Here's what's trending for October 5.


Polk County, Florida Sheriff Grady Judd doesn't mince words when describing Nazareth's Shaun Runyon, who is accused of using a knife and baseball bat to murder three people in Florida over the weekend. "This is a cold-blooded, calculated, violent, murdering beast," Judd says. Runyon was in Florida for work with a group of electricians from a Monroe County company when he allegedly killed the three, including Kevin Lanusse, of Effort. Judd says Lanusse was Runyon's supervisor and the two had an argument on the job early Friday morning and Runyon hit Lanusse. Judd says Runyon spent the next 24 hours driving more than 300 miles away to Georgia, buying a crossbow and then driving back to Florida where he bought a baseball bat before returning to the crime scene where he beat Lanusse and another man to death and then used a knife to kill his third victim. Judd says Runyon has confessed to the killings.

Florida triple murder suspect Shaun Runyan, of Nazareth, had a lengthy list of criminal charges outstanding in the Lehigh Valley stemming from a May incident. Following a domestic incident in Nazareth involving Runyon and a woman, Runyon was charged with strangulation, endangering the welfare of children, recklessly endangering another person, simple assault and drug offenses. Northampton County DA Terry Houck says Runyon was out on bail for the local charges when the murders happened in Florida. Houck tells the Morning Call, "It's just a tragedy because we had him and he got out and that's not good."

The now-woman who was just 14 years old when she reached a plea deal for stabbing her mother to death in Lehigh County is now back in court for an appeal. Jamie Silvonek claims her previous attorney, John Waldron, was ineffective in his defense of her. Silvonek was sentenced to 35 years in prison for helping her then-20-year-old boyfriend Caleb Barnes kill her mother, Cheryl, in the driveway of their Upper Macungie Township home. Barnes is serving a life sentence for the killing. Silvonek's appeal hearing is expected to last through the end of this week.

Police in Easton are investigating a Monday night West Ward stabbing. It happened at North Locust Street and Prospect Avenue. Initial reports indicate an 18-year-old male was stabbed while trying to stop another male from attacking a female. The victim was taken to a local hospital. Their condition is unknown.

Monday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health added 14,076 new COVID-19 cases to the state total, which now stands at 1,449,368. The new cases are over a three-day period. Over that same amount of time, 94 new COVID-related deaths were also reported, leaving the state's overall number at 29,531. Statewide percent positivity for the seven days ending September 30th was 9.1-percent.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy has reiterated his recommendation that pregnant women be vaccinated and stressed the vaccine's safety. In his COVID-19 briefing Monday, the governor said the vaccine does not affect a woman's fertility and called the belief that it does a myth. State Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli says a woman who is not vaccinated puts her health and the health of her infant at risk. This past august saw the highest number of fatalities for pregnant people from the virus in a single month since the start of the pandemic.

Eight students and a driver on a Colonial Intermediate Unit school bus were taken to the hospital after a work van collided with the bus Monday morning. It happened around 7:15 Monday morning. Those taken to the hospital complained of pain and glass that flew into their eyes. The bus was headed north on 25th Street turning left into the lower parking lot of Easton Area High School when it was struck by a work van heading south on 25th Street. The investigation continues.

Matey's Famous Steaks and Pizza in Fountain Hill will hold its final day on October 16. Owners say the decision was made so the company can focus on expanding its frozen pizza manufacturing facility. Matey's has been in business for 33 years.

The push for recreational marijuana is gaining support from another GOP state lawmaker. Monday, Republican St. Sen. Mike Regan began circulating a memo to other lawmakers to gain support for his bill, which would allow anyone 21 and up to buy and possess an ounce of marijuana. Regan says as chairman of the Senate Law and Justice Committee and a former member of law enforcement, rather than sit idly by and allow others to shape the legislation, he is stepping up to be a leader on the issue. If the bill passes, Pennsylvania could be the 19th state to legalize cannabis.

The preliminary hearing for two students involved in a columbine-style plot to attack their Lackawanna County high school is being rescheduled. Last month, police arrested four teens for their alleged plan to attack Dunmore High School on April 20th, 2024, which is the 25th anniversary of the Columbine mass shooting. Two 15-year-olds involved in the plot are being charged as adults due to the severity of their threats. Their preliminary hearing was set for yesterday, but it will now be held on November 16th at 9 a.m.

The Wolf administration is preparing for the coming winter season. State officials say their number one priority is safety, and that guides their winter preparations and operations. They added that they are ready for the season ahead, and motorists are their partners in making this season a safe one. Last year, there were 301 crashes on snow and ice which resulted in 143 injuries and four-deaths, so they urge drivers to plan ahead when deciding to travel during inclement weather. They also urge drivers to bring potentially life-saving items before heading out such as food, water, blankets, extra gloves, hats, a cell phone charger and more.

The legal team representing accused Tree of Life shooter Robert Bowers has grown by one. The presiding judge this week has given permission temporarily for an additional attorney to join the defense and help with upcoming issues regarding the possible suppression of evidence. Bowers is accused of killing 11 people in the 2018 mass shooting at the Pittsburgh synagogue.

New Jerseyans may now sell home-baked goods legally. The Garden State had been the only state that banned home cooks from making and selling cakes, brownies and other goodies from their own home kitchens. The state had required all baked goods be made in a commercial kitchen in order to ensure sanitation standards. The New Jersey Home Bakers Association and the Institute for Justice challenged the law by saying it favored commercial bakers over private individuals who wanted to sell baked goods to earn extra money.


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