We're learning more about what led to a teenager getting shot during Heritage Day fireworks in Easton. Police Chief Carl Scalzo says more than a dozen teenagers on bikes had a confrontation with police, claiming the police are racist, cursing at the officers while recording the whole encounter. Scalzo says his department will not back away from doing its job. "I'd rather be called a racist for stopping these kids from killing themselves than be called a racist for doing nothing. We're going to put our body cameras on so they can watch everything we do," Scalzo says. Scalzo tells us one group had a confrontation with another, which led to the shooting. The shooter remains at large. Their victim is reportedly not cooperating with the investigation. Meanwhile, Easton Mayor Sal Panto says the city is considering ending Heritage Day celebrations at dusk.
The Allentown Planning Commission has approved a developer's request to revamp the historic Neuweiler Brewery on North Front Street. The commission says the redevelopment is part of their plans for an "Allentown renaissance". The development would include a seven-story building with 286 apartment units, 38,000 square feet of retail space, a parking garage and amenities such as a pool, gym and conference space. The building has been vacant since the brewery closed in 1968 and has fallen into disrepair. Allentown City Council will have the final say on what happens with the property.
Wind Creek Bethlehem's employees are being offered benefits to help offset inflation. Wind Creek Hospitality said it's giving a one-time cash stipend to all full- and part-time employees to help with the rising cost of groceries and gas and is also rolling out flexible schedule arrangements where possible, like working a shorter week with longer days. Wind Creek says the goal is to cut down on the number of times employees have to drive to and from work or get childcare. The company said details would be shared with employees later this month.
The Dutch Springs aqua park has been sold for $16.1 million. The sale clears the way for building two warehouses and allows scuba diving to continue in the park's quarry lake.
Gas prices in Pennsylvania continue tumbling. The statewide average for a gallon of unleaded was $4.77 as of Tuesday, down 11 cents from the previous week. It still remains $1.55 higher than July 12, 2021 however. In the Lehigh Valley, the average price Tuesday stood at $4.67 a gallon, 12 cents lower than the week prior but $1.52 more than the same date one year ago.
The Allentown Fair is taking applications and conducting interviews to work in various departments at the upcoming fair. The Fair has positions available in several departments such as parking, gates, maintenance and competitive exhibits. Candidates must be 18 years or older to be eligible. Those interested should contact the Fair Office at 610-433-7541 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. This year's Great Allentown Fair runs Wednesday, August 31 through Labor Day Monday, September 5.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf has vetoed Republican legislation to stop cities and towns from writing new building codes that restrict certain utility service. It would have been based on the energy source, including natural gas. In his veto message to lawmakers, the governor says the measure takes away "local decision-making" from municipalities that want to address climate change. Many cities are going to all- electric building codes in that effort.
Farmers are getting increased help from the state's new $45 billion budget. It comes in the way of improving water quality and recovering from the spring's avian influenza outbreak. The budget creates a clean streams fund that will route $220 million in federal American Rescue Plan funding to farm conservation and urban stormwater projects. Officials say the funds will help the state meet goals to help clean up its agriculture runoff into the Chesapeake Bay.
The new Pennsylvania state budget includes some incentives to help the state's film-making industry. The new tax code officially increased the film tax incentive from $70 to $100 million. The budget also provided for $5 million to go to Pennsylvania film producers.
New legislation is expected to be signed into law soon that will change fertilizer use as applied to turf areas, such as lawns, golf courses and athletic fields. Senate Bill 251 sets clear standards for fertilizer application to turf. Bagged do-it-yourself fertilizer will not be able to contain phosphorus unless it is labeled for the establishment or repair of a lawn that requires phosphorus. Supporters say the measure will help cut down on excess nitrogen or phosphorus that can get into surface streams and lakes.