WEATHER: Philadelphia, partly cloudy, high of 95; Harrisburg, partly cloudy, high of 95; Pittsburgh, p.m. thunderstorms, high of 90.

 

NEW FROM CITY&STATE:

* State Sen. Scott Wagner, a Republican delegate, said he’s personally buying “20,000 Trump lawn signs” to distribute in his York County district.

 

NEW THIS MORNING:

* In a growing PA Treasury investigation, Feds charged former PA treasurer Barbara Hafer with lying and millionaire Richard Ireland with bribery, reports the Tribune-Review.

* Former PA Supreme Court Justices Stephen Zappala and Ron Castille are suing over a ballot question to extend the retirement age for justices, writes the Post-Gazette.

* Prosecutors in Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s criminal trial want to bar suggestions that she was retaliated against for launching the “Porngate” scandal, writes the Inquirer.

* Republican PA Congressman Lou Barletta and Congressional candidate Brian Fitzpatrick praised Donald Trump’s nomination.

* Black elected officials in Pittsburgh, lead by state Rep. Ed Gainey, called for meetings to improve police-community relations, writes the Post-Gazette.

* Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney was added to the Democratic National Convention speaker list, along with other prominent local Dems, the Inquirer writes.

* Gov. Tom Wolf trumpeted the creation of 5,000 new Amazon jobs at the online retailer’s distribution centers in PA, according to the Inquirer.

* The Erie school district, faced with financial shortfalls, mulled a plan to shutter its high schools and bus students to the suburbs, writes Newsworks.

* The Department of Justice filed a discrimination suit against Bensalem Township for denying a building permit for a proposed mosque, the Inquirer reports.

 

THE PRESIDENTIAL RACE:

* Trump gave a dark and rambling acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, touching on a variety of crises facing America, writes the New York Times.

* But FactCheck.org found that Trump’s dire description of the country’s woes was systemically exagerrated or downright false.

* Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton is expected to make a VP pick on Saturday, with odds on VA Senator Tim Kaine, KTLA reports.

 

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Want a chance to get your brand out in front of NY and PA power brokers and the media? City & State is hosting “Cheesesteak vs. Cheesecake: a New York-Philly Food Fight” during the Democratic National Convention. The event, on Tuesday, July 26, from 2:30-4:30 p.m. at the Union League, will be co-hosted by Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA) and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), who will join a panel of political reporters, food critics and chefs to sample New York and Philadelphia’s most celebrated dishes. Members from NY’s and PA's DNC delegations will be present, as will other high-profile politicos and media figures. If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, reach out to David Alpher, dalpher@cityandstatepa.com

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EDITORIAL PAGES:

* One reason why the Intelligencer continues to devote so many editorials related to PA’s Sunshine Law: 25 of 29 municipal boards investigated by the paper broke it.

The Citizens’ Voice blasts Barbara Hafer, the latest PA pol to travel the well-worn path between the Capitol and a federal courthouse.

* A Daily News editorial outlines the many ways the Democratic National Convention needs to diverge from the just-ended Republican spectacle.

* Newsworks’ Dick Polman borrows a page from Factcheck.org and rebuts, refutes and rejects Trump’s speech, point by point.

* A Morning Call op-ed from Food & Water Watch’s Tara Zrinski outlines the progress made and hurdles to be faced – including making their voices heard at the DNC – by those opposed to fracking in PA.

* The Daily Times chimes in with the unsurprising view that the current brouhaha over preserving a tract of open space in Marple Township comes down to who can pay for it.

* The Times-News cheers the news that Voodoo brews will be coming to downtown Erie, now that City Council reversed itself to approve an easement for the brewpub – showing it may understand the importance of new downtown businesses.

* Answers are needed – stat, according to LancasterOnline – about how it is possible for Lancaster General Hospital to have been shut down for hours by mechanical failure.

* Another example of politicians ignoring the Sunshine Act comes courtesy of the Observer-Reporter’s story about the removal of a memorial marker in Cecil Township.

* As a pertussis resurgence widens, the Pocono Record calls on school districts to educate families on the importance of vaccinations.

 

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Want to wish someone a happy birthday in our newsletter? Email us their name, job title and upcoming birthday at editor@cityandstatepa.com 

 

TODAY’S SKED:

7 a.m. - Mayor Kenney and DNCC CEO Rev. Leah D. Daughtry will officially reveal the convention podium and set design for the first time to members of the press. Wells Fargo Center, 3601 S. Broad St., Philadelphia.

11 a.m. - Gov. Wolf will host a roundtable on maximizing opportunities for the Shell Cracker Plant. JLL Center at Tower Two-Sixty, 260 Forbes Avenue, Suite 1200, Pittsburgh.

3:30 p.m. - Gov. Wolf will discuss the 2016-2017 budget investment in opioid treatment and Centers of Excellence. SPHS CARE Center, 75 East Maiden Street, Suite 100, Washington.

 

No events are scheduled for the PA House, PA Senate or Philadelphia City Council.

 

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Want to advertise in First Read? 

Contact City & State PA Publisher David Alpher at dalpher@cityandstatepa.com for details. 

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KICKER: "There is simply no legitimate, relevant purpose to presenting evidence of pornography...Simply put, evidence of pornography can only be used in an attempt to confuse the issues and mislead the jury." – Prosecutor Kevin R. Steele tells a judge that porn is too distracting to allow references to the “Porngate” scandal in AG Kathleen Kane’s defense, at her criminal trial. From the Inquirer.