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Troubled Pa. pipeline builders pay $4M for spill

Plus, state pledges millions to help redevelop Tree of Life synagogue.


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December 7, 2021
Pipeline peril, state backing, climate delay, unfettered access, 'predatory' care, questionable cures, and this weather ... amirite? It's Tuesday. Welcome.
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"I misinterpreted the statute concerning the appointment of a special prosecutor. That was my mistake."

—Fayette County District Attorney Richard Bower Sr. responding to criticism of his handling of a DUI crash case that involves his son
We don't want to fall behind our goal of raising $70,000 by the end of the year in order to unlock a massive $70,000 matching gift. Give now to ensure we can meet this goal and continue our vital investigative journalism.

Don't miss this chance to have your contribution DOUBLED. The future of Spotlight PA depends on your support, and we can't afford to lose this critical journalism. Make a tax-deductible gift right now and help us keep it going.
» CASE COUNT: Last week, new cases in Pennsylvania crossed 10,000 for the first time since the 2020 winter wave, ABC News reports. 

» NYC MANDATE: New York City has announced a first-in-the-nation vaccine mandate for all private employers, per ABC7.

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).
» LAWFUL VS. AWFUL: Join us Thursday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. EST via Zoom for a free panel discussion on why killings by police often are ruled justified and who oversees the process. Register for the event here and submit your questions to events@spotlightpa.org
Along the Marquette Lake in Fort Indiantown Gap. Thanks for sharing, Kathleen O.!  Send us your gems, use the hashtag #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.
TREE OF LIFE: Pennsylvania has pledged $6.6 million to help redevelop Pittsburgh's Tree of Life synagogue, where a gunman killed 11 people in 2018, the AP reports. The design is still taking shape but will include a memorial, education spaces, and a Holocaust Center wing.

CLIMATE PLAN: A "technical dispute" between Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration and the legislative agency that circulates new laws and regulations is delaying the start of a contested carbon fee, a keystone of Wolf's climate change agenda, Capital-Star reports.

UNFILTERED: A federal court has ruled that a Bucks County school district cannot censor abusive or irrelevant public comments after four residents sued, per The Inquirer. In a separate piece, the paper says pandemic-inspired school board tensions might be here to stay.

'PREDATORY' CENTERS: A mother who lost a son to an overdose told state lawmakers it's almost impossible to find reliable information on treatment centers for people with addiction, according to The Morning Call. Spotlight PA and KHN covered the issue earlier this year.

MIRACLE MAN: Celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz is running for U.S. senator from Pennsylvania. And while his residency is gaining lots of attention, Insider looked at his history of dispensing controversial and arguably dangerous medical advice to an audience of millions

PEARL HARBOR: Eighty years after the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, a 99-year-old survivor from Allentown named Dick Schimmel is headed back to the site with an NBC News team in tow, per The Morning Call.

FAMILY HISTORY: Pittsburgh artist Njaimeh Njie uses her extended family's own story to tell a larger one of Black Pittsburgh's displacement in a new photography book titled This Is Where We Find Ourselves, via WESA.

WHEN YOU'RE A JET: Central Pennsylvania native Lauren Leach will make her feature film debut as a "Jet girl" in Steven Spielberg's West Side Story remake, PennLive reports. The film premieres nationwide Dec. 10. 

SUPERIOR FLEX: Fond of the fancy feeling that comes with hailing from a commonwealth rather than a state? This meme encapsulates the sensation, while Insider explains the distinction.

WINTER WHIPLASH: Only 6% of the contiguous U.S. had snow cover as of Friday. In Philadelphia, aberrant winter weather could bring an "inch or less" of snow on Wednesday after highs in the 60s on Monday.

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.
Yesterday's answer: Intricacies

Congrats to our daily winners: Becky C., Neal W., Susan N., Craig E., Elaine C., Susan F., David W., Heidi B., Kimberly S., George S., Don H., Judy M., Dianne K., James B., Bill S., Steve D., Suzanne S., and Vicki U. 
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