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Legislature

Leader of Pa. state universities delivers blunt message: Reorganize or ‘dissolve the system’
https://www.pennlive.com/news/2021/03/leader-of-pa-state-universities-delivers-blunt-message-reorganize-or-dissolve-the-system.html

In wake of Georgia killings, Pa. officials speak out against violence targeting Asian Americans
https://www.pennlive.com/news/2021/03/in-wake-of-georgia-killings-pa-officials-speak-out-against-violence-targeting-asian-americans.html

Should the state raise the cap on its film-production incentive?
https://www.witf.org/2021/03/19/should-the-state-raise-the-cap-on-its-film-production-incentive/

Pennsylvania still has a problem with mail ballot deadlines and it could be worse than 2020
https://www.inquirer.com/politics/election/pennsylvania-mail-ballot-deadlines-2021-20210318.html

Stop the bickering: Pennsylvania lawmakers must help victims of clergy sex abuse
https://www.mcall.com/opinion/mc-opi-clergy-sex-abuse-lawsuits-muschick-20210319-vom3hwqso5gb3no25vsbzls4iy-story.html

Redistricting must include public
https://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/editorials/2021/03/19/Redistricting-must-include-public/stories/202102180089

Petition to rename Route 981 after late State Rep. Mike Reese gains traction
https://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/petition-to-rename-route-981-after-late-state-rep-mike-reese-gains-traction/

Coronavirus – COVID-19

Pennsylvania ranks 2nd in COVID-19 vaccinations, improves provider map
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/coronavirus/pennsylvania-ranks-2nd-in-covid-19-vaccinations-improves-provider-map/article_fdabeca1-274b-571b-8ae9-df38d77b4400.html

Pennsylvania pares COVID-19 vaccine providers by more than two-thirds
https://www.post-gazette.com/business/healthcare-business/2021/03/19/Pennsylvania-pares-COVID-19-vaccine-providers-pharmacies-doctors-hospitals-strategy/stories/202103180213

Pennsylvania updating provider map as it moves to centralized COVID vaccine distribution
https://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com/story/news/2021/03/18/pennsylvania-covid-vaccine-plan-sees-updated-provider-map-officials-centralize-distribution/4748836001/

State will focus vaccine distribution on a more narrow list of providers
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/coronavirus/state-will-focus-vaccine-distribution-on-a-more-narrow-list-of-providers/article_0ae1c398-f0a7-5b3e-950b-e86cfeeb6a6e.html

More COVID-19 rental assistance is coming to tenants in Pennsylvania and New Jersey
https://www.inquirer.com/news/philadelphia/utility-payment-rental-assistance-pennsylvania-nj-coronavirus-20210319.html

‘Here’s some websites and phone numbers, good luck with that’: Group demands better covid vaccine plan in Westmoreland County
https://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/heres-some-websites-and-phone-numbers-good-luck-with-that-group-demands-better-covid-vaccine-plan-in-westmoreland-county/

Berks County commissioners approve COVID vaccination clinic in Muhlenberg Township
https://www.readingeagle.com/coronavirus/berks-county-commissioners-approve-covid-vaccination-clinic-in-muhlenberg-township/article_51b36d9e-87d9-11eb-a611-ffc9fbbae1cf.html

Boyertown pharmacy gets Pa. nod to go bigger for vaccine clinics
https://www.readingeagle.com/coronavirus/boyertown-pharmacy-gets-pa-nod-to-go-bigger-for-vaccine-clinics/article_9537676c-87d6-11eb-b0f0-f7eb9246b640.html

5,000 covid-19 vaccine appointments to open at 2 pharmacies in Penn Township and Indiana Co.
https://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/5000-covid-19-vaccine-appointments-to-open-at-2-pharmacies-in-penn-township-and-indiana-co/

Allegheny, Westmoreland counties covid cases, deaths stable; Pennsylvania surpasses 12% fully vaccinated
https://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/allegheny-westmoreland-counties-covid-cases-deaths-stable-pennsylvania-surpasses-12-fully-vaccinated/

78 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths reported in county on Thursday
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/78-new-covid-19-cases-3-deaths-reported-in-county-on-thursday/article_f95727a0-7043-51c0-9506-05eb33f7d6cf.html

How COVID-19 has compelled the Lehigh Valley’s retired health care workers to give up time with the grandkids for scrubs and gloves
https://www.mcall.com/coronavirus/mc-nws-coronavirus-retired-health-care-workers-20210319-b7s43trdebdyldpp37pb7ehxt4-story.html

Joe Biden says the U.S. will hit his goal of 100 million virus vaccinations weeks ahead of the target date
https://www.inquirer.com/health/coronavirus/joe-biden-covid-19-vaccines-goal-100-million-20210318.html

New analysis suggests COVID-19 began earlier
https://www.post-gazette.com/frontpage/2021/03/19/New-analysis-suggests-COVID-19-began-earlier/stories/202103190079

Business

Child dies in ‘tragic’ treadmill accident, Peloton says
https://www.post-gazette.com/business/pittsburgh-company-news/2021/03/19/Child-dies-Peloton-treadmill-tread-ceo/stories/202103190083

Wawa customers could get $5 or $15 gift cards to settle a class-action suit. Is that fair for consumers?
https://www.inquirer.com/business/wawa-data-breach-class-action-settlement-gift-cards-20210319.html

Wawa hiring 5,000 full- and part-time employees during spring hiring campaign
https://www.delcotimes.com/business/wawa-hiring-5-000-full–and-part-time-employees-during-spring-hiring-campaign/article_8aaae2db-fb12-53a8-8ef3-5f2f319db5dc.html

In hard-hit restaurant industry, hiring more staff is tall order in Western Pa.
https://triblive.com/local/regional/restaurants-in-western-pa-struggle-to-hire-more-staff/

SeatPeeps help to maintain social distancing
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/business/seatpeeps-help-to-maintain-social-distancing/article_2794ae40-82b4-556d-836f-dcab6b80beb9.html

Local companies receive funding to support economic development
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/business/local-companies-receive-funding-to-support-economic-development/article_16133c00-7246-5fc2-b127-ac884e67febb.html

What it’s like to be a convenience store manager in Berks County during the pandemic
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/local/what-its-like-to-be-a-convenience-store-manager-in-berks-county-during-the-pandemic/article_d99c59e0-7fa6-11eb-96f8-cb45ab9fd5eb.html

‘It is a heavy load to carry’: New Brookings report recommends pay hikes, labor reforms for essential workers | Friday Morning Coffee
https://www.penncapital-star.com/commentary/it-is-a-heavy-load-to-carry-new-report-recommends-pay-hikes-labor-reforms-for-essential-workers-friday-morning-coffee/

Crime/Punishment

East Pittsburgh woman said man threatened to shoot her before taking baby that prompted Amber Alert, police say
https://triblive.com/local/east-pittsburgh-woman-tells-police-man-threatened-to-shoot-her-before-taking-baby/

West Chester police form task force to better diversify department
https://www.dailylocal.com/news/local/west-chester-police-form-task-force-to-better-diversify-department/article_3ab4e454-8808-11eb-8977-6784f4a7211c.html

Education

Pa. to provide over $1B in benefits for children who missed out on free, reduced-price meals
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/social-services/2021/03/18/Pennsylvania-benefits-pandemic-electronic-benefit-transfer-p-ebt-families-schools-meals-free-remote/stories/202103180189

Pennsylvania families will get money to make up for lost school meals, but not for weeks
https://www.witf.org/2021/03/19/families-will-get-money-to-make-up-for-lost-school-meals-but-not-for-weeks/

State vaccinates 2,325 teachers and school staff in the region at special clinic in Kingston
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/coronavirus/state-vaccinates-2-325-teachers-and-school-staff-in-the-region-at-special-clinic-in/article_b8c7621e-aeca-5025-a4f2-967577e980d1.html

Elections/Politics

USPS finds ‘no evidence’ of mail ballot fraud in Erie case cited by top Republicans
https://www.inquirer.com/politics/nation/usps-mail-ballot-fraud-erie-investigation-20210318.html

Myth replaces ‘check is in mail’
https://www.citizensvoice.com/opinion/editorial/myth-replaces-check-is-in-mail/article_9cb53662-fd30-599e-8e9b-e5e0778f3e30.html

Westmoreland commissioners select in-state company to handle mail-in ballots
https://triblive.com/local/westmoreland/westmoreland-commissioners-select-in-state-company-to-handle-mail-in-ballots/

Gaming

Report: Pennsylvania casino revenues down slightly in February
https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/report-pennsylvania-casino-revenues-down-slightly-in-february/

Local News

Scranton partners with Lackawanna College to help struggling restaurants get online
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/scranton-partners-with-lackawanna-college-to-help-struggling-restaurants-get-online/article_5b6d3c2f-d911-55c6-b7c2-7f27beae7471.html

Secret deal in Sunshine Week: ‘We forgot’
https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/opinion/editorial/secret-deal-in-sunshine-week-we-forgot/article_223c3f4d-bb85-5db4-a3b2-45ba21db170c.html

A top Bucks County prosecutor was demoted after being caught working as a DoorDash driver on county time
https://www.inquirer.com/news/gregg-shore-demoted-bucks-county-district-attorney-20210318.html

High-profile Bucks County Assistant DA demoted over DoorDash job
https://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com/story/news/2021/03/18/assistant-da-gregg-shore-demoted-over-doordash-job/4753707001/

Bucks County coroner challenges commissioners over budget, says it will run out of funds April 30
https://www.buckscountycouriertimes.com/story/news/2021/03/18/bucks-county-coroner-commissioners-budget-cuts-covid-autopsies/4734806001/

Tenants of condemned West Reading apartments still searching for permanent housing
https://www.readingeagle.com/news/local/tenants-of-condemned-west-reading-apartments-still-searching-for-permanent-housing/article_c821105a-882c-11eb-8e90-4bcf6e9fd922.html

Community cleanup planned in New Kensington
https://triblive.com/local/valley-news-dispatch/community-cleanup-planned-in-new-kensington/

Free trees to be offered to Tarentum residents to combat canopy loss
https://triblive.com/local/valley-news-dispatch/free-trees-to-be-offered-to-tarentum-residents-to-combat-canopy-loss/

GLO Harrisburg offers safe haven for LGBTQ+ youth of color in central Pa.
https://www.pennlive.com/news/2021/03/glo-harrisburg-offers-safe-haven-for-lgbtq-youth-of-color-in-central-pa.html

BREAKING: Luzerne County DA vacancy challenge to be filed Friday
https://www.timesleader.com/news/1090345/breaking-luzerne-county-da-vacancy-challenge-to-be-filed-friday

Salavantis to file for court injunction in DA vacancy dispute
https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/salavantis-to-file-for-court-injunction-in-da-vacancy-dispute/article_d3cd9299-653c-59e7-b819-0aec74d42045.html

After announcing two big deals, what will the new, smaller PPL look like? And what does it mean for Allentown?
https://www.mcall.com/business/mc-biz-what-will-ppl-look-like-following-sale-of-wmd-purchase-of-narragansett-20210318-t2h4lekdo5d6xl7tgaa4dvsqo4-story.html

National News

Atlanta police on shooting probe: ‘Nothing is off the table’
https://www.inquirer.com/news/nation-world/joe-biden-kamala-harris-atlanta-shootings-20210318.html

A mass shooting in Atlanta stirs the toxic, apocalyptic stew of America after Trump, COVID-19 | Will Bunch
https://www.inquirer.com/columnists/attytood/atlanta-mass-shooting-anti-asian-violence-guns-misogyny-20210318.html

Philly

‘We are not learning enough’: In marathon meeting, Philly school board gets an earful
https://www.inquirer.com/education/philadelphia-school-district-board-reopening-20210319.html

Borderline illegal’: Courtesy tows remain Philly’s persistent parking nightmare
https://www.inquirer.com/news/towing-philadelphia-parking-authority-nightmare-20210319.html

Man, 27, killed in Southwest Philly shooting
https://www.inquirer.com/news/southwest-philadelphia-homicide-man-shot-20210319.html

A man was killed on Philadelphia prison grounds shortly after he was released on bail
https://www.inquirer.com/news/rodney-hargrove-killed-philadelphia-prison-killed-curran-fromhold-20210318.html

After subway beating, transit workers’ union says it lacks confidence SEPTA can protect employees
https://www.inquirer.com/transportation/septa-transit-workers-union-violence-against-employees-beating-subway-city-hall-station-20210318.html

Keir Bradford-Grey to resign as Philly’s chief public defender
https://www.inquirer.com/news/philadelphia-chief-defender-keir-bradford-grey-to-resign-20210318.html

Hartford point guard couldn’t save his brother from Philly’s gun violence but he’s trying to help others through his new summer camp | Jenice Armstrong
https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/ncaa-hartford-traci-carter-philly-jenice-armstrong-20210318.html

Mayor Kenney’s new gun briefings must be more than police press conferences | Opinion
https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/commentary/gun-violence-philadelphia-kenney-briefing-danielle-outlaw-20210318.html

Black clergy group unveils plan to address gun violence
https://www.phillytrib.com/news/local_news/black-clergy-group-unveils-plan-to-address-gun-violence/article_cca47ef8-b0ee-5ee8-9c22-e46dc7f062f8.html

City Council proposes $5M for neighborhood improvement, job programs
https://www.phillytrib.com/news/local_news/city-council-proposes-5m-for-neighborhood-improvement-job-programs/article_a751ebfd-8753-5516-b2ca-cb712be73592.html

‘The victims are Asian American’: Philly communities ‘on edge’ after Atlanta-area shooting
https://www.phillytrib.com/news/local_news/the-victims-are-asian-american-philly-communities-on-edge-after-atlanta-area-shooting/article_686de126-87da-11eb-ad03-430e46d574ef.html

As looming personal debt crisis emboldens collectors, Philly’s small claims court needs a bigger role | Editorial
https://www.inquirer.com/opinion/editorials/philadelphia-debt-collection-small-claims-court-20210318.html

As killings surge, Philly Mayor Jim Kenney has few solutions
https://www.penncapital-star.com/criminal-justice/as-killings-surge-philly-mayor-jim-kenney-has-few-solutions/

Pitt

Asians and Asian Americans living in Pittsburgh fear harassment and violence
https://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2021/03/19/Asian-American-attacks-anti-Asians-harassment-bias-race-Atlanta-China-COVID-19-Pennsylvania/stories/202103180152

Western Pa. community leaders fear mounting intensity of anti-Asian hate, xenophobia
https://triblive.com/local/community-leaders-fear-mounting-intensity-of-anti-asian-hate-xenophobia/

Pittsburgh religious leaders offer prayers, comfort and encouragement during COVID memorial service
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/faith-religion/2021/03/18/COVID-19-One-Year-Later-service-virtual-memorial-pandemic-Tree-of-Life-Pittsburgh/stories/202103180223

Tree of Life hosts virtual interfaith covid-19 memorial service
https://triblive.com/local/regional/tree-of-life-hosts-virtual-interfaith-covid-19-memorial-service/

Joe Starkey: The end of Pitt basketball (as we knew it)
https://www.post-gazette.com/sports/joe-starkey/2021/03/19/Pittsburgh-Panthers-Butler-NCAA-Tournament-March-Madness-Joe-Starkey/stories/202103180220

Pittsburgh’s unemployment rate rose to 7.6% in January
https://www.post-gazette.com/business/career-workplace/2021/03/18/Unemployment-rate-Pittsburgh-jobs-employment-report-Department-of-Labor-and-Industry/stories/202103180181

Homewood-based Landforce receives $200,000 U.S. EPA grant
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/environment/2021/03/18/Landforce-homewood-pittsburgh-nonprofit-receives-200-000-U-S-EPA-grant/stories/202103180182

Pitt expects most fall classes to be in person, but warns things could change
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2021/03/18/University-Pittsburgh-Pitt-fall-classes-COVID-19-in-person-Gallagher-Penn-State-RMU/stories/202103180171

Free light rail trips from North Shore to Downtown Pittsburgh to be extended another year
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2021/03/18/Port-Authority-free-rides-North-Shore-Stadium-Authority-new-contract-t-downtown-pittsburgh/stories/202103180157

Port Authority proposes 25-cent fare increase to $2.75 for ConnectCard users
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2021/03/18/Port-Authority-fare-increase-25-cents-eliminate-transfers-allegheny-county-pittsburgh-transit-bus-T/stories/202103180111

Port Authority to hire chief strategy officer to oversee long-range finances
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2021/03/18/Port-Authority-new-manager-long-range-finances-180000/stories/202103180180

Penguins score win: Minority, women business participation plan approved as part of arena redevelopment
https://www.post-gazette.com/business/development/2021/03/18/Pittsburgh-Penguins-Civic-Arena-Hill-District-Equal-Opportunity-Review-Commission/stories/202103180219

Google announces expansion of Bakery Square campus
https://triblive.com/local/regional/google-announces-expansion-of-bakery-square-campus/

PNC closing 3 more Pittsburgh-area branches
https://triblive.com/local/regional/pnc-closing-3-more-pittsburgh-area-branches/

State News

Pennsylvania follows IRS in delaying the tax deadline to May 17
https://www.inquirer.com/news/pennsylvania/pennsylvania-tax-deadline-may-17-20210318.html

Ryan Costello campaigns against cancel culture as he threatens to sue Twitter critics
https://www.inquirer.com/politics/clout/ryan-costello-twitter-tuesdays-with-toomey-20210319.html

Green energy is healthier for the environment and for humans | PennLive letters
https://www.pennlive.com/opinion/2021/03/green-energy-is-healthier-for-the-environment-and-for-humans-pennlive-letters.html

Transportation

86 miles of Pa. Turnpike will be closed this weekend for bridge demolition
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2021/03/18/86-miles-pennsylvania-turnpike-closed-this-weekend-bridge-demolition-breezewood-to-new-stanton/stories/202103180167

PennDOT announces traffic restriction on Tarentum Bridge next week
https://triblive.com/local/valley-news-dispatch/penndot-announces-traffic-restriction-on-tarentum-bridge-next-week/

Washington

Rep. Cartwright asks to save mine reclamation program
https://www.standardspeaker.com/news/rep-cartwright-asks-to-save-mine-reclamation-program/article_3a609afc-fafe-5feb-a0a1-d39e9026d1f8.html

Ross woman charged in Capitol riot
https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2021/03/18/Pittsburgh-woman-Jennifer-Heinl-charged-US-Capitol-riot-insurrection-disruptive-conduct-rotunda-Kenneth-Grayson/stories/202103180186

Yes, Capitol insurrectionists were armed. Here are the weapons prosecutors say they used
https://www.witf.org/2021/03/19/yes-capitol-insurrectionists-were-armed-here-are-the-weapons-prosecutors-say-they-used/