A Lehigh County judge has ruled that undated mail-in ballots in the November 2 election must be counted, a decision that could change a close race for Lehigh County judge. In his ruling, Judge Edward Reibman wrote he found the date requirement serves no purpose and since neither side is claiming fraud, he sees no reason why those votes should not be counted. Reibman's ruling upholds the unanimous decision by the Lehigh County Board of Elections to count the ballots. Republican David Ritter holds a 74 vote lead over Democrat Zachary Cohen in the judge race. Ritter's attorney says he'll appeal the decision to Commonwealth Court.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has decided to keep the school mask mandate in place until at least December 8, when the court will hear oral arguments on the issue. Tuesday's ruling overturns the November 10th decision by the Commonwealth Court. The mandate was voided then after that court found the state health secretary's mandate didn't follow proper procedures and was adopted without an existing disaster emergency declared by the governor. However, that created an automatic stay, pending appeal to the state Supreme court, which ruled on the matter Tuesday.
No injuries have been reported but some $20,000 worth of beauty products were stolen from an Ulta store Monday night. It happened at the Hamilton Crossings shopping center in Allentown. State Police say five men entered the store around 6:30, put the merchandise into bags they brought with them and then ran out of the store. The men were in the store for only about 40 seconds. Police believe thefts like this take place all over the country with the merchandise being sold online.
A young man is in Northampton County's juvenile detention after allegedly robbing a CVS in Bethlehem then turning himself in. Police say the 17-year-old called 9-1-1 to admit robbing the store on Easton Avenue late Sunday night. The teen had reportedly shown a gun to the cashier before running off with money, but police say it was an airsoft pistol that closely resembled an actual gun. The teen faces several charges in the incident, including robbery, simple assault and receiving stolen property.
Television personality Dr. Mehmet Oz is running for the U.S. Senate seat in Pennsylvania as a Republican. "Pennsylvania needs a conservative, who'll put America first, one who can reignite our divine spark, bravely fight for freedom and tell it like it is. That's why I'm running for Senate," Oz said in his campaign announcement. The 61-year-old cardiac surgeon and host of the "Dr. Oz Show" is trying to replace retiring GOP Sen. Pat Toomey. Oz, a long-time New Jersey resident, registered to vote last December in Montgomery County. An Oz spokesperson said he has deep family ties to the state.
It's not exactly noticeable, but the average price of gasoline in both the Lehigh Valley and across the state dropped by one cent last week. According to AAA East Central, Pennsylvania's average price is now $3.58 a gallon and the Lehigh Valley's is $3.57. Each of those prices are $1.06 more than one year earlier.
Pennsylvania State Police has released its Thanksgiving holiday driving statistics. They investigated 1155 crashes, five of which were fatal over the Thanksgiving driving period from last Wednesday through Sunday. 91 of those crashes, including two fatal ones, were alcohol-related, resulting in 225 injuries. 533 DUI arrests were made over the long holiday weekend.
One of the two winning Treasure Hunt lottery tickets from the November 29th drawing was sold at the GIANT Food Store on Chestnut Street in Coplay. That ticket holder will split a jackpot prize of more than $163,000.
Beginning today, an automatic pay raise kicks in for many Pennsylvania lawmakers. The boost for the pay of the state's rank-and-file legislators will be just under $8000. The total will push yearly salaries to just over $95,000 annually. Elected caucus leaders' salaries will range from nearly $109,000 to just under $149,000 for Republican House Speaker Bryan Cutler and Republican Senate President Jake Corman.
Protestors from a Harrisburg-based group will be among bus loads going to Washington, DC today as the U.S. Supreme Court considers an abortion court case. Pennsylvania Family Institute president Michael Greer says he and other pro-life supporters from across the Keystone State will be gathering outside the Supreme Court to pray as the Dobbs versus Jackson case is considered. The challenge from a Mississippi court would ban abortions after 15 weeks and is seen as an effort to overturn Roe vs. Wade.
Results of a survey released this week suggest that if you're a resident of Pennsylvania, you may be celebrating the holidays with window candles. A Michigan-based home builder put together numbers from a 1000 person survey and a review of Google search terms by state to look at holiday decorating habits. They found that Pennsylvanians were responsible for the second-most internet searches when it came to Christmas decorations and that their favorite kinds of decorations were those window candles.