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    With winter storm Stella bearing down on us today (Tuesday) it appears many folks will have some down time over the next couple of days.

    A Pennsylvania judge is dismissing a lawsuit filed by the Republican National Committee that had sought to prevent counties from helping voters ensure their ballots count by fixing minor, technical errors on mail-in ballot envelopes. The judge wrote Thursday that county courts, not a statewide court, have jurisdiction. Republicans had argued that state law prevents what is known as “ballot curing” and must be barred. Ballot curing has been practiced primarily by Democratic-leaning counties in Pennsylvania. It includes notifying voters that they forgot to do things like date or sign their mail-in ballot envelope and gives them the opportunity to fix it. The state's lawyers say no law bars it.

    The office of Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman says he's expected to return to the chamber soon after seeking inpatient treatment for clinical depression. Senate Democratic leaders aren't giving a timeline for his return. The 53-year-old Fetterman was still recovering from the aftereffects of a stroke from last May when he checked himself into Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Feb. 15. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer says “we want to give him the space to recuperate.” Fetterman’s spokesperson says Fetterman will be back soon, although his return is at least a week away. The aide says Fetterman is receiving daily briefings.

    Federal officials are delaying a decision on whether to approve an oil pipeline tunnel in a Great Lakes waterway. The Army Corps of Engineers on Thursday released a new timeline for consideration of the project in Michigan's Straits of Mackinac, which connects Lake Superior and Lake Huron. Enbridge Energy wants to drill the tunnel to house a section of its Line 5 pipeline. The Army Corps had planned an initial environmental report late this year but now says it will be released in spring 2025. That means a decision on tunnel likely won't come until 2026. If the project is approved, it's expected to take several years to complete.

    As spring sports get underway at East Palestine High School in Ohio, organizers are trying to create normalcy for student-athletes while cleanup from the February train derailment and toxic chemical burn continues just over a mile away. Environmental officials say testing shows the air and water there are safe, but health and safety concerns have disrupted the sports schedule. Nearly a dozen schools have pulled out of the invitational track meets East Palestine hosts. Athletic director Dwayne Pavkovich says he understands why they have reservations. But when other schools ask what they can do to help, his answer is simple: Come and play us.


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