WEATHER: Philadelphia: mostly sunny, high of 80; Harrisburg: partly cloudy, high of 82; Pittsburgh: mostly sunny, high of 82.
NEW THIS MORNING:
* Pennsylvania Senate Democrats on Thursday renewed their call for Sen. Daylin Leach to resign, after an investigation they commissioned concluded that Leach engaged in workplace humor that was at times “unquestionably sexual in nature” but that his conduct fell short of violating federal discrimination law, the Inquirer writes.
* The Pennsylvania State Police, the third-largest statewide law enforcement agency in the country, has stopped collecting data on the race of drivers its troopers pull over, making it far more difficult to detect bias. The change, which was never publicly announced, was made in 2012 and has remained in place despite national attention on race and policing in recent years and the widely accepted value of collecting such data for analysis, Spotlight PA reports.
* Philadelphia City Councilmember Kenyatta Johnson is under federal investigation, WHYY reports.
* Eighteen agents who investigate violent gun crimes for the Pennsylvania attorney general's office each cashed $12,500 taxpayer-funded checks last year to settle claims they had been subject to harassment because of their age, The Associated Press reports.
* Philadelphia City Commissioner Anthony Clark claims that he is being retaliated against by Commissioner Lisa Deeley for his opposition to the controversial selection of new voting machines, the Inquirer reports.
* In the latest development in the 18-month battle between child safety advocates and landlords over a lead abatement bill, Philadelphia City Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown on Thursday amended the legislation to make it more palatable to property owners, the Inquirer reports.
* A five-day negotiating session that concluded on Wednesday produced an agreement in principle with the 5,000 faculty members who teach at the 14 State System of Higher Education universities that if ratified, ensures four years of labor peace, the Patriot-News writes.
* U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Pennsylvania House Speaker Mike Turzai, R-Allegheny toured Harrisburg Catholic Elementary School, a stone’s throw from the Capitol building, before plugging a plan to get students out of the troubled city school district and into private schools, the Capital-Star reports.
* Legislation to cut taxes for manufacturers who use methane to make fertilizer or petrochemicals is on its way to Pennsylvania’s Senate after a positive vote in the state House of Representatives, the AP reports.
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* The Daily News’ Will Bunch wants to know: Is Pennsylvania ready for a Democratic president to ban fracking in the state and the rest of the country?
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10 a.m. - Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney will deliver remarks at the graduation ceremony for Police Academy Class #389. Temple University's Performing Arts Center, 1837 N. Broad St., Philadelphia.
11 a.m. - the PA Senate Democratic Policy Committee will meet. Upper Providence Township Building, 1286 Black Rock Road, Phoenixville.
1 p.m. - Mayor Kenney will deliver remarks at an event to highlight the Rebuild Workforce Development Program. This program recruits candidates for union apprenticeships, working on Rebuild projects in neighborhood parks, recreation centers, and libraries. Mayor's Reception Room, City Hall, Room 202, Philadelphia.
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KICKER: “A guy like him gives us a real bad name. Elected officials, we really do work.” – Former Congressman and current Democratic City Committee head Bob Brady pooh-poohs City Commissioner Clark’s claims of retaliation by fellow Commissioner Lisa Deeley. From the Inquirer.
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