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Legislature

State senators push to end secrecy in judicial nominations as controversial court pick is approved
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2019/12/18/pa-state-senators-push-to-end-secrecy-in-judicial-nominations-court-pick-drew-crompton-approved/stories/201912180150

GOP Senate aide’s appellate court appointment puts new scrutiny on judicial nominations.
https://www.penncapital-star.com/uncategorized/gop-senate-aides-appellate-court-appoint-puts-new-scrutiny-on-judicial-nominations/

Top GOP Senate staffer Drew Crompton headed to Commonwealth Court bench
https://www.pennlive.com/news/2019/12/top-gop-senate-staffer-drew-crompton-headed-to-commonwealth-court-bench.html

Pennsylvania takes more steps to reduce prison population
https://www.inquirer.com/news/pennsylvania/tom-wolf-pennsylvania-reduction-prison-stays-20191218.html

Undeterred by Wolf’s deadline, House GOP weighs a path forward for minimum wage hike
https://www.penncapital-star.com/working-the-economy/undeterred-by-wolfs-deadline-house-gop-weighs-a-path-forward-for-minimum-wage-hike/

House votes to amend constitution to pick judges by district
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2019/12/18/House-votes-to-amend-constitution-to-pick-judges-by-district/stories/201912180162

After closures from asbestos and other hazards, Pa. and Philly schools need emergency repairs | Opinion
https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/commentary/philadelphia-schools-lead-asbestos-pennsylvania-remediation-20191218.html

She was shot by a stranger in Chester County. She thinks a red flag law might have prevented it.
https://www.witf.org/2019/12/19/she-was-shot-by-a-stranger-in-chester-county-she-thinks-a-red-flag-law-might-have-prevented-it/

Pa. lawmakers are looking to change the picking and the perks of future lieutenant governors
https://www.pennlive.com/news/2019/12/pa-lawmakers-are-looking-to-change-the-picking-and-the-perks-of-future-lieutenant-governors.html

Canceled meetings and finger-pointing plague top Pa. economic development agency
https://www.inquirer.com/news/pennsylvania/spl/pennsylvania-economic-development-grants-commonwealth-financing-authority-turzai-20191219.html

Brian O’Neill: Is it time to tell Amtrak to get off the tracks in Pittsburgh?
https://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/brian-oneill/2019/12/19/Amtrak-Pittsburgh-get-off-tracks-train-transportation/stories/201912190023

GOP leadership names Yudichak to four Senate committees
https://www.timesleader.com/news/766271/gop-leadership-names-yudichak-to-four-senate-committees

Two state legislators set the right tone for the battles ahead in 2020 | PennLive Editorial
https://www.pennlive.com/opinion/2019/12/two-state-legislators-set-the-right-tone-for-battles-ahead-in-2020-pennlive-editorial.html

Administration

Gov. Wolf announces funding for community partnerships
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/gov-wolf-announces-funding-for-community-partnerships-1.2573004

Business

How Boeing 737 Max cutbacks hit Pa. factory owners from Berwyn to Concordville
https://www.inquirer.com/news/columnists/boeing-737-max-crash-suppliers-economy-20191219.html

Mack Trucks plans down weeks, potential layoffs at Lower Macungie plant as market slows down
https://www.mcall.com/business/mc-biz-mack-trucks-plans-production-cutback-macungie-20191219-ouio3mgnxzax3mymgritvviexm-story.html

Crime/Punishment

After nearly four decades, a cold-case murder in Bucks County ends in a guilty plea
https://www.inquirer.com/news/pennsylvania/william-korzon-guilty-plea-gloria-korzon-cold-case-bucks-county-20191218.html

McKeesport teen charged with killing Homestead man
https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/mckeesport-teen-15-accused-of-murdering-homestead-man-last-february/

Education

Former state rep will present ‘The State of Education in Pennsylvania’ in Murrysville
https://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/former-state-rep-will-present-the-state-of-education-in-pennsylvania-in-murrysville/

Elections/Politics

State officials break silence on controversial ExpressVote XL voting machine
https://papost.org/2019/12/18/state-officials-break-silence-on-controversial-expressvote-xl-voting-machine/

Gaming

Mini casino with 500 slot machines to replace Sears at this Pennsylvania mall
https://www.inquirer.com/business/pennsylvania-pgcb-approves-mini-casino-license-hollywood-york-penn-national-20191218.html

Penn National wins license for York casino
https://www.readingeagle.com/money/penn-national-wins-license-for-york-casino/article_ef894c24-21bd-11ea-b2a3-6b1742a53702.html

Health Care

Sen. Casey derides ‘obscene lawsuit’ to gut Affordable Care Act; patient advocates lament limbo
https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/sen-casey-derides-obscene-lawsuit-to-gut-affordable-care-act-patient-advocates-lament-limbo/

Local News

Lackawanna County commissioners wrap up business at last meeting of current administration
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/lackawanna-county-commissioners-wrap-up-business-at-last-meeting-of-current-administration-1.2572986

Commissioners O’Malley, Cummings bid farewell at last meeting of the year
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/commissioners-o-malley-cummings-bid-farewell-at-last-meeting-of-the-year-1.2572992

Scranton mourns loss of 8-year-old boy
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/scranton-mourns-loss-of-8-year-old-boy-1.2572928

Tax ruling crisis but opportunity
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/opinion/tax-ruling-crisis-but-opportunity-1.2573040

Reading building collapses into pile of rubble
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/reading-building-collapses-into-pile-of-rubble/article_8d07c3d4-21ca-11ea-b9b0-27197a152522.html

New program at Olivet Boys & Girls Clubs in Reading will focus on skills on and off the court
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/local/new-program-at-olivet-boys-girls-clubs-in-reading-will/article_8d085404-21b9-11ea-9fd1-3bdad2062cfb.html

Editorial: Scott must help Moran with transition
https://www.readingeagle.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-scott-must-help-moran-with-transition/article_afb44292-2105-11ea-a283-8fcda0527009.html

Man grazed by bullet inside Delco pet store, suspect in custody
https://www.inquirer.com/news/pet-valu-shooting-brookhaven-delaware-county-20191219.html

Bucks commissioners OK $452M budget with tax increase
https://www.theintell.com/news/20191218/bucks-commissioners-ok-452m-budget-with-tax-increase

Editorial: 2 historic unions at a time when all seems divided
https://www.delcotimes.com/opinion/editorial-historic-unions-at-a-time-when-all-seems-divided/article_fc3510ae-2193-11ea-b216-6fbe1b849b5f.html

Leechburg Council approves 22% tax hike
https://triblive.com/local/valley-news-dispatch/leechburg-council-approves-22-tax-hike/

Elks, Knights of Columbus, veterans, rally to help Plum family in serious jam at Christmas
https://plum.triblive.com/elks-knights-of-columbus-veterans-rally-to-help-plum-family-in-serious-jam-at-christmas/

Westmoreland municipal authority expects $3 million price tag for Youngwood project
https://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/westmoreland-municipal-authority-expects-3-million-price-tag-for-youngwood-project/

Proposed budget keeps water, sewer rates unchanged for Municipal Authority of Westmoreland customers
https://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/proposed-budget-keeps-water-sewer-rates-unchanged-for-municipal-authority-customers/

Wyoming Valley Sanitary Authority bills redesigned
https://www.timesleader.com/news/766390/wyoming-valley-sanitary-authority-bills-redesigned

WVSA changes billing format to clarify charges
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/wvsa-changes-billing-format-to-clarify-charges-1.2573027

Wilkes-Barre NAACP to mark MLK weekend at courthouse
https://www.timesleader.com/news/766392/wilkes-barre-naacp-to-mark-mlk-weekend-at-courthouse

No quorum cancels Wilkes-Barre Zoning meeting
https://www.timesleader.com/news/766409/no-quorum-cancels-wilkes-barre-zoning-meeting

National News

Justice Dept. plans crackdown on violent crime in 7 cities
https://www.inquirer.com/news/nation-world/violent-crime-justice-department-crackdown-20191218.html

Philly

Philadelphia a city of extremes: High incomes, high poverty, report shows
https://www.inquirer.com/news/poverty-median-household-income-philadelphia-temple-university-graduate-hospital-20191219.html

Here’s a ‘people’s tax credit’ that can make difference in the city | Editorial
https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/editorials/domb-wage-tax-credit-kenney-city-council-philadelphia-budget-editorial-20191219.html

The opioid crisis has tripled deaths among Philly’s homeless population in the last decade
https://www.inquirer.com/health/opioid-addiction/homelessness-philadelphia-deaths-overdose-crisis-20191218.html

Developers explore demolition of Fishtown’s St. Laurentius, citing dangerous conditions at beloved church
https://www.inquirer.com/real-estate/st-laurentius-church-fishtown-philly-demolition-report-licenses-and-inspections-20191219.html

Three underage gamblers sneaked into the Rivers Casino Philadelphia. It cost the casino $62,500 in fines
https://www.inquirer.com/business/pennsylvania-pgcb-fine-sugarhouse-rivers-philadelphia-casino-underage-20191218.html

Philly restrictions on flavored e-cigarettes signed into law by Mayor Kenney
https://www.inquirer.com/health/philadelphia-flavored-vape-ban-20191218.html

Roosevelt Blvd. speed cameras hit delay, installation pushed back
https://www.phillytrib.com/news/local_news/roosevelt-blvd-speed-cameras-hit-delay-installation-pushed-back/article_04b6d012-6178-554a-814d-f323742dde7a.html

Thomas Jefferson University to acquire Fox Chase Cancer Center
https://www.penncapital-star.com/health-care/thomas-jefferson-university-to-acquire-fox-chase-cancer-center/

Pitt

School board passes budget, but it can’t be funded as tax increase fails
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2019/12/18/School-board-passes-budget-but-it-can-t-be-funded-as-tax-increase-fails/stories/201912180171

City Council quickly votes to kill pension sweetener for elected officials
https://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2019/12/18/Pittsburgh-City-Council-Darlene-Harris-pension-offset-vote-elected-officials/stories/201912180110

Duquesne University acquiring Uptown site to build $60 million college
https://www.post-gazette.com/business/development/2019/12/18/Duquesne-University-medicine-osteopathic-purchase-Life-s-Work-colleges-higher-education-Pittsburgh/stories/201912180114

Man files suit against McDonald’s after assault by employees left him paralyzed
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2019/12/18/mcdonalds-downtown-pittsburgh-assault-man-paralyzed-lawsuit/stories/201912180152

Residents, activists concerned about racist graffiti in Swissvale
https://www.post-gazette.com/local/east/2019/12/19/Residents-activists-concerned-about-racist-graffiti-in-Swissvale/stories/201912180167

Homes for sale in Pittsburgh fall to a 4-year low point
https://www.post-gazette.com/business/development/2019/12/19/Homes-for-sale-in-Pittsburgh-fall-to-a-4-year-low-point/stories/201912170150

Hyperloop developer pushes Pittsburgh-Cleveland-Chicago route to local tourism industry
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2019/12/18/Hyperloop-VisitPittsburgh-Cleveland-Chicago-high-speed-low-pressure-tubes/stories/201912180157

Woman sues Allegheny County Jail, says use of male guards a violation of her civil rights
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2019/12/18/Bianca-Morris-sues-Allegheny-County-Jail-male-guards-violation-of-constitutional-civil-rights/stories/201912180148

Peduto names Marty LaMar as Pittsburgh’s new chief economic development officer
https://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2019/12/18/Mayor-Peduto-chief-economic-development-officer-Marty-LaMar-pittsburgh/stories/201912180108

Boston developer in talks with Mark Cuban to buy vacant Downtown building
https://www.post-gazette.com/business/development/2019/12/19/Boston-developer-in-talks-with-Mark-Cuban-to-buy-vacant-Downtown-building/stories/201912190116

Pushing democracy: Lawsuit seeks removal of a Pittsburgh councilman
https://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/editorials/2019/12/19/Pushing-democracy-Lawsuit-seeks-removal-of-a-Pittsburgh-councilman/stories/201912170015

Pittsburgh LGBTQ group leader accused of impersonating law enforcement officer
https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/pittsburgh-lgbtq-leader-accused-of-impersonating-law-enforcement-officer/

Strip District merchants aren’t happy with suggestions to improve parking, traffic safety
https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/strip-district-merchants-arent-happy-with-suggestions-to-improve-parking-traffic-safety/

1 dead, 1 injured in Perry South shooting
https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/1-dead-1-injured-in-north-side-shooting/

Pittsburgh police, CAPA students join for pop-up Christmas caroling Downtown
https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-allegheny/pittsburgh-police-capa-students-join-for-pop-up-christmas-caroling-downtown/

State News

Pennsylvania hunters take in record number of bears in 2019
https://triblive.com/local/regional/pennsylvania-hunters-have-record-bear-harvest-state-officials-say/

12 possible changes for Pennsylvania hunting seasons in 2020-21
https://triblive.com/sports/12-possible-changes-for-pennsylvania-hunting-seasons-in-2020-21/

Vough elected president judge
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/vough-elected-president-judge-1.2573106

Proposed methane emissions rule passes Pennsylvania Environmental Quality Board
https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/proposed-methane-emissions-rule-passes-pennsylvania-environmental-quality-board/

Pa.’s most vulnerable have a new voice. Will it be heard? | John Baer
https://www.pennlive.com/news/2019/12/pas-most-vulnerable-have-a-new-voice-will-it-be-heard.html

Transportation

Two COLTS bus routes to change next month
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/two-colts-bus-routes-to-change-next-month-1.2573221

Washington

The House has impeached President Donald Trump in a historic vote
https://www.inquirer.com/politics/nation/trump-impeachment-vote-20191218.html

Pa. and South Jersey reps on their Trump impeachment votes
https://www.inquirer.com/politics/pennsylvania/impeachment-debate-mary-gay-scanlon-madeline-dean-brian-fitzpatrick-pennsylvania-new-jersey-20191218.html

Pa. lawmakers explain impeachment vote of President Donald Trump
https://www.pennlive.com/news/2019/12/pa-lawmakers-explain-impeachment-vote-of-president-trump.html

Here’s how Lehigh Valley lawmakers voted on impeaching President Trump – and what comes next
https://www.mcall.com/news/pennsylvania/capitol-ideas/mc-nws-pa-lehigh-valley-lawmakers-vote-trump-impeachment-20191219-uncq43u6y5e47a7nbuu4svtkde-story.html

Experts unsure how impeachment vote will affect Cartwright
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/experts-unsure-how-impeachment-vote-will-affect-cartwright-1.2573104

The great divide: Opinions for and against Trump impeachment run deep locally
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/the-great-divide-opinions-for-and-against-trump-impeachment-run-deep-locally-1.2573241

Lamb bill would enhance electrical grid security
https://www.timesonline.com/news/20191218/lamb-bill-would-enhance-electrical-grid-security/1