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Paterno Field 'spectacle' draws trustee rebuke

Plus, Shapiro prodded on Gaza response.

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A daily newsletter by The logo of Spotlight PA, an independent, nonpartisan newsroom producing investigative journalism for Pennsylvania.
Your Postmaster: Colin Deppen

Monday, April 8, 2024
Today: Paterno polemic, Shapiro critics, mum McCormick, Boyle's outburst, rural fact-check, Poconos problems, and the solar eclipse.
A Penn State trustee was scolded for a controversial and high-profile proposal to rename the university’s football field after fired coach Joe Paterno.

Leaders of Penn State’s Board of Trustees admonished Anthony Lubrano for creating a “public spectacle” with the plan, first reported by Spotlight PA. They said Lubrano should have held the matter for a private session — an action that likely would have violated the state's open meetings law.

Instead, Lubrano proposed the name change at the board’s public February meeting. The resolution was withdrawn minutes later.

Lubrano was also admonished for sharing “confidential information” during a March radio appearance and a Feb. 16 interview with WJAC.

Paterno was fired in 2011 amid the fallout of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal. The school removed a Paterno statue the following year.

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“Let [us] also remember the shipping company that ran into the bridge also has complete liability for the accident. They’re insured to pay for that and that’s where we should be looking. It shouldn’t be the taxpayer.”

—U.S. Rep. Scott Perry (R., Pa.) on President Biden's call for Congress to fund Baltimore's Francis Scott Key Bridge cleanup; the House Freedom Caucus, which Perry chaired, wants this in exchange for the money.


ROW RACES: Join us Thursday, April 11 from 6-7 p.m. ET on Zoom for a live guide to Pa.’s candidates for attorney general, auditor general, and treasurer and how their terms would impact you. Register here and submit your questions to events@spotlightpa.org.
It's eclipse day. The action begins around 2 p.m. and peaks between 3 and 3:30 p.m. Photo via @yatsko. Send us your Pennsylvania photos by email, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania
Harrisburg's darkened skyline.
Today's top news story in Pennsylvania.GAZA ACTION: A prominent Muslim civil rights group wants Gov. Josh Shapiro to join some of his Democratic counterparts in calling for a ceasefire in Gaza — while remaining deeply critical of his response to the war thus far, PennLive (paywall) reports. Two Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Philadelphia board members declined an invitation to an Iftar dinner at the Governor's Mansion last week in protest.
  • 'No Conditions': U.S. Sen. Fetterman breaks with President Biden over Israel approach after aid worker killings, via HuffPost
Today's second top news story in Pennsylvania.
MCCORMICK MAIL: Two years after he sued to have undated mail ballots counted in his GOP primary race against Mehmet Oz, Politico reports U.S. Senate candidate David McCormick has gone silent on the subject — now that undated ballots are less likely to work in his favor. A recent court ruling says undated ballots shouldn't be counted. Thousands of likely Democratic votes hang in the balance.

Today's third top news story in Pennsylvania.
ACCESS DENIED: State Rep. Kevin Boyle's February outburst in a Montgomery County bar cost him free-ranging access to the state Capitol, per The Inquirer (paywall). It's not the first time the Philly Democrat's security privileges were pulled. Boyle's primary challenger has the support of state House Democratic leadership. Colleagues want Boyle, who's been open about his mental health, to "seek help."

Today's fourth top news story in Pennsylvania.
RURAL RAGE: New York Times bestseller White Rural Rage presents rural voters as a unique “threat to American democracy.” Tyler Austin Harper, writing in The Atlantic, calls the book's premise "utterly misleading" and its supporting research deeply flawed. Among the problems: describing places as "rural" that are urban or suburban, and "repeatedly distorting studies" to fit the book's thesis.

Today's fifth top news story in Pennsylvania.
TURF WAR: It's owners of second homes vs. full-time residents in the Poconos, The New York Times (paywall) reports. A wave of pandemic-fueled second home buys by out-of-towners saw many of those properties turned into income-generating Vrbos or Airbnbs. Infighting followed, as did interest in legal cases over local rules regulating such activity that have reached the state's highest courts.
🗞️ KNOW YOUR NEWS? Prove it with this week's Great PA News Quiz: Eclipse voters, ‘Trump Airport,’ and third-party hurdles.
ECLIPSE DAY: Pennsylvania couples were among those planning to mark today's big solar eclipse by getting married during its peak at Ohio's “Elope at the Eclipse” event. If you're just planning to watch the celestial dance, here's everything you need to know.

FAULT FINDER: The 4.8 magnitude, New Jersey-centered earthquake felt from Philadelphia to the Lehigh Valley on Friday was the work of the Ramapo Fault system running from New York into Pennsylvania.

TRUE STORY: File this under unfortunate timing: Justin Allen of Horsham, Montgomery County was getting a vasectomy when Friday's tremor hit. He told The Guardian he thought the doctor was "messing" with him.

'SLIME' NEWS: There are 65 "pink slime," partisan local news sites in Pennsylvania alone, The Inquirer (paywall) found, part of a movement to "muddy the waters of journalism" — now in a big election year.

MADE IN PA: The redesigned, Nike-branded uniforms that are riling up Major League Baseball fans and players this season are made by a company in Easton. Things are off to a very sweaty start for the Yankees.
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. Answers submitted by 5:30 p.m. on issue date will be counted.

Friday's answer: Desolation 

Congrats to our weekly winner: Ellen S.

Congrats to our daily winners: Barbara F., Bob C., Tracy S., Jane R., Don H., Richard A., Gabrielle G., Judith D., Jody A., Jon W., Lynne E., Dan A., Susan N.-Z., Beth H., William Z., Joel S., Stacy S., Jeffrey F., Wendy A., Sharon B., Tom M., Ada M., Kimberly D., Janet S., and Malachy M.
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