AP/CBS Headlines: Hospitals OK in PA, Girl Up this week at UN

AP PA Headlines 7/14/20

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf’s top health official says Pennsylvania’s hospital system is not challenged at the moment by a recent rise in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases, and the Department of Health isn’t considering any new restrictions at the moment. Dr. Rachel Levine, Wolf’s health secretary, said Monday that the department decided to hold off on imposing restrictions in southwestern counties while it watches the day-to-day case counts. Still, Levine warned that a cycle previously seen is now repeating in Pennsylvania: a growing proportion of people infected with the coronavirus are younger, a step that preceded the virus getting into congregate care settings, like nursing homes.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — New legislation to extend millions of dollars in tax breaks to turn natural gas into fertilizer and other chemicals won approval in Pennsylvania’s Senate on Monday, hours after the measure emerged from closed-door negotiations between Gov. Tom Wolf and top Republican lawmakers. The bill passed, 40-9, on Monday and will go to the House, which overwhelmingly approved a similar version before Wolf vetoed it earlier this year. The tax credit legislation had high-profile support from the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association, the state’s huge natural gas industry and the building trades unions, traditional Democratic allies that are a growing force for gas industry projects. Senators say they expect Wolf to sign it.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Organizers of an encampment of homeless people near Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway are vowing not to leave despite the city’s announced intention to clear the camp by week’s end. One said “We’re not going to get kicked around by the city like a soccer ball.” City officials last week announced that the grouping of scores of tents will be removed Friday from the athletic field where they’ve been for the past month. They called it a “last resort” but said all offers had been refused, organizers kept changing their demands, and it was hard to tell who was speaking for the group.

PEQUEA, Pa. (AP) — Prosecutors have reduced charges against an Amish bishop accused of not notifying law enforcement about a church member’s alleged confession in the sexual assault of three girls. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Lancaster County prosecutors on Monday reduced a felony charge against 63-year-old Levi Esh Sr. to a misdemeanor. He now faces two misdemeanor counts. Pequea Township police earlier alleged that Esh failed to report the church member’s confession about sexual assaults that occurred around 2012-3.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Activists in Pennsylvania are pressing their demand for police accountability after bystander video emerged over the weekend of an officer placing his knee on a man’s head and neck area. Activists say Allentown police appeared to violate their own use-of-force policy against neck restraints when an officer used his knee to bear down on the man’s head. Police launched an internal probe and promised to release additional video of Saturday’s incident. A protest dubbed “Demands Will Be Met” was scheduled for Monday night, with demonstrators planning to march to Allentown City Hall and police department headquarters.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Supporters of a 106-foot Christopher Columbus monument in the park at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia have filed suit accusing the park’s nonprofit manager of breaking an agreement to maintain the 28-year-old monument by covering up its base following recent protests. America 500 Anniversary Corp., which raised funds to donate the monument in 1992, is asking for a preliminary injunction barring the Delaware River Waterfront Corp. “from moving, damaging or destroying” the monument. The suit accuses the nonprofit of violating the agreement by covering up street-level references to the explorer and saying the marble base may be altered. Waterfront corporation spokesperson Almaz Crow declined to comment.

FORKSVILLE, Pa. (AP) — Authorities say a Sullivan County man who reportedly feared going to prison due to the coronavirus was shot and killed as law enforcement personnel were trying to serve a bench warrant last week. State police in Sullivan County said 60-year-old Kevin Michael Norton was shot at about 10:30 a.m. Friday in the garage of his property near Forksville. State police and the county sheriff’s office had been dispatched to take Norton into custody, but officials haven’t said whether a trooper or deputy sheriff opened fire. An autopsy by the county coroner’s office was slated Monday.

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The politically liberal city of Berkeley in Northern California is considering a proposal to shift traffic enforcement from armed police to unarmed city workers. Supporters say the separation would curb racial profiling and reduce police encounters that can turn deadly, especially for Black motorists. Backers say they believe the proposal before the Berkeley City Council Tuesday is the first of its kind in the U.S. Numerous studies have shown African American motorists are more likely to be stopped by police than whites for minor traffic infractions and with tragic consequences. The death of George Floyd after a white officer pressed a knee to his neck has prompted calls for broad policing reforms.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s push to reopen schools is being complicated by a split within his ranks over how to do it. Some advisers are advocating for a massive federal expenditure to make campuses safe. This comes Congress is compiling the next COVID-19 relief bill. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday schooling will be a priority in the coming package.

Senate Democrats have proposed a $430 billion education stabilization plan. But the Republican leader has not said how much Congress is willing to spend. He’s wary of high-dollar spending that will run into resistance from GOP senators. Vice President Mike Pence assured governors on a private call that talks are underway for “additional” education funds from Congress.

WASHINGTON (AP) — As the Trump administration pushes full steam ahead to force U.S. schools to resume in-person education, public health experts warn that a one-size-fits-all reopening could drive infection and death rates even higher. They’re urging a more cautious, flexible approach, which many local governments and school districts are already pursuing.

There are too many uncertainties and variables, they say, for back-to-school to be back-to-normal. Dr. Tom Frieden is former head of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He says curbing COVID-19 activity in communities is the single most important thing that can be done to keep schools safe.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House is working to undercut its most trusted coronavirus expert as President Donald Trump continues to play down the threat posed by the virus and pushes to reopen the economy before the election.

Trump and other White House officials have been ramping up their attacks against Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, who has been sounding alarms about spiking cases. Trump suggests the severity of the pandemic that has killed more than 135,000 Americans is being overstated by critics to damage his reelection chances.

(CBS) – It’s time to “Girl Up.” The gender equality initiative of the United Nations Foundation is hosting a free virtual global Leadership Summit through Wednesday. Ladies can log on for workshops and listen to powerful speeches from the likes of Michelle Obama and The Duchess of Sussex.

(CBS) – Looks like they’ll be keeping their name but the familiar chant of the Atlanta Braves might be a thing of the past. The team says they’re working with an advisory group to figure out if they should keep their famous “Tomahawk Chop.” Calls for racial justice have put the spotlight on sports franchises and their names. The NFL’s Washington Redskins have already decided to change its name and logo.

(CBS) – The Ford Bronco is back! For the first time since 1996, the American automaker is introducing three new models of the SUV. A two-door, a four-door, and a sport. The new vehicles are slick looking and cost around 30-grand. The Ford Bronco became infamous after it was the model used during the O.J. Simpson slow-speed chase. But after production stopped 24 years ago, a new era of Bronco is here. A promo video released by Ford promotes its off-roading capabilities.  The family of cars will be available for purchase starting next spring.

PASSAIC, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey woman survived a mile-long ride through a storm drain after a flash flood swept her and her car into the local drainage system. Passaic Fire Chief Patrick Trentacost says Nathalia Bruno, of Newark, tried to drive through deep and fast-moving water on July 6 when her car began to fill with water and float. Bruno escaped from the vehicle before it filled with water but was pulled into a brook that runs beneath Passaic. Authorities say Bruno eventually was “shot out” of the drain into the Passaic River and swam across to the other side. She was taken to a hospital for treatment.

MANSFIELD, Ohio (AP) — Three Ohio sisters have defied astronomical odds by giving birth on the same day earlier this month. The Mansfield Journal News reports Daneesha Haynes, Ariel Williams and Ashley Haynes all gave birth July 3 at a Mansfield hospital. The sisters delivered their babies within a four-and-a-half-hour span. According to a 1998 Associated Press story, the odds of three sisters giving birth the same day are 1 in 50 million. All three babies were delivered by Dr. Edroy McMillan, who declined to be interviewed..

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