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Budget

Marijuana, natural gas tax and higher minimum wage: Pa. Gov. Wolf’s budget plan carries familiar themes
https://www.pennlive.com/news/2021/02/marijuana-natural-gas-tax-and-higher-minimum-wage-pa-gov-wolfs-budget-plan-carries-familiar-themes.html

COVID-19 is changing the way state budget will be handled this year
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2021/01/31/Pennsylvania-state-budget-2021-COVID-19-coronavirus-pandemic/stories/202101310099

Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf will introduce his budget Tuesday. Here’s what to watch for
https://www.mcall.com/news/pennsylvania/mc-nws-pa-budget-what-to-expect-20210201-yitvqspao5fsjonj53bwury2c4-story.html

Legislature

Delco’s new Pennsylvania senator John Kane focused on job in Harrisburg
https://www.delcotimes.com/news/delcos-new-pennsylvania-senator-john-kane-focused-on-job-in-harrisburg/article_9f5ff4f8-625a-11eb-8339-13ddef91a12d.html

Election season court fights have cost Pa. taxpayers nearly $4M and counting
https://www.penncapital-star.com/election-2020/election-season-court-fights-have-cost-pa-taxpayers-nearly-4m-and-counting/

Proposed minimum wage hike draws mixed reaction
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/business/proposed-minimum-wage-hike-draws-mixed-reaction/article_c74aa9f9-1b7e-544b-aa11-1bd6393e0435.html

Lawmaker wants Pennsylvania National Guard to step in as state’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout efficiency questioned
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2021/01/31/Lawmaker-wants-Pennsylvania-National-Guard-to-step-in-as-state-s-COVID-19-vaccine-rollout-efficiency-questioned/stories/202101310141

After barely surviving 2020, Pa.’s democracy might not survive the Republican effort to gerrymander the court | Editorial
https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/editorials/pennsylvania-courts-judicial-districts-gerrymandering-gop-20210201.html

Amendment mocks separation of powers
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/opinion/columnists/roderick-random/amendment-mocks-separation-of-powers/article_5e4c55c2-3d77-5663-9217-f8f9693de3b6.html

Editorial: Pennsylvania Legislature should focus on people, not politics
https://www.readingeagle.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-pennsylvania-legislature-should-focus-on-people-not-politics/article_81b4a7ee-63ba-11eb-8a26-4f6d4a36ffb7.html

Coronavirus – COVID-19

Where are the shots? Reporting lags, complex logistics seen in Pa.’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/health/2021/01/31/Pennsylvania-COVID-19-vaccine-rollout-delays-reporting-Pittsburgh-area-CDC/stories/202101310208

Vaccine registration is ‘wild west’ for people without computers
https://triblive.com/local/regional/vaccine-registration-is-wild-west-for-people-without-computers/

Pregnant patients navigate COVID-19 vaccine information
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/health/2021/02/01/Pregnant-patients-navigate-COVID-19-vaccine-information-pittsburgh-magee-womens-upmc-west-penn/stories/202102010028

For independent pharmacies, providing COVID-19 vaccine can be a vial of tears and troubles. But this Montco drugstore has no regrets.
https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/coronavirus-vaccine-clinic-costs-independent-pharmacies-philadelphia-20210201.html

St. Clair Hospital brings covid-19 vaccine to ‘thrilled’ seniors at low-income apartments
https://triblive.com/local/south-hills/st-clair-hospital-brings-covid-19-vaccine-to-thrilled-seniors-at-low-income-apartments/

Walgreens’ vaccine rollout will be led by the only Black woman to run a Fortune 500 company
https://www.inquirer.com/news/rosalind-brewer-roz-walgreens-ceo-black-vaccine-20210201.html

157 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Luzerne County on Sunday
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/coronavirus/157-new-cases-of-covid-19-reported-in-luzerne-county-on-sunday/article_6c3b2305-e469-572f-aaca-1addd2e96529.html

Lackawanna County reports fewest new COVID-19 cases since Nov. 16
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/coronavirus/lackawanna-county-reports-fewest-new-covid-19-cases-since-nov-16/article_48de9694-319a-5ca4-b744-c2a324caa35b.html

Schuylkill County judge discusses ‘humbling’ bout with COVID-19
https://www.standardspeaker.com/news/coronavirus/schuylkill-county-judge-discusses-humbling-bout-with-covid-19/article_1091e8d0-7066-5112-8707-a6a1b4eaa5a6.html

Business

Stress, delays, and confusion still plague jobless in Pennsylvania, and January brought little relief
https://www.inquirer.com/jobs/labor/spl/pa-coronavirus-unemployment-delay-missing-payments-struggle-20210201.html

Ghost kitchens creep across Western Pa., offering revenue boosts for struggling restaurants
https://triblive.com/local/regional/ghost-kitchens-creep-across-western-pennsylvania-offering-revenue-boosts-for-struggling-restaurants/

Businesses in Lackawanna, Luzerne counties reaped $742M in Paycheck Protection Program loans
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/coronavirus/businesses-in-lackawanna-luzerne-counties-reaped-742m-in-paycheck-protection-program-loans/article_16de9439-bd5d-5754-88b5-f20f0ece0b12.html

Barstool’s Dave Portnoy awards funds to Café Fresco Paxton St. after owner ‘gives Gov. Wolf the finger’
https://www.pennlive.com/coronavirus/2021/01/barstools-dave-portnoy-awards-funds-to-cafe-fresco-paxton-st-after-owner-gives-gov-wolf-the-finger.html

Crime/Punishment

Commutation in sight, Pa. lifer Bruce Norris died of COVID-19 awaiting governor’s approval
https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/pennsylvania-clemency-gov-wolf-bruce-norris-lifer-20210130.html

Police: Two men killed, one wounded in W-B shooting late Saturday night
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/crime-emergencies/police-two-men-killed-one-wounded-in-w-b-shooting-late-saturday-night/article_fd7e4b87-117e-5aa3-892d-db3ef73e5787.html

Sledgehammer, not skill, behind wave of Pa. ‘games of skill’ thefts: cops
https://www.pennlive.com/crime/2021/01/3-accused-of-targeting-pa-games-of-skill-machines-with-sledgehammers-to-steal-cash-cops.html

Education

Area school officials planning to spend COVID-19 relief funding
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/area-school-officials-planning-to-spend-covid-19-relief-funding/article_fe05f7f1-e382-5b21-a511-2c042bd1f4e3.html

As schools seek to reopen, here’s what local data say about in-person classes and COVID-19
https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/school-philadelphia-cheltenham-covid-reopen-pennsylvania-wissahickon-safety-20210131.html

As 2,000 NEPA educators receive COVID-19 vaccine, others wait for their turn
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/education/as-2-000-nepa-educators-receive-covid-19-vaccine-others-wait-for-their-turn/article_f220d33f-1937-5f56-840c-bcba2fa22e77.html

Keystone Oaks teachers go on strike
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2021/01/31/Keystone-Oaks-teachers-plan-to-go-on-strike-monday-Feb-1-contract/stories/202101310223

Keystone Oaks cancels classes as teachers give strike notice
https://triblive.com/local/keystone-oaks-cancels-classes-as-teachers-give-strike-notice/

Black student group at Penn State claims Zoom call attacked by ‘white supremacists and Nazis’
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2021/01/31/Black-Caucus-student-group-Penn-State-Zoom-call-attacked-white-supremacists-Nazis-anti-semitism/stories/202101310207

With testing requirements relaxed, applications soar at selective colleges
https://www.inquirer.com/education/applications-college-students-ivy-league-penn-princeton-20210131.html

Many colleges requiring proof of a negative COVID-19 test or quarantine for spring semester
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/education/many-colleges-requiring-proof-of-a-negative-covid-19-test-or-quarantine-for-spring-semester/article_1c998b93-240b-5c36-8ef7-cf9470fbea8c.html

Elections/Politics

Pennsylvania voters are about to receive mail ballot applications. Things could get confusing.
https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/pennsylvania-mail-ballot-applications-permanent-list-20210201.html

Mail ballot applications sent to 55,000 Luzerne County voters
https://www.timesleader.com/news/817959/mail-ballot-applications-sent-to-55000-luzerne-county-voters

Angela Reese, wife of Mike Reese, to run for late husband’s state House seat
https://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/angie-reese-wife-of-mike-reese-to-run-for-late-husbands-state-house-seat/

2020 saw record voter turnout, but it’s 2021 when voters pick their local leaders
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/elections/2020-saw-record-voter-turnout-but-its-2021-when-voters-pick-their-local-leaders/article_fd6a7712-2b3c-11eb-8a76-c32a59a16821.html

A former Trump Navy secretary is the latest Republican eyeing the Pennsylvania Senate race
https://www.inquirer.com/politics/pennsylvania/kenneth-braithwaite-2022-pennsylvnania-senate-race-20210129.html

Gaming

PA casino revenue dropped $800m last year. Will customers flock back with COVID vaccines?
https://www.timesonline.com/story/news/2021/02/01/pa-casino-pandemic-closures/4312327001/

Health Care

Less medical imaging for children of color found in Pitt national study
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/health/2021/02/01/Black-Latino-children-MRI-x-rays-UPMC-Childrens-Hospital-Pitt-disparity-gap-racial-discrimination-health/stories/202102010018

Local News

Scranton St. Patrick’s Parade postponed
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/scranton-st-patricks-parade-postponed/article_7c48a754-9f2e-5e55-9dd4-907265365264.html

Berks County residents, medical professionals call on commissioners to establish health department
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/local/berks-county-residents-medical-professionals-call-on-commissioners-to-establish-health-department-poll/article_ff95b2a6-6258-11eb-adc3-ef90951de576.html

Life during covid: Greensburg Salvation Army leader continues lifeline to those who seek it
https://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/life-during-covid-greensburg-salvation-army-leader-continues-lifeline-to-those-who-seek-it/

Luzerne County may receive additional compensation from developer in tax break
https://www.timesleader.com/news/818069/luzerne-county-may-receive-additional-compensation-from-developer-in-tax-break

Philly

Philly and N.J. declare snow emergencies as nor’easter bears down, promising most significant snowfall in 5 years
https://www.inquirer.com/weather/philly-noreaster-snow-total-schools-grocery-stores-covid-vaccination-20210131.html

Animal shelters saw a boom in dog and cat adoptions when the pandemic struck. Demand remains high.
https://www.inquirer.com/news/dog-adoption-coronavirus-pandemic-cat-kitten-puppy-foster-20210201.html

Philadelphia deputy health commissioner resigns following Philly Fighting COVID controversy
https://www.inquirer.com/news/philadelphia/philly-fighting-covid-vaccine-public-health-caroline-johnson-andrei-doroshin-20210131.html

The local Black history hidden in Philadelphia’s school names
https://www.witf.org/2021/02/01/the-local-black-history-hidden-in-philadelphias-school-names/

Will Philly’s third attempt at school reopening stick? Teachers are wary and parents are split.
https://www.inquirer.com/education/philadelphia-school-district-reopening-20210130.html

Pitt

An appreciation: Steelers Nation’s matriarch, Patricia Rooney, remembered as ‘generous’ and ‘wonderful’
https://www.post-gazette.com/sports/steelers/2021/02/01/appreciation-patricia-regan-rooney-dan-matriarch-pittsburgh-Steelers-Nation-remembered-ireland-legacy-NFL/stories/202102010036

Pittsburgh restaurateurs appreciate possible aid but have more immediate concerns
https://www.post-gazette.com/life/dining/2021/02/01/Pittsburgh-restaurant-owners-Covid-19-business-relief-restrictions-hospitality/stories/202101310212

Crumbling Investments: Effort by city to revitalize Homewood has resulted in lingering neglect and frustration
https://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2021/01/31/Crumbling-Investments-Effort-by-city-to-revitalize-Homewood-has-resulted-in-lingering-neglect-and-frustration/stories/202101290181

PPG commits $20 million to diversity and inclusion efforts over next 5 years
https://www.post-gazette.com/business/career-workplace/2021/01/31/PPG-20-million-diversity-inclusion-equity/stories/202101310047

Patricia Rooney, wife of late Steelers chairman, remembered as ‘pillar of strength and grace’
https://triblive.com/sports/patricia-rooney-wife-of-late-steelers-chairman-remembered-as-pillar-of-strength-and-grace/

State News

Pa. parks see growth during pandemic | The Numbers Racket
https://www.penncapital-star.com/covid-19/pa-parks-see-growth-during-pandemic-the-numbers-racket/

Transportation

Study: Far-reaching economic impact of public transit supports need for $39.3 billion subsidy through 2023
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2021/01/31/American-Public-Transit-Association-increase-subsiudy-draconian-cuts-39-3-billion/stories/202101280198

PA Turnpike makes good on $337.5 million transit payment to PennDOT
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2021/01/29/Pennsylvania-Turnpike-PennDOT-transit-payment-337-5-million/stories/202101290178

Washington

Biden to meet with GOP lawmakers to discuss virus relief
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-nation/2021/02/01/Biden-meeting-republicans-senators-discuss-coronavirus-relief-pandemic-stimulus/stories/202102010053

Bob Casey wants Biden and Democrats to swing for the fences: ‘Go big or go home’
https://www.inquirer.com/politics/pennsylvania/bob-casey-joe-biden-democrats-20210201.html

Cartwright promises more money for home district in new post
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/cartwright-promises-more-moneyfor-home-district-in-new-post/article_883096c3-4c41-5a5e-adf8-bf9b5602d2ca.html

Trump picks former Montco DA Bruce Castor to defend him at Senate impeachment trial
https://www.inquirer.com/news/trump-impeachment-bruce-castor-senate-trial-cosby-20210131.html

Who is Bruce Castor? What we know about former prosecutor representing Trump at impeachment trial
https://www.mcall.com/news/pennsylvania/capitol-ideas/mc-nws-who-is-bruce-castor-20210201-cngiuxhnvngqrjecca7hkdjdgu-story.html

What to know about Scott Perry, Trump’s election plot, and Section 3 of the 14th Amendment
https://www.inquirer.com/politics/pennsylvania/scott-perry-trump-georgia-election-plot-section-3-14th-amendment-20210131.html