Accu-Weather's Joe Lundberg says we're still on track to get some snow this weekend. "It looks like the snow gets underway sometime after dark tomorrow night and lasts into Saturday morning and goes away Saturday afternoon. So it's probably an 18 hour event, somewhere in that neighborhood," Lundberg says. Right now, Lundberg expects three-to-six inches of snow in the Lehigh Valley, with the three inches a more likely snowfall than the six. Up in the Poconos, there may be virtually nothing from this storm, while down at the Jersey Shore, they could get a foot of snow.
Fire crews battled a three-alarm house blaze Wednesday morning near the Westgate Mall. The fire was reported at about 10:30 on Oakside Circle, near Jacksonville Road and Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hanover Township, Northampton County. While the home sustained severe damage, there are no injuries reported.
An outbreak of syphilis in Allentown has prompted the Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center and the Allentown Health Bureau to expand access to free testing. A total of 76 cases of syphilis were reported in the city lsat year. The Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center currently offers sexual health screenings but now, the Allentown Health Bureau has added screening for syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia every first and third Tuesday of the month from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the center at 522 West Maple Street in Allentown. The Allentown Health Bureau also says it will offer a testing clinic for syphilis on Wednesday, February 2 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at 245 North 6th Street in Allentown. The Health Bureau already offers syphilis testing by appointment every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon, as part of its Sexually Transmitted Disease clinic.
Eleven people are competing to fill an open seat on the Bethlehem city council and there will be a council vote next Tuesday to fill it. The seat opened up when William Reynolds won the mayoral election this past November. Applicants, who need votes from three council members to earn the position, must be Bethlehem residents who have lived in the city for at least a year. City Council members are paid $7100 annually.
We're learning a bit more about renovations planned in the middle of Easton. As part of renovations at Easton's Centre Square, green traffic lights will be installed at the traffic circle there. Renovations are expected to begin in March and among the changes expected by this summer is a new pattern for traffic lights. Instead of just red or blinking yellow lights, green lights will be coming to the circle, perhaps as soon as June. When renovations begin, the inner lane of traffic will temporarily remain closed.
Gov. Tom Wolf has vetoed a congressional map sent to him by Republican lawmakers. In his veto message, Wolf said the map failed "the test of fundamental fairness." With the governor's veto, the state judicial system is now likely to have the final say. The Commonwealth Court will host hearings today and Friday to consider alternative proposals. It could issue a ruling as soon as January 30th, the original deadline it set for Wolf and the legislature to come to an agreement, but redistricting observers expect the decision to be appealed to the state Supreme Court.
Governor Tom Wolf has pushed up the deadline for raising the minimum wage for state employees. The governor amended an executive order from five years ago ordering that beginning next Monday, the minimum wage for employees of the commonwealth will reach $15-per-hour. The wage for state employees has been steadily increasing since the original executive order was signed in March 2016 and it was to have reached $15-per-hour in 2024. The increase affects roughly one-and-a-half million workers around the state, or about 25-percent of state employees.
Gov. Tom Wolf has signed off on legislation that sets aside $225 million of American Rescue Plan money to help Pennsylvania's health care workforce, with much of that money heading to hospitals to help them recruit and retain workers. The governor says both sides of the aisle agreed to the plan. "I'm proud to be here with this bipartisan group. Yes, there are a lot of things we don't agree on, but when we agree, we can actually work together," Wolf said. The bill also includes $15 million that will be heading towards a program to help nurses with student-loan debt.
Yuengling's Ice Cream Corp. has agreed to buy a manufacturing facility where it will produce its own desserts and other brands. The ice cream company, which is separate from the famed Pottsville-based brewery, isn't saying where the facility will be built nor how much it will cost. The company says additional details will be released in a few weeks.
Today is the deadline for health care workers in New Jersey to get their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Gov. Phil Murphy earlier in the month announced the vaccine is now required without a testing option for health care workers. They must get their first dose by the end of today and be fully vaccinated by February 28th. They will also be required to get booster shots. There are medical and religious exemptions.
New Jersey Democrats are dropping former Senate President Steve Sweeney from the state's redistricting committee. Chairman Leroy Jones decided Wednesday to appoint Burlington County native Laura Matos to the seat. Newark Mayor Ras Baraka is applauding the move, saying Matos has been an advocate for issues impacting cities like Newark. The apportionment commission is responsible for redrawing the lines of New Jersey's 40 legislative districts.
Philadelphia Eagles guard Brandon Brooks has retired after ten years in the NFL, the final six in Philadelphia. Brooks says he'll always be an Eagle. "I was extremely fortunate to help bring a championship to the city, to have multiple Pro Bowl appearances, but none greater than the honor of being an Eagle and putting the midnight green on and playing in front of the greatest fans in the world," Brooks said. Brooks retires after playing 122 regular season and playoff games, the last 69 with the Eagles. He earned three Pro Bowl nods in his career.