The Associated Press http://wesa.fm en Group Honors Third Kennywood Coaster as 'Landmark' http://wesa.fm/post/group-honors-third-kennywood-coaster-landmark <p>The group American Coaster Enthusiasts has named the Thunderbolt a "Coaster Landmark" — the third roller coaster to be so recognized at the Kennywood amusement park near Pittsburgh.<br /><br />Kennywood is now the only park in the United States with three coaster landmarks.<br /><br />The group founded in 1978 has honored 30 coaster landmarks nationwide since 2002.<br /><br />Kennywood's Jack Rabbit and Racer roller coasters were previously honored as landmarks by the group. All three are traditional roller coasters with wooden frames and tracks.<br /> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 14:57:15 +0000 The Associated Press 33335 at http://wesa.fm PUC Approves Emergency Ride-Sharing Permits http://wesa.fm/post/puc-approves-emergency-ride-sharing-permits <p>The state Public Utility Commission has approved emergency permits for two ride-sharing companies that have been operating in the Pittsburgh area.<br />&nbsp;<br />The companies have come under fire over concerns that drivers, their vehicles and their insurance don't meet regulations for taxi cabs and other similar services. The companies have argued their services are just as safe but have been targeted because they don't fit neatly into current public transportation regulations.<br />&nbsp; Thu, 24 Jul 2014 15:24:26 +0000 Deanna Garcia & The Associated Press 33155 at http://wesa.fm 2 Dead in Beaver County House Explosion http://wesa.fm/post/2-dead-beaver-county-house-explosion <p>Authorities say a man and woman were killed in an early morning house explosion in a rural area of Western Pennsylvania.<br /><br />Emergency dispatchers in Beaver County say the blast was reported at about 4 a.m. Tuesday at the residence in South Beaver Township, about 40 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.<br /><br />Officer Jesse Richman said the victims, who were in their mid to late 60s, were inside the ranch-style home at the time.<br /> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 13:37:11 +0000 The Associated Press 32641 at http://wesa.fm Officer Honored For Franklin Regional Stabbing Response http://wesa.fm/post/officer-honored-franklin-regional-stabbing-response <p>A retired school police officer has been honored for handcuffing a 16-year-old charged with stabbing 20 fellow students and a security guard at a suburban Pittsburgh high school.<br /><br />Fifty-nine-year-old William "Buzz" Yakshe is one of six national recipients of the Regional Exceptional Service Award given by the National Association of School Resources Officers.<br /><br />Yakshe retired in May, after helping subdue Alex Hribal following the April 9 stabbing rampage at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville. Yakshe was a Murrysville police officer assigned to the school. Thu, 03 Jul 2014 14:12:26 +0000 The Associated Press 32013 at http://wesa.fm Kane Report: Politics Had No Role in Sandusky Probe http://wesa.fm/post/kane-report-politics-had-no-role-sandusky-probe <p>A report released Monday detailing the handling of the Jerry Sandusky child molestation case faults police and prosecutors for long delays in bringing charges but found no evidence that politics affected the investigation.</p><p>The report, commissioned by Democratic Attorney General Kathleen Kane and written by former federal prosecutor Geoff Moulton, by a former federal prosecutor blamed a three-year time lapse in filing charges on communication problems, an expungement of a 1998 complaint about the former Penn State coach and a failure to take certain investigative steps early on.</p> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 14:45:12 +0000 The Associated Press 31398 at http://wesa.fm Commission OKs Another Boost In PA Turnpike Tolls http://wesa.fm/post/commission-oks-another-boost-pa-turnpike-tolls <p>Tolls on the Pennsylvania Turnpike are going up for the seventh straight year.<br /><br />The turnpike commission Tuesday approved a 5 percent increase that will take effect in January.<br /><br />Officials say the increase will be applied evenly to cash and electronic E-ZPass tolls — marking the first time in three years that cash tolls are not subject to a steeper increase.<br /><br />About three out of four turnpike drivers now use E-ZPass.<br /> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 21:12:58 +0000 The Associated Press 31103 at http://wesa.fm Peduto Slams PUC Over Ride-Sharing Suits http://wesa.fm/post/peduto-slams-puc-over-ride-sharing-suits <p>Regulators want two ride-sharing companies to stop doing business in Pennsylvania.<br /><br />The <a href="http://bit.ly/SOnpEM">Pittsburgh Post-Gazette</a> reports that the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission's Bureau of Investigation and Enforcement is pursing cease-and-desist orders against San Francisco-based ride-share companies Lyft and Uber.<br /><br />The companies have five days to respond.<br /> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 13:33:41 +0000 The Associated Press 31062 at http://wesa.fm Use Of Force During Gay Pride Arrest Investigated http://wesa.fm/post/use-force-during-gay-pride-arrest-investigated <p>A Pittsburgh police officer has been put on desk duty after video surfaced showing him punching a woman at the city's gay pride parade and festival.<br /><br />Mayor Bill Peduto said Monday the officer will remain on restricted duty for a month during an internal investigation.<br /><br />The officer, Souroth Chatterji, says he was trying to break up a fight when he grabbed the woman by the head and punched her in the side so he could handcuff and arrest her. He accuses her of fighting with him and kicking him in the groin.<br /> Mon, 16 Jun 2014 15:46:19 +0000 The Associated Press 30995 at http://wesa.fm Pittsburgh Diocese Closing Another K-8 School http://wesa.fm/post/pittsburgh-diocese-closing-another-k-8-school <p>The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh is closing a second K-8 school in as many weeks due to declining enrollment.<br /><br />The diocese says St. John the Baptist Parish in Monaca, Beaver County, has asked permission to close its school because it had only 97 students enrolled in grades K-8. Last week the diocese announced it was closing Holy Child School in Bridgeville, which had only 82 pupils this year, and only 53 enrolled for the fall.<br /> Mon, 16 Jun 2014 15:26:59 +0000 The Associated Press 30990 at http://wesa.fm Judge Takes On Arguments Against Same-Sex Marriage http://wesa.fm/post/judge-takes-arguments-against-same-sex-marriage <p>The federal judge who struck down Pennsylvania's law banning recognition of same-sex marriage says he saw no proof that same-sex marriage destroys the strength of families.<br /><br />Judge John E. Jones III spoke Monday on WITF-FM's hour-long show "Smart Talk."<br /><br />He was responding to a statement by Bishop David Zubik of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh read to him by the show's host. But Jones says a link between family strength and same-sex marriage hasn't been proven.<br /> Mon, 09 Jun 2014 20:33:16 +0000 The Associated Press 30620 at http://wesa.fm Heads Up: US Navy's Blue Angels To Fly Over Pittsburgh Today http://wesa.fm/post/heads-us-navys-blue-angels-fly-over-pittsburgh-today <p>The U.S. Navy's Blue Angels flying aerobatic squadron plans to fly over Pittsburgh at low altitudes for a photo shoot.<br /><br />Blue Angels press officer Eric Rowley says that on Wednesday six F/A-18 Hornet jets plan to make at least three passes over downtown Pittsburgh between 2:45 and 3:15 p.m. The formation is expected to fly between 500 and 1,500 feet above the ground, near Point State Park.<br /><br />The Blue Angels will also be performing at the Latrobe Air Show on June 7 and 8.<br /> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 15:00:55 +0000 The Associated Press 30359 at http://wesa.fm School Stabbing Suspect Waives Court Appearance http://wesa.fm/post/school-stabbing-suspect-waives-court-appearance <p>A 16-year-old charged with stabbing 20 fellow students and a security guard at his high school outside Pittsburgh has waived his right to a preliminary hearing.</p><p>By waiving the hearing, which had been scheduled for Wednesday, Alex Hribal and his defense attorney acknowledge that Westmoreland County prosecutors have enough evidence for the case to proceed to trial.</p> Mon, 02 Jun 2014 18:10:16 +0000 The Associated Press 30245 at http://wesa.fm UPMC Says ID Theft Scam Affects All 62,000 Workers http://wesa.fm/post/upmc-says-id-theft-scam-affects-all-62000-workers <p>The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center says federal investigators now believe all 62,000 of the hospital network's employees have had their personal information accessed by identity thieves who have used information from about 800 workers to file bogus federal tax returns.<br /><br />UPMC last month believed only 27,000 workers were affected, but the <a href="http://bit.ly/1gJ2nmn">Pittsburgh Tribune-Review</a> reported Friday that a memo to employees says "the scope may be larger than originally thought, potentially affecting every employee."<br /> Fri, 30 May 2014 19:43:44 +0000 The Associated Press 30129 at http://wesa.fm Judge Approves August Wilson Center Sale To NY Firm http://wesa.fm/post/judge-approves-august-wilson-center-sale-ny-firm <p>A judge has approved plans to sell the bankrupt August Wilson Center for African American Culture to a New York developer that wants to put a hotel on top of the downtown Pittsburgh building.</p><p>Judge Lawrence O'Toole signed an interim order Tuesday that will allow 980 Liberty Partners to study whether the 200-room hotel is feasible. Liberty Partners had previously bid $9.5 million for the property, but the sale isn't final yet.</p> Tue, 27 May 2014 18:37:15 +0000 The Associated Press 29918 at http://wesa.fm Pennsylvania Won't Appeal Same-Sex Marriage Case http://wesa.fm/post/pennsylvania-wont-appeal-same-sex-marriage-case <p>Pennsylvania's governor says he won't appeal a court decision that struck down the state's gay marriage ban.<br /><br />Gov. Tom Corbett's decision Wednesday means that same-sex marriage will remain legal in Pennsylvania, without the threat that a higher court will reinstate the ban.<br /><br />On Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge John Jones III struck down Pennsylvania's 1996 law banning recognition of gay marriage, calling it unconstitutional.<br /> Wed, 21 May 2014 19:08:38 +0000 The Associated Press 29624 at http://wesa.fm Pennsylvania Gay Marriage Ban Overturned By Judge http://wesa.fm/post/pennsylvania-gay-marriage-ban-overturned-judge <p>Pennsylvania's ban on gay marriage was overturned by a federal judge Tuesday.<br /><br />U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III called the plaintiffs — a widow, 11 couples and one of the couples' two teenage daughters — courageous.<br /><br />"We now join the 12 federal district courts across the country which, when confronted with these inequities in their own states, have concluded that all couples deserve equal dignity in the realm of civil," Jones wrote.<br /> Tue, 20 May 2014 18:46:28 +0000 The Associated Press & 90.5 WESA 29544 at http://wesa.fm Prosecutors: Chinese Military Hackers Targeted Pennsylvania Firms http://wesa.fm/post/prosecutors-chinese-military-hackers-targeted-pennsylvania-firms <p>Four major manufacturing firms that are based or do much of their work in western Pennsylvania, plus the United Steelworkers of America, were hacked by five Chinese army officials who allegedly stole trade secrets and other proprietary or sensitive information, federal authorities said Monday.<br /><br />Westinghouse, U.S. Steel, Alcoa, and specialty steelmaker Allegheny Technologies Inc., or ATI, were targeted in the scheme that allegedly began in 2006, according to an indictment.<br /> Mon, 19 May 2014 15:07:26 +0000 The Associated Press 29457 at http://wesa.fm Penguins Fire General Manager Ray Shero http://wesa.fm/post/penguins-fire-general-manager-ray-shero <p>The Pittsburgh Penguins fired general manager Ray Shero on Friday while the status of coach Dan Bylsma will be evaluated.<br /><br />Team co-owners Mario Lemieux and Ron Burkle said it was time to take the franchise in a new direction after the team's latest playoff flameout. The Penguins lost to the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference semifinals this week.<br /><br />Assistant general manager Jason Botterill will serve as general manager on an interim basis while the team searches for Shero's replacement.<br /> Fri, 16 May 2014 18:13:11 +0000 The Associated Press 29350 at http://wesa.fm Two West Virginia Coal Miners Killed Doing Risky Retreat Mining http://wesa.fm/post/two-west-virginia-coal-miners-killed-doing-risky-retreat-mining <p>The two workers killed in an underground coal mine in West Virginia were performing a risky method known as retreat mining, where the roof is intentionally collapsed to retrieve more coal.</p><p>Retreat mining has been going on for generations and is considered standard practice in mines where coal reserves are running out. It involves yanking supporting pillars of coal from inside the mine and letting the roof collapse as miners and equipment work their way out.</p><p>The son of one of the workers who died Monday night at Brody Mine No. 1 said his father understood the risks.</p> Wed, 14 May 2014 09:48:08 +0000 The Associated Press 29190 at http://wesa.fm Last Hospitalized Franklin Regional Victim Progressing http://wesa.fm/post/last-hospitalized-franklin-regional-victim-progressing <p>The family of the only victim still hospitalized after last month's a mass stabbing at a Pittsburgh-area high school says the boy is making "great progress" and has even been watching Pittsburgh Penguins playoff games on television.<br /><br />Fifteen-year-old Greg Keener was among 20 students and one security guard wounded April 9 at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville.<br /> Tue, 13 May 2014 15:27:05 +0000 The Associated Press 29134 at http://wesa.fm Allegheny County Reports Measles Case http://wesa.fm/post/allegheny-county-reports-measles-case <p>Allegheny County health authorities say a person with measles might have recently spread the virus to others in the Pittsburgh area.<br /><br />Officials say Thursday that people who may have been in contact with the Allegheny County resident at work or elsewhere are being notified. They also say others may have been exposed on April 30 in New Kensington, at an Indiana Township restaurant, and in Harmar Township.<br /> Thu, 08 May 2014 21:25:50 +0000 The Associated Press 28921 at http://wesa.fm Corbett Says He Won't Appeal Voter ID Law Decision http://wesa.fm/post/corbett-says-he-wont-appeal-voter-id-law-decision <p>Gov. Tom Corbett says he won't appeal a state court ruling that struck down Pennsylvania's voter identification law.<br /><br />Corbett released a statement Thursday defending the law but saying it needed changes and he hoped to work with the Legislature on them.<br /><br />The law was one of the strictest in the nation, requiring nearly all voters to show certain forms of photo identification at the polls.<br /><br />It was never enforced, having been put on hold during the legal challenge that resulted in a Commonwealth Court judge declaring it unconstitutional in January.<br /> Thu, 08 May 2014 21:23:50 +0000 The Associated Press 28920 at http://wesa.fm Duquesne Combines Biomedical Engineering, Nursing http://wesa.fm/post/duquesne-combines-biomedical-engineering-nursing <p>Duquesne University plans to offer a five-year undergraduate degree program combining biomedical engineering and nursing starting this fall.<br /><br />Spokeswoman Karen Ferrick-Roman says the program is believed to be the first undergraduate program of its kind.<br /><br />School officials say biomedical engineers typically lack clinical experience in dealing with patients, but that nursing training would remedy that.<br /> Wed, 07 May 2014 14:49:19 +0000 The Associated Press 28829 at http://wesa.fm Corbett Backs Marijuana Extract To Treat Children http://wesa.fm/post/corbett-backs-marijuana-extract-treat-children <p>Gov. Tom Corbett is changing his position on medical marijuana and is backing the legalization of a marijuana extract to treat severe seizures in children.<br /><br />Corbett's office confirmed to The Associated Press on Thursday that the Republican governor is meeting with several parents to tell them about his decision.<br /> Thu, 01 May 2014 20:23:23 +0000 The Associated Press 28535 at http://wesa.fm Allegheny County Council Vote Set On Deer Lakes Park Drilling Proposal http://wesa.fm/post/allegheny-county-council-vote-set-deer-lakes-park-drilling-proposal <p>Allegheny County Council's Parks Committee has voted 4-1 to have the full council vote next week on a proposal to drill for natural gas under a Pittsburgh-area park.<br /><br />Wednesday's vote means the 15-member body will vote next Tuesday on a proposal to Range Resources and Huntley &amp; Huntley to drill beneath 1,180-acre Deer Lakes Park from well sites on neighboring private properties.<br /> Thu, 01 May 2014 14:39:55 +0000 The Associated Press 28515 at http://wesa.fm