The Bethlehem Area School District is pushing to have a lawsuit filed against its superintendent tossed out of federal court. Assistant principal Antonio Traca sued superintendent Joseph Roy back in April, claiming Roy punched him in the chest and screamed at him for not controlling misbehaving students at a football game. While acknowledging for the first time a physical incident occurred between the two men last October, the school district says it falls short of a civil rights violation and has no business being in federal court. Traca's attorney says the case 'does' belong in federal court, and the Supreme Court has ruled as such in previous incidents. Roy is retiring at the end of this month.
Supervisors in Upper Macungie Township have voted to approval final plans for to build warehouses at the former headquarters of Air Products and Chemicals Incorporated. The unanimous approval came Thursday night for the three warehouses planned at 7201 Hamilton Boulevard. Those warehouses will cover 2.61 million-square-feet on 61 acres of the property. Development on reconfiguring the property will begin in February.
Accu-Weather's Joe Lundberg says there's a chance for thunderstorms today and tomorrow, but a much better shot Sunday. "There's a front coming in from the west. The air mass is very moist. There will be thunderstorms and showers. It could come down very hard for everybody in the afternoon. I could see one-to-three inches of rain on Sunday afternoon and evening," Lundberg says. He says flooding could come along with those torrential rains Sunday afternoon.
A Bethlehem gas station was robbed early Thursday morning. Police were called just before 6:30 for an alarm at the Citgo station at the corner of Eighth Avenue and Broad Street. When officers arrived, they found evidence of a break-in. Police are reviewing surveillance footage from the store, and are also asking neighbors to check home surveillance systems for possible video. The convenience store was closed at the time and there were no employees present.
A local retailer that has been in business since 1955 is closing its physical store and shifting to an online-only business. C. Leslie Smith, a shop known for its handcrafted jewelry and gifts, is planning to close its store at the Shops at Cedar Point on S. Cedar Crest Blvd. by Monday. On its Facebook page, the business announced the store lost its lease and all items have been discounted 50% to 70% off their original prices. The business will continue to sell its goods online.
For the third time in less than two years, Northampton County Council needs to appoint a county controller. Bucky Szulborski died June 30th. He had been controller since replacing Tony Bassil who died in September 2021. County Council has 30 days after the office becomes vacant to fill the spot. If council does not choose a controller, the responsibility falls to the county courts. Whoever gets the job will only have it for a brief time. A new controller will be elected Nov. 7 and take office in January.
The Pennsylvania House passed a new state budget Wednesday evening after Gov. Josh Shapiro announced he'd line item veto a program that supporters said would have given students in Pennsylvania the chance to get a scholarship to leave under performing school districts. Republicans, like Seth Grove say Shapiro broke a promise to them with his decision. "How do we move forward as a Commonwealth? How do we trust anything anybody says in this body? How do we find agreement? How do we find bipartisanship? How do we work together moving forward, if we can't count on the simple handshake agreements?" Shapiro asked.
Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro is urging the state Senate to return to session in Harrisburg to sign off on the state budget. "Our Commonwealth, I believe, should not be plunged into a painful, protracted budget impasse over one provision of this budget, while our communities wait for the help and the resources that they need," Shapiro says. The House approved a $45.5 billion spending plan Wednesday night after Shapiro announced he'd back off a proposal to spend $100 million on school vouchers to help students leave failing schools. Republicans, who claim Shapiro is going back on his word by the change, control the Senate and don't have another scheduled session until mid-September.
A Republican is throwing their name in the hat to run in the 2024 congressional race to represent the Lehigh Valley and parts of the Poconos. Maria Montero filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission in the race for Pennsylvania's Seventh District. Democrat Susan Wild, who currently holds a U-S House seat, is also running in the race.
The Pennsylvania House has approved a bill to let people on WIC and food stamps buy diapers and women's hygiene products. House Bill 850 would provide a waiver to allow people who receive SNAP or WIC benefits to buy the items, which they can't currently do. In addition, the bill would create a grant program to provide public schools with funds so that they can give students menstrual products. The bill now heads to the state Senate for consideration.
The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency says two more counties have introduced text-to-911. Anyone in Lebanon and Northumberland counties can now send text messages to 911 and receive the help they need. PEMA also noted that 63 of the 67 counties in Pennsylvania have text-to-911. The four counties without the feature, Bradford, Schuylkill, Sullivan and Wyoming, are planned to be added in the future.
Pennsylvania Senators John Fetterman and Bob Casey have signed on to a letter supporting a proposal that could help first responders at the scene of train derailments. Fetterman and Casey joined with Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown in writing to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and the head of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration in support of a possible rule change that would require real-time information on rail car contents be made available in the event of an emergency. The proposal follows February's derailment of a train carrying hazardous materials in East Palestine.
Prosecutors are continuing to call witnesses in the penalty phase of Robert Bowers' trial. Bowers was convicted in June as the man who shot and killed 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in October of 2018. Prosecutors yesterday called a forensic psychiatrist to the stand who interviewed Bowers over a three-day period in May. The doctor previously interviewed serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, and John Hinckley Junior who shot Ronald Reagan in 1981. Dr. Park Dietz says that Bowers told him that he was a P.O.W. in a war on white people that has been orchestrated by Jews.
Two more people have pleaded guilty to charges in the deaths of Nicole and Jasmine Snyder. The two sisters, who were four and six-years-old, were intentionally starved to death and abused by their mother and her partner. Their bodies were found in November, 2021, behind a trailer home where their mother lived north of Williamsport. Yesterday, Ronald Butler pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of children and Michele Butler pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and abuse of a corpse. Butler's daughter, Echo, and the girls' biological mother, Marie Snyder, will both spend the rest of their lives in prison for their guilty pleas in the girls' murders.
Though Democrats still enjoy a registration advantage in New Jersey, new Republican registrations are outpacing new Democrats -- if only slightly. A little more than 14-thousand-770 new Republicans were registered last month, ahead of the more than 11-thousand new Democrat registrations in the Garden State. Several competitive legislative primaries are credited for the increase in registrations statewide.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is signing legislation that makes major investments into off shore wind, film and affordable housing. Murphy visited the Paulsboro Marine Terminal today, where he signed a bill that will allow New Jersey's first offshore wind project to move forward by using federal tax credits and triggering private investments for off shore wind manufacturing facilities. Murphy also signed legislation that makes the film and digital media tax credit program more attractive. The third bill he signed helps bring more affordable housing to large urban areas.