It turns out the Lehigh Valley IronPigs will be getting some money from Northampton County for Major League Baseball-mandated renovations at Coca-Cola Park. Northampton County Council voted Thursday to provide another $100,000 for renovations to the home stadium of the IronPigs. Council heard from IronPigs general manager Kurt Landes, who told them while the stadium may be in Lehigh County, Northampton County residents' lives are impacted by the team as well. "It's well over 3-million fans we've drawn who are Northampton County residents, who enjoy the quality of life the IronPigs and Coca-Cola Park bring to your residents," Landes told Council. Not to mention the $2 million the team has donated to local charities over the past 14 years and the jobs the team provides county resident as well, Landes said. The funding was part of a $544.8 million budget approved by council Thursday night.
Less than a month after winning an election to become a state representative, Allentown City Councilman Joshua Siegel resigned from council Wednesday night. Now, the city must fill that position on council and is now accepting applications for the job. City Council will continue taking applications until 4:30pm on December 14th. Then, during the week of December 19, council will hold a public meeting to review the resumes and statements of qualified applicants and interview those candidates. After the interviews, the council will vote on the candidates and that process will continue until a candidate earns a majority of votes.
Two local businesses are teaming up for a new Christmas season treat. Brü Daddy's Brewing Co. in Allentown is teaming up with The Kiffle Kitchen Bakery, in Moore Township to create two kiffle-inspired double sour ales, Apricot Kiffle and Raspberry Kiffle. Beginning today, both of the beers will be available on draft and in 4-packs to-go at Brü Daddy’s on Hamilton Street in Allentown.
The Great Allentown Fair hopes you'll put a couple concert tickets in somebody's Christmas stocking later this month. They've announced their first grandstand show for the 2023 fair. Country music superstar Keith Urban has been booked for the Fair's grandstand on the night of September 3rd. Tickets go on sale one week from today. They're priced at $99-$129.
As of December 1st, you may be paying much more for your electric bill. Officials with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission say prices are going up for gas and electric for all state-regulated electric utilities. They say that's because of distribution and supply charges, which make up anywhere from 40-to-60-percent of utility bills. Experts say every degree you raise or lower the temperature could impact costs up to three percent.
It appears the Lehigh Valley is in much better shape on the COVID front heading into winter than the previous two years. Lehigh and Northampton counties have averaged about 100 cases per day for more than a month. Last year that number was more than triple that. Across the state, there are currently 1269 people hospitalized with COVID, just one-third of that number last year. In November, the state averaged 1431 cases per day. Last November, Pennsylvania averaged 5,732 new cases per day.
A Pennsylvania Education Department report shows English and reading scores for the state are well below pre-pandemic levels. The latest results from standardized tests taken last spring show in every grade, fewer students are at their appropriate level in English compared to three years ago.
New Jersey is launching a program in the hopes of closing the education gaps caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The New Jersey Partnership For Student Success will utilize volunteers and community groups to help students, educators, and schools in an effort to address learning loss. The goal is to recruit up to five thousand individuals who can serve as tutors and mentors or provide wrap around services. The state will put at least ten-million-dollars worth of federal funding towards the initiative, including three-million from the American Rescue Plan Act.
The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance is fighting to ensure that health insurance includes abortion care. New regulations are expected to be in place by January first. Planned Parenthood is happy the Murphy administration decision, while the state's Right to Life organization supports helping women who are pregnant, but not abortion. Earlier this year, the Garden State passed a law codifying the right to have the procedure performed.
The Ripley's Believe It Or Not! Museum on the Atlantic City boardwalk will close its doors for good on December 31st. The iconic museum that was a major draw for tourists strolling the boardwalk, has been in operation for more than 26 years, opening its doors in June of 1996. Officials are saying the museum is closing due its agreement with a local franchisee expiring. The space will be re-imagined and converted for a different use.
When the Eagles host the Titans Sunday afternoon, Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown will be playing the team that traded him earlier this year. "Early on, I had mixed emotions. I'm thankful, fortunate to be in Philly now," Brown says. Brown has fit in well in Philadelphia, with 53 catches for 831 yards and seven touchdowns.