Year in review: Finding the good in 2020 | Five for the Weekend

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Happy Weekend, all.

This will be the last Five for the remainder of 2020.

I want to thank you all for reading the Capital-Star during the strangest of years. Your support kept us going through a pandemic, personal losses, shutdowns, and an election year, and we don’t take that lightly.

On behalf of the Capital-Star team, many thanks for your readership, support and feedback this year.

Looking back on the year, the “good” came in the form of little things that made for momentary, if fleeting, bliss. 

To recap, here are a few good things to come out of 2020:

1. A vaccine.
2. A distraction in the form of a squirrel obstacle course.
3. We found new and creative ways to see our loved ones while being socially distant. 
4. We reconnected with nature. 
5. When COVID-19 changed our holiday plans, we made new, more resilient traditions. 
6. We found ways to help each other, our causes, those in need. 

As always, the Top 5 Most-Read Stories from this week are below.

Cheers to a safe and happy new year,
Cassie Miller, Associate Editor

1. Philly radio host Stigall targets Levine in transphobic rant, report

Philadelphia radio host Chris Stigall has launched a transphobic attack on state Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine, according to a published report.

Levine, a transgender woman, has endured repeated transphobic attacks during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some have focused on her management of the public health crisis, but many more, such as Stigall’s, have been deeply personal.

2. COVID-19 outbreak in Pa.: What’s open and what’s closed

Update: Last week, Gov. Tom Wolf issued a three-week restrictions, prohibiting indoor dining at bars and restaurants, closing gyms and entertainment venues, and limiting retail shopping to 50 percent capacity as the state’s healthcare system struggles to keep up the volume of COVID-19 patients.

The restrictions began on Sat. Dec. 12 at 12:01 a.m. and run through Mon Jan. 4 at 8 a.m.

3. Pa. Treasury Twitter account to shut down, leaving legacy of snarky, relatable PR

Pennsylvania state Treasurer Joe Torsella’s office has shut down its Twitter account.

In a farewell message, the account, run by previously unnamed Treasury employees, said the account was an “experiment began as a direct result of [Torsella’s] vision to rebuild community and reconnect people with a government that is supposed to serve them.”

“It’s been an experiment that we believe has been a success, and one we hope other government institutions follow,” the farewell message, posted around 8 p.m. Friday, added.

By 8 a.m. Saturday, the account appeared to be deactivated.

4. Pa. lays out COVID travel restrictions ahead of holidays, without guarantee of enforcement

Out of state travelers to Pennsylvania should have a negative test for COVID-19 within the last 72 hours or stay at home for 14 days, according to new guidance from the state Department of Health.

That guidance comes as Pennsylvania averaged more than 4,000 new cases of the deadly disease a day for the past week.

Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine announced the rule, among a number of smaller tweaks to existing health orders, as new coronavirus cases increase in the commonwealth as the weather turns cold and more people spend time inside.

The new rules do not come with any new enforcement measures, but Levine, continuing rhetoric she and Gov. Tom Wolf have used throughout the pandemic, asked for citizens’ cooperation.

5. The Electoral College meets today. Remember these GOP lawmakers who tried to stop it | Monday Morning Coffee

Good Monday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

Hi everyone. It’s Capital-Star Editor John L. Micek. I’m back from vacation. And before we get started, let me extend a hearty thank-you to Capital-Star Associate Editor Cassie Miller, who more than capably kept this newsletter rolling during a very busy news week last week.

Today, as prescribed by the U.S. Constitution, the Electoral College will meet in state capitols across the countryincluding Harrisburg, to count up the electoral votes won by Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Donald Trump on Election Day.

And despite every effort to the contrary by Trump and his loyal stooges in Harrisburg and Washington D.C., this exercise will end with Biden, who won the popular vote in Pennsylvania, taking all 20 of the Keystone State’e electoral votes

And that’s the week. Enjoy the holidays and stay well. We’ll see you all back here next year. 

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.