Government & Politics

Government
9:27 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Mother of Toddler Mauled by Zoo Dogs Will Not be Charged

The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium should have launched a better immediate response to the early November incident in which a South Hills toddler was mauled to death by a pack of African painted dogs after falling into the zoo exhibit, according to District Attorney Stephen Zappala.

As he announced some preliminary results of his investigation into the incident, the DA did not say whether he would seek criminal charges against the zoo, but Zappala said he will not charge any family members.  Zappala did mention some potential charges he would review in similar situations.

Read more
Government
8:36 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

City Council on Track to Create Equal Opportunity Department

Pittsburgh City Council gave preliminary approval on Wednesday to legislation that would give city government the ability to crack down on contractors who flout Pittsburgh's equal opportunity requirements while doing business with the city.

Read more
Government
9:01 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Child Abuse Task Force Calls For Sweeping Changes

A special task force created in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal is calling on the legislature to make changes in the law to allow reports of child abuse within an institution to go up the chain of command.

Read more
Government
6:41 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Making Allentown Safer One Phase at a Time

Allentown is between Mt. Washington and the South Side, the T runs right down its main street, and there is a small business district. But, blight and safety concerns have hampered growth in the area. A little less than two years ago, the Allentown Business District Safety Initiative was launched to address that. Phase I added lighting, gates and fencing to improve the safety of the neighborhood.

Read more
Government
8:57 am
Tue November 27, 2012

On-Line Holiday Shoppers: Don't Forget the Sales Tax

http://2cccd5dfe1965e26adf6-26c50ce30a6867b5a67335a93e186605.r53.cf1.rackcdn.com/Cyber Monday Wrap_Mary Wilson_SOC.mp3

Pennsylvanians who observed Cyber Monday by taking to the Internet for some holiday shopping should save their receipts. Consumers are responsible for reporting online purchases to the state when those purchases don’t include sales tax.

Read more
Government
8:57 am
Tue November 27, 2012

$26.5M For Parks, Trails Improvements in PA

Nearly two hundred projects across the commonwealth are receiving a combined $26.5 million in grants intended to enhance existing and create new recreational opportunities as well as conserve natural resources.

Read more
Government
8:20 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Allegheny County Juvenile Justice Recommendations Released

Following two years of work, the Allegheny County Commission on Juvenile Justice has released a report outlining recommendations and rules for those working in all levels of the juvenile justice system.  

“Among the recommendations in the report are: judicial ethics, including mandatory formal training sessions on judicial ethics at regular intervals. Judicial training: including a recommendation that all family division judges attend a minimum of 12 hours of continuing education each year,” said Allegheny County President Judge Donna Jo McDaniel.

Read more
Government
7:42 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Community Update On 911th Airlift Wing

As Congress considers legislation to block the closure of the 911th Airlift Wing in Moon Township, U.S. Representative Tim Murphy (R-PA-18) will hold a community meeting this evening to update local residents on the status of the base.

Other area officials including State Representative Mark Mustio (R-Allegheny) and County Council members Heather Heidelbaugh, Michael Finnerty and Vince Gastgeb will be on hand to discuss the next steps needed to keep the critical military installation.

Read more
Government
9:13 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Transportation Funding, Pension Reform Top Senate GOP Agenda

State Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-Chester) said top billing for the legislative agenda next year goes to a transportation funding package.

"That infrastructure is critical," Pileggi said.  "We need to invest in it.  I think that'’s our number one job-creating, legislative agenda item for the coming session."

Republicans are working with a slimmer majority this year, 27-23,  after losing three seats in the November election.  But, Pileggi said getting votes shouldn'’t be a problem and even if it were, transportation funding is likely to be a bipartisan issue.

Read more
Government
9:13 am
Mon November 26, 2012

City Budget Season Kicks Off With Your Input

It's the most wonderful time of the year. No, not the holiday season -- the city budget season, in which Pittsburgh City Council will tweak the mayor's budget proposal to hammer out a final spending plan for 2013.

The process begins today with a public hearing on Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's $469.5 million operating budget proposal, and his $65 million capital budget plan.

Read more
Government
2:18 pm
Sat November 24, 2012

PA Won't Have to Limit Military Funeral Honors

A limit on taxpayer-paid military funeral honors to burials within 100 miles of Philadelphia and central Pennsylvania has been lifted by the state National Guard after it received a commitment for more federal money, a state Department of Military and Veterans Affairs spokeswoman said Friday.

Read more
Government
5:39 pm
Fri November 23, 2012

Two State House Seats Still Up for Grabs

The general election is long over, but because some candidates ran successfully for two offices at the same time, a pair of special elections will have to be scheduled.  One seat will be vacated when Democratic Representative Eugene DePasquale of York County when he resigns from the House to be sworn in as Auditor General. He was elected in November, but also re-elected to his House seat. DePasquale says his office isn't rushing to finish constituent casework.
 

Read more
Government
8:37 am
Fri November 23, 2012

Auditor General Says State University Boards Need Fewer Members

http://2cccd5dfe1965e26adf6-26c50ce30a6867b5a67335a93e186605.r53.cf1.rackcdn.com/Smaller Board Wrap Web.mp3

The four state-related schools, which receive hundreds of millions of dollars in commonwealth funding, have recently come under fire for the size of their boards of trustees.

Read more
Government
2:01 pm
Thu November 22, 2012

County Controller's Office Could Sustain Layoffs Due to Budget Cut

The Allegheny County Controller's office is warning of possible layoffs it would sustain if County Council passes the 2013 operating budget proposed by County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

At Council's Budget and Finance Committee meeting Wednesday, Deputy County Controller Amy Griser said her office could be forced to lay off as many as twenty employees if the 10 percent cut goes through. Griser said the Fitzgerald plan would put the County Controller budget at $5.7 million, roughly $650,000 less than the current allocation.

Read more
Government
8:23 am
Thu November 22, 2012

Putting A Yellow Dot in Your Car Window Could Save Your Life

You’re in a car accident on your way to work. Emergency responders arrive to help, but they face two challenges: they don’t know whom to contact on your behalf, and they know little about your medical history.

The Pennsylvania Yellow Dot and Emergency Contact Information programs are aimed at solving both problems.

The Yellow Dot program allows people to fill out forms with emergency an medical contacts, and their current medical information.

Read more
Government
8:07 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

Mixed Reactions to Pennsylvania Lottery Privatization Bid

Governor Tom Corbett is reviewing a contract bid from Camelot Global Services that would put the British company at the helm of Pennsylvania's $3.5 billion lottery system. In the meantime, politicians and experts are expressing mixed reviews of the privatization bid, which promises billions of dollars in additional revenue over the next twenty years.

 

State Senator Wayne Fontana, an opponent of privatization, said it’s curious that the commonwealth has received only one finalized bid since it requested private management proposals in April.

 

Read more
Government
1:12 pm
Wed November 21, 2012

PA Gets Single Bid to Run Lottery

The Britain-based company that runs the national lottery in the United Kingdom is pledging to produce more than $34 billion in profits over 20 years if it wins a contract to manage the Pennsylvania Lottery, Gov. Tom Corbett's administration said Tuesday as it moves toward privatizing the state's $3.5 billion system.

The administration said it will weigh the offer by Camelot Global Services, which it said is good until Dec. 31, and is the only one it said it will receive after two other companies that it would not identify dropped out.

Read more
Government
1:03 am
Wed November 21, 2012

County Councilman Offers Alternative 2013 Budget

Allegheny County Councilman Michael Finnerty has drafted a 2013 operating budget that offers higher spending levels for the County Controller, the sheriff's office, and the Department of Human Services.

Finnerty said his plan takes roughly $236,000 from the "fringe benefits recovery" line item to pay for those spending increases. The millage rate of 4.73 and overall spending amount of $799.4 million in the Finnerty budget remain identical to the plan offered by County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

Read more
Government
9:19 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

City’s First Dek Hockey Rink Officially Open in Banksville – First of Several

The first of 12 dek hockey rinks in the region was officially opened Tuesday in Banksville Park. It’s a joint effort of the Penguins Foundation, Highmark, and the City of Pittsburgh called Project Power Play.

“A second rink is under construction at Lewis Park in Hazelwood, and there’ll be more in the city and eventually in the county also outside of the City of Pittsburgh,” said Penguins CEO David Morehouse.

Read more
Government
9:10 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Bills May Boost Women, Minority Participation in City Contracts

Pittsburgh City Council is considering new legislation meant to boost the participation of minority- and women-owned businesses in city contracts.

Councilman Ricky Burgess said his bills would create a uniform way for all city departments and authorities to report contracts with minority and women-owned vendors. He said that would make it easier for the city’s Equal Opportunity Review Commission to determine whether or not Pittsburgh is meeting its participation goals.

Read more
Government
8:42 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

Corbett: Pension Reform Top Priority, Offers No Details

90.5 WESA

Governor Tom Corbett has made it no secret that pension reform tops his legislative to-do list in 2013.  But he’s still not discussing the details of any possible solutions. 

For months, Corbett has been referring to rising pension costs as a Pac-Man poised to eat the state budget. But he says he’s still not ready to divulge what reform might look like. And to those prodding him to offer solutions for the state’s pension problem, Corbett said: slow down.

Read more
Government
6:19 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

PA Police Go After Aggressive, Impaired Holiday Drivers

PennDOT and police statewide are joining forces for "Operation Safe Holiday," an initiative including seat-belt, aggressive-driving and impaired-driving enforcement aimed at keeping roadways safe this holiday season.

PennDOT spokesman Steve Cowan said these laws can be more difficult to enforce during the holiday season.

Read more
Government
12:55 pm
Tue November 20, 2012

SEA Hits Back Against Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers and the city-county Sports & Exhibition Authority are trying to convince a judge who should pay to add 3,000 seats to 11-year-old Heinz Field.

The Steelers contend their lease requires the authority to pay about two-thirds of the $38 million the team expects it will cost to add the end zone seats and a new video scoreboard.

Read more
Government
11:02 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

City Billboard Tax Gets Preliminary Approval

Pittsburgh City Council gave preliminary approval on Monday to legislation that would create a ten percent tax on billboard advertisements, setting up a final vote on the new excise tax at next Tuesday's Council meeting.

The bill's sponsors, Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak and Council President Darlene Harris, say the tax would bring in two to four million dollars annually. They argue the tax is warranted because billboard owners pay very little in taxes for the small properties on which the large structures stand.

Read more
Government
9:20 pm
Mon November 19, 2012

What Would You Pay to Park Near CMU?

Carnegie Mellon University researchers will be able to go through with a study of the optimum rates for parking meters near the school, after Pittsburgh City Council passed the necessary legislation Monday.

Read more

Pages