Northampton County officials have identified the body pulled from a retention pond Sunday. Coroner Zachary Lysek says it is that of 75-year-old Phillip Zulauf, a Lower Mount Bethel resident who went missing March 31st. Search teams started looking for Zulauf after his car was found near the pond behind Talen Energy's power plant, along with some clothes and two loose dogs. Lysek says the cause and manner of death are pending and won't be known until more tests are finished.
A federal civil trial is set to begin today in a claim of police brutality against Easton police. Ramona Colon's lawsuit accuses patrolman Aaron Kinnel and other officers of slamming her to the ground, using racially-charged language, and knocking her unconscious after he Tasered her. The alleged incidents happened during a dispute over loud music at a block party on Ferry Street in July of 2019. Colon claims Kinnel entered her home without a warrant and says police wrote misleading reports to cover for the patrolman. She wants compensation for pain and suffering and is also seeking punitive damages against the police department and the city.
Congresswoman Susan Wild is making a push to bring high-speed internet to rural Pennsylvania including in the Poconos. Wild held a roundtable discussion in Weatherly Borough in Carbon County yesterday and she said internet's important for rural areas in Pennsylvania. "We are now at a point in our lives that we simply cannot function without quality, high-speed internet that's reliable," Wild said. $200 million in American Rescue Plan money is going to Pennsylvania to improve inadequate high-speed internet access. Wild says she'll work to make sure rural areas in Carbon County and elsewhere get their cut of that money.
The annual count of birds of prey migration has begun in Berks County. Staff and volunteers at Hawk Mountain say almost 140 birds of prey have been counted after about a week's worth of tallies. A news release from the sanctuary says the count includes birds such as turkey vultures, bald eagles, hawks and raptors. The sanctuary has monitored the spring raptor migration since the 1960s, with an average of about 1,000 raptors each 45-day season, according to the organization's website. The count continues through May 15th.
Pennsylvania Democratic Senator Bob Casey announced Monday he will run for reelection in 2024. "I'm announcing my re-election campaign in 2024 and as you know we have 67 counties in Pennsylvania. I need your help to be able to fight for votes in every single one of those counties," Casey said in a brief Twitter video. He said there's still more work to do to, quote, "cut through the gridlock, stand up to powerful special interests and make the lives of hardworking Pennsylvanians easier." Casey had surgery for prostate cancer in February.
The chairman of the state House Education Committee says a court-ordered overhaul of Pennsylvania school district funding likely won't come this year. Democrat Representative Peter Schweyer says he expects lawmakers to only be able to negotiate a short-term patch. He says they'll be able to give the issue more attention during next year's budget process as lawmakers might be too far into negotiations this year to do any good. Last month, a Commonwealth Court judge found the state's funding of basic education unconstitutional, agreeing that poor school districts are systemically underfunded by billions of dollars.
State House officials say the commonwealth is not reimbursing lawmakers to keep their Twitter accounts verified. The social media platform had announced that it would begin removing its free blue verification check marks from accounts this month. The notation indicates a high-profile user is protected from impersonation, but the privilege is no longer free. A Spotlight PA inquiry shows the commonwealth is not paying the eight-dollars-per month for lawmakers to be reimbursed for the subscription service. But Chief Clerk Brooke Wheeler says each caucus, which has access to their own funds, could pay for the status if they choose to.
The Pennsylvania Treasury is auctioning off unclaimed property this week. Officials say over 42-hundred items ranging from jewelry to comic books will be placed up for sale tomorrow and Thursday. Treasurer Stacy Garrity says proceeds from the sales will be tracked and the money will be available to the rightful owner for years, or even decades, from now. The auction is being hosted online by Pook and Pook Incorporated.
President Biden has signed a bill ending the national COVID emergency. The measure gives Pennsylvania and other states permission to start winding down their emergency operations as well. The GOP-led resolution was opposed by most Democrats in the U.S. House, but the White House has said it would not veto the measure if it made it to the president's desk.
Pennsylvania officials are warning against burning trash, making campfires or any other kind of outside burning due to a high wildfire risk. The state wildfire season lasts through May, when dry, windy conditions make for elevated risk . According to the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, 99 percent of wildfires are caused by human activity. In addition to the spring wildfire season, Pennsylvania experiences an additional period of high risk in October and November.
Some public sector jobs in New Jersey will no longer require applicants to have college degrees. Governor Phil Murphy signed an executive order that prioritizes previous work experience and practical skills above a college degree. Murphy called the move a central principle for his vision of the "Next New Jersey." This executive order opens up thousands of state jobs to potential applicants, with Murphy saying each year New Jersey rejects hundreds of candidates simply because they don't have a college degree.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is calling Russian President Vladimir Putin a pig for jailing an American journalist from New Jersey. Murphy says he's been talking with family and friends of Evan Gershkovich, a journalist for the Wall Street Journal who was detained in Russia last week. He's charged with espionage. Murphy says the federal government is taking the situation seriously and asked that everyone to pray for Gershkovich's safe return.
Renovations to the Boardwalk in Wildwood are complete ahead of schedule allowing for a spring re-opening. On-going work will not affect local businesses and shoppers, according to local officials. The stretch of Boardwalk from Maple to 26th Avenues was refurbished, thanks in part to roughly eight-million-dollars from the Murphy Administration over the past two years, according to The Press of Atlantic City. Millions more in federal dollars were sent along last year, including nearly $850,000 in local matching funds.
Prior to Monday's night's game against Miami, injured Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins talked about his torn knee ligament and his future with the team. "The doctors say seven-to-nine months, but every athlete's mindest is to beat what the doctors say, so I'm going to continue with that," Hoskins says. He says his goal is to make himself available if the Phillies have another run deep in the playoffs, however his entire 2023 regular season is gone.