Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Robert Evanchick says people wanting more details about Bryan Kohberger and his alleged killing of four Idaho college students are going to have to wait. "Specific details regarding this investigation cannot be released until the suspect is extradited to Idaho and presented with a probable cause affidavit," Evanchick says. Tuesday, Kohberger waiving his extradition hearing and is expected to be sent back to Idaho later this month to face murder charges. Kohberger was arrested early last Friday morning at his parents' home in Monroe County. Kohberger received a bachelor's degree from DeSales University in 2020 and completed his graduate studies last year.
There were plenty of surprises Tuesday at the state Capitol. Berks County Democrat Mark Rozzi was unexpectedly elected House Speaker by a vote of 115-85. After the vote, Rozzi offered another surprise. "The commonwealth that is home to Independence Hall will now be home to this commonwealth's first independent speaker of the House," Rozzi said to applause. He says he won't caucus with either party on legislative matters. Still undecided is which party is the House's majority party. The Democrats say they're in the majority on the basis of the number of seats they won in the November elections. Republicans say they're the majority party because of the number of members they already have seated who are ready to vote. Three Democrat election wins were vacated, one because of the death of a candidate and two because election winners also won races for higher office.
A Republican lawmaker from York County is leading efforts to keep Kevin McCarthy from becoming speaker of the U.S. House. Perry, who is chairman of the hard-right House Freedom Caucus, was the sole lawmaker from Pennsylvania to vote against McCarthy Tuesday. He instead voted for Rep. Andy Biggs of Arizona. McCarthy came up short as Perry and the other House Freedom legislators blocked the vote three times before the House adjourned for the day. Members will vote again on Wednesday.
John Fetterman is now officially the junior senator from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Democrat Fetterman defeated Republican Mehmet Oz in November's general election and takes the seat formerly occupied by the now-retired Pat Toomey. The new senator was sworn into office Tuesday by Vice President Kamala Harris. Fetterman wore a suit to the event.
Allentown's City Councilors will be holding a special meeting Wednesday. It will be a follow-up session to interview four finalists for an open city council seat. The candidates are Rodney Bush The Second, Roger Maclean, Santo Napoli and Patrick Palmer. The action of electing a president and vice president is also on the regular meeting agenda that night.
Health officials say flu cases are decreasing in the Lehigh Valley but add that they're also expecting a possible post-holiday surge. According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, cases have declined in recent weeks, but the after effects of crowded get-togethers and holiday travel soon could be the cause of upticks in the virus spreading. Department officials say more than 10-thousand flu cases were confirmed in Lehigh and Northampton counties at the end of 2022.
Pennsylvania lottery players will have another chance at winning the really big bucks later this week. No players won last night's 785 million dollar Mega Millions jackpot. The estimated top prize for this Friday's drawing is 940-million dollars. That's the 6th biggest lottery jackpot in U.S. history.