Gov. Tom Wolf says school districts can modify or eliminate mask mandates for k-12 students in January. But the requirements will remain in effect for childcare facilities and early learning programs. The mandates have been in place since September. The governor says it is time to prepare for "a transition back to a more normal setting." The lifting of the mandate comes as the COVID-19 vaccine rollout for children ages five to eleven has begun in Pennsylvania.
An Easton Area school bus carrying about 30 students crashed through a guard rail and ended up in the Bushkill Creek before 8 o'clock Monday morning. Easton police Chief Carl Scalzo says eventhough several students had to go to the hospital, it could have ended up a lot worse. "They could've hit any one of those trees, if the water were higher, if there was a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction, or if there had been someone down there on the path, this could've been a very different situation. So, for as bad as the situation was, you count your blessings when they are there and there were a lot in this instance," Scalzo says. At least two students and the driver had to be lifted up the steep embankment in a basket. Those three were taken to St. Luke’s Hospital’s Anderson campus in Bethlehem Township. Six students were taken in an ambulance to St. Luke’s Hospital - Easton campus and five students were taken by their parents to St. Luke’s Easton. Initial reports are none of the injuries are considered serious. The investigation continues.
Whitehall Township's Board of Commissioners has approved a settlement agreement which will end a lawsuit against the Whitehall Township Police Department. The deal made between the township and Yolanda Wright and her son Mekhi Burkett awards $75,000 to Burkett in exchange for dropping all claims against the township. Wright filed a racial discrimination lawsuit on behalf of her son after an incident at a Whitehall High School basketball game in January 2020. The suit claimed that the Black students were not treated equally because white and Latino students involved in the incident were not arrested or charged. The lawsuit claimed several white police officers from Whitehall Township used "disproportionate and unreasonable" force and caused the teens to suffer traumatic brain injuries and other physical and emotional harm.
The boil water advisory in Slatington has been lifted. The water has been tested and it is safe to consume. Construction crews hit a water main on Thursday, prompting the advisory. The borough had told residents to boil all tap water before consuming, as a precaution.
Old Lycoming police Chief Christopher Kriner believes remains found in a backyard near Williamsport over the weekend are those of two little girls who haven't been seen in years. "The remains of the two deceased children have been flown to Erie to be examined by our forensic anthropologist and we're going to wait for further analysis on that," Kriner says. It's believed the remains are those of six-year-old Nicole Snyder, who disappeared in 2016 and her four-year-old sister, Jasmine, who disappeared one year later. 32-year-old Marie Snyder, believed to be the children's mother, and her 26-year-old boyfriend Echo Butler are only facing child endangerment charges at this point. Both were arrested after Children and Youth Services began investigating reports in September that Snyder's seven-year-old son wasn't receiving proper education. CYS asked Snyder about her daughters and she reportedly declined to answer. A search warrent was issued, leading to the discovery of the bodies.
A small earthquake rattled Berks County on Sunday. The 1.7-magnitude earthquake struck at 1:40 p.m. near Sinking Spring, at a depth of about three miles, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. No injuries or damage were reported.
Jack Ciattarelli isn't conceding last week's governor's race in New Jersey just yet. Gov. Phil Murphy offers his opinion. "I think it's incredibly dangerous when it's mathematically impossible," Murphy says. He says the race was run fairly and transparently and every vote will be counted regardless of a Ciattarelli concession.