Tens of thousands of PPL and First Energy customers are still without power across the state after nasty storms crossed the commonwealth Monday evening. PPL reports more than 26,000 of its customers remain in the dark at this hour, almost 17,000 of which are in Lehigh and Northampton counties. First Energy reports more than 30,000 of its customers are without service right now. 5600 of them are in Monroe and Northampton counties. The storms caused some road flooding, knocked down a lot of tree branches and prompted Musikfest to suspend operations until the system blew through Monday night.
We're learning more about the Bethlehem man accused of threatening to set off explosives at Musikfest. Police are saying 53-year-old Robert Bowen had homemade explosives and a homemade gun in his home when he was arrested Friday. Police allege he also had methamphetamine, heroin and related drug paraphernalia. Bowen remains in Northampton County Prison under $500,000 bail.
A Salisbury Township psychiatrist will serve up to 20 months for violating prescription laws. 71-year-old John Mitchell was sentenced Monday for prescribing higher-than-recommended doses among other offenses. Mitchell's office on Cedar Crest Boulevard in Salisbury Township was raided five years ago.
County authorities say they've taken a man into custody after he barricaded himself in a house inside the Fairways development for several hours Monday. Lehigh County sheriff's deputies say the situation happened when they went to serve a domestic warrant in the 25-hundred block of Waynesborough Court in Lower Macungie Township. The 54-year-old man, whose name hasn't been released, allegedly threatened the deputies to where they left the home and called for backup from state police to establish a perimeter. The suspect was taken into custody by the Special Emergency Response Team after about three hours. He was taken to a hospital in Cedar Crest to be evaluated.
A popular national chain is coming to the Lehigh Valley for the first time. The Cheesecake Factory is on its way to the Lehigh Valley Mall. Besides its nearly three-dozen choices of cheesecake, the restaurant offers more than 250 items on its menu, ranging from appetizers to soups, salads, pizzas, sandwiches and full entrees.
The 19-year-old New Jersey man who drowned Sunday at Beltzville State Park has not yet been identified. Park manager Ben Monk says the man was swimming in an area where swimming is not permitted and Monk explains why much of the lake is off limits to swimmers. "The lake is a dangerous lake outside the designated swimming area. There's a very sharp cutoff that goes from ankle-deep water to 40-feet of water in a step. That's why the swimming area is put where it is," Monk says. He says the man showed up with a group to swim Sunday but had to be turned away from the beach area because the park was at capacity. His body was recovered Monday morning.
Those living with cancer in the Poconos will not have to drive far to see a specialist anymore. Lehigh Valley Health Network opened its new Cancer Center in Hazleton yesterday. The new center is located in the seven-hundred block of East Broad Street in Hazleton and it offers treatment and support services including access to clinical trials.
Three people are confirmed dead after a late Sunday night crash on I-81 south in Dauphin County. About 40 others were injured in the crash of the charter bus. State Police spokesperson Megan Frazer says they're working as fast as possible to identify everybody injured or killed in the crash. "We are trying everything that we can to contact the families as quickly as we can. We're looking at the luggage. We're looking at everything we can to identify who these people are. We're asking the public, if anyone has any information to contact state police in Harrisburg," Frazer says. Investigators say a Honda CRV was stopped in southbound traffic in the right lane of Interstate 81. In trying to avoid the Honda, the bus ended up leaving the north side of the roadway, struck an embankment, and overturned onto its right side. The bus trip originated in New York and was headed for Ohio.
People who like to fish in Pennsylvania will be paying more for a license next year to do so. The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission has voted to increase the costs of licenses and permits for the second year in a row. Before last year, license prices had not changed since 2005. Under the proposal, two-dollars and 50-cents will be added to the current price of the most commonly purchased licenses, increasing the cost of an adult license to 26-dollars. Officials say the nearly three-million-dollars the fees will generate will enable the agency to keep up with increasing inflation levels and escalating costs of infrastructure improvements to enhance the state's lakes and rivers.
The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee says he'll introduce legislation that would outlaw civilian use of military-style body armor. Representative Tim Briggs, a Democrat from Montgomery, says he's noticed that mass gunmen and other murderers wear such gear, which prevents law enforcement from neutralizing the threat early in various situations. New York and Connecticut already restrict access to body armor. Briggs also notes that federal law bars felons from possessing body armor.
A Pennsylvania state senator hopes to stop legacy admissions at state universities. Democrat Anthony Williams of Philadelphia says he plans to introduce legislation this fall that would ensure students are admitted only based on merit at both public and private schools in Pennsylvania. In a memo announcing his intent to file the bill, Williams remarked that legacy admissions are obvious advantages for a student whose family has historically gone to the same school. Penn State University has in the past considered alumni status, but officials say not for general admission to its 24 campuses. State records show the school's main University Park campus has an acceptance rate of 55-percent.
Some farmers in Pennsylvania have embraced hemp as a crop as state and federal money have encouraged industry growth. Hemp, which resembles a marijuana plant, instead plays a role in the production of textiles, paper, automotive materials and construction projects. The movement has found some state support. Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding announced $200,000 in grants for hemp production earlier this year. About $400,000 has also been set aside to help state companies market and promote the product.
One of the largest-ever lottery paydays is up for grabs in the next Mega Millions drawing. The jackpot is now estimated at just over $1.5 billion dollars, making it the largest payout in the game's history. No one has taken home the top prize since a player in Syracuse, New York won 20-million dollars in April. Two previous Powerball jackpots are the only U.S. lottery wins to ever exceed the current Mega Millions sum. The next drawing happens tonight at 11:00.