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Legislature

State Rep. Frankel seeking support for bills to give cities more power over gun laws
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2018/12/12/gun-laws-pennsylvania-cities-Dan-Frankel-Tree-of-Life-preemption/stories/201812120163

Independent pharmacists say they’re being squeezed out of business
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/independent-pharmacists-say-they-re-being-squeezed-out-of-business-1.2421286

Algorithm to reform criminal sentencing in Pa. faces deluge of criticism
http://www.witf.org/news/2018/12/algorithm-to-reform-criminal-sentencing-in-pa-faces-deluge-of-criticism.php

Berks seeks new criteria for farmland preservation easements
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/berks-seeks-new-criteria-for-farmland-preservation-easements

Sen. Schwank Announces $7.5 Million in Available Community Violence Prevention Grants
https://www.bctv.org/2018/12/11/sen-schwank-announces-7-5-million-in-available-community-violence-prevention-grants/

Helping Paws program delivering pet food, vet services to more senior centers
https://www.dailylocal.com/news/local/helping-paws-program-delivering-pet-food-vet-services-to-more/article_8770c0a0-fe0e-11e8-b2cf-1f5a8da3406b.html

Let it go!: Battle over Lindsey Williams’ seat disrespects the voters
https://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/editorials/2018/12/13/Let-it-go-Battle-over-Lindsey-Williams-seat-disrespects-the-voters/stories/201812130049

Editorial: Minimum wage should at least catch up with inflation
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/editorial-minimum-wage-should-at-least-catch-up-with-inflation

Laughlin to pitch alternate Erie community college idea
http://www.goerie.com/news/20181213/laughlin-to-pitch-alternate-erie-community-college-idea

Bedford officials break ground on solar array
http://www.altoonamirror.com/news/local-business/2018/12/bedford-officials-break-ground-on-solar-array/

Business

Early freeze gives Northeast Pennsylvania ski areas an edge this season
https://www.standardspeaker.com/news/early-freeze-gives-northeast-pennsylvania-ski-areas-an-edge-this-season-1.2421308

Catholic Church

Attorney asks for mercy for former Lower Burrell ‘predator priest’
https://triblive.com/local/valleynewsdispatch/14399289-74/attorney-asks-for-mercy-for-former-lower-burrell-predator-priest

Allentown Diocese announces plans for compensation fund for survivors of clergy sex abuse
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/allentown-diocese-announces-plans-for-compensation-fund-for-survivors-of-clergy-sex-abuse

Crime/Punishment

Busted: $8-million-a-week drug ring run out of Bucks County home
http://www2.philly.com/news/opioid-drug-bust-heroin-fentanyl-warminster-bucks-county-20181212.html

Delco board renews contract with private-prison firm
http://www2.philly.com/news/george-w-hill-correctional-facility-delaware-county-geo-group-contract-20181212.html

New Kensington man accused of trying to hunt deer with crossbow while driving
https://triblive.com/local/valleynewsdispatch/14399214-74/new-kensington-man-accused-of-trying-to-hunt-deer-with-a-crossbow

‘Big, bad Wolf’ cards deliver holiday rail over state prison mail rules
http://www.phillytrib.com/news/state_and_region/big-bad-wolf-cards-deliver-holiday-rail-over-state-prison/article_6c3088e3-411c-5ce1-a28a-2fd2cdf43a97.html

Education

Study: 2018 worst year for gun incidents in schools
http://www2.philly.com/news/report-gun-violence-school-shootings–20181212.html

Dunmore School District makes the honor roll for the second year in a row
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/dunmore-school-district-makes-the-honor-roll-for-the-second-year-in-a-row-1.2421507

Steel Valley teachers have new five-year contract
https://www.post-gazette.com/local/south/2018/12/12/Steel-Valley-school-board-approves-new-five-year-teachers-contract-with-lower-health-insurance-premiums/stories/201812120207

Cyber school’s Wilkes-Barre location celebrates grand opening
https://www.timesleader.com/news/727441/cyber-schools-wilkes-barre-location-celebrates-grand-opening

Group criticizes Pennsylvania schools, including Pitt, for limiting free speech
https://triblive.com/local/allegheny/14399015-74/group-criticizes-pennsylvania-schools-including-pitt-for-limiting-free-speech

Gaming

Bet on it: First legal sports wagers locally start Thursday at Rivers Casino at 2 p.m.
https://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2018/12/12/Rivers-Casino-sports-betting-wagers-Pennsylvania-gaming-sportsbook-debut/stories/201812130040

Health Care

Obamacare enrollment down 20 percent in Pennsylvania
http://www.goerie.com/news/20181213/obamacare-enrollment-down-20-percent-in-pennsylvania

Tower Health breaks ground on behavioral health hospital in Bern Township
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/tower-health-breaks-ground-on-behavioral-health-hospital-in-bern-township

Local News

WB street march celebrates feast day for Our Lady of Guadalupe
https://www.timesleader.com/news/727461/wb-street-march-celebrates-feast-day-for-our-lady-of-guadalupe

Investigation at scene of fatal fire continues
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/investigation-at-scene-of-fatal-fire-continues-1.2421405

County election director amends disclosure form as trip probe widens
https://www.timesleader.com/news/727402/depasquale-to-probe-pa-voting-machine-purchase-processes-amid-luzerne-issues

County controversy prompts statewide probe
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/county-controversy-prompts-statewide-probe-1.2421402

State AG DePasquale: Pittston continues to miss police pension payments
https://www.timesleader.com/news/727471/state-ag-depasquale-pittston-continues-to-miss-police-pension-payments

Latest audit shows Pittston police pension fund behind on payments
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/latest-audit-shows-pittston-police-pension-fund-behind-on-payments-1.2421380

Some Lackawanna County employees raise concerns about Globe safety ahead of Friday move-in push
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/some-lackawanna-county-employees-raise-concerns-about-globe-safety-ahead-of-friday-move-in-push-1.2421376

Cognetti resigns from Scranton School Board to work for state auditor general
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/cognetti-resigns-from-scranton-school-board-to-work-for-state-auditor-general-1.2421173

Cognetti abandons post
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/opinion/cognetti-abandons-post-1.2421290

Talking about walking in Scranton
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/talking-about-walking-in-scranton-1.2421474

New medical cannabis grower inks deal for 18 acres in Scott Twp.
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/new-medical-cannabis-grower-inks-deal-for-18-acres-in-scott-twp-1.2421283

‘Glitch’ holds back pay earned by 60 city workers
https://www.standardspeaker.com/news/glitch-holds-back-pay-earned-by-60-city-workers-1.2421357

Marine Corps League, Al’s Bike Drive roll out the Christmas spirit
https://triblive.com/local/valleynewsdispatch/14398920-74/marine-corps-league-als-bike-drive-roll-out-the-christmas-spirit

Kiski Township willing to talk with Apollo about police coverage
https://triblive.com/local/valleynewsdispatch/14400098-74/kiski-township-willing-to-talk-about-providing-police-coverage-but-supervisors-cool

Arnold approves retirement of city’s only female police chief
https://triblive.com/local/valleynewsdispatch/14398494-74/arnold-approves-retirement-of-citys-only-female-police-chief

A new opportunity for development in Reading and West Reading
https://www.readingeagle.com/money/article/a-new-opportunity-for-development

Thousands attend Our Lady of Guadalupe feast in Reading
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/thousands-attend-our-lady-of-guadalupe-feast-in-reading

City of Erie to unveil website redesign in early 2019
http://www.goerie.com/news/20181213/city-of-erie-to-unveil-website-redesign-in-early-2019

Wind farm foes speak against project
https://www.tribdem.com/news/wind-farm-foes-speak-against-project/article_5d170066-fe91-11e8-b1bf-d3e32d9bc315.html

Johnstown City Council nixes realty transfer tax hike
https://www.tribdem.com/news/johnstown-city-council-nixes-realty-transfer-tax-hike/article_cbf39d32-fe91-11e8-a4a0-778197a30955.html

Natural Gas

Pa. drafts new limits on air pollution from gas wells as feds reconsider rules
https://www.post-gazette.com/business/powersource/2018/12/12/air-pollution-oil-and-gas-existing-wells-shale-methane-Pennsylvania-DEP-EPA-Trump/stories/201812120164

Opioid Crisis

Opioid use during pregnancy on the rise in Pa., data show
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/health/2018/12/12/Opioid-use-during-pregnancy-on-the-rise-data-show/stories/201812120201

Naloxone giveaway: Here’s how to get a free drug overdose reversal kit today
https://www.pennlive.com/news/2018/12/pa-hopes-to-give-out-380000-worth-of-overdose-reversal-drug-today.html

Pa. offers EMS type of naloxone the Health Dept. says they shouldn’t use
http://www.witf.org/news/2018/12/the-state-is-offering-paramedics-a-type-of-naloxone-the-health-department-says-they-shouldnt-use.php

Philly

Could tiny houses help solve Philly’s big homelessness problem?
http://www2.philly.com/news/tiny-houses-homelessness-stephanie-sena-seattle-frankford-poverty-affordable-housing-20181213.html

Did Philadelphia make a terrible mistake getting rid of the Chestnut Street Transitway? | Inga Saffron
http://www2.philly.com/real-estate/inga-saffron/chestnut-street-transitway-septa-congestion-solutions-select-bus-20181213.html

Inside the largest Wawa in the history of the universe, opening near Independence Hall Friday
http://www2.philly.com/news/philadelphia/wawa-independence-hall-opening-flagship-store-20181213.html

New ‘Safe Corridors’ program brings parent patrols to opioid-plagued Kensington
http://www.phillytrib.com/news/local_news/new-safe-corridors-program-brings-parent-patrols-to-opioid-plagued/article_0ae8ca39-0e04-5201-96be-72abeb8ea78d.html

Source: Judge won’t vacate AK-47 gunman’s plea deal, but will give victim a hearing date
http://www2.philly.com/news/district-attorney-larry-krasner-judge-rayford-means-ak-gunman-plea-deal-20181212.html

While national Women’s March leaders are under fire, Philly group faces its own turmoil
http://www2.philly.com/news/womens-march-philadelphia-nationals-jan-emily-cooper-morse-deja-lynn-alvarez-pennsylvania-20181212.html

How to get free naloxone in Philadelphia on Thursday
http://www2.philly.com/health/free-naloxone-pennsylvania-narcan-philadelphia-wolf-20181212.html

City Council urged to stall vote on former Provident Mutual site
http://www.phillytrib.com/news/local_news/city-council-urged-to-stall-vote-on-former-provident-mutual/article_507a3378-fb12-59f4-b9c7-778d22dddb05.html

Progress on government integrity: We’re getting there, but still a ways to go | Opinion
http://www2.philly.com/opinion/commentary/philadelphia-ethics-political-corruption-20181213.html

Red tape & sweetheart deals: time to fix the Land Bank | Editorial
http://www2.philly.com/opinion/editorials/land-bank-clarke-kenyatta-johnson-councilmanic-perogative-20181213.html

Government shouldn’t pay to solve toxic lead problem | Opinion
http://www2.philly.com/opinion/commentary/lead-paint-toxic-city-philadelphia-20181212.html

Pitt

A startup building warehouse robots is helping Amazon’s competitors — and wants to double headcount in Pittsburgh
https://www.post-gazette.com/business/tech-news/2018/12/12/bershire-grey-amazon-pittsburgh-boston-robotics-cmu-e-commerce-retail-delivery-online-shopping/stories/201812100028

PETA tries again to stop Pittsburgh Zoo from importing elephant semen after new report
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/science/2018/12/12/PETA-Pittsburgh-Zoo-elephant-semen-USDA-inspection-complaints/stories/201812120160

Poll: More than 40 percent of Steelers fans feel unsafe at Heinz Field night games
https://www.post-gazette.com/sports/steelers/2018/12/12/steelers-chargers-fight-video-heinz-field-safety-civicscience/stories/201812110151

After donations to anti-immigrant groups, Colcom signs removed from Downtown holiday market
https://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2018/12/12/After-donations-to-anti-immigrant-groups-Colcom-signs-removed-from-Downtown-holiday-market/stories/201812120183

The ‘Jersey Shore of Pittsburgh’ — that would be Carson Street — should change, URA study says
https://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2018/12/12/URA-study-recommendations-pittsburgh-South-Side-party-image/stories/201812120171

Pittsburgh council ups URA budget for affordable housing
https://triblive.com/local/allegheny/14399165-74/pittsburgh-council-ups-ura-budget-for-affordable-housing

Pittsburgh Human Relations Commission head on leave
https://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2018/12/12/Pittsburgh-Human-Relations-Commission-head-investigation-leave-carlos-torres/stories/201812120167

Pittsburgh Commission places executive director on paid leave
https://triblive.com/local/allegheny/14398531-74/pittsburgh-commission-places-executive-director-on-paid-leave

Pittsburgh teacher taken to hospital after hitting her head when pushed by student
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2018/12/12/Pittsburgh-Morrow-teacher-taken-to-hospital-head-injury-student-pushed/stories/201812120166

State News

Acid mine drainage must be dealt with along Southern Beltway
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2018/12/12/Acid-mine-drainage-a-problem-along-Southern-Beltway/stories/201812120189

Marijuana industry must be socially responsible when pot becomes legal, CMU expert says
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/environment/2018/12/12/Marijuana-industry-when-pot-becomes-legal-must-be-socially-responsible-CMU-expert-says/stories/201812120197

Dad’s viral photo sparks call for more diaper-changing tables in public men’s restrooms
http://www2.philly.com/columnists/dads-viral-photo-sparks-call-more-diaper-changing-tables-public-mens-restrooms-20181212.html

What’s Pa.’s most popular Christmas candy? We’re so boring.
https://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2018/12/12/popular-Christmas-candy-pennsylvania-candy-canes-list-ranking/stories/201812120125

Suit: Drop ‘good moral character’ cosmetologist requirement
http://www2.philly.com/news/pennsylvania/suit-drop-good-moral-character-cosmetologist-requirement-20181212.html

Lawsuit seeks to end ‘moral character’ stamp for cosmetology licenses
http://www.phillytrib.com/news/local_news/lawsuit-seeks-to-end-moral-character-stamp-for-cosmetology-licenses/article_87669031-5512-53c1-9ed4-bb9d473eb9cf.html

United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania CEO Bob Nelkin to retire in mid-2019
https://triblive.com/local/regional/14398292-74/united-way-of-southwestern-pennsylvania-ceo-bob-nelkin-to-retire-in-mid-2019

PEMA presentation to instruct municipalities on how to claim flood relief
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/pema-presentation-to-instruct-municipalities-on-how-to-claim-flood-relief-1.2421466

What was that horrible smell in the Lehigh Valley Tuesday? DEP wants to know
https://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-nws-lehigh-valley-smell-20181212-story.html

Auditor General tosses Lehigh Twp. Fireman’s Relief Association audits based on ‘falsified records’
https://www.mcall.com/news/local/northampton/mc-nws-lehigh-township-fireman-association-embezzlement-update-20181212-story.html

Near Clairton Coke Works, teen’s asthma frames struggle with dirty air
http://www.witf.org/news/2018/12/teens-asthma-in-shadow-of-clairton-coke-works-frames-struggle-with-dirty-air.php

Transportation

HPT fleet adds pair of natural gas buses
https://www.standardspeaker.com/news/hpt-fleet-adds-pair-of-natural-gas-buses-1.2421298

Washington

Most Pa. lawmakers voted yes on farm bill
https://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2018/12/12/Pa-lawmakers-split-on-farm-bill/stories/201812120194

Weather agency chief: I’ve never briefed Trump on warming
http://www2.philly.com/science/climate/weather-agency-chief-ive-never-briefed-trump-warming-20181213.html

A look at where the investigations related to Trump stand
https://triblive.com/politics/politicalheadlines/14399705-74/a-look-at-where-the-investigations-related-to-trump-stand