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Your Postmaster: Colin Deppen

November 3, 2021
Election results, Scranton strike, pollution hotspots, fraud charges, citizen review, and Pennsylvania's own witch trial. Welcome to Wednesday.
A message from our sponsor...
Gamut Theatre in downtown Harrisburg is dedicated to telling classic stories in new and exciting ways. We believe all individuals regardless of race, gender, gender identity, religion, culture, sexual orientation, and/or disability are welcome to participate in Gamut programs. Get ready for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. The whole family can follow Alice as she discovers a world filled with extraordinary exploits and playful characters. Tickets are on sale now!
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GOP SWEEP
NOTABLE / QUOTABLE 

"... they are falling victim to revisionist history driven by woke cancel culture."

—State Rep. Parke Wentling (R., Crawford) in an op-ed criticizing a state push to ensure Pennsylvania's historical markers reflect a more diverse history
OUR CALLING
Good morning reader,

Nonpartisan, public-service journalism that cuts through the nonsense and delivers the truth is vital to the future of our state, and we work around the clock to keep you informed. But now we need your help.

We need to raise $70,000 by the end of this year to unlock $70,000 in matching funds. That means if you contribute to Spotlight PA now, it will be matched dollar for dollar, powering our vital journalism into 2022.

Make a tax-deductible gift now »

Spotlight PA is a different kind of news organization. We don't rely on big advertisers and we don't chase clicks. We dig deep, hold the powerful to account, and always put you — the taxpaying public — first. 

Make an end-of-year gift and don't miss this chance to double your impact.

— Christopher Baxter, Editor in Chief
💉 COVID-19 NEWS
» FINAL DECISION: The CDC has officially authorized Pfizer's vaccine for children ages 5 to 11, clearing the way for immediate distribution. Millions of doses were packed and shipped in advance, the Associated Press reports.

» COST ESTIMATE: Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity, a Republican, says Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf's offer of five days paid time off to state employees who get vaccinated could cost the state $100 million, per WGAL.

» BLOOD BANK: A drop in donations seen alongside spiking COVID-19 cases has contributed to the "worst blood shortage in more than a decade" in Pennsylvania hospitals and others nationwide, WHYY reports.

» MORE PROTECTION: COVID-19 vaccines provide five times more protection than past infection, a CDC study has found, via NBC News.

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).
📅 UPCOMING EVENTS
» CANNABIS CONUNDRUM: Join us Thursday, Nov. 11 at 7 p.m. EST via Zoom for a free Q&A on cannabis as a treatment for opioid use disorder, the debate in the medical community, and a look at what the research says. Register here and submit your questions to events@spotlightpa.org
📷 POST IT
We're loving these fall photos! Thanks, Daniel S., for this stunning view of Glen Park in Lykens. Send us your gems, use the hashtag #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.
DAILY RUNDOWN
ON STRIKE: Scranton teachers are set to begin a strike today in their years-long push for better wages and benefits. FOX56 reports Monday negotiations between the teachers union and district failed to move the needle, culminating in a lengthy and at times raucous public meeting. Teachers will also lose their health benefits while on the picket line.  

HOT SPOTS: There are two Pennsylvania locations — one in York and one in East Greenville — on ProPublica's nationwide map of cancer-causing industrial air pollution hotspots. ProPublica analyzed five years of EPA data and found more than 1,000 toxic zones in the U.S. where cancer risks can be significantly elevated for those living nearby.

TWO VOTES: Voter fraud charges are being considered for a Sharpsville man who authorities say filed mail ballots in two states during the 2020 election. The Sharon Herald reports Mercer County's district attorney is weighing a case against Ronald Holland Hurl, a registered Republican, per online records, whose own mother urged a 2020 ballot audit. 

OPEN CASE: York County's district attorney cannot drop a criminal case against a former police officer who inadvertently shot a handcuffed person in the leg, a judge has ruled. The DA's office argued the case shouldn't proceed after the death of a witness. A county judge disagreed, calling the argument "quite lame," York Daily Record reports.

POLICE REVIEW: You have two days left to join the hundreds of people who have already applied for spots on Philadelphia's new Citizen Police Oversight Commission, Axios reports. Voters approved the commission's formation last year. It will investigate citizen complaints against police, examine use-of-force incidents, and hold subpoena power.
IN OTHER NEWS
CENTRE SQUARE: A Giant Eagle will anchor a big development in a key — and oft-debated — corner of Pittsburgh's Bloomfield neighborhood. WESA reports the "Bloomfield Square" project at the old ShurSave site includes retail shops, a public plaza, and roughly 190 apartments

WITCH TRIAL: Did you know there was a witch trial in Delaware County nine years before the infamous witch trials in Salem, Mass.? Neither did I, but a persistent reader helped WHYY dig up the story of an accused Swedish settler whose trial was reportedly attended by William Penn himself.

CODE SWITCH: It's illegal in Meadville to wear clothes — costumes included — that correspond to a gender other than your own. Theater performances with nudity are also illegal under city code, but a council vote today could change the 150-year-old rules, per the Meadville Tribune.

FREEZE WARNING: November is here, and so is the first freeze warning of the season. It's in effect for a wide swath of central and southeastern Pennsylvania through 9 a.m. A separate winter weather advisory is in effect for McKean, Warren, and Erie counties through 11 a.m.

ORDER UP: "What does one order at Wawa in order to appreciate Wawa?" a Washington Post food writer asked Twitter. The responses were funny, unvarnished, and also oddly specific

 

THE SCRAMBLER
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.
 
K W E C D O N N

*This week's theme: Transportation
 
Yesterday's answer: Locomotives

Congrats to our daily winners: Susan F., Becky C., Beth T., Joel B., Neal W., Karen W., Irene R., Patricia M., Wendy A., Mike B., Judith D., Craig E., Susan N., Lynne E., Elizabeth W., Suzanne S., Don H., Kim C., Susan D., Elaine C., Chris M., James B., Richard L., Craig W., Ted W., George S., Michelle T., Tish M., Barbara O., Jodi R., Myles M., Fred O., Debbie S., Cris F., Ann E., Bridget C., Dianne K., James N., Vicki U., Lance L., Bill S., Diane P., Rick D., Scott R., Jessica K., Russellen C., John H., Gina L., Tim B., Patricia R., and David W.
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