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One lawmaker could derail lobbyist gift clampdown

Plus, shuttered by scandal, Pa. school looks to reopen with new name.

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A daily newsletter by Spotlight PA
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Your Postmaster: Colin Deppen

November 12, 2021
Lobbying limits, scandal switch, sudden moves, long shadow, full support, missing money, and a Pennsylvania farmer gets dissed on HBO. It's Friday.
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"By every measure, the results are far more disastrous for low-wealth school districts, and the economically disadvantaged children they educate."

—A brief filed in Pennsylvania's landmark school funding case, which goes to trial today, roughly seven years after the lawsuit was first filed
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» NEW NUMBERS: Pennsylvania will now tally COVID-19 reinfections in people who fall ill with the virus more than once, as long as the infections are at least 90 days apart, TribLIVE reports. 

» MASK RULE: Gov. Tom Wolf's office says the state's school mask rule remains in effect as the administration appeals a Commonwealth Court decision overturning the mandate, Spotlight PA reports.

» HOLIDAY HEALTH: Experts say Pennsylvania's COVID-19 case numbers are likely to stay high this holiday season as many remain unvaccinated and immunity wanes in those who received their shots months ago, WITF reports. 

» VAX ASK: Allegheny County officials are asking all businesses to require employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 by Jan. 1, per TribLIVE.

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).
Thanks, Michele K., for this Lehigh River pic. "I feel so lucky to get to hop on my bike at my home, then ride along the Bushkill Creek, and Delaware and Lehigh rivers! Beautiful Pennsylvania!" says the PA Poster. Send us your gems, use the hashtag #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.

NAME CHANGE: Two years after it was shuttered over a sprawling child abuse scandal, Glen Mills Schools is looking to reopen under a new name, Clock Tower Schools, The Inquirer reports. Lawmakers and advocates are calling for the state to reject the application. A 2019 Inquirer investigation revealed decades of systemic abuses and cover-ups.
HOME STRESS: When regulators forced the relocation of roughly 100 families from troubled Pittsburgh public housing, the families were given "Section 8" vouchers and weeks to find new homes. A new study examines the voucher limitations they encountered and the impacts of dislocation, even for those who wound up better off, via WESA. 

NEW ROLE: After stepping down as Philadelphia's health commissioner over revelations that he ordered the disposal of victim remains from the city's bombing of a Black liberation group's rowhouse, Thomas Farley has a new gig with Washington, D.C.'s health department. Black Lives Matter DC decried the hire and called Farley a "monster," WHYY reports.

FULL APPROVAL: Lawmakers in the state House have unanimously approved an investigation into whether Schuylkill County Commissioner George Halcovage Jr. should be removed from office over allegations of sexual misconduct, the Times News reports. A similar push is underway in the state Senate. Halcovage has refused to resign.

NO CREDIT: Nearly 14,000 children in Philadelphia are at risk of not getting payments under President Joe Biden's expanded child tax credit because their guardians don't regularly file taxes, Keystone Crossroads reports. Advocates have warned the historic anti-poverty measure isn't reaching many with the deepest needs.


NIMBY TV: A York County farmer opposed to a transmission line project on his property was called an electrical grid obstructionist — and worse — on national television by HBO's John Oliver. Farmer Tim Jordan told York Daily Record he has bigger fish to fry. The paper also reports that the project Oliver casts as essential isn't, at least according to state regulators.

RAW DEAL: An attorney for a Lancaster County farmer embroiled in a long-running legal fight with the feds over food safety laws wants off the case, citing the client's involvement with anti-government extremists, per LNP.

IN JEOPARDY: Congrats to Dane Reighard, whose three-night run on "Jeopardy!" has come to an end — but not without first fulfilling the Johnstown native's childhood dream, The Tribune-Democrat reports.

LAKE EFFECT: Somerset Lake has been dry since 2017, when it was drained to allow a leaky dam to be repaired. Now, the Daily American reports the water is set to rise again — with fishing close behind.

RED ALERT: The pride of Reading, superstar Taylor Swift, is re-recording her first six albums to regain control of her master recordings after their contested sale. Her latest, a new version of 2012's Red album, is out today.

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: Politics
Yesterday's answer: Obstructionism

Congrats to our daily winners: Bonnie R., Elaine C., Irene R., Don H., Neal W., Susan N., Craig E., Susan F., Bruce T., Becky C., Michelle T., Steve D., Craig W., James B., Sharon M., Bill S., Myles M., Jessica K., Kim C., Tim B., Joel S., David W., Daniel M., Vicki U., Lynne E., and George S.
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