|A daily newsletter by |
|Almost complete, map analysis, stolen guns, nursing home assault, forced labor, supremacist stickers, and an LGBTQ book ban. It's Monday. |
|Dear reader, |
Just 5 days left: 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 $5,000 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.
—Christopher Baxter, Editor in Chief
NOTABLE / QUOTABLE
"It’s not so much about pronouncing people dead. It’s about what happens after that."—Outgoing Westmoreland County coroner Ken Bacha on his two decades in the position
|We have just 5 more days to raise $5,000 and unlock a generous matching gift from Spotlight PA members and local donors Jim Friedlich and Melissa Stern. That means they will match every dollar you give before Dec. 31. Help us end the year strong by making a tax-deductible gift now. |
|» NEW RECORD: Pennsylvania reported 13,286 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, breaking the previous record.|
» SURGE CONTINUES: Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to the president, is warning Americans against complacency as cases continue to surge.
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).
|» 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 email@example.com.|
|Christmas lights in Old City Philadelphia. Thanks, VE P.! Send us your gems, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.|
|STEADY SENATE: A proposed redrawing of the Pennsylvania Senate map would likely keep the partisan composition of the chamber largely unchanged while improving upon traditional fairness metrics. Read more from Spotlight PA about how the plan scores in every key area.|
STOLEN GUNS: Gun thefts from vehicles in Philadelphia rose 37% in 2021, and experts believe that may be related to an increase in first-time owners who don't know how to properly store firearms. The Inquirer reports that stolen guns are helping fuel gun violence in the city.
UNKNOWN HISTORY: Officials at the Beaver County nursing home where dozens of people died of COVID-19 were unaware of a resident's criminal history until he allegedly sexually assaulted someone, the Post-Gazette reports. The incident led to a $186,375 federal fine.
NO ESCAPE: A young man told the Morning Call he was forced to work six days a week without pay at a facility run by the Eastern Pennsylvania Mennonite Church that has been accused of human labor trafficking and federal racketeering in a lawsuit.
COLLEGE TARGETED: Stickers apparently associated with an anonymous group of online white supremacists called the "Hundred-Handers" recently appeared at Millersville University. But LNP reports that it's still unknown who placed them on campus.
|BOOK BAN: Pennridge School District in Bucks County has directed officials to remove all books about gender identity from library shelves. “I think that they’re trying to hide the LGBTQ community,” a transgender student said.|
CHAMPION CHEF: Caroline Gross, a 10-year-old from York County, will compete on Food Network's "Kids Baking Championship," which premieres tonight. Gross explained of the competition, "It's kind of about who can deal with really difficult flavors or wacky designs."
BROADBAND BILL: Gov. Tom Wolf has signed a bill creating the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority, which will create a coordinated effort to bring high-speed internet to parts of the state without it.
'BETTER MARKETING': A group in New Jersey wants to bring Valley Forge-level attention to the state's important Revolutionary War sites. "Everybody knows about Valley Forge and how terrible the conditions were," a professor told WNYC. "Morristown was worse.”
PECULIAR PARTNERSHIP: The Philadelphia 76ers recently announced a partnership with a company called Color Star. What exactly is the company, and is the CEO an actual person? Defector tried to get to the bottom of it.
Unscramble and send your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll shout out winners here, and one each week will get some Spotlight PA swag.
H I M N N L A T S D B E
Friday's answer: Ceremonious
Congrats to our weekly winner: Cari S.
Congrats to our daily winners: Vicki U., Alan V., Irene R., Susan N.-Z., Neal W., Don H., Becky C., Susan F., Michelle T., Karen W., Bruce T., Craig E., Elizabeth W., Susan D., Elaine C., Dianne K., Craig W., George S., Doris T., Bill S., Garrett W., Laura R., James B., Myles M., and Beth T.