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|In today's edition: Jailbreak numbers, hub doubts, Irizarry update, anti-Amazon, Bizzarro's bid, and Temple's new president. Help us continue this vital work by supporting Spotlight PA & your gift will be DOUBLED.|
|Jailbreaks in Pennsylvania are less common than this past summer implies. |
High-profile escapes in Berks, Chester, and Warren Counties in recent weeks prompted hand-wringing by some law enforcement officials, but Spotlight PA crunched the numbers and found totals in decline.
Read the full report: Jailbreaks not as common as recent events imply.
THE CONTEXT: There are thousands of people incarcerated in Pennsylvania jails every month, and only 14 “actual escapes” from confinement have been recorded in the past eight years, according to a Spotlight PA analysis.
There were 557 walk-aways — where someone leaves jail for an approved reason, often work release, and doesn't return — between 2015 and 2022.
And there have been two escapes from state-run prisons in the past 25 years: one in 2007 and one in 1997, according to state officials.
Spotlight PA found escapes from adult jails in Pennsylvania are down significantly from pre-pandemic years.
|NOTABLE / QUOTABLE|
"What this is about is the county executive and the courts conspiring together to attempt to supersede the authority that is given to us as council members."
—Allegheny County Councilor Bethany Hallam on Tuesday's 9-4 council vote greenlighting a lawsuit against the county over its juvenile detention plan
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|» STORY FEST: Spotlight PA is participating in Philly Story Fest, a first-of-its-kind festival that brings together storytellers from across the city on one stage. Join us Thursday, Oct. 5 from 7-10 p.m. at the Bok building in South Philadelphia (1901 South 9th St.). Tickets are $25 and available here.|
» PATH TO EQUITY: Join Spotlight PA for its first in-person summit on Wednesday, Oct. 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Whitaker Center in Harrisburg. Spotlight PA is co-presenting this event with Color & Culture, a Pennsylvania marketing firm. Tickets are on sale at this link until sold out.
» ELECTION 101: Join Spotlight PA’s government reporters Kate Huangpu and Stephen Caruso on Thursday, Oct. 12 from 6-7 p.m. ET on Zoom for a free panel on Pa.’s 2023 judicial candidates. Register for the event here and submit your questions to email@example.com.
Lake Nockamixon in Nockamixon State Park, Quakertown, via Amy Z.
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|HYDROGEN HYPE: Pennsylvania officials, including Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro, want a hydrogen hub here as the federal government dangles up to $8 billion in nationwide incentives. But Inside Climate News reports critics argue the potential benefits are being oversold on everything from greenhouse gas reductions to job creation, and warn of higher prices for utility customers.|
CASE DISMISSED: A Philadelphia judge has thrown out homicide and other charges against Officer Mark Dial, who fatally shot Eddie Irizarry, 27, in a scrutinized traffic stop last month. Police initially said Irizarry lunged at officers with a knife. Video showed otherwise. But Judge Wendy Pew said because Irizarry had a knife in his possession, Dial had reason to fear for his life and contrary evidence was lacking.
AMAZON ANTITRUST: Pennsylvania has joined 16 states and the Federal Trade Commission in a sweeping antitrust lawsuit against Amazon. The suit filed by the FTC and 17 attorneys general accuses the e-commerce giant of using "punitive and coercive tactics to unlawfully maintain its monopolies," and says the company's practices affected customers and third-party sellers on the site.
TREASURY HUNT: State Rep. Ryan Bizzarro (D., Erie) is running for state treasurer and using abortion and Jan. 6, 2021 as "wedge issues" in a bid to oust GOP incumbent Stacy Garrity, the Associated Press reports. Garrity campaign adviser Dennis Roddy told the wire service that what Bizzarro is "attempting to do is to nationalize an election that has nothing to do with the issues he’s raising."
NEW LEADER: Temple University in Philadelphia has named former president Richard M. Englert as its interim leader following the sudden death of JoAnne Epps during a university event last week.
MENENDEZ CALL: U.S. Sen. Bob Casey is the latest Democratic lawmaker from Pennsylvania to urge indicted Democratic New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez to resign, saying, "Public service is a sacred trust."
FREE BREAKFAST: Breakfast is free for all Pennsylvania students this year, but Pittsburgh's WESA reports a larger number of kids will benefit if schools offer more than just sit-down dining options.
SWIFT THEORY: You may have heard that noted Eagles fan Taylor Swift is palling around with Kansas City Chief Travis Kelce. Eagles fans are taking it well, by which we mean they're coping through conspiracy theories.
STREET VIEWS: A 10-year-old's destructive joyride through the streets of a Pittsburgh neighborhood in a Bobcat construction vehicle ended without injury on Monday but yielded lots of local reactions and video footage.
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