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PSU hasn't paid for Proud Boys event security

Plus, auditor general calls out school district 'shell game.'

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Your Postmaster: Colin Deppen
Friday, January 27, 2023
Security details, medical marijuana, 'shell game,' on appeal, grant money, app suit, news quiz, P-G ruling, weather teams, and a pillar of Eagles Nation.

Pennsylvania State Police sent 70 employees to provide security at a contested Penn State appearance by the far-right Proud Boys in October. But the university has yet to reimburse the state agency for its work.

Spotlight PA requested reimbursement payment information under Pennsylvania's Right-to-Know Law from several law enforcement agencies that had a presence at the State College campus that night. 

Bellefonte, Patton Township, Spring Township, and State College Borough were reimbursed a total of $31,680 by the school. 

But the State Police said "no reimbursement occurred" for them.

Read the full report: PSU hasn't paid for Proud Boys event security.

THE CONTEXT: Penn State University routinely reimburses police departments for overtime their officers rack up working security at events, such as Penn State's heavily attended home football games.

The State Police received $1.3 million from the university for 12,318 hours of security details it provided during home games in 2021. 

Penn State's special status as a "state-related university" largely exempts it from requirements under Pennsylvania's open records law.

And the university hasn't explained the lack of a State Police reimbursement for the Proud Boys event, which was canceled by school administrators at the last minute over "the threat of escalating violence."


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—U.S. Sen. John Fetterman (D., Pa.) who has been assigned to Senate committees on agriculture, banking, the environment, and more
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St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in Perkasie, via Don H. Send us your photos by email, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.

An old stone church with red doors and white trim on the windows.
Today's top news story in Pennsylvania.POT PIVOT: A pair of state senators — Mike Regan (R., York) and Jim Brewster (D., Allegheny) — are proposing significant changes to Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program. Among the biggest: Their proposal would eliminate the list of 23 qualifying conditions and allow a patient's doctor — meaning any doctor authorized to prescribe controlled substances — to determine cannabis eligibility

Today's second top news story in Pennsylvania.'SHELL GAME': Republican state Auditor General Timothy DeFoor says a legal practice lets school districts raise property taxes while holding onto millions in their general funds, via WGAL. DeFoor says the practice is a "shell game" that allowed 12 districts to collectively raise taxes 37 times over four years, which upped their respective general fund balances to $390 million. School officials pushed back.

Today's third top news story in Pennsylvania.KRASNER APPEAL: House Republicans will appeal a Commonwealth Court ruling that said their articles of impeachment against progressive Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner were legally insufficient. Tim Bonner, a Republican state Rep. from Mercer County, argues Commonwealth Court "misinterpreted" the proceedings as he and his colleagues mount a state Supreme Court appeal.

Today's fourth top news story in Pennsylvania.GRANT PROBES: A $392,000 anti-violence grant to a Philly youth boxing program has been suspended amid ongoing investigations, The Inquirer (paywall) reports. The paper says nearly $76,000 for the Guns Down Gloves Up program went to a former district police captain, who the grant application said would not be paid, and nine other department staffers. City employees aren't eligible for city grants.

Today's fifth top news story in Pennsylvania.SOCIAL SUIT: Pittsburgh Public Schools is following Seattle's lead and preparing to sue several social media companies for increased student mental health costs it links to the usage of the platforms, WESA reports. In a 7-0 vote, the Pittsburgh school board approved a resolution Wednesday to retain two law firms to lead the charge against the owners of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok
Support Spotlight PA's vital investigative and public service journalism.
QUIZ TIME: Another big week of Pennsylvania news is in the bag. Test your grip on the latest headlines from Harrisburg and around the state with the second installment of Spotlight PA's new weekly news quiz!

LABOR RULING: More than 100 days into an ongoing strike at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, an administrative law judge on Thursday ruled that the paper's owners had bargained in bad faith with the union representing newsroom employees and must return to the table.

SWIM CLASS: Anticipating another lifeguard shortage, Philadelphia says it's willing to consider and train applicants who can't swim. Pay ranges from $16 to nearly $18 an hour, based on experience. 

PRANK SHOW: The now-viral food delivery that interrupted Wednesday's basketball game at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh? SB Nation says all signs point to it being a joke. Not everyone was laughing.

LUCKY GUY: Ahead of Sunday's NFC Championship game against the 49ers, The Inquirer (paywall) caught up with the "Eagles Pillar Guy" (remember him?) and said he's still running into poles before big games for luck.

SWING STATE: Groundhog Day — Pennsylvania's strangest holiday — is just around the corner. Pennsylvania tourism officials, equipped with a Wednesday meme, want to know if you're Team Winter or Team Spring

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. Answers submitted by 6 p.m. on issue date will be counted.

Yesterday's answer: Euphemism

Congrats to our daily winners: Becky C., Michelle T., Kathy B., Barbara F., Don H., Vicki U., Jon W., Susan N.-Z., Mike B., Susan D., Ben P., Jane R., Bruce B., William M., Craig W., Nancy S., John F., James B., Dennis M., Fred O., Daniel M., Glenda M., Dianne K., William S., Dan A., Kimberly D., Bill S., Joe W., Patrick H., David S., Myles M., Wendy A., Cynthia M., Trudy W., David W., Judith D., Joel S., John P., Kathy W., Starr B., and Tish M.


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