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Your Postmaster: Spotlight PA Staff
December 23, 2021
Primary concerns, police disciplined, Wolf veto, rising bills, Lancaster militia, lawmaker robbed, and a black bear in the big city. It’s Thursday.
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Dear reader, 

We're so close: Two generous local donors and Spotlight PA members, Jim Friedlich and Melissa Stern, have pledged $10,000 to encourage you to join them and make a gift to Spotlight PA before Dec. 31.

If you donate now, they will match your gift, dollar-for-dollar.

We have just $9,000 until we hit our goal.

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 make a donation today to ensure this 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
PRIMARY PROBLEM
NOTABLE / QUOTABLE

"As long as you keep the food good, people will keep coming."

—Sally Reiland on how her family's Mediterranean/Middle Eastern restaurant in the Pittsburgh suburbs has so far survived the pandemic 
CHALLENGE EXTENDED
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 Dec. 31. Contribute now.
💉 COVID-19 NEWS
» BIG DEAL: Federal regulators have authorized Pfizer's easy-to-take pill to treat COVID-19. Doctors are expected to quickly use the initial supply.

» OUT SICK: More than 40 teachers at Olney Charter High School in Philadelphia called out sick to demand more be done to protect them after a student died of COVID-19.  

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).
 
📅 UPCOMING EVENTS
» MAPPING POWER: Join us Thursday, Jan. 6 at noon EST for a free panel on the proposed state House and Senate maps, how they could shift political power, and their potential impact on Pennsylvanians. Register for the event here and submit your questions to events@spotlightpa.org.
 
📷 POST IT
Cranberry during an autumn day in Philadelphia. Thanks, Ben B. Can't wait to see Cranberry in the winter! Send us your gems, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.
DAILY RUNDOWN
17 MINUTES: A Black man in Pittsburgh pleaded for help at least 13 times over 17 minutes after police stunned him with a Taser. No one came to Jim Rogers' aid, and he died the next day at a hospital. According to TribLIVE, eight officers will face discipline after a review identified "compounding performance failures."

SCHOOL VETO: Gov. Tom Wolf has vetoed a bill that would have required public schools to post online educational materials used in their classrooms, PennLive reports. “Under the guise of transparency, this legislation politicizes what is being taught in our public schools,” Wolf said.

RISING BILLS: While the cost of electricity and natural gas in Pennsylvania has dropped, utility bills have not. The Post-Gazette finds that rising customer and distribution charges are in part to blame.

MILITIA MEETING: Members of the Three Percenters militia, an anti-government extremist group, apparently held a recruitment meeting at a Lancaster restaurant. The eatery told LNP it "did not know anything about the group or their politics."

REP ROBBERY: U.S. Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon (D., Pa.) was carjacked and robbed in South Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon. The Inquirer reports Scanlon was not injured. 
IN OTHER NEWS
DROP OUT: PennAg Industries Association — which usually runs one of the biggest food stands at the annual Farm Show — has pulled out over COVID-19 concerns. The event, which begins Jan. 7, was virtual last year.

SLEIGH RIDE: An r/Pennsylvania poster captured Santa rolling through North Wales Borough with the fire department, an apparent annual tradition. Think he inspected any chimneys?

THE ONE PERCENT: The vast majority of farmers in Pennsylvania are white. Black urban farmers in Pittsburgh are trying to change the stats

HOLIDAY HOME: A Harrisburg mom who was facing homelessness with her six kids after her rental was declared uninhabitable will now be able to buy her own place, thanks to community donations.

CITY BEAR: The Pennsylvania Game Commission trapped a 260-pound black bear near a Pittsburgh dumpster yesterday. He had been living in the city and raiding trash receptacles for more than two weeks. 
THE SCRAMBLER
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.
 
G A O O N B T G
 
Wednesday's answer: Archaeopteryx

Congrats to our daily winners: Susan F., Neal W., Susan D., Don H., Bonnie R., Elaine C., Susan N.-Z., Eddy Z., Kim C., James B., David I., Bill S., Kimberly S., T. B., Michelle T., Bruce T., Joel S., Justus C., and John F.
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