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Legislature

Lehigh Valley lawmakers want coronavirus-hammered Pennsylvania restaurants to keep sales tax they collect
https://www.mcall.com/news/pennsylvania/capitol-ideas/mc-nws-pa-restaurants-sales-tax-20201217-f4dvpmfotfeorfz6ehayp54vrq-story.html

Chamber leaders urge Wolf and legislators to pass stimulus packages
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/business/chamber-leaders-urge-wolf-and-legislators-to-pass-stimulus-packages/article_eb7fc5c8-4695-5349-a5b1-dc3d2080975e.html

Pennsylvania needs a statewide panel on learning innovation for life after COVID-19 | Opinion
https://www.pennlive.com/opinion/2020/12/pennsylvania-needs-a-statewide-panel-on-learning-innovation-for-life-after-covid-19-opinion.html

We need paid parental leave for all Pennsylvanians This is how to make it happen | Opinion
https://www.penncapital-star.com/commentary/we-need-paid-parental-leave-for-all-pennsylvanians-this-is-how-to-make-it-happen-opinion/

Coronavirus – COVID-19

1,200 Pa. health care workers vaccinated so far for covid-19
https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/1200-pa-health-care-workers-vaccinated-so-far/

COVID-19 vaccine gives Philly health-care workers a glimpse of pandemic hope. Then it’s back to work.
https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/vaccine-doctor-nurse-tech-philadelphia-penn-hospital-health-care-20201217.html

Philadelphia urgent care centers are still coping with shortages of COVID-19 tests
https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/philadelphia-covid-testing-shortages-swabs-20201218.html

Excela Health receives covid vaccine, set to start administering to workers on Friday
https://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/excela-health-receives-covid-vaccine-set-to-start-administering-to-workers-on-friday/

Allegheny Valley Hospital doctors, nurses expected to get covid vaccine
https://triblive.com/local/valley-news-dispatch/allegheny-valley-hospital-doctors-nurses-expected-to-get-covid-vaccine/

Penn State Health St. Joseph receives COVID vaccine shipment
https://www.readingeagle.com/coronavirus/penn-state-health-st-joseph-receives-covid-vaccine-shipment/article_4908d0fa-409c-11eb-9a93-2bcf8bcd63e4.html

Covid-relief grants available to Westmoreland emergency medical services
https://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/covid-relief-grants-available-to-westmoreland-emergency-medical-services/

Northampton County plans to offer Gracedale employees $750 each to take coronavirus vaccine
https://www.mcall.com/coronavirus/mc-nws-coronavirus-gracedale-offering-to-pay-staff-to-take-vaccine-20201218-3fa35klmdrbo3je35bvw6repri-story.html

Beaver County sees COVID-19 spike; Levine urges holiday caution
https://www.timesonline.com/story/news/2020/12/17/beaver-county-sees-covid-19-spike/3943707001/

Pennsylvania reports 224 new coronavirus deaths, adds 9,966 cases
https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/pennsylvania-reports-224-new-coronavirus-deaths-adds-9966-cases/

Allegheny County reports record 55 new covid deaths
https://triblive.com/local/allegheny-county-reports-record-55-new-covid-deaths/

Bucks hospitals near 200 COVID-19 patients; St. Mary delays non-urgent surgeries
https://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com/story/news/2020/12/18/bucks-county-montgomery-county-covid-hospital-patients-surge/3941391001/

SCI Dallas likely source of most new Luzerne County COVID-19 cases amid record surge
https://www.timesleader.com/top-stories/813455/sci-dallas-likely-source-of-most-new-luzerne-county-covid-19-cases-amid-record-surge

More than 500 new COVID-19 cases reported in county on Thursday
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/coronavirus/more-than-500-new-covid-19-cases-reported-in-county-on-thursday/article_70d178d4-81ce-52a3-9f31-e1cb0f6102ce.html

354 new COVID cases in Berks County, Pa. says
https://www.readingeagle.com/coronavirus/354-new-covid-cases-in-berks-county-pa-says/article_c2fa75b6-406b-11eb-888b-c3b2f95d97fc.html

I just got the COVID vaccine. Here’s why. | Expert Opinion
https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/commentary/covid-vaccine-side-effects-pfizer-moderna-philadelphia-20201217.html

Business

Erie’s Black business owners tackle COVID-related economic challenges during holidays
https://www.goerie.com/story/business/2020/12/18/black-business-owners-tackle-covid-related-economic-challenges/6272612002/

Chester County restaurant community bands together to weather pandemic
https://www.dailylocal.com/news/coronavirus/chester-county-restaurant-community-bands-together-to-weather-pandemic/article_6d6d47c8-409c-11eb-a78a-f37220679fbb.html

Crime/Punishment

COVID-19 imposes a new death sentence in Pa. prisons | Editorial
https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/editorials/coronavirus-pennsylvania-prison-covid-19-department-of-corrections-reprieve-20201218.html

An inmate died of the coronavirus, but Pa. corrections never told his family
https://www.inquirer.com/news/pennsylvania/spl/pennsylvania-coronavirus-prisons-hipaa-inmates-medical-condition-families-blocked-20201218.html

Reading man killed in shooting, police say
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/crime/reading-man-killed-in-shooting-police-say/article_bfc38dba-4093-11eb-b23b-ef9ea1d4a3db.html

Beyond the no-knock: Push in states to reform police tactics
https://www.phillytrib.com/news/beyond-the-no-knock-push-in-states-to-reform-police-tactics/article_57dd9aea-514c-57e6-bfe0-dfe97c85daa4.html

Chester nets three gun arrests one day
https://www.delcotimes.com/news/chester-nets-three-gun-arrests-one-day/article_d74f9bc2-40c0-11eb-9620-af854c805f5c.html

Education

Pa.’s free pre-K program provides a meaningful math and language boost, says new study
https://www.witf.org/2020/12/18/pa-s-free-pre-k-program-provides-a-meaningful-math-and-language-boost-says-new-study/

Dallastown Area School District teachers vote to authorize strike in 2021
https://www.ydr.com/story/news/2020/12/17/dallastown-teachers-working-without-contract-authorizes-strike/3950654001/

Air Products aids women and minorities at Kutztown University
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/local/air-products-aids-women-and-minorities-at-kutztown-university/article_196d9584-40b9-11eb-9f7b-b7c6bbaea8c8.html

Pa. is asking colleges to hold off on bringing students back to campus; how will Lancaster County schools respond?
https://lancasteronline.com/news/local/pa-is-asking-colleges-to-hold-off-on-bringing-students-back-to-campus-how-will/article_907f12a0-40ab-11eb-b992-d7ebdb26e7ab.html

Sen. Cory Booker and three other Democratic lawmakers introduce a sweeping NCAA reform bill
https://www.inquirer.com/college-sports/ncaa-reform-bill-cory-booker-senate-democrats-pay-20201217.html

Elections/Politics

McLaughin announces run for Pa. Supreme Court
https://www.pennlive.com/news/2020/12/mclaughin-announces-run-for-pa-supreme-court.html

Election inquiry committee set to issue findings in January
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/election/election-inquiry-committee-set-to-issue-findings-in-january/article_204b6363-c7f9-5fa4-99d5-827cf56ec41b.html

Gaming

Revenue drops at Mohegan Sun and rises at Mount Airy in November
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/business/revenue-drops-at-mohegan-sun-and-rises-at-mount-airy-in-november/article_53ff8049-c688-564f-bac5-d8d7dbc6dd11.html

Local News

Scranton suspends Undercover Santa program
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/scranton-suspends-undercover-santa-program/article_06120ac1-7c20-53c0-bd97-5b2fa2e0d23e.html

United Way of Berks announces $10 million gift from author and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/local/united-way-of-berks-announces-10-million-gift-from-author-and-philanthropist-mackenzie-scott/article_8b4ee0f6-40a8-11eb-859a-2ba726cb1041.html

‘We were simply shocked’: Central Pa. nonprofits react to receiving millions from Mackenzie Scott, ex-wife of Jeff Bezos
https://www.pennlive.com/news/2020/12/we-were-simply-shocked-central-pa-nonprofits-react-to-receiving-millions-from-mackenzie-scott-ex-wife-of-jeff-bezos.html

Berks County commissioners adopt 2021 county budget with no tax increase
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/berks-county-commissioners-adopt-2021-county-budget-with-no-tax-increase/article_38defcd8-4077-11eb-a5df-6359d267edcf.html

County hires firm to oversee prison transition
https://www.delcotimes.com/news/county-hires-firm-to-oversee-prison-transition/article_7c4ea1fa-40c0-11eb-a7b2-432df1b3fbc9.html

Gettysburg passes LGBTQ nondiscrimination ordinance
https://www.penncapital-star.com/civil-rights-social-justice/gettysburg-passes-lgbtq-nondiscrimination-ordinance/

West Chester battling financial woes
https://www.dailylocal.com/news/coronavirus/west-chester-battling-financial-woes/article_d4885c6a-4090-11eb-a3a8-5717db5d6a2f.html

Wilkes-Barre Council OKs amended budget over Brown’s objections
https://www.timesleader.com/news/813438/wilkes-barre-council-oks-amended-budget-over-browns-objections

Items collected for financially struggling pet owners stolen from Kingston building
https://www.timesleader.com/news/813433/items-collected-for-financially-struggling-pet-owners-stolen-from-kingston-building

City, firefighters’ union reach seven-year agreement
https://www.standardspeaker.com/news/city-firefighters-union-reach-seven-year-agreement/article_cb0c7311-091c-5189-8c34-af9d7f3add93.html

National News

6 suspects in alleged plot to kidnap Michigan’s governor indicted by federal grand jury
https://www.pennlive.com/nation-world/2020/12/6-suspects-in-alleged-plot-to-kidnap-michigans-governor-indicted-by-federal-grand-jury.html

New Jersey

N.J. lawmakers OK bills to create legal marijuana industry and approve bill to stop weed arrests
https://www.inquirer.com/business/weed/new-jersey-marijuana-cannabis-legalization-deciminalization-psilocybin-magic-mushrooms-scutari-20201217.html

N.J. lawmakers in historic vote pass legal weed bill, which heads to the governor
https://www.pennlive.com/news/2020/12/nj-lawmakers-in-historic-vote-pass-legal-weed-bill-which-heads-to-the-governor.html

Philly

SEPTA awards $3M contract for bus network revamp, eyeing a faster and easier-to-use system
https://www.inquirer.com/transportation/septa-comprehensive-bus-network-redesign-contract-20201217.html

Philly’s Freedom Apothecary is dedicated to skincare lines from women-owned companies
https://www.inquirer.com/life/freedom-apothecary-barefoot-wine-grant-skincare-northern-liberties-20201218.html

MacKenzie Scott gives $30 million of Amazon wealth to two Philly institutions that serve low-income communities
https://www.inquirer.com/business/mackenzie-scott-amazon-bezos-donations-lincoln-university-community-20201217.html

Here’s hoping a terminally ill firefighter’s last wish is granted before it’s too late | Jenice Armstrong
https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/fire-fighter-cancer-death-widow-philly-jenice-armstrong-20201217.html

Reading Terminal Market and its general manager part ways after 6 months
https://www.inquirer.com/food/reading-terminal-market-manager-conor-murphy-departure-philadelphia-20201217.html

Amid new, tougher Trump rules for immigrant workers, a Friends Select teacher faces a return to Chile
https://www.inquirer.com/news/immigration-immigrant-h1b-h1b1-friends-select-spanish-teacher-trump-chile-20201218.html

Philly’s overworked 911 dispatchers are on the ‘brink of a collapse.’ City Council promises fixes.
https://www.inquirer.com/news/philadelphia-police-911-radio-dispatch-coronavirus-covid-20201217.html

Wells Fargo Regional Foundation will become part of the Philadelphia Foundation
https://www.inquirer.com/business/wells-fargo-regional-foundation-philadelphia-foundation-100-million-20201218.html

Tax and regulatory reform can help small businesses survive and thrive in Philadelphia | Editorial
https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/editorials/philadelphia-taxes-wage-business-reform-covid-20201218.html

Pitt

Pitt cardiologist sues school after backlash to his article on affirmative action
https://triblive.com/news/education-classroom/pitt-cardiologist-sues-school-after-backlash-to-his-article-on-affirmative-action/

State News

Thousands of delayed packages are piled up at Pa. Postal Service facilities: ’You’re not gonna get your Christmas presents’
https://www.inquirer.com/business/usps-package-tracking-delays-philadelphia-christmas-2020-20201218.html

New Year’s becomes countdown to homelessness for thousands in Pa. facing eviction
https://www.pennlive.com/news/2020/12/new-years-becomes-countdown-to-homelessness-for-thousands-in-pa-facing-eviction.html

Puppy scams soaring amid pandemic; Pa. attorney general issues warning
https://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com/story/news/2020/12/18/puppy-scams-soaring-pandemic-animal-rescues/6398040002/

Transportation

Losses at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport continue to mount
https://www.citizensvoice.com/losses-at-wilkes-barre-scranton-international-airport-continue-to-mount/article_58365fa0-5bde-5995-9930-91558900f16e.html

PennDOT extends deadline for ‘Innovations Challenge’
https://www.pennlive.com/news/2020/12/penndot-extends-deadline-for-innovations-challenge.html