Here's what's trending for September 17.


Thursday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health added 5786 new cases of COVID-19 to the state's overall total, which now stands at 1,365,049 since the pandemic began. 72 new COVID-related deaths were added by the state health department as well. Pennsylvania's overall death count from COVID-19 is now 28,768. Right now, 2323 people are hospitalized with the virus, 560 of whom are in the intensive care unit.

Kutztown University hosts a Moderna COVID-19 vaccination clinic Friday from 10-2 in the Student Recreation Center. It's open to anybody 18-years-old and older. To register, go to www.emstelemed.org

A Lehigh Valley entertainment venue has decided to require all ticket-holders to show proof of full COVID-19 vaccination and wear masks. The Allentown Symphony Association says it's making the move for the safety of all audience members, musicians, staff and volunteers at Miller Symphony Hall and there will be no exceptions. The new policy takes effect with tonight's show and will run through the entire month of October when the association says it will determine whether it needs to be extended. The vaccination policy also applies to all staff, volunteers and performers.

The Lehigh Valley International Airport is essentially closed today through Sunday. $8 million worth of work begins today at LViA. The work includes improving the tarmac, lighting and drainage systems on the runways and that means only helicopters will be permitted to take off or land through Sunday. The project was scheduled several months ago so no flights had to be cancelled. LVIA will be essentially shut down again for more work from September 28th to the 30th.

A man is behind bars for allegedly robbing a bank in the Poconos. The incident happened Thursday morning when police received a report that the ESSA Bank and Trust on Milford Road in Middle Smithfield Township was being robbed. Police say they later arrested the suspect who is from Brooklyn, New York.

A Camelback Resort employee is recovering at the hospital after they were run over by a snow groomer. The accident happened Thursday morning at the resort in Tannersville. The employee suffered major trauma to their lower body and had to be flown to the hospital. Their condition is unknown at this time.

The city of Bethlehem is one step closer to an important designation. City leaders, the Bethlehem World Heritage Commission, and local Moravian leaders have all signed the Voluntary Association Agreement, which prepares a nomination for historic Bethlehem for UNESCO's World Heritage List. The designation is given to landmarks, like the Statue of Liberty and Independence Hall, that have cultural, historical or scientific significance.

Crews are demolishing the Walters Park Pool in Phillipsburg to make way for a newly redesigned pool to open in May 2022. Walters Park Pool has long been a staple of the community, having opened 66 years ago.

Bethlehem's historic Burnside Plantation hosts Apple Days this weekend. Carly Cheponis says the pandemic forced changes last year, at least one of which is back this year. "Last year we added the Market-To-Go, which will be back again this year as well," Cheponis says. You can pre-order your favorite apple treats at www.historicbethlehem.org and then pick them up next Monday-through-Wednesday. The in-person festival is tomorrow and Sunday and features plenty of apple-themed food, games, live music and more.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health in July announced sweeping reforms for nursing homes, designed to improve care to residents. Nursing home managers say it'll mean having to increase staff levels at a time when it's difficult to hang on to the workers they already employ. Zach Shamberg heads up the Pennsylvania Health Care Association. "In just the past few months, open and unfilled positions have significantly increased while qualified applicants have steadily decreased. This regulation would require 7000 new workers and at minimum $400 million in new costs," Shamberg says. But Democrats like St. Sen. Maria Collett calls changes like improving patient care long overdue.

The Wolf administration is warning residents about a rise in student loan forgiveness scams. State officials say with the continuing pandemic, many have been searching for financial relief and like other scams, these perpetrators prey upon the hope and vulnerability of people. They urge residents to be skeptical about incoming communications, research the company, be aware of what real programs will and won't ask for and verify the email address. If you feel you have been scammed, officials advise you close your accounts, alert your servicer, monitor your credit report and report the scam to the federal trade commission.

The theme for the 106th Pennsylvania Farm show is officially out. "We are looking forward to "Harvesting More" in 2022," says Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. He says the 'harvesting more' theme is appropriate because after cultivating virtually in 2021, it's only natural that we harvest more in 2022 as everyone convenes once again in Harrisburg once again January 8th through the 15th.

New Jersey businesses still reeling from Tropical Storm Henri and Ida have a new opportunity to apply for financial aid. The New Jersey Economic Development Authority has opened its Henri/Ida business assistance grant program, helping businesses on a first come first serve basis. The agency approved $10.5 million for the initiative, with businesses eligible for up to $5000. the application portal closes at 5pm on September 24th.

New Jersey is increasing its investment in pediatric cancer research. Gov. Phil Murphy signed two bipartisan bills yesterday, one of which establishes the pediatric cancer research fund and an advisory board within the state commission on cancer research. The second legislation appropriates $5 million to the state's pediatric cancer fund. Murphy says investing in the research plays a vital role in the fight against childhood cancers.

Colleges and universities across New Jersey are now required to provide all students with a "shopping sheet" each year. Gov. Phil Murphy says the document will inform students of costs, loan options, and estimated debt. The shopping sheet was previously required to be handed out to incoming students, but will now be distributed to individual students as a way to create transparency. Gov. Murphy says strengthening transparency standards will help students make the right financial decisions for their education.


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