Here's what's trending for July 14

The Upper Macungie Township Zoning Hearing Board approved an Air Products special exception request for 2.61 million square feet of warehouse construction on the company's former corporate headquarters site along Hamilton Boulevard. John Landis lives nearby and isn't pleased by the decision and explains why. "That intersection is overloaded already and bringing in another 500 trips a day is going to put more pressure on that," Landis says. Many others in the community have voiced concerns about increased traffic, accidents, and pollution during the public hearing process. The project now has to start the land development process with the township planning commission before eventually going to the township supervisors for final approval.

Gov. Tom Wolf has signed a bill that will give law enforcement more power concerning illegal dirt bikes and ATVs. Many communities, including here in the Lehigh Valley, are pleased at the success of getting the law passed that would allow police to confiscate and sell or destroy these kind of vehicles that are operated on city streets. They say people illegally using the bikes and ATVs is a public safety issue, not just a nuisance one. The law, which was authored by Lehigh Valley St. Sen. Pat Browne, takes effect in 60 days.

Corey Cole Jr. has been sentenced for stealing $315,000 from the Fireman’s Relief Fund Association of Lehigh Township. The former Allentown police officer had previously admitted he took the money from the relief fund and was sentenced Wednesday to 22 months to 10 years in state prison, followed by five years of probation. Prosecutors say the 44-year-old Northampton man is eligible for A program that could get him released from jail in 16-and-a-half months. Cole took the money between 2011 and 2018, when he served as treasurer of the fund and spent some of the money on restaurants, online shopping and entertainment.

The City of Allentown was awarded nearly $1.38 million to upgrade traffic lights at 12 intersections along American Parkway, Third Street and Fourth Street. The grant is part of nearly $38 million that will be distributed to 70 municipalities across Pennsylvania to improve traffic safety according to the governor's office.

The Lower Macungie Township Planning Commission has cleared the way for a new development. The commission has given its stamp of approval to redeveloping the Allen Organ showroom building on Route 100 right near the boundary with Macungie.

After subdividing the property, one lot will be home to eight, carriage-style apartment buildings consisting of 99 total units. The second lot will feature two mixed-use buildings - 5,600 and 7,700 square feet each - that will include 10,000 square feet of retail, commercial and office space, with 21 apartment units.

The suspect in a recent attempted homicide has had his charges held for court. Tomasz Michalski is accused of shooting a woman in the face last month at a Monroe County home. The victim survived that attack. Michalski's arraignment date yesterday was set for September 7th.

Gov. Tom Wolf says the American Rescue Plan Act has been used to plug "numerous economic holes and kept Pennsylvanians on their feet." Wolf visited the White House yesterday to meet with Vice President Harris and talk about how ARPA funding has helped Pennsylvania's recovery from the COVID pandemic. His remarks came as the Biden administration announced over $40 billion more that has been committed in American Rescue Plan funds to strengthen and expand the country's workforce. It primarily will be used for underserved populations, public health and infrastructure workers.

Hershey will hear an update at the Derry Township Board of Supervisors meeting Thursday night for its application to build a new facility. It would be part of what company officials call the Hershey West End Master Plan. Plans call for the 250,000-square-foot building to be built on land the company already owns on Route 422.

The United States is preparing for the new suicide prevention hotline. Starting Saturday, 988 will be the new number, instead of 9-1-1, for people to call if they're in need of help. In New Jersey, it means five existing hotlines will now be channeled to this number. Just last month, Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law spending $29 million dollars that will be going towards the call line and follow-up treatment services.

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