Voters in Pennsylvania’s 12th Congressional District will choose a new representative earlier than expected. A special election will coincide with Pennsylvania’s primary election, May 21, after a surprise resignation. Republican Congressman Tom Marino resigned, saying he’s leaving for a job in the private sector.
Pennsylvania’s Agriculture Department is opening up its hemp program, pending approval from the federal government. The commonwealth has run a pilot program for industrial hemp over the past two years, but it was only open to entities growing the crop for research.
Industrial hemp used to be grown across the commonwealth and used for things like clothing, rope, and animal feed. Its popularity started to decline with the rise of cotton about 150 years ago, but the industry really suffered a setback when Congress outlawed it in the 1930s because of its similarities to marijuana.
Democratic Governor Tom Wolf is establishing a bipartisan panel tasked with finding ways to make the redistricting process in Pennsylvania more fair. The governor on Thursday signed an executive order to create the Pennsylvania Redistricting Reform Commission.
READING, PA (WITF) — An advocacy group for Latino and immigrant rights in Pennsylvania is claiming victory in Tuesday’s midterm elections. The crowd at the Make the Road Action in PA offices in Reading burst into song at the news Democrats were projected to hold on to the governor’s office and a U.S. Senate seat. “Venceremos,” they sang, “we will win.”
Rapho Township, PA (WITF) — Farmers and researchers in 23 counties have been studying industrial hemp in trial crops this year. The former cash crop could see a resurgence if a U.S. Senate version of the federal Farm Bill is passed later this year.
HARRISBURG, PA (WITF) — All 25 Pennsylvania state prisons are operating under a new normal after a 12-day lockdown. That includes the state correctional institutions at Camp Hill, Coal Township and Frackville.
HARRISBURG, PA (WITF) — This year has been tough for midstate dairy farmers. Deans Foods ended contracts with dozens of producers in March, while demand and prices for milk are at a low point. Now researchers are suggesting another way of generating income for dairy farmers.
HARRISBURG, PA (WITF) — This weekend, Pittsburgh is slated to host the first festival of black craft beer brewers from around the country. Among their ranks will be Harris Family Brewery–believed to be Pennsylvania’s first African-American-owned craft brewery.