PA DOH to open testing sites: AP PA Headlines & National AP

AP PA Headlines 3/18/20

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s Department of Health is working to open public testing sites for the coronavirus, as more services shut down and the state sees a spike in people filing for unemployment compensation.

Meanwhile, the state’s health systems and hospitals are working to open sample-taking sites and set up testing laboratories. Amtrak is shutting down lines in Pennsylvania, and the Pennsylvania Turnpike is ending dining service at its service plazas.

The Department of Labor and Industry said unemployment compensation claims exceeded 50,000 on Monday, and Tuesday’s filings were on course to exceed that number. In the entire first week of March, the state received barely 12,000 claims.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Republicans are claiming victory and Democrats conceding defeat in three special elections Tuesday to fill empty seats in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. All three seats had been held by Republicans who vacated the seats after winning elections to county offices last November, and Tuesday’s election will maintain the 110-93 Republican majority in the state House. Eric Davanzo won in a Republican-leaning district based in Westmoreland County and Tim Bonner won in a Republican-leaning district based in Mercer County, while K.C. Tomlinson won in a seat in politically divided Bucks County.

GETTYSBURG, Pa. (AP) — Authorities say a WWII-era grenade on display in a museum at the Gettysburg battlefield in central Pennsylvania was recently removed and destroyed. The Eisenhower National Historic Site says the grenade had been on display since March 2018 in an exhibit at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center. It was a type commonly used during the June 1944 D-Day assaults in Normandy, France. Since it couldn’t be conclusively shown to be inactive, “out of an abundance of caution” technicians disposed of it Feb. 28. The park superintendent called it unfortunate but said “visitor and staff safety is paramount.”

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Features

WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden’s sweeping victories in Florida, Illinois and Arizona are building his delegate lead over rival Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential race. And that is increasing the pressure on Sanders to admit defeat and leave the race. The former vice president’s third big night in as many weeks came amid tremendous uncertainty as the Democratic contest collides with efforts to slow the spread of a virus that has shut down large swaths of American life. Biden’s quest for his party’s nomination now seems well within reach. His trio of wins doubled his delegate haul over Sanders, giving the former vice president a nearly insurmountable lead.

NEW YORK (AP) — There was no talk of coronavirus hysteria or panic among Fox News Channel’s prime-time stars. Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham urged viewers Monday to follow the government’s advice on restricting movement. That marked a change in tone from a week earlier, when there were suggestions that the reaction to the outbreak were overblown. The network most popular with President Donald Trump’s followers has been practicing social distancing, giving extensive airtime to medical experts and increasing news time devoted to the virus. The vast majority of people recover from the new virus, but for some, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s proposed economic package to rescue the economy from the ravages of the novel coronavirus could come with a novel price tag — nearly $1 trillion. Trump is pushing Congress to approve the stimulus package within days with the goal of having emergency checks in the mail to the public within two weeks. Other initiatives sparked by the outbreak of the virus include enlisting the military for MASH-style hospitals to care for the sick. As analysts warn that the country is surely entering a recession, the government is grappling with an enormous political undertaking with echoes of the 2008 financial crisis.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal judge has given Katy Perry a major victory in the dispute over her song “Dark Horse.” Judge Christina A. Snyder overturned a jury’s verdict that found the pop superstar and her collaborators copied the 2013 hit “Dark Horse” from a 2009 song by Christian rapper Marcus Gray.  Snyder said the disputed section of Gray’s song “Joyful Noise” was too basic musically to be copyright protected. Gray’s attorney said the jury was correct and he will appeal. Jurors in August had found that Perry and her songwriting partners must pay nearly $3 million to gray and his co-writers.

UNDATED (AP) — Most concerts have been shut down because of the new coronavirus, so musicians are taking their performances online. Neil Young promises to do several shows that he calls “a down-home production” in front of his fireplace filmed by his wife, Daryl Hannah. Death Cab For Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard says he will perform every day from his home studio at 7 p.m. Eastern. Keith Urban played an Instagram concert with two crew members and “an audience of one,” his wife, Nicole Kidman. Dropkick Murphys streamed their annual St. Patrick’s Day concert yesterday from Boston. The band members say it’s the first time in 24 years they have not played St. Patrick’s Day weekend. Pink, Rob Thomas, and David Foster and Katharine McPhee also performed live online..

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