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Pa. congressman to retire after 28 years

Plus, 'undercount' prompts State College census rebellion.


A daily newsletter by Spotlight PA
Your Postmaster: Colin Deppen
October 19, 2021
Disease law, travel costs, retirement plan, witness protection, no sunshine, water saga, and a cool before-and-after photo. It's Tuesday. This is PA Post.

"Not a chance." 

—Democrat Josh Shapiro on whether he'll be stepping down as Pennsylvania attorney general while running for Pennsylvania governor
COVID-19 NEWS: Pennsylvania has hit the 70% benchmark for fully vaccinated adults months after the June 28 target; former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell has died from COVID-19 complications, his family says; and CDC data show the unvaccinated face an 11 times greater risk of dying from COVID-19 than the fully vaccinated. 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).
» THE JUDICIAL VOTE: Join us Thursday, Oct. 21 at noon EST via Zoom for a free breakdown and Q&A on who will be on the ballot this November and how voters will decide the future of Pennsylvania's courts. Register for the event here and submit your questions to events@spotlightpa.org
High above McKean County's Kinzua Viaduct — once the longest and tallest railroad bridge in the world. The span was partially collapsed by a tornado in 2003. Thanks for tagging us, @michaelcgiordanoSend us your gems, use the hashtag #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania.
CAREER ENDER: The most senior member of Pennsylvania's congressional delegation, Pittsburgh Democrat Mike Doyle, will retire at the end of his term, leaving the seat open for the first time since 1994, WESA reports. Hours after Doyle's announcement, progressive state Rep. Summer Lee (D., Allegheny) launched a formal bid to replace him.

WITNESSED: A rape on a SEPTA train was witnessed by other riders last week, none of whom intervened or called 911, authorities say. The inaction prompted national media coverage and plenty of local criticism. In response, The Inquirer gathered tips on direct and indirect action bystanders can take when then see harm being done.

OPEN MEETINGS: Mercer County's DA warns failure to comply with open meetings laws could yield criminal charges against West Middlesex Borough Council members who conducted votes in virtual secrecy on at least two occasions in 2018, the Sharon Herald reports. In one instance, a council member's brother was hired for several street projects.

WATER WOES: Five years after Pittsburghers learned the city's water was poisoned with lead at levels last seen in Flint, Michigan, a new PublicSource series traces the roots of Pittsburgh's water crisis back decades — touching on "unethical and illegal deeds," privatization perils, ongoing risks, and the political moves behind the catastrophe.
CENSUS CHALLENGE: State College and several other higher-ed towns plan to challenge the results of the 2020 census, claiming they were short-changed because of the pandemic. According to the AP, State College officials believe the census missed up to 5,800 people.

GUN BLOCKS: Programs offering housing assistance, mentorships, trauma counseling, and more will receive a combined $2.2 million in grants to help address Philadelphia's spiraling gun violence crisis, The Inquirer reports.

SWING VOTE: Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia continues to foil President Biden's policy agenda, drawing protesters to Manchin's yacht and even his daughter's Pittsburgh-area home, per City Paper.

DEATH NOTICE: Activist nun Megan Rice, who was imprisoned in her 80s for a nuclear site break-in, has died in Pennsylvania at the age of 91, NPR reports. Rice died of congestive heart failure at a Rosemont retirement home.

FAMILY PHOTO: A Reddit user posed an old picture of their grandmother and great-grandmother in Munhall in the 1940s or early 50s at the same location today, and the time-bending symmetry is kind of magical.

LIVE SCREAM: A live production of "The Rocky Horror Show" will be the first to grace the stage at Mickey's Black Box, a new arts venue on the sprawling Rock Lititz campus, LancasterOnline reports.

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.
Yesterday's answer: Quintessential

Congrats to our daily winners: Kevin M., Susan F., Becky C., Irene R., Barbara F., Craig W., Don H., Bruce T., Neal W., Michelle T., Bill C., Judith D., Beth T., Rick K., Doris T., Lynne E., Wendy A., Jessica K., Ted W., Susan R., Susan D., John F., Kim C., Kimberly S., Karen W., Suzanne S., Elaine C., George S., Steve D., Joel S., Marty M., Laura R., Tim B., Alice B., Craig E., Dianne K., Tish M., Dan E., Bridget C., John P., Bill S., Keith F., Elizabeth W., James B., Mary Kay M., David W., John H., Myles M., Daniel M., Helen G., and Bill S.
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