AP PA Headlines: Lawmakers take action, Gov. update

AP PA Headlines 3/26/20

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania lawmakers voted to delay its primary election by five weeks to June 2, potentially past the spike of the state’s spreading coronavirus cases. Both chambers of the state Legislature approved it Wednesday and Gov. Tom Wolf, a Democrat, said he will sign it. The measure had support from top Republicans in the GOP-controlled Legislature.

Under the bill, Pennsylvania will hold its primary election June 2, instead of April 28. In addition to delaying the primary date, the legislation gives county election offices a head start on processing and tabulating mail-in ballots, newly allowed under a five-month-old election law.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration reported four more coronavirus-related deaths in Pennsylvania on Wednesday and ordered residents of Lehigh and Northampton counties to stay home, with few exceptions. Before Wednesday, Wolf’s orders covered eight counties, including Philadelphia, Allegheny County and Philadelphia’s four heavily populated suburban counties. The 10 counties account for half of Pennsylvania’s 12.8 million residents and 80% of its more than 1,120 coronavirus cases.

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CHICAGO (AP) — Growing numbers of Americans say state and federal governments are starting to trample civil rights in the name of public health during the coronavirus outbreak. Those already making that case include a church-goer in New Hampshire who filed a lawsuit arguing that prohibitions against large gatherings violate her religious rights. Most civil libertarians are concerned but aren’t yet sounding alarm bells. Public health lawyer Larry Gostin says measures to date aren’t draconian. But he says he fears leaders could resort to increasingly harsh methods that cross constitutional bounds if the crisis drags on.

Grammy-winning singer James Taylor and his wife, Kim, have donated $1 million to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston to help with its battle against the spread of the new coronavirus. In other entertainment news, Jackson Browne has tested positive for COVID-19 and financial relief is on the way to Broadway actors and workers. The Atlanta Opera is making its costume and wardrobe shop available to create face masks and protective clothing for use by area hospitals. The Apollo Theater’s Amateur Night, the famously high-pressure crucible through which countless performers have passed, is going online for now.

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball will air 30 games across its digital platforms Thursday, filling the schedule for an Opening Day postponed by the coronavirus pandemic. With its season postponed until at least mid-May, MLB will air one memorable game for each franchise on its YouTube, Twitter and Facebook pages. The list includes Dave Roberts’ series-shifting stolen base for the Boston Red Sox in Game 4 of the 2003 AL Championship Series, the Chicago Cubs ending their championship drought in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series, and perfect games by Félix Hernández and Mark Buehrle.

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – What works for Fido also works for Jane and John Doe: Veterinary hospitals from North Carolina to New York to Colorado are giving vital equipment and supplies to their human-focused counterparts to fight the spread of COVID-19. Breathing machines, masks, gowns, protective suits — the donations come in response to a call last week.

The call came from the U.S. agriculture secretary for materials to combat the pandemic. One veterinary official says the schools have lined up more than six dozen ventilators that could be commandeered for human treatment. Private institutions are also heeding the call, identifying about 100 full-service ventilators nationwide that can be pressed into service.

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