Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Companies Courting PWSA, But The Authority’s Really Just Focusing On Itself Right Now

As the lights went down in the O’Hara Township council room, Peoples Gas CEO Morgan O’Brien began narrating a short video he’d brought to chambers.

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Politics & Government

Keith Srakocic / AP

The mayor of Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania’s auditor general held a joint press conference Thursday, arguing that legalizing the recreational use marijuana could generate more than a half-billion dollars in tax revenue each year.

“The time for Pennsylvania legislators to act is right now,” said state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale. “The longer we wait to do this, and the more other states go down on this path, the more Pennsylvania will be a follower. ... The train is pulling out of the station.”

Court Throws Out 2012 Welfare Law Over How Bill Was Enacted

10 hours ago
Carolyn Kaster / AP

A Pennsylvania law that ended state cash welfare benefits in 2012 and made other changes to human services programs was thrown out Wednesday over methods used to push it through the Legislature by Republican majorities.

The state Supreme Court unanimously struck down the multi-faceted legislation because its passage violated state constitutional requirements that bills be considered in each chamber for at least three session days before being voted out.

Matt Rourke / AP

State lawmakers—particularly the ones running for office—have spent the last month touting the fact they passed a budget ahead of schedule after a decade of regular impasses.

Their success wasn’t unusual this year—nearly every state passed an on-time budget thanks to strong revenues.

Late budgets have become routine in a number of states since the 2008 recession.

Alex Brandon / AP

In a 45-minute "tele-town hall" with Pennsylvanians Wednesday morning, Pat Toomey made clear -- again -- that he thought the Russians should pay a steep price for trying to shape the outcome of the 2016 election.

At the same time, however, he pushed back on suggestions that there be a cost for the man who won that election, President Donald Trump.  

Science, Health & Tech

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

About 100 people filled Pittsburgh City Council chambers Tuesday for a hearing on a proposed UPMC vision and rehabilitation hospital in Uptown. Many were opposed to the plan and called on the multi-billion-dollar non-profit to provide more affordable care and offer expanded benefits for employees.

Identity & Justice

Gene J. Puskar / AP

Members of a Penn State University fraternity charged in connection with the death of a pledge after a night of hazing and drinking are scheduled to go to trial early next year.

Centre County Judge Jonathan Grine set aside 20 days for the trial involving 21 members of the now-closed Beta Theta Pi fraternity, starting Feb. 6.

Defendants are accused of hazing, reckless endangerment and other offenses after the death last year of 19-year-old pledge Tim Piazza, of Lebanon, New Jersey.

Education

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said he was "stunned" by results of his audit on the Woodland Hills School District. 

Good Question!

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

One Quiet Pittsburgh Neighborhood Is Home To A Civil War Fort

Stanton Heights is filled with brick houses, families walking dogs, and lots of trees. It's also home to a 150-year-old piece of history.

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Development & Transportation

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

As the lights went down in the O’Hara Township council room, Peoples Gas CEO Morgan O’Brien began narrating a short video he’d brought to chambers.

Arts, Sports, & Culture

Renee Rosensteel / WYEP

There’s a new plan to improve Pittsburgh’s music scene.

The Pittsburgh Music Ecosystem Study was released Thursday. The 86-page report, 10 months in the making, suggests that Pittsburgh’s scene needs more leadership, career development for musicians, regulatory changes and more.

Environment & Energy

Marie Cusick / StateImpact Pennsylvania

State environmental officials have fined CNX Gas Company $250,000 for violations that took place this spring during the construction of a gathering pipeline in Indiana County.

Inspectors for the Department of Environmental Protection reported in March that water laden with sediment was not properly contained during construction and leaked into a tributary of Mudlick Run in North Mahoning Township. They also said the company installed an unauthorized pipe to direct the polluted water into the tributary.

Economy & Business

Online Gambling Petitions Are Rolling In Ahead Of Pennsylvania's Deadline

Jul 16, 2018
Wayne Parry / AP

Applications to operate casino-style gambling online in Pennsylvania were rolling in ahead of Monday's deadline for the state's casino owners to get a license at a discounted rate of $10 million.

The deadline arrived as Pennsylvania is in the midst of an aggressive gambling expansion as the state scrounges for cash to shore up its treasury.

Under a law signed late last year by Gov. Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania became the fourth state to legalize online casino gambling, joining Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware.

Local Headlines

The 90 Neighborhoods, 90 Good Stories Podcast introduces you to people in the Pittsburgh area, who are striving to make their community a better place to live.

This episode, we speak with Brian Oswald, a board member of the South Side Slopes Neighborhood Association and a resident expert on the community’s many steps; Diana Ames, a Friendship resident who helped develop the neighborhood’s Baum Grove Parklet; and Brittany Reno, who is working to make sure that future changes in Sharpsburg benefit all residents equitably.

Swimmer Beware: Pennsylvania Drownings Highlight River Risks

Jul 16, 2018
Michael Rubinkam / AP

Katelyn Carlisle nervously eyed the murky waters lapping at her feet.

Food & Drink

Like Organic Food? Pennsylvania's Young Farmers Grow It

Jul 18, 2018
Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

While he was studying political science at West Chester University six years ago, Frank Kurylo pondered some career options. He first considered becoming an environmental law attorney. Later, he briefly worked on a few Pennsylvania political campaigns.

Then Kurylo, now 28, changed course entirely. He became a farmer.

National & International

In the early 2000s — the beginning of the third decade of the AIDS epidemic--the world came together in an unprecedented global health effort to provide life-saving AIDS drugs to people even in the poorest corners of the world. It has been an overwhelming public health success story. In 2000, fewer than a million of the then 34.3 million people with AIDS were being treated with AIDS drugs, and almost all of them lived in wealthy countries.

Stories from National Partners

Deep in rural Cambodia, Chan Vanna pushes his longtail boat through the calm waters of the Koh Kong estuary. Until about 10 years ago, Vanna made a living fishing here, providing for his wife, Wid, and their seven children. Then one day, he says, giant machines showed up at their small inlet and started dredging sand from the bottom of the river.

“They never discussed with our community,” Vanna says. “They came to dredge and the land fell down. And the water became deep.”

The land “fell down” because the dredging caused the riverbanks to wash away.

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