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Pennsylvania license plate featuring the Liberty Bell coming in 2025

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Pennsylvania license plate featuring the Liberty Bell coming in 2025


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pennsylvania drivers can show off their Keystone State pride with a new license plate design set to debut next year.

The “Let Freedom Ring” design, which features an image of the Liberty Bell, is the latest element of Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro’s “Great American Getaway” tourism initiative as the state prepares to host the country’s 250th anniversary in 2026.

Drivers interested in getting the plate can sign up now for email updates and notifications once they’re available for purchase. PennDOT says it will also provide drivers with instructions on how to request and pay for the new plates.

New Pennsylvania license plate for 2025
New Pennsylvania license plate for 2025

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Along with the plates, Shapiro shared a photo on X of new “Welcome to Pennsylvania” signs that are already being installed along state highways. “Pennsylvania is the birthplace of American democracy and American freedom, and we want the world to know it,” Shapiro wrote in the post.

So far, the new signs can be found at state-border entry points on U.S. 15 in Adams County, I-295 in Bucks County, I-90/the Ohio line in Erie County, I-70 in Fulton County, I-80 in Monroe County, Route 449 in Potter County, I-81 in Susquehanna County and Route 1015 in Tioga County. PennDOT says another 29 signs will be installed in the coming months.

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Similar to the new license plates, the signs also feature the Liberty Bell, the “Let Freedom Ring” slogan, and a red, white and blue color scheme.

In an interview with CBS News Philadelphia’s Don Bell, Shapiro talked about why the state is going all-in on its new tourism campaign, even though the nation’s 250th birthday is still two years away.

“Look, 74 million people live within a four-hour drive of Pennsylvania, and as a result of that, we’re really into tourism,” he said.  “We’re really into promoting the wonderful outdoor spaces, museums, restaurants, bars, sporting events that happen right here in the Commonwealth, and it’s huge business for us.”

In 2026, Pennsylvania is set to host a myriad of events that are likely to draw thousands of people to the state and city of Philadelphia, including the FIFA World Cup, MLB All-Star Game, the 108th PGA Championships, U.S. Amateur and the first two rounds of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

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When does hunting season begin in Pennsylvania?

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When does hunting season begin in Pennsylvania?


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If you’re planning on doing some hunting while lodging at one of Pennsylvania’s top campgrounds, you will need to know when the different hunting seasons begin, and if you’ll need a particular license to hunt that season.

When does hunting season begin in Pennsylvania?

The Pennsylvania Game Commission authorizes six broad hunting seasons in Pennsylvania: big game; falconry; furbearer; migratory game bird; trapping; and small game.

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Hunters need to pay close attention to each season’s subcategories, which list the actual game hunters can go for and when the season begins for hunting that particular animal.

For example, the small game season lists season opening and closing dates for hunting bobwhite quail, crow, pheasant, rabbits, ruffed grouse and woodchuck.

The next small game hunting season, which is for squirrels, opens on September 14.

Can I hunt for black bear and deer in Pennsylvania?

Hunters going for big game in Pennsylvania, which also includes wild turkeys, will have to wait until Pennsylvania’s big game/black bear season opens on November 23.

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Hunters are only allowed to bag one black bear per season, cautioned the Pennsylvania Game Commission, which also declared it unlawful to hunt on Sundays except for coyotes, crows and foxes.

Hunters looking to bag deer should know there are different statewide opening dates for deer hunting, depending on your hunting hardware and species of deer:

  • Hunting deer using archery: October 5
  • Hunting anterless deer using a muzzleloader: October 19
  • Hunting anterless deer using specialized firearms: October 24
  • Hunting deer using regular firearms: November 30
  • Hunting deer using flintlock firearms: December 26
  • Hunting deer with extended regular firearms: December 26

The Pennsylvania Game Commission also published a hunting and trapping digest which includes season dates, reminders and other hunting tips for the 2024-25 hunting season.

Do I need a license to hunt in Pennsylvania?

You will need a license to hunt in Pennsylvania, which can be obtained after completing a hunter-trapper education course.

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The Pennsylvania Game Commission offers more than two dozen different types of hunting licenses and add-ons, beginning at $6.97.

“With a resident adult hunting license, hunters receive an antlered deer tag, one fall turkey tag, one spring turkey tag and small game hunting privileges for one license year,” read the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s hunting licensing website. “To legally pursue antlerless deer in Pennsylvania, hunters must apply for and purchase an antlerless deer license.

“Special licensesmust be purchased in addition to a general hunting license to pursue black bear, migratory game birds, elk, and furbearers, and special licenses must also be purchased to pursue deer during archery or muzzleloader seasons.”

Damon C. Williams is a Philadelphia-based journalist reporting on trending topics across the Mid-Atlantic Region.



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In swing-state Pennsylvania, Latino-majority city embraces chance to sway 2024 election

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In swing-state Pennsylvania, Latino-majority city embraces chance to sway 2024 election


Religion and politics frequently overlap in Reading, an old industrial city in one of the most pivotal swing states of this year’s presidential election.

In Pennsylvania, there is early precedent for this kind of thing. The state began as a haven for Quakers and other European religious minorities fleeing persecution. That includes the parents of Daniel Boone, the national folk hero born just miles from Reading, a town where the Latino population is now the majority.

Today, the Catholic mayor is also a migrant — and the first Latino to hold the office in Reading’s 276-year history. Mayor Eddie Moran is keenly aware of the pivotal role Pennsylvania could play in the high-stakes race, when a few thousand votes in communities like his could decide the future of the United States.

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“Right now, with the growing Latino population and the influx of Latinos moving into cities such as Reading, it’s definitely an opportunity for the Latino vote to change the outcome of an election,” Moran says. “It’s not a secret anymore.”

A community of spirituality — and Latinos

In Reading, the sky is dotted with crosses atop church steeples, one after the other. Catholic church pews fill up on Sundays and many stand for the services. Elsewhere, often in nondescript buildings, evangelical and Pentecostal congregations gather to sing, pray and sometimes speak in tongues.

Outside, salsa, merengue and reggaeton music (often sung in Spanglish) blast from cars and houses along city streets first mapped out by William Penn’s sons — and that now serve a thriving downtown packed with restaurants proudly owned by Latinos.

This is a place where, when the mayor is told that his town is 65% Latino, he takes pride in saying: “It’s more like 70%.”

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They believe in their political sway. A Pew Research Center survey conducted in 2022 found that eight in 10 Latino registered voters say their vote can affect the country’s direction at least “some.”

On a recent Sunday, Luis Hernandez, 65, born in Puerto Rico, knelt to pray near the altar at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church. Later, walking out after Mass, Hernandez said he’ll vote for Trump — even on the very day of the former president’s criminal convictions related to hush money for a porn star.

“Biden is old,” Hernandez says, and then reflects on how Trump is only a few years younger. “Yes, but you look at Trump and you see the difference. … Biden’s a good man. He’s decent. But he’s too old.”

In the weeks after he spoke, many more Americans would join in calls for Biden to withdraw from the race after his debate debacle, which crystallized growing concerns that, at 81, he’s too old.

Francisco Fernandez, 95, poses for a portrait outside St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Reading, Pa., on June 9, 2024.

Immigration is a key topic

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It’s not just about Biden’s age or debate performance. It’s also, Hernandez says, about the border crisis. He says too many immigrants are arriving in the United States, including some he considers criminals. And, he adds, so much has changed since his Dominican-born father arrived in the 1960s — when, he says, it was easier to enter and stay in America.

For some, there are other issues as well.

“It’s the economy, immigration and abortion,” says German Vega, 41, a Dominican American who became a U.S. citizen in 2015. Vega, who describes himself as “pro-life,” voted for Trump in 2020 and plans to do so again in November.

“Biden doesn’t know what he’s saying. He doesn’t know what he’s doing, and we have a country divided,” Vega says. Trump is “a person of character. … He looks confident. He never gives up; he’s always fighting for what he believes.”

Of course, there are some here who just don’t favor taking sides — except if it’s for Jesus. Listen to Pastor Alex Lopez, a Puerto Rican who cuts hair in a barber shop on the first floor of his home on Saturdays, and preaches on the second floor on Sundays.

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“We’re neutral,” he says. “We just believe in God.”

A man smokes a cigarette in front of the "Latino Americans for Trump" office in Reading, Pa., on June 16, 2024.

A man smokes a cigarette in front of the “Latino Americans for Trump” office in Reading, Pa., on June 16, 2024.

A city with deep industrial roots resurges

Reading was once synonymous with iron and steel. Those industries cemented the creation of the Reading Railroad (an early stop on the Monopoly gameboard) that helped fuel the Industrial Revolution and became, in the late 19th century, one of the country’s major corporations.

Today, the city of about 95,000 people, 65 miles northwest of Philadelphia, has a fast-increasing population. However, it is one of the state’s poorest cities, with a median household income of about $44,000, compared to about $72,000 in Pennsylvania.

Reading is 67% Latino, according to U.S. Census figures, and home to high concentrations of people of Dominican and Puerto Rican heritage — as well as Colombians and Mexicans, who own restaurants and other businesses around town.

Political candidates are taking notice of Reading’s political and economic power. The 2020 presidential election in Pennsylvania was decided by about 82,000 votes, and — according to the Pew Research Center — there are more than 600,000 eligible Latino voters in the state.

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It’s true that Reading still leans mostly Democratic — Biden crushed Trump in the city by a margin of about 46 percentage points in 2020. However in that election, voting-age turnout in the city (about 35%) was significantly lower than the rest of the state (about 67%).

But the Trump campaign doesn’t want to miss out on the opportunity to turn it around. It recently teamed up with the Republican National Committee and Pennsylvania GOP to open a “Latino Americans for Trump” office in a red-brick building near the Democratic mayor’s downtown office.

A sign is displayed at the "Latino Americans for Trump" office in Reading, Pa., June 16. The 2020 presidential election in Pennsylvania was decided by about 82,000 votes, and according to the Pew Research Center, there are more than 600,000 eligible Latino voters in the state.

A sign is displayed at the “Latino Americans for Trump” office in Reading, Pa., June 16. The 2020 presidential election in Pennsylvania was decided by about 82,000 votes, and according to the Pew Research Center, there are more than 600,000 eligible Latino voters in the state.

Moran has made a plea to Biden and other Democrats to take notice and visit Reading before the election. It’s crucial, he says.

“I think that it’s still predominantly Democratic,” he says. “But the candidates need to come out and really explain that to the community.”

One development, Moran says, is that religious leaders are now less hesitant to get involved in politics.

“Things change, even for churches,” he says. Clergy “realize the importance that they hold as faith-based leaders and religious leaders and they’re making a call of action through their congregations.”

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The message: Get out and vote

A few blocks from St. Peter’s, a crowd gathers inside First Baptist Church, which dates to the late 19th century.

In a sign of Reading’s changing demographics, the aging and shrinking congregation of white Protestants donated the building to Iglesia Jesucristo es el Rey (Church Jesus Christ is the King), a thriving Latino congregation of some 100 worshippers who have shared the building with First Baptist for nearly a decade.

Pastors Carol Pagan and her husband Jose, both from Puerto Rico, recently led prayer. At the end of the service, microphone in hand, the pastors encourage parishioners to vote in the election — irrespective of who they choose as the president.

“The right to vote is,” Carol Pagan says before her husband chimes in: “a civic responsibility.”

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After the service, the congregation descends to the basement, where they share a traditional meal of chicken with rice and beans.

“I believe the principle of human rights have to do with both parties — or any party running,” Carol Pagan says. “I always think of the elderly, of the health system, of health insurance, and how it shouldn’t be so much about capitalism but more rights for all of us to be well.”

Both of the Pagans make clear that they won’t vote for Trump. They’re waiting, like others, for circumstances that might lead Biden to withdraw, so they can support another Democratic candidate.

“It’s our duty to shield that person with prayer — it doesn’t matter if that person is a Democrat or a Republican,” Carol Pagan says. “We owe them that.”



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Pennsylvania labor, Democratic leaders voice support for President Biden

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Pennsylvania labor, Democratic leaders voice support for President Biden


Western Pa. labor leaders and Democratic elected officials rallied at Steelworkers union headquarters to make it clear they stand with President Biden — and stand against former President Trump as Trump returns to the region to campaign.



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