The National Transportation Safety Board has issued its preliminary findings on their investigation into the fatal explosion at R.M. Palmer chocolate factory that killed 7 people and injured 11 others on March 24th. The NTSB said the cause of the explosion appears to have been a "natural gas-fueled explosion and fire." Investigators say at the time of the explosion, about 35 office staff and 70 production employees were working inside the West Reading facility. Palmer employees from Building 2 told investigators they were sanitizing equipment when they detected an odor of natural gas. Building 1 employees told NTSB officials they also recalled the smell of rotten eggs around the same time. The findings don't state, though, exactly what might have happened that led to the explosion. The report stresses that its information is preliminary, is subject to change and that the investigation continues.
Work on the Fourth Street parking deck in Easton was supposed to be wrapped up in May 2022, but it's now May 2023 and it's still not completed. Now, Easton has told Perrotto Builders of Reading they have until this Friday to complete the job or be fired. City officials say there's a chance the garage 'could' be ready by Friday. Delays on the Fourth Street deck have pushed back demolition and reconstruction of the Pine Street parking deck because the city doesn’t want to lose the spaces on Pine Street until new spaces become available on Fourth Street. Easton Mayor Sal Panto tells Lehigh Valley Live, "I’ll never hire them again. They are not a responsible bidder.”
The average price for a gallon of gas in Pennsylvania dropped four cents from the previous week to $3.73 as of Tuesday. That's 62 cents below last May 2nd's price. In the Lehigh Valley, the average price dipped seven cents from last Tuesday, down to $3.65 a gallon. That's 67 cents lower than May 2nd of last year.
A woman was seriously injured after being run over by her own car. The accident happened Monday around 7:30 p.m. at the intersection of Helms Mill and Dalton roads in Hackettstown, New Jersey. The 61-year-old woman was getting out of her car when she realized it was not in park. As she tried to stop the car from rolling, she fell out of the car and it rolled over part of her body. The woman had serious injuries but they were not considered life-threatening according to Hackettstown police.
The Pennsylvania State Police turned 118 years old Tuesday with ceremonies marking the occasion. "This is the day to reflect upon more than a century of honorable service to the citizens of this commonwealth," one speaker said. In a special ceremony, state police officials read off the names of the 102 troopers killed in the line of duty and lay a wreath at the memorial wall in Hershey.
Pennsylvania Acting Revenue Secretary Pat Browne says Pennsylvania's general fund revenue last month was slightly above what was expected. Pennsylvania collected $5.7 billion in General Fund revenue in April, which was $51.1 million more than anticipated. Year-to-date General Fund collections stand at $37.9 billion, which is $1.2 billion, or 3.3 percent, above estimate.
A state senate committee has approved a bill that will exempt milk haulers from weather travel bans imposed during a declaration of disaster emergency. The bill's sponsors say they introduced it after hearing from dairy producers and processors who have had to dispose of milk due to the weather-related commercial vehicle travel bans, rather than have it transported to market. The bill, which is now on its way to the full state Senate for consideration, also provides for a permit decal to be developed that would be issued and displayed by licensed milk haulers.
Pennsylvania lawmakers have introduced a new bill that would give companies tax incentives to create four-day, 32-hour work weeks for their employees. The bill introduced Friday in the state House would offer eligible companies a state income tax credit to shorten their work weeks. Supporters say studies have shown that a four-day work week reduces employee stress and allows more flexibility with family time. The bill is sponsored by representatives from Dauphin, Chester and Lehigh counties.
Joel Embiid has become the first Philadelphia 76er to win the NBA MVP award since Allen Iverson in 2001. He tells TNT his teammates get a lot of credit for the honor. "First of all, I thank all of them because I couldn't have done it without them," Embiid said. Embiid averaged 33 points and ten rebounds per game this season.