Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Department of Health added 7606 new COVID-19 cases to the statewide total, which is now 1,744,526 since the beginning of the pandemic. 100 new COVID-related deaths were also reported Wednesday, leaving the commonwealth with 33,521 so far. Statewide percent positivity for the seven days ending November 25 stood at 12.1-percent.
New Jersey Republicans are going to court over the COVID-19 entry protocols at the statehouse. The rules requiring all visitors show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test went into effect yesterday. Republican lawmakers have called the measure an overreach and unconstitutional. Democratic state Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin says lawmakers who refuse to show their vaccine status will not be allowed in sessions.
A 41-year-old man has been sentenced in a car crash that killed the CEO of a Palmer Township company earlier this year. The Northampton County district attorney's office says Daniel Zipp has been sentenced from five to ten years in state prison for the death of Joseph Lee Boucher. He was 86 and the founder and CEO of Bardot Plastics in Palmer Township. Zipp had pleaded guilty to homicide by vehicle while driving under the influence. One witness told police they saw Zipp drive into the oncoming lane of traffic and crash into Boucher's vehicle.
A man from Texas has been arrested at Lehigh Valley International Airport after a gun was found in his carry-on luggage. The Transportation Security Administration says officers spotted the nine-millimeter handgun at a security checkpoint. TSA says the gun was not loaded, but it was with a gun magazine that was loaded with 15 bullets. Passengers are permitted to travel with guns in checked baggage if they are properly packed in a hard-sided, locked case and packed separately from ammunition. That locked case also needs to be declared at an airline's ticket counter.
Allentown police are not saying what might have prompted a bomb squad response to a site in Upper Saucon Township Wednesday afternoon. Crews were called around 1:30 p.m. to the East Penn Self Storage center in Upper Saucon Township. Police haven't released any other information about the incident.
Effective Wednesday, UGI customers are going to be paying more for their natural gas service. UGI says its rates will go up by nearly 10-percent for the average customer, from $89.69 per month to $98.31 each month.
The economy has been on the radar this week on Capitol Hill. During a hearing, Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Pat Toomey said the Biden administration policies are aggravating economic problems like inflation. "The Fed has decided to continue its emergency monetary policy adding fuel to the inflationary fire long after the economic emergency has passed," Toomey said during a Senate Banking Committee hearing.
Gov. Tom Wolf has designated nearly $16 million dollars to support programs that try to stop gun and group violence across the state. The money has been routed through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency and will support community-led efforts to prevent and reduce violence. The governor announced the $24 million Violence Intervention and Prevention Grant Program in September. This is the first round of awards, with a second round expected to be announced in early 2022.
Newly released data by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation shows third-quarter profits at Pennsylvania banks increased by more than 68-percent compared to a year ago. The 135 Pennsylvania banks insured by the FDIC reported aggregate net income of $2.56 billion for the three months ending September 30. that compares to just over $1.5 billion six months ago and just under $2 billion in 2019. Federal experts say Pennsylvania's results are reflecting a national trend. Two-thirds of the over 4900 banks across the country reported a jump in profit.
The 2022 Auto Show at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex is being cancelled because of the global microchip shortage. Event organizers say due to that shortage, new vehicle inventory levels are too low to allow them to produce a quality event. The show was to have run January 27-30.