Did you know Spotlight PA is a nonprofit? Learn more about our nonpartisan journalism »
Skip to main content
Main content

Elections officials across Pa. are quitting their jobs


A daily newsletter by Spotlight PA
Your Postmaster: Jordan Wolman
September 22, 2020
More indoor dining, a girl's book report goes viral, "naked" ballots could swing the election, and a video of a bear in a pond (yes, really). Bienvenidos a Martes.
For the first time in months, Pennsylvania restaurants on Monday could serve more customers indoors — if they agreed to certain stipulations. In order to increase capacity, restaurants have to self-certify that they will follow CDC guidelines, adhere to a state order on worker safety, and post a safety procedures flyer. Establishments that do so will be listed on a public website

In July, state officials reduced indoor restaurant and bar capacity to 25% as COVID-19 cases increased. Gov. Tom Wolf announced earlier this month he would increase that allowance to 50%

THE CONTEXT: Even with the new rules, some restaurants are still calling on the legislature to pass a bill that would get rid of the self-certification requirement and allow bars that don't serve food to reopen to on-site customers.

“Not a single industry has been targeted more or more negatively impacted by the actions of the state of Pennsylvania," the owner of a Lackawanna County restaurant said. 

At the same time, two Republicans lawmakers are pushing a bill that would provide $500 million in direct relief to bars, restaurants, and hospitality businesses. That would represent half of the federal CARES money Pennsylvania has left to spend on similar assistance prorgams.  

Private citizens and nonprofits are also trying to help the struggling industry. A celebrity chef and two organizations will give out $175,000 in grant funding to women-owned restaurants. Owners can apply here.
“Ruth is important because she tried to make women’s rights equal. Ruth is strong and tough when things get bad. Ruth is a woman who makes things equal when things are not equal."

–– Maeve Scheler, a 9-year-old girl from York County, who wrote a book report on Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg when schools went remote this past spring. The report went viral over the weekend after Ginsburg's death, the York Daily Record reports. 
POST IT: @rufaida_mohammed enjoys the sunset (which is happening earlier and earlier these days) in Yardley. Send us your hidden gems, use the hashtag #PAGems, or tag us on Instagram at @spotlightpennsylvania.
MASS EXODUS: With the courts and General Assembly still deciding exactly how Pennsylvania's election will work on Nov. 3, more than a dozen counties have lost their election director or deputy director, NBC News reports. “Everybody’s had it,” one anonymous official said. 

NAKED AND AFRAID: The Pa. Supreme Court's ruling that the state cannot count so-called "naked" ballots — those mailed in without a secrecy envelope — will "cause electoral chaos," Philadelphia's top election official told state leaders. The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that tens of thousands of votes could be thrown out in the city.

SOUR GRAPES: The U.S. Department of Agriculture rejected Pennsylvania's plan to deliver more financial aid to the families of children who receive free or reduced-price meals, the Post-Gazette reports. The state gave money to 1 million families when schools closed this spring. 

OUT OF SCHOOL: Hundreds of school employees in Bucks County have been furloughed due to the pandemic, the Bucks County Courier Times reports. They include bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and security guards at schools that have temporarily gone all-virtual.  

A HEAVY SETTLEMENT: In 2016, part of a parking garage at California University of Pennsylvania, a state school, fell as students were moving in. Now, according to the Observer-Reporter, the contractor and bond holder will have to pay $3.75 million for fixes.
AROUND THE CORNER: Some good news out today as we officially kick off the fall season: This year's foliage is predicted to be wonderful. And it may come a week or two earlier than last year, meaning a prime Pennsylvania landscape should arrive by mid-October. 

DAIRY KING AND QUEEN: One Pennsylvania couple who turns butter into art is finding worldwide fame. If you've been to the Farm Show, you've likely seen their creations (hi, Gritty). Next year's show will be virtual, and it's not clear yet what their role will be.

TAKE 5: I'm going to get right to the point — this is a video of a bear cooling off with some rubber duckies in a Jim Thorpe koi pond. If you're like me, this video may be exactly what you need. 

BEST BAD MOVIES: I've spent a good deal of this pandemic watching movies. My favorites? The ones that are so bad they're perfect. Needless to say, I'm excited to make my way through this list of every film that has received an F from CinemaScore, which polls opening-weekend moviegoers.

A FALL TREAT: Have you ever had a pawpaw? I've never had a chance to taste this rare, native fruit, but there are a handful of places that sell them in Central Pennsylvania
Unscramble and send your answer to scrambler@spotlightpa.org. We'll shout out the winners here, and one each week will get some Spotlight PA swag.

Yesterday's answer: Deciduous

Congrats to our daily winners: 
Art W., Joel S., Steve D., Irene R., Jenn C., Daniel G., Leslie G., Brandie K., Bernice H., Lynne E., Kathleen M., Thomas B., Alex L., Lynne M., Tracey C., Tish M., Elizabeth W., John C., Theodore W., David W., John H., Patricia R., Susan D., Carol D., and Chris W.
Like PA Post? Share it with a friend.

Love PA Post? Chip in to support local journalism.

Forwarded this newsletter? Subscribe here.
Spotlight PA is an independent, non-partisan newsroom powered by The Philadelphia Inquirer in partnership with PennLive/The Patriot-News, TribLIVE/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and WITF Public Media.

Copyright © Spotlight PA / The Philadelphia Inquirer, All rights reserved.

Spotlight PA
225 Market St., Suite 502A
Harrisburg, PA 17101

You're receiving this email because you subscribed to PA Post, which has combined with Spotlight PA to create Pennsylvania's largest statewide newsroom dedicated to accountability journalism.

You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.