AP PA Headlines: Gov. will sign police bills, Philly slows COVID open

AP PA Headlines 7/01/20

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf will sign the first bills passed by Pennsylvania’s Legislature in response to widespread protests over police brutality and the killing of George Floyd. Wolf’s office said Tuesday that he’ll sign two bills that passed the Senate unanimously. One of the bills is designed to prevent bad officers from continuing to find employment in police departments. Under the bill, a department must check a job applicant’s history of disciplinary actions, complaints and reasons for separation. The other bill requires officers to receive cultural sensitivity training, instruction on de-escalation and harm-reduction techniques and a mental health evaluation after an incident in which the officer used lethal force.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Philadelphia is bringing a halt to its plans to allow indoor dining, bars, gyms and fitness centers to reopen. Officials said Tuesday that the city is seeing rising case counts and could be affected by a growing epidemic elsewhere in the country. Those businesses had been scheduled to reopen this Friday. Across the state, Allegheny County recorded another single-day record high of new cases reported Tuesday. The county, which includes Pittsburgh and is Pennsylvania’s second-most populous, saw hospitalizations grew by seven. Over the weekend, officials ordered a halt to drinking alcohol in bars and restaurants due to what they called an “alarming” spike in COVID-19 cases.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — In Republican circles — with the notable exception of the man who leads the party — the debate about masks is over: It’s time to put one on. As a surge of infections hammers the South and West, GOP officials are pushing back against the notion that masks are about politics, as President Donald Trump suggests, and telling Americans they are a vital tool that can save lives. Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee on Tuesday bluntly called on Trump to start wearing a mask, at least some of the time, because the political optics are getting in the way of protecting American people from COVID-19.

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves has signed a landmark bill that retires the last state flag bearing the Confederate battle emblem. The Republican governor signed the bill Tuesday afternoon, just two days after legislators passed it. Amid international protests over racial injustice, Mississippi was under increasing pressure to lose a symbol that many see as racist. The state had used the flag since 1894. Mississippi will not have a flag for a while. A commission will design a new one that cannot have the Confederate symbol and must have the phrase, “In God We Trust.” Voters will be asked to approve the new design.

NEW YORK (CBS) – Start ordering the pizzas, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are coming back!  Actors Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg are rebooting the old cartoon into a CG-animated big-screen blockbuster. You’ll have to wait a while to see the heroes-in-a-half-shell – the movie just started production and there’s no release date yet.

MARGATE, Fla. (AP) — Knock, knock? Who’s there? Baby. Baby who? The baby delivered at the front door of a birthing center — as a doorbell video captured the scene. The Natural Birthworks center in Margate, Florida says a woman gave birth at the door of the center. The Miami Herald reports Susan Anderson arrived at the door of the clinic late last month — but the baby arrived before she could enter. The doorbell clip shows a midwife catching the baby and handing it to the new mom — right on the doorstep. Anderson cradles the girl against her chest and says “sorry,” before breaking into a tearful smile. In a statement last week, the birthing center shared the video, along with a comment that qualifies as a huge understatement, “This momma had a super fast labor.”

BLOOMER, Wis. (AP) — A Wisconsin family that went fishing in a lake ended up with an unusual catch: a baby bear that got his head caught in a plastic food container. It happened over the weekend in Bloomer, where Tricia and Brian Hurt and their son Brady were casting for fish. They saw what they thought was a dog swimming in the water. But it turned out to be a small bear whose head was caught in one of those clear plastic cheese ball tubs. It took a couple of tries, but the family was able to pry the container off. Freed off of the tub, the bear returned to shore, where Brian Hurt said it appeared to wander off looking for his mom.

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