WEATHER: Philadelphia, cloudy, high of 57; Harrisburg, cloudy, high of 56; Pittsburgh, a.m. rain, high of 46.

NEW THIS MORNING:

* Online retail giant Amazon.com Inc. has warned Philadelphia officials behind closed doors that a proposal to ban so-called cashless stores would affect the company’s plans to open a brick-and-mortar location here, city officials said Thursday, the Inquirer writes.

* Eleven Delaware County Republicans have expressed interest in running for county-level offices; GOP committee members will reconvene on Monday to make their selections, the Daily Times reports.

* The state Supreme Court will delay considering a controversial change in the rules for medical malpractice cases until after a state committee studies the impact, the Patriot-News reports.

* Billy Penn has an explainer on why it’s near impossible for challengers to unseat an incumbent member of Philadelphia City Council.

* Philadelphia Magazine digs deep into the controversial procurement process for Philadelphia’s new voting machines – and the fallout accompanying the effort.

* The Philadelphia GOP voted to back North Philadelphia ward leader Daphne Goggins over two rivals for the party’s nomination to run against incumbent Mayor Jim Kenney, although fellow Republican hopeful William Ciancaglini said he would still run in the primary, the Tribune reports.

* Indicted Philadelphia City Councilman Bobby Henon has drawn two challengers for his 6th District seat, WHYY reports.

* Philadelphia landlords who go soft on bedbugs could face stiff penalties under a new bill proposed by City Councilman Mark Squilla, WHYY reports.

* Sources say that former Lt. Gov. Mike Stack, who was replaced in favor of John Fetterman on last year’s Democratic gubernatorial ticket, will run for a Philadelphia City Council seat, the Inquirer reports.

* The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced in Philadelphia it will begin the process of setting maximum contaminant limits for PFOA and PFOS, two toxic chemicals that are linked to cancer and other illnesses and are widespread in drinking water and soil, WITF reports.

* Gov. Tom Wolf and PA Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding outlined a $24 million aid package to help farmers with environmental practices, rollbacks of restrictive regulations and a focus on organic products, LancasterOnline reports.

 

EDITORIAL PAGES:

* The Morning Call has an op-ed by US Sen. Bob Casey, who writes that on the one-year anniversary of the Parkland shooting massacre, it is time to pass gun control reform.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: … PA Rep. Stephen McCarter (2/16) … Want to wish someone a happy birthday in our newsletter? Email us their name, job title and upcoming birthday to editor@cityandstatepa.com

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KICKER: “Councilmanic prerogative strikes fear into the hearts of a lot of people. I have a conversation 10 times a day that’s like, ‘You’re great, I’d love to support you, but I can’t be on your campaign finance report.’” – Lauren Vidas, who’s challenging District 2 Councilman Kenyatta Johnson in the May primary. From Billy Penn.

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