Wildfires in Canada have prompted the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to issue a widespread Code Orange air quality alert for our area today. That means air pollution today may be unhealthy for sensitive groups like young children, the elderly and people suffering from asthma, heart disease and lung issues.
With air quality termed hazardous in the Lehigh Valley, Reilly Children's Hospital's Dr. Jennifer Logan says there's a pretty simple way of judging whether the air you're breathing these days isn't great for your health. "If you can smell some smoke, you're probably breathing in some particulate matter," Logan says. She says this temporary dose of foul air shouldn't cause any permanent damage in typically healthy individuals. However, she says the poor air quality could cause issues for people with a compromised immune system or lung issues.
Stay indoors. That's the advice from health experts who say extended exposure to air polluted by smoke from Canadian wildfires could cause some respiratory issues. One man, who was outside but masked up, says, "I've traveled around the world but I have never seen anything like this." While air quality conditions could improve a bit today, an air quality alert remains in place for the Lehigh Valley.
Dispatch centers in Lehigh and Northampton Counties say they've been flooded by calls of smoky conditions and officials want that to stop. The Lehigh County Office of Emergency Management wants residents to use discretion in reporting smoke conditions to prevent the 9-1-1 system from being overloaded. Administrators say many residents are calling in the reports, thinking the smoke is coming from local fires. But they say you should call only when you see an actual fire. South Whitehall Township police have issued a similar advisory to residents.
New Jersey officials are closely monitoring the effects smoke from Canadian wildfires are having on the state. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is urging people with compromised health to avoid the outdoors. A wildfire in Jackson, which is now 100-percent contained, was adding to the smoky conditions on Wednesday. Crews have been fighting wildfires across the state, with the governor saying the frequency and severity of the latest events are evidence of an intensifying climate crisis.
Bethlehem's firefighters have given a resounding thumbs down to the leadership of Chief Warren Achey. 88 out of 95 union members voted 'no confidence' in Achey. Four voted to back the chief, while another three didn't vote. President of the firefighters union Brian Salabsky accuses Achey of a lack of effective leadership, poor communication and fostering a threatening work environment. Salabsky has asked Mayor William Reynolds to replace Achey with "a leader committed to working with firefighters."
Stitch Fix says it is shutting down its Lower Nazareth Township distribution center, affecting about 375 workers. The San Francisco-based company says it is consolidating its distribution center network and is not renewing its lease on the 483,990-square-foot distribution center at 4770 Hanoverville Road. Stitch Fix opened the Lower Nazareth distribution center in April 2016.
Organizers say they've raised $19,000 in online donations for those affected by a big Easton fire on Memorial Day. 15 Easton rowhomes were either completely destroyed or damaged by the fire.
The demolition of the old Tannersville Inn is underway. The inn has been located at the corner of Route 611 and Cherry Lane Road in Pocono Township for over 200 years. The historical inn will be torn down and replaced with a Wawa service station and convenience store.
The Lebanon County District Attorney's office said a man has been arrested in connection with a triple homicide that led to the deaths of an eight-year-old and nine-year-old boy. In a press release the district attorney charged Ivan Claudio-Rosero with multiple counts of homicide, and said that the office plans to seek the death penalty against him. A woman, Tiffany Koziara, was also charged with hindering the arrest of Rosero.
PennDOT officials say they're now accepting options other than a Social Security card when residents need to get a Real ID. Those new options announced Wednesday include presenting a W-2 form, an SSA-1099 form, a non-SSA-1099 form or a pay stub with the applicant's name and full Social Security number on it. A so-called Real ID is needed to board a domestic commercial flight or enter a federal building or military installation that requires ID.
The trial of accused Tree of Life shooter Robert Bowers continues. Bowers is accused of gunning down 11 worshippers at the Squirrel Hill synagogue in October of 2018. Jurors yesterday saw the weapons recovered from the suspect on the day of the shooting and heard testimony from authorities and paramedics who responded to the scene.
Federal lawmakers are working on a measure aimed at stopping the spread of the invasive spotted lanternfly. Pennsylvania senators Bob Casey and John Fetterman are among a bipartisan group proposing a bill that would make the bug the focus of a high-priority research initiative for the National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Senator Casey's office says the legislation would also make resources available to help protect against the pest. Senator Fetterman's office cites studies that estimate the insect could cost the state's agriculture and food industries more three-hundred-million dollars each year if it's not controlled.
Of all the states in country, New Jersey stands above everyone else as the most romantic state anywhere. You heard that right. The conclusion comes from a fine jewelry company -- Mark Broumand. The company studied Google data for searches for engagement and wedding rings, romantic getaways and romantic destinations. Delaware and New York came in second and third, respectively.