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Pa. slashes unemployment checks after overpaying workers | Morning Newsletter

And, how a beekeeper and a restaurant saved a synagogue’s apiary.

Thousands of Pennsylvanians now owe money to the state because of an accidental overpayment of unemployment benefits. To make up the difference, these workers are now getting less each week during already trying times.

On the plus side, the Philly area is looking at a vibrant season for foliage, and Lasagna, the almost 30-pound cat, has a new home.

— Lauren Aguirre (@laurencaguirre,

Pennsylvania accidentally overpaid about 30,000 claims in July for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a benefits program for self-employed or contract workers. These workers received duplicate payments by mistake — collectively totaling up to $280 million. Now, to compensate, the state is slashing weekly payments.

This is putting workers in even more of a bind during a pandemic, but overpayment mistakes aren’t limited to this specific program, or even to Pennsylvania.

At a rally in Pittsburgh this week, President Donald Trump said that Joe Biden’s plan for net-zero emissions “would instantly shut down all fracking and all mining immediately in Pennsylvania.” My colleague Jessica Calefati, in partnership with PolitiFact Pennsylvania, wondered if Trump accurately characterized Biden’s plan.

Turns out Trump did not. Here’s more about Biden’s plan and why what Trump said wasn’t accurate.

Each year, on the rooftop of a North Broad Street synagogue, honey is harvested from beehives for the Jewish high holidays. But this year was of course like no other. The congregation was closed due to the pandemic and the hives had been inaccessible for several months.

Unfortunately, the hives were dead when they were checked this September, but honey was still provided for the High Holidays. My colleague Craig LaBan takes you through the story, and his personal connections to it.

What you need to know today

  1. Demonstrators in Philadelphia took their protest onto I-95 Thursday night in continued outrage over the decision by a grand jury in Kentucky not to indict police officers in the death of Breonna Taylor.

  2. Philly city officials will pull all 53 kids out of residential campuses run by Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health after a safety review found that staffers repeatedly failed to watch over them.

  3. An economist evaluated Trump’s and Biden’s economic policies. Here’s what he found.

  4. Three Philly-area teenagers ran a trafficking network that put dozens of illegally bought guns on the streets, authorities say.

  5. A customized SEPTA Key card is coming for Philly students, which will add to the system’s inflating cost.

  6. Days after the U.S. House passed legislation to provide federal protection from discrimination against natural hairstyles, including Afros, braids, locs, twists, or knots, Pennsylvania lawmakers are promoting similar legislation for the state.

  7. New Jersey lawmakers passed the state’s new $32.7 billion budget, which included hiking taxes on millionaires and businesses. The Legislature also passed a ban on single-use plastic and paper bags as well as plastic foam containers.

Through your eyes | #OurPhilly

I hope this post brightens up your morning like it did mine. Thanks for sharing, @justjo1002!

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

That’s interesting

  1. 🍁 “Quite a vibrant season" for fall foliage is shaping up in the Philly region after a spectacular run of weather.

  2. 🍕 Dock Street South is getting a pizza oven, and South Philly is excited about it.

  3. 🎓 Penn’s new student leaders identify as first-generation college students from lower income families. Here’s what they want to achieve.

  4. 📅 This week in the Philly area, you can check out the Bucks County Book Festival, a performance of Tarzan, and even more events at The page is updated every week.


“What I do remember, even today, is how it felt seeing someone who looked and sounded like me doing what back then I could only dream I would do myself.” — writes Inquirer columnist Helen Ubiñas about looking up to the first Latina in many newsrooms, who wrote about this country’s love, and hate, of immigrants.

  1. Should Supreme Court justices have term limits? In the opinion team’s latest Pro/Con, two experts discuss.

  2. Say Breonna Taylor’s name because her Black life mattered, writes Inquirer columnist Jenice Armstrong.

What we’re reading

  1. This week, a grand jury in Louisville indicted one officer in Breonna Taylor’s death. The Louisville Courier-Journal has everything you need to know about the decision and the reaction to it.

  2. WHYY explains why Philly should build a park for dirt bike riders instead of criminalizing them.

  3. Working across time zones can mean being up at 3 a.m., but it’s worth it for some travelers that the Washington Post profiled.

Your Daily Dose of | Lasagna the cat

Lasagna, the 30-pound cat who captured Philly’s heart this week, is set to go to a loving home. In less than 24 hours of sharing her story on social media and a local news program, Lasagna was adopted. Hundreds of inquiries flooded in for this kitty, but ACCT Philly, the city’s animal care and control team, people interested in Lasagna will want to adopt or foster one of their 129 other cats.