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Legislature

‘This isn’t just a math game gone awry:’ advocates want publicly-drawn maps to be a part of redistricting
https://www.witf.org/2021/02/18/this-isnt-just-a-math-game-gone-awry-advocates-want-publicly-drawn-maps-to-be-a-part-of-redistricting/

Struggling Pa. families need more support; Lawmakers, Wolf need to boost TANF payments | Opinion
https://www.penncapital-star.com/commentary/struggling-pa-families-need-more-support-lawmakers-wolf-need-to-boost-tanf-payments-opinion/

Senator Corman says proposal to move Pa. appeals courts to regional elections won’t be on May ballot
https://www.witf.org/2021/02/17/senator-corman-says-proposal-to-move-pa-appeals-courts-to-regional-elections-wont-be-on-may-ballot/

Don’t exempt state police from hearings
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/opinion/editorial/dont-exempt-state-police-from-hearings/article_62c334d5-5638-50b5-aa3b-21042ce76bd4.html

House Bill 38 should be defeated | PennLive letters
https://www.pennlive.com/opinion/2021/02/house-bill-38-should-be-defeated-pennlive-letters.html

PennDOT

Tolls considered for I-83 bridge in Harrisburg; opponents call it ‘a new tax’
https://www.pennlive.com/news/2021/02/tolls-considered-for-i-83-bridge-in-harrisburg.html

PennDOT begins process to start tolling 9 bridges to pay for replacement spans
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2021/02/18/PennDOT-bridge-tolls-public-private-partnertship-nine-bridges-I-79-Bridgeville/stories/202102180200

PennDOT hopes to fix major bridges across the state, including on I-79, but make them toll bridges
https://triblive.com/local/carlynton/penndot-hopes-to-fix-major-bridges-across-the-state-including-on-i-79-but-make-them-toll-bridges/

PennDOT P3 Initiative looks to tolling to repair, maintain state’s bridges
https://www.timesleader.com/news/913083/penndot-p3-initiative-looks-to-tolling-to-repair-maintain-states-bridges

PennDOT considers tolling 9 bridges, including one in Berks
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/local/penndot-considers-tolling-9-bridges-including-one-in-berks/article_19da11bc-7234-11eb-91c2-c3330713fe8b.html

I-83 South Bridge: PennDOT eyes replacement, possibly tolling it to pay for costs
https://www.ydr.com/story/news/2021/02/18/interstate-83-south-bridge-eyed-replacement-tolling-pennsylvania-department-transportation/4496565001/

Coronavirus – COVID-19

Pennsylvania health department defends COVID-19 vaccine output
https://www.timesleader.com/news/913840/pennsylvania-health-department-defends-covid-19-vaccine-output

Health department responds to Yudichak criticism on COVID-19 vaccine distribution
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/health-department-responds-to-yudichak-criticism-on-covid-19-vaccine-distribution/article_a388233e-fa24-549d-a68e-20e6841aa589.html

COVID-19 vaccine appointments will be delayed by the winter storm, Pa. and N.J. say
https://www.inquirer.com/news/coronavirus-covid-19-vaccine-winter-snow-delay-pa-nj-20210218.html

Few Black people in Pa. have received COVID-19 vaccines
https://www.pennlive.com/coronavirus/2021/02/few-black-people-in-pa-have-received-covid-19-vaccines.html

As vaccine waiting lists grow, community pharmacies unsure when supply will arrive
https://triblive.com/local/regional/as-vaccine-waiting-lists-grow-community-pharmacies-unsure-when-supply-will-arrive/

Vaccine appointments rescheduled due to severe weather
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/coronavirus/vaccine-appointments-rescheduled-due-to-severe-weather/article_b3b640f6-f46d-52d7-88d0-362ab72987a2.html

Severe weather delays covid vaccine shipments to Pennsylvania
https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/severe-weather-delays-covid-vaccine-shipments-to-pennsylvania/

COVID increases need for foster and adoptive families in Pa.
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/local/covid-increases-need-for-foster-and-adoptive-families-in-pa/article_370fa66a-670e-11eb-a3a2-97f93b63cb5e.html

Berks County could soon have a community COVID vaccination site
https://www.readingeagle.com/coronavirus/berks-county-could-soon-have-a-community-covid-vaccination-site/article_b7e8583a-7213-11eb-ad32-03f7dadb3526.html

Berks County gets 178 COVID cases, most for a day this month
https://www.readingeagle.com/coronavirus/berks-county-gets-178-covid-cases-most-for-a-day-this-month/article_39ae9260-71e9-11eb-ae3d-5f292256bf31.html

Pennsylvania should open up nursing homes to visitors: ‘What they are doing to our seniors is despicable’
https://www.mcall.com/opinion/mc-opi-pa-nursing-home-visits-covid-vaccines-muschick-20210219-au3773u2kfa2rin5kebocw3mti-story.html

Intimate partner violence, Pa.’s silent pandemic, can be silent no longer | Fletcher McClellan and Paige Oustrich
https://www.penncapital-star.com/commentary/intimate-partner-violence-pa-s-silent-pandemic-can-be-silent-no-longer-fletcher-mcclellan-and-paige-oustrich/

Crime/Punishment

Woman slain, assailant fatally shot by police in Lawrence County
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2021/02/18/Lawrence-County-shooting-New-Wilmington-woman-killed-man-shot-dead-by-police-S-New-Castle-St/stories/202102180196

Police say Stowe Township man killed brother, brother’s girlfriend in their home
https://triblive.com/local/police-couple-found-dead-inside-stowe-township-home/

Wanted man dies after Nanticoke shooting
https://www.timesleader.com/news/910352/police-investigating-nanticoke-shooting-involving-bail-bondsman

Education

Advocates gearing up for fair education funding push
https://www.dailylocal.com/news/advocates-gearing-up-for-fair-education-funding-push/article_e6e42e95-432d-5e2f-af5f-1b24b289a0a0.html

Scranton School Board: union president’s remarks hurtful, promoted stereotypes
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/education/scranton-school-board-union-presidents-remarks-hurtful-promoted-stereotypes/article_362b38dd-7da6-5f8a-afae-35e72d2aaf35.html

Covid report card: A look at first semester cases in Allegheny, Westmoreland school districts
https://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/covid-report-card-a-look-at-first-semester-cases-in-allegheny-westmoreland-school-districts/

Reading School District looks to save $400,000 by refinancing bonds
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/local/reading-school-district-looks-to-save-400-000-by-refinancing-bonds/article_7fbaf1fc-7187-11eb-90fa-a3a7dc05ae8c.html

Bethlehem NAACP calls for full return to in-class learning; school district says hybrid learning is still safer
https://www.mcall.com/coronavirus/mc-nws-coronavirus-bethlehem-naacp-request-to-school-district-20210218-qplytoxkcbe33hv73rrp4j3q5q-story.html

Two more Pa. state universities aim to fully reopen
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2021/02/18/State-System-Higher-Education-California-Clarion-fall-reopen-classes-Pennsylvania-colleges/stories/202102180173

3 Western Pa. public universities plan for campus reopening this fall
https://triblive.com/local/regional/three-western-pa-public-universities-plan-for-campus-reopening-this-fall/

At Penn State, a generations-old philanthropy to fight childhood cancer, ‘Thon,’ weathers a pandemic
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2021/02/18/Penn-State-University-Dance-Marathon-Thon-pediatric-cancer-hair-auction-DuBois-Jordan/stories/202102160112

Elections/Politics

Pa. congresswoman Madeleine Dean’s profile rises amid Senate buzz
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2021/02/19/Madeleine-Dean-s-profile-rises-Senate-pennsylvania/stories/202102190105

Malcolm Kenyatta is running for Senate in Pennsylvania
https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/malcolm-kenyatta-2022-pennsylvania-senate-campaign-20210219.html

State Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta announces U.S. Senate run
https://www.pennlive.com/news/2021/02/state-rep-malcolm-kenyatta-announces-us-senate-run.html

Pa.’s suburbs show the power of ‘eds and meds’ in turning red districts blue | Opinion
https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/commentary/berks-county-2020-election-wyomissing-blue-wave-republicans-pennsylvania-20210224.html

U.S. Supreme Court will consider Rep. Kelly’s petition over Pa. mail-in voting law
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-state/2021/02/18/Supreme-Court-Pennsylvania-mail-in-voting-law-Mike-Kelly-petition-constitutionality/stories/202102180199

League of Women Voters, NAACP partner to host forum on running for local office
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/elections/league-of-women-voters-naacp-partner-to-host-forum-on-running-for-local-office/article_0b4c596c-720b-11eb-999b-7f4d0599974c.html

Gaming

Report: Pa. casinos see revenue increase in January
https://triblive.com/local/regional/report-pa-casinos-see-revenue-increase-in-january/

Health Care

The ACA marketplace is open again for insurance sign-ups. Here’s what you need to know.
https://www.inquirer.com/health/consumer/aca-marketplace-is-open-again-insurance-sign-ups-heres-what-you-need-know-20210219.html

Local News

Lackawanna County to distribute $6.2 million in federal rent relief
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/lackawanna-county-to-distribute-6-2-million-in-federal-rent-relief/article_762b05fd-66c9-5452-bc7f-e200a80682e8.html

Scranton awards $150G in CARES Act funding for UNC housing navigator position
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/coronavirus/scranton-awards-150g-in-cares-act-funding-for-unc-housing-navigator-position/article_0f6adcf2-0be1-5c89-8d9c-47c8684b70e6.html

Tenants evicted from condemned West Reading apartments now staying in hotels
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/local/tenants-evicted-from-condemned-west-reading-apartments-now-staying-in-hotels/article_3fb5911c-7217-11eb-8158-638de040374d.html

Commissioners dash calls for Westmoreland health department, trumpet broadband upgrade
https://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/commissioners-dash-calls-for-westmoreland-health-department-trumpet-broadband-upgrade/

National News

U.S. unemployment claims jumped to 861,000 last week as layoffs stayed high
https://www.inquirer.com/jobs/labor/unemployment-claims-united-states-coronavirus-covid-19-20210218.html

Montana relaxes gun restrictions, allows guns on campuses and inside state Capitol
https://www.pennlive.com/nation-world/2021/02/montana-relaxes-gun-restrictions-allows-guns-on-campuses-and-inside-state-capitol.html

Philly

Waiting for a bus and shot in the leg: A victim tries to make sense of the shooting at Olney Transportation Center
https://www.inquirer.com/news/8-people-shot-philadelphia-olney-transportation-center-20210218.html

This mother-daughter duo is fighting the stigma of period poverty with the nation’s first crowdfunded menstrual hub in Philly
https://www.inquirer.com/news/spot-period-menstrual-hub-philly-20210219.html

Some Philly parents are getting worried their kids are ‘never going to be in school’
https://www.inquirer.com/education/philadelphia-school-reopening-parents-20210218.html

City Council joint committee hearing looks at strategies to safely reopen Philadelphia schools
https://www.phillytrib.com/news/local_news/city-council-joint-committee-hearing-looks-at-strategies-to-safely-reopen-philadelphia-schools/article_b0766431-10df-5d5d-b25d-cf32fffb01ec.html

Philly detective from Major Crimes Auto Squad arrested, fifth officer charged in a month
https://www.inquirer.com/news/philadelphia/philadelphia-police-arrest-detective-john-logan-auto-squad-20210218.html

Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium will host Philadelphia’s first 24-hour, walk-up vaccination site
https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/philadelphia-coronavirus-vaccine-24-hour-site-black-doctors-covid-consortium-20210218.html

As Philadelphia fumbles on vaccines, Black residents are left on sidelines
https://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com/story/news/2021/02/19/philadelphia-fumbles-vaccines-leaving-black-residents-sidelines/6743189002/

GIANT prepares to open flagship store in Philly, betting that shoppers will want to visit
https://www.inquirer.com/business/retail/giant-supermarket-philadelphia-ahold-grocery-trends-20210218.html

Pitt

Rep. Ed Gainey calls on Peduto, Pittsburgh officials to act to prevent evictions
https://triblive.com/local/rep-ed-gainey-calls-on-peduto-pittsburgh-officials-to-act-to-prevent-evictions/

Mayoral-candidate Ed Gainey joins calls for Pittsburgh to enact an eviction moratorium
https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/mayoral-candidate-ed-gainey-joins-calls-for-pittsburgh-to-enact-an-eviction-moratorium/Content?oid=18945000

Health workers union to endorse Rep. Gainey in Pittsburgh mayoral race
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-local/2021/02/18/Rep-Ed-Gainey-endorsed-for-mayor-Pittsburgh-SEIU-Healthcare-Pennsylvania/stories/202102180202

Port Authority’s Oakland-Downtown Pittsburgh ‘rapid transit’ project begins federal review
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2021/02/19/Port-Authority-Bus-Rapid-Transit-Downtown-Pittsburgh-Oakland-federal-review/stories/202102180156

Grant will help STEM and robotics education at Pittsburgh Public Schools
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2021/02/18/pittsburgh-public-schools-pps-stem-howmet-aerospace-grant-FIRST-education-robotics-competition/stories/202102180164

Peduto to be final speaker at virtual Paris climate agreement event
https://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2021/02/18/pittsburgh-mayor-bill-peduto-paris-climate-agreement-accord-virtual-event/stories/202102180166

Peduto to speak during event marking U.S. return to Paris Climate Agreement
https://triblive.com/local/pittsburghs-peduto-to-speak-during-event-marking-u-s-return-to-paris-climate-agreement/

That 4 p.m. anxiety for Downtown street parkers? It started 100 years ago
https://triblive.com/local/that-4-p-m-anxiety-for-downtown-street-parkers-it-started-100-years-ago/

Hairstyle protection law doesn’t impact ban on Pittsburgh police growing beards
https://triblive.com/local/pittsburgh-cops-cant-grow-beards-because-of-the-crown-act/

Chelsa Wagner joins crowded field in race for Allegheny County judge
https://triblive.com/local/chelsa-wagner-joins-crowded-field-in-race-for-allegheny-county-judge/

State News

A once-touted Mariner East pipeline bribery case is poised to end with no convictions
https://www.inquirer.com/news/mariner-east-pipeline-constables-sunoco-chester-county-20210218.html

Pennsylvania appoints new state park manager for Tobyhanna
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/pennsylvania-appoints-new-state-park-manager-for-tobyhanna/article_d8a4ed3d-59ea-5843-9885-9b9013ba4c07.html

Transportation

U.S. faces a long road to an electrified vehicle future
https://www.inquirer.com/cars/us-faces-a-long-road-to-evs-20210219.html

Allegheny County eyes April start for Springhill Road project in Harrison
https://triblive.com/local/valley-news-dispatch/allegheny-county-eyes-april-start-for-springhill-road-project-in-harrison/

Washington

Pat Toomey: This is why I voted to impeach Trump | Opinion
https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/commentary/pat-toomey-impeach-trump-20210218.html

Ted Cruz returns to Texas from Cancún after Democrats call for resignation
https://www.witf.org/2021/02/19/ted-cruz-returns-to-texas-from-cancun-after-democrats-call-for-resignation/