Here's what's trending for July 1.

Police in Northampton County are investigating a homicide. The Lehigh Township Police Department and the Pennsylvania State Police are calling the death of 67-year-old Michael Powers a murder. Police were sent to a home at the 4000 block of Lower Three Mile Lane in Lehigh Township around 7 o'clock Wednesday night. The cause of death is not being released at this time due to the investigation, according to the coroner. Northampton County District Attorney Terence Houck says there's no evidence suggesting this was a random act, and he sees no cause for concern to the public at this time.

A 75-year-old Allentown man died Wednesday afternoon from injuries suffered May 9 in a crash on MacArthur Road in Whitehall Township. Roger Reinhart died at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Salisbury Township from complications of rib fractures. Reinhart was driving a vehicle that collided with another vehicle just after 10:30 a.m. May 9 in the 1000 block of MacArthur Road. The crash remains under investigation.

ArtsQuest is offering a special one-day ticket sale for many of its summer events. The flash sale is set for Saturday from 12-5 p.m. Discounted tickets will be available for 2022 Musikfest headliners, SteelStacks Summer Concert Series, and other food and festival experiences. Guests can get tickets 50% off their full price. Tickets must be purchased in person from the ArtsQuest box office at 101 Founders Way in Bethlehem.

The Easton Area Public Library announced this month that it is a now a fine-free library. Patrons of the library at 515 Church St. and its Palmer Township branch at Weller Place will no longer have to pay fines for overdue items. While the library will no longer apply fines for overdue materials, there is still a due date for checked-out items and the library says individuals will not be able to check out additional materials if they have items that are overdue.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike projects more than 5.8 million drivers will use the Turnpike over the upcoming 10-day holiday driving period. That number is almost 100,000 more than last year's tally. The busiest Turnpike travel day is expected to be today, with a projected 715,000 vehicles expected on the Turnpike.

State health officials say the number of reported COVID cases is up slightly from last week. The total number of new cases increased about seven percent from the number reported previously. There were just under 15,000 new cases reported between June 15th and June 21st. Right now, a little over 1000 residents have been admitted to hospitals in the state.

A plan to add tolls to bridges on nine major Pennsylvania interstates has come to a halt. A state court on Thursday said PennDOT and state officials did not properly follow the law to establish the controversial plan. Judge Ellen Ceisler of the Commonwealth Court wrote in her decision that officials didn't consult with potentially affected cities before they approved adding tolling to all state bridges, and not just a set list.

Lawmakers in Harrisburg have not been able to reach a decision on a state budget before Thursday's deadline. State officials say the budget talks have been deadlocked on several spending issues, most notably on the amount of new aid to be spent on public schools. Without new budget legislation signed into law by today, the state will lose the authority to make some payments. However, officials say the impasse can last several weeks before any effect on services is felt.

Pennsylvania State Police says there are a few simple things to keep in mind when buying fireworks this Fourth of July weekend. Residents can only buy and use only "class c" or "consumer-grade" fireworks. These include firecrackers, Roman candles, bottle rockets and similar items that contain a maximum of 50 milligrams of explosive material. Fireworks stands are licensed by the state department of agriculture and you need to be at least 18 to purchase them.

Officials say it's best to have a plan for emergencies before you put your boat in the water this holiday weekend. Officials say you should explore the lay of a waterway ahead of time so you can be better prepared to know where to go and also include life jackets and fire extinguishers in your prep gear. Authorities will be out patrolling for drunk boaters, which could result in fines or even losing boating privileges.

A bill to simplify hiring police officers for Pennsylvania's college campuses has passed through state House of Representatives. House Bill 1988 would allow a campus officer to be immediately employed by a state campus police force rather than having to go through the long process of getting a commission from the governor via the state Department of Education. The bill would also let state campus police officers wear body cameras. It now goes to the senate for consideration.

The 76ers are adding a veteran forward via NBA free agency. The Athletic reports Philadelphia is signing P.J. Tucker to a three-year deal worth $33.2 millions. The 37-year-old joins another Eastern Conference contender after playing for the Bucks and heat the past two seasons. ESPN reports the Sixers also signed guards Danuel House and Trevelin Queen to contracts. Philly is also set to meet with 10-time all-star James Harden over the weekend to negotiate his new deal.

After 630 minor league games, including the past 192 with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Darick Hall was called up to the big leagues Wednesday and Thursday night he picked up his first and second hits, both of which were home runs. "It just felt good to get the monkey off your back. You're here to produce so it felt good. I felt like I was able to help the team," Hall said. Hall's two homers helped the Phillies rout Atlanta 14-4. The Phillies continue their homestand tonight against St. Louis.

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