May 18th Playbook

Gov. Tom Wolf announces that coronavirus restrictions will be eased in 12 more counties. Here is the Playbook. 

May 15th Ups & Downs: President Donald Trump visits the Lehigh Valley, various social media posts from elected officials on the coronavirus pandemic receive backlash, plus a liquor reform bill unanimously passes the state Senate. All of that and more are in this week’s Ups and Downs.

Harrisburg & DC   
AP: Pandemic restrictions to ease in 12 Pennsylvania counties
AP: Court rejects lawsuit to delay mail-in ballot deadline
AP: Pennsylvania nurse union alleges continued rationing of PPE
AP: Pennsylvania judge accused of mishandling criminal cases
Patriot News: Pennsylvania coronavirus cases top 62,000
Patriot News: Pennsylvania launches program to extend unemployment pay for 13 weeks
Patriot News: Clock ticking on Pa. voter registration deadline ahead of primaries
Patriot News: Pa. hospitals say coronavirus killing them, state must become better ‘partner’
Spotlight PA: Pa. will allow 12 more counties to ease coronavirus restrictions; here’s what they are
Spotlight PA: With thousands of Pa. prisoners in near-solitary confinement, how long can coronavirus lockdown last?
Inquirer: From ‘Can I have your vote?’ to ‘How can I help?’ Coronavirus has transformed campaigning for the Pa. primary.
Inquirer: A pro-Trump super PAC is stepping up its advertising campaign against Joe Biden in Pennsylvania
Inquirer: Trump’s push to reopen Pennsylvania adds 2020 politics to a heated coronavirus debate 
Inquirer: Fact-checking Trump’s claim that Gov. Tom Wolf is keeping parts of Pa. closed that are ‘barely affected’ by coronavirus 
Inquirer: Pennsylvania Supreme Court dismisses lawsuit to extend absentee ballot deadlines because of the coronavirus 
Inquirer: As construction resumes, some workers are finding a shortage of recommended N95 masks 
Inquirer: Pennsylvania racetracks idling, wondering whether COVID-19 restrictions will empty tanks 
Inquirer: Gov. Wolf plans to veto a bill to reopen real estate throughout Pennsylvania 
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: The latest on COVID-19 in Pa.: 62,634 confirmed cases in 67 counties
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa. health chief says state is ‘doing well’ on contact tracing as counties reopen. But others fear we’re lagging
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: 12 more counties to reopen next week but caution still needed, Wolf says
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa.’s Wild, Lamb vote against $3T COVID-19 relief bill that’s been declared ‘dead on arrival’ in Senate
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Pa. Rep. Metcalfe calls for Wolf’s impeachment over COVID-19 response
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: And then there were six | Your guide to Pennsylvania’s auditor general primary
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: COVID-19 outbreak in Pa.: What’s open and what’s closed
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Want to vote in the Pa. primary? May 18 is your last day to register
Pennsylvania Capital-Star: Twelve more Pa. counties are set to reopen. What happens next? | Five for your weekend
KYW Newsradio: Pa. adds LGBT data collection to COVID-19 testing
PLSReporter: 12 more counties will see COVID-19 restrictions loosened on May 22, Wolf says
PLSReporter: COVID-19 has strained PennDOT’s budget, pushing it towards congestion pricing. What might that mean for the state?
WHYY Newsworks: Coronavirus update: Wolf announces a new batch of yellow counties, for a total of 49 
WHYY Newsworks: Child care centers in Pa.: bellwether for how tricky it will be to fully reopen economy
WESA: ‘Sophie’s Choice’ For Immigrant Families In PA: Separate Or Remain In Custody Indefinitely 
Fox News: ‘Reopen Pennsylvania’ founders deliver message to Dem governor after Trump visit: ‘Give up the power’
Fox News: Protesters rally in Pennsylvania capital against coronavirus restrictions: ‘Decisions by fiat’
Fox News: Former NY Times reporter bashes governors over coronavirus toll in nursing homes: ‘A lot to answer for’
Post-Gazette: Pennsylvania traffic deaths were the lowest on record in 2019 
National Journal: Allentown
National Journal: Opposition to Vote-by-Mail Could Hurt Trump in PA
York Dispatch: WOLF: Pa. not ready to make decision on Pocono
The Hill: $6.7 billion expected to be spent in 2020 campaign despite coronavirus: report
The Hill: COVID-19 now spreading fastest in small, rural counties
CNN: Biden campaign ramps up battleground operations and eyes a wide 2020 map
Reuters: In Pennsylvania, signs that Trump’s attacks on mail voting could backfire

Philadelphia 
KYW Newsradio: Philly officials report more progress in fight against COVID-19 as new cases, fatalities continue to decrease
KYW Newsradio: Wolf to lift restrictions in 12 more counties — none in Philadelphia region
KYW Newsradio: SEPTA emphasizes new rules as full city service returns
KYW Newsradio: Long-term care facilities work to keep residents connected while staying isolated
KYW Newsradio: Officials work to relocate dozens of homeless people from Philly airport by Friday 
Inquirer: From ‘Can I have your vote?’ to ‘How can I help?’ Coronavirus has transformed campaigning for the Pa. primary.
Inquirer: Former Philly congressman Chaka Fattah’s attempt to shorten his 10-year corruption sentence was shot down by an appeals court 
Inquirer: 10 weeks after the coronavirus pandemic reached Pa., more counties come out of total lockdown, while Philly region waits and watches case counts
Inquirer: ‘We can only do so much’? Here’s what experts say Pa., Philly can do to protect workers during the coronavirus. 
Inquirer: Pa. distributes second shipment of experimental coronavirus drug to hospitals; Wolf says he’s ‘certainly not going to the beach’ as Shore looks to reopen 
Inquirer: Philly’s food trucks hope to roll again — perhaps in designated parking lots 
Inquirer: Philly pet groomers want to know why they’re closed amid the coronavirus shutdown: ‘I don’t see my industry as a threat’ 
Inquirer: As construction resumes, some workers are finding a shortage of recommended N95 masks 
Inquirer: Should insurance companies pay for coronavirus shutdown losses? Philly businesses are taking them to court. 
Inquirer: Protesters urge Philadelphia archdiocese to resume in-person Mass
Philly Voice: Philly won’t cave to ‘open up hysteria,’ Mayor Kenney says 
Philly Voice: Pennsylvania unveils penalties for restaurants reopening dining service too soon 
Billy Penn: Fishtown Iced Teas and everything else Philly can order once to-go cocktails are legal
Billy Penn: Procrastinator’s Guide to the 2020 primary election in Philly
WHYY Newsworks: Coronavirus update: SEPTA resumes some regular schedules; More unemployment help for Pennsylvanians
Philadelphia Tribune: May 13 coronavirus update: City officials say they’re working with minority leaders
Philadelphia Tribune: NAACP virtual town hall: Local, state and federal leaders say communities of color need more assistance
Philadelphia Citizen: Who Is – And Who Isn’t – Distributing PPP Loans 
Philadelphia Business Journal: Which businesses received grants and loans through Philadelphia’s $13M Covid-19 relief fund? 
Philadelphia Business Journal: Wolf announces 12 more Pennsylvania counties will begin to reopen 
Philadelphia Business Journal: These 3 Philadelphia minority-owned businesses got PPP to survive Covid-19, but not without its challenges 
Philadelphia Magazine: Local Business Owners Begin to Revolt Against Pennsylvania Coronavirus Shutdown Orders 

SEPA
Delco Daily Times: Delaware County yearns to be free of coronavirus pandemic 
Delco Daily Times: Watch Live: Delaware County Council to host services presentation at 3:30 p.m.
Daily Local News: Chester County forms task force to help with eventual reopening 
Daily Local News: Most, but not all, Chester County polling sites open for primary election 
Daily Local News: Houlahan votes to support small businesses, expand testing 
Daily Local News: Despite high death roll, inspections reveal no missteps at Southeast Veterans Center  
Pottstown Mercury: After 10 weeks, downward trend in positive coronavirus cases noted in Montco 
Montgomery Media: Montgomery County reports 149 new COVID-19 cases, 8 deaths
Bucks Local News: MAY 15 COVID-19 UPDATE: Cases in Bucks County continue downward trend 
Bucks Local News: 12 Pennsylvania counties moving to yellow reopening phase, but none are in Southeastern Pa. 
Bucks Local News: Commissioners proclaim ‘Apraxia Awareness Day’ throughout Bucks County
Bucks County Courier Times: Records provide incomplete glimpse at COVID-19 deaths in Bucks nursing homes 
Bucks County Courier Times: Bucks County editor to lead Gannett’s Pennsylvania network 

Pittsburgh 
WESA: Lamb Breaks With Democrats On Coronavirus Relief Bill He Calls ‘Not Focused’
WESA: County Releases Scaled-Down List of Polling Places
WESA: LIVE BLOG: Coronavirus In Pittsburgh, May 18-24
WESA: Pittsburgh Museums Contend They Should Be Free To Open In Yellow Phase
WESA: Coronavirus Testing Is Limited As Southwest PA Moves To Yellow Phase
Post-Gazette: Allegheny County doesn’t know how many duplicate ballots it mailed out 
Post-Gazette: County announces consolidated voting places for June 2 Pa. primary 
Post-Gazette: Hickton tapped as top aide to Congressional panel overseeing COVID-19 money 
Post-Gazette: Both GOP candidates pledge to deliver for House 39  
Post-Gazette: No new COVID-19 deaths in Western Pa., according to state    
Post-Gazette: Pennsylvania: Here’s how to register to vote before tonight’s deadline  
Post-Gazette: Federal Reserve to the rescue? As economic forecasts dim, a cautious institution goes into overdrive  
Post-Gazette: Wecht: Nation’s ideological split ‘very disturbing’ 
Post-Gazette: When government was choosing who did ‘life-sustaining work,’ did the label fit? Or sting? Or both?
KDKA: Area Businesses Begin To Reopen As Southwestern Pa. Is Now In The ‘Yellow’ Phase of Governor Wolf’s Reopening Plan 
KDKA: ‘Promote The Vote’ Encourages Black Community To Register For Mail-In Voting 
KDKA: Allegheny Co. Health Dept. Reports 8 New Coronavirus Cases, No New Deaths 
KDKA: City Of Pittsburgh, Partners Distribute More Than 33,000 Meals Since Start Of Pandemic   
KDKA: Former U.S. Attorney In Pittsburgh To Oversee Congress Coronavirus Relief Funding 
KDKA: New Legislation Offers To Lower Hunting, Fishing Fees For Frontline Workers 
KDKA: Area Farmers Markets Starting Their Seasons As Counties Move Into ‘Yellow’ Phase Of Coronavirus Reopening Plans 
KDKA: Potential Increase In Passengers Anticipated For Port Authority And Pittsburgh International Airport
Beaver County Times: Allegheny County releases list of consolidated polling places for June 2 primary
Pittsburgh Current: Panel Looks At The State Of Policing And Incarceration Of Black People During COVID-19
Pittsburgh Current: Pittsburgh public schools press forward with remote learning plans as finances deteriorate
Tribune Review: Allegheny County reports no new coronavirus deaths or hospitalizations, just 8 new cases 
Tribune Review: Lower Burrell officials want Gov. Tom Wolf to reopen businesses closed because of pandemic 
Tribune Review: Pandemic throws campaign challenges in way of candidates looking to win June 2 primaries 
Tribune Review: Allegheny County announces consolidated polling places for June 2 primary election 
Pittsburgh Business Times: Pittsburgh International Airport reports 96% drop in April passenger count, appoints new CFO 
Pittsburgh Business Times: Most Port Authority routes to resume normal schedules today
City Paper: Webinar training series aims to help nonprofits increase voting participation in hardest-to-reach communities

SWPA 
Beaver County Times: Lamb votes against COVID-19 stimulus, saying bill was ‘not focused’
Beaver County Times: Wolf says Beaver County shifts to yellow phase; commissioners unapologetic for criticizing governor
Beaver County Times: Saying thanks
Beaver County Times: Wolf administration launches program to ease utility costs during pandemic
Beaver County Times: CCBC distributes CARES Act funds to students in need
Beaver County Times: State reaches 62,234 positives, Levine says infection rate declining
Observer-Reporter: Forum addresses region’s move to ‘yellow’ phase of reopening plan
Observer-Reporter: State health department reports 15 new coronavirus deaths
Observer-Reporter: State health department reports 61 new deaths from coronavirus
Observer-Reporter: Despite allegations, Toothman remains as Greene County’s president judge
Observer-Reporter: Shoppers head to stores as county moves to yellow phase
Pittsburgh Business Times: Why Wolf moved Beaver County to ‘yellow’ phase
KDKA: Fayette County Poll Workers Say They Are In Need Of Face Masks Ahead Of Primary Election
KDKA: U.S. Secretary Of Interior Visits Flight 93 Memorial As Site Begins To Reopen
Post-Gazette: State moves Beaver County from red to yellow reopening phase
Post-Gazette: John Joyce, charting his own path, sees profile rise amid COVID-19 pandemic
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Blair County adds 4 COVID-19 cases, Cambria and Somerset one each; state pace slows
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Who’s advising the governor? Wolf says reopening of counties ‘not political decisions’
Johnstown Tribune-Democrat: Declining infection rate called ‘good news’; Cambria adds 4 COVID-19 cases
Altoona Mirror: Blair County’s virus closures relaxed
Altoona Mirror: Huntingdon endures trying times during COVID-19
Altoona Mirror: ‘Critical functions’ focus of Blair court reopenings

NEPA
The Times Leader: 12 more counties move to yellow phase on May 22, including Wyoming
The Times Leader: Capitol Roundup: Legislators take issue with Wolf’s economic reopening plan
The Times Leader: Wolf acknowledges red counties’ virus frustrations
The Times Leader: 13 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Luzerne County; no new deaths
The Times Leader: 22 new cases of COVID-19 in Luzerne County; no new deaths reported
Times-Tribune: NEPA adds 36 new COVID-19 cases; two more die from disease
Times-Tribune: State reports 4% jump in coronavirus cases in Lackawanna County, six new deaths
Times-Tribune: Lackawanna County offering relief grants, other resources to pandemic-impacted businesses
Times-Tribune: Coronavirus pandemic highlights problems at nursing homes
Times-Tribune: Scranton residents sue city over stormwater issue
Times-Tribune: COVID-19 – Complete Coverage
Citizens Voice: Virus forces changes to primary election
Citizens Voice: 13 new COVID-19 cases in Luzerne County
Citizens Voice: County adds 22 new virus cases
Citizens Voice: Q&A on the June 2 primary
Citizens Voice: City cracks down on illegal dumping, graffiti 

South Central 
Carlisle Sentinel: Reopening rally draws in a wide range of conservative rancor
Carlisle Sentinel: Cumberland County, Carlisle officials start preparing for county’s move to yellow next week
Carlisle Sentinel: Carlisle school district receives almost $764,000 in federal stimulus money
Carlisle Sentinel: DOH: 7 new COVID-19 cases reported in Cumberland County in overall low increase Sunday
Carlisle Sentinel: DOH Data: 23 new cases, six additional deaths reported in Cumberland County Saturday
Carlisle Sentinel: Watch Now: DOH Data – 15 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Cumberland County Friday 
Lebanon Daily News: Lebanon County rejects Gov. Wolf’s decision and votes to move itself to ‘yellow phase’
York Dispatch: York County is slated to move to ‘yellow’ May 22, Wolf says
York Dispatch: Crying Wolf: Protesters lambaste governor’s lockdown orders
York Dispatch: New YCEA website provides resources, information as York County moves into yellow phase
York Dispatch: Sunday update: One new virus-related death in York County
York Dispatch: Saturday update: York County death total drops, state reports 61 new fatalities
York Daily Record: Coronavirus in Pa: Wolf moves York County into yellow phase of reopening plan
York Daily Record: Harrisburg protest draws nearly a thousand asking Wolf to reopen Pennsylvania’s economy
LNP | LancasterOnline: Sunday’s COVID-19 Updates: Pa. reaches 62,234 positive cases, total deaths in the state rise to 4,418
LNP | LancasterOnline: Lancaster County had its first day without a COVID-19 related death in over a month
LNP | LancasterOnline: Some businesses open; others wish they could: Here’s what our reporters found Friday in Lancaster County
LNP | LancasterOnline: Total nursing home COVID-19 deaths in Lancaster County through May 15, 2020
LNP | LancasterOnline: 1 in 42 Lancaster County residents has been tested for coronavirus
Patriot News: Protesters gather for the second time in less than a month at the Capitol | Photos

Lehigh Valley      
Morning Call: Lehigh Valley Congresswoman Susan Wild votes ‘no’ on the latest coronavirus bill from House Democrats
Morning Call: Pat Toomey rips Wolf administration, says Lehigh Valley, other areas should be allowed to begin reopening
Morning Call: Schuylkill residents eager to break quarantine, though county officials backed off threat to defy governor and reopen
Morning Call: Monroe County anticipates turn to yellow, asks governor to move more quickly
Morning Call: Human Services union objects as Northampton County calls employees back into workplaces Monday
Morning Call: Pennsylvania coronavirus update: Toll rises to 4,418 deaths, 62,234 cases
Morning Call: Federal money won’t be enough for Lehigh Valley health systems to recoup losses from coronavirus pandemic
Morning Call: With $8 million budget hole, Allentown School District mulls tax hike, staffing needs
Morning Call: Pennsylvania coronavirus updates: State adds 124 deaths on Friday to make total 4,342; number who have tested positive passes 60,000
Morning Call: Pennsylvania coronavirus reopening: Gov. Wolf announces 12 more counties, including Carbon, will emerge from lockdown on May 22 
Morning Call: Coronavirus in the Lehigh Valley: What you need to know
Reading Eagle: Berks County GOP stands behind Facebook posts some criticized as anti-Semitic; governor target of one
Reading Eagle: Berks coronavirus positives rise by 34; state’s positives increase by 623
Reading Eagle: Berks County Court prepares to resume jury trials
Reading Eagle: 50 new coronavirus cases in Berks County as southeast Pa. continues elevated levels 
WLVR: Wearing A Mask Was A Political Decision For People Attending Trump’s Arrival In The Lehigh Valley 
Express Times: Pa. should accelerate reopening businesses, Sen. Pat Toomey says
Express Times: Pa. coronavirus update: Cases surpass 62K with 623 new cases, 15 deaths | COVID-19 case map (5/17/20)
Express Times: Planning led to President Trump’s ‘seamless’ visit to the Lehigh Valley, police say
Express Times: Northampton County’s mass COVID-19 testing site runs until Friday
Express Times: Residents petition for Hellertown pool opening after council’s closure over COVID-19 concerns
Express Times: Pa. coronavirus update: Nursing home deaths pass 3K, Lehigh Valley positive cases top 6K | COVID-19 case map (5/16/20)
Express Times: Pa. coronavirus update: 12 more counties to begin reopening from statewide shutdown, including Carbon. Cases surpass 60K; 124 more deaths. | COVID-19 case map (5/15/20)

North by Northwest
Erie Times-News: How Erie-area legislators voted, week ending May 15
Erie Times-News: Pennsylvania reports 623 new COVID-19 cases
Erie Times-News: Erie officials warn residents about gatherings at city parks
Erie Times-News: Pennsylvania reports 989 new COVID-19 cases
Erie Times-News: Erie sees LERTA permits pick up
Patriot News: Software glitch results in 61 Lycoming County voters getting eight mail-in ballots
Centre Daily Times: Centre County adds 2 new COVID-19 cases, as overall cases in Pennsylvania top 62,000
Centre Daily Times: Meet the candidates for state office on the ballot in Pennsylvania’s primary election
Centre Daily Times: Centre County reports no new cases of COVID-19, as Pennsylvania now tops 61,000 overall cases
Centre Daily Times: Centre County reports 1 new COVID-19 case as Pennsylvania’s total exceeds 60,000
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Council accused of holding secret meetings
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Lycoming County one new COVID-19 case
Williamsport Sun-Gazette: Voting rules, redistricting on minds of candidates

Opinion  
Chrissy Houlahan: Local officials are frontline heroes. Washington has to give them the help they need 
Ed Rendell: 7 ways elected officials can change America for the better amid coronavirus 
Rebecca Rhynhart: Rebecca Rhynhart’s alternative plan to balance the city budget — without raising your taxes
PennLive Editorial Board: We’re using a machete to fight the coronavirus, when a scalpel might be better
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: No time for posturing: Wolf, Republicans need to find common ground 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: End child marriage: Pa. is ahead of the curve on this issue 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Mistaken payments: Stimulus checks were sent to deceased people 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Expensive victory: Michael Bloomberg’s vanity run looks especially silly now 
Post-Gazette Editorial Board: Expanding vet care: Community-based care options won’t end the VA   
Inquirer Editorial Board: Philly’s overdose crisis still needs attention amid coronavirus  
Inquirer Editorial Board: Nursing home staffing and oversight problems existed long before coronavirus 
Bucks County Courier Times Editorial: Vote by mail the sensible way to go this spring
Delco Daily Times Editorial: Mental health a major issue during pandemic
John L. Micek: Levine’s policies are fair game for criticism. Attacking her identity is vile bigotry
John L. Micek: Report: Pa.’s unemployment picture is bad – but could have been far worse | Friday Morning Coffee
John L. Micek: Latest ‘scandal’ a reminder of the Obama we know and the one in Trump’s head
JD Mullane: Gov. Tom Wolf, Pa.’s master of malaise
Ray E. Landis: The Pa. primary is June 2. These are the issues older voters need to keep in mind 
Tim Hartman: Wolf turns up the heat | Editorial Cartoon
Joshua Uy: Philadelphia nursing homes need help, not blame | Expert Opinion
William C. Sproule: Construction unions have led the way on safe reopening during the pandemic 
Daniel Turner: Biden’s energy policies, guided by AOC, would boost unemployment and hurt economy
Christian Terwiesch, Kevin B. Mahoney, and Kevin G. Volpp: Why we need a strategic national stockpile for PPE 
Jenice Armstrong: Pay your barber or hairstylist in advance if you can, because COVID-19 is hurting their industry 
Keith C. Burris: Treasure of the West
Michael J. Cozzillio and Krista J. Cozzillio: The Founders prepared us for most things. Even they couldn’t see Donald Trump coming
Signe Wilkinson: Political Cartoon: America’s masked response to COVID-19
Will Bunch: Trump is right: ‘OBAMAGATE’ is ‘the biggest political crime in American history’ 
David M. Shribman: The planet takes a breather
Gene Therapy: Yellow’s not mellow, so be careful out there
Ruth Ann Dailey: The Wild West of pandemic parking

One Response

  1. The same people in the Administration who are destroying small businesses, whose owners pay taxes, support freebies to illegals, want to make PA a sanctuary state. PA is a mess.

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