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Clash of the Xmas tree capitals, ice age cometh

Plus, tough trivia for the post-holiday slump.

Welcome to PA Local, a free weekly newsletter about the great people, amazing places, and delicious food of Pennsylvania.
Your Postmaster: Tanisha Thomas

November 24, 2023
Inside this edition: Oh Christmas trees, Kelce brothers, park projections, and a holiday-sized serving of Pennsylvania trivia. Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

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The holiday season is here, and we at Spotlight PA have a tradition to uphold: giving thanks for our readers and supporting members. 

We are proud of the award-winning, nonpartisan, paywall-free journalism we produce all year long, and especially proud of the buy-in it continues to receive from the readers who rely on it, trust it, and share it. 

If you're thankful for the dogged journalists at Spotlight PA, support their work as we prepare for another critical election year.

If you make a contribution and support Spotlight PA nowas a special holiday bonus, your contribution will be DOUBLED — meaning today, you can have two times the impact and give the gift of facts and truth. 

Whether you value Spotlight PA's newsletters, stories, events, or election guides, we are truly grateful, because, at the end of the day, we are here to serve you. In a time of cutbacks and closures, Spotlight PA is blazing a new path forward for nonpartisan investigative journalism in Pennsylvania.

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Thank you, and Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Spotlight PA.

Warm wishes,
Colin Deppen
Spotlight PA, Newsletter Editor

Our five favorite Pennsylvania stories of the week.

» One seasonal rivalry worth stoking: Indiana County calls itself the Christmas tree capital of the world. So does Estacada, Oregon. NPR waded into the fir fray a few years back, found compelling arguments on both sides, and set down a more-the-merrier verdict.  

» Expert advice worth hearing: The experts aren't predicting a Christmas tree shortage in Pennsylvania this year, but Aaron Grau of the Pennsylvania Christmas Tree Growers Association says some varieties may be scarcer following a glut that drove growers out of the industry.

» Two Pa. places worth knowing: For the third time in nine years, residents and officials in Montour and Columbia Counties are rallying to save a beloved nature preserve created by a power plant 51 years ago. In Monroe County, WVIA traces a cranberry bog back to the ice age.

» One song worth playing: The woefully underexposed Kelce brothers are now topping the U.S. iTunes charts with their Philly-centric version of the Pogues’ “Fairytale of New York," Billy Penn reports. 

» One project worth trying: You and your friends or family can be projected on giant glowing spheres in a Pittsburgh park, via WESA. The art installation will be in Schenley Plaza for the next six weeks.

The top stories published by Spotlight PA this week.
» Feds take over corruption case against DuBois city manager

» How Spotlight PA reported on the DuBois corruption case

» Pa. pipeline project draws $42 million in pollution fines

» When leaving prison means choosing to die

» Court orders Pa. to release marijuana doctor data

» Solar project confronts rural Pa. town's mining past
A Pennsylvania-centric trivia question.

This week we've got a special trivia-focused edition of PA Local.

Think you know Pennsylvania like the back of your hand? Let's find out. 

The answers can be found here. Best of luck!

1. This Philadelphia native and actor has a Pennsylvania pig named after him (and it recently got loose). Who is the actor?

2. True or False: Life, liberty, and independence is the state motto for Pennsylvania. 

3. The first Black quarterback in the modern NFL era hailed from Pennsylvania. What was his name?

4. The Steelers and Eagles merged for the 1943 NFL season. What was the team's name?

5. What is the only Black-owned radio station in Pennsylvania?

CORRECTION: Last week’s edition mischaracterized why John Kirk Townsend is considered a problematic namesake for several species of birds. The bird-watcher promoted theories of racial inferiority.
Our favorite reader-submitted photo of the week.
As seen by Rob J. Send us your photos by email, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.
A photo of fall foliage along a quiet country road.
Spotlight PA is an independent, nonpartisan & nonprofit newsroom producing investigative and public-service journalism that holds the powerful to account and drives positive change in Pennsylvania.

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Spotlight PA
PO Box #11728
Harrisburg, PA 17108-1728


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