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


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 


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 


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


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


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


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

May 18th, 2020 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Playbook, Top Stories | 1 Comment

One thought on “May 18th Playbook”

  1. larry478 says:

    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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