Here's what's trending for February 23.

After closing Wednesday due to a threat, schools in the Saucon Valley School District are reopening today. However, superintendent Jaime Vlasaty says it won't quite be business as usual. "We will have increased presence by the Lower Saucon Township Police Department at student arrival and dismissal as well as throughout the day," Vlasaty says. The district closed all its schools Wednesday after a threat was phoned in Tuesday. The threat stemmed from the district's decision to host an after-school Satan Club. The district says it's compelled to allow the club because it has previously hosted religious groups and cannot discriminate against the Satan Club.

A proposed hotel in Easton continues to move ahead. In a 6-1 vote, Easton City Council has approved plans for a proposed hotel on Centre Square. The seven-story building would feature 49 rooms, two restaurants and a meeting space, which will have a 125-person capacity. The would be built at 1-through-6 Centre Square and involves the building currently occupied by The Standard bar and restaurant.

A memorial service for well-known Allentown restaurant owner Louie Belletieri is planned for 7 p.m. Thursday at Bachman, Kulik, & Reinsmith Funeral Home, 17th and Hamilton streets, in Allentown. Calling hours will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday. Belletieri died from lymphoma February 16th at the age of 76.

According to a new survey, Muhlenberg College ranked number one in a ‘best college food’ in Pennsylvania and 10th best college food in the nation. It’s Muhlenberg’s fourth time taking Pennsylvania’s number one spot in the survey. The college says it ranked number one in Pennsylvania 2017 and back to back in 2020 and 2021. The Best College Food ranking is based on meal plan costs and student reviews.

A state senator says he'll introduce a measure that would give a mandatory death sentence to any adult convicted of murdering a police officer. Republican Mike Regan, who serves York and Cumberland Counties, said Tuesday that his proposal would eliminate the option for life in prison for cop killers. The idea follows the death of Officer Christopher Fitzgerald, who was shot to death by a robbery suspect while on patrol with Temple University's Police Department.

A Lycoming County man allegedly committed thousands of sexual crimes against children going back as far as 1992. 54-year-old Timothy Stroud Sr. was arrested early Wednesday morning and charged with 1,019 counts of sexual crimes, according to State Police in Montoursville. Stroud was arraigned and sent to Lycoming County Prison without bail. Five victims were involved, ranging in age from 4 to 17 at the time the alleged abuse occurred between 1992 and 2018.

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy says he won't pause offshore wind development in response to the alarming number of dead whales washing ashore. Murphy tells that there is no connection between offshore wind farms and the whale deaths and that any link is unfounded. The Democrat adds that anyone calling for a halt to offshore wind is motivated by political reasons and not out of concern for the environment. Murphy's comments come as dozens of Jersey Shore mayors sent a letter to state and federal leaders this week, requesting that the development be suspended so the situation can be thoroughly investigated. At least 16 humpback whales have washed up on east coast beaches in the last couple of months.

Officials say car thefts are noticeably down in New Jersey. According to Governor Murphy, New Jersey has seen a 22-percent decrease in January 2023 compared to January 2022. In a tweet, he credits the improvement to the New Jersey State Police Auto Theft Task Force, which officials have worked to expand. The governor notes the state's allocation of ten million dollars towards automated license plate recognition, along with revisions to police pursuit policy.

New Jersey is putting 120-million dollars towards expanding pre-k facilities. Governor Murphy visited a school in Monmouth Junction to announce the grant funding opportunity, which comes from federal funds starting on March 1st. He says there's not enough space to host full day pre-school classes as the state works to expand the program. In addition, the Department of Education will be paying two-and-a-half-million dollars in retroactive startup funds to districts with newly launched pre-school programs.

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker is co-sponsoring a bill in Congress that would give every American newborn a nest egg that would gain interest until the child turns 18. Supporters say it would help close a long-established racial wealth gap while Booker says it would make economic opportunity a birthright for Americans. In New Jersey, the median household wealth of white families is 322-thousand-500 dollars. Black families in New jersey have a median household wealth of 17-thousand-700 dollars. Washington D.C., California and Connecticut have already passed their own so-called baby bonds proposals.

The first steps to a return to the World Series have begun in Clearwater, where the Phillies have a couple days of full squad workouts in. Kyle Schwarber says last fall's trip to the World Series can be helpful this year. "I still think you can use last year as an experience to know that we came up two wins short of the goal," Schwarber says. The Phillies first Spring Training games are Saturday when half the team plays the Yankees and the other half take on Detroit.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content