Here's what's trending for September 30.


The Pennsylvania Department of Health Wednesday confirmed 4570 new COVID-19 cases in the commonwealth, leaving the state with 1,425,048 cases since the pandemic began. 97 new COVID-related deaths were also added to the state's total Wednesday, pushing that number to 29,323. Currently, there are 2843 people hospitalized with COVID-19, 681 of whom are in the intensive care unit.

The Pennsylvania State Education Association is voicing its opposition to a recently proposed bill that would allow parents to opt their kids out of school mask mandates. The Senate Education Committee advanced the bill on Tuesday and it now heads to the full Senate. PSEA officials say this puts in-person learning and the safety of students in jeopardy. They added that they hope lawmakers will step back, look at the science, listen to what parents and teachers are telling them and do the right thing for the safety of students and staff.

New Jersey has reopened its Gloucester County COVID-19 vaccine megasite to help with the booster shot rollout. Gov. Phil Murphy says more of those mega sites are coming. "We are working through the logistics to open two other sites and we'll have information on those when it's final and available," Murphy says. Residents in the Garden State can go to www.covid19.nj.gov/finder to locate a vaccination site near them.

The person killed after being hit by a car in Allentown Tuesday night has been identified. 50-year-old Jose Rivera was hit at South Carlisle and East South streets, on Allentown's east side, just after 7pm. The driver reportedly stayed at the scene and spoke to police. Officials have not said what caused the collision.

A 81-year-old Jim Thorpe man has died nearly 2 months after a crash in Mahoning Township, Carbon County. James Kattner died Wednesday at the hospital from injuries sustained in a crash on August 9. Kattner was involved in a wreck that day on Route 209, near Lehighton. A motorcycle and car collided at the start of a construction zone, sending several people to the hospital. Mahoning Township police are investigating.

A 23-year-old Quakertown man with a suspended license was traveling at twice the posted speed limit before crashing into a tree last year, killing his passenger, according to the Lehigh County’s district attorney's office. Edilberto Funez faces several charges in the death of Analeese Gonzalez on July 23, 2020 in Upper Macungie Township.

A man wanted in an Easton bank robbery is now under arrest. The U.S. Marshals fugitive task force arrested Daniel Buzzone at the Knights Inn in Allentown Wednesday morning. The 36-year-old is facing several charges in a robbery at Santander Bank on North Third Street in Easton on September 22, 2020.

Firefighters battled a large fire at a duplex in Lehigh County late Tuesday night. The fire was reported just after 10:30 p.m. in the 2000 block of Levans Road in North Whitehall Township. There was no word on the cause of the fire.

Pennsylvanians are bringing awareness to stigmas surrounding mental health. Ss part of National Duicide Prevention Awareness Month, Prevent Suicide PA held a rally at the state Capitol Wednesday to support those impacted by suicide. Since April of last year, more than 28,000 have called the state's crisis helpline. Fortunately, suicide deaths decreased during the pandemic. Officials with Prevent Suicide PA believe it was due to people being more open about their mental health. They say many people have been struggling during this time, and a "misery loves company" approach has been helpful for some to feel connected to others. They urge anyone going through a crisis to call the National Suicide Prevention line at 1-800-273-8255 or the Preserve PA helpline at 1-855-284-2494.

State lawmakers are grilling the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board for its decision to ration certain alcohols. A few weeks ago, the LCB decided to impose a two-bottle limit on 43 select liquors due to a shortage. Republican lawmakers say this doesn't help bars and restaurants as they try to recover from the pandemic, and they need to be more transparent about decisions like this. The LCB says every state is experiencing the same shortages as it's beyond their control.

PennDOT is looking for feedback from the public on their services. The department is holding a 20-question online survey until October 26th to see how residents feel about their construction efforts and road and bridge maintenance services. PennDOT officials say this survey will help them understand needs, measure public expectations and identify educational opportunities. Anyone looking to give feedback is urged to go online to www.511pa.com.

More than $1 million in federal grants is coming to Pennsylvania to promote positive parenting and early childhood development across the state. State officials say the funding will also be used to extend Medicaid coverage to mothers and babies in Pennsylvania. Currently, coverage runs for 60 days after a child's birth, but the funding will now extend the benefits for a full year. The extension will take effect beginning next spring.

The state is opening more roads in Pennsylvania's forest districts for use when hunting seasons begin this year. Gov. Tom Wolf's office says they're opening more than 500 miles of state forest roads in 18 of the state forest districts that are normally open only for administrative use. The openings will take effect this saturday when archery deer season begins. Most of these roads will remain open during other hunting seasons through January.

According to a website, Pennsylvanians want a Hershey's mini bar over any other candy bar when they go trick-or-treating this year. www.candystore.com looked at sales data over a 14-year period and looked at the weeks leading up to Halloween in particular. Nationally, Reese's Cups topped the list of Halloween favorites, followed by Skittles and M&Ms.

Gov. Phil Murphy appears to be leading his Republican challenger Jack Ciatterelli following Tuesday's debate. According to a Stockton University poll, Murphy holds a nine-percent lead over Ciatterelli, 50-percent to 41-percent. Nine-percent of respondents say they're undecided on who they want to be the next governor of New Jersey. The candidates will go toe-to-toe for a second debate on October 12th.

Debates to be New Jersey's next governor are starting up and so is the search for poll workers this upcoming election day. People who work the polls on November 2nd will be paid $200 for the day, which starts at 5:15 a.m. and ends at 8:00 p.m. Poll workers don't need any experience and will also be paid to attend a training session ahead of election day. Several counties across New Jersey were left scrambling to get people to work the polls during June's primary election.

New Jersey's pension fund is growing the fastest it has in 20 years. The state investment council reports the fund generated a final and un-audited return of 28-point-63-percent over a twelve month period, which ended in June. The fund also outperformed its benchmark by more than two-percent. State Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio credited the gain to first full actuarially determined contribution in 25 years.

Heading into last night's game in Atlanta, the Phillies were hanging onto playoff hopes with one hand. After last night's 7-2 loss, they're now hanging onto those hopes by a fingertip. Manager Joe Girardi sizes up his team's situation. "We have to win every game, so we've got to do whatever it takes, obviously, and then we need a lot of help," Girardi says. The Phillies have to win their last four games and Atlanta has to lose its last five games just for the Phils and Braves to finish in a tie. The Phils are in Atlanta again tonight.


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