A sad weekend for the Pennsylvania State Police. "It is with deep regret and sadness that we are here to speak to you today about a both harrowing and tragic day for Pennsylvania State Police and our family," said State Police Commissioner Christopher Paris. He announced Trooper Jacques Rougeau Jr. was shot to death and Lieutenant James Wagner seriously wounded during a Saturday incident in Juniata County. Paris says the shooter, Brandon Stine, was killed in an exchange of gunfire. Officials say Stine initially arrived at the Lewistown Station and fired shots at parked patrol cars. He then drove off, leading to a police chase and a two-hour search that included a helicopter. Paris says it was a "miracle" that no citizens were killed as the chase involved many populated areas. Stine's motive is still being investigated. "This is a tragedy for the Pennsylvania State Police," said Paris. "We ask for your continued prayers, for not only our Troopers but also their families."
One person was stabbed to death in Allentown early Sunday morning. It happened in the 1500 block of Union Boulevard just before 3 a.m. Police say 29- year-old Kevin Tarafa was stabbed inside Synergy Hookah Lounge after a fight with another man. 23-year-old Isiah Yeager has been charged with Tarafa's killing.
After saying last month he planned on seeking re-election, Northampton County Executive Lamont McClure made an official announcement confirming that Sunday. In his statement, McClure said, "With so much left to do on affordable housing, broadband accessibility and the fight against the scourge of fentanyl, I've concluded the decision to seek a third term is the right one." McClure, a Democrat, was first elected in 2017 and won re-election in 2021.
The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has issued a code orange air quality alert for the Lehigh Valley/Berks County area. The declaration means air pollution could be unhealthy for sensitive groups like the elderly, young children and those with asthma, heart disease or other lung issues. People falling into those groups are encouraged to minimize strenuous outdoor activities.
A smoky sky has returned to New Jersey after fires in Canada worsened, though the air quality from the smoke is not expected to be as hazardous it was earlier this month. As of yesterday, forecasters expected the air quality level in New Jersey to reach 52, which is considered moderate. The air quality is not expected to change through today. The wildfires in Canada broke out in April and now total almost 400. They've burned nearly 12-million acres of Canadian forests.
I-95 in Philadelphia could reopen sooner rather than later. That's the message this morning from Governor Josh Shapiro after the tanker caught fire and caused a portion of the highway to collapse. Shapiro originally predicted the rebuild to take several months, but he now predicts it'll be within the next two weeks. President Joe Biden surveyed the damage over the weekend.
Representative Tina Davis is targeting third-party ticket-sellers in her new bill in the state House. It would limit the ability of these kind of sellers to acquire and then re-sell concert and sports event tickets at very inflated prices. Davis, who is a Democrat from Bucks County says fans of Taylor Swift and Bruce Springsteen have paid for tickets that she says exceed what many people pay for their mortgage. Her bill would limit the number of tickets that a buyer can purchase online and increase the penalties for trying to sell tickets at artificially inflated prices.
Pennsylvania leads the nation in the number of cases of lyme disease -- and children make up almost half of the reported cases. Pfizer has launched a trial for a vaccine against Lyme disease in western Pennsylvania. There have been 46 children enrolled in the trial so far. Rozen will reportedly offer another vaccine study and is signing up children from five years of age and older and adults.
A bill to ban menthol cigarettes in New Jersey has advanced in the state legislature. Last year, the FDA proposed a rule to ban menthol cigarettes nationwide because of what medical experts call their addictive influence on young people and Black communities. Two New Jersey lawmakers proposed their own bill rather than wait for the federal government's ban. Last week, the bill cleared the state Senate Health, Human Services, and Senior Citizens Committee. Critics argue a ban would only move the sale of menthol cigarettes underground.
One GOP presidential hopeful says a pledge to support the party's nominee is a "useless idea." "It's only the era of Donald Trump that you need somebody to sign something on a pledge," ex-New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said. Speaking on CNN's State of the Union, Christie said he would take the pledge in 2024 "just as seriously as Donald Trump took the pledge in 2016." Signing a pledge of support for the party's nominee is one of the Republican National Committee's requirements to be eligible to participate in the first presidential primary debate.