What You Need To Know

What You Need to Know

“What You Need to Know” began as a weekly feature that focused on the 2020 Election, where WLVR’s Brad Klein and News Director Jen Rehill discuss the top stories in the Lehigh Valley and Pennsylvania surrounding the election so you could understand the process.

Now, the feature continues every Friday to cover COVID-19, politics and policy, and other top stories from the Lehigh Valley.

Get answers and find out “What You Need to Know” every Friday at 7:45 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. on 91.3 WLVR News.

The only televised debate between Bethlehem’s mayoral candidates

October 29, 2021

On Thursday, Oct. 28, WLVR and our sister station PBS39 hosted a debate between candidates in the Bethlehem mayoral race. Democrat William Reynolds and Republican John Kachmar, met, with you and Lehigh Valley Live’s, Sara Satullo co-moderating. Let’s talk about some of the highlights.

The Allentown mayoral debate and voting deadlines

October 15, 2021

This week: a close look at Thursday’s debate between candidates in the Allentown mayoral race, Democrat Matt Tuerk and Republican Tim Ramos. And a quick review of the coming election deadlines. Monday, Oct. 18, is the last day to register to vote.

Voting issues, labor shortages and pawpaws

October 8, 2021

This week: Mail-in ballots are starting to arrive for those who have requested them, and in Northampton County, drop boxes are open. Labor shortages are affecting a broad range of jobs in the Lehigh Valley. It’s pawpaw season and Brad has sampled the wild local fruit for the first time. 

November Municipal Elections, ballot deadlines, Lehigh County Executive Debate recap

October 1, 2021

This week: A look at the November Municipal elections; approaching deadlines for absentee and mail-in ballot applications; and the debate Thursday between the candidates for Lehigh County Executive, incumbent Democrat Phillips Armstrong and his Republican challenger Glenn Eckhart. 

Election time again, this time with too few poll workers and COVID in Northampton County Prison

September 24, 2021

This week: A look at mail-in and absentee ballots, their deadlines and how to request them; a shortage of poll workers that could impact election day and getting timely results in November; and the latest update on Covid cases in Northampton County Prison. 

Senate-issues subpoena, COVID-19 closes an elementary school, Hispanic Heritage Month, and the Bethlehem Historic District is one step closer to World Heritage site status

September 17, 2021

This week: the Pennsylvania Senate issues subpoenas in an examination of the State’s past two elections; a Bethlehem elementary school is forced to close due to a COVID-19 outbreak; Hispanic Heritage Month begins; and the Bethlehem Historic District, headquarters of the Moravian Church seeks World Heritage District status from the UN. 

‘What You Need to Know’ remembers the 20th anniversary of 9/11

September 10, 2021

This week: a remembrance of 9/11 20 years later. Klein worked for NPR News in New York City that day, and Rehill, who had been based in Harrisburg, spent weeks covering the aftermath of Flight 93, which crashed in Shanksville, Somerset County, killing all aboard.

Hurricane Ida, rising COVID-19 cases and masking in schools

September 3, 2021

This week: the remnants of Hurricane Ida bring deadly flooding to Pennsylvania; COVID-19 cases continue to rise; and the question of masking in schools continues to evolve with a statewide mandate coming from the Department of Health.

The surge of new COVID-19 cases, masks in schools, and the crisis in Afghanistan

August 27, 2021

This week: COVID-19 in Lehigh Valley kids, and the measures that area schools will be taking in the coming school year to alleviate some of the pandemic-related hardships; and the effect of the US and coalition withdrawal from Afghanistan on veterans and others locally. 

COVID-19 numbers, mask mandates and bird feeders are back

August 20, 2021

This week: a detailed look at the latest COVID-19 numbers in Pennsylvania and locally; mask mandates in Lehigh Valley schools; and some qualified good news from the Pennsylvania Game Commission…bird feeders can go back up, after being discouraged for much of this summer.

Musikfest winds down, COVID-19 cases grow and reaching the unvaxxed

August 13, 2021

This week: Musikfest is ongoing, and raising some public health concerns due to the ongoing pandemic. Also, rates of infection in the Lehigh Valley continue to rise, and the Allentown Health Bureau is looking for creative ways to reach unvaccinated citizens. 

Musikfest, the COVID-19 resurgence and Joe Kovacs

August 6, 2021

This week: Musikfest is back, and that’s a boon to the local economy and toward a feeling of ‘normalcy’. But the Lehigh Valley is in the midst of a resurgence of COVID-19 cases. No one knows for sure how that will impact visitors to Musikfest this year. Also, Bethlehem native, Joe Kovacs wins silver in the Tokyo Olympics, competing in the shot put.

The delta variant surge, staying safe at Musikfest, and President Joe Biden visits Macungie

July 30, 2021

This week: President Joe Biden’s visit to Mack Trucks Lehigh Valley Operations in Lower Macungie Township, the growing surge of new COVID-19 cases due to the delta variant and dealing with what one health official describes Musikfest as a “public health nightmare even when we’re not in a pandemic.”

Gov. Wolf visits Bethlehem incubator, COVID-19 cases rise, and Musikfest prepares for in-person crowds

July 23, 2021

This week: Governor Tom Wolf’s visit to Bethlehem on Monday. He was in town to promote efforts to support start-up businesses, but also fielded questions on the role of employers in controlling the pandemic. And, looking ahead two weeks to the start of Musikfest, when hundreds of thousands will visit the Lehigh Valley at a time when COVID-19 restrictions are minimal, and rates of infection are expected to increase through the summer. 

Delta variant, Musikfest and the IronPigs sign the nation’s first scholar-athlete

July 16, 2021

This week: the state of the COVID-19 delta variant in the Lehigh Valley; looking forward to Musikfest, when hundreds of thousands are expected to visit Bethlehem and the surrounding area; and the Lehigh Valley IronPigs achieve a national first by signing an endorsement deal with Lehigh University softball shortstop, Carly Barjaktarovich.

Delta variant, proposed election audit and kids get a do-over year

July 9, 2021

WLVR’s Brad Klein speaks with News Director Jen Rehill about the week’s top local news. This week: the Delta variant of COVID-19, and its danger to Pennsylvania’s unvaccinated, PA GOP efforts to start an Arizona-style audit of the past two elections, and school kids have the option this year for an academic do-over. 

Mask mandate ends, restaurants can open all the way, and some big summer festivals return

May 28, 2021

WLVR’s Brad Klein speaks with News Director Jen Rehill about the week’s top local news. This week: Pandemic restrictions lifted. The mask mandate ends along with the welcome news that 70% of the state are vaccinated. And limitations on restaurants and businesses will lift, as scheduled, on Memorial Day. In related news, events cancelled last year are back amidst hopes of a summer free of pandemic restrictions. Those include arts and music festivals, reopened swimming pools, and more.

The primary election, vaccinations for kids, and Catholic churches open to full capacity

May 21, 2021

WLVR’s Brad Klein speaks with News Director Jen Rehill about the week’s top local news. This week: The election results from Tuesday’s municipal primary elections; vaccinations for kids 12 and up; and Catholic churches open this weekend with much-reduced pandemic restrictions.

CDC Guidance leads to loosening of Pa. Masking Mandate, Vaccines for teens, Thursday’s Bethlehem Mayoral Debate

May 14, 2021

WLVR’s Brad Klein speaks with News Director Jen Rehill about the week’s top local news. This week: Pennsylvania has adopted the looser mask mandate following the CDC’s guidance this week. The unvaccinated must still wear masks for now, but those who’ve had ‘the jab’ can now go without under most circumstances. And a review of Thursday’s debate among the two Democratic candidates for mayor of Bethlehem, ahead of Tuesday’s municipal primary election. The debate remains available to watch on the PBS39 web site, and on the WLVR Facebook page

Pa. open to gathering again, vaccines for county jails, CACLV gets a new executive director, and a visit from the second gentleman

May 6, 2021

WLVR’s Brad Klein speaks with News Director Jen Rehill about the week’s top local news. This week: the long awaited end to pandemic restrictions on most businesses statewide is coming on Memorial Day; a visit from the country’s second gentleman, Doug Emhoff, to Allentown; and the WLVR interview with Dawn Godshall, the incoming executive director the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley.

Derek Chauvin’s verdict, shooting in Upper Macungie, May primaries

April 23, 2021

WLVR’s Brad Klein speaks with News Director Jen Rehill about the week’s top local news. This week: a review of local reaction to the conviction of former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, in connection with the death of George Floyd, the aftermath of a shooting in Upper Macungie, and a look ahead to the May 18 primary election. All registered Pennsylvania voters are able to vote on the four statewide ballot questions regardless of party affiliation.

Dr. Levine is confirmed, the American Rescue Plan money is coming, and a mayoral forum focusing on LGBTQ issues 

March 26, 2021

WLVR’s Brad Klein and Jen Rehill begin with the confirmation by the US Senate of former Pennsylvania Health Secretary, Rachel Levine to the number two position in the US Department of Health. Also, a review of the substantial amount of federal money already flowing into the region from the pandemic relief bill. And a look forward to the forum among Democratic candidates for Allentown mayor that will focus on LGBTQ issues. 

The Pa. primary election, hopeful news on COVID-19 vaccines, and ‘The Future is Female’

March 12, 2021

WLVR’s Brad Klein speaks with News Director Jen Rehill about the week’s top local news. This week the focus is on who will be on the ballot for the May 18 primaries in the Lehigh Valley. There’s also some hopeful news on the COVID-19 vaccination front. And this week WLVR/PBS39 reporter Megan Frank revealed the first part of her documentary on women and the space program. It’s called “The Future is Female: Women Space and NASA,”and can be viewed on PBS39.org.

Looking back one year to the first COVID-19 cases, the approval of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and vaccinating teachers, and looking ahead to Pennsylvania’s primary election

March 5, 2021

WLVR’s Brad Klein and Jen Rehill begin with a look back to one year ago this weekend. That’s when the first COVID-19 cases were detected in Pennsylvania. This week, the big story was the approval of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, and plans to make it available to teachers and school staff in an effort to reopen schools in the Commonwealth. And a look ahead to the May 18th primary. The last day to register is May 3. And the last day to request a mail-in or absentee ballot is May 11.

Vaccine doses to the rescue, Dr. Rachel Levine is questioned, and Black History Month tributes

February 26, 2021

There may be some good news on the vaccine front, with 400,000 doses on the way to the state. Former Pennsylvania Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine appeared before the Senate Health Committee. And as we come to the end of Black History Month, Rehill suggests programs at the Allentown Art Museum and the program, heard on WLVRBlack Radio: Telling It Like It Was, a program that airs at 9 p.m. Sunday nights on WLVR through mid-March.

Vaccine shortages, election season, and the sale of The Morning Call

February 19, 2021

 The story of COVID-19 vaccine supply became even more complex this week, with serious shortages of the Moderna vaccine announced on Wednesday. Local politicians have begun collecting signatures for candidacy petitions, complicated by weather and the pandemic. And the owner of The Morning Call is being acquired by a venture capital firm, whose commitment to local journalism has been questioned in the past.

Impeachment, vaccine shortages, and the May Primary

February 12, 2021

WLVR’s Brad Klein and Jen Rehill discuss the proceedings of the impeachment trial, vaccine shortages in the Lehigh Valley and looking forward to the spring elections.

Snowstorm, Lehigh County Jail vigil and vaccine distribution

February 5, 2021

WLVR’s Brad Klein and News Director Jen Rehill discuss the record-setting snowfall on Monday, issues of pandemic safety at the Lehigh County Jail, and Pennsylvania’s below average performance in vaccinating its population against COVID-19. 

COVID-19 vaccines & how to get yours

January 29, 2021

WLVR’s Brad Klein and Jen Rehill discuss the COVID-19 vaccine. The state of the supply; the leadership from the Biden administration, the governor and the new acting Health Secretary; the locations and procedures available locally.

Impeachment and fall out from Capitol riots

January 15, 2021

A Capitol riot, a new coronavirus strain, and Allentown’s changing leadership

January 8, 2021

This week, WLVR’s Tyler Pratt and WLVR News Director Jen Rehill discussed the top stories from this week: Storming of the U.S Capitol, a new COVID-19 strain in Pa. and Allentown’s new City Council leaders.

Electoral vote, COVID vaccine & snow storms

December 18, 2020

This week saw the Electoral College counts, plus the first COVID-19 vaccine shots in the State and the Valley, and a notable December snowstorm.

Pa. COVID restrictions and remaining litigation over the presidential election

December 11, 2020

This week, the big news is the new round of Statewide restrictions to control the surging Covid-19 pandemic. And a look forward including remaining litigation over the presidential election, and the steps toward Joe Biden’s assumption of the presidency. 

COVID spikes in the Lehigh Valley & possible vaccine in Pa.

November 20, 2020

COVID-19 numbers continue to rise here in Pennsylvania, much like the rest of the nation, and we are seeing a record number of cases. Yesterday, Nov. 19, there were more than 7,000 cases reported in Pennsylvania. The state has broken records every day over the last two weeks.

Where the Presidential Election Stands & Update on Pa. Auditor General

November 6, 2020

On this week’s episode of What You Need to Know – a series about voting in the coming election, Brad and Jen discuss where the presidential race lies in Pa. and the mail-in ballots that remain to be counted and the blue shift expected to come. And the update that Timothy DeFoor has been elected to become auditor general, Pennsylvania’s elected fiscal watchdog. DeFoor campaigned on his record of spending three decades conducting governmental audits and fraud investigations.

Late Arriving Ballots, the US Supreme Court, and the Blue Shift

October 30, 2020

On this week’s episode on What You Need to Know – a series about voting in the coming election, Brad and Jen discuss tensions rising before election day, the number of votes being cast in this election and the possibility that late-arriving mail-in ballots may not be counted in the official Pa. state results. 

October 30, 2020

Watch the replay above of the Facebook live Q&A special edition of What You Need to Know: Decision 2020 with WLVR news directors and reporters as we answer your questions about Election 2020. 

Panelists include:
Jen Rehill, News Director WLVR
Genesis Ortega, Community Correspondent WLVR
Tyler Pratt, Reporter WLVR
-Jim Deegan, VP of News Lehigh Valley Public Media

Safety changes for in-person voting for COVID, making sure your ballot is counted & Live Q&A event

October 23, 2020

On this week’s episode we talked about how to make sure your ballot is counted, how in-person voting will be changed by COVID-19 and our Monday evening What You Need to Know live Facebook event.

Registering to vote, early in-person voting and mail-in ballots

October 16, 2020

This week, Brad Klein and News Director Jen Rehill discuss everything you need to know about registering to vote, early in-person voting and how to successfully cast your mail-in ballot.

Read the full story with links to resources.

Pa. Secretary of State asking for more time before the election to process ballots & local Lehigh Valley races

October 9, 2020

This week, Brad Klein and News Director Jen Rehill discuss calls from the state’s top election official, Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar asking legislature to give county officials more time before election day to process mail in ballots. And the still disputed races for State House between incumbent Peter Schwyer and primary challenger Enid Santiago. After her defeat she has declared as a write-in candidate in the election.

New mail-in drop boxes & the mistake of discarded ballots in Luzerne County

October 2, 2020

This week, WLVR’s News Director Jen Rehill talks with Brad Klein about the new drop boxes for mail-in ballots in Northampton County, the mistake of the discarded ballots in Luzerne County, and rules for poll watchers.

Read the full story HERE.


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