resources still available for those that will need help as the benefits expire such as the Emergency Rental Assistance Program, Medicaid, Children's Health Insurance Program and more.

The Republican running for Northampton County executive is getting some heat for these comments he made at a Harrisburg political rally over the weekend. "Forget going into the school board bringing data. You go into the school board to remove them. That's what you do. They don't follow the law. You go in and remove them. I'm going in with 20 strong men," Lynch told the crowd at the rally. He said it was time to "make men men again" and remove school board members who back mask mandates for students and replace them with nine parents who will vote down mask mandates. Current Northampton County Executive Lamont McClure says rhetoric like that is dangerous and law enforcement should investigate.

Accu-Weather's Joe Lundberg says the remnants of what was Hurricane Ida will arrive overnight tonight and that will likely lead to trouble. "Tomorrow and tomorrow night there will be heavy rain from Tropical Rainstorm Ida. Major flooding is likely and some roads will become impassible," Lundberg says. Right now, Accu-Weather is expecting four-to-six inches of rain to begin overnight tonight and continue into Thursday.

The city of Allentown will close its recycling center Tuesday morning at 8 o'clock, until further notice, in anticipation of flooding from heavy rain. Closing the recycling center on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive will give crews enough time to move containers to higher ground, as the Little Lehigh Creek may flood after expected heavy rain Wednesday.

Hersheypark is closing its doors tomorrow due to the expected rain from the remnants of Hurricane Ida. Officials say the safety of their guests and team members is their top priority, and because of the expected heavy rain, Hersheypark and Zooamerica will be closed.

Whitehall Township police Chief Michael Marks was among those testifying at a state House committee hearing on the state's fireworks laws. He says almost no first responders like the law, which allows adults to buy consumer-grade fireworks. "It's something that I think our legislators need to take seriously and quite frankly, either repeal or amend the laws," Marks said. The hearing was held Monday afternoon at the Teamsters Local 773 Union Hall in Whitehall Township.

Somebody purchased a Powerball ticket at the Top Star Express in the 2000 block of Tilghman Street in Allentown worth $100,000 for the Saturday, August 28th drawing. The ticket matched four of the five white balls drawn and the red Powerball as well. The player tacked on the Power Play option, meaning their prize jumped from $50,000 to $100,000. The store earns a $500 for selling the winning ticket.

The last American soldier to leave Afghanistan is a Pennsylvania native. Monday, the Pentagon released a photo depicting the last soldier leaving the Kabul Airport, who was Major General Chris Donahue from Chambersburg. Donahue has been deployed 17 times in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, North Africa, and Eastern Europe. Before leaving Kabul, he was reportedly serving as the Commander of the Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan.

Former St. Rep. Rick Saccone says he will announce later this month that he is running for lieutenant governor. On Monday, Saccone said he plans to officially announce his candidacy on September 10th. Last November, Saccone lost to incumbent Connor Lamb in the 17th Congressional District race.


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