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Pa.'s school mask rule expected to end in January

Plus, Senate candidate Sean Parnell takes the stand to refute abuse claims.


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Your Postmaster: Colin Deppen

November 9, 2021
End date, gift ban, custody case, low visibility, infrastructure wishlist, now running, and a reel-y big Pennsylvania fish. It's Tuesday. Thanks for checking in.
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"All the local media outlets have reported that Republicans are winning, they won. And, in fact, a lot of them may not have."

—Liz Preate Havey, chair of the Montgomery County Republican Committee, on election count confusion that led to premature GOP victories
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» BAD INFO: Three-quarters of adults said they have heard at least one false statement about the coronavirus that they believed to be true or were unsure about being true, proving misinformation remains rampant, KFF has found.

» TRAVEL BAN: The U.S. has reopened its borders to vaccinated travelers after 20 months of being closed to many countries, including Brazil, China, India, South Africa, and most of Europe, ABC News 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).
» 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
A view from the Shocks Mill Bridge Walkway along the Susquehanna River in Lancaster County. Thanks for sharing, Pat R. Send us your gems, use the hashtag #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.
LOBBY LOOPHOLE: Gov. Wolf wants lawmakers to close a "loophole" in a gift ban bill now on the move in Harrisburg. The bill would bar elected officials and state employees from taking more than $250 worth of gifts from registered lobbyists in a year. Wolf's problem? The bill says nothing about unregistered lobbyists, per USA Today's Capital Bureau.

CROSS-EXAM: Trump-backed U.S. Senate candidate Sean Parnell took the stand during his child custody trial on Monday to refute his estranged wife's claims of abuse, TribLIVE reports. Asked about the allegations by CNN, the chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott (R., Fla.), declined to weigh in.

CHILD WELFARE: Philadelphia must disclose its own legal settlements, but the rule does not apply to contractors, including those performing vital child welfare services. A recent lawsuit against the city's largest child welfare provider ended with a multimillion dollar settlement, part of a growing caseload with little scrutiny, per The Inquirer.

TRAVEL MONEY: What's in the newly passed $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill for Pennsylvania? Pocono Record lists a number of statewide projects that could stand to benefit from new infusions of federal cash: Amtrak upgrades, road and bridge repairs, abandoned mine reclamation, public transportation, broadband expansion, and more.

RUNNING ROUNDUP: Lancaster City Council President Ismail Smith-Wade-El will primary 16-term U.S. Rep. Mike Sturla in 2022; Victory Fund member Sean Meloy is running to be Pennsylvania's first openly LGBTQ member of Congress; and Pittsburgh attorney Steve Irwin has entered the race for outgoing U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle's 18th District seat.

FIGHT CLUB: Olympians have joined the push to make girls wrestling an officially recognized sport in Pennsylvania. The AP reports the PIAA says 100 schools must sponsor a sport before it can be sanctioned — there are 16 now.

STRIKE WATCH: Some UPMC hospital staff seeking better pay and a labor union plan a one-day strike on Nov. 18, TribLIVE reports. Elsewhere, strikes by teachers in Scranton and Kellogg's workers in Lancaster County continue.

TAKE AIM: With the United Nations Climate Change Conference underway in Scotland, a National Wildlife Federation rep tells The Allegheny Front how Pennsylvania hunters and anglers could shape climate policy.  

BIG FISH: Speaking of anglers ... Richard "The Breeze" Nicholson of Connellsville recently landed a 34-inch walleye that might be a new state record. Luckily Nicholson's son convinced him not to eat it, per Outdoor Life.

'APART TOGETHER': Two octogenarians from Ridley are the subject of a poignant New York Times profile all about their unconventional marriage or, as the Times puts it, "a union on their terms."

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: Filibuster

Congrats to our daily winners: Al M., Jessica K., Craig W., Irene R., Susan F., Kim C., Michelle T., Becky C., Neal W., Mike B., Mary Kay M., Bonnie R., Gina L., Jennifer Y., Bruce T., Jill K., Vicki U., Christine M., Dave  N., Susan N., Barbara F., Lynne E., Anne G., Judith D., Wendy A., Lex M., Kevin H., Fred O., Janet C., Diane P., Dan W., Brandie K., Elaine C., Teri H., David S., Steve D., Ted W., Beth T., George S., Chris M., Heidi B., Karen W., Joel S., Jill A., Elizabeth W., Bridget C., Don H., Dianne K., Craig E., Gregory G., Kimberly S., James B., Lynnette M., Sandra S., Ann E., Cathy S., Sharon M., Daniel M., Lewis M., Eddy Z., Johnny C., Catherine J., David W., Robert W., Linda H., Doris T., Myles M., Cathy S., John P., John F., Connie K.
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