Musikfest is underway. Thursday was preview night and today marks the start of musikfest in earnest. The event is celebrating its 39th year in Bethlehem. ArtsQuest says there will be over 300 performers on the free stages. Ticketed shows include musical guests Kip Moore, Willie Nelson, Counting Crows and Ziggy Marley. Last year, officials say the eleven-day festival had an estimated $67 million impact on the region.
Admission to the Allentown Art Museum will be free beginning August 27th. That's possible because of money coming in from the Century Fund Foundation and support from Lehigh Valley Health Network, City Center Investment Corp. and J.B. and Kathleen Reilly.
A 22-year-old Anchorage, Alaska man will spend more than five years in federal prison. Gavin Casdorph pleaded guilty more than two years ago to threatening to bomb several locations on Lafayette College's campus. Casdorph used a fake name while claiming allegiance to the Islamic State and stating he would attack the campus. As a result, law enforcement swarmed the Lafayette campus back in May 2018 and the location of that year's graduation ceremonies had to be switched. Casdorph was sentenced this week at the federal courthouse in Easton.
St. Luke's is offering $30,000 in signing bonuses for new nurses. St. Luke's vice president Sarah Biggs says if they want the best, they have to pay for the best. "We need to make sure that we are as competitive as we can be to get the best candidates that we can," Biggs says. St. Luke's held a recruitment event Thursday.
A posting from the state Department of Labor and Industry relays that 175 jobs will soon be eliminated at a Bethlehem call center. Conduit Global operates customer-service call centers and employs more than 3,000 people in eight countries. The state notice says cuts in Lehigh County will be conducted in two stages. The first wave started Wednesday and the next will begin August 31st. The cuts are part of a closing, according to the warn notice.
Accu-Weather's Dan Pydynowski says the chance for some pretty rough thunderstorms is pretty good today. "A lot of moisture to work with. It was already very warm and muggy early this morning. So I think with the warmth and humidity, certainly not everyone in the Lehigh Valley is going to see one, but it should be pretty active this afternoon and evening in terms of thunderstorm coverage," Pydynowski says. He says there's a pretty good chance of seeing storms again tomorrow and then again perhaps on Sunday.
Philadelphia is setting aside $500,000 for the Abortion Liberation Fund of Pennsylvania. The money will be used to make sure women who can't afford an abortion are still able to get one. Mayor Jim Kenney says, “Women’s reproductive health rights are under attack from every sector of conservative politics, from the Supreme Court to state legislatures to Republican governors, and I think we have a responsibility to make sure people have access to health care.”
Lottery officials are waiting for the winner of Wednesday night's $202 million Powerball jackpot to come forward. The holder of that winning ticket, sold at a Sheetz store in Westmoreland County, could choose to take the estimated lump sum payment of $119 million.
New Jersey legislators want to crack down on car thefts by toughening penalties for the crime. Car thefts in jersey are up 37-percent so far this year, which is on track to double last year's number. Under the proposal, ring leaders would face double the jail time while the teens they work with would receive steeper punishments, like community service or doing time at a youth detention center. State senators Richard Codey and Anthony Bucco introduced the bill and hope to have it approved by the end of this year.
State agriculture officials say the spotted lanternfly, the invasive species that's harmful to plant life, is making inroads on beaches along the Jersey shore. The pest has reportedly been seen on beaches in Monmouth and Ocean counties. It cannot fly very far but it's considered an excellent hitchhiker and can latch on to almost anything that enables it to move around. State officials ask people to check their vehicles before leaving an area to make sure they're not bringing along any lanternflies. And if someone does spot a lanternfly, it's no longer necessary to report it, just kill it.
Fans of tv's "The Office" will get a chance to meet cast members of the show this weekend in New Jersey. The first-ever Dunder Con is being held in Secaucus on Saturday and Sunday. Fans attending will be able to get autographs and take selfies with their favorite paper-company employees. Over 20 cast members will be on hand, including Brian Baumgartner who played Kevin Malone and actress Kate Flannery who played Meredith Palmer.
The newest eight members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame will be inducted Saturday in Canton, Ohio. Among them is former Eagles head coach Dick Vermeil. The 86-year-old coached the Eagles for six years, in addition to stints with the St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs. Vermeil's career record was 120-109. He won a Super Bowl with the Rams and got to another while coaching the Eagles.