For much of Wednesday morning, TV, newspapers, websites and this radio station reported Glenn Eckhart had defeated Lehigh County Executive Phillips Armstrong but that all changed a little after 7am Wednesday. What happened? Lehigh County elections officials had Eckhart winning after 100-percent of all precincts had reported results. However, there were still mail-in ballots to be counted and when they were it resulted in a roughly 5000 vote swing and a 2500 vote loss by Armstrong turned into a 2500 victory for the incumbent. A Northampton County Council race result changed as well after mail-in ballots were counted. Ron Heckman's mail-in count was enough to elevate him from out of the running to the fourth spot on Council and bump Nicole Romanishan from fifth to sixth. She trails fellow Republican John Brown by only 15 votes for the fifth and final winning position in Tuesday's election.
Both Allentown and Bethlehem will next new mayors in about two months. Matt Tuerk won Tuesday in Allentown and says his past with the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation will serve him well at City Hall. "You have to plan for this and the years I spent working to attract investment to our region, I can apply that here in Allentown," Tuerk says. Bethlehem's next mayor, William Reynolds says getting things done can only happen if everybody pulls the rope in the same direction. "The only way we ever create any progress in our community is working together. Getting our school district, getting our community organizations, getting our non-profits, getting our citizens, our small business owners all behind the same idea and that's definitely something in 2022 that I appreciate more than ever," Reynolds says. Both Tuerk and Reynolds take over in early January.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is celebrating his projected win over challenger Jack Ciattarelli following a tight election. In his Wednesday night victory speech, Murphy focused on moving his state forward. "In New Jersey we know how make progress, from the bottom up and from the middle out and move forward and accomplish big things," the governor says. While Murphy is celebrating an apparent win, Ciattarelli has not conceded the race yet.
Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health added 10,245 new cases of COVID-19 to the state total, which now stands at 1,575,184. Those new cases are over a three-day reporting period. In that same time frame, 181 new COVID-related deaths were also reported, pushing the state's overall total to 31,711. Right now, there are 2613 people hospitalized with the virus. 624 of them are in the intensive care unit.
Allentown City Council has given the go-ahead to use money from the city's general fund to hire six new police officers. The proposal approved by councilmembers Wednesday night allows the city to submit for reimbursement of their salaries under the 2017 Department of Justice cops hiring program. In October 2017, the city was awarded $750,000 to fund these positions. Allentown's financial match commitment for all six officers is just under $11,000.
A boil water advisory is in effect in Catasauqua. There were two water main breaks in the borough Tuesday evening. All residents should boil water before drinking it, including brushing teeth and washing dishes, or use bottled water. The borough says it will notify customers when the boil water advisory is lifted.
Construction is set to begin soon on a new McDonald's in Upper Saucon Township. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for November 16, on the corner of Passer Road and Route 309, just north of Coopersburg.
It's the time of year when your chances increase to hit a deer on the road and state officials say if you do hit one, you can keep it. However, if the deer dies, only Pennsylvania residents may claim the carcass. To do so, they must call the Game Commission Region Office in the county where the accident occurred, and an agency dispatcher will provide a free permit number, which the caller should write down. Officials also say that a driver who hits a deer isn't required to report the accident to the Game Commission. A passing Pennsylvania motorist also may claim the deer, if the person whose vehicle hit it doesn't want it.
Starting today, customers across New Jersey will have to ask for plastic straws at coffee shops and restaurants. You'll still be able to buy packages of straws and pre-packaged beverages that come with a straw, like juice boxes. It's part of the state's efforts to ban all single-use plastic items, like takeout bags and containers.