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Legislature

State mental health funding hasn’t increased in years. Counties say it’s affecting care.
http://www.witf.org/state-house-sound-bites/2018/12/state-mental-health-funding-hasnt-increased-in-years-counties-say-its-affecting-care.php

5 people will oversee Harrisburg’s finances: Who are they and what will they do?
https://www.pennlive.com/news/2018/12/heres-who-will-oversee-harrisburgs-finances.html

State politicians should heed voice of voters
https://www.citizensvoice.com/opinion/state-politicians-should-heed-voice-of-voters-1.2423472

State charter school law way overdue for reform | Editorial
http://www.philly.com/opinion/editorials/richard-allen-charter-school-board-src-20181219.html

Administration

Gov. Wolf frees Chester County man sentenced to 122 years on drug charges, weighs more acts of clemency
http://www.philly.com/news/governor-wolf-commutes-sentence-benny-ortega-clemency-tina-brosious-20181218.html

Business

Dallas Centre Hardware will close
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/dallas-centre-hardware-will-close-1.2423639

Crime/Punishment

Judge denies Christy efforts to dismiss case
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/judge-denies-christy-efforts-to-dismiss-case-1.2423600

Berks County deputies to help on streets of Reading
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/berks-county-deputies-to-help-on-streets-of-reading

Hollywood Casino pulls in $1.4M in sports betting in first two weeks
https://www.pennlive.com/news/2018/12/hollywood-casino-pulls-in-14m-in-sports-betting-in-first-two-weeks.html

If you’re drinking during the holidays, make plans for who’s driving
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/if-youre-drinking-make-plans-for-whos-driving

Education

New Trump administration school-discipline guidelines could mean trouble for Philly-area students, some experts say
http://www.philly.com/news/devos-school-discipline-philly-trump-civil-rights-20181219.html

There he goes … School leaders say ‘Mr. Harriton’ title not gender inclusive
http://www.philly.com/news/lowermerion-harriton-pageant-gender-inclusive-20181218.html

STREAM event at Seton LaSalle gets students dreaming big
https://observer-reporter.com/living/stream-event-at-seton-lasalle-gets-students-dreaming-big/article_99a56792-fee7-11e8-a6c9-ef46089e4646.html

Mobile Ag Lab bringing the outside in
https://www.readingeagle.com/berks-country/article/bringing-the-outside-in

Central Dauphin board dispute over summer work referred to state officials
https://www.pennlive.com/news/2018/12/central-dauphin-board-dispute-over-summer-work-referred-to-state-officials.html

LCCC, Wilkes University strike transfer agreement for Early Childhood students
https://www.timesleader.com/news/727997/lccc-wilkes-university-strike-transfer-agreement-for-early-childhood-students

LCCC, Wilkes approve new transfer deal
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/lccc-wilkes-approve-new-transfer-deal-1.2423603

LCCC, HAPL partner on education programs
https://www.standardspeaker.com/news/lccc-hapl-partner-on-education-programs-1.2423555

Report claims Penn, Princeton, and other Ivy League colleges discriminate against students with mental illness
http://www.philly.com/health/mental-health-leave-of-absence-policy-ivy-league-penn-princeton-ruderman-family-foundation-20181218.html

Elections/Politics

Behrens elected Luzerne County GOP chairman
https://www.timesleader.com/news/727954/behrens-elected-luzerne-county-gop-chiarman

Gaming

Sports betting: Here’s how much Pennsylvania made in taxes in the two weeks after legalizing
http://www.philly.com/news/pgcb-penna-first-sports-betting-revenue-tax-hollywood-parx-rivers–20181218.html

Health Care

New D’Achille center at West Penn wraps services around new moms struggling with depression
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/health/2018/12/18/postpartum-depression-Alexis-Achille-West-Penn-mental-Highmark-Allegheny-Health/stories/201812180128

Local News

County flood authority airs grievances over stormwater-fee project
https://www.timesleader.com/news/727982/county-flood-authority-airs-grievances-over-stormwater-fee-project

Deal means free parking for patrons at 2 city garages
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/deal-means-free-parking-for-patrons-at-2-city-garages-1.2423642

WB council to consider two-year lease for Conahan Intermodal parking spaces
https://www.timesleader.com/news/727986/wb-council-to-consider-two-year-lease-for-conahan-intermodal-parking-spaces

Flood authority chairman not happy with sanitary authority plan
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/flood-authority-chairman-not-happy-with-sanitary-authority-plan-1.2423601

Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority fleshes out appeal process for stormwater fees
https://www.timesleader.com/news/727980/wyoming-valley-sanitary-authority-fleshes-out-appeal-process-for-stormwater-fees

W-B police chief attends conference to reduce gun violence
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/w-b-police-chief-attends-conference-to-reduce-gun-violence-1.2423577

Tenants leery of W-B council, WestGUARD parking plan
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/tenants-leery-of-w-b-council-westguard-parking-plan-1.2423604

Arena security changes take effect tonight
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/arena-security-changes-take-effect-tonight-1.2423547

Scranton parking garage repairs on schedule
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/scranton-parking-garage-repairs-on-schedule-1.2423699

Board rejects DOJ proposal
https://www.standardspeaker.com/news/board-rejects-doj-proposal-1.2423589

Westmoreland County Food Bank names new CEO
https://www.post-gazette.com/local/westmoreland/2018/12/18/Westmoreland-County-Food-Bank-names-new-CEO-jennifer-miller/stories/201812180148

Editorial: Proposed change to preservation program needs work
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/editorial-proposed-change-to-preservation-program-needs-work

National News

Fed is expected to raise rates while Trump presses criticism
http://www.philly.com/business/federal-reserve-expected-raise-rates-trump-20181219.html

Nevada becomes 1st US state with female-majority Legislature
http://www.philly.com/politics/nevada-becomes-st-us-state-with-female-majority-legislature-20181218.html

Democrats unable to quell internal squabble over voter data
http://www.philly.com/politics/nation/democrats-unable-quell-internal-squabble-over-voter-data-20181218.html

Marijuana

Big Marijuana tightens grip, receives most new Pa. dispensary permits
http://www.philly.com/business/cannabis-medical-marijuana-dispensaries-pennsylvania-restore-cresco-harvest-pharmacann-solterra-agape-rise-20181218.html

Pa. issues permits for medical marijuana dispensaries in Hazleton, Scranton
https://www.timesleader.com/news/727941/pa-issues-permits-for-medical-marijuana-dispensaries-in-hazleton-scranton

State issues permits for three new medical marijuana dispensaries in Scranton
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/state-issues-permits-for-three-new-medical-marijuana-dispensaries-in-scranton-1.2423373

Reading to get 2 of the 3 medical marijuana dispensaries granted for Berks County
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/berks-county-to-get-3-more-medical-marijuana-dispensaries-including-1-in-reading

Where are Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana dispensaries?: Interactive map
https://www.pennlive.com/news/2018/12/where-are-pennsylvanias-medical-marijuana-dispensaries-interactive-map.html

Medical marijuana dispensary coming to Lower Saucon
https://www.mcall.com/business/healthcare/mc-biz-medical-marijuana-more-dispensaries-lower-saucon-20181218-story.html

Erie medical marijuana facility expects to open May 1
http://www.goerie.com/news/20181219/erie-medical-marijuana-facility-expects-to-open-may-1

Opioid Crisis

For some teens, opioid addiction begins after wisdom tooth extraction
http://www.philly.com/health/opioid-addiction-wisdom-tooth-extraction-teens-20181219.html

Reason for hope: AMA lauds Pennsylvania’s steps to combat opioids
https://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/editorials/2018/12/19/Reason-for-hope-AMA-lauds-Pennsylvania-s-steps-to-combat-opioids/stories/201812190069

Health care providers, others, discuss opioid epidemic
https://observer-reporter.com/news/localnews/health-care-providers-others-discuss-opioid-epidemic/article_bf566008-0271-11e9-8f9f-4f5c693c6ea4.html

Since Thursday, 8 people died in Scranton from suspected overdoses
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/since-thursday-8-people-died-in-scranton-from-suspected-overdoses-1.2423511

Philly

Philly and Project HOME announce new awareness campaign for homelessness
http://www.philly.com/news/homeless-philadelphia-center-city-project-home-20181218.html

Philly public schools get financial boost with a credit rating upgrade
http://www.philly.com/news/philly-schools-credit-rating-boost-moodys-20181218.html

School District of Philadelphia’s bond rating gets a boost
http://www.phillytrib.com/news/local_news/school-district-of-philadelphia-s-bond-rating-gets-a-boost/article_ace06abd-cd5e-5c19-96b9-f5ab04a12611.html

North Philly to Oxford
http://www.philly.com/education/a/hazim-hardeman-rhodes-scholar-temple-north-philly-20181219.html

Tap your inner Grinch by reading city’s latest report on violence prevention programs | Helen Ubiñas
http://www.philly.com/news/helen-ubias-philadelphia-guns-violence-murders-shootings-20181219.html

Local Boy Scouts committed to service and safety | Opinion
http://www.philly.com/opinion/commentary/boy-scouts-cradle-of-liberty-council-20181219.html

Philly DA Krasner wants to personally try cases in 2019
http://www.phillytrib.com/news/local_news/philly-da-krasner-wants-to-personally-try-cases-in/article_5c7fb254-f6bd-52b7-afe7-e110fc49eb15.html

‘We are watching you’ as city cameras bolster war on dumpers
http://www.phillytrib.com/news/local_news/we-are-watching-you-as-city-cameras-bolster-war-on/article_52f6b1c3-292b-5719-bcd3-4001fc975b7e.html

Pitt

Sides prep for gun bill fight in city council
https://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2018/12/18/City-Council-Kim-Stolfer-Second-Amendment-Peduto-Gilman-Strassburger/stories/201812180135

City budget passes with housing funds, no tax hike
https://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2018/12/18/Pittsburgh-Council-passes-2019-budget-with-no-tax-increase-and-some-housing-funds-restored/stories/201812180140

Police forces in Allegheny County fare poorly on diversity; lack female, black recruits
https://www.post-gazette.com/local/region/2018/12/18/police-allegheny-county-black-female-gender-ophelia-coleman-ryan-wooten-disparity-race/stories/201812180006

Two faiths, two communities forge a bond
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/faith-religion/2018/12/18/Tree-of-Life-Pittsburgh-synagogue-shootings-Muslims-Jews/stories/201812180136

Police: Most hate crimes in Pittsburgh motivated by race
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2018/12/18/Hate-crimes-race-intimidation-Tree-of-Life/stories/201812180125

Following Uber sidewalk incident, Pittsburgh drafting better reporting rules for self-driving cars
https://www.post-gazette.com/business/tech-news/2018/12/18/Pittsburgh-uber-sidewalk-reporting-rules-accidents-tempe-self-driving-autonomous-bill-peduto-mayor/stories/201812130068

State News

Pennsylvania State Police say crooks are using a PSP phone number to scam victims
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2018/12/18/Pennsylvania-State-Police-scam-warning-PSP-phone-number-to-scam-victims/stories/201812180129

‘They welcome people.’ Inside a Buddhist temple in Bucks County.
http://www.philly.com/news/wat-mongkoltepmunee-buddhist-temple-bensalem-bucks-meditation-20181218.html

‘He loved everything about it’: Army serviceman remembered for passion for Army life
https://www.post-gazette.com/local/westmoreland/2018/12/18/Sgt-Jason-McClary-memorial-service-funeral-afghanistan-soldier-export-pa-Cornerstone-Ministries/stories/201812180122

Ohiopyle river guides win hero award
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/2018/12/18/River-guides-win-hero-award/stories/201812180141

How local climate action can tackle a global problem | Opinion
http://www.philly.com/opinion/commentary/climate-change-carbon-emissions-pennsylvania-20181218.html

Reading district courts lead state with more than $1 million in paid work to constables
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/reading-district-courts-lead-state-with-more-than-1-million-in-paid-work-to-constables

Lebanon County man shot and killed by trooper, state police say
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/lebanon-county-man-shot-by-trooper-state-police-say

Auditor says DCED got better at recouping cash from bad investments
http://www.witf.org/state-house-sound-bites/2018/12/auditor-says-dced-got-better-at-recouping-cash-from-bad-investments.php

Transportation

Uber was just approved to resume self-driving tests in Pittsburgh and the rest of the state
https://www.post-gazette.com/business/tech-news/2018/12/18/Uber-pittsburgh-resume-testing-self-driving-autonomous-vehicles-penndot/stories/201812180146

Pennsylvania signs on to major regional plan to cut car and truck emissions
https://www.post-gazette.com/business/powersource/2018/12/18/climate-carbon-cap-and-trade-regional-transportation-initiative-Pennsylvania/stories/201812180137

Pennsylvania joins regional effort to cut emissions from vehicles
http://www.witf.org/news/2018/12/pennsylvania-joins-regional-effort-to-cut-emissions-from-vehicles.php

Washington

The Senate overwhelmingly passes a criminal justice overhaul
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-nation/2018/12/18/Senate-passes-criminal-justice-overhaul-bill-sentencing-reform-Trump/stories/201812180161