Here's what's trending for September 21.


The Pennsylvania Department of Health added 12,686 new cases of COVID-19 to the statewide total Monday, bringing the overall number to 1,382,933 since the pandemic began. The latest numbers are over a three-day period. Over those same three days, 52 new COVID-related deaths were also reported, leaving the state with 28,864 to date. Over the seven days ending September 16th, the statewide percent positivity was 8.9-percent.

Gov. Tom Wolf remains consistent with this message. "Getting vaccinated is how we end this pandemic," Wolf says. Monday, the state Department of Health announced almost 68-percent of all Pennsylvanians age 18 and older are now considered fully vaccinated. On a seven-day moving average, nearly 16,000 people are receiving vaccinations every day.

New rules are soon to be in place for New Jersey's child care workers. "As recommended by the CDC, all employees, all students and children in these facilities age two and over and all visitors must wear face masks," says Gov. Phil Murphy. He had already put similar rules in place for teachers and healthcare workers. The new order for child care workers takes effect Friday.

Gov. Phil Murphy has no plans for New Jersey schools to follow remote learning amid the coronavirus pandemic. It comes as coronavirus cases continue to rise across the state, especially in schools. In his coronavirus briefing Monday, Murphy said he would only change his mind if numbers drastically go south.

No injuries are reported but there's plenty of damage after a Monday night fire at a Bethlehem apartment building. Cassie Shipps lives in the Sherwood Town and Country Apartments and says the building went up in flames quickly. "Everything was engulfed in fire. It was insane. As soon as we got outside, it was lit," Shipps says. One firefighter was taken to the hospital for exhaustion. Bethlehem's fire chief says the fire marshal still has to investigate and no one will be back into the apartments until he's done.

An elderly Bethlehem man is going to spend the rest of his life in jail for sexually abusing eight children. 69-year-old Berto Vega-Pabon has been sentenced to 114-229 years behind bars. Vega-Pabon was convicted of 40 counts back in June. He sexually assaulted the eight children either inside his home or in a laundry room at the Marvine-Pembroke public housing development. The victims were between the ages of five and 12 when the assaults happened.

Easton police are investigating Monday night gunfire. Officers responded just after 11 o'clock Monday night for reports of gun shots at 13th and Butler streets. Investigators determined two vehicles, whose occupants were involved in a verbal dispute, were passing through the intersection going opposite directions when one person fired a shot at the other vehicle. While no injuries have been reported, a nearby house at 13th and Lehigh streets was hit.

The death of an Allentown man is being investigated. 39-year-old Benjamin Boehm was found dead by his roommate in the home they shared in the 1600 block of East Cedar Street Sunday night. Police were called to the home and officers called the Allentown Fire Department after finding containers and packages with hazardous labels on them. Investigators determined the substances were used for exotic plants and the scene was safe.

A head-on crash sent a vehicle into a home in Northampton County Monday morning. It happened just before 9am in the 700 block of Main Street in Tatamy. One vehicle ended up crashing into a nearby home. No injuries were reported.

Stroudsburg is getting some national recognition. Travel-and-Leisure released their top-10 best small towns to retire in the U.S. and Stroudsburg came in at number-seven. The borough was noted for its locally grown produce, arts and crafts festivals and the quiet valley living historical farm. The website says Stroudsburg offers family activities for grandchildren's visits and many places to stay.

August was another banner month for Pennsylvania's gambling industry. The Gaming Control Board says gaming revenue, including fantasy contests, totaled more than $408-million last month, or 31-percent above August 2020 numbers. More than half, about $209-million, was generated at traditional slot machines. Wind Creek Casino Resort in Bethlehem had the fourth-highest total revenue last month at nearly $45-million, which was 34-percent higher than the previous August.

State lawmakers are back in session. Lawmakers plan on using these extra session days to pass legislation on non-partisan issues. House leaders say some of the issues on their minds include the opioid epidemic, improving infrastructure, criminal justice reform and finding ways to improve funding for schools.

Child sex abuse survivors are calling on lawmakers to pass legislation that would allow them a two-year window to sue their abusers. Survivors and their supporters gathered at the state Capitol yesterday saying they have had enough and want Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward to bring up House Bill 951 for a vote. Ward says she doesn't believe the bill is constitutional, but Attorney General Josh Shapiro says otherwise. Shapiro says what lawmakers are doing is trying to distract from the fact that they are taking orders from insurance company lobbyists and the bishops' lobbyists instead of listening to survivors.

Former Congressman Lou Barletta is pledging to oppose tax increases if he is elected governor. Barletta is one of many Republican candidates looking to take the governor's seat in 2022. The pledge he signed was sponsored by the Americans for Tax Reform group.

Pennsylvanians looking for a new employment opportunity may find one with CVS. The pharmacy chain has announced plans to hire as many as 1000 new workers in the state. Available positions include pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, nurses and retail associates. The company plans to hold a national hiring event this Friday. Folks interested in pursuing a position are advised to text "CVS" to 25000 or visit www.jobs.cvshealth.com.

New Jersey is set to host about 500 Afghan refugees. Gov. Phil Murphy says the state is ready to help, but did not give exact details on how, promising more information will come. Thousands of Afghan evacuees landed at New Jersey's Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst when the United States first pulled out of the country. Last week, President Biden started assigning which states more than 37,000 Afghans would settle in.

The New Jersey Board of Elections is looking for people to work the polls this upcoming general election. Poll workers will earn $200 for the day, which starts at 5:15am and runs through 8:00pm, when the polls close. They'll also get paid for training. Counties across new jersey were experiencing a shortage of poll workers before the primaries, urging people to sign up just days before polls opened. The general elections are Tuesday, November 2nd.

Monday night could not have gone any worse for the Phillies. They lost to Baltimore 2-0 and Atlanta beat Arizona, leaving the Phils three behind the Braves in the NL East. Manager Joe Girardi tries to put a positive spin on a bad night. "It's not how you want to start the homestand, but it doesn't tell the whole story. We've gotta turn it around Tuesday and lets see what happens the rest of the week," Girardi said. The Phillies play the Orioles again tonight and tomorrow.


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