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Nurses want rule to ease shortages. Doctors don't.

Plus, a Bitcoin lifeline for dying gas wells.

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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

Thursday, June 6, 2024
Today: Slow remedy, unregulated, 'economic bust,' J6 arrest, radio money, Perry appointed, and a powerful piece of paper.
Lawmakers have long proposed giving nurse practitioners full practice authority as a way to address Pennsylvania’s rural health care gap.

But despite bipartisan support, the bills keep dying.

Now, opposition from key lawmakers and a professional group that represents doctors appears to have stalled such legislation again.

Opposed doctors emphasize the difference in training between themselves and nurse practitioners, and one of their professional groups is spending millions lobbying against the change.

Read Spotlight PA's full report: Nurses say they could ease rural health care shortage with more authority, but doctors say it won't work.

"With this bill that I'm about to sign today, Pennsylvania will finally pass a distracted driving ban." 

Democratic Gov. Josh Shapiro minutes before signing a bill that bars handheld cellphone use by drivers statewide; it also requires race data collection on traffic stops but exempts such data from record requests
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QUEERING THE NEWS: Join us Thursday, June 13 from 6-7 p.m. ET on Zoom for a free discussion with a panel of experts on Pennsylvania’s queer media landscape — past, present, and future. Register for the event here and submit your questions to events@spotlightpa.org.
A Chester County spring house, via Starr B. Send us photos by email, use #PAGems on Instagram, or tag us @spotlightpennsylvania
A tiny house built into the ground in a grassy area.
Today's top news story in Pennsylvania.
IN THE DARK: In 2022, a bitcoin mining operation roared to life in rural Elk County, powered by gas wells and without approval from the state. Capital & Main reports regulators issued pollution and noise violations— then approved the operation months later without penalty.
Today's second top news story in Pennsylvania.
JOBS BUST: Shell's petrochemical plant near Pittsburgh was given the largest state subsidy in Pennsylvania history amid promises of jobs and trickle-down benefits. One and a half years after it opened, KDKA-TV reports it's an "environmental bane and an economic bust."
  • Should hospitals divest from fossil fuels? A climate-concerned group of UPMC doctors says yes, via EHN archives.
Today's third top news story in Pennsylvania.
J6 CHARGES: A retired NASCAR driver from Pennsylvania is the latest person charged in the 2021 U.S. Capitol riot. Tighe Scott, 75, of Northampton County is accused of assaulting officers outside the building, The Inquirer (paywall) reports. His son is also charged.
Today's fourth top news story in Pennsylvania.ON THE RADIO: U.S. Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R., Pa.) used $4,149 in taxpayer funds to air a radio ad in Harrisburg markets that one government affairs and ethics lobbyist called “indistinguishable from a campaign ad," LNP (paywall) reports. 
Today's fifth top news story in Pennsylvania.
COMMITTEE SEAT: U.S. Rep. Scott Perry (R., Pa.) has been appointed to the House Intelligence Committee, despite an ongoing federal probe into his role in 2020 election meddling, the Capital-Star reports. The appointment was made by the GOP House Speaker.
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OFFICIAL GRAD: On the 80th anniversary of D-Day, a story about a World War II vet who got his Sharon High School diploma days before dying at the age of 98. State law allows honorary diplomas in such cases.

EVENTS ECLIPSE: Were the Philadelphia Free Library's summer author events really all canceled? The library says no, telling WHYY abruptly fired staff behind the renowned series made several "unauthorized" posts.

UNIVERSITY LAWSUIT: Staff have filed a class-action lawsuit against Philly's University of the Arts ahead of its planned Friday closure. Hundreds of employees and more than 1,000 students stand to be affected.

'DUM DUM': You can buy this Erie golf course for $1.1 million, or you can head to Mercer County, home of the only free public course in the U.S.

UP A TREE: PennLive has excellent photos of a black bear capture outside a Camp Hill high school this week. Relocation was pending.
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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.

Yesterday's answer: Paraphernalia

Congrats to our daily winners: Stacy S., Ada M., Bruce B., Eric F., Marc G., Elaine C., Gerry L., Sherri A., Barbara F., Jon W., Kathleen R., David T., Mike B., Lynne E., Don H., Daniel M., Bob C., Tracy S., Richard A., Beth T., Craig E., Ted W., Judith D., Tom O., Susan N.-Z., Jody A., Thomas B., Jane R., Eddy Z., Tom M., Joseph R. M., Johnny C., Daniel S., Alan B., Rita K., William Z., David W., Stanley J., Dave M., Vicki U., Amelia M., Mike H., Jeffrey F., John P., Annette I., Wendy A., Adrien M., Timothy A., Kimberly D., and Frederick H.
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