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Wolf OKs fans at high school football games


A daily newsletter by Spotlight PA
Your Postmaster: Ed Mahon
September 3, 2020
Wolf lifts ban on family and friends at high school sporting events, a York County courthouse office defies mask rules, and how to hit the beach and stay safe this holiday weekend. Happy Thursday.
Gov. Tom Wolf will allow family members and fans to watch high school football games and other sporting events this fall, under new guidance his administration released Wednesday. Indoor events will be limited to 25 people, while outdoor ones are limited to 250. That limit includes everyone present, including the players, coaches, and workers. Previously, the Wolf administration said spectators would not be allowed.

THE CONTEXT: The Democratic governor clashed last month with Republican lawmakers, some parents and players, and the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association over whether youth sports should proceed before 2021. Wolf recommended against having fall sports, but the governor left the decision up to the PIAA and local schools. The PIAA board voted on Aug. 21 in favor of moving ahead with the fall season. But the fight continues.

On Wednesday, hours after the new guidance, the state House passed a bill that would give schools "exclusive authority" to decide whether to host games and other extracurricular activities this school year. The measure passed 155-47 with dozens of Democrats voting in favor.

"We want justice. We gotta slow down. All of us gotta slow down." — Ernest Bowen, whose niece Avante Reynolds was killed by a hit-and-run driver in West Philadelphia. Residents are calling for changes to racist transportation policies they say led to her death, WHYY reports.  
POST IT: Thank you, @mark_in_pa, for this photo of Worlds End State Park in Forksville. Send us your hidden gems, use the hashtag #PAGems, or tag us on Instagram at @spotlightpennsylvania.
EVICTION REPRIEVE: Hours after Gov. Tom Wolf said he couldn't extend the state's eviction moratorium, relief came from the feds. But as Spotlight PA reports, there are still questions about how the new ban will work in practice — and whether it will survive legal challenges.

NO GO: House Republican leaders made another attempt to end Wolf's coronavirus disaster declaration, Spotlight PA reports. They needed all Republican members and 27 Democratic members to vote in favor — but came up short. 

A NEW FORCE: Many municipalities have given up their own police departments, choosing to instead rely on Pennsylvania State Police. The Morning Call looks at a community doing just the opposite.

DISORDER IN THE COURT: Employees at a York County office that handles filings in civil court cases continue to openly defy a judge's order to wear masks inside the courthouse, the York Daily Record reports.

FARM HARM: The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau is urging lawmakers to pass a bill that would make it harder for people to sue farms that host hayrides, markets, and other tourism attractions, the Altoona Mirror reports. Visitors could still sue over grossly negligent or reckless behavior.

THE NEXT GENERATION: In Tuesday's edition, we linked to a story about the economic impact of Pennsylvania losing the Little League World Series this year. Journalism students from the Bellisario College of Communications at Penn State provided that story to the Centre Daily Times and other newsrooms, and they deserve some props. You can see more of their work here.

TAKE 5: I built my first Lego set this year: a 152-piece Thanos/Infinity Gauntlet robot. (My 6-year-old works on larger sets.) A lot of other people stuck at home turned to Lego sets this year, as the Danish toy company saw solid sales growth despite the coronavirus pandemic.

I WOULD RIDE 900 MILES: To cover the 2020 election and explore political divides, radio reporter Nate Hegyi is cycling through Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado. It's a cool project, especially the map that shows his journey.

WHAT TO READ IF ... It's Thursday and you just need cute dogs: Then look no further than the newest installment of the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" book series, a collection of 101 stories about the magic of dogs. The story of Barkley, a rescue dog who lives in Horsham, made the cut.

BEACH DAY: With the holiday weekend approaching, and some fantastic weather in the forecast, you might be weighing a trip to the beach. Check out this handy primer on how to plan a safe, relaxing trip in the COVID-19 era.
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