An important milestone | Five for Your Weekend

(c) rook76 - Stock.Adobe.com UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1970: stamp printed by United States of America, shows women suffragettes, circa 1970

Happy weekend, everyone!

This week and next (Aug. 18 and 26, respectively) mark the centennial of an important milestone in American history and women’s rights – the passage of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote.

To acknowledge this milestone, here’s some suffrage trivia for all the history buffs out there! The answers are at the bottom on the newsletter – no cheating!

1. How many times did the U.S. Congress vote on the amendment?
2. Who was the first woman elected to Congress?
3. Who was the first Black woman elected to Congress?
4. What was the symbol of American suffragists?

For those wanting to read more about the women’s suffrage movement and all it entails, here’s are a few links on the subject:

Women’s Suffrage – The Fight for the Vote; History.com
5 Myths About the 19th Amendment and Women’s Suffrage, Debunked; TIME
The First African-American Woman Elected to Congress; History, Art & Archives The U.S. House of Representatives
For Black women, the 19th Amendment didn’t end their fight to vote; National Geographic | Commentary

Cheers to a leisurely weekend,Cassie Miller | Associate Editor

1. Pa. Lawmaker: It’s not government’s responsibility to ‘try to keep us safe’

A Republican lawmaker called for Americans to exhibit “personal responsibility” to fight the COVID-19 pandemic while arguing it is the job of private businesses and individuals, not lawmakers and public servants, to implement health policy.

The remarks, by Rep. Jim Cox, R-Berks, came at the end of a three-hour-long hearing on the state’s beleaguered unemployment compensation system.

Cox, chairman of the House Labor and Industry Committee, then spoke for almost ten minutes, arguing that Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration could not be solely focused on public safety as the “driving force behind the decisions we in government are making.”

Government reminders of the best ways to prevent the flu, such as sneezing into your elbows, were “all good and fine,” Cox said.

But, “it’s not the government’s responsibility to pass mandates, to pass orders, to try to keep us safe.”

2. Wolf administration task force offers slew of recommendations to close racial, economic disparities revealed by pandemic

On Thursday, that panel, formally known as the Health Disparities Task Force, released its final report. Sprawling across 34-pages and six topic areas, it detailed more than 50 recommendations for Gov. Tom Wolf to review and act upon.

Those recommendations, ranked by urgency, include housing, criminal justice, food insecurity, health disparity, education and economic opportunities.

“With 57 specific policy recommendations, I believe that this report will be beneficial in policy development to help end the health disparities in our marginalized communities, which have been so vastly exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the task force’s chairman, said.

Below are the takeaways from each policy topic in the report:

 

3. Break quarantine, risk legal action, Pa. warns people exposed to COVID-19

The Pennsylvania Department of Health is warning some Pennsylvanians who have been exposed to COVID-19 of legal action if they violate quarantine.

The warning comes in a three-page letter, sent to potentially thousands of Pennsylvanians, who were in close contact with someone who was positive for the coronavirus.

The letter advises recipients to stay indoors for 14 days since their last contact with the positive individual, to take their temperature twice daily, and to cooperate with the department. The warning comes in the second to last paragraph.

4. Western Pa. judge who used racial slurs, inappropriate comments charged with violating judicial code of conduct

An Allegheny County judge is facing formal charges on six counts of judicial misconduct, according to a statement released Wednesday from the Judicial Conduct Board of Pennsylvania.

In the complaint, the board alleges that Fifth District Judge Mark V. Tranquilli undermined “both public confidence in the judiciary and its reputation” and called for Tranquilli’s interim suspension during the case.

The allegations against Tranquilli run from 2015 to early 2020.

According to the documents, Tranquilli used racial slurs and made inappropriate comments about his job, those appearing before him and jurors, in the courtroom, and to others.

The complaint alleges that Tranquilli “performed his judicial duties with bias or prejudice,” which the board says is a violation of Canon 2 Rule 2.3(A) of the Code of Judicial Conduct.

5. Pa. corrections officer trainee charged with alleged sexual abuse of Fayette County youth

By Alyssa Choiniere

A state corrections officer trainee from Harrisburg was arrested for allegedly traveling multiple times to meet up with a 14-year-old Fayette County girl for sex.

Calvin M. Hynson, 26, of Market Street was charged by the state attorney general’s office for allegedly sexually abusing the girl, and sending and receiving nude photos.

Hynson was interviewed by special agents with the child predator task force, and claimed he thought the girl was an adult until he was contacted by her father several weeks ago. The girl’s father became aware of the relationship and contacted Hynson to tell him she was only 14 and told him to stay away from her.

However, on May 22, Hynson was found at the Ramada Inn in South Union Township to visit the girl and meet up for sex, according to the affidavit of probable cause filed in his case.

Here are the answers:

1. Five! 
2. Jeanette Rankin, R-Mont. Rankin was elected to the U.S. House in 1916, before she could even vote for herself!
3. Shirley Chisholm, D-N.Y., served seven terms from 1969-1983
4. Symbols in support of the suffrage movement varied by state and include a yellow rose, sunflowers and bluebirds.

And that’s the week. We’ll see you back here Monday. 

Cassie Miller
A native Pennsylvanian, Cassie Miller worked for various publications across the Midstate before joining the team at the Pennsylvania Capital-Star. In her previous roles, she has covered everything from local sports to the financial services industry. Miller has an extensive background in magazine writing, editing and design. She is a graduate of Penn State University where she served as the campus newspaper’s photo editor. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in professional journalism at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In addition to her role at the Capital-Star, Miller enjoys working on her independent zines, Dead Air and Infrared.