Fireworks debate, COVID-19 update
July 4th weekend in Pennsylvania is setting off a fiery debate about the use of fireworks this year. Complaints have been pouring in about what some are calling …
July 4th weekend in Pennsylvania is setting off a fiery debate about the use of fireworks this year. Complaints have been pouring in about what some are calling an incessant use of fireworks by private residents. Pennsylvania’s legislature is considering prohibiting fireworks in some municipalities. But lawmakers say it seems unlikely, since any sort of ban could mean losing a great deal in sales tax revenue.
Lebanon County moved into Gov. Wolf’s green phase of reopening this past Friday, which means that the entire state has officially made it to green. And the number of positive cases is rising once again. The Department of Health is looking to hire more contact tracers to help slow the spread. And Gov. Wolf has issued a mask mandate which applies to everybody who leaves their homes. Since going green, there have been at least 14 new cases in Wayne County and 11 in Pike County.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has decided that the General Assembly cannot end an emergency declaration without Gov. Wolf’s approval. The decision is bad news for state Republicans, who have been trying to nix the governor’s COVID-19 regulations and restrictions since they were put into place in March.
The Wayne County government said goodbye to two longtime employees this week. County solicitor Lee Krause and Business Manager John Haggarty. Both had worked with the county for 40 years. Former Commissioner Wendell Kay will step in as the new solicitor.
July 4th weekend is one of the busiest summer holidays for travel. The New York State Police and local law enforcement are cracking down on drunk driving this Friday through Sunday. State Troopers will conduct sobriety checkpoints and target reckless and aggressive driving statewide in an effort to keep New York highways safe.
Sullivan County Public Health Director Nancy McGraw recently said that the county is in good shape, with a steady decline in the number of coronavirus cases. However, she is reminding residents to keep wearing masks and continue social distancing. She said this is especially important as the county prepares to receive its summer influx of tourists and visitors.
President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is suing the Pennsylvania Department of State, and all 67 county election offices, for allegedly disenfranchising voters in this year’s primary. The case centers mostly on new rules regarding voting-by-mail, which PA allowed for the first time this year. Local county officials said they have not been officially served with papers yet.
The Ulster County Supreme Court has dismissed a suit against four Sullivan County Fire Departments. The plaintiff alleged that these fire companies committed gross negligence by not responding quickly enough to a house fire in 2014. The judge decided that there was no evidence to suggest that the firefighters’ response time was because of negligence.