Dan Holzman

Dan Holzman

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Here's what's trending for November 16.

United Auto Workers union members will be going back to work Monday at Mack Trucks. Management says 93 percent of Mack workers voted Wednesday to ratify their new contract that guarantees wage increases in the coming years and more benefits. Mack President Stephen Roy says, "The new agreement guarantees significant wage growth and delivers excellent benefits for our employees and their families, while at the same time, it will safeguard our competitiveness and allow us to continue making the necessary investments in our people, plants and products.” Workers had been on strike for nearly 40 days. The new contract will affect Mack Trucks plants in Lower Macungie Township as well as elsewhere in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Florida.

It's back to the drawing board in Allentown, where City Council Wednesday night failed to override Mayor Matt Tuerk's veto of Council's 2024 budget. Prior to the vote, council heard from citizens, who of whom spoke directly to the mayor. "15 people live in cars. Families. And you want to raise taxes? Shame on you," the man told Tuerk. Council needed five votes to override Tuerk's veto and keep council's 0% increase budget in place, but came up one vote short. Cynthia Mota, Ed Zucal, Natalie Santos and Ce-Ce Gerlach voted in favor of overriding the veto, while Candida Affa, Santo Napoli and Daryl Hendricks voted against it. Hendricks switched his original vote from earlier this month. Tuerk originally proposed 6.9% property tax increase, but has now backed off that and is instead asking for a 2% hike.

The man convicted of stabbing and killing his mother's boyfriend at an apartment in Lehigh County in February 2022 has been sentenced to 15-30 years in prison. Gabriel Stettler was found guilty of third-degree murder back in April in the killing of 52-year-old Miles Brickhouse Jr. Stettler killed Brickhouse at an apartment complex on W. Woodlawn Street in South Whitehall Township. Stettler's mother told police her son got into a fight with Brickhouse, leading to the killing.

Lehigh Valley residents headed to see Mickey Mouse will be getting a new option to get there next spring. Allegiant Airlines says it will begin nonstop flights from Lehigh Valley International Airport to Orlando International Airport beginning on May 16th. Introductory one-way fares are as low as $59. To get that fare, tickets must be purchased by tomorrow and used by August 12, 2024. Allegiant direct flights from LVIA to Orlando will happen on Sundays and Thursdays.

Allentown is set to lose one of its Rite Aid locations. The retailer and pharmacy store chain announced 22 more store closings this week, on top of 150 locations the company previously said it would have to shut down. The most recent list includes the store at 1628 South 4th Street in Allentown. The closings are part of Rite-Aid's Chapter 11 bankruptcy restructuring that was announced last month.

More than 200 new apartments could be on their way to Lower Macungie. Proposals for two large apartment complexes were moved forward at Tuesday's Lower Macungie Township Planning Commission meeting. A conditional use hearing is the next step for the Mill Creek Pointe apartment proposal, which would bring 180 apartments across 30 buildings near Lower Macungie Middle School. Another development, the Brookside Meadows complex, was moved forward with a recommendation for approval. Its 44 apartments would be built near the Lower Macungie Community Center.

For the second time this year, a state court has sided with a former worker who became ill after leaving their workplace. In both cases, their companies told the employees that their grievances would have to go through Pennsylvania's workers' compensation system, which sets judgment limits on companies' liabilities. The ruling this week says the workers don't have to, but the Plaintiffs still must prove their claims in county courts.

The House Judiciary Committee has approved an abortion rights bill. The Democratic-controlled committee voted 14-11 in favor of House Bill 1786 as part of a six-bill package introduced last month. The measure would prohibit Pennsylvania courts from cooperating with out-of-state civil and criminal cases involving reproductive health care services. It would also prevent officials in other states from arresting individuals in Pennsylvania for abortion-related crimes. The bill was introduced by Representative Mary Jo Daley of Montgomery County and Melissa Shusterman of Chester County.

Changes are coming to the oldest rollercoaster at Hersheypark. The park says the Comet will be getting new trains built by Philadelphia Toboggan Coaster, which is the same company that built the rollercoaster back in 1946. The new trains feature a three-tone blue color scheme with the lead car featuring a logo reminiscent of the early 1970s Comet logo but with a new ‘celestial treatment’ which is also on the sides of each car. The Hersheypark logo will also be featured on the lead car.

New Jersey's first lady is running for the U.S. Senate seat currently occupied by Bob Menendez. Tammy Murphy released a video announcing her run and had this to say as Menendez is shown on screen. "Right now, Washington is filled with too many people more interested in getting rich or getting on camera than getting things done for you," Murphy says. 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.

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