It sounds like the Northampton County Republican Committee will not be rolling out the welcome mat for Democratic incumbent DA Terry Houck. He lost Tuesday's Democratic primary but believes he received enough GOP write-in votes to run in November as a Republican. More than 2100 Republican write-in votes were cast, but they won't begin to be tallied until Friday. Northampton County GOP Chairman Glenn Geissinger says, “As chairman, I am not about to support the Democratic candidate in trying to falsely run as a member of the Republican Party.” Geissinger remains hopeful that a Republican candidate for DA would step forward.
State election officials say voter turnout for Tuesday's primary was the lowest it's been in years. But they add that the numbers are significantly higher than they had been before Pennsylvania allowed mail-in ballots. Unofficial numbers for Tuesday's voting show about a five-percent decline from a 30-percent turnout in previous years.
Acting Pennsylvania Secretary of State Al Schmidt says about three-quarters of the state's mail-in ballots had been returned by Tuesday night's deadline. Mail in-ballots in Pennsylvania have been available for four years after a law was passed in 2019. The method was upheld to be legal by the state supreme court last year after Republicans challenged the idea. Any registered voter is eligible to request a mail-in ballot.
It looks like Air Products' former campus will become home to three warehouses. The Upper Macungie Township Planning Commission has recommended the final land development plan for the redevelopment of the former Air Products headquarters along Hamilton Boulevard. 2.61 million square feet of warehouse construction is planned. The project calls for the demolition of existing buildings and construction of three warehouses ranging in size from 435,600 square feet to 1.2 million square feet, which would occupy roughly 61 acres of the 235-acre campus.
A grand jury has indicted the suspect accused of stabbing four University of Idaho students to death. Police say Bryan Kohberger murdered the students late last year. The 28-year-old Washington State University graduate student and Monroe County native is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the students' deaths. He remains behind bars and has maintained his innocence.
A Monroe County church was damaged by a Wednesday fire. Pastor Joseph Cain says workers were using a propane torch to repair cracks in the parking lot near the church around 2 o'clock Wednesday afternoon. "Wind grabbed the flame and threw it right in the bush and the bush went up. It was crazy. It was really fast," Cain says. The fire quickly spread up the Mount Eaton Church's tower but a church trustee put out the fire in the bush, likely preventing more damage. The interior of the church was not damaged at all.
The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board says gambling revenue for the month of April was more than $476.7 million, an increase of 3.27-percent compared to April 2022 revenue. While Wind Creek Bethlehem had the fourth highest revenue number from last month at more than $47.7 million, it was more than 3-and-a-half percent less than the April 2022 number.
The price at the pump dropped a bit over the past seven days both in the Lehigh Valley and across the commonwealth. In the Lehigh Valley, the average price of a gallon of gas dropped to $3.55, about three cents less than the previous Tuesday and $1.10 less than May 16, 2022. Across Pennsylvania, the price dropped two cents to $3.66, which is 94 cents below last year's price.
Robert Clark, with the U.S. Marshals, says the family of Philadelphia prison escapee Ameen Hurst contacted them Tuesday evening. At that point, Clark says a midnight deadline was put in place for Hurst to surrender. That dead was ignored. So were two others. "We had set surveillance teams up after another missed deadline Wednesday morning for Hurst to turn himself in had come and gone. A surveillance team then observed a man believed to be Hurst. They saw family members get into a vehicle and at that point a vehicle containment was conducted. Hurst was extracted out of the vehicle, positively identified and taken into custody," Clark says. Hurst had been on the run since escaping May 7th along with Nassir Grant, who was arrested last week. Hurst was behind bars on four murder charges. Two others have also been arrested and accused of helping the two men escape.
Next year, Pennsylvanians will have to spend a little more to buy a fishing license. Wednesday, the state's Fish and Boat Commission approved an increase in license fees of $2.50. The cost of an adult resident license will increase from $23.50 to $26. Trout stamps that now cost $10.50 will jump to $13.
The pool of prospective jurors who will listen to testimony in the trial of Robert Bowers has been set. Bowers is accused of killing eleven people in an attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in October of 2018. After a period that lasted more than three weeks, the court narrowed the group of people considered to serve on the jury down to 69. Twelve jurors and six alternates will be selected from that group.
New data shows that the number of people moving to rural parts of the state has increased, even as the population in those areas fell. However, the report from the Center for Rural Pennsylvania says the number of people moving in doesn't make up for a population increase. That's because the number of people dying outweighs the number of babies being born. Some 150-thousand people moved into the state's rural counties in 2021 -- a gain of just over 21-thousand people.
After enjoying a tax surge the last two years, state officials have slashed New Jersey's revenue forecasts by two-point-three billion dollars on income tax. New Jersey Treasury officials told state lawmakers yesterday they expect to collect one-point-one billion dollars less for the fiscal year ending June 30th than they estimated in February. Plus, their forecast for the new fiscal year is one-point-two billion dollars lower than previous estimates.
A former NBA league MVP will be on the free agent market this summer. James Harden reportedly plans to opt out of the final year of his contract with the Philadelphia 76ers to test free agency this offseason. Harden was slated to make 35-point-six-million dollars if he chose to exercise the option. NBA Insider Chris Haynes reports that the 33-year-old is seeking a four-year deal. Harden averaged 21 points per game this past season. Sixers general manager Daryl Morey said Wednesday that the team is "interested" in bringing Harden back.