Lehigh Valley Health Network now says the personal information and sensitive photos of 2760 patients were stolen by hackers in a ransomware attack on the health care provider. LVHN said its investigation also showed some patients whose photos were possibly accessed by hackers are residents of several other states. The health network also revealed that the hackers demanded more than $5 million in ransom, which it declined to pay. When LVHN refused to pay the ransom, the hackers began making the stolen patient images and information available for download on the dark web. The information comes from a court filing that seeks to move a class-action suit from Lackawanna County Court, where it was filed March 13 by a Dunmore woman allegedly victimized in the data breach, to U.S. District Court. LVHN says the breach could conceivably cost it up to $55 million in damages.
Lehigh University has begun construction on a 20-acre solar farm that will bring 7,400 solar panels to the school’s Goodman campus in Bethlehem. The project will eventually supply 100% of the electricity needs of the Goodman campus. Construction is expected to wrap up this fall.
More than one week after a massive fire destroyed a warehouse in West Easton, smoke was reported there Wednesday morning. Firefighters were called back to Lehigh Drive in West Easton around 8:30 Wednesday morning. Light smoke was reported in the area, but there were no visible flames and crews quickly squelched the flare-ups.
An unidentified Northampton County man is accused of starting a fire Tuesday night that turned into a large brush fire near the Appalachian Trail in the Slate Belt. Investigators say the Plainfield Township man started the fire and failed to report it to authorities. The fire on North Broadway in Wind Gap burned 22,000 square feet of woodland and put homes in danger. The man is charged with a felony count of risking a catastrophe and a misdemeanor count of failure to report or control a dangerous fire. He was sent to Northampton County Prison Wednesday morning after failing to post $40,000 bail.
Authorities are warning all residents of the Poconos to be cautious about wildfires as we head into the spring season. The National Weather Service issued a Red Flag warning for all of Pennsylvania yesterday following a mild winter. Authorities say the new rise in temperatures as well as the recent gusty winds could cause wildfires to spread throughout the Pocono Mountains. Several brush fires have already broken out in Northampton County and Carbon County.
Accu-Weather's Joe Lundberg says we'll flirt with record high temperatures both today and tomorrow. "Temperatures are going to be charging up today. We got to 82 yesterday and I think we're going to be going past that like it's standing still today. 87 today, we're going to be very close to the record of 88 and we've got one more warm day like this tomorrow before things do change this weekend," Lundberg says. Tomorrow's projected high is 85. The record high for April 14th is 87 degrees, set in 2018.
The Montgomery County District Attorney's Office says 50-year-old Ruth DiRienzo-Whitehead murdered her 11-year-old son Matthew inside the family's home in Horsham. "She did it with a belt and she strangled him to death in the bed," says Montgomery County DA Kevin Steele. He says DiRienzo-Whitehead told detectives her son had been "crying off and on all day over the family's financial difficulties" and she didn't want her son to grow up with these struggles so she strangled him with her husband's belt as he slept. Investigators say after killing her son, she then drove the family's SUV to Cape May, New Jersey, where she drove the vehicle into the ocean and walked to Wildwood Crest, which is where she was arrested.
Donations for the victims of the R.M. Palmer Company building explosion continue to pour in. Yesterday, officials announced that more than 660-thousand dollars has already been raised for the West Reading Disaster Recovery Fund. The campaign started on March 25th and now more than 15-hundred donations have come in. Meanwhile, the first wrongful death lawsuit has been filed in connection to the deadly explosion at the West Reading chocolate factory on March 24th.
Hotel giant Marriott is ordered to pay Pennsylvania 225-thousand dollars after a ruling this week. According to court documents, Marriott failed to inform customers of "hidden" resort fees, a stipulation of a 2021 settlement. Attorney General Michelle Henry says Marriott has been given multiple extensions and missed a February deadline to comply. Now the hotel chain must pay the fee and be in compliance with the earlier settlement requirements by May 15th.
Pennsylvania is auctioning off hundreds of vehicles from state agencies at the first auction of the year next week. It's scheduled to start at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, April 18th, at Manheim Keystone Pennsylvania. The auction will feature vehicles seized by law enforcement. There is an in-person preview starting today through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the auction house.
The deadline to apply to vote by mail in the municipal primary is less than a month away. Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth Al Schmidt is reminding voters of the May 9th deadline. Anyone wanting to vote by mail should apply for a "no-excuse" absentee ballot. You can find more information and download an application at www.vote.pa.gov.