Here's what's trending for February 18.


Accu-Weather's Joe Lundberg said it would get very windy overnight and it did. "When the front came through, we had wind gusts over 45 miles-per-hour," Lundberg says. He says those strong winds will lessen a bit as the day moves along but could pick up again tomorrow with more wind gusts in the neighborhood of 40 miles per hour.

We're told strong winds have brought a tree down onto a home on First Street in Emmaus. Those strong winds are also causing power issues. As of 7am, PPL reported more than 27,000 customers without service. 8300 of those customers live in Lehigh or Northampton counties. First Energy is reporting more than 43,000 of its customers are in the dark right now, nearly 1000 of whom are in either Lehigh or Northampton counties.

State Police in both Monroe County and Lehigh County are investigating two road rage incidents that happened within hours of one another earlier this week. The first incident happened Wednesday night when a 75-year-old man was driving on I-78 in Lehigh County when he noticed a driver in a Dodge Charger aggressively following him. The man says he then saw the other driver pull a gun. Trooper Nathan Branosky explains what happened next. "He got to a safe location at the Hellertown exit where he got out of his vehicle and there were bullet holes in the bumper of his vehicle," Branosky says. The victim then drove to State Police barracks to file a report. The second incident happened a few hours later in Monroe County when a man says he was being followed by a SUV driven by 42-year-old Kyle Dietz. The two eventually got into an argument and Dietz fired a shot. Nobody was hurt, but police arrested Dietz, who they say was drunk at the time of the incident.

State health officials say while the COVID case rate across the commonwealth is down, the daily rate is still higher than last year despite an 87 percent drop. The Pennsylvania Department of Health says the Lehigh Valley has seen an even more dramatic decline in case numbers. The local rate dropped nearly 95 percent from a high of almost 25-hundred daily cases on January 12th. The valley's rate at the same point last year was nearly twice that. There were 130 daily cases Wednesday.

Northampton County may life its mask requirement at most county facilities next week. At Thursday night's County Council meeting, County Executive Lamont McClure said the mandate may be lifted. Masks would still be required at Gracedale Nursing Home and Northampton County Prison.

New Jersey state corrections officials say some 1600 officers are seeking an exemption to the state's COVID-19 vaccine mandate. By the vaccine mandate's deadline Wednesday, almost 4000 officers had not submitted their vaccine status or had requested exceptions. Officials say they'll begin distributing termination notices Monday. Police union officials say they've been told jails in Essex and Monmouth counties have accepted all exemption requests.

The Northampton County District Attorney's Office is announcing a guilty plea in the overdose death of Joseph Dell’Alba in Nazareth Borough last February. 32-year-old Scott Guth pleaded guilty Thursday to charges in relation to the death of Dell’Alba. Nazareth Borough Police were called to the 400 block of W. High Street one year ago for a narcotics overdose. Upon arrival, police say they found Dell’Alba in cardiac arrest.

If you use the state's online system to file your unemployment claim, you could have trouble doing so this weekend. The Department of Labor & Industry says you should expect intermittent outages due to routine maintenance. L&I said the maintenance project will begin Saturday morning and end Monday evening. During that time, public access to both the online and phone systems administered by the department will be limited.

Demonstrators in Harrisburg have been calling for the state to bar gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano from the Pennsylvania primary ballot. They also want a related investigation into whether U.S. Rep. Scott Perry should also be barred as well. The demonstrators say those actions are called for based on what they say are the candidates' "insurrectionist" moves involving the January 6th, 2021 attacks on the U.S. Capitol. The demonstrators are part of a national group that wants to bar former President Trump and Trump-associated candidates from future elections because of their roles in efforts to stop the certification of the 2020 presidential election. The group justifies its argument on part of the 14th Amendment, which bars officials from holding federal or state office if they "have engaged in insurrection or rebellion."

Penn State is considering a hike on room and board costs. University leaders have proposed a three-and-a-half percent increase beginning next school year. The higher rate would mean around $212 more per semester. The plan was approved by trustees yesterday and is expected to go to the board for a final vote today.

Knoebels will open their 2022 season on Saturday, April 30th. Officials announced the opening, along with information on hundreds of new hire and re-hire positions available at the park. Knoebels is offering increased wages this season and a new bonus program. Details can be found online at www.knoebels.com. The amusement venue, which was founded in 1928, is the nation's largest free-admission park.


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