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Churches urge AG probe of a police custody death

Plus, Supreme Court mostly tosses Biden's vax-or-test rule.


A daily newsletter by Spotlight PA

Your Postmaster: Colin Deppen
January 14, 2022
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SCOTUS ruling, AG appeal, campaign launch, top two, 'topic du jour,' pollution bay, and the superload is on the move. It's Friday! This is PA Post.
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PROGRAMMING NOTE: We're off Monday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We'll be back in your inboxes on Tuesday morning. 

"Lawmakers should not be making profits off of the same companies they are supposed to be regulating."

—Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who is joined by fellow Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Conor Lamb in calling for a congressional stock-trading ban
» IN CLASS: A Children's Hospital of Philadelphia doctor says schools should be kept open for in-person learning, adding that "those who've opted not to get vaccinated" should not be driving policy, per NPR.

» TOUGH CHOICES: The Wall Street Journal went to Norristown Area School District and offers a window into a superintendent's "agonizing decision" to return to remote learning as the omicron wave began to swell.

» HOME COUNT: Allegheny County has a new tool that allows residents to report positive at-home COVID-19 tests‚ telling Spotlight PA the data will be kept separate to avoid statistical issues. Details will be announced next week. 

» TEST RUN: Postal facilities in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, and Philadelphia will build and label coronavirus testing kits for a pilot program that aims to deliver 500 million of the kits to American households, The Inquirer reports.

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 view from Cooper Township, Clearfield County, where PA Poster Don H. counted 27 contrails in the sky. Thanks for sharing, Don! Send us your gems, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.
FRESH INQUIRY: AG Josh Shapiro's office is being urged to investigate the death of Jim Rogers, who died after he was tased repeatedly by Pittsburgh police investigating a reported bicycle theft. WPXI reports local churches are demanding more information and transparency after an accidental death ruling and an internal review that led to unspecified disciplinary action against eight unidentified officers.

NEWLY FILED: The recently resigned chief of the world's largest hedge fund made his GOP bid for U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania official on Thursday after a lengthy exploratory phase that saw millions of dollars spent on ads and a related complaint made against him by Pennsylvania Democrats. David McCormick, a Keystone State native living in Connecticut, looks to pull off a MAGA-friendly makeover.

TERM LIMIT: A GOP lawmaker from Northeast Philadelphia has introduced a bill that would limit the city's district attorney to two four-year terms, The Inquirer reports. If successful, the targeted legislation would bar Philly's recently reelected DA, progressive Larry Krasner, from running again. The bill's backer, state Rep. Martina White, is an ally of the city's police union. Krasner is decidedly not.

FREE-FOR-ALL: WHYY reports an 81-year-old federal law that deals with what happens when a state can't agree on a new congressional map in time for an election is the "topic du jour" in Harrisburg, where a stalemate over the redrawing of Pennsylvania's U.S. House map is looming. While unlikely to actually happen, the scenario would involve at-large elections and, in essence, an electoral free-for-all.

DIRTY WATER: Pennsylvania is responsible for more water-fouling nutrients in the Chesapeake Bay — most via runoff from farms and urban areas — than any other state in the watershed, the Bay Journal reports. After years of pressure around its cleanup progress, or lack thereof, Pennsylvania has submitted an updated strategy to meet 2025 pollution reduction goals — but progress has stalled before.
SLOW MOTION: Watch out for the superload. A 294-ton, 213-foot-long empty steel tank is being transported from a decommissioned nuclear lab in New York State to Lawrence County, where it will be disposed of, Lehigh Valley Live reports. The slow journey — much of it on I-80 — will take nine days

CULTURE SHOCK: Mikhaila Friel went from Scotland to Millersville University and compiled a collection of takeaways for Insider about the experience. In summary: the workload was high, the campus surprisingly bucolic, and the American students didn't say "you're welcome" much.

SCHOOL CHOICE: A 134-year-old trade college in Media is the backdrop for a Hechinger Report deep dive on changing attitudes toward vocational schools. The report says doubt about the value of a four-year college is growing — especially during the turbulent COVID-19 pandemic.

SNOW TIME: Pennsylvania is bracing for a winter storm this weekend. How big remains to be seen. Whatever happens, I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce — or just as likely reintroduce — all of you to "Einstein the snow camel," the standout star of Winter Storm Avery in 2018

MLK DAY: Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The famed civil rights leader made many visits to Pennsylvania before his assassination in 1968. He lived in Chester at one point, and spoke in State CollegePhiladelphia, and Pittsburgh, where his murder touched off days of unrest.
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.

*This week's theme:
Words that are fun to say.
Yesterday's answer: Bumbershoot

Congrats to our daily winners: Don H., Bonnie R., Doris T., Kimberly S., Susan D., Craig W., Bob S., Judith D., Vicki U., George S., Susan N.-Z., Elaine C., William S., Patricia R., James B., Suzanne S., Bill S., Alan V., David W., Anthony S., Lynne E., and Kim C.
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