Gov. Wolf on Pa. budget, education spending, job creation and COVID (buckscountycouriertimes.com)

Gov. Tom Wolf’s 2022 priorities on Smart Talk | Smart Talk (witf.org)

Sen. Judy Schwank calls for public investment in child care (pottsmerc.com)

Sen. Judy Schwank calls for public investment in child care (readingeagle.com)

Pennsylvania’s digital divide is two distinct problems. It’s time to solve both. | Commentary | phillytrib.com

Pa. lawmakers nearing deadline for new congressional map – WHYY

Pennsylvania’s redistricting process should involve all of us | City & State PA (cityandstatepa.com)

West Manchester Township supervisor testifies against preliminary state Senate proposal (ydr.com)

Pa. lawmakers nearing deadline for new congressional map. Here’s what’s next | WITF

Officials urge Shapiro to halt pipeline construction in Chester County – Daily Local

Proposed constitutional amendments threaten independence of the judiciary (buckscountycouriertimes.com)

Pennsylvania Senate Republicans score court victory in elections investigation | Pennsylvania | thecentersquare.com

Slew of bills to align Pennsylvania, federal tax codes pass House committee | Pennsylvania | thecentersquare.com

Investigation begins into Halcovage impeachment | News | standardspeaker.com

Letters: What’s the Hold Up on Gift Ban for Pa. Legislators?; Not Falling for ‘Alternative Facts’ | State College, PA

What did the Pa. Legislature spend $575 per hour for? They won’t say. (yorkdispatch.com)


Coronavirus – COVID-19

Gov. Wolf takes “softer” approach to COVID mitigation: Fewer mandates, more local control (abc27.com)

Wolf administration focused on coordinating federal COVID-19 relief, not a statewide mandate – Pennsylvania Capital-Star (penncapital-star.com)

COVID hospitalizations hit new record high, raising risks for patients | WITF

COVID-19 drove deaths to record levels in Lancaster County | Health | lancasteronline.com

United Airlines says 3,000 employees have Covid, leading to staffing challenges : Coronavirus Updates : NPR

Omicron variant could be headed for a rapid drop in the US and Britain, scientists say (abc27.com)

COVID-19 changes. Experts say your mask should, too. | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Weekly COVID cases hit an all-time high in Allegheny County | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

COVID-19 strains continue, but Philly and N.J. officials say peak of the omicron surge could be near (inquirer.com)

Pfizer plans to manufacture 50-100 million doses of omicron-specific vaccine by spring 2022 (inquirer.com)

COVID-19 death spike again follows case surge | Coronavirus | thetimes-tribune.com

Amid record COVID-19 hospitalizations, Wolf administration won’t impose new statewide restrictions or vaccine mandates – The Morning Call (mcall.com)

Centre County schools, Penn State and Mount Nittany Medical push ahead as COVID cases climb | WITF

Philly’s omicron cases may be starting to plateau | Local News | phillytrib.com

Skippack Pharmacy boosts 1,600 people at weekend North Penn High School clinic (mainlinemedianews.com)

COVID impacting dozens at the George W. Hill Correctional Facility (delcotimes.com)



Consumer prices climb 7% in the past year, highest jump since 1982 (msn.com)

As inflation surges, some Democrats blame greedy companies : NPR

Local trucking industry doing well despite US driver shortage, supply-chain issues | Local Business | lancasteronline.com

Hybrid headaches, permanent remote plans and other workplace predictions for 2022 – Philadelphia Business Journal (bizjournals.com)

20 Philadelphia-area public companies with the biggest market cap increases in 2021 – Philadelphia Business Journal (bizjournals.com)

U.S. Steel picks Arkansas for $3 billion mini-mill investment | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Empty shelves greeting more grocery shoppers, and opinion is mixed on how long shortages will last – pennlive.com



Benjamin Mannes: As radical criminal justice policies result in record murders, where’s the bully pulpit? (broadandliberty.com)

Incarcerated individuals at Allegheny County Jail claim intimidation from guards and insufficient rec time | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper (pghcitypaper.com)

Allegheny County Jail warden clarifies use of solitary confinement | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

York City Police to patrol WellSpan York Hospital amid threats, violence. | WITF

After dropping early in the pandemic, jail populations are rising again | Wednesday Morning Coffee – Pennsylvania Capital-Star (penncapital-star.com)



‘Fix this now’: Virtual rally participants call for fair funding amid statewide education trial (dailylocal.com)

Philadelphia school superintendent cites staffing shortfalls and crumbling infrastructure as proof of unconstitutional school system | WITF

Scranton seventh graders join fight for fair funding | Education | thetimes-tribune.com

Biden sending more COVID tests to schools to keep them open – Daily Local

The White House will distribute 10 million more COVID tests per month to schools : NPR

Biden sending millions more COVID tests to schools to keep them open (abc27.com)

Some Pennsylvania schools go remote despite conflicting guidance (broadandliberty.com)

Unvaxxed Pitt students who were ‘disenrolled’ offered tuition refunds | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Superintendent Hite testifies Philly students meet minimal standards ‘because that’s all they have access to’ (inquirer.com)

North Allegheny parents file federal lawsuit to block district’s new mask-optional policy | TribLIVE.com

Dunmore bus company alleges irregularities, protests bid for Scranton School District contract | Education | thetimes-tribune.com

Schools close as extreme cold grips US Northeast and Greater Hazleton | News | standardspeaker.com

Despite opposition from some in community, Southern Lehigh adopts new, ‘compromise’ masking policy – The Morning Call (mcall.com)



Pennsylvanians divided over 2020 election fairness, level of trust in electoral process, Muhlenberg College poll shows – The Morning Call (mcall.com)

Pressed on his election lies, former President Trump cuts NPR interview short : NPR

Democrat Cherfilus-McCormick to fill Florida U.S. House seat | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Fauci fires back at Rand Paul, accusing him of using attacks for ‘political gain’ | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Philly lawyer joining GOP field chasing open US Senate seat | Local News | phillytrib.com

Martell Covington enters race to fill Gainey’s state House seat | 90.5 WESA

Dr. Oz super PAC greets David McCormick’s Pennsylvania Senate bid with fresh attacks | News | gazette.com

Republican candidates jumping into Pennsylvania Senate race – CBS News

Pa. GOP debate: The most important question wasn’t asked (ellwoodcityledger.com)



2021’s biggest climate disasters cost the U.S. $145B. Five essential reads | Analysis – Pennsylvania Capital-Star (penncapital-star.com)

EPA moves to crack down on dangerous coal ash storage ponds | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Ocean warmth sets record high in 2021 due to greenhouse gas emissions | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Winter road salt is causing harmful ocean-level salt spikes in streams in the Philadelphia region, with high concentrations lasting into summer (inquirer.com)



Are Venmo and PayPal the future of turnpike tolling? | City & State PA (cityandstatepa.com)

Editorial: PennDOT should have shined a light on traffic signal | TribLIVE.com



Medicare proposes to cover a controversial Alzheimer’s drug with restrictions : NPR

Medicare limits coverage of $28,000-a-year Alzheimer’s drug | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

$100M hospital, a joint venture of Geisinger and Highmark Health, opens in Lycoming County – pennlive.com


State News

A medical helicopter crashed near a church; all 4 aboard survived : NPR

Medical helicopter from Chambersburg crashes near Upper Darby church; all 4 aboard survive (abc27.com)

These humble Pa. county controllers beat big pension fund returns by keeping it simple | Nation | fltimes.com

American Journalism Project invests $1 million in Spotlight PA as model for local news · Spotlight PA

Hooves, potatoes,and tractors abound at the 106th Pennsylvania Farm Show. Masks not so much. (inquirer.com)

Pa. Insurance Dept. hits UPMC with $250K penalty for Affordable Care Act violations – Pennsylvania Capital-Star (penncapital-star.com)

With a proposed ban in N.Y., Erie lawmaker invites National Fuel Gas to relocate to Pa. – Pennsylvania Capital-Star (penncapital-star.com)

Five elk, one buck take new top spots in Pa. Game Records (goerie.com)


National News

NATO And Russia In High Level Talks About Ukraine Amid Fears Of Russian Invasion : NPR

Fire that killed 17 started in apartment with several space heaters running for days: FDNY – pennlive.com

Remain in Mexico protocols force thousands of asylum-seekers to endure violence | Opinion – Pennsylvania Capital-Star (penncapital-star.com)


Local News

Bart Twp. supervisors move to give $40K-$50K in federal COVID funds to Bart Twp. Fire Company | Community News | lancasteronline.com

This is for you, Nathan | Times Leader

3Buds opens public cannabinoid dispensary on Public Square | Times Leader

Luzerne County Council advances possible ballot question on hiring solicitor | Times Leader

Blood donors needed in worst shortage in more than a decade | News | standardspeaker.com

Berks fire marshals: Closed doors are critical in preventing fire tragedies (readingeagle.com)

Berks commissioners restarting prison project (readingeagle.com)

Berks DA lauds homicides clearances (readingeagle.com)

Plan for new warehouse straddling Allentown-Whitehall border moves closer to reality; concerns about closeness to residences are downplayed – The Morning Call (mcall.com)

A bridge demolition was a headache in the Lehigh Valley. The infrastructure bill will fix it & more – Pennsylvania Capital-Star (penncapital-star.com)

Montgomery County kicks off 2022 authorizing $2.3M in contracts (mainlinemedianews.com)

Quakertown lifts condemnation order at Bush House Hotel; allows residents to return soon (theintell.com)

Study shows rural home sales increased 7% during pandemic (poconorecord.com)

THRIVE grant program will help low-income children and families (ydr.com)

State and local officials touted the Chester Partners for Safe Neighborhoods initiative Tuesday (delcotimes.com)



Pittsburgh officials stress fire prevention as they react to Philadelphia, NYC catastrophes | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Few show support for Wilkinsburg annexation at public hearing | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

17 Pittsburgh Public Schools facilities will be closed Wednesday, district says | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Greensburg police chief announces retirment | TribLIVE.com



MLK Day Family Experience with Guests: Sen. Nikil Saval and Stephanie Sena | Post (friends-select.org)

Housing market 2022: Is it cheaper to buy or rent in Philadelphia? – Philadelphia Business Journal (bizjournals.com)

Neighbors — and a city councilmember — clash over latest push to revive a Germantown landmark (inquirer.com)

Fairmount fire lays bare affordable housing failures | Morning Newsletter (inquirer.com)

A Christmas tree caused the blaze that killed 12 people in Philadelphia, officials said | WITF

Cold temps and COVID create problems for Philadelphia’s homeless | Local News | phillytrib.com



Biden focuses on voting rights, filibuster in major speech in Atlanta : NPR

Biden pushes for voting rights bills, filibuster reform | ABC27

Jan. 6 committee subpoenas Trump aide, 2 GOP strategists | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Justice Dept. creating unit focused on domestic terrorism | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette