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Legislature

Despite state’s certification, GOP could oppose swearing-in of Jim Brewster in Pa. Senate
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2020/12/20/jim-Brewster-Nicole-ziccarelli-pennsylvania-state-senate-race-swearing-in-GOP-opposition-courts/stories/202012180151

2020 was an ugly year in Harrisburg. Don’t expect 2021 to be much better.
https://www.inquirer.com/politics/pennsylvania/pennsylvania-legislature-harrisburg-coronavirus-election-20201221.html

Pa. misses deadline to spend $108M in rent, mortgage relief from CARES Act
https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/pa-misses-deadline-to-spend-108m-in-rent-mortgage-relief-from-cares-act/

Why medical marijuana in Pennsylvania is some of the most costly in the U.S.
https://www.inquirer.com/business/weed/medical-marijuana-pennsylvania-why-so-expensive-cannabis-20201221.html

Most Pa. state government employees saw pay raises in 2020; some didn’t
https://www.pennlive.com/news/2020/12/most-pa-state-government-employees-saw-pay-raises-in-2020-some-didnt.html

Reading’s Tom Caltagirone, the longest-serving member of Pa.’s House of Representatives, reflects on his career
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/local/readings-tom-caltagirone-the-longest-serving-member-of-pa-s-house-of-representatives-reflects-on/article_c5db71dc-38a9-11eb-9857-fb927b6600f6.html

Rep. Mark Rozzi: Executive order from Wolf would help nonprofits (Opinion)
https://www.readingeagle.com/opinion/rep-mark-rozzi-executive-order-from-wolf-would-help-nonprofits-opiniion/article_699da6d2-4070-11eb-b755-73799ade3906.html

Stop policing for profit
https://www.citizensvoice.com/opinion/editorial/stop-policing-for-profit/article_c50054cc-4bbf-5f11-bb37-2130258d1eaa.html

Coronavirus – COVID-19

Covid-19 vaccinations will start at long-term care facilities in Pennsylvania next week
https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/covid-19-vaccinations-will-start-at-long-term-care-facilities-in-pennsylvania-next-week/

CVS Health to administer COVID-19 vaccine to long-term care facilities
https://www.pennlive.com/news/2020/12/cvs-health-to-administer-covid-19-vaccine-to-long-term-care-facilities.html

Number of new COVID-19 cases drops across state
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/coronavirus/number-of-new-covid-19-cases-drops-across-state/article_50209a7f-c2d5-54d9-bd43-5a3767903c38.html

152 new COVID-19 cases, four deaths reported in Luzerne County on Sunday
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/coronavirus/152-new-covid-19-cases-four-deaths-reported-in-luzerne-county-on-sunday/article_e8f779d5-d730-5d2b-ba95-cddbba4fa907.html

Front-line essential workers and adults over 75 should be next to get vaccines, CDC panel says
https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/essential-workers-seniors-over-75-next-in-line-for-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccine-20201220.html

‘You feel helpless’: Nine months on the pandemic’s frontline, Pa. nurses are drowning
https://www.timesonline.com/story/news/coronavirus/2020/12/21/nine-months-pandemics-front-line-pa-nurses-drowning-covid-19/3921034001/

Temple student thought her COVID-19 was mild. Then came heart failure: ‘It was horrible.’
https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/covid-temple-philadelphia-gouldsboro-pennsylvania-coronavirus-20201221.html

The COVID vaccines are safe. Making sure they’re distributed fairly is the challenge. | Opinion
https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/commentary/vaccine-distribution-trust-pfizer-moderna-astrazeneca-20201221.html

Lawmakers reach compromise over GOP proposal to rein in Fed’s powers, clearing path for a stimulus package deal
https://www.inquirer.com/politics/nation/stimulus-deal-economic-relief-package-pat-toomey-gop-20201220.html

Administration

Pennsylvania spent $35M on plastic face shields in early months of the pandemic
https://www.inquirer.com/news/pennsylvania/pennsylvania-face-shields-ppe-coronavirus-covid-19-20201219.html

Westmoreland County Sheriff won’t enforce Gov. Wolf’s new covid-19 orders
https://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/westmoreland-county-sheriff-wont-enforce-gov-wolfs-new-covid-19-orders/

Business

New plant coming to Mountain Top will offer hemp-based plates, cups, cutlery
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/business/new-plant-coming-to-mountain-top-will-offer-hemp-based-plates-cups-cutlery/article_1289ea92-580b-58ec-934a-535ce0843ba2.html

All cracker plant workers to be tested for COVID-19 after holiday break
https://www.timesonline.com/story/news/coronavirus/2020/12/21/all-cracker-plant-workers-tested-covid-19-after-holiday/3957795001/

New marijuana dispensary opens in Upland
https://www.delcotimes.com/news/new-marijuana-dispensary-opens-in-upland/article_4f83affc-4175-11eb-a215-7b7b6e2de5f4.html

State pipeline regulators reach deal with Energy Transfer for pipeline blast
https://www.post-gazette.com/business/powersource/2020/12/21/State-pipeline-regulators-reach-deal-with-Energy-Transfer-for-pipeline-blast/stories/202012210011

Crime/Punishment

Police ask public’s help to find man accused of shooting McKeesport officer outside station
https://triblive.com/local/report-officer-shot-in-mckeesport/

Education

Students aren’t showing up for virtual learning. ‘Are they well cared for? Are they safe?’
https://www.inquirer.com/education/nj-education-attendance-schools-virtual-attendance-skipping-camden-pandemic-coronavirus-20201221.html

As cyber charter school costs soar, state fails to conduct required audits
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/education/as-cyber-charter-school-costs-soar-state-fails-to-conduct-required-audits/article_a3e70510-34cf-59ea-9928-666386b3d275.html

State returns bond money for new high school land to coal company
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/state-returns-bond-money-for-new-high-school-land-to-coal-company/article_8ef7103f-f12b-5293-a3c7-aa741f75d898.html

A byproduct of the pandemic? Colleges see soaring interest in health fields.
https://www.inquirer.com/education/temple-drexel-penn-applications-medical-school-up-public-health-20201219.html

Berks Colleges hold back in person classes, delays start of spring semester
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/local/berks-colleges-hold-back-in-person-classes-delays-start-of-spring-semester/article_0bea0592-415d-11eb-9323-fbeb780cd8d5.html

Elections/Politics

10,000 Pennsylvania votes are in limbo. They won’t change the outcome. They could still have a huge impact.
https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/pennsylvania-late-mail-ballots-supreme-court-20201220.html

Trump wants Supreme Court to overturn Pa. election results
https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/trump-wants-supreme-court-to-overturn-pa-election-results/

History will remember 2020. Here’s four ways it will shape Pa. politics moving forward
https://www.witf.org/2020/12/21/history-will-remember-2020-heres-four-ways-it-will-shape-pa-politics-moving-forward/

Health Care

Extend Medicare coverage for pregnant women | Opinion
https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/commentary/medicare-coverage-pregnant-women-helping-moms-act-20201221.html

Local News

Archbald borough renovated multiple playgrounds throughout 2020, more planned for 2021
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/archbald-borough-renovated-multiple-playgrounds-throughout-2020-more-planned-for-2021/article_45d0ceee-4554-530f-8023-18170f779713.html

Chief must quit other job
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/opinion/editorial/chief-must-quit-other-job/article_237c75e1-cb7e-513a-8585-d3a150f33365.html

Reading woman grateful for free heating system
https://www.readingeagle.com/living/home/reading-woman-grateful-for-free-heating-system/article_56b28138-4088-11eb-9986-e75f61bb82bf.html

Pilot project in Reading provides rental assistance and legal help during COVID pandemic
https://www.readingeagle.com/coronavirus/pilot-project-in-reading-provides-rental-assistance-and-legal-help-during-covid-pandemic/article_35d8e79e-4147-11eb-a824-1f73a5da0cd3.html

Facing eviction, Chester County residents turn to a new program to keep their homes during COVID-19
https://www.inquirer.com/news/friends-association-chester-county-eviction-protection-covid-20201220.html

Chester County jury trials suspended, again
https://www.dailylocal.com/news/chester-county-jury-trials-suspended-again/article_3e3811d0-42e1-11eb-b9cc-178060e93df4.html

Bucks police help hundreds of children this holiday
https://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com/story/news/2020/12/21/bucks-police-help-hundreds-children-holiday/3947679001/

Lower Burrell fire company having success raffling off AR-15 rifles to raise money
https://triblive.com/local/valley-news-dispatch/lower-burrell-fire-company-having-success-raffling-off-ar-15-rifles-to-raise-money/

Lower Burrell sewage bills to go up almost 8% next year
https://triblive.com/local/valley-news-dispatch/lower-burrell-sewage-bills-to-go-up-almost-8-next-year/

Peoples Gas demolishes eyesore in Kiski Township
https://triblive.com/local/valley-news-dispatch/peoples-gas-demolishes-eyesore-in-kiski-township-which-wants-to-buy-the-site/

New Kensington opts to stick with garbage hauler
https://triblive.com/local/valley-news-dispatch/new-kensington-opts-to-stick-with-garbage-hauler/

CAN DO joins City of Hazleton, Greater Hazleton COVID-19 Recovery & Resiliency Task Force partners
https://www.timesleader.com/news/813742/loan-program-to-support-hazleton-restaurants

City taking a different approach to “quality of life” enforcement
https://www.standardspeaker.com/news/city-taking-a-different-approach-to-quality-of-life-enforcement/article_0e590c01-0ba9-55f0-829f-76be80a98f10.html

County advertises election director job; officials squabble over process
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/election/county-advertises-election-director-job-officials-squabble-over-process/article_8d5ac42a-662c-5e47-8474-c400dc786a5e.html

As need grows, West Side Food Bank steps up to the plate
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/coronavirus/as-need-grows-west-side-food-bank-steps-up-to-the-plate/article_1b721092-7689-5cef-9cd2-15a51667efed.html

Caught in the middle of a land battle between a businessman and Lynn Township: a homeless encampment in a residential neighborhood
https://www.mcall.com/news/local/mc-nws-lynn-township-homeless-encampment-debacle-20201221-xdyehincibhkzmksvo4e7nkity-story.html

Mayor announces eviction moratorium in Harrisburg
https://www.witf.org/2020/12/20/mayor-announces-eviction-moratorium-in-harrisburg/

The CARES Act spending deadline is Dec. 30. Here is where Erie County’s $25 million is going
https://www.goerie.com/story/news/coronavirus/2020/12/21/cares-act-update-dahlkemper-erie-county-funding-deadline/6212657002/

National News

‘Slammed’: Overwhelmed postal service means a late Christmas for many
https://www.pennlive.com/news/2020/12/slammed-overwhelmed-postal-service-means-a-late-christmas-for-many.html

Philly

Despite a pandemic, it’s still the ‘season of giving.’ These Philadelphians say safely spreading cheer is more important than ever.
https://www.inquirer.com/news/christmas-giving-coronavirus-toy-drive-community-tree-20201221.html

Two Catholic schools are fighting for their lives. Can Hallahan and McDevitt pull off a miracle?
https://www.inquirer.com/education/hallahan-mcdevitt-catholic-schools-closing-20201219.html

Blacks fail to make inroads into high-paying, senior-level city jobs under Kenney
https://www.penncapital-star.com/civil-rights-social-justice/blacks-fail-to-make-inroads-into-high-paying-senior-level-city-jobs-under-kenney/

Jamaican couple to leave Philly church sanctuary after two years as government drops deportation case
https://www.inquirer.com/news/sanctuary-church-ice-immigration-immigrant-jamaica-trump-20201220.html

Pitt

Regional energy consortium’s efforts net Pittsburgh top climate protection award
https://triblive.com/local/regional-energy-consortiums-efforts-net-pittsburgh-top-climate-protection-award/

In Pittsburgh, efforts underway to improve supply and quality of face masks
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/health/2020/12/21/Allegheny-Health-Network-MSA-National-Personal-Protective-Technology-Laboratory-Masks-PPE-Pittsburgh/stories/202012090001

State News

Pennsylvania LGBTQ survey shows health issues that also increase coronavirus risk
https://www.mcall.com/health/mc-hea-lgbt-health-survey-20201220-bvldoq5nefetplrrqn3ojneb34-story.html