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What Spotlight PA is listening to right now đŸŽ¶

Plus, Pa. slang confuses America.

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

September 22, 2023
Inside this edition: autumn arrives, thrilling scares, football wedding, slang state, Marvel books, and a Spotlight PA jam session. Happy Fall!
🏆 SMART STUFF: Did you stay on top of Pennsylvania news this week? Prove it with the latest edition of The Great PA News Quiz: State House control, dropped dress code, and farm animals on the loose.
A Pennsylvania-centric trivia question.

The popular Pennsylvania meat pudding-like dish Scrapple takes its name from what language?

A. Swedish
B. Portuguese
C. German
D. English

(Keep scrolling for the answer, but don't miss all the good stuff in between. Like what you read? Forward this email to a friend.)

Our five favorite Pennsylvania stories of the week.

» One season worth embracing: If you're looking for the perfect pumpkin to carve, there are plenty of places to find one. ABC27 has a list of pumpkin patches in central Pennsylvania to explore. 

» One occasion worth checking out: Looking for some thrilling fun? WBRE/WYOU reports Halloween came early to several central Pennsylvania amusement parks that are pulling out all the seasonal stops.

» One (Steelers) wedding worth seeing: Two Steelers fanatics took their love to the next level by getting married in front of Acrisure Stadium. KDKA-TV has the over-the-top visuals from the costumed affair.

» One language worth learning: Jawn was added to Dictionary.com, but PennLive reports a recent study ranked Pennsylvania 17th out of the top 20 states with the hardest slang for nonresidents to know.

» One book worth reading: Marvel fans can read a new graphic novel designed by Pittsburgh artist Tom Scioli detailing the "honest" legacy of the late Marvel icon Stan Lee, City Paper reports.

The top stories published by Spotlight PA this week.
» Penn State filed false info with Pa. officials
» Bill seeks to crack down on ‘revolving door’ of lobbyists
» Five former governors want open primaries in Pa.
» Takeaways from our event on Pa.'s broken competency system
» Your guide to the candidates in Pa.'s Supreme Court election
» Your guide to the candidates for Commonwealth, Superior Courts

📅 Upcoming events: 

» A free panel on Pa.’s 2023 Supreme Court, judicial candidates
» Spotlight PA headlines first-ever Philly Story Fest
» Spotlight PA hosts 'Path to Equity' summit in Harrisburg
A playlist of Spotlight PA's musical jams and favorites.

One of the few things we discuss as often as legislation and public records requests at Spotlight PA is music. And with our blend of Swifties, metalheads, and rap fiends, the conversations and arguments go in a lot of directions. We always hear each other out though, and now you can too. 

This staff-curated mix contains songs we can't stop playing. You will find an array of genres, including R&B, rock, indie, country, and more. Listen here and c
heck out what a few staffers had to say about their song choices below.

Democracy Editor Elizabeth Estrada: Karol G’s “Mi Ex Tenía Razón” transports me back to the ‘90s when I was growing up and listening to the late Mexican-American singer Selena. The song, which translates to “My Ex Was Right,” features the rhythms of the Latin genre cumbia, and is an homage to Selena’s musical legacy. I’ve been listening to it a ton on my daily walks.

Capitol Reporter Stephen Caruso: Autumn always gets me in my feels, and "Call Your Mom" and "In Your Love" top my list as the soundtrack for a cool, introspective walk through the streets of Harrisburg as the leaves fall. Noah Kahan and Lizzy McAlpine have been recent additions to my musical rotation, and having them together on a track makes for an automatic hit. As for Tyler Childers, he's a storyteller, and his new single offers a love story that never gets old.

Newsletter Writer Tanisha Thomas: The wait for the sequel to Victoria MonĂ©t’s debut album was well worth it. I enjoy Jaguar II from start to finish, but single “On My Mama” is a highlight. Between the sample of “I Look Good” by Chalie Boy and MonĂ©t’s gorgeous melodies, the song just jams. Funnily, I got into her through Masego, who effortlessly melds R&B and jazz in his music, especially "Remembering Sundays."

Government Reporter Kate Huangpu: "Eat Your Young" by Hozier perfectly complements cool and misty autumnal mornings, which are what we've been seeing more of this past week. As I rode a train to Harrisburg one rainy day, this song slowly woke me up. It's not too upbeat but still provides good vibes.

Rural Affairs Reporter Marley Parish: I'm seeing the Jonas Brothers in Pittsburgh this month, so I've had their setlist on repeat. "Year 3000" is one of my favorites because it takes me back to childhood and my first concert.

Assistant Editor Stephen Kearse: Rico Nasty excels at making “girly” subjects, imagery, and phrasing sound tough. The catchy and bass-heavy "Girl Scouts" morphs the wholesome image of scouts peddling cookies door-to-door into a mosh-ready rager. The other song I've been feeling is by Romy of the British indie band The XX, who was always the group’s most reserved and muted member. As a solo act, she’s less bashful, and her new pulsing club song "Loverher" finds her emerging from her shell for an emphatic declaration of love.

Operations Manager Skyler Cruz: I love biking and Rubblebucket's aptly named "Bikes" really captures the frenetic, free-flowing, and joyful energy I experience on a ride. Plus, it feels like the end of summer, which has recently arrived.

Investigative Reporter Danielle Ohl: Olivia Rodrigo may be Taylor Swift's songwriting heir apparent, but to me her song "Lacy" evokes another pop progenitor: Dolly Parton. Like Parton's "Jolene," "Lacy" pays tribute to a woman the narrator can't help admiring. But where Parton offers humble pie, Rodrigo whips up a cupcake laced with arsenic. It's self-loathing and sinister, but still sweet.

Investigative Reporter Ed Mahon: Laura Marling’s “Hope In the Air” is so mesmerizing it inspired me to listen to an audio version of King Lear. It’s bleak and inspiring at the same time, and basically every other line lives rent-free in my head. The internet seems to think it's told from the point of view of Cordelia in the famous Shakespeare tragedy. I'm not sure, but the song is powerful.

Give our playlist a listen and tell us what you think!

Send us the songs you have been jamming to lately!

Our favorite quote about Pennsylvania — or from a Pennsylvanian — this week.

"A lot of the time we don’t acknowledge the lives of those going through rough times because we are afraid to see ourselves reflected in them, and I think it’s time we realize that is because we easily could be them and that not everyone’s journey is black and white."

—Oyewumi Oyeniyi, Philadelphia’s new Youth Poet Laureate, talking about how she wants to use her platform to uplift stories for the homeless and transgender youth communities

Our favorite reader-submitted photo of the week.
A blue dasher dragonfly by the moat at Fort Mifflin in Philadelphia, via Don N. Have a Pennsylvania photo to share? Send it to us by email, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.
a blue dasher sits on top of a stick of a plant
The answer to this week's Pennsylvania-centric trivia question.

C. German. The Food Republic says the name scrapple comes from the German word panhaskröppe, a combination of the words panaas (pan rabbit) and skroppel (a slice of). Thanks to reader Don H. for the tip.

And thanks for reading PA Local. We'll see you back here next week. But first ... send us your feedback. What did you like? What didn't you like? 

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.

Copyright © Spotlight PA. All rights reserved.

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


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