Gov. Tom Wolf says he's angry. "I'm angry because today the right to bodily autonomy, a right that has been enshrined into law for more than a generation, is under attack. I am angry because the right to privacy in this nation is under attack," the governor says. That's the governor's reaction to the leaked Supreme Court document indicating the court may be prepared to overturn Roe vs. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide in 1973. Speaking in Philadelphia, the governor said, "We must do more to protect the rights of women and pregnant people in Pennsylvania and in every state across the country that doesn't have a governor willing to wield their veto pen."
The landscape of Easton will be changing dramatically. The Easton Planning Commission has approved the development plan for The Marquis, a seven-story mixed-use building planned for 27 S. Third St. The building will take up the block between Pine and Ferry streets and replace the current Pine Street Garage. The ground floor of The Marquis will have commercial space, the first two levels behind the storefronts will be dedicated to 305 parking spaces, the third story will have two courtyards, one with a pool and picnic area for residents and the other with a dog park. The project is on track to begin work next spring, with the first units going up for sale by the end of 2024.
A 74-year-old Moore Township man will spend the rest of his life in prison after admitting that he killed his neighbor over a water runoff dispute. Joseph Harvilla pled guilty Wednesday to shooting 42-year-old Christopher Debellis in March 2021 and was immediately given that life sentence. Harvilla and Debellis had a longstanding dispute over a water drainage pipe near their properties, which led to the killing. Harvilla murdered his neighbor and then shot himself, but survived.
A popular Bethlehem brewery is expanding to Easton. Seven Sirens co-owner Joshua Divers says taking over the former Separatist space at the Simon Silk Mill offers many additional opportunities. "We have much more storage that we can grow into. We have a bunch of barrels that we'll be growing as part of our sour program," Divers says. The 6,000-square-foot space will start out with a beer garden, beers on tap, production space, and cans to go. Eventually, a permanent bar and full kitchen will be added, something they don't have at their current Bethlehem location.
Disability advocates and independent living centers in Pennsylvania have filed an Amicus brief with the state Supreme Court. It centers on long-term care services for people with disabilities. The brief objects to an alleged overuse of guardianship under state law for disabled and older individuals. Advocates say the issue affects every Pennsylvanian that may be at risk of having their rights restricted or removed due to age or disability.
Pennsylvania is among the top states to receive millions of dollars in federal wildlife funding. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Pennsylvania will receive over $1.5 million to support the state's stewardship of its natural resources and to preserve habitat for wildlife. Since the federal program was launched 20 years ago, it has given more than $1 billion to conservation projects across the country.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro says some Pennsylvania residents will soon receive a different kind of tax refund. Shapiro announced yesterday the state will get a portion of a federal settlement connected to alleged unfair business practices with popular preparation software, Turbotax. The attorney general says parent company, Intuit, deceived users by advertising a free service and then later collecting fees. Around 150,000 eligible users in Pennsylvania will be notified and sent payments of around $30 by mail for each year they paid fees to the company.