Voting victories for Democrats in Pa. might have closed the door on more election reform

By: Cynthia Fernandez

HARRISBURG — With less than seven weeks to go, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has significantly altered how the state’s election will run on Nov. 3, allowing ballots that arrive after Election Day to be counted and giving voters the option to use satellite drop boxes.

But a change counties say is critical to a smooth election — allowing them to begin processing ballots earlier — remains unresolved in the legislature. And with Republicans condemning the court’s rulings as partisan and dangerous, the chances of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and GOP leadership reaching an agreement seem less likely than ever.

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Gov. Wolf argues ‘life and death’ while seeking stay in pandemic restrictions ruling

By: Paul Reed Ward

Attorneys for Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration on Wednesday asked to stay the federal court decision from earlier this week in which a district judge ruled unconstitutional the state’s shutdown orders over the covid-19 pandemic.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs in the case said they will vigorously oppose any motion to stay — meaning, to suspend the ruling — and expect to file briefs on Thursday.

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Gov. Wolf hits back after judge rules against virus restrictions

By: Associated Press

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf vowed he wouldn’t heed the “irresponsible demands” of President Donald Trump and Republicans in the state legislature concerning the state’s coronavirus response, hitting back hard Tuesday after a federal judge appointed by Trump ruled many of Wolf’s pandemic shutdown orders were unconstitutional.

In unusually sharp language, the Democratic governor accused Trump and Republicans who control the Legislature of promoting conspiracy theories and spreading misinformation about the virus and the status of the Pennsylvania economy, which he said is reopened despite the mitigation measures he has imposed.

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Pitt researchers discover antibody that could be key in covid cure

By: Deb Erdley

Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh say they have isolated a tiny molecule that neutralizes the coronavirus and could be the foundation for a drug to prevent and combat covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.

Researchers from Pitt’s School of Medicine published their findings today in the journal Cell. They reported that the molecule, an antibody component that is 10 times smaller than a full-sized antibody, is the foundation of a drug known as Ab8 that has been effective in preventing and treating covid-19 in mice and hamsters.

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Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf renews call to legislators to provide $325 million more in COVID-19 relief funds for small businesses

By: Jan Murphy

Gov. Tom Wolf is calling on state lawmakers to do more to help Pennsylvanians get back to work and help the state’s economy recover from his COVID-19 business shutdown order by taking immediate action to provide an additional $325 million in aid for small businesses.

“This would be to direct an additional $225 million partially in forgivable loans and partially in grants to small businesses all across Pennsylvania,” Wolf said at a news conference held in the atrium of Buchart Horn Inc.’s headquarters in York. “In addition, I’m calling on the Legislature to direct another $100 million in forgivable loans and grants to the hospitality, leisure and service industry. Bars, restaurants, hotels, they’ve been really hammered by this pandemic.”

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Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf plans to veto bill that lets schools decide whether to hold sports and set attendance limits

By: Jan Murphy

Gov. Tom Wolf is rejecting legislation that would grant local public and private school officials “exclusive authority” to decide whether to hold sports this school year and allow fans and family members to attend the games.

Wolf spokeswoman Lyndsay Kensinger said he plans to veto House Bill 2787.

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In battlegrounds including Pa., absentee ballot rejections could triple

By: Christina A. Cassidy and Frank Bajak

ATLANTA — Thousands of absentee ballots get rejected in every presidential election. This year, that problem could be much worse and potentially pivotal in hotly contested battleground states.

With the coronavirus creating a surge in mail-in balloting and postal delays reported across the country, the number of rejected ballots in November is projected to be significantly higher than previous elections.

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