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Legislature

Pennsylvania’s vaccine program is flailing. Nurses in the statehouse are out to fix it.
https://www.penncapital-star.com/covid-19/pennsylvanias-vaccine-program-is-flailing-nurses-in-the-statehouse-are-out-to-fix-it/

Pennsylvania State Police will escape legislative scrutiny in 2021 budget process
https://www.inquirer.com/politics/philadelphia/spl/pennsylvania-state-police-budget-hearing-accountability-legislature-20210217.html

Child care providers say Pa. policy shifts are causing financial strain
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/social-services/2021/02/17/Pennsylvania-child-care-providers-Department-of-Human-Services-Trying-Together/stories/202102160116

State should regulate clear-cutting
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/opinion/editorial/state-should-regulate-clear-cutting/article_661d4757-2f7a-5a80-8f5b-719a78abedc5.html

Argall holds town hall to answer COVID-19 vaccine questions
https://www.standardspeaker.com/news/coronavirus/argall-holds-town-hall-to-answer-covid-19-vaccine-questions/article_13f50cae-64e4-57d4-887c-940ccb5f007b.html

Coronavirus – COVID-19

COVID-19 Update: Pennsylvania approaches 900,000 cases
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/health/2021/02/16/covid-19-coronavirus-pittsburgh-allegheny-county-pennsylvania-cases-deaths-data-vaccine-pandemic-health/stories/202102160100

Can vaccinated people still spread COVID-19? How long does immunity last? Here’s what science knows now.
https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/covid-19-vaccine-spread-disease-lasting-immunity-penn-study-20210217.html

Risk of community spread of COVID lessening in Pennsylvania; Berks still in ‘substantial’ group
https://www.readingeagle.com/coronavirus/risk-of-community-spread-of-covid-lessening-in-pennsylvania-berks-still-in-substantial-group/article_d05ff720-7069-11eb-b4c2-7ba837eeef0f.html

Nursing home group cites evidence COVID-19 vaccine is already working for their residents
https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/nursing-home-vaccine-effective-cases-down-visitatioin-20210216.html

Ross OKs using community center gym for covid vaccination clinic; no opening date announced
https://triblive.com/local/north-hills/ross-oks-using-community-center-gym-for-covid-vaccination-clinic-no-opening-date-announced/

Bucks County: Sharing COVID vaccine appointment link caused delays
https://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com/story/news/2021/02/16/bucks-county-covid-vaccine-registration-error-delays-some-shots/6761686002/

71 new COVID-19 cases reported in county on Tuesday
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/coronavirus/71-new-covid-19-cases-reported-in-county-on-tuesday/article_b894cb6d-cc03-5395-8e65-c9c9005fcc75.html

UPDATE: Montgomery County reports 507 coronavirus cases, three deaths over four-day period
https://www.mainlinemedianews.com/news/region/update-montgomery-county-reports-507-coronavirus-cases-three-deaths-over-four-day-period/article_816d7480-61d3-58be-acff-dee69fcae96f.html

Child stricken with mystery COVID-related syndrome: ‘People just don’t know about it’
https://www.pennlive.com/coronavirus/2021/02/child-stricken-with-mystery-covid-related-syndrome-people-just-dont-know-about-it.html

Administration

Guest Column: Governor Tom Wolf explains his budget priorities
https://www.delcotimes.com/opinion/guest-column-governor-tom-wolf-explains-his-budget-priorities/article_fef2ed98-70bb-11eb-844e-470d5bfaee4a.html

Lt. gov shouldn’t duck the press
https://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/editorials/2021/02/17/div-class-libPageBodyLinebreak-Lt-gov-shouldn-t-duck-the-press-div/stories/202102160011

Business

Budding business coming to Scranton
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/business/budding-business-coming-to-scranton/article_8a42fbc8-ba8c-5260-b7de-4b21bc064121.html

Nestle selling North American water business, which includes 2 Lehigh Valley plants, for $4.3 billion
https://www.mcall.com/business/mc-biz-nestle-selling-north-america-waters-business-to-one-rock-20210217-6h5xo2uhcfdkjoefw77zjpqkuu-story.html

Crime/Punishment

Police in Delaware County are still looking for the gunman who opened fire in a Walmart
https://www.inquirer.com/news/darby-township-walmart-shooting-devante-dixon-20210216.html

Former Hershey Christian Academy basketball coach charged in U.S. Capitol riot
https://www.witf.org/2021/02/17/former-hershey-christian-academy-basketball-coach-charged-in-u-s-capitol-riot/

FBI: Former girls basketball coach at Hershey Christian Academy involved in insurrection
https://www.poconorecord.com/story/news/2021/02/16/l-brent-bozell-iv-charged-fbi-involvement-insurrection-hershey-christian-academy-pa-resident/6772897002/

Former teacher get five years probation after chat with teen
https://www.delcotimes.com/news/former-teacher-get-five-years-probation-after-chat-with-teen/article_117ce6b6-70a4-11eb-8080-5799a79c6bc5.html

Education

Scranton school directors plan to strengthen fight for fair funding from state
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/education/scranton-school-directors-plan-to-strengthen-fight-for-fair-funding-from-state/article_b4955de7-92dd-5a40-b506-0adfd26c3a76.html

New Kensington-Arnold facing $1.5M deficit in 2021-22 budget
https://triblive.com/local/valley-news-dispatch/new-kensington-arnold-facing-1-5m-deficit-in-2021-22-budget/

Superintendent: Greater Latrobe no longer bound by strict school closure benchmarks
https://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/superintendent-greater-latrobe-no-longer-bound-by-strict-school-closure-benchmarks/

How public schools fail to recognize Black prodigies | Opinion
https://www.penncapital-star.com/commentary/how-public-schools-fail-to-recognize-black-prodigies-opinion/

Biden reframes his goal on reopening of elementary schools
https://www.inquirer.com/politics/nation/coronavirus-joe-biden-elementary-schools-open-100-days-20210217.html

Elections/Politics

5 Republicans seek party nod for special election in 59th state House district
https://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/five-republicans-seek-party-nod-for-special-election-in-59th-state-house-district/

The Gale brothers of Montgomery County are teaming up to run for governor and U.S. Senate
https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/joe-gale-2022-pennsylvania-governor-race-20210216.html

The push to punish Pat Toomey points to a future tied to Trump for Pennsylvania Republicans
https://www.inquirer.com/politics/pennsylvania/pat-toomey-trump-impeachment-vote-pennsylvania-republican-party-20210216.html

Western Pa. GOP focuses ire on Pat Toomey, as Republicans battle for control of the party
https://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/western-pa-gop-focuses-ire-on-pat-toomey-as-county-party-fault-lines-mirror-national-battle-for-control-of-the-republican-party/

Editorial: Reading activists right to push for more voter involvement
https://www.readingeagle.com/opinion/editorials/editorial-reading-activists-right-to-push-for-more-voter-involvement/article_69e35a00-6fa6-11eb-9e6d-8f6618482ced.html

Local News

Pandemic curbed Scranton’s parking revenues
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/pandemic-curbed-scrantons-parking-revenues/article_6c886507-3381-5689-a0f8-db0176263f44.html

Reading mayor outlines plan to fight gun violence in city
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/local/reading-mayor-outlines-plan-to-fight-gun-violence-in-city/article_531eef58-70a7-11eb-864f-33cd374db6ec.html

Reading Science Center receives $357,000 grant to operate STEM program for girls
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/local/reading-science-center-receives-357-000-grant-to-operate-stem-program-for-girls/article_e4428610-7080-11eb-a7c8-d3a770970479.html

Tenants of West Reading apartments forced to move after building fails inspection
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/local/tenants-of-west-reading-apartments-forced-to-move-after-building-fails-inspection/article_00de6bd6-707c-11eb-9c26-db45e4cf75fa.html

Reading Mayor Eddie Moran signs contract with the city’s firefighters
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/local/reading-mayor-eddie-moran-signs-contract-with-the-citys-firefighters/article_64e1e868-70ab-11eb-9cbd-3f3904220784.html

Sale of Luzerne County-owned property discussed
https://www.timesleader.com/news/901464/sale-of-luzerne-county-owned-property-discussed

Tamaqua CRIZ may assist with bed and breakfast funding
https://www.standardspeaker.com/news/tamaqua-criz-may-assist-with-bed-and-breakfast-funding/article_f39df3a1-2dfa-56ca-bda2-9d174777326e.html

National News

How an ex-Philly cop made it his mission to expose police shootings of Black people
https://www.inquirer.com/news/terence-jones-total-justice-police-officer-shootings-killings-race-black-lives-matter-20210217.html

New Jersey

N.J. Gov. Murphy announces new climate office and $100M to electrify ports, buses
https://www.inquirer.com/science/climate/climate-change-buses-new-jersey-gov-phil-murphy-20210216.html

Philly

Philly is staring down the barrel of a $450 million budget gap and the pain won’t stop there
https://www.inquirer.com/news/philadelphia/philadelphia-budget-deficit-kenney-coronavirus-pandemic-20210216.html

‘Really painful decisions’ could be in store over city’s projected $450M budget gap next year, official says
https://www.phillytrib.com/news/local_news/really-painful-decisions-could-be-in-store-over-citys-projected-450m-budget-gap-next-year/article_c6c26471-a061-51d6-aefd-7875399c3eaa.html

Philly City Council members announce new police station, other initiatives in Kensington
https://www.inquirer.com/health/opioid-addiction/philly-kensington-city-council-initiatives-20210216.html

Philadelphia seeks 16.9% water rate increase, citing revenue erosion from pandemic
https://www.inquirer.com/business/philadelphia-water-rate-increase-historic-covid-20210216.html

Philly police officer charged with sexually assaulting 8th grader
https://www.inquirer.com/news/charles-young-philadelphia-police-arrest-sexual-assault-minor-20210216.html

Philly Fighting COVID got a city contract while groups emphasizing racial equity didn’t
https://www.inquirer.com/news/philadelphia/philadelphia-coronavirus-vaccine-distribution-racial-equity-20210216.html

Man killed in North Philly shooting
https://www.inquirer.com/news/north-philadelphia-homicide-man-shot-20210217.html

Jonathan Saidel as Ambassador to Malta? A big union wants Biden to appoint the former Philly controller
https://www.inquirer.com/politics/clout/jonathan-saidel-biden-malta-ambassador-20210216.html

Pitt

Judge to decide landlord case challenging Pittsburgh rental registry ordinance
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2021/02/16/landlord-services-bureau-city-pittsburgh-lawsuit-apartment/stories/202102160130

City officials work to help Pittsburgh residents facing eviction
https://triblive.com/local/city-officials-work-to-help-pittsburgh-residents-facing-eviction/

‘Tiresome’ winter weather presents challenges for Pittsburgh-area road crews
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2021/02/16/snowy-weather-PennDOT-Allegheny-County-Pittsburgh-road-crews-salt-supplies-National-Weather-Service/stories/202102160142

Groups kick off campaign to bring attention to city school board elections
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2021/02/16/pittsburgh-public-schools-board-pps-Campaign-election-primary-vote/stories/202102160098

Pittsburgh mayoral endorsements start to roll in as candidates begin drive for signatures
https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-mayoral-endorsements-start-to-roll-in-as-candidates-begin-drive-for-signatures/

4th gun in 12 days caught at Pittsburgh airport
https://triblive.com/local/4th-gun-in-12-days-caught-at-pittsburgh-airport/

State News

For those collecting unemployment benefits, Tax Day may come with a surprise expense they can’t cover
https://www.post-gazette.com/business/money/2021/02/17/unemployment-compensation-taxes-COVID-19-PUA-PEUC-FPUC/stories/202102120127

Extension of federal unemployment programs leads to ‘bold’ fraud attempts in Pa.
https://www.post-gazette.com/business/career-workplace/2021/02/16/unemployment-compensation-fraud-PUA-ID-me-Pennsylvania-jobs-fund-Berrier/stories/202102160125

Pa. jobless benefit scams at $2.5M; Arnold woman pleads guilty to defrauding system
https://triblive.com/local/valley-news-dispatch/pa-jobless-benefit-scams-at-2-5m-arnold-woman-pleads-guilty-to-defrauding-system/

Driver suing state police troopers, officer over traffic stop in Aliquippa
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2021/02/16/Driver-suing-police-over-traffic-stop-in-Aliquippa/stories/202102160145

Pa. Lottery ticket sales on track for a banner year
https://www.pennlive.com/news/2021/02/pa-lottery-ticket-sales-on-track-for-a-banner-year.html

Washington

In COVID-19 relief bill, Pa. GOP lines up to oppose more spending amid pandemic
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-nation/2021/02/17/Doyle-Kelly-Reschenthaler-Joyce-Biden-vaccine-broadband-health-care-COVID-19/stories/202102110127

COVID-19 bill would scale up ability to spot virus mutations
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/science/2021/02/17/COVID-19-bill-would-scale-up-ability-to-spot-virus-mutations/stories/202102170093

Senate Democrats’ push for President Biden to forgive $50,000 in student loans would make 36 million debt-free
https://www.pennlive.com/nation-world/2021/02/senate-democrats-push-for-president-biden-to-forgive-50000-in-student-loans-would-make-36-million-debt-free.html

Biden town hall: President optimistic on elementary schools, virus aid bill
https://www.pennlive.com/politics/2021/02/biden-town-hall-president-optimistic-on-elementary-schools-virus-aid-bill.html