State Senator John Gordner Resigns
In a brief message posted on his website, state Senator John Gordner of Pennsylvania’s 27th District — which includes parts of Columbia, Luzerne, Montour, Northumberland, and Snyder Counties — announced that he will be resigning his current position effective November 30, 2022 to serve as Counsel to incoming Senate President Pro Tempore Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland).
State Republicans Evaluate Next Steps After “Red Wave” Fails to Materialize
With Democrats claiming a majority in the state House for the first time in more than a decade and capturing key competitive state Senate seats, Pennsylvania Republicans are now faced with the decision over where the party should go from here. PennLive has more.
Four New Philadelphia City Council Members Sworn In
Four new Councilmembers were sworn in this morning to serve out the remaining 13 months of the current legislative term. They filled vacancies that were opened by former City Councilmembers who launched bids for mayor. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.
Center City Retail Occupancy, Foot Traffic Rates Near Pre-Pandemic Levels
A new report released by Center City District last week claims that retail occupancy and foot traffic in the area have increased to near-pre-pandemic levels. The organization’s data shows that foot traffic in Center City is now at about 77% of what it was in October 2019, which represents a more than 100% increase from this time last year, while 80.5% of storefronts are open, representing a 54.5% increase since June 2020. Both figures bode well for the local economy and public safety. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.
Harrisburg Awarded $5 Million Small-Business Tax Credit to M. Night Shyamalan
Last summer, Pennsylvania lawmakers increased its film tax credit by 43% to $1 million, and set aside an additional $5 million, with the intent of awarding the funding to small companies based in the commonwealth rather than the big Hollywood studios that typically reap the benefit. However, to the dismay of some, the entire $5 million tax credit was awarded to the Berwyn-based studio owned by M. Night Shyamalan, arguably the region’s most notable filmmaker, for his upcoming film, Knock at the Cabin. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.
T. Milton Street Sr. Passes Away at 83
Local activist and politician Thomas Milton Street Sr. died Monday at the age of 83, according to his nephew, state Senator Sharif Street. The brother of Philadelphia’s 97th Mayor, John Street, Mr. Street was best known for his dedication to combating poverty and homelessness. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.
Pittsburgh Area Posts Record-Low Unemployment Rate Heading Into the Holiday Season
The seven-county region that includes Pittsburgh and its surrounding areas has recorded a record unemployment low, temporarily staving off worries of the impact of inflation on the region’s economy. This includes an increase of both the workforce itself, as well as average weekly wages, which have increased by nearly 5% compared to this time last year. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has more.
Ongoing Infrastructure Projects Close Several Stretches of Bike Trails in Pittsburgh Area
Ongoing infrastructural work has recently impeded Pittsburgh cyclists’ access to the Three Rivers Heritage and Great Allegheny Passage trail system. The projects, which include a major Alcosan project to construct tunnels that will capture wet weather combined sewer overflows and a nearby correction to a drainage problem, are expected to be completed by the end of the year. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has more.
Majority of Americans Have Had COVID-19 Infection at Least Once
A new study conducted by Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that the vast majority of Americans —a staggering 94% — have been infected with COVID-19 at least once since the pandemic began in late 2019. This is due in large part to the surge of the omicron variant earlier this year, as well as relatively low rates of booster shots compared to earlier on in the pandemic. The study concluded that the increase in the number of previously infected people has resulted in a similar increase in the number of people with some amount of protection from new infections. PennLive has more.