It's a done deal in the Allentown School District. The new teachers union contract was ratified with a 8-0 vote by the Allentown School Board Thursday night. The new contract includes salary raises to help recruit teachers and improve staff retention in the district. Current union members will receive a 4.69% raise, which includes annual step movement. Union president Leslie Franklin says, "We are very pleased to have been able to come to a four-year contract settlement that will benefit the educators and their families while also being fiscally responsible to the district," The contract will go into effect Sept.1 and will run through the end of August in 2027.
An early Thursday morning fire has killed a woman in Monroe County. The fire happened just before 4am in a home on Owl Hallow Drive in Ross Township, just west of Saylorsburg. Flames tore through the home and left it heavily damaged. The victim's name has not been released. Five others inside the home managed to get out safely.
Stockertown's former police chief is in more hot water. Eric Schwab is now being charged with impersonating a public servant after he allegedly turned on emergency lights on his personal car last Friday, pulled a driver over and told them he'd have handed out a ticket if he weren't off duty. Earlier this week, Schwab was charged with allegedly forging a retired law enforcement officer qualification card, which would've exempted him from state laws prohibiting the concealed carrying of a firearm. Schwab is not eligible for that exemption because he did not leave the Stockertown PD in good standing.
One Lehigh Valley Aldi supermarket will be opening while another one will be closing. A new Aldi is being built in the former Kmart building in the Bethlehem Plaza along Nazareth Pike. Construction is expected to wrap up this summer. Once the new store opens, the Aldi on Easton Avenue will be closing.
Parkland High School’s production of “Oklahoma!” leads the way among 2023 Freddy Awards nominees with 16. Bangor Area and Emmaus aren’t far behind, each with 15 nominations for "Anastasia" and "Fiddler on the Roof" respectively. The 21st annual Freddy Awards ceremony will be held 7 p.m. May 25 at Easton’s State Theatre.
State environmental officials have issued a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for Friday because of ozone concerns. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has issued the alert for the Susquehanna Valley area including Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and York Counties. The Lehigh Valley area will also be impacted for the Berks, Lehigh and Northampton areas. The DEP says residents can help reduce ozone air pollution by driving less and limiting the time you sit with your engine idling, as well as getting gas after dusk and conserving electricity in general.
New subpoenas have reportedly been issued in the ongoing investigation into New Jersey U.S. Senator Robert Menendez. One subpoena reportedly went to North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco about legislative changes in the state. A Sacco spokesperson would only say the mayor complies with all law enforcement inquiries. Prosecutors have been looking into Menendez's relationship with a North Jersey halal meat business, amid questions of whether he and his wife improperly took cash and gifts from the owner. The Democrat, who created a legal defense fund, has confirmed he's aware of an ongoing investigation.
New Jersey lawmakers are considering legislation that would bolster the state's teacher workforce. Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt says she wants to fill vacancies while also retaining existing teachers. One of the proposed bills would make it more affordable and less time-consuming to get a degree while another would make it easier for those already working in the education field to move up. Lampitt says these bills are critical to support the teachers that are foundational to the success of schools and students.
Businesses and staffing firms in New Jersey have filed suit in federal court to block a law that gives rights to temporary workers. The law took effect Monday. Governor Murphy signed it into law in February. It benefits more than 127-thousand temporary workers who are employed by at least 100 staffing agencies in New Jersey. The positions affected by the law are mainly in the warehouse and logistics industries.
It will take all seven games to determine a winner in the 76ers/Celtics playoff series. Boston beat the Sixers in game six 95-86 Thursday night. Sixers coach Doc Rivers says his team is disappointed but not beaten. "It wasn't a down locker room. They were disappointed they lost the game, but you didn't have a locker room with anybody feeling defeated. I can tell you that," Rivers said. Game seven is Sunday in Boston.
Eagles fans are getting their first look at the 2023 schedule. The Birds will open the season on the road against the New England Patriots September 10th before their home opener the following Thursday night in primetime against Minnesota. That's one of five primetime games for the squad this year. Other night games include a visit to Tampa Bay in week three; hosting the Miami Dolphins on Sunday Night Football in week seven; a Super Bowl rematch against Kansas City on Monday Night Football in week 11; and a trip to Dallas for Sunday Night Football in week 14. The team's bye will come in week 10.