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Government & Politics
5:34 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

37 Illegal Pennsylvania Dog Kennels Targeted in 2012, Thousands of Citations Issued

The Pennsylvania Dog Law Enforcement Office took action against 37 kennels operating without a license in 2012. Any person who keeps or sells 26 or more dogs in a calendar year is considered a kennel and therefore must be properly licensed under state law.

“We aggressively pursue kennel owners who are not in compliance with the state’s dog law, and we caught these kennels through routine inspections and information received by the public,” said Samantha Krepps, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.

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Health
2:28 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Heaters Bring Warmth, and Carbon Monoxide

Heaters are on full-blast this time of year, but the Allegheny County Health Department (ACHD) warns those warmth-generating appliances are often the cause of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Acting Director of the ACHD, Ron Vorhees, said the two main sources of carbon monoxide in the winter months are from heaters, and idling vehicles.

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Government & Politics
2:20 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Gov. Corbett Still Negotiating Deadline for Lotto Bid

The Corbett administration says it is trying to push a year-end deadline back by two or three weeks to decide whether to lease the operations of the Pennsylvania Lottery to a private company.  The main reason the commonwealth is pushing for more time has to do with the union that represents some of the lottery’s employees.

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Health
8:20 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Study Finds Targeted Therapy May Prevent Esophageal Cancer in Certain Patients

A pre-clinical study has found targeted drug therapy may be helpful in preventing esophageal cancer in a high-risk population. Researchers are looking at people who suffer from gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD). Some 20 percent of Americans have at least one symptom of GERD a week that requires some sort of therapy.

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Arts & Culture
8:20 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Warhol Museum Ties Pittsburgh to Asia

The Andy Warhol Museum is using a traveling exhibition to connect students in Pittsburgh with students in Asia in a way that museum officials feel Warhol himself would have approved.  The retrospective “Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal” is spending two years visiting five different cities and the museum is linking students in each of the host cities with students at Pittsburgh’s High School for Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA).

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Government & Politics
8:20 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Pennsylvania Ranks High in Electric Utility Choice

Pennsylvania has earned top grades from an independent reviewer for having several electricity supply options available to residents and businesses.

In the Annual Baseline Assessment of Choice in Canada and the United States (ABACCUS), the commonwealth had the highest number of electricity suppliers offering rates to residential consumers, and ranked fourth in terms of choices for commercial and industrial customers. The yearly report is issued by an arm of Distributed Energy Financial Group LLC, a consulting and capital investment firm promoting the energy industries.

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Transportation
7:02 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

City Fights Snow and Prepares Weekend

50 city-owned vehicles have been working on Pittsburgh streets since Wednesday to battle the snow, sleet and ice combination coming down on the area. 

Pittsburgh Public Works Director Rob Kaczorowski said the primary, or critical, roadways in the city were addressed first. By 2:00 p.m. Thursday, nearly all of the secondary streets had been plowed, cleared, and salted.

For those who park on those secondary roadways, which is the case in most of the city, Kaczorowski suggested moving the vehicle if at all possible.

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Economy & Business
6:57 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Female Employment Strong, but in Few Industries

A Pittsburgh-based study is showing females in the region tend to pursue careers in a select number of fields, while men are represented in more industries.The analysis is part of Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board's (TRWIB)  research on various segments in the labor industry.

The data show Pittsburgh-area women, who make up nearly half the workforce in the region, are employed primarily in the healthcare, retail, education, and hospitality sectors. 

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Environment & Energy
5:16 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Pittsburgh Adds 22 Certified Green Buildings In 2012

More green buildings, new and rehabilitated, continue to pop up in the Pittsburgh region.  Pittsburgh ranked fourth among 15 benchmark cities by adding 22 Certified Green Buildings this year for a total of 109.

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Health
5:16 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Effort to Ease Transition for Children with Disabilities into Adulthood Going Strong into Second

In early 2012, the 21 and Able campaign kicked off. It’s an effort to help children with disabilities more easily transition into adulthood. As of now, when a person with disabilities gets cut off from many needed supportive services when they turn 21. While some services are available for adults, they’re hard to secure.

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Environment & Energy
3:15 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Winter Storm 'Euclid' Continues to Nag Travellers

Wednesday's snowstorm, named 'Euclid', dumped four and a half inches of snow on Pittsburgh Wednesday, and many modes of transportation are still experiencing the delays associated with the weather.

The Port Authority of Allegheny County says it is experiencing some delays on certain bus routes, although most routes are not affected by the snow. PAT warns bus riders to leave extra time in case their buses are experiencing delays.

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Environment & Energy
8:43 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Study: PA 'Water Trails' Boost Local Economic Activity

A study commissioned by the commonwealth found economic benefits associated with Pennsylvania's 'water trails' -- the 21 rivers outfitted by the state with boat launches, access points, and campgrounds.

The data gathered by ICF International show that just four of those water trails generated roughly $750,000 in local economic activity over three months this summer. From July to September, ICF conducted interviews with water trail visitors at the Schuylkill River; the Susquehanna River's north branch; the Juniata River; and the Three Rivers area in Allegheny County.

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Government & Politics
8:43 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Officials Want a Deadline for Highmark, WPAHS Merger Negotiations

A group of public officials and community group leaders has asked the state's insurance commissioner to speed up the process of merger negotiations between health insurer Highmark and the West Penn Allegheny Health System by instating a deadline to file an affiliation agreement.

Dated Tuesday, the letter from State Senator Jim Ferlo and 15 other signatories suggests that the likelihood of a merger between Highmark and WPAHS is diminishing as time continues to pass with no agreement.

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Economy & Business
8:43 am
Thu December 27, 2012

2013 Will Be Good But Not Great According to PNC

Pittsburgh received praise in 2012 for being among a handful of large and midsized cities that had recovered from the economic downturn, but PNC Financial Services Chief Economist Gus Faucher thinks the local economy will lag a bit in 2013.

“I think that we will see job growth of about 1 percent in 2013… But I think it’s going to be below the national average,” said Faucher.  “I would expect that the U.S. job growth is going to be closer to around 1.5 percent in 2013.”

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Economy & Business
6:36 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Tax Increases v. Budget Cuts, Who Wins in PA?

New analysis by the left-leaning Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) shows that proposals to end tax breaks for high-income earners would have very little impact on taxpayers in most Pennsylvania counties.

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Government & Politics
5:36 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Casey Calls For More Pressure on Pakistan

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are responsible for more than 60 percent of U.S. troops killed and wounded in Afghanistan, and Pennsylvania’s senior senator wants to help stem the flow of the raw materials used to make the bombs.

U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D) chaired a meeting of the Foreign Relations Committee’s Near-East, South and Central Asian Affairs Sub Committee this month where those who gave testimony called on the U.S. government to put more pressure on the Pakistan government to work harder to make sure calcium ammonium nitrate does not cross over into Afghanistan.

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Transportation
4:34 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Storm Hits Pittsburgh

<strong> UPDATE: 3:21PM 12/26/12 </strong>

Non-essential state employees have been sent home early as winter storm Euclid spreads across the state. A thin layer of ice under a quickly falling snow has made travel throughout western Pennsylvania extremely difficult on this day-after Christmas. 

Pennsylvania State Police have closed Route 28 in both directions from Harmarville (Exit 11) to Tarentum (Exit 14). Turnpike officials have declared a weather emergency and have lowered the speed limit to 45 mph from the Ohio state line to the Blue Mountain Tunnel. 

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Economy & Business
3:01 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Marcellus Shale No.1 in Production in 2012

This year was one of new records and new questions for the boom in Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling.

Previous doubts about the size of the vast resource were mostly put to rest, as data showed that the Marcellus became the most productive natural gas field in the nation, even though well drilling slowed substantially.

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Economy & Business
8:42 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Lottery Privatization Could Put Senior Citizen Programs At Risk

Privatizing the Pennsylvania Lottery might have Governor Tom Corbett believing it will boost profits, but it could put programs that benefit senior citizens at risk.  In a new report, the left-leaning Keystone Research Center details how services for the elderly could suffer if the commonwealth rushes into a deal.

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Transportation
8:42 am
Wed December 26, 2012

AAA Urges Drivers to Take Active Role in Staying Safe and Avoiding Problems

AAA East Central anticipates having to help about 39,000 stranded motorists in the four-state region including Pennsylvania during the holiday travel period which started before Christmas and will end January 2nd. AAA’s Steve Popovich said the good news, is motorists can take an active role in avoiding being stranded.

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Economy & Business
8:42 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Region's Economy Looked Good 2012

The Pittsburgh region continued its “ahead-of-schedule recovery” in 2012 according to PNC Financial Services Senior Economist Gus Faucher. 

“Employment in Pittsburgh is now above where it was prior to the recession and it’s one of the few places in the country where that’s true,” said Faucher.  The recession officially began in December 2007.

Pittsburgh’s economy did not fall as fast or as far as other areas of the country, making it easier to rebound.  Faucher said there were a few sectors, including professional business services, which fueled the region’s growth.

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Government & Politics
5:52 pm
Tue December 25, 2012

Pittsburgh's Popular "Love Your Block" Program is Back

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl says applications are available for the city’s spring 2013 Love Your Block grant award program.

The program gives up to 30 organizations $1,000 to purchase supplies and equipment necessary to implement a neighborhood block project that utilizes community volunteers.

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Economy & Business
8:43 am
Tue December 25, 2012

“Energy Zombies” can have a Big Impact on Home Energy Bills

These days it seems nearly everyone is trying to save money where they can. Energy provider Direct Energy says some people may not be aware that some everyday things in their homes are causing their electricity and gas bills to go up.

“An energy zombie is actually anything that mindlessly eats away at your energy bill,” said Direct Energy Spokeswoman Bethany Ruhe, “these are things you may already know about, you may not know about, but if you don’t pay attention to them – boom – you have higher electricity bills.”

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Government & Politics
8:43 am
Tue December 25, 2012

Comfort Campaign for Fallen Officers

Pennsylvania State Police on duty over the holidays this year will be keeping an eye on the streets for problems, and scanning windows for comfort in the form of a lone blue light.  

Project Blue Light began in 1988 to honor police officers killed in the line of duty. This year the State Police saw that number increase by one, when Trooper Blake Coble died in October after his patrol car was hit by a tractor trailer running a stop sign.

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Environment & Energy
8:43 am
Tue December 25, 2012

Count Some Birds

Whether an expert or a beginner, the Pennsylvania Game Commission is asking for your help.

Game Commission officials are asking wildlife enthusiasts to join tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the United States in the Audubon Society’s 113th annual Christmas Bird Count.

Local counts will occur on one day between December 14 and January 5. Volunteers can pick the most convenient circle or participate in more than one count.  Each circle focuses on one specific geographical area.

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