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Government & Politics
2:41 pm
Sat December 15, 2012

County Tax Review Could Hurt Local Nonprofit Bond Ratings

Credit ratings agency Moody's Investors Service says Allegheny County's review of tax-exempt property "is a credit negative" for non-profit organizations which could put more demands on their operations.

The report issued Thursday says that the county review of tax-exempt properties may have long-term financial consequences for non-profits since they will have to spend time and money to address questions about whether they deserve the exempt status.

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Newtown, Conn.
2:29 pm
Sat December 15, 2012

Small Town Tries To Cope With Unimaginable Tragedy

Newtown, Conn. is a white-collar community an hour and a half northeast of New York City. It's the kind of place where crime is rare and the biggest thing that happens each year is the Labor Day parade.

Now the peace and quiet has been shattered, and residents are trying to make sense of what's happened.

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Government & Politics
9:00 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Senator Casey Calls for Full Investigation into Legionnaire’s Outbreak at Pittsburgh VA Hospital

Following the recent outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease at the Pittsburgh VA Health System, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) has sent a letter to the inspector general of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.

“We need to know what happened, why it happened and what steps will the VA take to prevent this from happening again,” he said.

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Government & Politics
9:00 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Senator Casey Calls for Full Investigation into Legionnaire’s Outbreak at Pittsburgh VA Hospital

Following the recent outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease at the Pittsburgh VA Health System, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) has sent a letter to the inspector general of the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.

“We need to know what happened, why it happened and what steps will the VA take to prevent this from happening again,” he said.

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Government & Politics
8:16 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Airport Goes With Low Bidder in Shale Lease

The Allegheny County Airport Authority will negotiate with Consol Energy for rights to drill for natural gas and oil at Pittsburgh International Airport even though a competitor's bid appeared to be twice as large.

The authority last week said EQT Corp. bid roughly $44 million while Consol bid $20.8 million — but also included a $2.1 million check as a deposit. Both bids also include ongoing 18 percent royalties once drilling begins.

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Government & Politics
8:16 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Airport Goes With Low Bidder in Shale Lease

The Allegheny County Airport Authority will negotiate with Consol Energy for rights to drill for natural gas and oil at Pittsburgh International Airport even though a competitor's bid appeared to be twice as large.

The authority last week said EQT Corp. bid roughly $44 million while Consol bid $20.8 million — but also included a $2.1 million check as a deposit. Both bids also include ongoing 18 percent royalties once drilling begins.

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Government & Politics
8:09 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Mayoral Field Could Get Crowded Quickly

With a focus on transforming the city of Pittsburgh, City Councilman Bill Peduto officially launched his campaign for mayor last night. 

“The transformation has to be something where city government reflects all the other things that are changing, all the positive things that are happening,” said Peduto.  “It needs somebody who not only can respect and understand the past that has more than just a vision of the future but an understanding of how it can happen.”

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Government & Politics
8:09 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Mayoral Field Could Get Crowded Quickly

With a focus on transforming the city of Pittsburgh, City Councilman Bill Peduto officially launched his campaign for mayor last night. 

“The transformation has to be something where city government reflects all the other things that are changing, all the positive things that are happening,” said Peduto.  “It needs somebody who not only can respect and understand the past that has more than just a vision of the future but an understanding of how it can happen.”

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Government & Politics
7:59 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Congressman Urges Pentagon To Use American Made Steel for Navy

http://2cccd5dfe1965e26adf6-26c50ce30a6867b5a67335a93e186605.r53.cf1.rackcdn.com/Murphy Wrap_Emily Farah_SOC.mp3

The Department of Defense is getting some firm-handed advice from two U.S. Congressmen to use domestically made steel for the Navy’s long-term shipbuilding strategy.

Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA-18) and Peter Visclosky (D-IN-01) , Chairman and Vice Chairman, respectively, of the Congressional Steel Caucus wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta stressing the importance of using American-made metals throughout the supply-chain for naval ships.

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Government & Politics
7:59 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Congressman Urges Pentagon To Use American Made Steel for Navy

http://2cccd5dfe1965e26adf6-26c50ce30a6867b5a67335a93e186605.r53.cf1.rackcdn.com/Murphy Wrap_Emily Farah_SOC.mp3

The Department of Defense is getting some firm-handed advice from two U.S. Congressmen to use domestically made steel for the Navy’s long-term shipbuilding strategy.

Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA-18) and Peter Visclosky (D-IN-01) , Chairman and Vice Chairman, respectively, of the Congressional Steel Caucus wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta stressing the importance of using American-made metals throughout the supply-chain for naval ships.

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Education & Learning
7:02 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Tragedy In Connecticut: Deadly Shooting At Elementary School

The nation watched in horror Friday as the scope of a tragedy in Newtown, Conn., became clear. As a visibly upset President Obama said at midafternoon, "our hearts are broken."

At Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary School, authorities say, a gunman fatally wounded 20 children — some as young as 5, according to the president — and six adults. One other person was injured. The gunman was found dead at the scene.

 

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Education & Learning
6:03 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

New Employment Center In West End

The ribbon was officially cut this morning on a new employment center in Pittsburgh which will provide access to services and job opportunities with a goal of ultimately strengthening the 16 West End neighborhoods.

The West End Works Employment Center and Pittsburgh CONNECTS Public Computer Center is located at Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Elliott and has been open since October 1.

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Government & Politics
5:14 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Dan Rooney Steps down as Ambassador, Returns Home

Pittsburgh Steelers chairman and co-owner Dan Rooney has stepped down as the U.S. ambassador to Ireland. The embassy in Dublin said the 80-year-old Rooney resigned Friday and returned to the United States. Press officer John Murphy said Rooney met with Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny and President Michael Higgins during a final round of engagements this week.

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Government & Politics
4:54 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

Fewer Foster Kids in PA, but What About Abuse Cases?

http://2cccd5dfe1965e26adf6-26c50ce30a6867b5a67335a93e186605.r53.cf1.rackcdn.com/Children Wrap_Mary Wilson_SOC.mp3

A new report shows fewer children in Pennsylvania are in foster care but the state should not expect the trend to continue.

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Government & Politics
8:30 am
Fri December 14, 2012

BoomTown: How Drilling Has Changed Towanda

What does a drilling boom look like?

In Towanda, Bradford County, it looks like trucks rumbling across Veterans Memorial Bridge and down Main Street. The vehicles,  hauling water, chemicals, equipment, sand and dirt more to and from natural gas drilling sites, have been a steady presence since 2008, when hydraulic fracturing began in surrounding Bradford County.

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Economy & Business
8:44 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Highmark To Open A Medical Mall in Wexford

The 174,000 square foot medical mall to be built in Wexford will cost Highmark $100 million dollars. It’s the latest move for the non-profit insurer, which is making the transition from being just an insurer to being a health-care provider. The Blue-Cross Blue-Shield subsidiary is in the process of acquiring The West Penn Allegheny Health Care System, The Jefferson Regional Medical System and St. Vincent Hospital.

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Transportation
7:49 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

PA Transportation Secretary: Comprehensive Plan Forthcoming, Includes all Modes of Transportation

Three main issues worry leaders throughout the state: clean water, redevelopment, and transportation. Those things were tackled at a one-day conference in Pittsburgh, which included state and local leaders along with business owners and operators and community members. One of the biggest issues is funding transportation systems. It’s a problem Allegheny County knows all too well.

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Government & Politics
7:32 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Summer Trial Likely on Voter ID Law

The case over the state’s voter ID law is likely to land back in Commonwealth Court for a full trial next summer.  That would give the state Supreme Court enough time before November’s general election to hear an appeal. 

Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson discussed scheduling issues with lawyers at an hour-long meeting Thursday and said he would issue an order within two weeks.

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Health
7:21 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Flu On The Rise in PA Since Thanksgiving

More Pennsylvanians are coming down with the flu earlier this year.  The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported the activity has increased from sporadic to widespread over the last four weeks, meaning more than half of the state’s regions have experienced outbreak.

Acting Secretary of Health, Michael Wolf said there have been an astonishing number of cases since the beginning of December. “In the last week, the number of cases being reported to the department have more than doubled from the previous week from 172 to 448,” he said.

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Government & Politics
12:23 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Treasurer Questions Legality of Lottery Bid

The latest Democrat to voice concerns about the potential privatization of the Pennsylvania Lottery is the one guy who could keep the money from flowing.

State Treasurer Rob McCord said today that he may not play along with any contract that hands over the operation of the Lottery to a company that promises to expand gambling. He included his concerns in a letter to the secretary of the state Department of Revenue, which oversees the Lottery.

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Government & Politics
9:24 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Intense Debate On Longer Parking Meter Enforcement Hours

Pittsburgh City Council has until January 1 to decide whether to continue the practice of ending parking meter enforcement at 6 p.m., or let the enforcement time automatically extend until 10 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays. At Wednesday's Council meeting, strong words and hot tempers proved the debate is far from over.

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Government & Politics
8:15 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Senators Turn Up Heat on President Over LIHEAP

In the midst of issues surrounding the fiscal cliff, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) has joined a bipartisan effort urging President Obama to keep funding for heating assistance for the poor a top priority when considering budget cuts.   40 senators have submitted a letter to the administration requesting Mr. Obama include $4.7 billion in the 2014 fiscal year budget.

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Government & Politics
7:59 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Pennsylvania Will Not Pursue State-Based Health Exchange

Governor Tom Corbett announced on Wednesday that Pennsylvania will not be pursuing a state-based health exchange. The announcement came just days before the federally-set deadline for states to make a decision.

The health exchange, a critical component of The Affordable Care Act, is a type of online government-regulated marketplace where citizens can shop for insurance plans and compare costs and benefits.

States have the choice of operating their own exchanges, operating one with the federal government or allowing the federal government to run their state’s exchange.

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Health
6:17 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Report Calls for More Wood Burning Rules

<strong> UPDATED 12/12/12 3:10pm with comments from Colmac Resources. </strong>

Biomass burners are often touted as relatively clean and renewable energy sources. But a new report finds the burners are sending unmonitored pollutants into the air near vulnerable residents such as school children.

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Government & Politics
5:44 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Class Action Filed Against Ellwood City for Flooding

A class action lawsuit filed Tuesday against the Ellwood City Borough is being positioned as an outcry from residents for a permanent fix to a storm water and sanitary water drainage problem.

Joe Bellissimo, an attorney with Bellissimo & Pierce, is one of the lawyers representing the community members.  He said the residents have been complaining of flooding after heavy rains for years through phone calls and newspaper articles.

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