Standard Operating Temperature Lowered for Pennsylvania Crematories

Crematory

Pennsylvania crematories can officially lower standard operating temperatures to save money and reduce environmental emissions.

Gov. Josh Shapiro signed the legislation Monday, which drops the temperature from 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit to 1,600 degrees. The small change garners big results, according to the funeral industry.

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Pennsylvania Plan for Agency on Alzheimer’s Disease Support Moves Forward

Pennsylvania State Rep. Maureen Madden

Reform on Alzheimer’s Disease and similar conditions took another step toward the Pennsylvania governor’s desk last week.

Leaders in the House Aging and Older Adult Services Committee hope to build momentum behind the issue after a plan laid out in 2014 to address the many obstacles facing those seeking care has largely fallen flat.

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Pennsylvania’s Education Reform Recap

Children in a classroom

Both legislative chambers left town this week after advancing sweeping educational reforms likely to wind up – in some form – woven into the state budget due June 30.

While the plans don’t necessarily clash, Senate and House leaders do. The ideological strife will boil down to the estimated return on investment.

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New Pennsylvania Proposal Doubles Down Against ‘Squatter’s Rights’

Senator Dan Laughlin

Pennsylvania tenants and homeowners may soon get clear legislative guidance overcoming improperly claimed “squatter’s rights.”

On Wednesday, the state Senate OK’d a clear outline for property owners to remove squatters who have claimed rights to a dwelling that conflicts with state law.

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Unorthodox Pennsylvania Program Challenges Traditional School Curriculum

Students enrolled in the Total Learning Experience program

An unorthodox learning program percolating across Pennsylvania schools infuses business innovation into traditional curriculum, leaving lawmakers split on its effectiveness.

Dr. Adelle Schade, founder of the Total Learning Experience, told a joint Senate committee on Tuesday about how she “reimagined” school curriculum to help students “win at capitalism.”

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Trump Leads Biden by Two Percent in Pennsylvania: Poll

Donald Trump and Joe Biden

Former President Donald Trump holds a narrow lead over President Joe Biden in battleground Pennsylvania, according to a recent survey.

In the latest Marist poll, Trump led with 47% support among registered voters in the Keystone State to Biden’s 45%. A further 3% opted for independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., while fellow independent Cornel West and the Green Party’s Jill Stein each received 1%.

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Pennsylvania Charter Schools Hit Hard in Proposed Funding Formula

Dr. Anne Clark

A bill altering the state’s public school funding formula passed the lower chamber Monday, spawning both fanfare and consternation among lawmakers.

While supporters call the plan a victory for students held back by economic disparities, critics point out that 64 of the bill’s 87 pages focus on cutting financial support and tightening regulations for charter schools to save money.

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Push for Local Tourism Districts Advance in Pennsylvania House

Johnny Cepeda-Freytiz and Donna Oberlander

Some Pennsylvania legislators want to give tourism activity a boost, adding a formal process for municipalities to develop specific areas.

The idea is that formalizing tourism improvement districts could give towns a way to levy a hotel tax to fund marketing and brand development.

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Pennsylvania Zoning Restrictions Debated in Committee Hearing

Home Construction

When questions on land use arise in the General Assembly, Pennsylvania politicians play a game of role reversal. Republicans, generally quicker to defend the free market, stand up for local government control, while Democrats tell of the virtues of the market at work and the dangers of government heavy-handedness.

So it was in the House Local Government Committee hearing on Wednesday as Democratic Rep. Josh Siegel, D-Allentown, proposed the removal of zoning restrictions and Republican Reps. Jack Rader, R-Effort, and R. Lee James, R-Seneca, defended the power of zoning officials.

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Pennsylvania Democrat Claims Buying Israel Bonds Risky Due to Gaza War, Hackers

Eric McClelland

Erin McClelland, the Democratic nominee to become the next Pennsylvania Treasurer, raised concerns about foreign policy, credit worthiness and hackers to explain why she would not use state money to buy Israel Bonds in remarks published Tuesday.

McClelland won her party’s nomination after establishing herself the only candidate opposed to Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity’s decision to purchase $20 million in Israel Bonds, and in remarks to the Pittsburgh Jewish Chronicle, claimed Garrity and other Republicans are inappropriately taking sides in a foreign conflict while neglecting financial and security ris

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Math Professor Fired After Criticizing Slavery Reparations Continues Legal Battle Pennsylvania College

Saint Joseph's University campus

A math professor’s two-year-old lawsuit against Saint Joseph’s University, filed in the wake of controversy over his social media posts criticizing slavery reparations and other comments, continues to wind its way through the court system.

Gregory Manco sued the institution he taught at for nearly two decades, as well as coached baseball for, alleging some administrators conspired with a few left-leaning alumni to effectively “cancel” him over tweets that ran afoul of progressive dogma.

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One Pro-Palestine Protester Arrested at New Anti-Israel Encampment at University of Pittsburgh

University of Pittsburgh protesters

One pro-Palestine protestor was arrested on Sunday night after a new anti-Israel encampment was constructed at the University of Pittsburgh earlier that day.

The Office of Safety and Emergency Management at Pitt has confirmed on Sunday evening that the Cathedral of Learning remained “closed until further notice” on Monday due to “a protest in the vicinity” of the building.

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Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Claims Guilty ‘Verdict Reflects’ Justice in New York Trump Trial

Sen. Bob Casey, Donald Trump

Senator Bob Casey claimed in Saturday remarks that the guilty verdict reached by a New York jury in former President Donald Trump’s controversial hush money trial accurately reflects the country’s justice system.

Casey initially held his silence on the outcome of the trial after the jury found Trump guilty on 32 felony counts, with Go Erie reporting on Friday, “Casey did not immediately issue a public statement on the conviction.”

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Elder Financial Abuse Protections on Pennsylvania Legislative Radar

Old Person on computer

Pennsylvania’s aging population means more residents will be at risk of elder abuse.

That’s why lawmakers want to rework some rules to make it easier for banks to flag suspicious activity and alert law enforcement or trusted loved ones.

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Reuters Anti-Trump Propaganda Begins in Pennsylvania

The global news organization Reuters claimed on Friday that women voters in Pennsylvania may now have second thoughts about voting for former President Donald Trump after he was convicted in the controversial New York hush money trial on Thursday.

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Philadelphia DA’s Office Gave Free Consultations to Migrants Charged with Violent Crimes, Docs Show

Larry Krasner

Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner’s office provided free consultations and legal assistance to migrants charged with violent felonies in 2023, documents reveal.

The taxpayer-funded consultations were provided to migrants charged with various heinous crimes, such as rape, robbery, strangulation, aggravated assault and homicide by vehicle, in an ostensible effort to help them avoid convictions that would lead to their deportation, documents obtained by the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) reveal. Krasner created the immigration counsel position in 2018 to provide the consultations and work on cases involving migrants.

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Pro-McCormick Group Reserves $30 Million Ad Buy in Pennsylvania amid Tight Polls Against Sen. Bob Casey

Bob Casey Dave McCormick

A super PAC supporting Pennsylvania U.S. Senate nominee Dave McCormick reserved $30 million in television advertising following the release of polling showing the Republican gaining ground on Senator Bob Casey (D-PA).

The New York Times confirmed the advertising reservation on Thursday. The newspaper reported that a pro-McCormick Keystone Renewal PAC spokesman stated it “is all in to elect David McCormick to the U.S. Senate” and described Casey as aligned with President Joe Biden’s “left-wing agenda.”

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Biden Support Craters Among Arab Voters in Pennsylvania over President’s Handling of Israel-Hamas War in Gaza

Palestine Protesters

Support among Arab voters in Pennsylvania for the campaign to reelect President Joe Biden has collapsed, with former President Donald Trump now polling higher with the demographic, according to polling data released Thursday.

The poll included “900 Arab voters in four key states: Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Virginia,” according to the Arab American Institute, which commissioned the poll.

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Biden Launches Outreach Effort to Black Voters in Philadelphia Speech Following Trump Rally in South Bronx

Joe Biden

President Joe Biden on Wednesday began a campaign tour to reach black voters with an event at Girard College in Philadelphia.

Biden began his minority outreach efforts with remarks alongside Vice President Kamala Harris at Girard College, the Philadelphia-based private, independent boarding school for “academically capable students” who are from “families with limited financial resources.”

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John Fetterman Campaign Donates to Pennsylvania Treasurer Nominee Despite Apparent Disagreement over Israel

John Fetterman PA Treasurer Candidate

The political campaign committee for Senator John Fetterman (D-PA) donated $1,000 to Erin McClelland, the Democratic nominee for Pennsylvania Treasurer who said she would not have invested in Israeli Bonds after the October 7 terrorist attacks by Hamas.

While Republican Pennsylvania Treasurer Stacy Garrity reportedly has more than $700,000 heading into the general election, Spotlight PA reported McClelland only has about $67,000.

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Pennsylvania Bill Would Name Group Opposed to School Choice Vouchers as Sole Agency Capable of Training Directors

School with students learning

Legislation that passed the Pennsylvania House of Representatives would name the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA) the only entity capable of training school directors, even though the organization has seemingly adopted political positions on school choice and charter schools.

While PSBA is currently the only agency approved by Pennsylvania to provide training for school directors, a Broad and Liberty report notes that HB 1743 would codify its monopoly status into law.

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Pennsylvania Has Received over $20 Million in Presidential Campaign Spending from Biden, Trump for 2024 Election

Donald Trump and President Joe Biden in front of Pennsylvania State Capitol building (composite image)

Former President Donald Trump, President Joe Biden and political action committees supporting the candidates have spent more than $20 million in Pennsylvania so far, with the Keystone State so far the recipient of more political advertising than any other battleground state.

A National Public Radio analysis of campaign spending published Sunday found the major presidential campaigns have spent more than $72.1 million so far. Of that money, $21.2 million has been spent in Pennsylvania, meaning about 30 percent of presidential campaign money has been spent in the commonwealth.

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Pennsylvania House Passes Bill Offering Tax Credits to Businesses Covering Employee Child Care

Pennsylvania Sate Rep. Morgan Cephas with Pennsylvania State Rep. Liz Hanbig (composite image)

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives approved legislation that would provide tax credits to businesses that cover childcare costs for employees, with employers able to offset up to 30 percent of the costs.

HB 1958, also known as Incentivizing Employer Contributions to Employee Childcare, passed the Pennsylvania House last Wednesday with 155 votes in favor and 47 against.

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Secretaries of State from Arizona, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia Claim AI ‘Disinformation’ Top Threat in 2024

Meet the Press w Georgia, Arizona, Pennsylvania and Michigan Secretaries of State

Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes on Sunday joined a number of his counterparts from other states for a Meet the Press panel discussion, and the top state election official claimed that artificial intelligence (AI) will pose new “mis- and disinformation” threats during the 2024 elections.

Fontes told Meet the Press host Kristen Walker, “AI is not a new weapon. It’s an amplifier and a magnifier of mis- and disinformation,” and revealed that his office held a “tabletop exercise” that apparently involved both election officials and members of the media.

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Dave McCormick Completes 67-County Tour of Pennsylvania After Sen. Bob Casey Claimed to Visit ‘Every County, Every Year’

Dave McCormick

Republican U.S. Senate nominee Dave McCormick on Friday completed campaign stops in every county in Pennsylvania, according to his campaign.

The McCormick campaign reported the Republican “officially visited all 67 counties in Pennsylvania after a stop at Goodfella’s Pizza in Matamoras, Pike County.”

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First-Time Home Buyers in Pennsylvania May Soon Get Help from State Government

New Home Owners

First-time home buyers in Pennsylvania may soon get help from the state government.

Two bills cleared a joint House committee on Tuesday meant to make it easier for buyers just entering the market as record-high housing prices push the dream out of reach for many.

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Drexel Anti-Israel Encampment Dissolves as University Calls Philadelphia Police

Protesters Leaving After Police Come to Drexel University

The anti-Israel encampment at Drexel University disbanded early on Thursday after President John Fry asked the Philadelphia Police Department to assist with clearing the protestors.

After Fry warned protestors the university planned to act shortly before 5 a.m., the encampment was reportedly cleared by noon, with law enforcement telling 6 ABC that protestors “picked up their belongings for the most part and left by their own free will,” and evidence suggested police would “be able to complete this operation without having to make any arrests, any use of force, anything of that nature.”

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Drexel Students Learn Virtually as Anti-Israel Protestors Demand University ‘Terminate’ Jewish Organizations

Drexel Students for Justice Palestine

Drexel University continues to instruct students virtually on Wednesday after campus buildings were closed or locked down following the establishment of an anti-Israel encampment. In addition to calls to divest from Israel, the activists have demanded the university “[i]mmediately terminate” its chapters of the Chabad and Hillel Jewish community organizations.

Classes at Drexel were virtual for the fourth consecutive day, according to Fox 29. The outlet reported that members of the encampment told the outlet they “will continue to disrupt until Drexel University meets our demands.”

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Dave McCormick Campaign Resurfaces 2006 Video of Sen. Bob Casey Warning Politicians Who Fail to Secure Border Owe Voters ‘Lot of Explaining’

Bob Casey

Republican U.S. Senate nominee Dave McCormick resurfaced on Tuesday an 18-year-old video that features Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) warn longtime politicians who are unable to secure the U.S.-Mexico border should prepare to offer “a lot of explaining” to their constituents.

The McCormick campaign explained the video was recorded in 2006, when Casey was campaigning against former Senator Rick Santorum.

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‘Diverse Erie’ DEI Committee Excluded Pennsylvanians from $300,000 Grant Dispersal Based on Race

Diverse Erie

Diverse Erie, formerly known as the Erie County Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Commission, on Friday distributed $300,000 in federal grant money.

The organization restricted the money to individuals that are part of the “BIPOC community,” which includes black, indigenous and all people of color, indicating only whites were precluded from applying for the funds.

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Drexel University President Vows Zero Tolerance for ‘Harassment or Intimidation’ After Construction of Anti-Israel Encampment

Drexel University President John Fry

Drexel University President John Fry said in a Saturday statement that harassment, intimidation and other antisocial behavior will not be tolerated following the formation of an anti-Israel encampment on the university’s campus.

An encampment was constructed on Saturday at the Philadelphia campus of Drexel. Those involved with the anti-Israel protest have reportedly claimed they intend to “keep it peaceful.”

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Pennsylvania Democrats Lose Voters to Republicans, See Lower Gains Despite Automatic Voter Registration

Voting Line

Voter registration reveals Republicans continue to gain ground in Pennsylvania, with Democrats losing a number of registered voters to the opposing party, a Monday report citing Pennsylvania Department of State data.

The Republican Party of Pennsylvania (PAGOP) between the end of March and May 13, gained 10,152 new registered voters, according to Politics PA.

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Homeless from Encampment Moved to Side Streets After Philadelphia Cleared Kensington, Report Claims

While the City of Philadelphia cleared the homeless encampment from Kensington Avenue on May 6, a report published Friday indicates those who previously lived there have relocated to side streets.

A Philadelphia media notice posted to the social media platform X confirms the city cleared the encampment, however the city also discouraged media from covering the process in a bid to “protect the privacy” of those being relocated.

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McCormick Campaign Declares Sen. Casey ‘Lost Touch with Pennsylvanians’ Following Report Democrat Falsely Claimed to Visit Every County

Dave McCormick and Bob Casey

The political campaign of Republican U.S. Senate nominee Dave McCormick on Thursday seized on a report indicating Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) misled voters about visiting every Pennsylvania county annually.

Casey claimed during a May 3 WCHE Morning Show appearance that he visits every county in Pennsylvania each year, with the Democrat reportedly declaring, “But the best way for me to deal with that is to stay engaged, to go to every county every year, basically, which is what I’ve done for years now.”

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Over 16,000 Philadelphia Democrats Chose Write-In Votes Over Biden During Primary, Including 416 Who Voted Trump

Data from Pennsylvania’s April primary election shows more than 16,000 Democrats in Philadelphia chose to write in a candidate rather than vote for President Joe Biden. Of those who wrote in a name, 416 cast their Democratic primary vote for former President Donald Trump.

Primary election data from Philadelphia, provided by the City Commissioners Office and first reported by NBC Philadelphia, reveals that 16,216 Democrats in the city cast a write-in vote for the April 23 primary election.

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Pennsylvania U.S. Senate Candidate Dave McCormick Unveils Plan to Move Department of Energy to Pittsburgh

Dave McCormick

Republican U.S. Senate nominee Dave McCormick on Tuesday announced a plan to “shake up” Washington, D.C. that will include relocating the Department of Energy (DOE) to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

McCormick on Tuesday stressed his two decades of experience in the private sector in an editorial published by Real Clear Pennsylvania. He confirmed his plans to achieve permanent change in Washington include moving federal agencies away from the capital.

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Pennsylvania National Guard Travel to Germany to Train Soldiers from Ukraine for War with Russia

PA national guard

The Pennsylvania National Guard confirmed on Wednesday the 26th Infantry Division of the 56th Stryker Brigade Combat Team is preparing to train soldiers from Ukraine at a military base in Germany.

A news article by the Pennsylvania Guard confirmed soldiers are “preparing for mobilization to the Joint Multinational Training Center to train the Armed Forces of Ukraine” on combat tactics in the German state Bavaria.

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School Panic Alarms May Come to Pennsylvania

School Hallway

Silent panic alarms may become the next line of defense for schools in Pennsylvania.

A bipartisan plan introduced in the Senate on Monday would mandate installing devices in buildings to speed up law enforcement response during an emergency. Five other states have implemented similar legislation, dubbed “Alyssa’s Law.”

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Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro Bans ‘Scandalous’ Conduct amid Israel-Hamas Debate, Months After Admin’s Sexual Harassment Settlement

Josh Shapiro

Governor Josh Shapiro introduced updates on May 8 to his administration’s code of conduct that prohibits “scandalous or disgraceful” acts from state employees, a Tuesday Spotlight PA report revealed.

The report noted that Shapiro quietly signed an executive order that changed his administration’s code of conduct for all state employees amid intense public debate over the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

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Two Pennsylvania Democrats Received Super Bowl Tickets from GOP Donor Who Recently Gave to Robert F. Kennedy

Staet Senator Jimmy Dillon, State Senator Marty Flynn

A new report reveals two Democratic state senators in Pennsylvania reported receiving Super Bowl tickets as gifts from a Lackawanna County insurance executive who regularly donates to Republicans but appears to have recently donated to independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy.

Citing public disclosures by Pennsylvania State Senators Marty Flynn (D-Lackawanna) and Jimmy Dillon (D-Philadelphia), Spotlight PA reported the senators attended the Super Bowl in 2023 with tickets furnished by Charles Volpe, the president of Excalibur Insurance Management Service.

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Pennsylvania Democrats Lose Voters to Republicans, See Lower Gains Despite Automatic Voter Registration

Voting Line

Voter registration reveals Republicans continue to gain ground in Pennsylvania, with Democrats losing a number of registered voters to the opposing party, a Monday report citing Pennsylvania Department of State data.

The Republican Party of Pennsylvania (PAGOP) between the end of March and May 13, gained 10,152 new registered voters, according to Politics PA.

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Penn Faculty, Students Break Down in Tears After Police Sweep Pro-Hamas Encampment

UPenn Students participating in a pro-Palestinian protest

After police from the University of Pennsylvania and the city of Philadelphia “disbanded” Penn’s pro-Hamas encampment Friday morning, assorted faculty and students later gathered at the city’s famous LOVE Statue to express their grief.

The Daily Pennsylvanian reports “several speakers and audience members” broke down in tears while describing scuffles with law enforcement.

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Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Declares it ‘Impossible’ to ‘Bring These Prices Down’

Sen. Bob Casey

Video surfaced on Friday of U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) declaring in a political event that it will be “impossible” to lower prices that have increased since President Joe Biden entered the White House.

“I’m not proposing that we’re going to be able to bring these prices down. That’s impossible,” Casey acknowledged in a video posted by Donald Trump Jr. to the social media platform X.

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Police Disperse Anti-Israel Encampment at University of Pennsylvania Despite Resistance from Faculty, Demonstrators

UPenn Protest Arrest

The University of Pennsylvania confirmed on Friday it called the Philadelphia Police Department to disperse the anti-Israel encampment constructed on its campus, declaring it a threat to public safety for students.

Signed by Interim President Larry Jameson, Provost John Jackson, and Senior Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli, the letter highlighted threats posed by the encampment to normal university operations, including commencement for graduating students.

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Sen. Bob Casey, Dave McCormick Release Dueling Ads amid Tight Polls in Pennsylvania U.S. Senate Race

Pennsylvania Senate Candidates

Both U.S. Senate nominee Dave McCormick and incumbent Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) released campaign ads on Thursday, with the Republican challenger calling his opponent “dangerous” and Casey highlighting his ties to steel workers.

The campaign advertisements dropped after three recent polls showed McCormick just four points behind Casey, placing the candidates in a statistical tie.

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Pennsylvania U.S. Senate Candidate Dave McCormick Reveals 500 Protesters Still at Penn Anti-Israel Encampment, Urges Admin to ‘Get Control’

Dave McCormick

Dave McCormick, Pennsylvania’s Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, estimated there are about 500 protesters who remain at at the anti-Israel encampment constructed at the University of Pennsylvania on Wednesday.

McCormick made the remarks following his visit to the Penn campus last week, telling The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show what he witnessed was a “disgrace” and a “travesty.”

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Pro-Gaza Protesters Declare UPenn ‘Antagonistic and Ableist’ amid Negotiations to End Anti-Israel Encampment

Pro-Palestine Protesters

University of Pennsylvania protesters supporting the anti-Israel encampment constructed at the university declared the university’s administration “nefarious” as well as “antagonistic and ableist” on Monday ahead of a third meeting between organizers and the university administrators.

In a social media post directed at the university, issued jointly by Penn student protest groups Up Against the Occupation and Drexel Palestine Coalition, made the claims about the university following an update on the institution’s anti-Israel encampment by Interim President Larry Johnson.

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Two Pennsylvania Polls Show Trump Beating Biden, McCormick Trailing Casey in Statistical Tie

Donald Trump Dave McCormick

Two polls of Pennsylvania voters released on Wednesday showed former President Donald Trump defeating President Joe Biden. They also showed a statistical tie in the race between U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and his Republican challenger Dave McCormick.

The Muhlenberg College poll released Wednesday found Trump has the support of 44 percent of Pennsylvania voters, giving him a four-point lead over Biden at 41 percent.

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Xylazine Criminalization Headed to Pennsylvania Governor’s Desk

Josh Shapiro

Xylazine, an animal tranquilizer expanding into the illicit drug market, will soon face more restrictions as Pennsylvania tries to combat overdoses and the social ills of drug abuse.

A bill championed by Rep. Carl Metzgar, R-Somerset, would make xylazine possession a felony offense while allowing it for veterinary purposes.

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Republican Party Files to Intervene in Pennsylvania Mail-In Ballot Case over Curing of Votes with No Security Sleeve

The Republican National Committee (RNC) and Republican Party of Pennsylvania (PAGOP) have filed to intervene in a Butler County lawsuit brought by two voters who want to enable the curing of mail-in ballots returned to election officials without a security sleeve.

The lawsuit was brought by two Pennsylvania voters who submitted mail-in ballots without the required security sleeve. According to their lawsuit, the voters apparently later sought to cure their ballots, but were instead allowed to cast provisional ballots that were ultimately not counted. They filed suit against the Butler County Board of Elections on April 29.

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