Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin has cleared two Allentown police officers involved in the July 24th shooting death of Dominick Hogans. The DA says his office's investigation revealed that Hogans was shot after a foot chase involving several Allentown police officers, including Paul McAdams and Austin Ortwein. Martin says video evidence in the 600 block of Turner Street shows Hogans fired two shots at McAdams and Ortwein, who returned fire, hitting Hogans nine times. Martin says the use of force by police was 'entirely justified.'
Allentown's new Fire Academy builkding is being named after late Allentown Assistant Fire Chief Christopher Kiskeravage, who died from pancreatic cancer back in June. At a Thursday ribbon-cutting, Kiskeravage's widow, Andrea, said her husband would have been humbled and proud to have the new facility dedicated in his honor. Kiskeravage worked with the Allentown Fire Department from 1996 until he retired in 2019. While the building is now open for use, an official dedication ceremony to name it in Kiskeravage’s honor is still to come.
Coca-Cola is shutting down a portion of operations at its syrup plant in Upper Macungie Township. No date for the closing has been set, but federal law requires employers give 60 days notice before a closing or large layoff. The plant to be affected is on Schantz Road.
After about six weeks of work, the Race Street Bridge has reopened. A $6.1 million project to rehabilitate the bridge had kept it closed since July 10. Work included removing and replacing the bridge deck and sidewalk, bridge beam repairs, and new signs and pavement markings. There is minor work still to be done that could cause a small inconvenience until the end of November. The bridge carries more than 10,000 vehicles every day.
A drought watch that had been in effect for 67 Pennsylvania Counties was lifted for 47 of them on Thursday. Carbon, Monroe and Schuylkill counties were among those removed from the watch after a meeting of the Commonwealth Drought Task Force. A drought watch remains in effect in Berks, Bucks, Lehigh and Northampton counties.
A Franklin & Marshall College Poll released Thursday shows former President Donald Trump is the choice among Pennsylvania Republicans. Trump leads the Republican primary field in Pennsylvania with an 18-point advantage over his closest rival, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Trump has support from 39% of registered voters in his party, while DeSantis has 21%. Everyone else is in single digits in the new poll. 297 Republicans were surveyed. An additional 324 Pennsylvania Democrats and 102 independents were asked who they'd vote for in a Joe Biden-Donald Trump rematch and President Biden edged the ex-President by two points.
A Republican representative from Cumberland County is trying to introduce a bill to protect so-called "child influencers" on social media. Torren Ecker says the child celebrities would be protected under Pennsylvania's Child Labor Laws. Social influencers are people who post events or products on the internet that make other people want to try them. Ecker says his plan would protect children who earn money by creating content. It would also protect young people whose name, likeness, or photograph is featured in a parent's content that generates income for the parent.
Members of two large Pennsylvania state employee unions have ratified four-year contracts with with the commonwealth, with the cost of salaries and benefits projected to rise by more than 20%. One agreement covers about 10,000 members of the Service Employees International Union Local 668 and the second covers about 27,000 members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The contracts deliver pay raises of 20.25% over the four years, including 5% right away.
Pennsylvania dairy farmers are getting some help in adopting environmentally-friendly practices. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Hershey announced earlier this week that they're pledging two-million-dollars to farmers in the Land O'Lakes Cooperative so that they can help protect the Chesapeake Bay. The money will fund sustainability efforts that include alternate ways to store manure and implementing better soil practices to deal with runoff. The farms supply products to Hershey.
New Jerseyans can now text Governor Phil Murphy. "Get onto my comments section and text me. I have a new number, 732-605-5455," the governor says. Murphy says he wants to hear questions and comments from the people he represents. The number will also be used to send out periodic updates about things going on throughout the state.
Republican State Senator Richard Durr says the world is moving forward and he's calling on Rutgers University to drop its vaccine mandate for students and staff this fall. Durr issued the call along with his running mates -- Assemblywoman Bethanne McCarthy Patrick and Assembly candidate Tom Tedesco. The three have promised to fight any new lockdown mandates that might be declared with any new COVID variants.