36 hours after violent storms blew through the commonwealth, power outages remain a problem. PPL reports it still has 4100 customers in the dark. More than 3100 of those are in Lehigh, Northampton and Monroe counties. First Energy's issues are larger, with nearly 16,000 of its customers still without service. More than 3000 of them are in Monroe and Northampton counties.
The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touch down Monday night in the Midway Manor neighborhood section of east Allentown. Eric Triminio's home was damaged when a large tree fell onto it, but he says he's taking a glass-half-full view of what happened. "I'm thankful that my family wasn't hurt. My parents are visiting. I'm thankful there weren't hurt. My car wasn't damaged. The house has minimal damage. God was taking care of us," Triminio says. Triminio and his girlfriend left for the store just a few minutes before the storm hit or else their car almost certainly would've been damaged as well.
The Lehigh County district attorney has cleared a Pennsylvania state trooper in a shots fired incident in Allentown on June 16th. Jim Martin says the trooper was justified to shoot at Paris Bartlett, after Bartlett allegedly drove into the trooper, then drove into an Allentown police cruiser with two officers inside and then accelerating once again towards the trooper. At that point, the trooper shot at Bartlett's vehicle. Bartlett drove off before eventually being caught and arrested by police after a lengthy chase. Bartlett was not hit by any of the trooper's gunshots.
Police are still investigating a crash that killed a Trumbauersville woman. The accident happened about 11:30 Monday morning along Tollgate Road in Richland Township, Bucks County. 32-year-old Megan Allen was killed in the two-vehicle crash.
Gas prices both in the Lehigh Valley and across the state continue to climb closer to the $4 mark. According to AAA East Central, the average price of a gallon of gas in the Lehigh Valley area was $3.85 on Tuesday, up three cents from the previous week, but 43 cents below last year's price. Statewide, the price of gas went up nearly five cents from the previous Tuesday to $3.91 a gallon. That 47 cents less than August 8, 2022.
Good news for Chick-fil-A lovers in both Trexlertown and Quakertown. After nearly three months of renovations, the Chick-fil-A on Hamilton Boulevard in Lower Macungie Township expects to reopen within the next couple of weeks. Among the changes coming is a double drive-thru. The Chick-fil-A in Quakertown, which has also been closed since mid-May 10 for renovations, plans to reopen Thursday.
Swimming at Beltzville State Park is being shut down once again this summer. Officials announced that swimming at the state park in Carbon County is off-limits due to high bacteria levels in the water. It will remain closed until acceptable water sample test results are received.
The Pennsylvania State Police Carlisle barracks has been chosen for a pilot program in which troopers are supplied with body-worn cameras. State Police Commissioner Col. Christopher Paris believes his troopers will benefit from the new equipment. "Our troopers will benefit from the use of cameras while using the footage as evidence during criminal proceedings and using the cameras to enhance officer safety. The cameras can also be used to protect citizens and troopers, both, against false claims of misconduct or abuse," Paris says. The plan is for a 60-day trial run with the Carlisle barracks and then a review of best practices and policies.
Pennsylvania's junior U.S. Senator wants to make it easier for women to get longer-lasting prescriptions for birth control pills. Senator John Fetterman's legislation would allow people covered by private health insurers to receive a full year's supply of contraception at the time a prescription is issued, rather than the current limit of a three-month supply. Senator Fetterman says current limit creates an unnecessary burden and can increase the likelihood of gaps in contraceptive protection. The legislation is being called the "Convenient Contraception Act." Pennsylvania's senior Senator Bob Casey is his state colleague on the legislation.
A pair of state Senators has announced plans to introduce a bill for a state program that would provide paid family leave for workers. A cosponsor memo released last week by Republican Senator Devlin Robinson and Montgomery County Democratic Senator Maria Collett says all workers would contribute to support the program and it would be administered by the Department of Labor and Industry. Eligible employees would be able to care for themselves in the event of a serious health condition, or care for a close family member or a new child. It would also allow paid family leave to care for family military members in certain circumstances. The legislation is similar to House Bill 181 that was approved by the House Labor and Industry Committee in June. That bill is currently in the House Rules Committee.
A Pennsylvania state lawmaker says he'll introduce legislation that will encourage developers to convert nearly-empty office buildings for other uses. Democratic Representative Ben Waxman of Philadelphia says giving developers tax credits or other incentives could help convert offices into housing, science labs or retail space. He's said he's creating the legislation because many urban buildings are facing possible default because COVID created a surge in remote and hybrid work. Waxman also believes such incentives will help give people reasons to come back to downtown districts and revitalize urban areas.
An online portal will soon allow people to purchase fentanyl test strips. Officials with the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs say the idea behind the strips is to reduce harm to people who use drugs and possibly keep them from dying. Illegally manufactured Fentanyl is extremely potent and can be deadly when mixed in with other drugs. Drug users can apply the strips to detect fentanyl in cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin. If fentanyl is found, officials say a user can then choose to discard the drugs. Earlier this year, Pennsylvania passed a new law that makes buying and carrying fentanyl test strips legal. State officials hope to have the new portal in place by early fall.
Republican State Representative Craig Williams wants Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner to reimburse the state for over three-million dollars. Krasner, a two-term Democrat, was impeached by House Republicans in November, but in January the Commonwealth Court tossed out the case. Representative Williams is appealing the court's ruling and says taxpayers should be refunded the cost of the proceedings. A Right to Know request filed by WHTM-TV shows the case racked up over two-and-a-half-million-dollars, mostly in legal fees. With the Senate's expenses included, the total cost rises to over three-million.
GOP presidential candidate Chris Christie is challenging Donald Trump after the former president made a joke about Christie's weight. Trump spoke Tuesday at a campaign rally in New Hampshire and said Christie "can't be bothered" because "he's eating right now." "Don't call him a fat pig. You can't do that. We want to be very civil, right?" Trump said. The former New Jersey governor fired back with a tweet that said, "If you had the guts you would show up to the debate and say it to my face."