Open for adventure: Pennsylvania Parks | Five for the weekend

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    Happy weekend, everyone!

    With a beautiful summer weekend on the horizon, we’d thought we’d share the latest on Pennsylvania’s state parks.

    Now that all 67 counties are in the yellow or green phase of reopening, Pennsylvania’s state parks announced earlier this week that as of Friday, June 12, cabins, cottages, lodges and yurts across the state are open.

    Most state park swimming pools will be open as of Saturday, June 13 and all beaches are open to swimming with 50 percent normal capacity.

    You can see details about which parks are open and other COVID-19-related information here, on the DCNR page.

    As always, the top five stories from this week’s news are below to help you stay current.

    All the best,
    Cassie Miller | Associate Editor

    1. COVID-19 outbreak in Pa.: What’s open and what’s closedThis story will be updated with the latest COVID-related re-openings. Last update: Wednesday, June 10, 2020.

    Updated: With all 67 Pennsylvania counties now fully, or partially, reopened, the Wolf administration has issued updated guidance for a host of outdoor-related businesses, from miniature golf courses and paintball ranges, to horseback riding businesses and tennis clubs.

    “As summer quickly approaches and all 67 counties are in either yellow or green phases of reopening, it was important to provide businesses with the guidance necessary to safely reopen or plan for reopening as they reach the green phase,” Gov. Tom Wolf said in a statement issued by his office. “I want all Pennsylvanians to remain active and to enjoy all the recreation the commonwealth has to offer, but we must do so safely and with social distancing top of mind.”

    2. In party-line vote, Pa. Senate panel votes to end Wolf’s COVID-19 emergency declarationAs calls mounted in the state Capitol for lawmakers to reform Pennsylvania’s policing tactics and oversight, a Senate committee advanced a measure Monday to terminate the state’s emergency declaration for COVID-19.

    The Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee voted 7-4 on party lines Monday to advance a resolution repealing the declaration that Gov. Tom Wolf issued in March and renewed in May, which has armed him with broad executive powers to contain the pandemic.

    The House approved a version of the same measure last month in a late night, 117-85 vote.

    3. Next move Wolf: House and Senate approve resolution toppling Gov’s emergency declaration
    After hours of floor debate on Tuesday, first the Pennsylvania Senate, then the House, passed a proposal to end Gov. Tom Wolf’s state of emergency for COVID-19.“Thirteen weeks is long enough,” said Rep. Bill Kortz, D-Allegheny. “Time to vote yes.”The Senate passed the proposal 31-19, with every Republican and two Democrats supporting it. In the House, the proposal passed 121-81, with every Republican and 12 Democrats in favor.

    Lawmakers cheered and applauded the tally in the House when it passed just after 9 p.m.

    Wolf’s issued the emergency order March 6. He has used it to close scores of businesses, mandate mask use for those that remained open, and to keep people in their homes.

    Since, Wolf has rolled back most of the most extreme social distancing measures. As of June 8, every county in Pennsylvania has at least partially reopened.

     

    4. COVID-19 in Pennsylvania: Tracking the outbreak with maps and graphs

    (Editor’s Note: Because of a change in the way the Dept. of Health reports data, the Capital-Star has stopped updating this data, effective 6/10/20. We will continue to report on events regarding the COVID-19 pandemic as they unfold.)

    The staff at the Capital-Star is working round-the-clock to keep you updated on the COVID-19 pandemic in Pennsylvania. Our continually updated graphics use state Department of Health data to show you the latest in testing data, total case counts, and the geographic spread of the virus.First, our county-level map shows how many cases have been confirmed in each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. We’re currently updating this at least once a day with information from the Department of Health’s noon-time press releases.

    5. Allegheny County Dems facing pushback after making a pair of controversial endorsementsBy Charlie Deitch

    Allegheny County’s Democratic Committee is facing criticism after the party voted to endorse a candidate who’s spoken favorably of President Donald Trump, and passed on endorsing the region’s only Black woman member of the state House of Representatives.

    The county party voted 49-19 on Sunday to endorse House hopeful Heather Kass, who’s used social media to belittle trans people; decried the Affordable Care Act; mocked common-sense gun legislation; called people on public assistance “lazy, no-good idiots,” said that drug addicts need to “OD” so there is “less **** in the world,” and openly supported President Donald Trump.

    Kass is running for Allegheny County’s 36th House District seat, which opened up with the retirement of veteran state Rep. Harry Readshaw. Jessica Benham, a disability rights advocate, is also seeking the Democratic nomination for the seat.

    And that’s the week. Enjoy the rest of your weekend. We’ll see you all back here on 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.