People gathered outside the courthouse in Jim Thorpe Thursday to show support for the people of Ukraine, including one woman who has family there. "I have family in Ukraine. I have friends in Ukraine in the western part of Ukraine. I just spoke with them yesterday and they said they could hear bombs in the western part of Ukraine," the woman says. She says the situation in Ukraine is "horrible, beyond words."
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is ordering state government agencies to cut off ties with Russian entities because of the country's invasion of Ukraine. "Russia, sadly for the Russian people, is led by a thug, who is murdering innocent Ukrainians," Murphy says. New Jersey has one of the largest Ukrainian-American populations in the country.
Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom will stop accepting cash and coins this season. The park has moved to all cashless payments, either credit card, debit card or smart device with Apple Pay or Google Pay. The amusement park accepts Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express credit cards, and most debit cards. Other parks owned by Dorney Park parent company Cedar Fair also will stop accepting cash for the 2022 season, including Cedar Point in Ohio and Kings Dominion in Virginia.
Police in Easton are looking for information about gunshots Wednesday. It happened in the area of North Locust Street and Prospect Avenue just after 6 p.m. Police believe the shooting happened after a fight around the basketball court involving a large group of teens. Police are looking for a black male between the ages of 16 and 18 who was wearing a blue sweatshirt, black pants and white shoes and who fled south toward Northampton Street.
A section of Riverton Road in Upper Mount Bethel Township could be closed for quite a while after a rock “the size of a small car” fell onto it. That has prompted concerns about an unstable hillside and more falling rocks. The township is now trying to figure out how to prevent it from happening again.
Northampton County Executive Lamont McClure says that even with a recent tax cut, the county will maintain the same surplus it had at this point last year. At Thursday's County Council meeting, McClure said the county had a $61 million fund balance on the books. He says counting for reduced revenue after the tax cut, that would leave the county with exactly the same $54 million it had for 2021. He called such balance "extremely solid fiscal and financial management."
Wind Creek Bethlehem announced that it will open a 10,000-square-foot escape room on the lower level of The Outlets at Wind Creek. Trap Door Escape's escape room is set to open in September 2022.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro is issuing an advisory to car dealerships against engaging in unfair and deceptive practices. The warning comes after an increase in complaints from consumers. Industry experts say with new and used cars in short supply due to a semi-conductor shortage, the market may be ripe for shady dealers to take advantage of buyers. Shapiro sent out a reminder warning about fair practices that are within the rights of the law. Those include honoring the terms of lease contracts, advertising cars at their actual prices, and not increasing the after a deal has been accepted, unless it involves new equipment or taxes.
The Anti-Defamation League in Philadelphia says that in 2021, white supremacist groups distributed propaganda at an historically high rate across Pennsylvania. They say the highest level of activity happened after more than 470 incidents were reported. That's nearly double the number from the year before. The group's regional director says 90 percent of the propaganda distributed was the work of a group called the Patriot Front. He says that group also requires its members to distribute propaganda as part of a weekly quota.
Nearly two-million tax payers in New Jersey could be getting a rebate. Yesterday, Gov. Phil Murphy introduced a $900 million program called "Affordable New Jersey Communities for Homeowners and Renters," which will be referred to as ANCHOR. Each year, ANCHOR would give homeowners an average of $700 and an average of $250 to renters. Murphy says he doesn't want property taxes to force people out of great communities.
The New Jersey Attorney General's office is expanding the state's Auto Theft Task Force. Speaking to other law enforcement officials on Thursday, acting AG Matthew Platkin cited the rise in auto thefts across the state. He says stolen cars are being used to commit more violent crimes, like shootings. He urged local law enforcement agencies to add a new officer to the Auto Theft Task Force, saying intelligence sharing will help the state drive down these numbers and keep crime down.
The Philadelphia 76ers are adding some size to their roster. The team signed DeAndre Jordan after he cleared league waivers on Thursday. Jordan started the season with the Los Angeles Lakers, but was released Tuesday. The 33-year-old center will slide into the backup center spot, after the 76ers dealt Andre Drummond at the trade deadline.