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Legislature

Pennsylvania’s coronavirus-driven $4 billion budget gap could be greatly reduced by federal relief package, Sen. Browne says
https://www.mcall.com/news/pennsylvania/capitol-ideas/mc-nws-pa-browne-shortfall-package-20201223-ox7opfrvcbd3bgbomhw7xdeyxm-story.html

Federal stimulus includes $10B for roads and bridges, including $410M for PennDOT
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2020/12/22/Federal-stimulus-PennDOT-410-million-new-category-Amereican-Association-of-State-Highway-Transportation-Officials/stories/202012220138

U.S. Rep. Kelly targets Wolf over Pa. mail-in voting law, though it got bipartisan support
https://www.poconorecord.com/story/news/politics/elections/2020/12/22/u-s-rep-mike-kelly-targets-pa-gov-wolf-fight-over-mail-votes/4005835001/

Bucks lawmakers propose $500M in relief aid for Pa. hospitality industry
https://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com/story/news/2020/12/23/bucks-county-state-lawmakers-seek-500-m-hospitality-industry-pennsylvania/3991151001/

State must get eviction relief right
https://www.citizensvoice.com/opinion/editorial/state-must-get-eviction-relief-right/article_05f56ae9-186f-5ca8-b60e-9c785991c5be.html

Coronavirus – COVID-19

Pennsylvania’s covid testing capacity ready for potential holiday influx, state officials say
https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/pennsylvanias-covid-testing-capacity-ready-for-potential-holiday-influx-state-officials-say/

Pennsylvania’s new contact tracing tool showing some early success
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/health/2020/12/22/pittsburgh-allegheny-covid-19-coronavirus-cases-deaths-pennsylvania-county-contact-tracing/stories/202012220118

In rural Pa., largely untouched by COVID-19 in the spring, deaths are now surging: ‘It’s just scary’
https://www.inquirer.com/news/pennsylvania-coronavirus-deaths-mifflin-blair-westmoreland-20201223.html

COVID-19 vaccine could go to seniors over 75 in just weeks, leaving states with huge logistics problems
https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/vaccine-distribution-america-coronavirus-20201223.html

Should small businesses mandate COVID vaccinations?
https://www.inquirer.com/business/small-business/vaccine-small-business-employers-mandate-pfizer-disabilities-workers-compensation-20201223.html

Covid cases rise in Concordia at Cabot
https://triblive.com/local/valley-news-dispatch/covid-cases-rise-in-corcordia-at-cabot/

Pa. reports 7,962 new covid cases; 36% of total cases have come in December
https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/pa-reports-7962-new-covid-cases-36-of-total-cases-have-come-in-december/

Allegheny County reports 10 new covid deaths, 797 new cases
https://triblive.com/local/allegheny-county-reports-10-new-covid-deaths-797-new-cases/

Bulk of new local cases in Schuylkill County
https://www.standardspeaker.com/news/coronavirus/bulk-of-new-local-cases-in-schuylkill-county/article_8f72506a-4723-5a62-9606-8ad609872b62.html

State Dept. of Health reports another 322 regional COVID-19 cases, seven deaths
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/coronavirus/state-dept-of-health-reports-another-322-regional-covid-19-cases-seven-deaths/article_b0c60a2e-7ab1-5aee-a6e2-5693d420b9ea.html

Chester County coroner: Numbers will ‘get worse before they get better’
https://www.dailylocal.com/news/chester-county-coroner-numbers-will-get-worse-before-they-get-better/article_57e72faa-446a-11eb-9fb5-fb1997b6bda1.html

COVID death toll for Berks County in December reaches 80, coroner says
https://www.readingeagle.com/coronavirus/covid-death-toll-for-berks-county-in-december-reaches-80-coroner-says/article_4d836b9a-444d-11eb-bd7b-8713105dad93.html

Montgomery County records 27 more coronavirus deaths over 7-day period
https://www.mainlinemedianews.com/news/region/montgomery-county-records-27-more-coronavirus-deaths-over-7-day-period/article_9cb6c0d6-89e0-541d-9142-8ce3f15a5d3a.html

Trump threatens to not sign COVID relief bill, calls it a ‘disgrace’
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-nation/2020/12/22/Trump-suggests-he-might-not-sign-COVID-19-relief-bill/stories/202012220191

Experts: Stimulus check good for some, not for most
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/coronavirus/experts-stimulus-check-good-for-some-not-for-most/article_9b48e4dd-8066-58fd-8ed5-2c56dbc7439e.html

What Pa. lawmakers liked and loathed in the $900B coronavirus relief package
https://www.pennlive.com/news/2020/12/what-pa-lawmakers-liked-and-loathed-in-the-900b-coronavirus-relief-package.html

Nurses are pleading with you: mask up and stay home for the holidays | Opinion
https://www.pennlive.com/opinion/2020/12/nurses-are-pleading-with-you-mask-up-and-stay-home-for-the-holidays-opinion.html

Administration

Officials encourage out-of-work Pennsylvanians to seek assistance during pandemic hardship
https://triblive.com/local/regional/officials-encourage-out-of-work-pennsylvanians-to-seek-assistance-during-pandemic-hardship/

Pennsylvania needs more jobs. RGGI will create them — by investing in energy efficiency | Opinion
https://www.penncapital-star.com/commentary/pennsylvania-needs-more-jobs-rggi-will-create-them-by-investing-in-energy-efficiency-opinion/

Business

Amazon eyes former Eastland Mall property in North Versailles
https://www.post-gazette.com/business/development/2020/12/23/Amazon-Eastland-shopping-plaza-and-mall-North-Versailles-Trammell-Crow/stories/202012230085

Restaurant owners rally in Bethel Park to keep businesses open
https://observer-reporter.com/news/localnews/restaurant-owners-rally-in-bethel-park-to-keep-businesses-open/article_53621f60-43d6-11eb-8862-f73ee9c05d90.html

Colurso’s Fruit Market & Deil closing after 38 years
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/business/colursos-fruit-market-deil-closing-after-38-years/article_c825982a-e0d7-5891-b218-74af250e9cb4.html

10 Berks restaurants ordered closed for defying COVID-19 dine-in shutdown order, Pa. says
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/local/10-berks-restaurants-ordered-closed-for-defying-covid-19-dine-in-shutdown-order-pa-says/article_af3db2a6-44a6-11eb-995c-936f6c68f5c8.html

With stimulus set to revive PPP, many Lehigh Valley businesses counting on loans to endure COVID winter
https://www.mcall.com/business/mc-biz-lehigh-valley-businesses-react-federal-relief-legislation-20201222-b46rrnlzsvb6lhrgiqlhn4rswy-story.html

Liquor license loophole allows some Pa. restaurants to remain open during December shutdown
https://www.ydr.com/story/news/2020/12/22/how-does-covid-liquor-enforcement-work-pa-restaurants/3998355001/

Crime/Punishment

Corrections officers union VP calls for halt to inmate transfers amid COVID-19
https://www.standardspeaker.com/news/coronavirus/corrections-officers-union-vp-calls-for-halt-to-inmate-transfers-amid-covid-19/article_a36b054a-b720-5414-9ead-0f06a1a51db1.html

In a reversal, Pa. Supreme Court says police can’t search cars without a warrant
https://www.inquirer.com/news/pennsylvania-supreme-court-police-warrantless-vehicle-searches-commonwealth-alexander-gary-odor-marijuana-20201222.html

A Philly man died in state prison. His family says corrections officers killed him.
https://www.inquirer.com/news/pennsylvania-department-of-corrections-lawsuit-pepper-spray-use-tyrone-briggs-20201222.html

How to get your criminal record sealed or expunged in Pennsylvania
https://www.inquirer.com/philly-tips/criminal-record-expunged-sealed-pardon-petition-pennsylvania-20201222.html

Erie County officers: Man firing at 2nd man at gun range killed by 3rd man
https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/erie-county-officers-man-firing-at-2nd-man-at-gun-range-killed-by-3rd-man/

Mangino: Asset forfeitures provide a $70 billion windfall for law enforcement
https://www.timesonline.com/story/opinion/columns/2020/12/23/mangino-asset-forfeitures-provide-70-billion-windfall-law-enforcement/3970455001/

Education

Lonnie Walker IV Foundation partners for garment distribution to Reading students
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/local/lonnie-walker-iv-foundation-partners-for-garment-distribution-to-reading-students/article_57fdfaa2-449a-11eb-850f-8ff6a7f84dfc.html

PIAA files suit claiming it should not be subject to Pennsylvania’s Right to Know Law
https://triblive.com/sports/high-school/piaa-files-suit-claiming-it-should-not-be-subject-to-pennsylvanias-right-to-know-law/

PIAA board votes to reduce number of required practices to resume winter sports
https://www.mcall.com/sports/varsity/mc-spt-piaa-board-votes-20201222-baggwjyztfaw7ocrpwxfvrufiy-story.html

Faculty, alumni criticize Temple’s decision to end its master’s in urban education
https://www.inquirer.com/education/temple-urban-education-restructuring-faculty-20201223.html

Upcoming semester delayed at area colleges due to COVID-19
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/coronavirus/upcoming-semester-delayed-at-area-colleges-due-to-covid-19/article_e3da1fcc-53e6-5371-8539-b6455dd8d5e2.html

LCCC faculty gets 1.5% pay increase in second year of deal
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/education/lccc-faculty-gets-1-5-pay-increase-in-second-year-of-deal/article_36d6868d-5470-5cd9-988c-86a318eb54b1.html

Elections/Politics

High court opening tops Pennsylvania’s 2021 judicial races
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2020/12/22/supreme-court-opening-Pennsylvania-2021-judicial-races/stories/202012220102

Dominion Voting Systems worker sues Trump campaign, conservative media
https://www.pennlive.com/elections/2020/12/dominion-voting-systems-worker-sues-trump-campaign-conservative-media.html

Health Care

Real health-care equity means diversity everywhere — including nursing school faculty | Opinion
https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/racial-equity-nursing-school-faculty-20201223.html

Local News

Shock and disbelief follows Reading City Council decision to end the Downtown Improvement District
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/local/shock-and-disbelief-follows-reading-city-council-decision-to-end-the-downtown-improvement-district/article_b2f8ea3c-4483-11eb-9ff4-03d0f41f6584.html

Here’s why the U.S. Postal Service is experiencing delays this holiday season; Berks is not immune
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/local/heres-why-the-u-s-postal-service-is-experiencing-delays-this-holiday-season-berks-is/article_7d974800-4462-11eb-8598-2bc8ba06cdd9.html

A decades-long road project aims to bring Norristown out of isolation. Will revitalization follow?
https://www.inquirer.com/real-estate/norristown-lafayette-street-turnpike-king-of-prussia-conshohocken-20201223.html

Delco grants available to businesses directly affected by recent mitigation efforts
https://www.phillytrib.com/metros/delaware_county/delco-grants-available-to-businesses-directly-affected-by-recent-mitigation-efforts/article_e2008f09-180f-51fb-a60a-6f890cd9f77e.html

Allentown Parking Authority, City Center ask to redevelop bus terminal using NIZ public improvement funds
https://www.mcall.com/news/local/allentown/mc-nws-allentown-niz-bus-terminal-redevelopment-financing-20201223-jfhcerlwjbhmzkmfku3okykyey-story.html

Sharky’s Cafe, community help make, deliver 450 Christmas meals for Latrobe area families
https://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/sharkys-cafe-community-help-make-deliver-450-christmas-meals-for-latrobe-area-families/

Westmoreland County issues final covid-relief grants
https://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/westmoreland-county-issues-final-covid-relief-grants/

Westmoreland commissioners rescind covid grant to Salem gym, allow North Huntingdon to keep money
https://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/county-rescinds-covid-relief-grant-to-salem-gym/

National News

New federal lead rule mandates testing in schools, lowers required replacement rate for pipes
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/environment/2020/12/22/EPA-water-lead-and-copper-rule-revisions-testing-schools-pipe-replacement/stories/202012220160

New Jersey

New Jersey may be the first state to impose per-bed fees on nonprofit hospitals for municipal services
https://www.inquirer.com/business/property-taxes-nonprofit-hospitals-new-jersey-fees-atlanticare-inspira-20201223.html

Philly

Philly to extend ban on high-risk indoor activities as officials anticipate holiday case surge
https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/philadelphia-coronavirus-restrictions-indoor-dining-pa-nj-covid19-cases-20201222.html

Kenney extends ban on indoor dining at restaurants, eases restrictions on gyms
https://www.phillytrib.com/news/local_news/kenney-extends-ban-on-indoor-dining-at-restaurants-eases-restrictions-on-gyms/article_7fd323eb-884c-570b-8873-871f152c2a3b.html

Overtime for Philly workers hit a record $200 million this year. A state oversight board wants a plan to reduce those costs.
https://www.inquirer.com/news/overtime-philadelphia-budget-police-fire-pica-20201222.html

Philly school board nominating process has lacked transparency | Opinion
https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/commentary/philadelphia-school-board-nominations-mayor-kenney-city-council-20201223.html

Leave city planning to the planners instead of City Councilmembers | Editorial
https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/editorials/councilmanic-perogative-philadelphia-city-council-strawberry-mansion-darrell-clarke-editorial-20201223.html

Developer’s condos would destroy South Philly’s famed Black ‘Doctors’ Row’
https://www.inquirer.com/real-estate/inga-saffron/julian-abele-black-architect-philadelphia-graduate-hospital-tear-down-historic-stamm-christian-street-20201223.html

Three Philly police officers are under investigation in connection with overturned rape conviction
https://www.inquirer.com/news/philadelphia-exoneration-termaine-hicks-police-misconduct-investigation-wrongful-conviction-20201223.html

McDevitt, Hallahan didn’t get their miracle: Archdiocese denies both Catholic schools’ pleas to remain open
https://www.inquirer.com/education/mcdevitt-hallahan-catholic-school-closed-appeal-denied-archdiocese-20201222.html

Plane to fly over Center City on Wednesday to thank health-care workers
https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/plane-flyover-center-city-wednesday-thank-health-care-workers-20201222.html

Former Inquirer columnist Stu Bykofsky’s defamation lawsuit against The Inquirer can continue, Philly judge says
https://www.inquirer.com/news/stu-bykofsky-inga-saffron-inquirer-lawsuit-retirement-party-20201222.html

Pitt

Affordable housing project planned in Polish Hill to help battle gentrification
https://triblive.com/local/affordable-housing-project-planned-in-polish-hill-to-help-battle-gentrification/

Pittsburgh police officer who faces multiple inquiries is no longer employed by city
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2020/12/22/Pittsburgh-Police-officer-Paul-Abel-no-longer-employed-by-the-city-reason-not-identified/stories/202012220136

‘Pretty infuriating’: William Penn Hotel owner hasn’t used PPP loans to keep workers employed, union charges
https://www.post-gazette.com/business/development/2020/12/23/Omni-Hotels-and-Resorts-William-Penn-Hotel-Downtown-Unite-Here-Paycheck-Protection-Program/stories/202012230058

Peduto: ‘$600 is not enough’ to help families struggling during pandemic
https://triblive.com/local/peduto-600-is-not-enough-to-help-families-struggling-during-pandemic/

Pitt to lead shale gas health study looking at possible ties to childhood cancers
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/environment/2020/12/22/university-of-pittsburgh-Pennsylvania-DOH-lead-shale-gas-health-study-fracking-childhood-cancers/stories/202012220132

Pittsburgh police brass tell city council they’re committed to reform
https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-police-brass-tell-city-council-theyre-committed-to-reform/

Jerome Bettis plays Santa to Pittsburgh nonprofit after theft of gifts
https://triblive.com/sports/jerome-bettis-plays-santa-to-pittsburgh-nonprofit-after-theft-of-gifts/

Alfonso Costa — local ex-dentist, developer and Ben Carson friend — is one of several pardoned by Trump
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2020/12/22/Alfonso-Costa-Pittsburgh-dentist-Trump-pardons-friend-Ben-Carson-Jerome-Bettis/stories/202012220193

Law enforcement must be consistent
https://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/editorials/2020/12/23/Law-enforcement-must-be-consistent/stories/202012150069

Dan Butler: Two Pittsburghers and a bullet
https://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/2020/12/23/Dan-Butler-Two-Pittsburghers-and-a-bullet/stories/202012230033

State News

Pa. Supreme Court: Doctors cannot be sued for failing to commit Western Psych shooter
https://triblive.com/local/pa-supreme-court-doctors-cannot-be-sued-for-failing-to-commit-western-psych-shooter/

Pennsylvania State Police are recruiting…horses
https://www.witf.org/2020/12/23/pennsylvania-state-police-are-recruitinghorses/

Washington

Like ‘pushing a heavy rock up a steep hill.’ Even under Biden, Democrats’ plans face big obstacles.
https://www.inquirer.com/politics/nation/pa-nj-congress-democrats-biden-20201223.html