Here's what's trending for October 17.

Saying he's committed to delivering great city services, Allentown Mayor Matt Tuerk has unveiled his proposed 2024 budget, which includes a large tax hike. The mayor's $229 million budget calls for a 6.9% property tax increase as well as a $120 increase in garbage fees. Tuerk says the tax hike would generate about $2.6 million of revenue for the city and have, what he calls, a limited impact on the majority of Allentown residents. The mayor says he'd use that money to add 21 new jobs to public safety and parks and recreation departments, including a dozen new firefighters. Allentown's most recent tax increase came in 2019. The first budget hearing is October 25th.

A third person has died from injuries suffered in an October 5th wrong way crash on Route 22. 58-year-old Barry Fulton, of Summit Hill, died Sunday night almost two weeks after the crash. The three-vehicle accident happened just after 10:40 a.m. in the area of Route 22 at the Route 33 interchange in Bethlehem Township. Police say Fulton was driving the wrong way on Route 33 and then Route 22 when he collided with two other vehicles. One of those other drivers, 22-year-old John Woodburn, died at the scene. The third driver, 76-year-old Alan Heater, of Bushkill Township, died Saturday.

A large cat spotted in Lower Macungie on Sunday that some believed may have been a mountain lion was actually a feral house cat. The Pennsylvania Game Commission had people in the 1000 block of Village Road in Lower Macungie to determine if a mountain lion had been spotted there. Instead, they determined it was a large feral house cat. Investigators used life-size cutouts of a house cat, a bobcat and a mountain lion and examined tracks and droppings to come to that conclusion.

Renovations are now underway at LANTA's Bethlehem Transportation Center. LANTA says the work will not affect any of its bus schedules, however there will be no access for the public until the project’s completion this winter. Renovations include improvements to passenger waiting areas, as well as the addition of real-time displays and ticket vending machines and new bus shelters on Guetter Street.

A Freemansburg home has been badly damaged in a weekend fire. The fire began around 8 o'clock Sunday night at a home on Jackson Street. There's no word of any injuries or on what may have caused it.

Bethlehem Township Police say several witnesses are reporting seeing a black bear in the parking lot of St. Luke's Anderson campus. Police say the reports were made Monday morning and that when officers arrived to investigate, the bear had already taken off from the scene. The Pennsylvania Game Commission has been notified and will investigate the sightings and says if you spot a bear, stay away from it and it will usually mind its own business.

Organizers say they expect about 400 people to attend a rally tonight at the Jewish Community Center of the Lehigh Valley. The group will be led in a prayer vigil by members of the region's Jewish clergy. Spokesman Aaron Gorodzinsky says anyone can attend who wants to honor those who have died or are missing in the wake of the Hamas attacks on Israel. He also calls the violence the most significant attack on the Jewish people since the Holocaust. The prayer vigil is set from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. in the auditorium of the Jewish Community Center in Allentown.

An arrest has been made in the shooting death of a Philadelphia police officer. Deputy Police Commissioner Frank Vanore announced that 18-year-old Yobranny Fernandez of Camden County, New Jersey was arrested early Monday. He is believed to be one of those who were breaking into vehicles at Philadelphia International Airport last week when they were surprised by Officers Richard Mendez and Raul Ortiz. "We believe that both Ortiz and Mendez attempted to apprehend at least one of the individuals. We think someone came behind him and fired a weapon," Vanore says. Mendez was shot and killed, while Ortiz was wounded. Vanore says two more suspects remain at large. The reward for information leading to arrests and charges has surpassed $237,000.

The annual Pennsylvania March for Life was held Monday morning at the state Capitol. Alexis Sneller is with the Pennsylvania Family Institute and says events like the march can and have changed opinions on the issue. “I think some of the strongest pro-life advocates used to be a part of the abortion industry; what caused them to switch is understanding the humanity of an unborn child and understanding how abortions hurt women, how abortions can destroy life," Sneller says. She says the event aimed to advocate for state policies that respect the human dignity of every person, both born and unborn.

Governor Shapiro's administration is issuing a response to state Muslim groups who say he's been insensitive about their plight in the Israeli conflict. The groups reportedly admonished the governor for not talking about what they see as the suffering of the Palestinians in his comments on the conflict in Israel and Gaza. Shapiro spokesman Manual Bonder says the governor stands by his belief that there's no moral equivalent between Hamas and Israel. Prior to the release of the letter that publicly criticizes Shapiro, Bonder says several of the groups had requested a meeting with him. Bonder says the governor's office agreed to that and that the offer still stands to discuss his comments in person.

There's less than a week left to enter the state Department of Agriculture's pumpkin-carving contest. The agency's "PA Pumpkin Palooza: Where Gourds Go Glam" contest has been extended to October 23rd. There are two categories, carved and painted, with three age groups, Child, for those 11 and under, Youth, for ages 12 to 17, and Adult, 18 and older. State officials will serve as judges and pick a winner on October 31st. The winners will receive a gift bag from PA Preferred retailers.

Kyle Schwarber, Bryce Harper and Nick Castellanos hit homers and Zack Wheeler threw six strong innings to lead the Phillies to a 5-3 win over Arizona in game one of the National League Championship Series. Manager Rob Thomson says he liked what he saw out of Wheeler. "His stuff was really good tonight, especially early in the game. I thought he starting losing a little bit in the fifth and sixth innings. He was dynamite early. His command, stuff, power, competitive nature, everything. He was complete," Thomson says. Game two is tonight in Philadelphia. Aaron Nola pitches for the Phillies.


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