A Monroe County family has been wiped out after a Thursday morning crash. Alexis Robinson, who was driving the car, her husband Darrell and their 16-year-old daughter Tahlia were all killed in the accident that happened on Route 33 around 1:30 Thursday morning. Investigators say it appears the Robinson's vehicle had been rear-ended, but there's no word yet on whether any charges will be filed. Route 33 North was closed for more than eight hours Thursday morning because of the crash. The Robinson family had lived in Blakeslee.
In Bethlehem Thursday, Gov. Tom Wolf called on lawmakers to apply some of the $2.2 billion in unused federal pandemic relief money to expand the state's property tax/rent rebate program. "We do have American Rescue Plan money that was given to Pennsylvania. We got $7 billion. We still have $2.25 billion of that money sitting there, in our account. It's going to go back to Washington if we don't use it for Pennsylvanians," the governor says. Wolf would like to allocate $204 million of that money to the plan. He says it would bump the annual rebate for seniors and the disabled to about $475. Right now, about 466,000 Pennsylvanians receive the assistance.
Two firefighters were injured while battling a Wednesday afternoon apartment building fire in Whitehall Township. It happened at the Spring Ridge Apartments building in the 1300 block of North 14th Street. One firefighter fell down a flight of stairs, was taken to the hospital and released. A second firefighter was shocked while working the fire and waiting to have the electricity pulled. The firefighter was treated on scene. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
A 76-year-old Emmaus man who had been missing for three days has been found safe. Norman Waterstradt was last seen around 6:30 Monday evening in the area of Route 873 in North Whitehall Township, but State Police say he was found safe at an undisclosed location around 8:30 last night.
Democrat St. Rep. Chris Rabb wants to study how well some state employees would do with a four-day work week. The Philadelphia lawmaker says the pandemic has changed how people think about a work-life balance and has called for a cost-benefit analysis for the idea. Rabb says previous studies have found the 32-hour week increases productivity and reduces workers' stress, but he wants to make sure services wouldn't be impacted.
State Auditor General Tim DeFoor says the office is ending regular audits of school districts. According to DeFoor budget cuts over the last ten years are preventing him from continuing to closely monitor schools. Looking into district spending will now be handled by Pennsylvania's Education Department.
New Jersey regulators have delayed a vote on letting some medical marijuana dispensaries to begin selling recreational marijuana. The move probably delays the start of legal adult-use marijuana sales in New Jersey until mid-May or summer. Members of the commission overseeing the launch of the recreational marijuana sales program said yesterday they're still researching questions about the supply of marijuana and access for medical patients.
Federal funding for COVID-19 testing programs and treatment sites comes to an end next Tuesday. This means any New Jerseyans who do not have health insurance need to get their vaccination or their booster shot by Tuesday or they'll wind up paying for their shots. The Biden administration says it has run out of money for the program or for any additional shots the CDC may yet recommend. State health officials say it's too soon to tell what size impact the cutoff in funding will have on New Jersey's program.
For the third time in six years, Villanova has advanced to the Elite Eight. The Wildcats beat Michigan 63-55 Thursday night. Head coach Jay Wright liked his team's grit. "I was proud of our toughness, but we've got more work to do," Wright says. Villanova will play Houston Saturday, with the winner advancing to the Final Four.