Both of Pennsylvania's senators voted in favor of gun control legislation Thursday, known as the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act. Republican Pat Toomey issued a statement reading, "The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act isn't a gun control bill. It's commonsense legislation to strengthen background checks, provide federal assistance for state crisis intervention programs, enhance penalties for gun trafficking and straw purchases, and invest in school safety and mental health." Democrat Bob Casey writes, "It's the most significant legislation to begin to tackle gun violence in nearly three decades. Americans deserve to feel safe in schools, grocery stores, synagogues, churches, and communities," he said in a statement.
The Supreme Court rules Americans have the right to carry guns in public for self-defense; a decision that could eviscerate New Jersey's restrictive gun laws. The court's six conservative justices voted to overturn the New York law, which allowed local licensing officials the discretion to refuse carry permit applications if the applicant couldn't show a special need for self-protection. The ruling does not specifically overturn New Jersey's carry permit application process, which similarly says that residents must detail their "urgent necessity for self-protection" and gives police and the courts a wide scope to reject requests. Meanwhile, the New Jersey state Senate voted Thursday to move forward on another set of gun laws that would ban 50 caliber rifles, crack down on ghost guns, require firearms training and mandate microstamping.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons says a man who was involved in Allentown's pay-to-play scheme may get to leave prison early. Former political consultant Michael Fleck had been sentenced to five years in prison in 2019 for tax evasion for his role in the former Allentown and Reading mayors' pay-to-play schemes. Fleck had reportedly asked for a reduced sentence because he suffers from health conditions that make him more at-risk of getting COVID. He was transferred to community confinement Wednesday and his projected release date is October 19th of this year.
Lehigh Valley International Airport had a big month of May in terms of passenger traffic. LVIA says more than 83,000 passengers used the airport last month, a 16-percent increase over May 2021 and the biggest May number since 2004.
A jackpot-winning Pennsylvania Lottery Cash 5 with Quick Cash ticket for Wednesday night's drawing was sold in Lehigh County. The ticket, sold at the Whitehall Mini Mart on Lehigh Street in Whitehall, matched all five balls drawn to win more than $1.4 million. The mini mart earns a $10,000 bonus for selling the winning ticket.
Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella has been denied, once again, early release from prison. Ciavarella appealed for early release due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but a U.S. District Judge denied the request because, in part, the judge says Ciavarella continues to downplay the seriousness of his crimes. Civarella is one of two judges convicted of taking millions of dollars in exchange for shipping hundreds of juvenile offenders to for-profit institutions.
The Biden administration is working with eleven states to build more wind turbines on the East Coast. The President says it'll mean more than cleaner, cheaper energy. "When I see climate and environment I think jobs, and these are good-paying jobs and they're making a big, big difference," the President says. Both Pennsylvania and New Jersey are among the eleven states in the wind partnership.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health has reported a drop of about 8000 COVID cases this week as compared with seven days ago. There were a little over 12,000 additional coronavirus cases this week. There were 1,025 people hospitalized according to the latest report, with 109 in intensive care, and 54 on ventilators.
The governor of Pennsylvania is calling for the state's 10th District congressional representative to resign. Republican Scott Perry has been accused by the committee looking into the January 6th riots at the U.S. Capitol of being part of the effort to overthrow the presidential election results. Gov. Tom Wolf on Thursday tweeted the committee's findings are clear that Perry drove "a brazen attempt" to corrupt the U.S. Justice Department and that the governor encourages him to "do the right thing and resign."
Pennsylvania's new state budget's due in one week and it's a bit of an 'odd' spending situation. The commonwealth is running a $4.9 9 billion surplus. There's also close to $3 billion in the rainy day fund, and another $2 billion in American Rescue Plan money. "We could put money in the Rainy Day Fund. We also have to make sure we're not hoarding excessive amounts of money that could go to our schools and in turn help our property taxpayers," says St. Rep. Matt Bradford, who is the Democratic Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. Meanwhile, Republican Seth Grove says having extra money should not mean spending more. "It's a lot of money and having a lot of money creates a lot more problems than trying to close out a deficit," Grove says.
Allen High School grad Tyrese Martin was drafted 51st overall by the Golden State Warriors in last night's NBA Draft. Martin, who finished his college career at the University of Connecticut was then immediately traded by the NBA champs to the Atlanta Hawks. Martin averaged more than 13 points and seven rebounds this year with UConn.
Allen High grad Tyrese Martin was drafted by Golden State with the 51st pick in last night's NBA Draft. ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas likes Martin's game. "Tyrese Martin is a shooter. A big, strong-bodies swingman. He got an invite to the NBA Combine and did well there. He's a strong, explosive wing who shot 43-percent from '3' and has shown a good deal of talent in the open court," Bilas says. While the Warriors drafted Martin, he won't play there. Golden State almost immediately traded Martin to the Atlanta Hawks.