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WEATHER: Philadelphia, sunny, high of 55; Harrisburg, sunny, high of 56; Pittsburgh, partly cloudy, high of 59.



* An anonymous individual created fake petitions designed to create the illusion that former Vince Hughes staffer Ben Waxman was running for Philly City Controller.

* Check out this week’s top political Winners&Losers!



* Former Philly deputy DA Tariq El-Shabazz will announce his candidacy to succeed Seth Williams today, despite tax liens of almost $200,000, the Inquirer writes.

* Some beverage distributors told Bloomberg News that sales in Philadelphia were down nearly 50 percent following the enactment of a soda tax six weeks ago.

* Michelle Henry, a prosecutor who helped convict Kathleen Kane, landed a top slot in Josh Shapiro's new AG administration, reports the Inquirer.

* The Post-Gazette explores whether or not the GOP-dominated Legislature is deliberately “picking on” Philly after a raft of new bills were proposed to curb progressive laws in that city.

* Protesters marched in North Philadelphia to demand police reforms – injuring officers and burning an American flag in the process, according to CBS News.

* Philadelphia Magazine interviews Amber Hikes, the city’s new LGBT affairs director.

* Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney pointed to several preexisting library renovation projects as models of how the city’s upcoming “Rebuild” project could play out, according to the Inquirer

* Protestors are building an encampment in the path of the proposed Atlantic Sunrise pipeline in Lancaster, according to the Patriot News

* A new Pew study shows that Philly is home to 50,000 undocumented immigrants, WHYY reports.



* Gov. Tom Wolf’s evolving budget proposal would call for the elimination of state health centers, the Post-Gazette writes.

* PA Sen. Anthony Williams dressed up as Frederick Douglass to mock President Donald Trump, NBC-10 reports.

* The state Senate is considering legislation that would allow family members to involuntarily commit drug addicts to rehab, the Post-Gazette reports



The Fels Institute of Government: your path to public service

With such a dynamic public landscape, how do you make your mark? At the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government, students train to tackle the problems of the public sector while developing pathways to a career in public service. Fels Master of Public Administration programs provide a versatile toolkit for public leadership and management, while graduate-level Certificate programs hone skills in specialized public sector fields. Start down your path to service at our next Virtual Info Session on February 28 at 6 p.m.




* The Observer-Reporter tries to answer the vexing question of why PA has only produced one US president.

* The Citizens’ Voice wants Gov. Wolf and the Legislature to force municipal governments to consolidate operations as a way to both save money and offer better services.

* The Inquirer continues its series against gun violence in Philadelphia and the rest of PA with an alarming collection of statistics ranking the city and the state in terms of murders, gun laws, illegal guns and more.

* LancasterOnline goes beyond the headlines to provide first-hand observations on what refugees who immigrated to Lancaster County have gone through to get to the US.

* The Post-Gazette agrees with Allegheny County DA Stephen A. Zappala’s decision to have all felony charges signed off on by a prosecutor before being filed. 

* The Times-News finds no better summary of the issues facing Erie’s poorest citizens than the local United Way’s annual summit. 

* The Tribune-Democrat offers one solution to the increasingly dire fiscal straits that Cambria County finds itself in over the opioid crisis: more citizen involvement.


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KICKER: “Who had this much free time?” – An anonymous politico laments fake campaign materials created to frame state Rep. Brian Sims as a DA candidate and nonprofit director Ben Waxman as a Controller hopeful last week. From City&State PA.



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