Here's what's trending for August 26.

A former Allentown School District social studies teacher is suing the school district saying administrators defamed him after he attended a rally before the U.S. Capitol riots. Jason Moorehead says the district destroyed his reputation and career because of his conservative politics. "All these things that I never would've imagined be taken from me, were taken from me," Moorehead says. Moorehead says he refused to return to his classroom after the district's statements and he was suspended. Moorehead said he was nowhere near the Capitol that day and has never been charged with a crime. The Allentown School District, its school board and former superintendent Thomas Parker are all named in the suit.

President Joe Biden has announced a plan to cancel $10,000 worth of federal loan debt for people making less than $125,000 a year, with additional relief available to those in greater financial need. Most Republicans are not fans of this plan, including U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, who said in a statement, “Taxpayers will foot the bill for this massive expenditure, including the vast majority of Americans who already paid off their loans, paid for tuition out of pocket, or do not even have post-secondary education nor enjoy the higher lifetime earnings associated with it.” Pennsylvania’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey’s statement read in part, “This will give people the freedom to invest in their future, buy a home, or take a risk and start a business.”

At least one person was killed in a Thursday afternoon crash in Northampton County. At least two vehicles were involved in the crash around 4:15 p.m. on Route 248 in Lehigh Township. A pickup truck ended up on its side. The coroner has not yet released the name of the person who died. Police have not said if anyone else was hurt or what may have caused the wreck.

A poll of registered Pennsylvania voters shows support has decreased in surprising ways for Republican candidate for governor Doug Mastriano. The Franklin and Marshall College poll released Thursday shows the candidate lagging behind Democratic nominee Josh Shapiro, but support also has dwindled among undecided voters and members of his own party. They reportedly say Mastriano isn't doing enough to reach beyond those who already agree with his staunchly conservative platform.

Republican candidate for governor Doug Mastriano says he wants to debate Democrat Josh Shapiro but only under certain conditions. Mastriano says he'll agree to two, 90-minute debates in October. But he wants them to be organized by both campaigns instead of by media moderators, which is the tradition in Pennsylvania. A spokesman for Shapiro's campaign rejects the idea, saying it's an "obvious stunt" by Mastriano so that he can dictate his own rules for debates.

State education officials say back-to-school shoppers are expected to spend more than ever this year. They say the cost of inflation plus supply-chain issues have pushed parents to spend over $800 per child for clothing and supplies. That's just under $200 more than the national average. Spending on technology is set to decline though as many families bought needed equipment last year to meet virtual and hybrid needs.

State lawmakers have met in Lancaster County to hear from ag business owners and farmers about ways the economy is affecting their companies. A House Republican Policy Committee held a listening session Wednesday to hear how inflation has increased the cost of ingredients and supplies by as much as 15 percent over the past 12 months. Farmers also talked about the need for finding good employees to work in the agriculture industry.

Transmission rates for COVID-19 are leveling off in the Garden State as state health officials reported more than 2000 more confirmed cases and 15 more fatalities yesterday. New Jersey's rate of transmission is now 0.86, compared with 1.01 at the beginning of the month. Anything under one means the spread of the virus is falling. The seven-day average for confirmed positive tests continues to drop, falling by 15 percent in the last week.

New Jersey courts will lift their mask and social distance rules as of September first. State Chief Justice Stuart Rabner says the new policy will boost the number of jury trials and will protect the health of prospective jurors. Jurors will still be allowed to wear face masks but will no longer be required to do so.

Park officials say at least 16 people were injured during a mishap on a ride at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson. First responders were called to the scene last night, not long before the park closed for the day. The accident occurred on El Toro, a wooden roller coaster. Police say the accident happened as riders were being unloaded and it suddenly lurched forward. Witnesses say the ride was "out of control" and felt like it hit a massive pothole. Most of the injuries were said to be minor but some of the victims were transported to hospitals. The same ride was shut down last year after a partial derailment and just reopened this spring.

The Phillies got mixed news on the health front Thursday. Reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper returns to the Phillies' lineup tonight when they host Pittsburgh. Manager Rob Thomson says he checked in on Harper Thursday morning. "He said he felt great. He said he feels like his timing is down and he's really comfortable in the box," Thomson says. While Harper returns, pitcher Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts after being place in the injured list with forearm tendinitis. The Phillies say Wheeler's injury is not serious.


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