Here's what's trending for February 8.

In a 786-page ruling, Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Judge Renee Cohn Jubelirer says the state's method of funding public schools violates students' constitutional rights and does not provide equal resources to wealthy and poor school districts. Jubelirer ruled the state has failed students in areas with low property values and incomes who are, she says, deprived of the same opportunities and resources as students who reside in school districts with high property values and incomes. Jubelirer said the result is that students in lower-wealth districts are being deprived of their constitutional right to equal protection of law. The decision leaves it to the governor, lawmakers and the school districts that sued to come up with a plan to address the issue.

For the first time in several weeks, gas prices have dropped in both Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. Across Pennsylvania, the average price dropped four cents to $3.75 a gallon. According to AAA East Central, that's 14 cents more than it was last February 7th. Here in the Lehigh Valley, the average price dropped by nearly six cents to $3.65 a gallon, a nickel more than one year ago on the same date.

It's a not guilty verdict in a Northampton County murder trial. A jury Tuesday acquitted a 36-year-old Bethlehem Township man of all charges for killing his neighbor with a shotgun. Joshua Leone sobbed as jurors found him not guilty of killing Kenneth Pickell in February 2021 inside Leone's garage on Clifton Avenue. Leone's attorney said Leone was defending himself as Pickell grabbed an ax and was turning to strike Leone with it. Prosecutors said Pickell was shot in the back and was walking away when he was killed.

A man is hospitalized after being hit by a SUV Tuesday night. Police in Bethlehem say it happened shortly after 7 p.m. on Pembroke Road near Livingston Street.

The Bethlehem Police Department says a missing 9-year-old boy with autism has been found. Antonio Williams was found Tuesday night, police said. No further details were given.

A new, nonprofit film festival in Allentown will premiere in April. Organizers say the showing of international, American and Lehigh Valley films will take place from April 14th through the 16th. The festival has received more than 330 entries from filmmakers in more than 40 countries. Venues for the event will include the Nineteenth Street Theatre and the boutique Theatre514 across the street. Screening times and admission prices will be announced later.

Officials at the Allentown Rescue Mission say they've awarded their third college scholarship. The program's goal is for men who are homeless to be given a chance to be more employable. The scholarship is open to all graduates of the Allentown Rescue Mission's Transformation Program, a residential program that helps men heal through assessment and one-on-one counseling.

School officials at Bethlehem Catholic High School say their students will soon be given free laptops. A news release says the 550 computers will be used during the students' time at the school and they'll be able to keep them when they graduate. They were purchased with a gift from the John and Kathy Feehan Foundation. The school leaders say their 1 to 1 computer program recognizes that technology is "a necessity in the modern world."

Five members from Jehovah’s Witness congregations from across Pennsylvania face child sex abuse charges. Acting Attorney General Michelle Henry says the charges against the five men are the result of an investigating grand jury, and in every case the men and their victims were members of Jehovah’s Witness congregations. Four of the men were arrested, while one man, Norman Aviles of Lancaster County, is still at large and is wanted on 20 charges. These charges come after four Jehovah’s Witness members were charged last October with the sexual assault and exploitation of 19 children.

A Wayne County home owned by Senator Bob Casey has been destroyed in a fire. It happened at a home owned by Casey on East Shore Drive in Lake Ariel. It appears the fire originated near the electrical breaker panel and spread throughout the home and the fire is being ruled accidental. State Police say no one was home at the time of the fire.

It was a big night for Democrats who prevailed in three special elections Tuesday in Allegheny County. Joe McAndrew won his contest to become the next state representative from House District 32. Abigail Salisbury won her race in House District 34 and Matt Gergely won in House District 35. The victories give Democrats control of the House in Harrisburg for the first time since 2010.

Despite a judge's decision that knocked down the state's ban on guns at casinos in Maryland, casino owners say they will still not allow guns inside casinos. The president of the Casino Association of New Jersey -- Mark Giannantonio -- says the nine casinos in Atlantic City will exercise their rights as private property owners to ban guns on their premises. Last week, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order against state's ban on guns in casinos, parks, beaches and other recreational areas.

New Jersey is using data to track gambling habits as part of a first in the nation initiative. The Division of Gambling Enforcement will work with wagering companies to use technology to identify and assist gamblers who are showing addictive betting patterns. They'll look to see if gambling time increases from week to week or those who bet until their account is empty. The effort has been in the making since last year.

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