Government & Politics

Government & Politics
9:09 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Allegheny County Democrats Announce Nominee for 42nd House District

The Allegheny County Democratic Committee unanimously nominated Dan Miller to run for the 42nd House District. The seat was left vacant after Matt Smith won the 37th state Senate seat in November. Miller is a former Mt. Lebanon Commissioner and a current volunteer firefighter.  He said he’s honored to get the nomination, and added he’ll focus on two big issues.

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Government & Politics
9:05 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

PA Goes For Obama....Officially

Pennsylvania’'s electoral college members have made November's election results official by casting their votes for Barack Obama for president.  Mr. Obama won all 20 of the commonwealth's electoral votes by defeating Republican Mitt Romney by about 310,000 votes out of the more than 5.7 million ballots cast.

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Government & Politics
5:26 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Proposed Reforms Target State-Related Universities on Transparency

Democratic state Representative Scott Conklin of Centre County has announced his plan to propose legislation to reform governance at Pennsylvania’s state-supported universities.

The legislation will be based on recommendations handed down by the state’s Auditor General, Jack Wagner, whose office issued a report on the problems with Penn State’s governance structure in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

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Government & Politics
9:01 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Coalition Forms to Stop Lottery Privatization

As the December 31st deadline nears for Pennsylvania to respond to a British company's bid the state’s largest employees’ union and the Alliance for Retired Americans are teaming up to stop the privatization of the lottery. 

The Corbett administration is considering a bid from Camelot Global Services, which promises to produce more than $34 billion over 20 years as the state looks into expanding into online gambling and Kino.

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Government & Politics
9:01 am
Mon December 17, 2012

'Ban the Box' Bill Ready to Become Law in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh City Council appears ready to pass legislation that would prohibit any criminal background inquiries on initial job applications for positions in city government, deferring those questions until the verbal interview process.

The measure unanimously passed a committee vote on Wednesday and is up for final approval today. Proponents of the legislation say it will allow ex-offenders to have a second chance for employment when they normally wouldn't be considered for an interview.

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Government & Politics
9:01 am
Mon December 17, 2012

“Right-to-Work” in PA?

With Michigan becoming the 24th state in the nation to adopt “right-to-work” legislation some organizations are looking to Pennsylvania to become number 25.

The National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) is urging Governor Tom Corbett to change his stance on a “right-to-work” (RTW) bill in Pennsylvania.

The measure would make it illegal for workplaces to require employees to pay union dues for the cost of being represented.

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Government & Politics
9:01 am
Mon December 17, 2012

Hundreds of City Homeowners Winning Assessment Appeals

As the Allegheny County reassessment appeals process draws to a close on December 20th, about 2,500 Pittsburghers are saving an average of $26,484 on their higher reassessments.

This comes after the city controller’s office, in conjunction with City Council members William Peduto and Corey O’Connor began a program in February offering free assessment appeal services.

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Government & Politics
12:42 pm
Sun December 16, 2012

President Obama's Cabinet 2.0 Coming Into Focus

In the category of unintended consequences, Susan Rice's announcement about her future could — under one scenario — mean a Republican in President Obama's inner circle, decorated Vietnam veterans overseeing the nation's military and its foreign policy, and another special election for Senate in Massachusetts.

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Government & Politics
12:35 pm
Sun December 16, 2012

Judge OKs $18M Settlement in 'Kids For Cash' Case

A federal judge in Pennsylvania has given final approval to a settlement that will pay out nearly $18 million to juveniles who allege they were wrongly jailed by corrupt judges.

The approval granted Friday in Scranton allows attorneys to begin distributing money to about 1,600 teens and their parents.

The funds come from developer Robert K. Mericle (MEHR'-ih-kuhl), who built a pair of for-profit youth detention centers.

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Government & Politics
12:27 pm
Sun December 16, 2012

Shale drillers eager to move wastewater on barges

The shale gas drilling industry wants to move its wastewater by barge on rivers and lakes across the country. But the U.S. Coast Guard, which regulates the nation’s waterways, must first decide whether it’s safe.

“It may be hazardous,” said Commander Michael Roldan, chief of the Coast Guard’s Hazardous Material Division, stressing the word ‘may.’ “If it is, it would not be allowed to ship under bulk.”

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Government & Politics
2:41 pm
Sat December 15, 2012

County Tax Review Could Hurt Local Nonprofit Bond Ratings

Credit ratings agency Moody's Investors Service says Allegheny County's review of tax-exempt property "is a credit negative" for non-profit organizations which could put more demands on their operations.

The report issued Thursday says that the county review of tax-exempt properties may have long-term financial consequences for non-profits since they will have to spend time and money to address questions about whether they deserve the exempt status.

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Government & Politics
9:00 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Senator Casey Calls for Full Investigation into Legionnaire’s Outbreak at Pittsburgh VA Hospital

Following the recent outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease at the Pittsburgh VA Health System, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) has sent a letter to the inspector general of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.

“We need to know what happened, why it happened and what steps will the VA take to prevent this from happening again,” he said.

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Government & Politics
9:00 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Senator Casey Calls for Full Investigation into Legionnaire’s Outbreak at Pittsburgh VA Hospital

Following the recent outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease at the Pittsburgh VA Health System, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) has sent a letter to the inspector general of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.

“We need to know what happened, why it happened and what steps will the VA take to prevent this from happening again,” he said.

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Government & Politics
8:16 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Airport Goes With Low Bidder in Shale Lease

The Allegheny County Airport Authority will negotiate with Consol Energy for rights to drill for natural gas and oil at Pittsburgh International Airport even though a competitor's bid appeared to be twice as large.

The authority last week said EQT Corp. bid roughly $44 million while Consol bid $20.8 million — but also included a $2.1 million check as a deposit. Both bids also include ongoing 18 percent royalties once drilling begins.

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Government & Politics
8:16 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Airport Goes With Low Bidder in Shale Lease

The Allegheny County Airport Authority will negotiate with Consol Energy for rights to drill for natural gas and oil at Pittsburgh International Airport even though a competitor's bid appeared to be twice as large.

The authority last week said EQT Corp. bid roughly $44 million while Consol bid $20.8 million — but also included a $2.1 million check as a deposit. Both bids also include ongoing 18 percent royalties once drilling begins.

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Government & Politics
8:09 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Mayoral Field Could Get Crowded Quickly

With a focus on transforming the city of Pittsburgh, City Councilman Bill Peduto officially launched his campaign for mayor last night. 

“The transformation has to be something where city government reflects all the other things that are changing, all the positive things that are happening,” said Peduto.  “It needs somebody who not only can respect and understand the past that has more than just a vision of the future but an understanding of how it can happen.”

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Government & Politics
8:09 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Mayoral Field Could Get Crowded Quickly

With a focus on transforming the city of Pittsburgh, City Councilman Bill Peduto officially launched his campaign for mayor last night. 

“The transformation has to be something where city government reflects all the other things that are changing, all the positive things that are happening,” said Peduto.  “It needs somebody who not only can respect and understand the past that has more than just a vision of the future but an understanding of how it can happen.”

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Government & Politics
7:59 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Congressman Urges Pentagon To Use American Made Steel for Navy

http://2cccd5dfe1965e26adf6-26c50ce30a6867b5a67335a93e186605.r53.cf1.rackcdn.com/Murphy Wrap_Emily Farah_SOC.mp3

The Department of Defense is getting some firm-handed advice from two U.S. Congressmen to use domestically made steel for the Navy’s long-term shipbuilding strategy.

Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA-18) and Peter Visclosky (D-IN-01) , Chairman and Vice Chairman, respectively, of the Congressional Steel Caucus wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta stressing the importance of using American-made metals throughout the supply-chain for naval ships.

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Government & Politics
7:59 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Congressman Urges Pentagon To Use American Made Steel for Navy

http://2cccd5dfe1965e26adf6-26c50ce30a6867b5a67335a93e186605.r53.cf1.rackcdn.com/Murphy Wrap_Emily Farah_SOC.mp3

The Department of Defense is getting some firm-handed advice from two U.S. Congressmen to use domestically made steel for the Navy’s long-term shipbuilding strategy.

Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA-18) and Peter Visclosky (D-IN-01) , Chairman and Vice Chairman, respectively, of the Congressional Steel Caucus wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta stressing the importance of using American-made metals throughout the supply-chain for naval ships.

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Government & Politics
5:14 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Dan Rooney Steps down as Ambassador, Returns Home

Pittsburgh Steelers chairman and co-owner Dan Rooney has stepped down as the U.S. ambassador to Ireland. The embassy in Dublin said the 80-year-old Rooney resigned Friday and returned to the United States. Press officer John Murphy said Rooney met with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny and President Michael Higgins during a final round of engagements this week.

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Government & Politics
4:54 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Fewer Foster Kids in PA, but What About Abuse Cases?

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

A new report shows fewer children in Pennsylvania are in foster care but the state should not expect the trend to continue.

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Government & Politics
8:30 am
Fri December 14, 2012

BoomTown: How Drilling Has Changed Towanda

What does a drilling boom look like?

In Towanda, Bradford County, it looks like trucks rumbling across Veterans Memorial Bridge and down Main Street. The vehicles,  hauling water, chemicals, equipment, sand and dirt more to and from natural gas drilling sites, have been a steady presence since 2008, when hydraulic fracturing began in surrounding Bradford County.

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Government & Politics
7:32 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Summer Trial Likely on Voter ID Law

The case over the state’s voter ID law is likely to land back in Commonwealth Court for a full trial next summer.  That would give the state Supreme Court enough time before November’s general election to hear an appeal. 

Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson discussed scheduling issues with lawyers at an hour-long meeting Thursday and said he would issue an order within two weeks.

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Government & Politics
12:23 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Treasurer Questions Legality of Lottery Bid

The latest Democrat to voice concerns about the potential privatization of the Pennsylvania Lottery is the one guy who could keep the money from flowing.

State Treasurer Rob McCord said today that he may not play along with any contract that hands over the operation of the Lottery to a company that promises to expand gambling. He included his concerns in a letter to the secretary of the state Department of Revenue, which oversees the Lottery.

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Government & Politics
9:24 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Intense Debate On Longer Parking Meter Enforcement Hours

Pittsburgh City Council has until January 1 to decide whether to continue the practice of ending parking meter enforcement at 6 p.m., or let the enforcement time automatically extend until 10 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays. At Wednesday's Council meeting, strong words and hot tempers proved the debate is far from over.

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