Leafin’ it up | Five for your weekend

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    Happy weekend, everyone!

    Leaf peepers, rejoice! The parade of fall colors have arrived across Pennsylvania!

    Did you know that Pennsylvania has a longer fall foliage season than anywhere else in the world?

    Yes, it’s true. According to the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) the state’s “location between 40° and 42° North latitude and its varied topography from sea level on the coastal plain to over 3,000 feet in the Laurel Highlands supports 134 species of trees and many more shrubs and vines that contribute to the display of autumn color.Pennsylvania is the meeting ground of northern trees that flourish only on mountain tops farther south and southern species that are at the northern limits of their range.”

    DCNR even has a handy map of some of the best spots to check out the Keystone state’s spectacular colors.

    As always, the week’s top stories are below.

    Happy peeping,

    Cassie Miller | Associate Editor

    1. Want to hand-deliver your ballot in Pa.? Here’s a map of election offices and drop boxes.

    If you’re one of the 2.2 million Pennsylvanians who requested to vote by mail-in ballot this year, you don’t have to rely on the postal service to cast it.

    State law allows voters to hand-deliver their ballots to county election bureaus – the offices in each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties that handle voter registration and administer state, local and federal elections.

    But voters have other options for the first time this year. Thanks to a 2019 change to the state Election Code, some counties have established satellite voting offices or secure drop box locations to collect ballots and administer voter services.

    2.  After fiery unveiling, some Republicans express concern with House election integrity panel

    Republicans in the Pennsylvania House sought this week to give a select committee — that they would control —  subpoena power to oversee the integrity of the 2020 election.

    The bill stoked concerns among Democrats that Republicans were attempting to delay results and pave the way for the GOP-controlled House to appoint its own electors who’d favor President Donald Trump.

    But even before legislators left Harrisburg early because of a COVID-19 diagnosis, some Republicans were joining their colleagues across the aisle in expressing concerns about the proposal.

    “It’s very hard to vote for anything that feeds into uncertainty and public concern,” Rep. Frank Farry, R-Bucks, told the Capital-Star.

    Specifically, the resolution sponsored by House State Government Committee Chairman Rep. Garth Everett, R-Lycoming, would set up a select committee made up of five lawmakers: three Republicans and two Democrats.

    3. Pa. Reps. Perry, Kelly vote ‘no’ to condemn QAnon

    Republican Reps. Scott Perry, R-10th District, and Mike Kelly, R-16th District, voted ‘no’ Friday, on a resolution to condemn and reject QAnon, a Far-Right conspiracy group, and the theories it promotes.

    The resolution called QAnon “a movement promoting a collection of unfounded conspiracy theories that have spread widely on the internet since 2017” and cited crimes where QAnon followers were implicated.

    Other members of Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation voted to condemn the conspiracy group.

    4. Here’s what the CDC eviction ban means for Pennsylvania

    Pennsylvanians who have fallen behind on rent may be shielded from eviction once again, this time under a new federal order that aims to keep them in their homes through the end of 2020.

    Housing attorneys say they’re still analyzing the details of a new order the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued unexpectedly late Tuesday evening, which appears to shield most renters from new eviction claims if they’ve lost jobs or income.

    The order may not take effect until Friday, experts say. But it will remain in place, nationwide, through Dec. 31.

    5. Get to know Pa.’s Auditor General candidates: Green Party candidate Olivia Faison

    For the second installment of our four-part series with the candidates for the statewide Office of the Auditor General, the Capital-Star chatted with Olivia Faison, former inspector of elections at her polling place and Green Party candidate for Auditor General.

    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.