The U.S. Supreme Court has stopped a federal appeals court ruling that Lehigh County must count mail-in ballots from the November 2021 election that were received by the deadline but returned without dates on the envelope. The order came Tuesday, and could affect the outcome of several local and state races. Justice Samuel Alito issued an emergency stay on counting the 261 ballots that will remain in place until the court orders otherwise. The election in question is the race for Lehigh County judge. Republican David Ritter holds a 74 vote edge over Democrat Zachary Cohen with those 261 disputed mail-in votes not counted.
Republican U.S. Senate candidate David McCormick has filed a petition to ask for a hand-count of ballots that are being recounted in his race with Dr. Mehmet Oz. Election officials say the petition would be applied to potentially hundreds of precincts across 12 counties. The officials say there have been questions about discrepancies in those counties between the total numbers of primary votes cast and votes counted in the Senate race. Among those dozen counties in question are Bucks, Monroe and Schuylkill.
The Mehmet Oz-David McCormick recount process moves forward beginning today. The recount must begin in all 67 counties no later than today. By June 7th, that recount must be complete in all counties and then the following day, the Department of State will announce a winner of that race.
PPL Electric Utilities customers will soon see an increase in their monthly bill. Starting today, the average customer will see their bill go up by about $34 a month due to inflation and recent global economic events, according to the company. PPL says customers affected are those who get their electricity directly from PPL and not an alternate supplier. The company adds it has many programs and tools available, that customers can take advantage of if they're struggling to pay their bills.
New leadership will soon be taking over at Northampton Community College. David Ruth has been named the next president. He'll take over from Mark Erickson on July 1st. Erickson had earlier announced his retirement.
The Great Allentown Fair opens Labor Day weekend on Friday, September 2nd with a country star hitting the Grandstand. Cole Swindell will be in town for his first visit to the fair. Tickets, priced at $54, $74 and $84 go on sale June 10th at 10am. Swindell is the second concert announced for the fair. The Dropkick Murphys will be in town on Thursday, September 1st.
Demonstrators in Pittsburgh are calling for gun reform. Protesters gathered outside the office of U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey Tuesday calling for new gun laws. Among the demonstrators was Parkland, Florida school massacre survivor David Hogg. "It's not going to make a difference until people like Sen. Toomey understand that Republican grandparents and gun owners care about this issue," Hogg said. A statement from Toomey's office says he is open to working on further legislation to keep guns away from known criminals and those who suffer from dangerous mental illnesses.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy is urging Congress to act as New Jersey moves to strengthen its own gun laws following recent mass shootings. Murphy says the latest collection of bills on a state level have been waiting to be passed for more than a year. The governor says he is prepared to sign the common sense measures, which include storing a weapon separate from ammunition and requiring some training to purchase a gun. Murphy says Congress must act since roughly 80-percent of crime guns recovered in his state are from out-of-state.
Joel Embiid is using his offseason to get healthy ahead of next season. The Philadelphia 76ers say the center underwent right thumb surgery on Memorial Day. Embiid suffered a thumb injury during Philadelphia's first round playoff series and played through the injury. The 28-year-old also underwent a procedure to address an injury to his left index finger. Embiid is expected to be fully available when the 76ers start their training camp this September.