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Parnell exits Senate race amid abuse claims

Plus, why some Pennsylvania power plants plan to stop using coal.


A daily newsletter by Spotlight PA
Sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania
Your Postmaster: Stephen Kearse

November 23, 2021
Canceled candidacy, future pledge, talks resume, coal closures, mental toll, bed bugs, a homey mural, and very cute dogs. Welcome to Tuesday.
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“I think what we’re seeing is the beginning of that fall surge where people are indoors more and around other people more.”

—Dr. Carol Fox of Excela Health, commenting on a COVID-19 case uptick in Westmoreland County
It's Thanksgiving week, and we want to know what you're thankful for this year. Tell us your reasons here and we'll share some of our favorite responses in the Thanksgiving Day edition of this newsletter. 'Tis the season.
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» SHOT GOAL: More than 90% of federal workers received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by Monday's federal deadline set by President Joe Biden, AP reports.

» TRAVEL ADVISORY: Public health officials encourage people who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to delay holiday travel, AP reports.

» DON'T DRINK: American Screening of Shreveport, Louisiana, has recalled 153,336 bottles of its hand sanitizer that contains 70% ethyl alcohol gel because the packaging too closely resembled a water bottle.

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, Patricia S., for this shot of "the turkeys of Armstrong county" in Shady Plain. Send us your gems, use the hashtag #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.
FUTURE VOW: The top Republican in the Senate, Jake Corman, says that he would sign a gift ban into law if elected governor, the Capital-Star reports. As Spotlight PA previously found, Corman has steadfastly declined to take a public position on whether he supports limiting gifts, despite accepting them himself in the past. 

TALKS RESUME: After weeks of silence, the Kellogg Company on Monday reopened contract talks with its 1,400 cereal plant workers who have been on strike since October, ABC News reports. The action includes four plants, including one in Lancaster that was previously visited by U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh

WASTE WEARY: Dozens of coal power plants nationwide, including two in Pennsylvania, plan to stop burning the fossil fuel this decade to comply with more stringent federal wastewater guidelines, according to state regulatory filings. The AP reports the new rule requires power plants to clean coal ash and toxic heavy metals from plant wastewater before it is dumped into streams and rivers.

MENTAL TOLL: New research indicates that childhood exposure to air pollution can impact adult mental health, and links spikes in air pollution with more emergency room visits for mental illness among children, Allegheny Front reports. Western Pennsylvania has some of the worst air quality in the nation.

WEATHER-READY: To help Pennsylvanians manage higher energy bills this winter, the state Office of Consumer Advocate is encouraging people to use simple weatherization methods such as plugging cracks around doors and windows. StateImpact reports the U.S. Energy Information Administration expects households that use natural gas for heat will spend 30 % more than they spent last winter on average.
LAND LACK: First-generation farmers who don’t already have land often cannot acquire enough acreage to farm at the scale needed to make a living. WESA details the financial obstacles faced by newcomers to agriculture, speaking to new farmers as well as ones who left the industry after hardship.

BUGGED OUT: Recently settled lawsuits detail hazardous and unsanitary conditions at the now condemned Bush House Hotel. Courier Times reports Quakertown officials found bed bugs in every room of the boarding house, mold, and electric and fire code issues, among other violations.

MURAL MAKEOVER: Two Emmaus residents won a mural for their hometown after entering HGTV’s “Celebrate Home Town Sweepstakes.” The Morning Call reports the mural includes silhouettes of hikers and bikers on South Mountain and a nod to the area’s weekly farmer’s market.

BUTTER CUP: For a second year, the Department of Agriculture and Pennsylvania Farm Show invite Pennsylvanians to try their hands at crafting a do-it-yourself butter sculpture. The social media contest will be open for submissions from Dec. 3 through Dec. 17.

PUP PAGEANT: Over the weekend, 15,000 dogs from five countries competed for the “Best of Show” title at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center. Photos from WHYY show competition was steep.
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.
T R I A L C N M I O D H O  
Monday's answer: Albatross

Congrats to our daily winners: George S., Craig E., Suzanne S., Lynne E., Ann E., Tish M., Steve D., Don H., Kim C., Patricia M., Susan Z., Susan F., Jessica K., Michelle, T., Bridget C., Craig W., Neal W., Irene R., Vicki U., B.T. F., and Elaine C.
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