WEATHER: Philadelphia: partly sunny, high of 67; Harrisburg: sunny, high of 67; Pittsburgh: rain, high of 66.
FROM CITY & STATE:
* What do Bruce Springsteen and the start of Pennsylvania’s election audits have in common? Just another roll of the dice. To kick off the state’s post-election audit of this month’s general election, Department of State staff rolled 20 ten-sided dice to create a “seed number” used to randomly select batches of ballots to audit.
* In this week’s Winners & Losers, we saw a bipartisan group of senators come together against sexual harassment, a county lose its sixth elections director in three years and more.
NEW THIS MORNING:
* The Republican primary for Pennsylvania attorney general, already a messy affair, will add a new contender come Monday – when Katayoun “Kat” Copeland, a career prosecutor and former Delaware County district attorney, is expected to declare her candidacy, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
* Following the arrest of DuBois City Manager Herm Suplizio, Spotlight PA attended the city’s public meetings, filed public records requests seeking a wide range of financial records that illustrated the inner workings of DuBois, and spoke with dozens of residents, elected officials, local business owners, community organizers, and nonprofit organizations.
* Several leading Pennsylvania universities that receive millions of dollars in state aid must publicly disclose more records about their finances, employment and operations, under legislation signed yesterday by Gov. Josh Shapiro, The Associated Press reports.
* In what the American Civil Liberties Union is calling a “victory for free speech and religious liberty,” the Satanic Temple will collect $200,000 from a school district that previously refused to allow the "After School Satan Club" to meet on school grounds, LehighValleyNews reports.
* Gov. Josh Shapiro nominated new members this week to the state board responsible for reviewing charter school appeals, shaking up the little-known panel with a move that could potentially lead to more school choice options in the state, the Inquirer reports.
* Democrats who will take control of the Central Bucks school board next month are looking to challenge the $700,000 buyout the current GOP majority awarded to Superintendent Abram Lucabaugh in an abrupt severance deal earlier this week, the Inquirer reports.
* More than 20 states in the U.S., including Pennsylvania and Delaware, used a COVID-19 smartphone app to track potential exposure. Experts say around 10% of the entire U.S. population downloaded similar apps – not enough for these apps to be broadly effective, WHYY reports.
* At a public meeting the Sixers held last night to answer questions about the team’s proposed arena next to Philadelphia’s Chinatown, some protesters initially were kicked out for holding up critical signs, the Inquirer reports.
* Black teachers in Allegheny County are facing heavier workloads, feelings of isolation and racial microaggressions from their peers – all factors that could help explain why the number of Black teachers in the county is sharply declining, WESA reports.
* Sara Innamorato was elected as Allegheny County Executive just last week. But winning a grueling race in which she was badly outspent, and triumphed by a razor-thin 2 percentage points, might have been the easy part. Especially when it comes to one of the most contentious issues during the campaign: property tax reassessment, WESA reports.
* The Inquirer writes that moving bus operations away from the heart of Center City makes the failure of city government less visible, if no less appalling.
* LancasterOnline has an op-ed from Daron Dorsey, executive director of the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers, who writes that unregulated “skill games” are infesting Pennsylvania, luring unsuspecting players into an unchecked, unfair and ultimately harmful environment.
* The academic achievement of millions of American students faltered during the pandemic – and in many cases, has not recovered three years later. The latest data on student attendance offers one explanation: Far more students are missing many days of school compared with before the pandemic, The New York Times reports.
* A state appeals court judge yesterday temporarily lifted a gag order that barred Donald Trump from speaking about the staff of the judge overseeing an ongoing $250 million civil fraud trial against the former president, Politico reports.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: To state Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa … to former U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey … to former Gov. Tom Wolf … and to Fletcher McClellan, professor of political science at Elizabethtown College … on Saturday, to Auditor General Tim DeFoor … and on Sunday, to Marla Gold, former chief wellness officer and senior vice provost of community health at Drexel University… Want to wish someone a happy birthday in our newsletter? Email their name, job title and upcoming birthday to firstname.lastname@example.org.
10 a.m. – The House Appropriations and Education Committees hold a joint public hearing on the Pennsylvania Education Tour, Penn Wood High School, Cypress Street Campus, 600 Cypress St., Yeadon.
12:30 p.m. – Pittsburgh City Council meets for a briefing on the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority, Council Chambers.
1 p.m. – Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney will join Sen. Vincent Hughes, fellow elected officials and local leaders to celebrate $98 million in grants awarded through the Housing Options Grant Program administered by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, Cloisters III, 3900 Haverford Ave., Philadelphia.
“I think they recognize that calling it the After School Satan Club could be controversial, but the point that they're making is that look, if you are going to allow a Christian clubs to meet, and you got to allow all faiths and no faiths be able to meet on the same terms.” – Sara Rose, deputy legal director for the ACLU of Pennsylvania, via LehighValleyNews
NEXT STORY: First Read PA – Nov. 16, 2023