When Lehigh County voters use mail-in ballot drop boxes this year, there will be more eyes on them. District Attorney Jim Martin says detectives will be keeping an eye on those drop boxes to prevent voters from breaking the law by dropping off other people's ballots. The DA says anyone seen dropping off more than one ballot could face prosecution, perhaps up to two years in jail and fines up to $2500. Martin says detectives will review video from the drop boxes and also observe in person on a limited basis. This comes after Martin said at least 288 people dropped off more than one ballot last fall. He declined to prosecute any of them, saying it was impossible to identify all those who violated election code. Lehigh County will have five ballot drop boxes again for next month's primary.
A plan to build three warehouses on the site of the former headquarters of Air Products is not being well received. A committee of the Lehigh Valley Planning Commission on Tuesday discussed increased traffic in the area and removing a solar farm on the property as reasons why the project should be studied further. One commissioner even suggested that the developer should go back to the drawing board, especially on the issue of transportation improvements. Air Products built its new headquarters about a mile away.
Pennsylvania's average high school graduation rate is 87.4-percent. The Allentown School District's is only 80.3-percent. New superintendent John Stanford intends on improving that number and says he can't do it alone. "The issues that we have to deal with when we educate our students are very, very challenging and we in the school district cannot do it by ourselves," Stanford says. Speaking to community leaders at the Americus Hotel, Stanford appealed to the community to help improve the district's performance.
The national average for the price of gas went higher last week. It did likewise in both Pennsylvania and here in the Lehigh Valley. AAA East Central says Pennsylvania's average price was $4.21 per gallon as of Tuesday, up four cents from a week earlier and $1.21 more than one year ago. In the Lehigh Valley, the average price was at $4.22 a gallon, up seven cents from a week earlier and $1.26 more than in April 2021.
UGI Utilities is set to spend more than $276 million this fiscal year to replace about 70 miles of natural gas mains. There are dozens of areas in the Lehigh Valley set to get the work, including in Allentown, Bethlehem, Coopersburg, Emmaus, Fountain Hill, Whitehall Township, Easton, Freemansburg, Nazareth, Northampton and Wilson.
Turkey Hill is recalling 48 oz. containers of its Chocolate Marshmallow Premium Ice Cream because it may contain undeclared peanuts. People with peanut allergies run the risk of life-threatening allergic reactions if they consume the product. The recalled items are limited to 385 containers and may have been bought by shoppers between April 14 and April 19. Consumers who bought the recalled ice cream can return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.
A staple at Knoebels Amusement Resort is no more. When the park opens Saturday, Cesari's Pizza won't. After four decades, the Cesari family is hanging up their aprons at their pizza shop there. Knoebels president Dick Knoebel says a brand-new pizza stand will open and just like Cesari's, it will feature all fresh ingredients, including dough made on site.