Election Day has arrived. Pennsylvania voters will choose a new Supreme Court justice. Democrat Maria McLaughlin faces off against Republican Kevin Brobson. In the race for Superior Court judge Republican Megan Sullivan is running against Democrat Timika Lane. Two of four candidates will be elected as Commonwealth Court judge. Polls will remain open through 8 o'clock tonight.
There are plenty of local races up for grabs on today's local ballot. Lehigh County residents will choose three new judges of the Court of Common Pleas. Six candidates will appear on the ballot. Lehigh County voters will also decide whether County Executive Phillips Armstrong deserves a second term. He's opposed by Republican Glenn Eckhart. Five county commissioners positions will also be decided in both Lehigh and Northampton counties. Also in Northampton County, voters will choose between incumbent County Executive Lamont McClure or Republican challenger Steve Lynch. New mayors will be elected in both Allentown and Bethlehem. Democrat Matt Tuerk is opposed by Republican Tim Ramos in Allentown and in Bethlehem it's Democrat William Reynolds vs. Republican John Kachmar.
Voters are hitting the polls for Election Day today. Incumbent Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy and Republican challenger Jack Ciatterelli spent yesterday making their final appeals to voters. Murphy held a voter rally in south orange last night while Ciatterelli made eight stops across the state. polls open bright and early at 6 a.m. and close at eight p.m.
Lehighton School District has switched to virtual learning temporarily because of a bus driver shortage. Students will be in virtual learning until at least this Friday. District officials say there was an increase in positive COVID-19 cases of bus drivers that heavily affected their transportation department. In-person instruction is set to resume on November 8th.
A 20-year-old Bethlehem man is accused of sexually assaulting multiple children over several years. Several child victims told police they had been sexually assaulted by Davin Gostony, of the 700 block of Broadway, for years. Gostony reportedly admitted to committing all the acts he was accused of, telling police he would force sexual acts in exchange for food and money. Gostony was arraigned Saturday and bail was set at $500,000.
LANTA wants you to take their survey, whether you use their system or not. The transit service is trying to evaluate all services it offers in Lehigh and Northampton counties and says it needs to hear from regular riders and those who don't ride. They add that answers are anonymous, but every answer helps. The annual survey, which can be found on the LANTA website, is designed to be completed in less than 10 minutes.
If you have some flowers you'd like to enjoy a bit longer, Accu-Weather's Joe Lundberg says you better cover them up tonight. "Skies clear tonight. I think we'll get frost in a lot of places and I think there's multiple opportunities for frost. If we don't get it tonight, there's an opportunity tomorrow night and I think more opportunities Thursday night and Friday night. That's how dry and chilly and consistent this air mass is going to be for the next several days," Lundberg says. Tonight's predicted low temperature is 31 degrees.
The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for a small plane from Reading that went missing after crashing into the ocean late Sunday night. Coast Guard officials say the Piper 28 aircraft went down around 10:30 Sunday night off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The FAA says the plane left from Reading Regional Airport and was headed to Chatham Municipal Airport on Cape Cod. The pilot, whose name has not been released, was the only person on board.
Monday, the Pennsylvania Department of health added 7480 new cases of COVID-19 to a statewide total of 1,564,939. Over the same two-day reporting period, 78 new COVID-related deaths were reported. That puts the state's overall total at 31,455. Statewide percent positivity for the seven days ending October 28th decreased a bit to 8.8-percent.
Employees in Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration are being offered five days of paid leave for getting fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of the year. In an email to employees Monday, the administration said the five days of “verification leave” can be used between December 20 and March 31. It says an employee who is already fully vaccinated and verified that status to the administration will automatically receive the additional five days of leave. State Treasurer Stacy Garrity is against the move, saying it could cost the state more than $105 million.
Gov. Tom Wolf is giving state employees more time to use their COVID-19 emergency paid sick leave. Monday, the governor announced he's extending the deadline for taking it to June 30, 2022. It's time that can be used either when the employee or someone they are caring for is impacted by COVID-19.
The city of Pittsburgh is now requiring all government employees to get vaccinated against COVID or face possible termination. Mayor Bill Peduto signed an order yesterday mandating everyone who works for the city, and who does not have an approved exemption on file, must be fully-vaccinated by December 22nd or they could be fired. A previous order had required vaccination for all city new-hires and regular COVID testing for the city's non-union employees. The mayor's chief of staff says the administration is hoping for full compliance and that they don't want to see any worker lose their job.
New Jersey's coronavirus positivity rate now stands at 3.61-percent. It comes as the state reports its lowest number of hospitalizations in nearly three months, with 712 patients confirmed or suspected to have the virus. Meantime, the state confirmed 686 positive COVID cases on Monday.
New Jersey is ready to administer the coronavirus vaccine to its youngest residents. The CDC has yet to put its stamp of approval on the Pfizer vaccine for kids between the ages of 5 and 11. It's expected to come sometime this week. Gov. Phil Murphy says a distribution network is in place, saying the state is ready to hit "start" the moment it gets the green light.
Insurance season has arrived in Pennsylvania. The 2022 Open Enrollment Period for health care coverage through Pennie began Monday. Gov. Tom Wolf says Pennie is the state-based health insurance marketplace and it has made a difference since its inception in 2019. "This means health care coverage is more affordable in Pennsylvania. This helps more Pennsylvanians get the care they need and that's the basis of health equity: giving each Pennsylvanian the opportunity they need to live the healthiest life they can," Wolf says. Pennie currently has nearly 344,000 people enrolled in it.
The Food and Drug Administration says Dole Brands is recalling some of its salad bags sold in Pennsylvania after they tested positive for listeria. Among the salads being recalled are the 24-ounce Garden Salad, 24-ounce Marketside Classic Salad, 12-ounce Kroger brand Garden Salad and the 12-ounce Salad Classics Garden Salad. The recall impacts nine other states, as well. Listeria can cause potentially deadly infections in people with weakened immune systems, with symptoms that include fever, headache, stiffness, nausea, and diarrhea.
Data from around the country indicates Pennsylvania drivers face some of the highest risks of a vehicle collision with deer. A recent report shows the Keystone State led the country in animal-collision insurance claims in last year. Game Commission Executive Director Bryan Burhans says while the peak of the rut still is a few weeks off, deer already have ramped up their activity and are crossing roads more frequently. Burhans says drivers need to be especially cautious at dusk and know that deer travel in groups. Also, he says, if you see one, there's likely more following behind it.
If you see it, squash it. That's the message the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has for residents if they happen to stumble across a spotted lanternfly. The invasive insect is about an inch-long and is black, red, and white. It's harmless to people, but can cause big problems for plants and trees. Officials are urging people to do everything they can to help stop the colorful, but damaging insect.