On Christmas Day 2005 a large chunk of ice flew off a passing box truck and crashed through the windshield of the vehicle of Frank and Christine Lambert. Christine was killed and ever since, her widower and son along with St. Sen. Lisa Boscola have been pushing legislation that would mandate all drivers remove snow and ice from their vehicles before heading out on the road. "I don't want to see what we had to see that day. It's something that we'll never get out of our minds and there are some nights that I will sit up in bed like it's happening all over again after all this time. It doesn't go away," says Frank Lambert. He says he's very pleased the bill, known as "Christine's Law" has finally been approved and awaits Gov. Tom Wolf's signature. If the governor signs it, the law would allow police to pull over vehicles that have a dangerous build-up of snow and ice and levy fines against the driver.
The overdue state budget is halfway home. In a 180-20 vote, the state House has approved a $43 billion budget, that includes almost $750 million increases in basic education funding. Under the plan, the Allentown School District would receive $37.8 million more in funding and the Bethlehem Area School District would get an additional $9.8 million, both the biggest increases ever for those districts according to today's Morning Call. Also in line for big increases are the East Penn and Parkland school districts which are both slated to get $2.5 million more, and the Easton Area School District, which would get $2.7 million more to spend.
The state Senate has passed a bill that will keep the PennDOT from imposing new tolls on existing state bridges. Last year, PennDOT had proposed the more than $2 billion plan and said the nine chosen bridges should be tolled to pay for repairs and maintenance. Among the bridges to have been on the list to be tolled were the I-78 Lenhartsville Bridge over the Maiden Creek in Berks County and the I-80 bridges over the Lehigh River in Carbon and Luzerne counties.
With more than half the summer to go, a local swimming pool has closed. The Cementon Pool in Whitehall Township has closed for what the township calls mechanical and safety issues. The pool will remain closed for at least the next two weeks. That closing leaves Whitehall Township with only the Hokendauqua Pool available from noon to 7 every day of the week.
A 57-year-old Phillipsburg man, who was allegedly selling heroin and other drugs in Downtown Easton, was arrested Thursday morning. Steven Lacewell, of the 500 block of South Main Street, is charged in Northampton County with several drug-related offenses. Lacewell allegedly sold heroin in controlled buys filmed by city police on at least two occasions in recent months. In one of those buys, he also allegedly sold crack cocaine.
Joe's Pizza II in Emmaus will close July 17. The Chestnut St. restaurant has been opened since June 2007. In a social media post, the restaurant owners said, "Our family has come to the conclusion that this is what's best for our family," but did not provide a specific reason for closing its doors. The pizza business started in 1992 in Trexler Mall, before opening in Emmaus, and then in Fogelsville in 2009.
Tomorrow is an especially big day at the Kutztown Folk Festival in Kutztown. Director of the festival Heather Zimmerman says the annual quilt auction begins Saturday promptly at noon and she says buyers should be prepared to shell out serious money for the quilts. "The quilt that sold for the highest amount of money ever for the festival was $15,000. The auction is a serious thing. We have collectors, we have aficionados from all over the world that want to purchase our quilts," Zimmerman says. When the festival began last week, about 1500 quilts were found inside the Quilt Barn.
A new law recently signed by Gov. Tom Wolf changes the definition of a veteran in Pennsylvania. Senate Bill 849 changes the wordings related to employment preference for veterans who have been discharged because of a medical disability.
Pennsylvania State Police are reporting fewer deadly crashes happened this past July 4th weekend than last year. Fatal wrecks were down by nearly half compared to 2021. Troopers say they investigated four deadly crashes between Friday, July 1st and Monday, July 4th. None involved alcohol.
A new bill proposed by the New Jersey legislature would require students, staff and others present at institutes of higher education to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The bill is sponsored by Democratic Assemblyman Herb Conaway Jr. and co-sponsored by Assemblyman Ralph Caputo. Students who only attend the institutes virtually would not be required to get the vaccine. If the bill becomes law, it would go into effect in the 2022-2023 school year.
New Jersey is helping expecting parents figure out personalized maternity leave. The Department of Labor has fully launched a maternity coverage timeline tool so employees can better understand the benefit coverage periods they are entitled to. The online resource will ask parents a series of questions and provide tailored advice about when they might want to take leave based on their individualized situations. Officials say nearly 7000 New Jerseyans have already used the tool before it fully launched.