Here's what's trending for August 1.

A woman who was appointed to the Allentown School Board in January says she's dropping out of the race to run for the seat. Evelyn Santana has cited "personal circumstances" as her reason for withdrawing as a candidate in the November general election. She said she will remain on the board through the end of the year. There are five seats open on the board this election year. County election officials say because Santana cross-filed, both parties can now nominate a replacement to fill her vacancy on each party's ballot.

An Easton City Councilwoman has legal trouble. Taiba Sultana has been arrested on charges of simple assault and harassment after an incident of domestic violence Monday afternoon at her home involving another person who lives there.

For the 24th time since 1996, Lehigh Valley Hospital has been named as one of the top hospitals in the country for orthopedics. The new U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals list ranks LVH 27th nationwide and also ranks Lehigh Valley Hospital as the region's top hospital for the 10th straight year and sixth best in Pennsylvania.

Police are investigating a Sunday night armed robbery in Northampton County. It happened at the Ary's Express Mart on Northampton Street in Wilson. Police say an employee there was assaulted and robbed by three men just before 10 o'clock Sunday night. The victim says three men, all wearing hoodies, approached him, with one of them hitting him several times with a gun, knocking him out. When he came to, the man discovered money had been stolen from him.

We now know what is replacing Sears at the Whitehall Mall. Floor & Decor will be moving into the location, which housed Sears for more than 50 years. Demolition of the Sears began in June. Floor & Decor is a specialty retailer of hard-surface flooring and tools for hard-surface flooring projects. It is expected to open early next year.

Gov. Josh Shapiro says it's people who make the state's economy run. "I know that AI and emerging technology get a lot of attention. But hear me on this. We are a people-powered economy here in Pennsylvania. Now is the time to invest in our people to take advantage of this unique moment of opportunity," the governor says. Shapiro says that's why he signed an executive order that will direct up to $400 million in federal money over the next five years to reimburse organizations that train new infrastructure workers on the job. Those organizations would receive up to $40,000 for each new worker they train. Infrastructure work covered in the executive order includes repairing roads and bridges, replacing lead pipes and expanding high speed internet.

Senate President Pro Temp Kim Ward says budget negotiations have resumed and that lawmakers could return to the capitol this month. The Republican leader also has remarked that Governor Josh Shapiro could smooth the process by signing the budget passed by both chambers in July. However, the governor says he can't sign the budget until the Senate sends it to him. He also has pledged to use a line-item veto to remove a school voucher provision when it does reach his desk. Under currently announced schedules, the Senate is set to return September 19th and the House would return September 26th.

Both sides have presented their arguments and jurors will begin deliberations today in the final penalty phase of the trial of Robert Bowers. Bowers killed 11 people in a mass shooting in October of 2018 at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh. The jury has already determined that he is eligible for the death penalty. The prosecution and defense rested their cases Monday in the penalty phase and now jurors will be tasked with deciding if Bowers will be put to death.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission has issued its nearly 150 elk hunting licenses early this year. The tags were awarded over the weekend during the annual Elk Expo in Benezette. In the past, the event was held the third weekend of August, only weeks before the archery season begins in mid-September. Officials say the early drawing gives archery hunters more time to get ready and look for lodging, in addition to scouting-out hunt areas. State officials say for the 2023-24 season, 65 antlered and 79 antlerless tags have been allocated. There are three elk seasons in different zones of the elk range in northcentral Pennsylvania. It's estimated that about 14-hundred wild elk roam free there.

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