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Legislature

Sen. Yudichak announces property tax/rent rebate outreach schedule https://www.timesleader.com/news/734081/sen-yudichak-announces-property-tax-rent-rebate-outreach-schedule Yudichak hosts event to help seniors with rebate program https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/yudichak-hosts-event-to-help-seniors-with-rebate-program-1.2447865 Pa. Lottery on track for a record year, but challenges may threaten its support for senior programs https://www.pennlive.com/news/2019/02/pa-lottery-on-track-for-a-record-year-yet-challenges-it-faces-may-threaten-its-support-for-senior-programs.html Lawmakers set to do legwork for truancy law changes https://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/lawmakers-set-to-do-legwork-for-truancy-law-changes Gov. Tom Wolf’s voting machine replacement order to counties draws scrutiny from senators https://www.pennlive.com/news/2019/02/gov-tom-wolfs-voting-machine-replacement-order-to-counties-draws-scrutiny-from-senators.html Pennsylvania must keep up on voting systems, lawmakers told https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/pennsylvania-must-keep-up-on-voting-systems-lawmakers-told/ Senators air voting machine grievances to State Dept. officials http://www.witf.org/state-house-sound-bites/2019/02/senators-air-voting-machine-grievances-to-state-dept-officials.php Senators propose bill to substantially extend family medical leave https://www.timesherald.com/news/local/senators-propose-bill-to-substantially-extend-family-medical-leave/article_5af08d39-f242-582d-9823-e4e2b9f45de0.html Madden joins support for ‘Work Without Fear’ bills https://www.poconorecord.com/news/20190220/madden-joins-support-for-work-without-fear-bills Consolidate natural gas legislation https://www.citizensvoice.com/opinion/consolidate-natural-gas-legislation-1.2447829 Speed cameras could reduce deadly accidents on one of Philly’s most dangerous roads. Will City Council approve their installation? | Opinion https://www.philly.com/opinion/commentary/roosevelt-boulevard-speed-cameras-20190221.html

Budget

Facing another year of stagnant state funding, nursing homes warn of potential closures https://www.pennlive.com/news/2019/02/facing-another-year-of-stagnant-state-funding-nursing-homes-warn-of-potential-closures.html

Business

Ugly day at a suburban Philly beauty salon leads to $40,000 payout to fired employee https://www.philly.com/business/owners-suburban-philadelphia-beauty-salon-ordered-pay-fired-employee-20190220.html Kennywood, Sandcastle and Idlewild looking for 2,700 summer workers https://triblive.com/news/westmoreland/kennywood-sandcastle-and-idlewild-looking-for-2700-summer-workers/ 13 Pittsburgh-area Payless stores among those closing nationwide https://triblive.com/news/regional/13-pittsburgh-area-payless-stores-among-those-closing-nationwide/ Customers angry that disabled Pa. Walmart greeter could lose job https://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/pennsylvania/mc-nws-walmart-greeter-20190220-story.html Union calls for strike authorization vote at GE Transportation https://www.goerie.com/news/20190221/union-calls-for-strike-authorization-vote-at-ge-transportation

Catholic Church

Pope Francis calls for ‘concrete measures’ as historic clergy sex-abuse summit opens in Rome https://www.philly.com/news/vatican-sex-abuse-summit-pope-francis-rome-philadelphia-pennsylvania-20190221.html

Crime/Punishment

Chester County man causes fatal crash in sixth DUI in 9 years, police say https://www.philly.com/news/pennsylvania/david-strowhouer-delaware-county-fatal-dui-20190220.html Steel Valley High student’s death ruled a homicide https://triblive.com/news/pittsburgh-allegheny/18-year-old-steel-valley-high-student-shot-in-head-in-duquesne-heights-no-arrests-made/ Official: Employee stole $1.2M from Upper St. Clair church for vacations, Pirates tickets https://triblive.com/news/pittsburgh-allegheny/1-2m-allegedly-stolen-from-upper-st-clair-church-used-for-vacations-pirates-tickets-bills/ Chief: WB shootings not random; patrols in city boosted https://www.timesleader.com/news/734005/mayor-chief-vow-arrests-in-wb-shootings City on edge: W-B mayor reassures residents amid spate of shootings https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/city-on-edge-w-b-mayor-reassures-residents-amid-spate-of-shootings-1.2447957

Education

Recovery officer says honesty, transparency key for Scranton School District https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/recovery-officer-says-honesty-transparency-key-for-scranton-school-district-1.2448033 How many times a police officer responded to each Lehigh Valley public high school last year https://www.lehighvalleylive.com/expo/news/g66l-2019/02/b4bd0fa7e61179/how-many-times-a-police-officer-responded-to-each-lehigh-valley-public-high-school-last-year.html High-tech sandbags and bad-driver detectors: Students do battle in STEM contest https://www.timesleader.com/news/734053/high-tech-sandbags-and-bad-driver-detectors-students-do-battle-in-stem-contest More Dunmore School District students to benefit from federal program https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/more-dunmore-school-district-students-to-benefit-from-federal-program-1.2447950 At 16, depression and gender dysphoria nearly broke Colby Love. Now, he’s back in the pool — and his story isn’t over. https://newsinteractive.post-gazette.com/blog/open-water-depression-gender-dysphoria-colby-love/ Readers react: Should there be separate PIAA playoffs for public and private schools? https://www.mcall.com/opinion/letters/mc-opi-piaa-playoffs-private-public-schools-20190220-story.html Integration without more equitable funding will not fix schools | Opinion https://www.philly.com/opinion/commentary/school-integration-funding-formulas-20190220.html C.J. McCollum, to be honored this weekend, left legacy beyond basketball at Lehigh https://www.mcall.com/sports/college/mc-spt-mccollum-lehigh-legacy-20190220-story.html

Elections/Politics

Sanders touts $6 million fundraising haul and draws the notice of Trump https://www.philly.com/politics/nation/bernie-sanders-presidential-campaign-fundraising-donald-trump-20190220.html

Guns

Gun control bills, many marking Parkland anniversary, proliferate in Congress https://www.philly.com/news/guns-control-parkland-shootings-congress-harrisburg-bills-20190220.html Numbers don’t lie: Mounting gun deaths tell an awful story https://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/editorials/2019/02/21/Numbers-do-not-lie-Mounting-gun-deaths-tell-an-awful-story/stories/201902200105 Mental health is crucial to gun control https://www.post-gazette.com/opinion/letters/2019/02/21/Mental-health-is-crucial-to-gun-control/stories/201902210035

Health Care

AHN postpones ceremonial ‘topping off’ of new Hempfield hospital https://triblive.com/news/westmoreland/allegheny-health-puts-final-steel-beam-on-new-hempfield-hospital-site/ Criminalizing health care professionals’ mistakes dodges the real problem | Opinion https://www.philly.com/opinion/commentary/radonda-vaught-nurse-hospital-errors-20190221.html Flu has claimed 47 lives in Pa. this season https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/flu-has-claimed-47-lives-in-pa-this-season-1.2447900

Local News

Crispell report complete; few details revealed https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/crispell-report-complete-few-details-revealed-1.2447986 Solicitor: Trip probe completed; no word on discipline for county election chief https://www.timesleader.com/news/734037/solicitor-trip-probe-completed-no-word-on-discipline-for-county-election-chief Luzerne County awards contract for next phase of courthouse restorations https://www.timesleader.com/news/734060/luzerne-county-awards-contract-for-next-phase-of-courthouse-restorations Lackawanna County commissioners approve 10-year citywide LERTA tax abatement for Scranton https://www.thetimes-tribune.com/news/lackawanna-county-commissioners-approve-10-year-citywide-lerta-tax-abatement-for-scranton-1.2447837 Westmoreland firefighters to distribute 9-volt batteries to communities https://triblive.com/news/westmoreland/westmoreland-firefighters-to-distribute-9-volt-batteries-to-communities/ Reading City Council questions location for proposed fire station https://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/reading-council-questions-location-for-proposed-fire-station

Marijuana

Medical marijuana brings southcentral Pa. man more relief than any pill or treatment https://www.ydr.com/story/news/local/2019/02/21/medical-marijuana-brings-relief-hope-many-pennsylvania/2849019002/

National News

Advocates say U.S. still separates migrant families needlessly https://www.philly.com/news/nation-world/advocates-us-separate-migrant-families-mexico-20190221.html ‘Empire’ actor Smollett charged with filing false police report https://www.philly.com/news/nation-world/jussie-smollett-empire-suspect-false-report-grand-jury-hate-crime-brothers-20190220.html U.S. Supreme Court limits state and local authorities’ power to seize property, impose fines https://www.philly.com/news/supreme-court-civil-forfeiture-philadelphia-indiana-timbs-20190220.html W. Pa. district attorneys: High court ruling on asset forfeiture won’t have much impact in state https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2019/02/20/asset-forfeiture-constitution-u-s-supreme-court-eighth-amendment-zappala-vittone-lozier-drugs/stories/201902200145 West Virginia teachers are set to end their strike after a charter-schools bill expires https://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2019/02/20/West-Virginia-teachers-strike-schools-union-charter-lawmakers-education-bill/stories/201902200163 Did the 2017 tax law change the way Americans give to charities? Here’s what early data show. https://www.philly.com/business/charitable-giving-tax-law-changes-20190221.html

Natural Gas

Leaky Westmoreland County well will cost CNX millions of dollars https://www.post-gazette.com/business/powersource/2019/02/20/Leaky-well-cost-CNX-Westmoreland-flares-gas-pressure-Shaw/stories/201902200120 Compressor station may be coming to Fairmount Twp. https://www.citizensvoice.com/news/compressor-station-may-be-coming-to-fairmount-twp-1.2447983 Pipeline foes cry foul at ties of candidates for judge posts with Sunoco https://www.delcotimes.com/news/local/pipeline-foes-cry-foul-at-ties-of-candidates-for-judge/article_3bb0f3b8-3538-11e9-8e5b-cf7edee16b7c.html

Philly

K2, a potent synthetic drug, is on the rise in Philly, challenging police and outreach workers https://www.philly.com/news/k-drug-synthetic-cannabinoid-suburban-station-police-philadelphia-homeless-20190221.html Commissioners select new voting machines for Philly over criticism from advocates https://www.philly.com/politics/philadelphia/philly-new-voting-machines-paper-ballots-20190220.html With Philadelphia Housing Authority’s move to Sharswood, the struggle to revive Ridge Avenue begins | Inga Saffron https://www.philly.com/real-estate/inga-saffron/philadelphia-housing-authority-sharswood-ridge-avenue-supermarket-gentrification-20190221.html A mother gave her son life twice. A third time, she will need help to save him. | Mike Newall https://www.philly.com/news/columnists/judith-creed-horizons-for-adult-independence-kidneyjonah-jonah-selber-20190220.html With questionable signatures and a dubious will, a man lays claim to a dead woman’s house https://www.philly.com/news/deed-will-forged-house-theft-philadelphia-william-johnson-20190221.html Meet ‘Mayor Jim Kenney,’ a 25-year-old woman https://www.philly.com/news/philly-mayor-jim-kenney-correspondence-constituents-chamarra-mccrorey-20190220.html Mayor Kenney’s deleted texts a red flag for blurred lines | Editorial https://www.philly.com/opinion/editorials/philadelphia-mayor-kenney-texts-editorial-20190221.html Snow days suck for all parents — for some, they’re impossible | Perspective https://www.philly.com/opinion/commentary/snow-day-child-care-daycare-working-parents-20190220.html

Pitt

Growing up through the cracks: The children at the center of North Braddock’s storm https://www.post-gazette.com/local/east/2019/02/20/Growing-up-through-the-Cracks-North-Braddock-Great-Start-FBI/stories/201902200150 Synagogue massacre cited in hate-group report, which shows rising levels of hatred https://www.post-gazette.com/news/faith-religion/2019/02/20/Pittsburgh-Tree-of-Life-synagogue-massacre-Southern-Poverty-Law-Center-hate-groups-crimes/stories/201902200072 Shop’n Save in Hill District will close next month https://www.post-gazette.com/business/pittsburgh-company-news/2019/02/20/Shop-n-Save-Hill-District-Pittsburgh-closing-Dollar-Bank-Hill-House-march-2019/stories/201902200109 Mon Incline to remain closed 6-8 weeks for wall repair https://www.post-gazette.com/news/transportation/2019/02/20/Monongahela-Mon-Incline-Pittsburgh-closed-wall-repairs-Port-Authority/stories/201902200131 Wife of rabbi who survived Tree of Life shooting opposes death penalty https://triblive.com/news/pittsburgh-allegheny/wife-of-rabbi-who-survived-tree-of-life-shooting-opposes-death-penalty/ Designs unveiled for $1.1 billion Pittsburgh airport terminal https://triblive.com/news/pittsburgh-allegheny/designs-unveiled-for-1-1-billion-pittsburgh-airport-terminal/ Bugs, robots and brain games are choices at Carnegie Science Center’s Summer Science Camps https://triblive.com/news/pittsburgh-allegheny/bugs-robots-and-brain-games-are-choices-at-carnegie-science-centers-summer-science-camps/ Lawrence Kaplan, longtime Allegheny County Family Division judge, dies at 90 https://triblive.com/news/pittsburgh-allegheny/lawrence-kaplan-longtime-allegheny-county-family-division-judge-dies-at-90/ Highlands renews air monitoring agreement with Allegheny County https://triblive.com/news/valley-news-dispatch/highlands-renews-air-monitoring-agreement-with-allegheny-county/

State News

What can police do when racist pamphlets are distributed? https://www.philly.com/news/police-actions-free-speech-racist-anti-semitic-fliers-20190220.html Should Pa. sue Trump over national emergency declaration? Democratic states are split. https://www.philly.com/news/trump-national-emergency-pa-josh-shapiro-lawsuit-20190220.html State awards $1.2M for regional stream, storm water projects https://triblive.com/news/regional/state-awards-1-2m-for-regional-stream-storm-water-projects/ Southern Poverty Law Center counts 36 active hate groups in Pennsylvania in 2018 https://www.pennlive.com/news/2019/02/southern-poverty-law-center-counts-36-active-hate-groups-in-pennsylvania-in-2018.html Jordan Spieth calls on his father, a Saucon Valley grad, to step in as caddy https://www.mcall.com/sports/golf/mc-spt-shawn-spieth-caddy-20190220-story.html Will eating a ‘zombie deer’ make you a zombie human? Know the facts about CWD https://www.ydr.com/story/news/2019/02/20/eating-zombie-deer-make-you-zombie-human-know-facts-cwd/2926716002/

Transportation

Lower summer gas prices expected in Allegheny County after regulation change https://triblive.com/news/pittsburgh-allegheny/lower-summer-gas-prices-expected-in-allegheny-county-after-regulation-change/ Editorial: Better habits among drivers make road safer for all https://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/better-habits-among-drivers-make-road-safer-for-all

Washington

Pelosi says House will vote on resolution opposing Trump’s emergency declaration https://www.philly.com/politics/nancy-pelosi-house-vote-resolution-trump-emergency-declaration-20190221.html Rep. Brendan Boyle steps into radical territory by backing New Green Deal | Dom Giordano https://www.philly.com/opinion/commentary/brendan-boyle-new-green-deal-20190221.html Fitzpatrick tackles local worries in ‘State of Nation’ https://www.theintell.com/news/20190220/fitzpatrick-tackles-local-worries-in-state-of-nation