State Attorney General Josh Shapiro is set to take the oath of office to become Pennsylvania's 48th governor Tuesday. The ceremonies get under way in Harrisburg at 10 a.m. and start with the historic inauguration of Austin Davis being sworn in as the state's first black lieutenant governor. The main ceremony will begin at 11 a.m., ending with Shapiro's swearing in at noon.
Organizers for the governor-elect's inauguration ceremonies say Josh Shapiro will use three significant books when he is sworn in. One of them is from the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, where 11 people were killed in a mass shooting in 2018. A Bible reportedly also has been provided for him that was carried by a Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient who landed on Omaha Beach in World War Two. The third book is a family Bible that Shapiro has used each time he's been sworn into office - first as a state representative in 2005, then as a Montgomery County Commissioner and later as state attorney general.
A group of students from Allentown will get to see the new governor take office Tuesday in an up close and personal way. City Mayor Matt Tuerk says has received invitations for kids from four city schools to attend the ceremony for Josh Shapiro in Harrisburg. Students from Dieruff High, Allen High, Building 21, and the Executive Education Academy Charter School will also get to see former state Representative Austin Davis sworn in as the state's first Black lieutenant governor.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has reportedly topped the state record for pardons granted. His administration says he's issued more than twice the amount given by any other state governor. Wolf, a Democrat, signed more than 25-hundred pardons in his eight years as governor, with nearly 370 coming in his last week in office. In a statement, he said that every person who made it through the process truly deserves their second chance, and that it's been his honor to grant it.
As one of his last acts in office, outgoing Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf is posting his thanks to the state on social media. In a short Tweet Monday, Wolf thanks residents and tells them it's been an honor to serve as their governor. He also wrote that he and his wife Frances are grateful for the opportunity the state gave them. The post was signed, "Your neighbor from York, Tom Wolf, 47th governor of Pennsylvania."
The Slate Belt is losing a church. The Allentown Diocese says the Chapel of St. Vincent de Paul in Portland is closing because of a lack of priests. St. Vincent de Paul is one of two churches operated by Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Bangor, which is merging with Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Roseto. That merger is effective January 31. Both of those churches will remain open and keep their names after that merger. The Diocese says it now only has one priest available in the area, making it impossible to hold Mass at three locations each weekend.
Two people are dead following a crash in Monroe County. The accident happened yesterday afternoon on Interstate 80 about a mile past I-380/Exit 293 near Tunkhannock. Authorities say two vehicles were involved and both were traveling at a high rate of speed before one of the vehicles left its lane and struck the other. A 68-year-old man and 31-year-old woman were both pronounced dead at the scene. The crash is still being investigated.
A state lawmaker from Erie wants to have the opening day of firearms deer season returned to its traditional start on the Monday after Thanksgiving. State Representative Brian Smith says he'll introduce legislation soon that would move the current Saturday opener back to the original Monday. Smith says he's currently looking for other lawmakers to co-sponsor the legislation.
A new federal report says child poverty in Pennsylvania is declining, but elderly poverty is rising. The U.S. Census Bureau's five-year estimates show the child poverty rate dropped from 21 to 17 percent for the years 2017 through 2021. However, the rate for people who are age 65 and over saw a slight increase to just over nine and a half percent. That's still lower than the national average, though. Most of the decreases in child poverty rates in Pennsylvania were in the western and southern regions.
There are now seven humpback whales that have washed up at the Jersey Shore this month. "There seems to be a more than usual number of humpback whales washing in," says Sheila Dean with the Marine Mammal Stranding Center. A 12-ton, 32-foot long female humpback that washed up Thursday in Brigantine was bruised and bleeding, pointing to a boat strike. However, environmentalists suspect noise from off-shore wind farms may be a factor in some of the whale deaths and they want the federal government to investigate.
Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni says his team won't be overwhelmed by the pressure of Saturday night's playoff game against the New York Giants. "A lot of our guys have played in huge games. Guys are still left from the Super Bowl team. Guys who played in the BCS National Championship Game. Guys who've played in the NFC or AFC Championship Game. So, we feel good because we were here last year and we're ready to go again," Sirianni says. This is the fifth time the Eagles and Giants have met in the playoffs. The teams split their previous four games.