As expected, Monday night's Northampton Area School Board meeting featured plenty of comments on the district's policy requiring everybody in district buildings to mask up. County executive candidate Steve Lynch has been pushing hard against the policy and did again last night when addressing the school board. "If you continue to violate the civil rights of the parents' control of the education, political indoctrination and health care of our children, then we'll file suit in federal court under Title 42 of the Civil Rights Act of 1983," Lynch said. Others opposed to the requirement told the board they are hypocrites and cowards, that masks don't work that young people are not at risk and parents' rights trump the school's authority. However, there were some who support the mask wearing requirement who spoke up. "I want to commend the school board for their attention to student safety. Wearing a mask is a small thing. Each of of us share the responsibility to the wellbeing of others," Sell-Perry said. The meeting featured heavy security after comments made weeks ago by Lynch that some perceived to be threatening. At a rally in Harrisburg, Lynch said he'd bring 20 strong men to school board meetings to remove board members who favor mask mandates. There were no incidents.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health Monday added 12,406 new cases of coronavirus. That three-day total runs the overall statewide number of cases to 1,350,719 since the pandemic began. 33 new COVID-related deaths were also reported during that same three-day period, leaving the state's overall total at 28,568. Statewide positivity for the seven days ending September 9th stood at 9.1-percent.
A court hearing for the lawsuit against the governor's mask mandate for schools is being postponed. The lawsuit was filed by the state Senate's top Republican and a group of parents to overturn the school mask mandate. A hearing was set for Thursday, but the Commonwealth Court is asking for the group to file a brief on why the mandate is illegal. Then, the Wolf administration will have until September 23rd to file a response and then a new hearing date will be set.
The Pennsylvania State Corrections Officers Association is taking legal action against the governor for his proposed COVID-19 vaccine mandate for all state employees. Officials say the state Department of Corrections is not implementing strict COVID measures as the delta variant spreads, and the PSCOA made multiple requests to get its members to be made a priority for the vaccine. As of a result of them not being prioritized, they claim over 3700 of their members tested positive for COVID. Officials added that corrections employees should have been prioritized, given their work conditions, but instead smokers were given priority while members spent months trying to get the vaccine on their own.
Health care workers are urging state lawmakers to take action as a waiver that allows out-of-state nurses to get temporary licenses in Pennsylvania is expiring. Officials with the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association say this COVID-19 waiver has helped hospitals deal with their staffing shortages, and if action isn't taken by the end of this month, things could get worse. They added that nurses are already burnt out, and they're getting reports of people leaving mid-shift because they had enough. Lawmakers acknowledged the issue during a house hearing yesterday and say they must look into continuing the waiver.
A Jim Thorpe man has pleaded guilty to entering the U.S. Capitol building during the riot there on January 6th. Andrew Wrigley faces a maximum sentence of six months in jail after pleading guilty to the misdemeanor charge. Wrigley will also have to pay $500 in restitution to help cover the $1.4 million damage caused to the building during the riot. His sentencing is set for December 2nd. Wrigley is one of 53 Pennsylvanians charged with crimes committed on that chaotic day.
A car crashed into a home in Allentown Monday night. It happened shortly after 9 o'clock near the intersection of East Emmaus Avenue and South Albert Street. The accident caused a fire as well. There's no word of any injuries.
Bill McSwain, top federal prosecutor in Philadelphia under former President Donald Trump, will run for governor. This is the first run for public office for the 52-year-old McSwain. Seven other Republicans have officially declared their candidacy and at least a half-dozen others have expressed interest in running next year.
The Disney store at the Lehigh Valley Mall will close on or before Wednesday. All merchandise currently is 50% off. Disney earlier announced plans to close 60 stores in North America.
The Trans-Siberian Orchestra is back at the PPL Center in Allentown on December 19, performing shows at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets go on sale Friday, but you can win them weekday mornings with Gunther on WAEB.
The Pocono Mountains' has been named the 3rd Best Destination For Fall Foliage by USA Today, which lists only the White Mountains in New Hampshire and Upper Peninsula in Michigan atop the Pocono Mountains.
The NTSB is releasing their preliminary findings into the fatal crash that claimed the life of pilot Andy Travnicek during a practice run for the Great Pocono Raceway Air Show. Investigators say Travnicek had an emergency after taking off at the Wilkes Barre Scranton International Airport last month. The plane's landing gear was retracting, and the plane started to slow down and descend before his smoke system came on and the plane struck the ground. The NTSB will be releasing a full report at a later time.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says a contract worker from Alabama at Three Mile Island has been killed in a "material handling accident." The nuclear plant has been shut down since September 2019 and is being decommissioned. The NRC says the employee was outside the radiological controlled area when the death occurred while they were unloading equipment from a truck. Exelon Generation owns TMI Unit 1 and says they are deeply saddened by the death.
Gov. Tom Wolf says he will name George Little to serve as Acting Secretary of the Department of Corrections. Little will replace John Wetzel, who is leaving to enter the private sector. Wetzel, who has served as secretary since 2011 will depart on October 1 and Little will assume the role the following day.
Gov. Tom Wolf is recalling his nomination for the state's next secretary of the department of state. Wolf says based on the Senate Republican majority's pursuit of an investigation into baseless claims of fraud in the 2020 election, it's clear that Veronica Degraffenreid will not get a fair hearing from the Senate. Degraffenreid will continue to serve as the acting secretary of the commonwealth as not being confirmed by the senate doesn't impact her ability to do her job.
Penn State is offering free tickets for an upcoming football game to military members. As part of Penn State's Military Appreciation Week, they will offer free tickets to the Penn State vs Rutgers football game on November 20th for active and retired service members. Tickets are on a first-come, first-served basis, and military members, veterans and their families can apply for the free tickets online. Those who acquire the tickets will also receive a complimentary tailgate at the Bryce Jordan Center.