Charlee Song en Pennsylvania's Farmland Preservation Program Leads Nation <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Agriculture is the leading economic enterprise in Pennsylvania.&nbsp; Between 1982 and 1997, over a million acres were developed and converted to other uses—the equivalent of 209 acres a day.&nbsp; In 1988, the state instituted a program to help slow the loss of prime farmland.</span></p> Mon, 28 Jul 2014 07:54:00 +0000 Charlee Song 32978 at UV Robots Zap Germs in UPMC Hospitals <p></p><div><p>Hand washing,&nbsp;floor scrubbing, sterilizing instruments--all standard techniques to thwart hospital-acquired infections. &nbsp;Now&nbsp;UPMC hospitals are evaluating new technology to help prevent infections.&nbsp; At Passavant Hospital, staff is using a robot to help sanitize a room with ultraviolet-C rays.&nbsp; Fittingly, the robot’s name is “Violet”.</p><p>Dr. Joseph Romano, chairman of the Passavant Hospital Infection Prevention and Control Committee, said "Violet"&nbsp;is turned on after a room has been disinfected in the usual way.&nbsp;</p> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 20:36:20 +0000 Charlee Song 32335 at UV Robots Zap Germs in UPMC Hospitals Schools and Libraries Confront Summer Learning Loss <p>As the school year ends, summer learning loss, or "summer slide," might begin.&nbsp; According to the National Summer Learning Association, the loss amounts to about two months in math for all students and two months in reading for low-income students, while unequal access to summer learning opportunities might &nbsp;account for half the achievement gap between low- and high-income students.</p> Fri, 06 Jun 2014 10:00:00 +0000 Charlee Song 30271 at How The Homewood Children's Village Is 'Re-Weaving the Fabric of the Community' <p>In the 19th century, wealthy white Pittsburghers, including&nbsp;George Westinghouse and Andrew Carnegie, created estates in Homewood, which was a pastoral and welcome respite from the foul air generated by the industry.&nbsp;</p><p>By 1940, the population was diverse, middle class and about five times larger than it is now.</p> Tue, 25 Mar 2014 16:10:04 +0000 Charlee Song 25978 at In Shrinking the Achievement Gap, Maryland District Might Provide a Model <p></p><p></p><p>According to the Nation’s Report Card released last week by the Department of Education, the <a href="">achievement gap narrowed slightly in Pennsylvania</a> over the last two years.</p><p>As Pittsburgh-area schools consider ways to shrink the gap further, they might look to Montgomery County, Maryland.</p><p>That Washington, D.C.-area school district has dramatically reduced the gap while posting the highest graduation rate for black males in the nation.</p> Wed, 13 Nov 2013 14:27:12 +0000 Charlee Song 19618 at In Shrinking the Achievement Gap, Maryland District Might Provide a Model Speaker Discusses Effective Policies for Educating Young Black Males <p>The University of Pittsburgh’s Center on Race and Social Problems hosted a program Wednesday called “A Call to Conscience:&nbsp; Effective Policies and Practices in Educating African American Males.”</p><p>The keynote speaker was John Jackson, president and CEO of the Schott Foundation for Public Education in Cambridge, Mass., who said research is clear that races are 99.6 percent the same genetically, so differences in educational performance must be caused by social policies and practices.</p> Wed, 10 Jul 2013 21:42:57 +0000 Charlee Song 12878 at Changing Welfare to Human Services Will Have to Wait <p>Legislation to change the name of the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare to the Department of Human Services passed the House before it adjourned for the summer but the Senate left Harrisburg without taking any action on the revised bill.&nbsp; The Senate is scheduled to reconvene in September.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 08 Jul 2013 17:34:22 +0000 Charlee Song 12725 at PA House Will Not Consider Medicaid Expansion <p>Under the Affordable Care Act, each state’s governor must decide whether to expand Medicaid, with the federal government picking up the whole tab for the first three years and 90 percent thereafter.</p><p>The Pennsylvania Senate supported expansion in a vote Friday night, but there is&nbsp;a different attitude in the House.</p> Mon, 01 Jul 2013 19:47:10 +0000 Charlee Song 12389 at Health Department and Alcosan Advise on River Water Quality <p>When it rains in Pittsburgh, chances are raw sewage will be discharged into its rivers because so many pipes receive not only sewage, but also storm water, and the system can't handle the volume. &nbsp;</p><p>When this happens, the <a href="">Allegheny County Health Department </a>issues combined sewer overflow (CSO) flag alerts between May 15 and September 30.</p> Fri, 28 Jun 2013 22:13:47 +0000 Charlee Song 12267 at $23 Million Available for Growing Greener Grants <p>Pennsylvania’s Act 13 Marcellus Shale impact fees from the state’s 6,000 wells so far amount to $400 million: $204 million for 2011 and $198 million for 2012 (because the price of natural gas declined).&nbsp;</p><p>A fixed amount goes to agencies that oversee the industry, and the rest goes to local entities.&nbsp;</p><p>Counties where drilling takes place get 60 percent of the remainder, while 40 percent goes into the Marcellus Legacy Fund, which is accessible to all.</p> Wed, 26 Jun 2013 19:37:38 +0000 Charlee Song 12139 at 'Roadshow for Growth' Highlights Pittsburgh's Middle Market <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The “<a href="">Roadshow</a><a href=""> for Growth</a>” bus tour came through Pittsburgh Wednesday in an effort by GE Capital and Slate Magazine to focus on the importance of middle market businesses, those with revenues between $10 million and $1 billion.&nbsp;</span></p> Wed, 12 Jun 2013 19:33:29 +0000 Charlee Song 11307 at Pennsylvania State Parks Part of 'Great Outdoors Month' <p>It’s “Great Outdoors Month” across the nation, and for the fifth year, just about every one of Pennsylvania’s 120 state parks has planned something special to encourage people to explore outdoor recreation.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 11 Jun 2013 16:11:28 +0000 Charlee Song 11137 at Ft. Pitt Museum Fires Replica 18th Century Cannon <p><iframe allowfullscreen="" src="" frameborder="0" height="323" width="575"></iframe></p><p>An 18<sup>th</sup> century replica cannon was fired for the first time Wednesday morning at the Fort Pitt Museum at Point State Park.</p><p>A six-person crew of colonial re-enactors used all the proper protocol and ceremony in firing a blank round in the 600-pound cannon, which was made entirely in Western Pennsylvania.</p> Wed, 05 Jun 2013 17:18:29 +0000 Charlee Song 10830 at Free Meals Available to Children on Summer Vacation <p>Many students rely on free and reduced price meals during the school year and still need help over the summer.</p><p>In 2012, the Department of Agriculture served 2.3 million children at 38,800 sites on a typical summer day through the Summer Food Service Program.&nbsp;</p><p>Free meals are available at sites all over the country to anyone 18 and under, or 21 and under if disabled, according to Cindy Moore of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. People can go to any location — no registration or documentation is necessary.</p> Mon, 03 Jun 2013 19:48:49 +0000 Charlee Song 10686 at Ratepayers Seek Information from ALCOSAN <p>To comply with federal law, the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority submitted a plan to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in January to reduce sewage overflows into creeks and rivers at a cost of $2.8 billion.&nbsp;</p><p>At the same time, ALCOSAN requested an 18-month extension to do a study of incorporating "green" infrastructure components proposed at public meetings. Now the people who advocated those changes say they are being shut out of the process.</p> Thu, 30 May 2013 00:12:56 +0000 Charlee Song 10422 at Group Wants Moratorium on Demolitions in Black Communities <p>B-PEP, the Black Political Empowerment Project, held a news conference Wednesday morning in Homewood to announce that the group has asked the City of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County for a moratorium on the demolition of structures in black communities.&nbsp;</p><p>B-PEP member William Anderson said the rapid demolition of properties that could easily be rehabbed is the beginning of gentrification that will force Homewood residents out. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Wed, 22 May 2013 19:57:34 +0000 Charlee Song 10014 at As Farmers Markets Sprout Up, So Does Effort to Include Food Stamps <p>Farmers markets are opening all over the region with fresh, wholesome and affordable produce, and there are efforts to make sure everyone is able to share in the bounty. &nbsp;</p><p>Ken Regal, Executive Director of Just Harvest, said the 160,000 residents of Allegheny County on Food Stamps have often been unable to use them at farmers markets because vendors usually only accept cash.&nbsp;</p><p>This year, however, Just Harvest will staff kiosks at two Citiparks farmers markets where Food Stamps, as well as commercial debit and credit cards, can be used to buy tokens. &nbsp;</p> Mon, 20 May 2013 18:46:04 +0000 Charlee Song 9867 at VA Research Week Highlights Local Robotic Technology <p>The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is celebrating “VA Research Week,” highlighting the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System’s Human Engineering Research Laboratories at Bakery Square, where robotic technology is being used to improve the mobility and function of people with disabilities. &nbsp;</p> Mon, 13 May 2013 18:19:58 +0000 Charlee Song 9449 at Pittsburgh-Area Students Take Science Projects to Phoenix <p>Two high school students from the Pittsburgh region are finalists in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair this week in Phoenix, where more than 1,500 high school students from more than 70 countries will present their solutions for real-life problems. Last year's fair was here in Pittsburgh. &nbsp;</p><p>Rishi Mirchandani, a sophomore at Fox Chapel Area High School, has developed a new algorithm for dividing something that is desired by multiple individuals.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 13 May 2013 07:30:00 +0000 Charlee Song 9322 at Mattress Factory Receives Grant for Educational Outreach <p><a href="">The Mattress Factory</a>, known for its installation art, has received a $100,000 grant from the Benedum&nbsp;Foundation to continue its educational outreach in western Pennsylvania and extend it into West Virginia. &nbsp;</p> Mon, 13 May 2013 07:30:00 +0000 Charlee Song 8960 at Human Trafficking Legislation Introduced in Harrisburg <p>State Sen. Daylin Leach of eastern Pennsylvania is supporting two pieces of legislation designed to combat human trafficking in Pennsylvania. &nbsp;</p><p>Leach said too often, minors are arrested for prostitution and treated as criminals when they are, in fact, victims. &nbsp;</p><p>"They're forced into doing this by pimps and traffickers, yet the pimps and traffickers are never there when the person's arrested," Leach said. "So we charge the young lady and she has a criminal record, and she has to deal with that, whereas the person who's actually responsible faces no consequences."</p> Wed, 08 May 2013 19:40:51 +0000 Charlee Song 9196 at Can Plasma on MedEvac Helicopters Save Lives? <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">It is well known that uncontrolled bleeding can cause multiple organ failure and death.&nbsp; It is also known that plasma reduces bleeding, so some are wondering if administering it early--while a patient is being transported to a hospital would lower mortality.&nbsp; </span></p> Mon, 06 May 2013 16:53:55 +0000 Charlee Song 9060 at Ferlo Proposes Moratorium on Marcellus Shale Drilling <p>At a Harrisburg rally yesterday, there were petitions signed by 100,000 people for Gov. Tom Corbett, and State Sen. Jim Ferlo <span class="st">(D-Allegheny) </span>announced he will introduce legislation calling for a temporary moratorium on any new Marcellus Shale gas drilling. &nbsp;</p> Wed, 01 May 2013 20:40:17 +0000 Charlee Song 8826 at New Fitness Center Opens at Blind & Vision Rehabilitation Services <p>Blind &amp; Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh has opened the Michael A. Romano Fitness Center in its facility at 1800 West St. in Homestead. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>In the new and larger space are instructors to help people use the new equipment. It meets a need identified by BVRS president Erika Arbogast when she started working there eight years ago. &nbsp;</p> Mon, 29 Apr 2013 17:34:29 +0000 Charlee Song 8669 at Gallery Crawl, Night Market to Feature Arts and More in Pittsburgh Tonight <p>Pittsburghers venturing downtown on Friday night have at least two opportunities to experience the arts.<br><br>The <a href="">Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's Spring Gallery Crawl</a> takes place from 5:30 to 9 p.m., while the <a href="">Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership's Night Market IV </a>runs from 6 to 11 p.m.<br> Fri, 26 Apr 2013 17:01:13 +0000 Charlee Song 8530 at