Deanna Garcia en 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 Pittsburgh Learning Lessons from NYC on Universal Pre-K <p>As Pennsylvania continues a campaign to ensure access to PRE-K programs for all children, Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak, a representative from Mayor Bill Peduto’s office, Pittsburgh Public Schools, and a group from the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children (PAEYC) traveled to New York City to see how that city is implementing universal Pre-K.</p><p>Rudiak said one thing is clear: It takes multiple players working together to pull it off.</p> Wed, 23 Jul 2014 17:45:03 +0000 Deanna Garcia 33092 at Pittsburgh Learning Lessons from NYC on Universal Pre-K Pittsburgh City Council Votes to Continue Funding for Crime Reduction Initiative <p>Pittsburgh City Council has approved a measure for a professional service agreement between Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania and the city for the continuation of the Pittsburgh Initiative to Reduce Crime (PIRC).</p><p>This comes with a $150,000 price tag, which Councilwoman Theresa Kail-Smith questioned.</p><p>“I don’t mind funding anything if we see results, but I don’t want to fund something if we don’t see results, and I have not seen results from this program,” she said.</p> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 21:12:34 +0000 Deanna Garcia 33022 at As Ridesharing Debate Continues, Some Look Into Whether Services Reduce DUIs <p>The Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission continues to try stopping ridesharing services Uber and Lyft from operating in the Pittsburgh area, often citing that the drivers are not regulated by the state, which is a safety concern.</p><p>This prompted <a href="">one Pittsburgh man</a> to look into a major safety issue – driving under the influence.</p><p>“Under that safety argument I decided to look into DUIs, arguably one of biggest dangers on the road, this could have been having a profound change in that area,” said Nate Good.</p> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 21:06:55 +0000 Deanna Garcia 32969 at US Energy Secretary Hears from Pittsburgh on Natural Gas Future <p>As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the U.S. Department of Energy is holding meetings across the country on infrastructure needs for the natural gas industry.</p><p>On Monday the, the seventh such meeting, the Quadrennial Energy Review (QER) Public Meeting, was held in Pittsburgh. The day-long meeting focused on key infrastructure needed for transmission, storage and distribution of energy – especially natural gas, which continues boom, especially in this region.</p> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 18:37:56 +0000 Deanna Garcia 32952 at US Energy Secretary Hears from Pittsburgh on Natural Gas Future Report: Pittsburgh Region Saw Job Growth Last Year, But Manufacturing Still a Concern <p>After seeing no appreciable job growth in the Pittsburgh metro area more than a year ago, the region added 10,700 jobs between June 2013 and June 2014, according to a report from Pittsburgh Today.</p><p>“That’s a 0.9 percent increase, which doesn’t set the world on fire, but Pittsburgh has always been kind of a slow and steady grower,” said Doug Heuck, Pittsburgh Today director. “But it’s good news that we’re back growing jobs again.”</p> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 07:30:00 +0000 Deanna Garcia 32849 at No New Gas Leases in State Parks and Forests Pending Court Decision <p>The Corbett administration has announced that no new natural gas leases will be issued under state parks and forest land while the case of PEDF v. Commonwealth progresses in court.</p><p>The decision is part of a settlement, which includes the continued funding of the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The suit was brought by the Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation.</p> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 16:13:37 +0000 Deanna Garcia 32835 at Legionella Detected at UPMC Presbyterian; No Patients Sickened <p>Eleven patients from a unit at UPMC Presbyterian were moved to other parts of the hospital following the detection of legionella in several sinks in a recently-remodeled area.</p><p>There are no confirmed cases of Legionnaires’ disease, but UPMC spokeswoman Wendy Zellner said the patients were moved as a precautionary measure.</p><p>“We are following our normal Legionella monitoring and prevention protocols and expect the unit to reopen soon after proper remediation measures are taken,” Zellner said in a statement.</p> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 21:28:43 +0000 Deanna Garcia 32721 at PWSA Now Accepting Cash Payments at 7-Eleven Stores <p>Customers of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority now have another payment option at their disposal – cash payments at 7-Eleven stores.</p><p>“It’s a convenience for our customers who don’t have a bank account, a credit card, a debit card, they may be out of town,” said Melissa Rubin, a PWSA spokeswoman. “Cash payments can be made at any 7-Eleven across the U.S.”</p> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 07:30:00 +0000 Deanna Garcia 32664 at Port Authority Diverts Funds to Study Bus Rapid Transit Line <p>The Port Authority of Allegheny County approved shifting $1.56 million dollars from its capital budget to add to the amount needed to study a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line between downtown Pittsburgh and Oakland.</p><p>Port Authority Chairman Bob Hurley said an initial engineering and environmental study is a critical part of the process.</p> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 18:50:42 +0000 Deanna Garcia 32658 at Corbett Faces Tough Challenge in Budget Decision <p>Gov. Tom Corbett has yet to sign the $29.1 billion budget passed by state lawmakers last week. He said he would not sign a budget that does not include a pension overhaul.</p> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 11:48:46 +0000 Deanna Garcia 32263 at Allegheny Health Network and Johns Hopkins Finalize Agreement for Cancer Collaboration <p>A five-year agreement between Allegheny Health Network and Johns Hopkins Medicine has been signed, finalizing a partnership between AHN and the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins in Washington, DC.</p><p>“Cancer patients and their families benefit and their outcomes improve when we share knowledge and expertise because then we can accelerate knowledge transfer and treatment advances outside of communities where patients live,” said Dr. David Parda, system chair of the AHN Cancer Institute.</p> Mon, 07 Jul 2014 18:25:26 +0000 Deanna Garcia 32192 at Dedicated, Protected Bike Lanes Coming to Pittsburgh Before Summer’s End <p>Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto and other city officials announced the construction of three protected bike lanes in the city. The lanes will be built from Schenley Plaza to Anderson Playground in Schenley Park, along Saline Street between Greenfield Avenue and Swinburne Street (Panther Hollow Trail) in Greenfield, and on Penn Avenue from 11th Street to Stanwix Avenue Downtown.</p> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 19:19:30 +0000 Deanna Garcia 32035 at Dedicated, Protected Bike Lanes Coming to Pittsburgh Before Summer’s End American Muslim Group Condemns Violence, Celebrates America on Independence Day <p>As people set off fireworks, wave flags and eat their American flag-decorated cake this Fourth of July, a group of American Muslims is doing some of the same things — with an added message — that their religion is a peaceful one and they are also patriotic Americans.</p><p>“We want to spread the message of loyalty to the United States of America, and we want to debunk the myth that Muslims do not stand for peace and justice,” said Adnan Ahmed, Imam of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Pittsburgh.</p> Thu, 03 Jul 2014 18:29:15 +0000 Deanna Garcia 31941 at UPDATED: Furries Converge on Downtown Pittsburgh for Anthrocon 2014 <p>The world’s largest furry convention is under way in downtown Pittsburgh. The convention for artists, animators, costumers, puppeteers and fans has called the Steel City home since 2006.</p><p>“By the time we’re finished with this particular convention, Anthrocon will have left $41 million of economic activity in the Pittsburgh region over the last nine years,” said Craig Davis, president and CEO of Visit Pittsburgh, the city’s convention and visitor’s bureau.</p> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 19:51:51 +0000 Deanna Garcia 31971 at UPDATED: Furries Converge on Downtown Pittsburgh for Anthrocon 2014 Allegheny County Domestic Partners Given More Time Before Losing Benefits <p>Last week, Allegheny County announced that all same-sex partners of county employees would have their domestic partner benefits cut off effective July 31.</p><p><a href="">Following an outcry </a>from advocates and some receiving benefits that 30 days was not enough time to arrange for new coverage and/or legally marry, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald has now extended the cut-off date to June 30, 2015.</p> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 14:43:30 +0000 Deanna Garcia 31944 at Democrats Slam State Budget <p>The Pennsylvania Senate passed a $29.1 billion state budget late Monday to the fanfare of Republicans and jeers of Democrats. Gov. Tom Corbett <a href="">has yet to sign the budget</a>, citing a lack of a pension overhaul.</p><p>Sen. Matt Smith (D-Allegheny/Washington) is one of many Democrats displeased with the bill.</p> Tue, 01 Jul 2014 19:12:31 +0000 Deanna Garcia 31881 at Same-Sex Allegheny County Couples Want More Time Before Losing Domestic Partner Benefits <p></p><p>Allegheny County announced last week plans to cut off benefits to same-sex partners of its employees. The move was made because same-sex couples can now marry in Pennsylvania. Same-sex couples receiving benefits from Allegheny County must now show proof of marriage, or lose their domestic partner benefits.</p><p>It’s not so much the cutting off of benefits that has some worried, but the timeline. The benefits will be terminated August 1, giving employees and their partners little more than a month to arrange for new coverage, or get legally married.</p> Tue, 01 Jul 2014 01:09:28 +0000 Deanna Garcia 31839 at Same-Sex Allegheny County Couples Want More Time Before Losing Domestic Partner Benefits City Council Members Tackle City’s Parking Woes <p>Whether in Lawrenceville, Downtown, the South Side or the Strip District, many Pittsburghers and visitors to the city complain about parking; either the lack of it or the cost of it.</p><p>City Councilman Dan Gilman held a post agenda on the issue Tuesday. Pittsburgh Acting Police Chief Regina McDonald said one of the problems is crowded neighborhood streets.</p> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 21:15:45 +0000 Deanna Garcia 31505 at Peduto Issues Executive Order Aimed At Keeping Better Track Of Expenditures <p>Though he’s in Denmark for the week, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto has issued an executive order which is meant to help city finance managers better keep track of where and how money is being spent.</p><p>“Effective immediately, and until further notice, all explanatory departmental expenditures, those are expenditures under $2,000, other than those that are done pursuant to an approved contract, must be pre-approved by OMB,” said Kevin Acklin, the mayor’s chief of staff.</p> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 19:37:25 +0000 Deanna Garcia 31417 at Mayor’s Office Exploring How To Keep City From Getting Trashed After Large Events <p>Following the weekend’s Luke Bryan concert at Heinz Field, the Internet has been abuzz with pictures and videos of people tailgating, people falling in the road drunk and garbage the crowds left behind — not unlike the aftermath of last year’s Kenny Chesney concert.<br /><br />On Monday, the message from Mayor Bill Peduto's office was that the trashing of Pittsburgh needs to stop.</p> Mon, 23 Jun 2014 18:22:52 +0000 Deanna Garcia 31410 at Mayor’s Office Exploring How To Keep City From Getting Trashed After Large Events Pitt Chancellor Nordenberg Gives Final Report To Trustees Before Stepping Down <p>After 19 years as the head of the University of Pittsburgh, Mark Nordenberg will step down in August. He made the announcement last year, and Friday he attended his last Pitt Board of Trustees meeting, where Nordenberg was unanimously elected chancellor emeritus.</p><p>The designation will take effect when he officially leaves his post. At a news conference following the board meeting, Nordenberg said his greatest triumph is the chance in culture that has occurred since 1995.</p> Fri, 20 Jun 2014 20:05:10 +0000 Deanna Garcia 31290 at Pitt Chancellor Nordenberg Gives Final Report To Trustees Before Stepping Down Casey Calls on Lawmakers to Extend Funding for Children’s Health Insurance <p>Approximately 271,000 Pennsylvania children have health care coverage through the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and millions are covered nationwide.</p><p>U.S. Sen. Bob Casey is calling on his fellow lawmakers to extend funding for the program through fiscal year 2019.</p><p>“The basic problem we’ve got is the program is authorized through fiscal year 2019, but not funded,” said Casey. “We can’t say that we’re doing what we should be doing for children if we don’t match the funding with the authorization.</p> Thu, 19 Jun 2014 20:15:17 +0000 Deanna Garcia 31217 at Controllers Wagner And Lamb: City Should Implement Joint Payroll System To Save Money <p>At a meeting this week of the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (ICA) Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner urged the city of Pittsburgh to implement a joint financial management system that she said is already-built and ready to go. Wagner said by not utilizing the payroll module, the city is taking a financial hit.</p><p>“There’s already a cost to past delays, we’re incurring a cost presently because of present delays and will continue to in the future if there are future delays,” she said.</p> Wed, 18 Jun 2014 18:30:09 +0000 Deanna Garcia 31143 at Obama Touts Manufacturing, Access For Entrepreneurs In Pittsburgh Stop <p>American manufacturing was the focus of President Obama’s visit to Pittsburgh Tuesday.</p><p>The president stopped at TechShop in Bakery Square, a facility that allows start-up businesses, tinkerers and hobbyists to use high-end instruments they may not otherwise have access to. Obama said part of continuing the manufacturing boom in the country will be finding ways to make resources of the federal government more available to the general public.</p> Tue, 17 Jun 2014 21:20:21 +0000 Deanna Garcia & Associated Press 31102 at Obama Touts Manufacturing, Access For Entrepreneurs In Pittsburgh Stop