Dan Holzman

Dan Holzman

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Here's what's trending for November 15.

Buses of Lehigh Valley residents headed to the nation's capital Tuesday for the March for Israel. Aaron Gorodzinsky, with the Jewish Federation of the Lehigh Valley, was on board and says he liked what he heard and saw. "We thank our elected officials for being able to support Israel and to ask for the release of the over 230 hostages," Gorodzinsky says. He called the day, "a gigantic communal hug to all of our people, and to show that we care deeply for what's happening in Israel today."

An arrest has been made following the death of former Lehigh Valley Phantoms player Adam Johnson. Police in England say a man has been arrested on manslaughter charges for Johnson's death. Johnson died at the hospital after having his neck cut by an opponent's skate during an October 28th game. Authorities have not specifically said the person arrested is the player whose skate cut Johnson, who played for the Phantoms during the 2021-2022 season.

Despite saying Bethlehem is in a better financial position than it has been in a long, long, long time, the mayor there is seeking a tax increase next year. Mayor William Reynolds has unveiled his 2024 budget, which comes in at $113 million and calls for a 2.6% property tax increase. The proposed budget also allocates $11 million in American Rescue Plan dollars and hires four paramedics to help address increased calls for service. Bethlehem will hold a series of budget hearings beginning tonight, before city council votes on the budget in December.

A Northampton County doctor is charged with sexually assaulting a patient while treating her. The woman alleges she was seeing 52-year-old Eric Cochran at Concentra Urgent Care in Hanover Township, Northampton County to be treated for a workplace injury. She claims during one visit Cochran massaged her back, but made sexual contact with her. On a later visit, the woman secretly videoed Cochrane making more sexual contact and telling her he was interested in seeing her socially. She declined, reported the alleged incident to police and turned over the video. Cochran remains free on $150,000 unsecured bail.

After the Allentown city council rejected a nearly seven-percent tax increase, Mayor Matt Tuerk is reviewing a two-percent hike in property taxes instead. The city council is set to vote on his latest budget proposal tonight. The mayor's plan calls for a four-point-five-percent tax increase and a two-percent property tax hike. He says the proposal would allow the city to maintain services for all residents while still being sensitive to what he calls the "realities faced by individual taxpayers."

A Giant supermarket in Allentown will be closing, to be replaced by a new Giant supermarket in the South Mall in Salisbury Township. Giant says the new grocery store and gas station will open in 2025 in the spot left vacant since Bon Ton closed in 2018. Once that new store opens up, the Giant on West Emmaus Avenue in Allentown will close. Giant's president says, "After 35 years at our current location on West Emmaus Avenue, it’s time to grow our store footprint and move a little further up the road.”

The price of gas continues to head south in both the Lehigh Valley and across the commonwealth as we head towards Thanksgiving. According to AAA East Central, the commonwealth's average price for a gallon stands at $3.60, now nearly five cents from last Tuesday and 48 cents below last November 14th. In the Lehigh Valley, the average price is $3.35 a gallon, seven cents less than the prior week and 73 cents cheaper than one year ago.

The wife of New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is officially running for Bob Menendez's U.S. Senate seat. Menendez, a Democrat, is facing federal bribery charges but has refused to step down. He has not said if he'll run for re-election. First Lady Tammy Murphy, also a Democrat, released a video this morning announcing she'll be running for the seat. The video shows Tammy Murphy saying that Washington is filled with too many people more interested in getting rich than getting things done with footage showing Menendez. Tammy Murphy has never previously held office.

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal of a ruling in a case brought by four New Jersey nurses over the state's COVID-19 vaccine mandate. The nurses from Hunterdon Medical Center had gone to court over three of Governor Phil Murphy's executive orders that required healthcare workers to be vaccinated. The nurses challenged the constitutionality of Governor Murphy's orders, which have been rescinded. Yesterday, the nation's highest court announced it would not hear the case and allowed a lower court ruling to stand.

Just in time for the holidays -- a time when analysts expect will be the busiest travel season ever -- a new study reports Newark Liberty International Airport leads the nation in flight cancellations. The report comes from the insurance agency called Insure My Trip. It looked at data compiled by the federal Department of Transportation up to this point of 2023 and determined that Newark Airport ranks first among all airports in flight cancellations. Not far behind are LaGuardia and JFK Airports in New York -- ranking second and third, respectively.

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