A Liberty High School assistant principal has filed a federal lawsuit alleging Bethlehem Area School District Superintendent Joseph Roy punched and cursed at him during a high school football game last October. Antonio Traca claims Roy has a history of violent outbursts against employees and district parents and alleges the school district suppressed eyewitness testimony during its investigation into what had been called an alleged incident between Roy and a district employee. That investigation eventually cleared Roy of any wrongdoing. Traca alleges that during a Liberty/Easton football game he tried to break up what he believed to be a fight. At that point, he claims Roy, in front of several witnesses, punched him in the chest and accused him of not doing his job. Traca is seeking compensation for pain and suffering, loss of reputation and demanding unspecified punitive damages, plus reimbursement of attorney fees and medical expenses. Roy, who is retiring in July, calls the lawsuit frivolous and says, “I’ve been here for 13 years, I think people will make their own judgment on my relationship with people.”
After almost 6000 people signed a petition to remove her as Allen High School principal, Cheryl Clark has been placed on administrative leave. Allentown School District Superintendent says in a letter to parents that Clark has been on leave since April 5 but didn't specifically say why. Birks' statement does cite "climate, culture and leadership challenges" at Allen High. Clark was appointed to the job just last August. Frank Derrick has been named Allen's acting principal. Derrick has been a middle school English teacher, an assistant principal, the principal of South Mountain Middle School for 12 years and most recently the school district's director of recruitment and retention.
A police investigation and chase ended up with several arrests and also several vehicles damaged. Allentown police say Tuesday morning several vehicles, including a police car, were hit during an investigation in Allentown. No civilians were injured.
The body of a Hellertown man who was last seen the day after Christmas has been recovered from the Delaware River. DNA testing was used to confirm the remains are those of 40-year-old Adam Zimpfer, who was reported missing for almost four months. Solebury police said they were called Sunday morning for the report of a possible body lodged against rocks in the river. An autopsy Monday found no signs of foul play connected with the death. The cause and manner of death is still undetermined at this point.
The family of a woman who worked at R.M. Palmer Company has filed what's believed to be the first wrongful-death suit against the candy-maker. Lawyers for the family of Judy Lopez-Moran says the company ignored warnings of a natural gas leak and should be held responsible for the explosion that killed seven workers and injured others March 24th. The suit says workers reported smelling natural gas that day but company managers didn't do anything further to look it the claims. Gas utility company UGI was also named in the suit. Authorities are still investigating the cause of the explosion.
The Pennsylvania State Police has released its traffic data for Easter weekend 2023. The PSP investigated 410 vehicle crashes which caused four fatalities and 110 injuries during the holiday weekend. Alcohol was a factor in 31 of the reported crashes. Troopers arrested 329 people for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and issued 15,146 traffic citations during three days beginning April 7. Troopers cited 5,344 motorists for speeding, 481 for failing to wear a seatbelt, and 80 for not securing children in safety seats.
The average price for a gallon of gas rose rather dramatically over the past week. According to AAA East Central, the average price of a gallon in Pennsylvania jumped 12 cents from $3.58 to $3.70 in the seven days ending April 11th. That $3.70 is still 51 cents below last year's price. In the Lehigh Valley, the average price as of Tuesday was $3.62, up 15 cents from the previous Tuesday, but 53 cents less than last April 11th.
A New Jersey wildfire has now spread to 2500 acres. Accu-Weather's Joe Lundberg cautions that the weather in the Lehigh Valley also makes wildfires very possible here too. "Today it's getting sunny, it's getting breezy and it's getting warm. The dry conditions and the breezy conditions are going to lead to elevated fire risks across the area. Please be careful," Lundberg says. The wildfires in the New Jersey Pinelands has caused evacuations and several roads to be closed.
Former Senator Patrick Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania, has joined the board of managers for Definiti LLC, a national retirement services firm based in Houston. In a news release, the company says it provides workplace-based retirement products and services. Toomey retired from the U.S. Senate last year after serving for 12 years and was a representative in the U.S. House for six years before that. He had served as chairman of a Banking subcommittee as well as the Finance Committee when he was in the Senate.
State regulators are working to officially end a ban that asks Pennsylvania residents about their race and ethnicity when they apply for insurance. The Pennsylvania Insurance Department has proposed lifting the ban so that state-licensed health insurers can collect the information in compliance with federal requirements that will take effect in two years. Existing state law bans such questions due to potential discrimination issues. The proposed change in the state rules is scheduled to appear soon in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, then the public has until May 15th to comment on the proposal.
New Jersey has won another ratings upgrade from a leading credit rating agency. Fitch Ratings has increased the state's issuer rating from A to A-Plus. Fitch credited the state's recent full pension payment for the ratings increase. This follows Moody's Investor Services recent upgrade of the state's general obligation bond rating. It's the second rating upgrade from Fitch in the past year and the fifth increase from all agencies in about a year.
A new study shows Somerset County is the best place to live in New Jersey. Niche, a website that reviews and rates places to live, says Somerset County has it all, giving it an overall grade of A-plus, especially when it comes to public schools and family life. It also gets top marks for diversity, nightlife and jobs. Housing gets a "B." Bergen County is ranked second followed by Middlesex, Morris and Mercer.