Lehigh County voters will be getting a bit more privacy when they vote next year. Curtains from the old voting machines will be pulled from those machines and used to provide a more private voting experience next year. Some voters complained they had virtually no separation from fellow voters under the new system.
Investigators are saying the cause of the fire that destroyed the Pocono Manor Resort remains undetermined. The state fire marshal says the damage has made it difficult to identify what started the blaze that devastated the more-than-century-old structure, although it appears to have begun in a north end dining room. The hotel has a video surveillance system, but that too was damaged by the flames and the water used to extinguish them. Resort owners say previous plans to renovate the resort are still moving forward.
During a lengthy Wednesday night meeting, Bethlehem City Council approved a $15 fine for parking meter violations, up from a $10 penalty that was deemed not high enough. The measure passed by a 5-2 margin.
An employee of Berks County's county-owned nursing home is in trouble with the law for allegedly taking pictures of deceased residents and sharing them with others. Berks County District Attorney John Adams charged Stephanie Thomas with three counts of abuse of a corpse, a second-degree misdemeanor. Thomas, a certified nursing assistant at the Berks Heim, was reported to authorities in September as having taken pictures of deceased residents and then sharing them with friends and co-workers.
Phillipsburg Town Council is telling Mayor Stephen Ellis to immediately relocate the police department into temporary quarters at the municipal building by the end of the year. The resolution during council’s Wednesday meeting stated that the police, who have remained at the mold-infested Corliss Avenue municipal complex after other departments moved out two years ago, cannot wait until the former National Guard armory on Heckman Street is renovated to house the department temporarily. The council says the department should be moved to the municipal building on Filmore Street and use temporary trailers for police operations.
While roughly 74 percent of Pennsylvania voters approved the Marsy's Law crime victims rights initiative, the law won't be taking effect anytime soon because of a legal challenge. Jennifer Storm is a crime victims advocate and says the people have clearly spoken. "Right now victims are in limbo. We've been working over three years on this initiative," Storm says. Critics of the idea say it violates the rights of those accused of committing a crime.
State Republican Party officials say threatened legal action against York County over a problem with a new voting system is resolved. The GOP specifically raised an alarm Tuesday about votes cast in one building, where they said ballots were seen being placed in bags to be scanned later. An official says the party is now satisfied all votes from that precinct will be counted. The county has apologized for voters experiencing delays or inconveniences on Tuesday.
It's another term at city hall for Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, but there's been talk that he might cut short his second four years to run for governor when Tom Wolf's time in office comes to an end. Kenney was asked about that Tuesday night. "I certainly would look at something like that. Two years is a lifetime in politics. Right now my job is to continue to be the mayor, which I will, and we'll cross that bridge when we come to it," Kenney says.
Pennsylvania state parks officials are seeking public input about future operations. The Bureau of State Parks is sharing a recently released preliminary report with findings from a two-year survey, which asked people to identify what was important to them regarding how state parks will be managed in the next 20 years. The bureau is still accepting feedback on its website.
A longtime performer of Santa Claus at Hersheypark has died. Bill Fry was the Santa for the park's Christmas Candylane for 13 years. He died Tuesday after a battle with liver cancer.
New Jersey health officials are saying the number of hepatitis A cases is skyrocketing compared to last year. There have been 541 confirmed cases since last December. Only 67 cases were reported over the same period a year before. The state New Jersey Department of Health says the increase is primarily affecting people who are homeless, use drugs, have recently been jailed and men who have sex with men. A supermarket worker in Somerset County was recently diagnosed with hepatitis A and the county is offering residents free vaccinations today between noon and 8pm at the Department of Human Services building in Somerville.
New Jersey's governor is telling the President of the United States to keep sending refugees to the Garden State. Gov. Phil Murphy posted a letter he sent to President Donald Trump earlier this month discussing a presidential Executive Order that states refugees should only be settled in jurisdictions where state and local governments agree to accept them. Murphy says the order asks states to demonstrate such consent in writing and he wrote that New Jersey will continue to welcome those seeking safety and fleeing harm. The governor wrote that 2,000,000 New Jerseyans are immigrants, including refugees, and they have contributed to the state's strength while enriching communities.
The kickoff time for the highly-anticipated Penn State-Ohio State football game has been announced. Fox will air the game at noon on November 23rd. The Buckeyes are currently the number one-ranked team in the country, while the Nittany Lions are ranked fourth.
Former Phillies manager Gabe Kapler might not be out of a job for long. There are reports that Kapler is a finalist for the San Francisco Giants' managerial job. The Giants are looking for a replacement for Bruce Bochy, who retired.