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Health
6:19 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

New Finding in Breast Cancer Treatment is “Practice-Changing”

Chemotherapy after surgery for a recurrence of breast cancer leads to higher survival rates, and higher rates of disease-free survival. That’s according to a new study by researchers from Allegheny General Hospital and the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project.

An initial diagnosis of breast cancer can lead to either a lumpectomy plus radiation, or a mastectomy. The typical treatment for a recurrence of breast cancer affecting the same area was surgery, without chemotherapy.

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Transportation
6:07 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

32-Foot Long Downtown PGH Bridge to Reopen after Reconstruction

PennDOT is to finish work by the end of next week on the Fancourt Bridge that carries ramps from Fort Duquesne Boulevard to I-376 over the 10th Street Bypass in downtown Pittsburgh.  

But there will be additional restrictions next week before the span reopens.  The ramp connecting  the 10th Street Bypass to westbound I-376 (outbound Fort Pitt Bridge/Parkway West) will be closed December 10-15 to replace an approach slab on the Fancourt Bridge and reconstruct the bypass roadway along the retaining walls.

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Government
5:27 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Private Parties or Secret Government Society?

For one weekend every December, the Commonwealth experiences a great migration of its political insiders to New York City for a slew of parties and fundraisers.  But the annual gathering known as the Pennsylvania Society isn’t the clandestine meeting of elites some make it out to be.  

Democratic strategist Larry Ceisler, who hosts one of the weekend’s many soirees, argues for the party as a great political equalizer. 

He said the 114th annual gathering is actually an exercise in good government, because of the accessibility of elected officials. 

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Health
12:02 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Rural Victims of Domestic Violence Face Unique Barriers to Getting Help

Domestic violence happens everywhere – college campuses, big cities and suburban townships. But rural victims of partner abuse face a unique set of barriers. Rural areas often lack the public transportation, law enforcement, and shelter and housing resources to help them leave abusive relationships behind.

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Arts
9:01 am
Fri December 7, 2012

Historic Preservation in the Steel City Debated

The president of the group Preservation Pittsburgh says he's learned a valuable lesson from the protracted battle over the demolition of the Civic Arena -- a lesson he'll put into practice for upcoming conflicts over historic building preservation.

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Government
8:57 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Auditor Wagner Blasts Cyber Charter Funding Formula

With just days to go before leaving office, Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner is taking one last swipe at the way school districts pay cyber charter schools to educate their students.

Using an audit of the state’s largest cyber charter school, PA Cyber, Wagner chastised the PA Secretary of Education and the state legislature for not limiting the amount of money that must be sent to the charter school.

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Economy
8:01 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Architecture, Renovation, Preservation, and Sustainability

An Essential Pittsburgh public forum on maintaining our architectural heritage while cultivating new and sustainable development, recorded at the Community Broadcast Center on the South Side Wednesday November 28, 2012. Hear the audio and view the slide shows presented at the forum to the right and below.

Historic Preservation and Renovation in Pittsburgh

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Government
7:46 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Corbett: Tough to Govern Without "WAMs"

Talk Radio News Service

Gov. Corbett campaigned for office on a promise. But now he says it’s come back to bite him – and his legislative agenda. He’s sworn off the kind of grants that used to grease squeaky wheels in the state House and Senate.

They’re known as WAMs, short for “walking around money,” and they’ve been the subject of criticism that lawmakers request them from the governor to buy political support in their districts.

In a recent interview with reporters last week, Corbett acknowledged how effective they can be...

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Economy
7:16 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

PUC Saw Increase In Payment Complaints, Feedback In 2011

More Pennsylvanians complained about their utility service in 2011 than complained in 2010. However, the majority of them had a pleasant experience working with the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to resolve their problems.

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Government
7:06 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Observation Deck at African Painted Dog Exhibit at Pittsburgh Zoo to be Removed

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala toured the African painted dog exhibit at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium Thursday.  He and the zoo have decided to remove the observation deck at the exhibit.

The platform in question is the one from which 2-year-old Maddox Derkosh fell last month. The boy, who had vision issues, leaned forward and fell into the exhibit after his mother lifted him onto a wooden rail overlooking the dogs' enclosure. Zappala announced last week the boy’s mother won't be prosecuted, calling the incident a "tragic accident."

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Arts
6:14 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Grab Some Lunch And Free Opera

Eating at the opera might seem to be incongruous, but for years, Pittsburgh Opera’s Resident Artists have entertained audiences during their December Brown Bag concert.

Debra Bell, Marketing Director for the Opera, said the concerts have been going on for a long time. 

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Government
5:45 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Ready, Set, Mail- Post Office Issues Guidelines

The U.S. Post Office is gearing up for its busiest day of the year as Pittsburghers get ready to mail Christmas cards, gifts, pictures, and even fruit cakes.

USPS spokesman Tad Kelley said they’ve seen a 13% increase in shipping this year along with their usual holiday season uptick.  He links that increase to the Priority Mail Flat Rate option where customers can send whatever they can fit into a Post Office provided box.  The package finds its destination in 2-3 days.

But the real rush is coming Monday.

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Government
4:19 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Smoke and Suspicious Package Closes Portion of Pittsburgh International

<strong> UPDATED 4:15pm 12/06/12 <strong/>

The “D” concourse at Pittsburgh International Airport was closed for a few hours this morning as the Allegheny County bomb squad and county fire marshal investigated a suspicious package.

Airport spokesperson Joann Jenny said the Airport Authority received an emergency call at 7:30 Thursday morning that there was smoke around gate D80. 

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Government
12:23 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Is the 2013 Allegheny County Millage Rate Right?

It's a tricky bit of business to set a millage rate in any circumstance, according to one Allegheny County Council Member, but the county's court-ordered property reassessment has injected even more guesswork into the process for 2013.

On Tuesday, County Council approved a $799 million operating budget with a millage rate of 4.73. Council reduced the millage rate nearly 17 percent from the current level of 5.69 based on a web of estimates and projections tied to the reassessment. 

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Government
12:08 pm
Thu December 6, 2012

Corbett Budget Sec. Says State is Working to Avoid More Cuts

The state is on-track to complete its current fiscal year with a surplus. But it’s the coming budget year Governor Corbett’s budget secretary is worried about.

Set aside, for a moment, the fact that the commonwealth has no clue what will happen with the so-called fiscal cliff. Budget Secretary Charles Zogby said at his mid-year budget briefing that he’s still expecting to get less federal funding.

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Government
2:42 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Dozens Demand UPMC Start Paying Property Taxes

At a public hearing before Allegheny County Council on Wednesday night, scores of residents thronged the County Courthouse to testify that they believe UPMC should no longer be considered exempt from property taxes.

UPMC was there to contest that notion, reminding Council that it performs millions of dollars worth of charity work each year and employs 36,000 residents of Allegheny County alone.

The large regional health system would have to pay out tens of millions of dollars to 21 local taxing bodies if the property tax exemption were to be lifted.

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Government
8:37 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Castor: "Corbett Unable to Fulfill Promises;" Considers a Challenge

Just about halfway through his first term in office, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett could be getting a challenge for reelection--from within his own party.

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Government
7:59 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

County Gets $44 and $21 Million Bids for Airport Shale

A pair of well-known energy companies have submitted multi-million dollar bids for the right to drill into the Marcellus Shale under Pittsburgh International Airport.  It’s the second time the Allegheny County Airport Authority went out for bids for the more than 9,000 acres available at the Allegheny County and Pittsburgh International airports.

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Health
7:12 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Elective Surgery? Whether or Not you go Under the Knife Depends on Where You Live

The term “elective surgery” pretty much says it all. It’s a surgery that could be part of one’s treatment plan, but is not the only option. A new report from the Dartmouth Atlas Project found huge variations in the rates of Medicare patients undergoing elective surgeries in different parts of the country.

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Science & Technology
6:20 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

New Center Opens for Heath Care Tech-Ed

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A ceremonial ribbon cutting today marked the official opening of a new facility, funded by the public and private sectors, intended to meet a demand for greater technology training for healthcare professionals.

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Government
1:17 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Capitol Christmas Tree Moves Outside

The state Christmas tree has been lit on the Capitol steps, a return to the commonwealth’s holiday tradition of the symbol of the holidays outdoors.

Despite carolers’ best efforts, the weather outside was far from frightful – the temperature hovered just below 60 degrees at the time of the tree lighting Tuesday.  Three machines spewing artificial snow and foam whirred to life to conjure up a more wintry mood.

Gov. Corbett joked with Harrisburg Catholic Bishop Joseph McFadden about the balmy evening.

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Government
1:13 am
Wed December 5, 2012

County Council Passes 2013 Budget, Cuts Controller Funding

Allegheny County Council passed a $799 million operating budget for 2013 on Tuesday night. The spending plan includes a deep funding cut to the County Controller's office, though the cut was not as large as originally proposed by County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

The budget legislation passed on a 13-1 vote, with Councilwoman Heather Heidelbaugh as the only dissenter. The councilwoman said she voted against the plan because she did not want to cut funds for Controller Chelsa Wagner's office, and because she thought the plan could be more streamlined.

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Science & Technology
9:59 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Pittsburgh Company Among Tech Belt Innovators Honored

Governor Tom Corbett today honored three Pennsylvania companies for their work in developing a 21st century  innovation called "additive manufacturing", or 3D printing.

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Economy
9:23 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

More Companies Announce Special Dividends to Avoid Tax Hike

Walt Disney Corporation, Wal-Mart, Dish Network, and now Pittsburgh-based American Eagle Outfitters are just some of the many companies that have announced they are moving up their dividend payments.

American Eagle announced today they are moving up the payment of its first quarter dividend from April to December 28th.

Brian Koble, director of research at Hefren-Tillotson, an investment advisory and financial planning firm based in Pittsburgh, said companies are trying to take advantage of lower taxes on dividend payments this year.

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Government
9:05 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

No More Winner-Take-All for PA's Electoral College?

It’s been nearly a month since the election and state Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi is taking a second run at changing the way Pennsylvania awards its electoral votes.

Pileggi said he’d introduce a bill next year to allocate them based on a candidate’s percentage of the popular vote.

He sponsored a similar proposal last fall, and spokesman Erik Arneson said some thought that was suspicious timing.

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