>>First Case of COVID-19 Variant Found in Pennsylvania
(Harrisburg, PA) -- The first case of a variant of COVID-19 is being researched by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. Dr. Rachel Levine announced yesterday that the COVID-19 variant was found in Dauphin County. It is the same variant that was discovered in England last month. Levine says public health experts are working to better understand the new variant by studying how it spreads and how it affects the people who are infected with it.
>>Governor Tom Wolf Activates One-Thousand National Guard Members to D.C.
(Harrisburg, PA) -- Governor Tom Wolf is sending help to the United States Capitol after the recent protests led by Trump supporters. Wolf announced yesterday he is sending over one-thousand members of the state's National Guard to D.C. to assist the district's authorities. The state's National Guard members will be posted in the nation's capital until newly-elected president Joe Biden is inaugurated on January 20th.
>>COVID-19 Cases Continue to Rise in Pennsylvania
(Harrisburg, PA) -- The Pennsylvania Department of Health is reporting more positive cases of COVID-19. The department announced almost 9,700 new positive cases yesterday. The total number of cases in the state has now surpassed 693,000 since the pandemic began. There were also 265 people who have passed away due to complications of the coronavirus.
>>Schuylkill County Man One of Five Reported Deaths In Connection With U.S. Capitol Protests
(Ringtown, PA) -- A Schuylkill County man is being confirmed as one of five people who died in connection with the riots at the U.S. Capitol. Authorities announced yesterday that Benjamin Phillips of Ringtown, Schuylkill County died from a medical emergency during the protests. Officials say there are also about a dozen Pennsylvanians who were arrested in D.C. The arrest charges made against the state's residents include curfew violations, as well as unlawful entry and weapons possession.
>>Lebanon County Resident Facing DC Riot Charges
(Washington, D.C.) -- A Lebanon County man is facing charges of unlawfully entering the Capitol during the siege.
Capitol police say they arrested Terry Brown of the Myerstown area. US attorneys say all options are on the table for members of that mob, including sedition charges.
In all, police arrested nearly 100 people.
>>Harrisburg Man Wanted for High-Speed Chase in Cumberland County
(Lower Allen Township, PA) -- Lower Allen Township Police are searching for a Harrisburg man who led them on a high-speed chase last month. A warrant for 30-year-old Marquell Action Watson was issued yesterday for fleeing and eluding and reckless driving. Police say they attempted to pull over Watson's vehicle on December 16th for window tinting violations and erratic driving before he fled, driving at speeds in the excess of 110-miles-per-hour. Anyone with any information on Watson's whereabouts is being asked to contact the Lower Allen Township Police Department.
>>Wolf Administration Encourages School Districts To Allow Elementary Students Back Into The Classroom
(Harrisburg, PA) -- The state Departments of Education and Health are encouraging school districts to allow elementary students back into the classroom. In a news conference yesterday, Noe Ortega and Doctor Rachel Levine said the Wolf Administration’s guidance is changing, with their encouragement to at least allow for a blended model of instruction. The recommendations for middle and high school students aren’t changing at this point.
>>Man Killed In I-283 Crash I-D’d
(Swatara Twp., PA) -- Police are identifying the Cumberland County man who died in a wrong-way collision on I-283 in Dauphin County this week. Paul and Phyllis Wolfe were driving north in the southbound lanes in Swatara Township when they hit another vehicle head on Wednesday evening. The 92-year-old Paul Wolfe died later at Penn State Health Hershey Medical Center. The crash had closed the highway for several hours.
>>Gardners Man Dies After Crashing Into Cumberland County Retaining Wall
(Dickinson Twp., PA) -- A 65-year-old man from Adams County is dead after crashing his vehicle into a retaining wall in Cumberland County. William Irwin of Gardners was driving northbound on Carlisle Road when he struck the wall at Pine School Road Tuesday afternoon. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
>>Humane Society Police Officer On The Job In York County
(Harrisburg, PA) -- Investigators are blaming a cell phone for prompting a deadly stabbing over the holidays in Harrisburg. Nafisah McNeill admitted to stabbing 28-year-old Leon White-Jones following an argument on the 24-hundred-block of North Fourth Street after the man took her cell phone. McNeill is in Dauphin County Prison without bail ahead of a preliminary hearing January 20th.
>>PennDOT Closes I-83 Northbound Over Susquehanna River For Dam Repair
(Harrisburg, PA) -- Heading from the West to the East Shore this weekend will not be as easy. PennDOT crews are closing the northbound lanes of I-83 across the Susquehanna River for repairs to a damaged expansion dam on the bridge. PennDOT officials say the bridge is safe and the work will improve the ride across the South Bridge. The work should be lifted by the morning commute Monday.
>>Kutztown University President Tests Positive For Coronavirus
(Maxatawny Township, PA) -- The Kutztown University president is positive for COVID-19. The university's office of communications announced yesterday that president Kenneth Hawkinson has tested positive for the virus. Hawkinson is going to be working from home for at least the next ten days and says he has mild symptoms. There are currently five active cases at the university, including Hawkinson's.
>>Lancaster General Health Appoints New CEO
(Lancaster, PA) -- Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health is getting new leadership this new year. The University of Pennsylvania Health System announced yesterday that John J. Herman will be the new chief executive director at LG Health. Herman is going to succeed Jan L. Bergen who retired last August. He is currently serving as CEO of the North Shore Region for Ochsner Health System in New Orleans. Herman will take over the new position after March 30th, as Bergen will stay with LG Health until then to ensure a smooth transition.
>>Fox Berkshire To Reopen Next Friday
(Wyomissing, PA) -- A popular movie theater in Berks County is going to be reopening soon. Fox Berkshire in Wyomissing announced yesterday that it will finally be reopening next Friday after Governor Wolf's COVID-19 restrictions were lifted this past Monday. The theater is going to be showing a selection of new and recent releases including "Wonder Woman 1984," "The Croods 2" and "The Marksman." Its private screening program will also be available.
>>Man Gets At Least 40 Years In Prison For Reading Shooting
(Reading, PA) -- A man is going to be spending a long time behind bars for shooting and killing a man in Reading. The Berks County DA announced yesterday that Bryan Casiano-Figueroa was sentenced twenty-to-forty years in state prison. He pleaded guilty to third-degree murder after shooting and killing a man at an apartment in the one-hundred-block of South Third Street in 2019.
>>Seventy-Eight-Year-Old Reading Man Charged With Sexually Assaulting Boy
(Reading, PA) -- A 78-year-old Reading man is being accused of sexually assaulting a teenager. Berks County DA arrested Johnathan K. Rai yesterday after he allegedly sexually abused a 14-year-old inside a city home over the summer. Rai is facing multiple charges including rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, corruption of a minor and indecent assault. He is currently being held at the Berks County Jail, and his bond is set at 30-thousand-dollars.
>>Allentown School District Teacher Punished For Attending DC Riot
(Allentown, PA) -- An Allentown School District teacher is being placed on leave for attending the protests in D.C., which President-elect Joe Biden called an insurrection not a protest. District officials say members of the community were upset after they saw an image of the teacher at the protest, but the district has an obligation to respect the First Amendment rights of staff and students. The teacher will be relieved of his duties until an investigation of how he was involved is complete. District officials are also asking teachers to think carefully of what they post on social media and how it can impact their students and community.
>>Pennsylvania Senator Calling For Removal Of President Trump
(Washington, DC) -- Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey is calling for the removal of President Trump after the nation's Capitol was seized by Trump supporters on Wednesday. Casey says Trump is a threat to our domestic and national security, and it is evident he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. He then called on Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment, which allows Pence to inherit Trump's powers if he and other executive powers declare him unfit for the job. The Pennsylvania Senator emphasized that the President's rhetoric over election fraud caused the chaos that ensued on Wednesday.