Here's what's trending for June 16.

In a 4-2 vote, Allentown City Council has given a thumbs down to a pilot program that would have had EMTs and mental health professionals respond to some 911 calls rather than the police. City Council President Daryl Hendricks explains why he was a 'no' vote. "First of all, my main concern is for the health and safety of the citizens of the City of Allentown," Hendricks says. Allentown's mayor, its police chief and Lehigh County DA all opposed the idea. Thursday night's vote doesn't mean the idea is dead however. Since the proposed ordinance was the result of a citizens' petition, the defeated bill will be forwarded to the Lehigh County Board of Elections to be placed as a referendum question on the November general election ballot.

Five people, two of whom are teenagers, allegedly broke into the old Pen Argyl National Bank building on South Robinson Street. Slate Belt regional police say once inside, the five caused more than $50,000 damage, including painting swastikas and racial slurs. Fire extinguishers were sprayed inside the building, emergency lights and exit signs were broken, and several drop celling panels were damaged according to police.

A Bethlehem fireman was sentenced to one month plus three days to 18 months in jail for driving under the influence and a crash on Route 378 last year that injured two people. 45-year-old Bryan Bokan of Bethlehem, pleaded guilty last month to several charges and was sentenced Wednesday. He'll also serve four years of probation. Bokan was involved in an April 2022 crash on Route 378 near the Eaton Avenue overpass.

Allegiant has begun service from Lehigh Valley International Airport to Denver International Airport with initial one-way fares set as low as $87. The new flights will operate twice weekly. Those flights must be purchased by Saturday for travel by September 17, 2023.

The street where a Temple University police sergeant was shot and killed will now serve as a permanent memorial to the fallen officer. Christopher Fitzgerald's father, ex-Allentown police chief Joel Fitzgerald says it's meaningful. "There's no greater honor that a family can have, that a parent can have, that a husband can have," Fitzgerald said. Christopher Fitzgerald was shot and killed back in February after he responded to reports of a robbery near Temple's campus. Gov. Josh Shapiro and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney were among the officials who renamed the 1700 block of West Montgomery Avenue in North Philadelphia to "Christopher Fitzgerald Way."

Both Pennsylvania senators Bob Casey and John Fetterman and several members of the House have sent a letter asking the Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration and the Federal Transit Administration to provide federal dollars to support increased capacity on SEPTA after the collapse of an I-95 overpass in Philadelphia. SEPTA says since the collapse regional rail ridership has jumped by 14-percent.

State officials have issued a drought watch for Pennsylvania. The recent run of dry weather has caused the state Department of Environmental Protection to issue the watch as of Thursday. Residents and businesses are encouraged to cut water usage by five-to-ten percent, but there are no mandatory restrictions. Federal maps show most of Pennsylvania is experiencing moderate drought conditions, but no county is under a drought warning or emergency status at this time.

The entire state of Pennsylvania was put under a drought watch Thursday. Accu-Weather's Dan Pydynowski says today could help that. "I think the odds are pretty high that everybody sees rain," Pydynowski says. We could get around a half-inch of rain today.

Pennsylvania House members could vote next week on bill to raise the state minimum wage. It's currently at $7.25, where it's been for over 20 years. The proposed measure would gradually raise the rate to $15 per hour by 2026, with future adjustments and cost of living increases tied to cost of living indexes. The bill also would raise the minimum wage for tipped workers to 60 percent of the hourly wage.

The House Health Committee has approved a bill that would create a statewide program to erase medical debt. Local and county-level debt programs already exist, but supporters say the initiative would be the first of its kind at the state level. Sponsoring lawmakers say about a million Pennsylvania residents would qualify as being under the income threshold in the bill. They estimate that there's about four-billion-dollars in medical debt in the state that could be covered.

The Democratic-controlled state House in Pennsylvania has passed two bills that would cut taxes for lower-income families. The first bill expands the state's childcare tax credit. The second establishes a state-level earned income tax credit, which would reduce taxes for lower-income families. Both measures won votes from Republicans in the House as they were voting, suggesting that the measures could make headway in the state Senate, which is controlled by the GOP. Legislative analysts say tax credits would cost the state nearly 234-million dollars for fiscal year 2024.

Governor Josh Shapiro has signed a cybersecurity bill into law that requires insurance companies and agents to develop cybersecurity policies. They will also need to report those kind of activities to the state insurance commissioner. Advocates for state insurers say they mostly agree with the new law and believe it will help make personal details and data more secure. Pennsylvania joins nearly 25 other states in adopting such cybersecurity laws.

A House panel has moved a bill out of committee that would set guidelines for pet custody in divorce proceedings. The House Judiciary Committee has approved House Bill 1108 establishing guidelines for local courts to consider. The guidelines include whether an animal was acquired prior to or during a marriage, the basic daily needs of the animal, the main caregiver and which spouse has the greater ability to financially support the animal. Sponsor Anita Kulik says pets are often considered as members of the family, so more consideration needs to be given to them when a marriage breaks up.

Commonwealth officials are telling students, who have mental health concerns, that just because it's summer doesn't mean you can't reach out for help. "We know that when students go home and they don't have that social support that they often get in the school setting, you can experience more mental health concerns," a Department of Education spokeswoman says. The PA Department of Education estimates about 40 percent of students statewide are struggling with depression.

Philadelphia Flyers General Manager Daniel Briere has announced today that John LeClair will be the new Special Advisor to Hockey Operations. LeClair will work along with newly hired Patrick Sharp, another former Flyer, and be involved in all aspects of the Flyers hockey operations departments. LeClair says, “I’m most looking forward to being a part of this group and ensuring our number one priority is to bring the Stanley Cup to Philadelphia.”

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