Democrats in Pennsylvania Feel Optimistic About Odds of Winning the House
While traditional wisdom holds that the political party in control of the White House typically loses ground during midterm elections, even in down-ballot races, some Democrats believe that this will be their year to take control of the Pennsylvania House for the first time in more than a decade. These predictions are due in large part to recently redistricted maps which will be in effect for the first time during the upcoming election. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.
Lieutenant Governor Fetterman and Attorney General Shapiro Continuing to Poll Well Despite Biden’s Low Approval Ratings
A new poll by Franklin & Marshall College released this week shows Democratic nominees for the U.S. Senate and governor ahead of their respective Republican opponents by a significant margin, despite low approval ratings for President Joe Biden among those polled. View the full findings here.
Vote Common Good Puts up Anti-Mastriano Billboards
Voters in and around Pittsburgh are being prompted by new billboards to “#VoteLikeYouPray” during the upcoming gubernatorial election. The four billboards, which were erected earlier this week, are the work of Vote Common Good, a progressive evangelical group that is urging Pennsylvanians not to vote for Republican candidate Doug Mastriano. Senator Mastriano has been derided by many as a Christian nationalist, though he and his campaign reject this characterization. PennLive has more.
State Government Committee Hearing Focuses on Cybersecurity Measures Throughout the State
At a Wednesday hearing, the House State Government Committee heard testimony from experts on the importance of strengthening cybersecurity measures for local and state governments across Pennsylvania. City & State PA has more.
Pennsylvania Officials Still Searching for Alternative to Tolls to Fund Bridge Repairs
Officials from the Department of Transportation and the Senate Transportation Committee are continuing to weigh different methods of funding repairs to nine major bridges now that tolling has been taken off the table. Options under consideration include a potential public-private partnership paid through a bond issue. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has more.
Masking and More: What Students, Parents, and Educators Can Expect This School Year
Philadelphia children will be returning to school on Monday for what Mayor Jim Kenney has termed “the most normal year we’ve had recently.” Students and staff will only need to wear masks for 10 days at the beginning of the school year, a decision which was informed by the Philadelphia Department of Public Health and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more on what to expect this school year.
Box of Guns Accidentally Delivered to Delaware County School
FedEx mistakenly delivered a box of six 30-caliber M1 rifles to Chester High School in Delaware County last week. The package was stored inside the school over the weekend, as school employees had assumed the unopened package contained textbooks and other school supplies. NBC10 has more.
Made in America Festival Returning to the Parkway
Jay-Z’s annual Made in America Festival will be returning to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway over Labor Day weekend, featuring performances by headliners Tyler, the Creator and Bad Bunny. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more on everything attendees need to know.
Philadelphia Doing Little Beyond Tracking COVID-19 in Wastewater
Like many cities, Philadelphia has resorted to tracking its rates of COVID-19 by using wastewater. However, while the city has been diligently collecting and recording the data, it is not currently being analyzed or utilized in any meaningful way. However, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health has stated their intent to share data with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention soon. The Philadelphia Inquirer has more.
Pittsburgh Has Spent Only a Fraction of Its ARPA Funds Thus Far
Pittsburgh received $335 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, but to date has spent about a quarter of it. While much of the funding has been earmarked for projects such as recreation center renovations, infrastructure repairs, and affordable housing initiatives, the city must spend all of its ARPA money by the end of 2024. PublicSource has more.
Moonshot Museum to Open in October
Pittsburgh’s Moonshot Museum, billed as Pennsylvania’s very first space museum, is set to open to the public on October 15. The museum is funded by Astrobotic, a local robotics company whose goal is to teach young people about the contemporary space industry and inspire them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.
University of Pittsburgh to Partner with Massachusetts-Based ElevateBio
The University of Pittsburgh has announced a new 30-year partnership with ElevateBio, a Massachusetts-based bio-manufacturing center, at the school’s Hazelwood Green development. The partnership is intended to accelerate new cell and gene therapies and treatments, and affirms Pittsburgh’s status as a rising technology hub. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has more.
Biden Administration to Cancel $10,000 in Student Loan Debt for Many Borrowers
On Wednesday, President Joe Biden’s administration announced that it would be canceling up to $20,000 in federal student loan debt for Pell Grant recipients and up to $10,000 for other borrowers with less than $125,000 in individual income and $250,000 in household income. The pause on student loan repayments has also been extended through the end of this year. The Pennsylvania Capital-Star has more.
Dr. Oz Could Be First Muslim to Serve in U.S. Senate; Some Muslims Feel Conflicted
No Muslim has ever served in the U.S. Senate, but this precedent could change if Dr. Mehmet Oz is elected. However, this is something that is rarely brought up on the campaign trail, either by the Republican candidate himself or his Democratic opponent, and not all Muslims see this as a potential win for representation. The Associated Press has more.