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Government & Politics
2:48 am
Wed January 23, 2013

Exec. Fitzgerald Gives 'State of Allegheny County' Address

During his annual 'State of Allegheny County' address Tuesday, County Executive Rich Fitzgerald announced the first-ever enforcement of a 2007 law that requires the owners of tax-exempt properties to prove to the county that they are deserving of nonprofit status.

If even some of the county's 27,000 tax-exempt properties began paying up, that could mean a large new revenue stream for the county.

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Government & Politics
9:14 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Cautious Praise for PA Lottery Deal Aired in Committee Hearing

Pennsylvania’s top Republican senators are asking Gov. Tom Corbett to make it clear that a privately-run Pennsylvania Lottery won't be able to compete with casinos through online gambling.  The request was made public on the same day a state House committee held a hearing on the deal to privatize the operations of the Lottery.

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Education & Learning
8:58 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Details Of Bids For Old Pittsburgh Schenley Building Released

Faced with needed renovations ranging from 50 to 80 million dollars, the Pittsburgh Board of Education decided to close the Schenley High School building on Bigelow Boulevard in June 2008.  Schenley students and staff moved that fall to the former Reizenstein Middle School building and Schenley's final class graduated in June 2011.  

Nearly five years after the Schenley High School building was closed, there might soon be a buyer for that property in Oakland.

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Government & Politics
8:20 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Rallies in Harrisburg to Focus on Both Sides of Gun Debate

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People from across Pennsylvania will gather in Harrisburg Wednesday, some to call for tougher gun laws in the state, some to voice support for how things currently stand. CeaseFirePA is holding its “Day of Action” to voice support of a five-point agenda to lawmakers:

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Health
6:05 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Is the Flu Season In Pittsburgh Coming to an End?

This year's "flu season” has claimed a higher than average number of victims this winter, but some local doctors are finding the high volume of cases are already starting to drop.

Thomas Campbell, Assistant Chairman of Emergency Medicine for West Penn Allegheny Health System, said this year got started a little bit earlier than in the past several seasons and it was worse than normal, but he isn’t exactly sure why. He said while it will linger through the winter, he is optimistic an end to the spike is in sight.

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Economy & Business
5:34 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Sewickley-based Esmark Sells Technologies Arm

After being purchased by some of its parent company's largest shareholders, Esmark Technologies will look into building a depot along the Ohio River to house shale equipment.

The Bouchard Group, run by Sewickley-based Esmark Inc. CEO and founder James Bouchard, and Stahlschmidt Incorporated, owned by Esmark’s third largest shareholder, announced the acquisition of the company on Monday.

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Transportation
5:29 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

Labor, Religious, Activist Groups Join Forces to Call for Public Transit Funding in Allegheny County

At the doorway to the Pittsburgh City Council Chamber Tuesday morning, a score of people gathered to call for more investment in Pennsylvania's transportation systems, particularly concerning mass transit.

Members of the Allegheny County Labor Council, the Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network, City Council, and Pittsburghers for Public Transit all spoke in favor of pulling a transportation funding commitment from Governor Tom Corbett and the state legislature.

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Government & Politics
1:14 pm
Tue January 22, 2013

PA Senator Casey "Impressed" by Inauguration Speech

Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) said he was impressed by President Barack Obama's second inauguration speech.  The President touched on a myriad of topics of interest to Casey including energy, the economy, and gun control.

“I thought [it] was focused not only on the inspiration—what brings us together as Americans, our founding documents, the most inspiring words of our history, but also the fact that he focused on today and the future,” Casey said just minutes after the address.

He said he was most impressed by the acknowledgement of short and long-term goals.

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Environment & Energy
9:12 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Pittsburgh Prepares for New E-Waste Law

What do you do with your old computers and TVs when you break down and buy the latest piece of technology to hit the shelf?

Some people might stick the outdated one in the basement or give it to a friend, but many others set the old electronics out on the curb for the garbage men to cart off the next morning. From there, the "e-waste" is thrown into the local trash dump, where it proceeds to leak toxic metals like lead, mercury, and cadmium into the earth and possibly the groundwater.

Not anymore.

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Government & Politics
9:12 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Allegheny County Project Prom Kicks Off Tenth Anniversary

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It’s not too early and not too cold to start thinking about the high school prom and the Allegheny County Department of Human Services is hoping you will do just that.  The department has kicked off its tenth annual Project Prom, which offers free formal attire and accessories to local students who might otherwise find it difficult to afford the requisite finery.  

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Environment & Energy
8:26 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Oil, Gas Companies Turning To Natural Gas-Diesel Fuel Blend

Technological advances in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, are paving the way for companies to become both producers and consumers of natural gas. From Pennsylvania to Texas, diesel pump engines are being converted to operate on a cheaper bi-fuel mix of diesel and natural gas.

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Economy & Business
8:01 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

United Way and Allegheny County Offer Free Tax Prep Share Tweet

Low- and middle-income workers will have help filing local, state, and federal taxes this year through the 2013 Free Tax Preparation Campaign.

Angela Reynolds, Director of Programs for Financially Struggling Adults and Families with the United Way, said volunteers will be offering assistance in 11 sites throughout Allegheny County beginning Monday.

She said to qualify for help, people must individually be making  $20,000 or less, or filing jointly $40,000 or less annually.

Reynolds said all scheduling will be done through the 211 phone line.

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Arts & Culture
6:46 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Night Market Will Feature Art, Food, And Curling

Project Pop Up is back again this week with the third Night Market in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Gallery Crawl. This event will feature many food and craft vendors along with a curling demonstration outside its new location with the musicians' group Symbiotic Collusion on 7th Street.

Jeremy Waldrup, President and CEO of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership, the sponsor of Project Pop Up, said this event will be slightly smaller than the last, but will still offer the same quality of talent.

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Arts & Culture
6:39 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Let Freedom Sing for MLK Day

The sixth annual Let Freedom Sing event is a set of two concerts performed in the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, aimed at bringing together different cross-sections of the Pittsburgh region—young and old; black and white; urban and suburban.

The first concert was held Saturday in East Liberty to a capacity audience. Monday night's concert will be held at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville.

Kris Rust, choral director of Franklin Regional as well as the co-founder of this event, feels many kids don’t see the significance of MLK day.

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Economy & Business
4:03 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Weekly Wages Rise In Pittsburgh For Third Straight Year

Heads up Pittsburghers—you’re making more money.

According to PittsburghTODAY, average weekly wages in the Pittsburgh region rose by 1.94 percent between the second quarter of 2011 and the second quarter of 2012. The study also noted wages rose, on average, from $875 to $892 a week.

The increase has been a continuing trend for the city--average weekly wages increased by 3.16 percent between 2009 and 2010 and another 3.55 percent between 2010 and 2011.

Doug Heuck, Director of PittsburghTODAY, said Pittsburgh’s unique and diverse economy has helped.

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Environment & Energy
9:03 am
Mon January 21, 2013

County takes input on North & South Park Projects

Allegheny County and the Allegheny County Parks Foundation will host two public input meetings to discuss improvement projects in North Park and South Park.

Residents are encouraged to attend the meetings to learn about the projects and to provide feedback and comments.

Christine Fulton, Executive Director of the Allegheny County Parks Foundation, said the needs for renovations in the parks is actually a good thing.

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Government & Politics
9:03 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Pittsburgh Progressing In Equal Opportunity, Still Needs Work

“Would Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. be proud today?”

That is the question Vibrant Pittsburgh has posed nearly 50 years after the Civil Rights leader’s famous "I Have a Dream" speech. While there has been significant progress made in education, equal employment, healthcare, and socioeconomic status, Pittsburgh can still do more.

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Government & Politics
9:03 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Sen. Kasunic Wants to Reform Small Games of Chance Law

If reforms are not made, Pennsylvania’s current Small Games Law will lead to some volunteer organizations having to close their doors, according to State Senator Richard Kasunic (D-Fayette County).

Kasunic has proposed legislation he thinks will make it easier for non-profits to raise money.

Kasunic said, soon after the Legislature passed the current law, organizations began to complain about the reporting problems it created.

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Government & Politics
9:03 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Rep. Murphy’s SMART Act Helps Seniors, Cuts Red Tape in Medicare Repayment Process

When a senior citizen covered by Medicare is treated after an accident or an injury, it’s generally paid for by Medicare. Those medical expenses must then be reimbursed through insurance or a legal settlement. But, the process by which that was to happen has not been running smoothly. The Strengthening Medicare and Repaying Taxpayers, or SMART, Act aims to remedy that.

SMART Act sponsor, U.S. Representative Tim Murphy (R-PA-18) said the hurdles in the Medicare Secondary Payer program were becoming troublesome and costly for seniors and the system.

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Arts & Culture
8:03 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Speaking Volumes: Peter Kope and Michele de la Reza

Peter Kope and Michele de la Reza are the co-founders and artistic directors of Attack Theatre. Their upcoming show draws heavily on opera, a genre that not so long ago was considered popular entertainment.

Ron David, Opera For Beginners 

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Arts & Culture
9:28 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Penguins on Parade at Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium

With the cold temperature, the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium is letting its penguins out to get some fresh air. Every weekend in January and February, the penguins come out of their enclosure and walk outside, whether it’s clear or snowy.

“We’ll bring them out to play in the snow, and it’s so nice to see them play in the snow, they actually snap at the snowflakes and it enables Pittsburgh folks to come out and see the birds,” said aquarium Curator Dwayne Biggs.

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Economy & Business
9:25 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

PA Unemployment up, Workforce Also Grows

Pennsylvania’s unemployment rate crept up a tenth of a percent in December but the state says it’s not as bad as it might seem.  Pennsylvania posted a seasonally adjusted unemployment rate today of 7.9% for December of 2012.

The number is a .1 percent above the national average and .2 percent above the rates seen in Pennsylvania in December 2011. 

However, the rate obscures the fact that the number of jobs in Pennsylvania grew from November to December by nearly 12,000.  The unemployment rate increased because the work force also grew more than 16,000. 

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Government & Politics
8:24 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Pennsylvania Democrats To Celebrate In DC

Democrats from across Pennsylvania will head down to Washington, D.C.  Monday to commemorate President Obama’s second inauguration and to send a clear message to the president as he begins his second term.

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Government & Politics
8:03 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

New Year's Eve 911 Officers Did Not Follow Training, but Didn’t Break Rules

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala said officers who responded to a call from Ka’Sandra Wade, who was killed that same night, did not act in accordance with their training. But, he said they also didn’t break department and rules or protocols.

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Economy & Business
7:26 pm
Fri January 18, 2013

Nemacolin Applies for Table Games

Even though the slots casino at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort has not yet opened, management there is already asking the Gaming Control Board to expand its license to include table games.  A hearing on the application will be held February 7th.

By law, a casino operator in Pennsylvania must first be awarded a slots casino license before it can apply for a license to operate table games.  “We are following that rank and order as we speak,” said Nemacolin Manager Chris Plummer. 

Plummer said the plan all along was to open the casino with the table games already in place.

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