Bellevue Bulletin, January 8, 2021

Bellevue Bulletin, January 8, 2021

Happy New Year!

Federal 

Capitol Police Chief to Resign Next Week: Reports

  • The Chief of the Police force that was responsible for protecting the United States Capitol will, according to the AP, be resigning next week. 
  • House Speaker Pelosi called for his resignation on Thursday, as well as the head of the union representing the Capitol Police. 

Pa. Senate makes national news: Ousting Lt. Gov. John Fetterman as presiding officer and leaving a seat empty

  • During the debate over not seating Senator Jim Brewester, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman refused requests by Sen. Ryan Aument to be recognized to speak. Instead, Fetterman broke from Senate rules to call on Senator Steve Santarsiero. 
  • 14 of 25 sitting Senators voted to remove Lt. Gov Fetterman from the rostrum and Senator Corman replacing him in his duties as presiding officer.

State

Momentum Increases Among PA Dems Urging Pence to Invoke 25th Amendment to Remove Trump

  • Many Pennsylvania senators and representatives have now called upon Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th amendment in response to the riots that took place in the U.S. Capitol. 
  • The 25th Amendment would attempt to remove President Trump from office and instead make Vice President Pence able to carry out the duties of President. The Amendment requires the Vice President and a majority of either principal officers or Congress to provide a written declaration to the Speaker of the House that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of office. 
  • At the moment, Vice President Pence has opposed the call to invoke the 25th Amendment. 

First case of COVID-19 variant found in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania

  • The first case of a new variant of COVID-19 was announced today by Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine. The variant was first discovered in England in December.
  • The individual tested positive after known international exposure, and a case investigation and contact tracing was performed to identify anyone who was in close contact. 
  • Secretary Levine stated that ““Pennsylvania has been preparing for this variant by working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and has been sending 10-35 random samples biweekly to the CDC since November to study sequencing and detect any potential cases for this new COVID-19 variant.”

Pennsylvania: Send elementary students back to school

  • On Thursday, state health and education officials said that PA schools should consider returning to in-person instruction for all elementary-age students. 
  • Despite this new guidance, Noe Ortega, acting secretary of the state Department of Education, said that the decision to do hybrid schooling, in person instruction, or online instruction will still rest with the school districts. 

Pennsylvania governor, health secretary give update on COVID-19 and vaccine plan

  • Today, Governor Wolf and Secretary Dr. Levine gave an update on the distribution of vaccination throughout the state and who will be eligible for shots in the initial rollout phase. 
  • Health care workers and nursing home residents will be included in the first phase, phase 1A, followed by people 75 years and older and essential workers like police officers, grocery store clerks and teachers in 1B.
  • In phase 1C, those between the ages of 16 and 64 with high risk conditions will be able to get the vaccine, along with food service workers and most office workers.

City

Philly DA Larry Krasner is ready for his close-up, just in time for reelection

  • In a new documentary series being premiered on February 2nd and 3rd at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, viewers will get an in-depth look at inside the Krasner’s campaign and his first term. 
  • The series, entitled Philly D.A, will be available on streaming format. More information has yet to become available. 
  • Carlos Vega, long-time prosecutor and Democratic challenger to Larry Krasner, is suspicious about the timing, stating: “Since he has a challenger who has a grassroots movement based on his policies, he’s reaching out to his elites, outside of the city and outside of the state, to help him in the campaign.”

Environmentalists cry foul as Philly’s plastic bag ban delayed

  • Mayor Kenney has delayed the implementation of a bill that would eliminate plastic bags in stores, restaurants, and delivery services for another six months. 
  • The implementation of the regulation, the administration said, will be postponed until July 2021 because of the impact of the pandemic on the business community, and the law will “only be successful if there is widespread messaging to our diverse business owners, effective enforcement, and most importantly, partnership among all stakeholders and communities,” city officials said.

Philly’s first raised bike lane with a concrete buffer is nearly complete

  • Philadelphia’s first-ever, 1.3 mile buffered by concrete is almost complete.
  • The lane stretches along the median of North American Street and runs from Northern Liberties to Fairhill. 
  • “​It is anticipated that we will complete the final wearing course and pavement markings in early spring of 2021,” said Streets Department spokesperson Joy Huertas.
  • During his inaugural address after his reelection, Mayor Kenney promised 40 miles of protected bike lanes throughout the city and his office — and Philadelphians — remain optimistic. 

Good News

The U.S. Just Got a New National Park — and It’s a Rock Climbing and Whitewater Rafting Paradise

West Virginia’s New River Gorge becomes the nation’s newest national park.

A popular rock climbing and whitewater rafting destination in southeastern West Virginia has officially become a U.S. national park, thanks to the latest COVID-19 stimulus package.

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