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GOP has spent $1 million to impeach Krasner

Plus, Shapiro orders 2,300 state employees back to the office.


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A daily newsletter by The logo of Spotlight PA, an independent, nonpartisan newsroom producing investigative journalism for Pennsylvania.

Your Postmaster: Colin Deppen
Friday, February 3, 2023
Road watch, Krasner costs, health plan, local governments, in-person order, Fetterman's assistive tech, urban limits, and Beyoncé is coming to Pa.

Cameras attached to school buses in Pennsylvania issued nearly 8,000 violations in a roughly three-month period last year, and more districts in the state are adopting the technology. 

The Inquirer (paywall) reports that the safety tech company BusPatrol has equipped 1,000 buses with cameras.

Local police departments are tasked with reviewing the footage to verify a violation is warranted. The $300 penalty covers costs for schools and police departments.

THE CONTEXT: In 2020, then-Gov. Tom Wolf signed a bill that empowered school districts to install cameras on buses to catch motorists passing while children are boarding and disembarking.

The legislation was spurred by Allentown mom Amber Clark, who had a frighteningly close call with a motorist while getting her daughter on a bus.

Pennsylvania has been slow to adopt automated cameras for traffic enforcement. At the moment, municipalities can use such tech to penalize drivers who run red lights.

The use of speed cameras is much more limited. The state uses them to catch motorists speeding in highway work zones. Outside of that, only Philadelphia has been given permission by state lawmakers to use the cameras, and only on Roosevelt Boulevard.

A state committee found crashes declined on that road by 36% over a two-year period and recommended that the cameras be adopted elsewhere. Lawmakers have yet to act. 


"I strongly suspect that the people that go to Gobbler’s Knob are fully aware of the power of science, but at the same time want to hold on to traditions and a deeper vibe."

—Penn State history professor Troy Harman on the enduring appeal of Groundhog Day; if you missed it, Phil predicted more winter this time
» HOW SPECIAL ELECTIONS WORK: Join us Thursday, Feb. 9 from 6-7 p.m. on Zoom for a free panel on the results of the Feb. 7 special elections, how they work, and why they matter. This event is the first in our “How Harrisburg Works” series. Register here and submit your questions to 
William and Daisy Myers, the first Black residents of Levittown, with their children, via Library of Congress archives. The family integrated Levittown and endured threats and harassment. They stayed and found some supporters before moving to Harrisburg in 1961. We'll have more historical photos in this space throughout Black History Month.
The Myers family is pictured together on a couch in their Levittown home.
Today's top news story in Pennsylvania.IMPEACHMENT COST: The state House's GOP caucus has spent more than $1 million as it seeks to have Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner removed from office. ABC27 reports that most of that money has been paid to the law firm K&L Gates. Commonwealth Court recently sided with Krasner, who has argued the impeachment effort is legally unsound. GOP lawmakers are appealing the ruling to the state Supreme Court. 

Today's second top news story in Pennsylvania.UNFAIR TREATMENT: ProPublica has an in-depth look at a Penn State University student's battle to get UnitedHealthcare to cover his treatment for severe ulcerative colitis. United provides a health insurance plan for PSU students, but the news organization found that the school "essentially walked away" from the dispute involving Christopher McNaughton's care. 

Today's third top news story in Pennsylvania.5 TAKEAWAYS: A Jan. 26 panel hosted by Spotlight PA explored whether taxpayers are best served by Pennsylvania’s fragmented system of more than 2,500 cities, townships, and boroughs. Here are five takeaways from that event on the current system, the challenges of regionalization, and more. You can watch the panel here.

Today's fourth top news story in Pennsylvania.IN THE OFFICE: A new Shapiro administration policy means roughly 2,300 state workers — senior managers under the governor's jurisdiction — will be required to return to their offices at least three days a week. Supporters of the move include state Republican lawmakers and Harrisburg Mayor Wanda Williams, according to PennLive. 

Today's fifth top news story in Pennsylvania.NEW TECH: U.S. Sen. John Fetterman's desk in the Capitol has been upgraded with a permanent live caption display monitor to assist the Democrat as he deals with auditory processing issues that resulted from a stroke, Time reports. Advocates for people with disabilities praised Fetterman and the U.S. Senate for setting an example that will be "really helpful to a lot of people."
FRIDAY CHALLENGE: Think you know the news? Let's find out. Test your knowledge with this week's installment of Spotlight PA's news quiz. Then share it with someone and see if they can beat your score. 

FIRST-PERSON: Susan Ousterman of Bucks County lost her son Tyler to a drug overdose and warns in a forceful op-ed against "politically motivated grief predators" who use mourning parents to further a War on Drugs agenda. Read more about Tyler's story here, via Spotlight PA.

BLACK HISTORY: K. Leroy Irvis was Pennsylvania's first and so far only Black state House speaker. Capital-Star looked at his life and legacy in 2019. Pennsylvania's first Black lieutenant governor, Austin Davis, and first Black female congressperson, Summer Lee, are in office now.

EX-URBAN: Forty-three Pennsylvania communities have lost their status as urban areas under new Census Bureau housing and population guidelines, PennLive (paywall) reports. Federal funding could be impacted.

YOUNG RUN: Twenty-year-old Jordan Deibler wants to be the youngest member of Pennsylvania's state House, and he's eyeing a run for the seat of longtime state Rep. Lynda Schlegel Culver (R., Northumberland). Culver won a special election for an open state Senate seat earlier this week.

RENAISSANCE: Beyoncé will perform in Philadelphia on July 12 as part of her Renaissance World Tour, her first U.S. stop. Months of shows are scheduled, including one in Pittsburgh. Register for presale here.

Unscramble and send your answer to We'll shout out winners here, and one each week will get some Spotlight PA swag. Answers submitted by 6 p.m. on issue date will be counted.

Yesterday's answer: Mixologist

Congrats to our daily winners: Michael P., Craig W., Barbara F., Starr B., Don H., Joel S., Jane R., Susan D., Susan N.-Z., Helen N., Jon W., Chuck M., Irene R., David P., Kevin M., Kimberly B., Matt P., Elaine C., Mare K., Kim C., Judith D., Patricia R., Kimberly D., Lewis Z., Adrien M., Daniel S., Keith W., Vicki U., Nancy S., Dennis M., Perry H., Tish M., James B., Rick A., Dianne K., Christopher H., Bill S., Mark C., Elizabeth W., John B., Vanessa J., Kathee M., Trudy W., Keith F., Stanley J., William Z., John A., Wendy A., David W., and Mary H.
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