Josh Shapiro is Pennsylvania's 48th governor. "I honor the work of those who came before me. I affirm my pact with the people to listen and to be your voice. I accept the responsibility that you have bestowed upon me to be the next link in this chain of progress," Shapiro said. In his speech outside the state Capitol, Shapiro said the voices of the people must be heard in the halls of government and that the people of Pennsylvania will always be what he calls his North Star.
State Senator Doug Mastriano, who lost his race for governor last year, didn't attend the inauguration ceremony for Governor Josh Shapiro Tuesday. A spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader's office confirmed that Mastriano was not in Harrisburg for Shapiro's inauguration, stating the senator was on personal leave. Mastriano, a Republican, captured 42 percent of the vote to Shapiro's 56 percent in the November election.
The commonwealth has a new lieutenant governor and he's a first for the history books. On Tuesday, Austin Davis became the first black lieutenant governor in Pennsylvania. As he took the oath of office, the former state house lawmaker noted that his grandparents, who had moved to the state from the South, would not have in their "wildest dreams" believed their grandson would one day hold the second-highest office in the state. The 33-year-old Democrat was born in McKeesport in Allegheny County.
The longest serving district attorney in Lehigh County history is walking away after his term ends next January. Jim Martin announced Tuesday he is not seeking re-election this year. Martin has been DA since January 1998 after being appointed to the job by Lehigh County commissioners and winning elections six times since. He offers his advice is for whomever replaces him. "Continue on doing the things that, number one are most important to people. I've always felt my core job was public safety and I think that's very important," Martin says. The 77-year-old Martin says once his term is up, he plans to spend more time with his wife, four children and six grandchildren.
Authorities are launching an investigation in Carbon County after a man was found dead near train tracks. The body was recovered to the area of Second Street and Delaware Avenue in Palmerton Monday afternoon. The coroner has yet to release the man's identity or how he died.
A Monroe County man is facing charges after he allegedly threatened people with a machete during a road rage incident. The incident took place yesterday at a McDonald's located along Route 940 near Mount Pocono. Police say Matthew Eannuzzi was out of his car with a machete when they arrived. He is facing several charges including terroristic threat and assault.
Some very lucky Northampton County lottery player has won more than $1 million in the Fast $50 lottery game. Chubby's Food & Beer on Sullivan Trail in Easton sold the winning ticket on Saturday. Fast $50 is a $20 Fast Play game that offers progressive prizes starting at $350,000. Fast Play tickets are printed on-demand and are similar to scratch-off lottery tickets but do not require the player scratch off the ticket.
Another country star has been booked for this summer's Musikfest in Bethlehem. Walker Hayes will take the Wind Creek Steel Stage on Monday, Aug. 7. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday at 10 a.m. Fellow country stars Maren Morris and Dan and Shay have previously been booked for this summer's Musikfest, which is set for Aug. 4-13. Three more headliners remain to be announced.
Gas prices in both the Lehigh Valley and across Pennsylvania really didn't move over the past seven days. According to AAA East Central, the average price for a gallon of gas in Pennsylvania held steady at $3.64, which is 13 cents more than one year ago. In the Lehigh Valley, the price bumped up by less than a cent to $3.51, which is three cents more than last January 17th.
A state senator who represents Carbon, Schuylkill and parts of Luzerne Counties wants to change Pennsylvania's presidential primary date. Currently, that's on the fourth Tuesday in April, but State Senator David Argall wants to move that to the third Tuesday of March. He says that's because the outcome for who'll be a candidate is largely decided before Pennsylvania residents have a chance to cast their vote. If successful, his measure would put state voting on the same day as other delegate-rich states including Arizona, Florida, Illinois and Ohio.
State House Speaker Mark Rozzi has held his first meeting with a group of lawmakers who are trying to break a partisan divide in the chamber. Since Rozzi became speaker two weeks ago, the House has not adopted rules, announced committee membership or held any votes. He said Tuesday the work group is developing proposed rules for the chamber and considering how to make progress on a measure to allow some victims of child sexual abuse to file otherwise outdated lawsuits. Any proposals the group develops will have to be approved by a majority in the House in order to take effect.
State Senators are wrapping up their last few days of work before shutting down for two weeks. Even though lawmakers in the upper house have held debates and voting sessions since the new session started January 3rd, the House hasn't been able to conduct business because of differing opinions on leadership. Late Friday, the Senate canceled its sessions for the weeks of January 23rd and January 30th in part, because the House had not organized itself.
State health officials report New Jersey has recorded another 11-hundred-33 cases of COVID-19 and 14 more deaths but the daily case rates have fallen since a week ago. The state's seven-day average for confirmed positive tests is also falling -- down 20 percent from a week ago. Positive tests have risen overall this winter but they have not approached the surge the state saw a year ago following the holidays. The statewide rate of transmission stands at one -- which means the spread of the virus has leveled off.