Gov. Wolf joined with several other Governors urging Congress to pass legislation addressing this increase in price by suspending the gas tax until the end of the year, according to a press release. “Like most Americans, Pennsylvanians are grappling with rising gas prices as they navigate paying for other household needs, from their rent or mortgage to groceries and other necessities,” Gov. Wolf said.
Senate President Jake Corman has called for a temporary 50-percent cut to Pennsylvania's gas tax. "Right now, it's important for government to step up. We can do this and not hurt the motor license fund in a way that would hurt jobs or hurt projects because obviously maintain our roadways," Corman says. Corman called the ongoing price jumps at gas stations across the country an emergency. He says the gas tax in Pennsylvania, currently at about 58-cents per gallon, could be sliced in half with a combination of a federal tax holiday, allowing PennDOT to borrow to pay for road projects and using federal COVID funding to help with ongoing road work. He's also proposed the gas tax revenue not be used to help fund the state police. The proposal, according to Corman, is for the reduced gas tax plan to be in effect for nine months.
Gov. Phil Murphy is prohibiting New Jersey government dealings with businesses associated with Russia. He signed legislation last night, saying New Jersey cannot stand by idly as a "tin-pot" dictator invades Ukraine. It's been two weeks since Russia launched its attacks against Ukraine, forcing people to flee. The legislations also bans New Jersey from doing business with Belarus, who is considered a Russian ally.
Accusations against a Bethlehem pool installer are even worse than before. The Northampton County DA says Roger Kornfeind may have bilked customers out of more than a million dollars. Terry Houck says Kornfeind was paid for work not performed for nearly 80 clients in Pennsylvania and New jersey. More people have come forward to file charges after he was originally charged with similar crimes in January. Officials are still looking into what Kornfeind did with the money he allegedly stole. Houck says he's never seen anything of this magnitude in his 44-year career.
Bethlehem Township police want your help in finding a 47-year-old man charged with sexual assault of a child. Dominick Oliveira is charged with sex crimes with a child that happened last summer. A nationwide extraditable warrant was issued for his arrest. Oliveira is 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighs 160 pounds, has brown eyes and gray or partially gray hair. He may be driving a white 2007 Dodge Sprinter with a Pennsylvania license plate ZRS2845 or a silver 1999 Honda Accord with a Pennsylvania plate LWF2295.
Saturday's weather forecast is not exactly an award-winner. "I think the rain starts after midnight Friday night, sometime between midnight and 3am. It's raining at daybreak Saturday morning and probably rains up until 10 or 11 o'clock but by lunchtime I think it's probably going over to snow and by four or five o'clock it's all done," says Accu-Weather's Joe Lundberg. He says one-to-three inches of snow could fall Saturday, mainly laying only on untreated surfaces and grassy areas.
There are new numbers on the Pennsylvania Republican Senate race. A new Fox News poll is showing David McCormick is pulling ahead of Dr. Mehmet Oz. The poll found McCormick with 24 percent of the GOP primary vote compared to Oz's 15 percent for Pennsylvania's Senate primary. All other Republican candidates polled in the single digits. The survey was conducted with nearly a thousand Pennsylvania Republicans responding.
A case that deals with the way schools are funded in Pennsylvania may finally be wrapping up in Commonwealth Court. At issue is whether state spending for schools is adequate and equal for underprivileged students. The case was first filed almost seven years ago. Attorneys are expected to finish up the trial portion of the lawsuit today, but a final ruling isn't expected until at least summer.
In PIAA boys basketball state tournament action, Executive Education blew out String Theory 75-36. Northampton beat Methacton in a 50-49 overtime thriller. Notre Dame-Green Pond fell to Math, Civics, Sciences 78-73. Penn Wood eliminated Parkland 60-50. The Pocono Mountain West-Abington game was postponed because of poor weather. On the girls side, Bangor beat Pittston 40-39. Greencastle eliminated Bethlehem Catholic 46-42. Jim Thorpe blew out Freire Charter 48-23.
When the MLB lockout gets resolved, you'll soon be hearing new and different color commentators for the Philadelphia Phillies. The team has replaced Kevin Frandsen with four former players. Michael Bourn, Chad Durbin, Erik Kratz and Kevin Stocker will rotate alongside longtime play-by-play man Scott Franzke for road games in 2022. Larry Andersen will continue to provide color for all home games. Frandsen left to take a broadcasting job with the Washington Nationals.