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Disability care system on verge of 'collapse'

Plus, the state will expand who can sub at schools to ease shortage.


A daily newsletter by Spotlight PA
Your Postmaster: Spotlight PA Staff
December 21, 2021
Staffing crisis, dominant variant, substitute relief, parking revenue, Perry request, another suit, and keeping rare corn varieties alive. It's Tuesday.
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Dear reader, 

We're blown away: Two generous local donors and Spotlight PA members, Jim Friedlich and Melissa Stern, just reached out with a big offer, and we need your help to prove to them we can do it

They pledged $10,000 today to encourage you to join them and make a gift to Spotlight PA before December 31st. If you donate now, they will match your gift, dollar-for-dollar.

As a reader, you know how important Spotlight PA’s coverage is to upholding democracy in our state. I hope those of you who are still on the fence will consider making a donation today to help to ensure this essential work continues.

Spotlight PA is in the final stretch of its most important membership drive of the year, and every dollar counts. Please give now.

Onwards together,

—Christopher Baxter, Editor in Chief

"The connection was as strong as losing a family member."

—Edd Dicker, grandson of the former owner of the historic Glendon Hotel, which was demolished Dec. 16
Two generous local donors just extended our challenge. Jim Friedlich and Melissa Stern believe so strongly in Spotlight PA's mission, they've just pledged an additional $10,000 in matching dollars. That means they will match every dollar you give before December 31st. Contribute now.
» DOMINATE: The omicron variant accounted for 73% of new coronavirus cases as of Friday, CDC data released yesterday shows. 

» SURGE STRAIN: About 100 people are dying a day in Pennsylvania from COVID-19, as ICU beds fill up across the state

» LONG-TERM: Rutgers University pediatrician Lawrence C. Kleinman spoke with The Inquirer about an ongoing and landmark NIH study of long-term COVID-19 symptoms in children.

To find a COVID-19 vaccine, use the federal government's online tool, call 1-800-232-0233, or text your zip code to 438829 (GETVAX).
The Barns-Brinton House in Chadds Ford. Thanks, Faith K.Send us your gems, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.
SUB RELIEF: Gov. Tom Wolf has signed a bill aimed at easing the substitute teacher shortage, in part, by widening the pool to include unlicensed eligible college students and recent education school graduates, The Inquirer reports.

PARKING POWER: The Philadelphia Parking Authority, a state-run entity that has an agreement to give the city and its schools revenue from parking tickets, claims it has overpaid the school district $11 million and is demanding the money be returned, according to WHYY. Critics contend the organization is dodging accountability.

MORE INFO: The U.S. House panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection wants Rep. Scott Perry (R., Pa.) to provide more information about his communications with Trump officials. The Washington Post described the request as "the first significant action the committee has taken with regard to obtaining information from a sitting member of Congress."

NEW SUIT: A group of voters, with help from the Democratic Party-aligned National Redistricting Action Fund, has filed another suit asking the state courts to draw Pennsylvania's next congressional map, the Capital-Star reports. A previous attempt was thrown out. 

METHANE MODS: The Wolf administration wants to tighten a proposal that governs how the state oversees pollution that leaks from oil and gas sites. But environmental advocates told StateImpact the plan falls short of existing federal rules.
CORNUCOPIA: Members of the worker-owned collective Masa Cooperativa use Berks- and Lancaster-grown corn to celebrate their Indigenous roots and keep rare varieties alive and available to local restaurants.

ALMOST IN: State Sen. Doug Mastriano, who helped spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, has basically declared he's running for governor. Meanwhile, hedge fund manager David McCormick is considering a run for U.S. Senate.

'WE REMEMBER': Pittsburgh Mercy will be adding bronze plaques to a memorial wall in remembrance of people who have lost their lives while experiencing homelessness in the city.

RIP RENAY: Renay Mandel Corren's life began in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, and ended recently in El Paso, Texas. Her now-viral and incredible obituary tells the rest of the story about the "bawdy, fertile, redheaded matriarch."

XMAS PLAYLIST: If you're looking for Christmas songs to get you through the rest of the week, consult this list of Pennsylvania-related tunes including "Winter Wonderland." Fun fact: Honesdale's Richard Smith wrote the lyrics while being treated for tuberculosis in Scranton.
Unscramble and send your answer to scrambler@spotlightpa.org. We'll shout out winners here, and one each week will get some Spotlight PA swag.
Monday's answer: Gobbledygook

Congrats to our daily winners: Susan F., Craig W., Michelle T., Bonnie R., Vicki U., Neal W., Wendy A., Susan D., Lynne E., Mike B., Susan N.-Z., Jessica K., Judith D., Sherri A., Mark C., Elaine C., Ted W., Marty M., Don H., Joel S., Heidi B., James B., Elizabeth W., Irene R., John F., Dianne K., Kimberly S., Ronnee G., David S., Bill S., Fred O., Tish M., Lex M., Kevin M., Ann and John, James B., Beth L., George S., Karen W., and Al M. 
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