Last week's lockdown of three Allentown School District schools was addressed at Thursday night's school board meeting. Superintendent John Stanford explained why the district had little or nothing to say about what happened. "When law enforcement shares the investigation is still pending, the school district does not make statements or take action that would impede or interfere with that investigation," Stanford said. And Stanford says the district didn't know the investigation was wrapped up until late Wednesday afternoon. Initially, all indications an armed 14-year-old boy was taken into custody at West Park, near Allen High School. This week, it was revealed the teen was actually arrested inside the school. The superintendent says he believes the actions taken by the school district were appropriate and says neither he nor Allen High principal Cheryl Clark would intentionally mislead anyone.
A new Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll shows one of the statewide races to be close and the other not. In a poll of 420 likely voters conducted between September 13th-16th, Democrat Josh Shapiro holds a healthy 11 point edge over Republican Doug Mastriano. Shapiro received 53-percent support, while Mastriano has 42-percent. Only two percent of those surveyed say they're still undecided. In Pennsylvania's Senate race, Democrat John Fetterman leads Republican Mehmet Oz 49-percent to 44-percent. That falls within the polls margin of error of six points.
Pennsylvania Democratic senate candidate John Fetterman is under scrutiny as the Washington Free Beacon reports he failed to pay thousands in property tax that would have gone to his local school district. His Republican opponent Dr. Mehmet Oz is taking note. "Once again, the hypocrisy shines through. John Fetterman has advocated for increased taxes in his past position. He's a strong supporter of President Biden's recent plans that raise taxes for the middle class and he's got 67 liens against him for not paying his own. It's sort of typical of what we keep seeing in this race," Oz said.
For the third time, St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church in Bethlehem has been hit by vandals. The first incident happened in March. The second in May and the third Wednesday night when vandals climbed up to the steeple and began removing the copper panels. The church was still in the process of replacing the copper panels from the earlier incidents.
It was a busy Wednesday for the local State Police and municipal departments.
Pennsylvania State Police from the Bethlehem-based Troop M issued hundreds of citations during a regional traffic enforcement detail on Wednesday. The traffic enforcement work in Lehigh, Northampton and Bucks counties resulted in 307 citations, 132 warnings, two driving under the influence arrests and two drug-related offenses. In addition to state police, participating departments were Catasauqua, South Whitehall Township, Emmaus, Salisbury Township, Upper Macungie Township and Allentown.
The State of Pennsylvania will soon change the eligibility requirement for households to receive food stamps. Governor Tom Wolf's administration yesterday announced that, starting in October, the threshold for receiving assistance will change to 200-percent of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines. That means an estimated 174-thousand more families will qualify. Food assistance is paid for by the federal government but individual states determine the eligibility requirements for the aid.
Your new Pennsylvania drivers license could be available on your cell phone soon. PennDOT authorities are exploring the idea that would be a major step in digitizing more of residents' daily lives. There's no timeline for when it might happen, as PennDOT says they are still in the early stages of development. The digital license feature has already been rolled out in ten states across the U.S.
Weis Markets is launching a limited edition ice cream flavor to benefit breast cancer awareness. Ten-thousand dollars in proceeds from new Pink Peppermint Patty ice cream will go directly to the PA Breast Cancer Coalition. The local grocery chain says they have long supported causes that advance the health of the communities they live and work in. The new flavor will be unveiled Monday for a limited time only.
The South Jersey Transportation Authority is awarding a more than 159-million-dollar, 15 year contract to create a fully electric toll system for the Atlantic City Expressway. More than 40-million will be dedicated to the projects first two years for the capital portion and implementation. Most of the balance of the funds will go towards operations and maintenance for the electronic system. Officials are saying the contract states not to exceed that amount, so the project could end up being cheaper than the initial price tag. Customers without an E-Z Pass will receive a "bill by plate" invoice.
A Republican state lawmaker has introduced a bill that would ban treatment and surgeries for teenagers that would change their sex -- procedures he calls child abuse. State Senator Edward Durr says his bill would apply to people under the age of 18 in New Jersey. Durr contends teenagers do not have the maturity to make such life-changing decisions and should be forced to wait until they are adults. His bill stands little chance for passage -- he has sponsored 100 bills and resolutions in his first half-year in Trenton but none has made it out of committee yet.
Port Authority officials confirm that two major projects at Newark Liberty Airport -- construction of a new Terminal A and replacement of its aging AirTrain system -- are running into more delays. It's the third delay in the two-point-seven billion dollar replacement of Terminal A that started four years ago but officials say it should open by the end of the year. Supply chain issues are blamed for the delay. Bids for the replacement of the monorail system came in higher than expected. Officials say they're working to make the proposal more competitive.
Governor Phil Murphy has conditionally vetoed a so-called bill of rights for temporary workers, saying he wants changes in the bill before he'll sign it. Supporters say they'll make those changes and return the bill to the governor. Backers say the bill would provide important protections for temporary workers in New Jersey, including equal compensation and more transparency. Murphy says he supports the idea behind the bill but wants changes that would help it work within current state agencies and not create more bureaucracy. He also wants to appropriate one-million dollars to the state labor department to support the bill.
Casino workers and patrons upset that a discussion regarding the proposed smoking ban in Atlantic City casinos was scrapped, held a rally Thursday. Roughly 100 people gathered in the rain outside of the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino demanding state legislators act on a bill to ban smoking inside casinos. Thursday afternoon the East Coast Gaming Congress was to have included a panel discussion on the matter but it was abandoned after a casino executive withdrew from speaking. The executive is now the president of the Casino Association of New Jersey. Casino workers argue second-hand smoke is hazardous to their health, while casino officials worry it would cause damage to its already struggling bottom line.