Pennsylvania http://wesa.fm en Winter Slushes Along, But Do We Have Enough Salt? http://wesa.fm/post/winter-slushes-along-do-we-have-enough-salt <p>Temperatures are expected to plummet from now until Thursday with light snow showers scattered throughout the region, and some are worried the salt supplies won’t last.</p><p>Despite rumors of a potential salt shortage, city and state officials say they’re doing everything they can to keep the roads clear.</p><p>PennDOT<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> spokesman Steve Cowan said the state is ordering more salt to keep up with the high demand.</span></p> Mon, 27 Jan 2014 19:21:42 +0000 Michael Lynch 23431 at http://wesa.fm Allegheny Ice Jam to Break Free http://wesa.fm/post/allegheny-ice-jam-break-free <p>The subzero temperatures this week brought not only frostbitten fingers and high heating bills, but a major ice jam along the Allegheny River.</p><p>Now, another shift in weather is expected to send the blockage downstream.</p><p>The quarter mile long buildup is thought to be 5-to-6-feet high and is located just upriver from New Kensington’s Ninth Street Bridge.</p><p>The National Weather Service is predicting mild rainfall this weekend and temperatures are expected to exceed 50 degrees.</p> Fri, 10 Jan 2014 17:15:11 +0000 Michael Lynch 22641 at http://wesa.fm PA Gets "B" On March Of Dimes Report Card http://wesa.fm/post/pa-gets-b-march-dimes-report-card <p>Pennsylvania’s preterm birth rate dropped from 11% to 10.8%, earning another “B” on the March of Dimes Foundation’s annual report card.</p><p>The state also earned a gold star for bringing late preterm births, babies born between 34 and 37 weeks, down to 7.4% and reducing the percentage of uninsured woman of child-bearing age and the number of female smokers.</p><p>But this isn’t something to run home and hang on the fridge.</p> Fri, 01 Nov 2013 16:14:47 +0000 Michael Lynch 19122 at http://wesa.fm PA Bat Population Continues To Fall http://wesa.fm/post/pa-bat-population-continues-fall <p>The cave-dwelling bat population in Pennsylvania is continuing its free-fall, according to the state Game Commission, which trapped only 10 bats at Long Run Mine earlier this month as part of a population study.</p><p>The survey assessed 10 caves across the state and the low returns lead endangered mammal specialists like Greg Turner to believe 98 percent of all cave bats are dead.</p><p>Long Run Mine, which runs along of the border of Butler and Armstrong counties, was once the largest bat cave in the state. But Turner said that’s not the case anymore.</p> Mon, 28 Oct 2013 16:23:11 +0000 Michael Lynch 18848 at http://wesa.fm PA Bat Population Continues To Fall Conservation Center Breaks Ground On Elephant Barn http://wesa.fm/post/conservation-center-breaks-ground-elephant-barn <p>Pennsylvania’s Somerset County isn’t exactly the African Savanna, but as many as 20 elephants could be calling it home in the next few years.</p><p>The International Conservation Center broke ground Saturday on a 1-acre elephant cow and calf barn, to add to the 724-acre facility.</p><p>Pittsburgh Zoo CEO Barbara Baker said the barn will focus on elephant breeding to try and combat the declining population.</p> Mon, 21 Oct 2013 16:51:42 +0000 Michael Lynch 18468 at http://wesa.fm State Parks Remain Open & Ready for Visitors http://wesa.fm/post/state-parks-remain-open-ready-visitors <p>While Washington remains at a standstill and many national parks have closed their gates, travel contributor Elaine Labalme suggests an alternative trip to the many American state parks. She says autumn is the perfect season to see some beautiful nature only a short drive away!</p><p> Thu, 10 Oct 2013 17:55:22 +0000 Katherine Blackley 17952 at http://wesa.fm State Parks Remain Open & Ready for Visitors State Attorney General Pressing on with Assisted Suicide Case http://wesa.fm/post/state-attorney-general-pressing-assisted-suicide-case <p>The state attorney general shows no sign of budging from the prosecution of a woman who allegedly helped her elderly father end his life in Schuylkill County.<br><br>Barbara Mancini of Philadelphia is being charged with a felony count after she admitted to handing her 93-year-old father, a hospice patient, enough morphine to end his life.<br>&nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br>An end-of-life planning advocacy group is asking the AG’s office to drop the case.<br> Mon, 19 Aug 2013 07:30:00 +0000 Mary Wilson 15002 at http://wesa.fm Legislation Could Eliminate School Property Tax http://wesa.fm/post/legislation-could-eliminate-school-property-tax <p>After a year of review, Pennsylvania House Representative Jim Cox <a href="http://www.repjimcox.com/NewsItem.aspx?NewsID=18122">reintroduced</a> House Bill 76 outlining the benefits of eliminating the school property tax in the Commonwealth. With 91 co-sponsors in the House and 22 in the Senate, Rep. Cox is <a href="http://www.delcotimes.com/articles/2013/08/11/news/doc520702ab2884a602888768.txt?viewmode=default">confident</a> the bill will appeal to both legislators and tax-payers. Matthew Knittel, director of the <a href="http://www.ifo.state.pa.us/index.cfm#&amp;panel1-1">Independent Fiscal Office</a>, has reviewed versions of the bill and says from a revenue perspective, the bill could be made to work in certain parts of the state.</p><p> Wed, 14 Aug 2013 19:14:22 +0000 Katherine Blackley 14867 at http://wesa.fm Legislation Could Eliminate School Property Tax Running of the Bulls Recreation Coming to PA's Berks County Next Summer http://wesa.fm/post/running-bulls-recreation-coming-pas-berks-county-next-summer <p>A Pamplona-inspired running of the bulls is coming to Pennsylvania next summer.<br><br>A Berks County raceway is hosting the event, a recreation of the Spanish tradition.<br><br>Rob Dickens, one of the organizers behind the Great Bull Run, is staging events across the country beginning this month. &nbsp;&nbsp; &nbsp;<br><br>He said the bulls run not because they’re angry, but because they’re trained – though he doesn’t imagine that will diminish the adrenaline rush for runners.<br> Wed, 14 Aug 2013 12:16:04 +0000 Mary Wilson 14837 at http://wesa.fm Pittsburgh Zoo Fails To Get Mauling Lawsuit Tossed http://wesa.fm/post/pittsburgh-zoo-fails-get-mauling-lawsuit-tossed <p>A judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit in the fatal mauling death of a 2-year-old boy who fell into a wild African dogs exhibit at the Pittsburgh Zoo &amp; PPG Aquarium.</p><p>Zoo attorneys argued a strict liability claim should not go forward, saying there's no "abnormal risk to the public" when people have a chance to view wild animals.</p><p>But Allegheny County Judge Paul Lutty agreed with attorneys for the Jason and Elizabeth Derkosh that the risk can't be determined until both sides exchange evidence before trial.</p> Wed, 07 Aug 2013 14:29:40 +0000 The Associated Press 14437 at http://wesa.fm Former Penn State Adminstrators to Stand Trial http://wesa.fm/post/former-penn-state-adminstrators-stand-trial <p>Following two days of preliminary hearings, Former Penn State president Graham Spanier, former vice president Gary Schultz and ex-athletic director Tim Curley <a href="http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/state/hearing-continues-for-penn-states-spanier-curley-and-schultzin-sandusky-case-697436/">will go to trial</a> in what has been called the worst scandal in college football history. Bob Dvorchak, author of the book “<a href="http://www.amazon.com/books/dp/B00B1L24YW">Game Over</a>” has written about the Jerry Sandusky child abuse case, and says this is not at all a surprise.</p><p> Wed, 31 Jul 2013 22:40:58 +0000 Katherine Blackley 14077 at http://wesa.fm Former Penn State Adminstrators to Stand Trial The Passing of Former Governor William Scranton http://wesa.fm/post/passing-former-governor-william-scranton <p>William Scranton, former Republican governor of Pennsylvania, died Sunday night at the age of 96. He served as governor from 1962-66, carrying a political outlook that has set him apart from his political party, both then and now.</p><p>According to Terry Madonna, Director of the Center for Politics and Public Affairs at Franklin and Marshall College, Scranton’s approach to governing was that of a “Kennedy Republican,” one who believed that the government should play an active role in helping the lives of others. Though Scranton was a man who was, as Madonna puts it “born to the manor,” or born into exorbitant wealth, he was instilled with a sense of responsibility for his community at an early age. Tue, 30 Jul 2013 20:53:45 +0000 John Lavanga 14004 at http://wesa.fm The Passing of Former Governor William Scranton ACLU of Pennsylvania Sues Commonwealth on Behalf of Same-Sex Couples & Families http://wesa.fm/post/aclu-pennsylvania-sues-commonwealth-behalf-same-sex-couples-families <p>Two weeks after the Supreme Court of the United States overturned key <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/06/26/the-supreme-court-struck-down-doma-heres-what-you-need-to-know/">provisions in the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act</a>, the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania has <a href="http://wesa.fm/post/federal-suit-filed-pa-force-state-allow-same-sex-marriage">filed a federal lawsuit</a> to overturn the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.</p><p>The 23 plaintiffs, including 10 same-sex couples, one widow, and two teenage children of one of the couples, say they've seen firsthand the <a href="http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/0/hp_breaking/federal-lawsuit-seeks-to-legalize-gay-marriage-in-pennsylvania-694787/">inequality of PA law in its discrimination</a> against same-sex couples.&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://www.aclu.org/blog/author/molly-tack-hooper">ACLU Staff Attorney</a> <strong>Molly Tack-Hooper</strong> and <a href="http://www.law.pitt.edu/people/full-time-faculty/anthony-c-infanti">Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh</a>, <strong>Anthony Infanti</strong>, weigh in on the legality of the lawsuit and the path for equality in Pennsylvania paved by the repeal of DOMA.</p><p> Wed, 10 Jul 2013 20:31:24 +0000 Katherine Blackley 12888 at http://wesa.fm ACLU of Pennsylvania Sues Commonwealth on Behalf of Same-Sex Couples & Families Micek On ACLU Lawsuit, "Payday Loans" & PennDOT's Lost Construction Season http://wesa.fm/post/micek-aclu-lawsuit-payday-loans-penndots-lost-construction-season <p></p><p>In the wake of <a href="http://wesa.fm/post/state-budget-passed-deadline-no-news-most-pressing-legislation">Governor Corbett’s budget signing</a> and the Supreme Court’s overturn of the Defense of Marriage Act, <strong>John Micek </strong><a href="http://blog.pennlive.com/capitol-notebook/index.html">Opinions Editor of the Harrisburg Patriot-News </a>explains the many pressing issues at the state level.&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 10 Jul 2013 20:00:24 +0000 Katherine Blackley 12884 at http://wesa.fm Micek On ACLU Lawsuit, "Payday Loans" & PennDOT's Lost Construction Season Pittsburghers Spent The Summer of 1863 Preparing For The Confederate Army http://wesa.fm/post/pittsburghers-spent-summer-1863-preparing-confederate-army <p>Paint a picture of Pittsburgh in the summer of 1863 and it becomes evident why many once thought the city could be a target for an attack from the Confederate Army.</p><p>The Steel City housed scores of <a href="http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/life/lifestyle/lelts-learn-from-the-past-pittsburghs-civil-war-fortifications-692304/">factories and foundries</a> as well as the <a href="http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/life/lifestyle/allegheny-arsenal-explosion-pittsburghs-worst-day-during-the-civil-war-653526/">Allegheny Arsenal</a> in Lawrenceville. All of these industries were ideal for producing war materials.&nbsp; A take over of the city could provide the South with <a href="http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/4060688-74/war-civil-fortifications#axzz2Y0fMnTgG">equipment and resources </a>that other Pennsylvania cities, such as Harrisburg, could not supply. This industry coupled with its placement as a transportation hub at the three rivers allowed the city to stand out to many prominent figures of the period, including President Abraham Lincoln.</p><p> Thu, 04 Jul 2013 00:40:57 +0000 Katherine Blackley 12518 at http://wesa.fm Pittsburghers Spent The Summer of 1863 Preparing For The Confederate Army Unsung Heroes of Western Pennsylvania During Civil War http://wesa.fm/post/unsung-heroes-western-pennsylvania-during-civil-war <p><em><strong>While Pittsburgh was never a battleground during the Civil War, there are many little known “unsung heroes” from the Pittsburgh area that made a <a href="http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/local/civilwar/heinz-history-center-exhibition-highlights-pa-role-in-civil-war-692509/">significant impact</a> in the 1860’s. <a href="http://www.heinzhistorycenter.org/civilwar/content.aspx?id=22">Heinz History Center's "Pennsylvania's Civil War"</a> lead curator and historian, Leslie Przybylek</strong></em><em><strong>, shares the stories of three Pittsburghers that you may not have read about in your history books.</strong></em></p><p> Thu, 04 Jul 2013 00:29:55 +0000 Katherine Blackley 12522 at http://wesa.fm Unsung Heroes of Western Pennsylvania During Civil War State Budget Passed by Deadline, No News On Most Pressing Legislation http://wesa.fm/post/state-budget-passed-deadline-no-news-most-pressing-legislation <p>Following a “bad weekend” with the <a href="http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/06/gov_tom_corbett_gets_budget_bu.html#/0">collapse of his agenda</a>, Governor Tom Corbett signed a nearly $29 billion <a href="http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/48182083/2013-14%20Governors%20Executive%20Budget%20CD.pdf">state budget</a> Sunday night.&nbsp; <a href="http://www.lehighvalleylive.com/breaking-news/index.ssf/2013/06/gov_tom_corbett_signs_off_on_p.html">Controversial issues </a>including liquor privatization and allocations for transportation funding remain in the Legislature until the fall, prompting a close examination of these pressing topics and the motivations behind both parties in both the House and Senate.</p><p> Mon, 01 Jul 2013 19:52:55 +0000 Katherine Blackley 12400 at http://wesa.fm State Budget Passed by Deadline, No News On Most Pressing Legislation Re-enactments to Bring Gettysburg to Life for 150th Anniversary http://wesa.fm/post/re-enactments-bring-gettysburg-life-150th-anniversary <p></p><p>It was 150 years ago that the battle considered to be the turning point of the Civil War took place in a field in Pennsylvania.</p><p>Each year, thousands of people re-enact the Battle of Gettysburg, and thousands turn out to watch. This year, for the 150<sup>th</sup> anniversary, the events will be even larger than normal.</p><p>“There’ll be two major re-enactments probably attracting 12,000 to 15,000 re-enactors each, and then hundreds of thousands of spectators,” said Andy Masich, president and CEO of the Heinz History Center. &nbsp;</p> Fri, 28 Jun 2013 07:30:00 +0000 Deanna Garcia 12192 at http://wesa.fm Re-enactments to Bring Gettysburg to Life for 150th Anniversary Defending Joe Paterno and Challenging the Freeh Report http://wesa.fm/post/defending-joe-paterno-and-challenging-freeh-report <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>Former Pennsylvania Governor <a href="http://www.library.pitt.edu/thornburgh/biography.html"><strong>Dick Thornburgh</strong></a> feels former FBI director Louis Freeh's investigation of the Jerry Sandusky abuse case was <a href="http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/06/former_gov_dick_thornburgh_hel.html">not conclusively supported by evidence</a>. The Penn State case marked the first time the NCAA punished an institution solely for transgressions related to a criminal matter.</p><p>The family of former coach Joe Paterno and other plaintiffs sued the NCAA last week, accusing the organization of intentionally defaming and commercially disparaging them through the imposition of sanctions against Penn State. Thu, 06 Jun 2013 22:48:41 +0000 Heather McClain 10949 at http://wesa.fm Defending Joe Paterno and Challenging the Freeh Report Judge Tosses Corbett's Lawsuit Against NCAA http://wesa.fm/post/judge-tosses-corbetts-lawsuit-against-ncaa <p>A federal judge on Thursday threw out the governor's lawsuit against the NCAA over sanctions against Penn State related to Jerry Sandusky, calling his argument "a Hail Mary pass" that easily warranted dismissal.<br><br>U.S. Middle District Judge Yvette Kane's decision puts an early end to the anti-trust lawsuit Gov. Tom Corbett filed in January in which he sought to overturn a $60 million fine, a four-year bowl ban, scholarship limits and other penalties.<br> Thu, 06 Jun 2013 13:52:41 +0000 The Associated Press 10896 at http://wesa.fm Building in Philadelphia Collapses; 12 Injured, 2 Trapped http://wesa.fm/post/building-philadelphia-collapses-12-injured-2-trapped <p>A four-story building being demolished collapsed Wednesday on the edge of downtown, injuring 12 people and trapping two others, the fire commissioner said.</p><p>Rescue crews were trying to extricate the two people who were trapped, city Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said. The dozen people who were injured were taken to hospitals with minor injuries, he said.</p> Wed, 05 Jun 2013 17:30:32 +0000 The Associated Press 10835 at http://wesa.fm 8 Charged in Alleged High-Grade Pot Ring in PA http://wesa.fm/post/8-charged-alleged-high-grade-pot-ring-pa <p>Authorities in suburban Philadelphia say they've broken up a multimillion-dollar drug ring that trafficked in high-grade marijuana.</p><p>Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman announced charges against eight suspects on Thursday.</p><p>She says nearly 3,700 pounds of potent pot was sent from California to Pennsylvania over the past 15 months. She estimated its street value at more than $14 million.</p><p>Ferman says the suspects used a freight service to ship marijuana in giant orange tool chests from Sacramento, Calif., to a Philadelphia suburb in Delaware County.</p> Fri, 24 May 2013 14:32:51 +0000 The Associated Press 10147 at http://wesa.fm Boy, 15, Dies in ATV Drag Racing Crash in Western PA http://wesa.fm/post/boy-15-dies-atv-drag-racing-crash-western-pa <p>Grief counselors and local ministers were at a western Pennsylvania high school after a popular student was killed while drag racing an all-terrain vehicle at a nearby dirt track.</p><p>State police say Northern Bedford High School sophomore Kaleb Rightenour, of Martinsburg, was killed Saturday night when his ATV hit a tire barrier on a 500-foot dirt drag strip, causing the vehicle and the boy to hit a light pole.</p> Mon, 20 May 2013 14:50:34 +0000 The Associated Press 9854 at http://wesa.fm Police: Western PA woman Overdosed with Kids in Car http://wesa.fm/post/police-western-pa-woman-overdosed-kids-car <p>A southwestern Pennsylvania woman has been charged with endangering her two young daughters who, police say, were in a van with the woman when she overdosed on heroin.</p><p>Online court records don't list an attorney for 33-year-old Clara Bass, of Uledi.</p><p>Emergency crews in Uniontown thought they were responding to a woman in cardiac arrest after Bass' friend called 911 to report finding her passed out in a van in a shopping center lot on Wednesday night. But police say they instead found a syringe in the arm of Bass who had turned blue.</p> Fri, 17 May 2013 15:04:09 +0000 The Associated Press 9731 at http://wesa.fm Ex-Justice Melvin Owes $128K in Fines, Restitution http://wesa.fm/post/ex-justice-melvin-owes-128k-fines-restitution <p>Former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin's campaign corruption conviction will cost her not only three years on house arrest but also nearly $128,000 in fines, restitution and court costs.<br> Tue, 14 May 2013 20:48:00 +0000 The Associated Press 9548 at http://wesa.fm