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Government
8:20 am
Tue December 11, 2012

Local Hospitals Will Lose Federal Subsidies

Hospitals provide care to patients regardless of their ability to pay. That care comes at a high cost. For years, the federal government has helped offset that cost. Now, with the Affordable Care Act, those payments will be reduced. 

More than 70,000 people a year pass through the Emergency Room doors of UPMC Mercy in Uptown. They come via helicopter or ambulance. They drive themselves or are driven by others. And Will Cook, the president of UPMC Mercy, says many just walk in.

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Government
11:19 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

PA Mayors Urge Congress Not to Cut Funding For Cities

As President Barack Obama and House and Senate leaders try to reach an agreement on revenues and spending cuts to avoid going over the "fiscal cliff," mayors across Pennsylvania are urging Congress to avoid large funding cuts for cities in the commonwealth.

“If the federal deficit reduction plan does not include significant new revenues, cities, and counties, and school districts all across Pennsylvania and across the country unfortunately will bear the significant burden of those reductions,” said Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.

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Government
11:15 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Pittsburghers Call on Casey to Stand with Middle Class – Raise Taxes for Wealthy

As talk of avoiding the fiscal cliff continues in Washington, a group of local labor leaders and community activists took to the streets of Pittsburgh to call on Senator Bob Casey to make good on his promise to “stand with the middle class.” Members of advocacy group One Pittsburgh spoke with Casey shortly after his re-election and said they were told he would.

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Health
11:10 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Family Sues Federal Government over Infection Death at VA Hospital

A North Hills family filed suit against the federal government Monday for the death of Navy veteran William Nicklas, who died of Legionnaire's disease contracted at a Pittsburgh Veterans Affairs hospital late last month.

The 87-year-old husband and father of three passed away on November 23, days after checking into the University Drive hospital in Oakland for health problems unrelated to Legionnaire's disease. Nicklas was one of five patients to contract the legionella pneumonia bacteria at the hospital over the past several months, but he was the only fatality.

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Government
5:48 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Parking Meter Enforcement: 6 PM or 10 PM?

Nearing the end of the year...facing a deadline over parking in the city of Pittsburgh.....sound familiar?  

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Government
5:35 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Corbett Not Pushing For Right-to-Work

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett says he doesn't see a strong will to make Pennsylvania a "right-to-work" state, a key issue for conservatives as fellow industrial state Michigan is poised to become the 24th state to pass such a law.

The Republican governor told a radio interviewer Monday the lack of momentum has to do with local and state politics, but he didn't elaborate or say whether he'd support such legislation.

Right-to-work bills prohibit requirements that employees join a union or pay union dues as a condition of employment.

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Government
9:03 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Free Clinic Busy; Expects to Stay Busy Even With Affordable Care Act

As Annette Fetchko walks the corridors of Catholic Charities’ health clinic in downtown Pittsburgh the head administrator greets everyone she sees. There are doctors, nurses, pharmacists - and there are patients – all hues, shapes and sizes and from all over southwestern Pennsylvania. They’re here for medical care.

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Economy
9:03 am
Mon December 10, 2012

PNC Halts Evictions

Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services is suspending evictions this holiday season. No one will be kicked out of foreclosed homes for which PNC is the investor.

“We hope this suspension provides families who are experiencing financial hardship some stability over the holiday season,” said PNC Mortgage CEO Saiyid Naqvi. 

The company is not releasing details on how many families this could impact but PNC spokesperson Fred Solomon said it could be a substantial number given that PNC holds mortgages “from coast to coast.”

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Arts
9:03 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Speaking Volumes: Justin Aion

Woodland Hills math teacher Justin Aion uses young adult novels in the classroom and enjoys genre fiction in his downtime. Lately he's been reading:

 

David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas

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Government
9:03 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Fight Over Voter ID Far From Done

State Senator Wayne Fontana (D-Allegheny) assures he is not against the Voter ID law, but does have some ideas for improvement. In a letter to Governor Tom Corbett, he suggests state offices serve as intermediaries to make the process of obtaining a valid voter ID easier.

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Government
9:03 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Auditor General Elect Speaks Out on Lottery Plans

The state’s Auditor General-elect has joined Democratic colleagues in protesting the governor’s effort to put a private company in charge of the Pennsylvania Lottery. Eugene DePasquale said Thursday he won’t make a habit of speaking out about issues before he’s sworn in next month as the state’s top fiscal watchdog, but he said he felt compelled to raise his concerns since the deadline is fast approaching for the state to close a deal to privatize the Lottery.

“We should be able to take the time to make sure it’s a good deal for everyone, not just one company,” said DePasquale.

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Economy
9:03 am
Mon December 10, 2012

Bell Ringing Endurance Test Begins Tuesday

The head of the Salvation Army’s worship and service center in Latrobe is planning a bell ringing endurance test. Lt. Ray Knous will pick up the familiar red kettle and bell Tuesday morning and he wont stop his fund raising effort for the next 30 hours.

Knous will start ringing at 9:00 AM at the Latrobe Wal-Mart on Route 30. He hopes to not only raise some spare change but also to promote the mission of The Salvation Army and elevate awareness for The Red Kettle Campaign. 

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Steelers
11:49 pm
Sun December 9, 2012

Steelers Miss Opportunity

So much for Ben Roethlisberger's triumphant return. Ditto the notion the Pittsburgh Steelers had finally turned the corner.

Rhythm disrupted by a relentless San Diego pass rush, Roethlisberger struggled early and the Steelers never recovered in a listless — not to mention perplexing — 34-24 loss on Sunday.

"We got whupped," Pittsburgh linebacker Larry Foote said.

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Government
12:40 pm
Sat December 8, 2012

All PA Ballots Counted, Kathleen Kane the Big Winner

All 67 Pennsylvania counties have certified their vote totals from the Nov. 6 election.

The totals reported Friday by state elections officials show 5,742,040 Pennsylvanians cast ballots for president.

Democrat Barack Obama received 2,990,274 votes, or 52 percent, while Republican Mitt Romney claimed 2,680,434, or 47 percent. The Libertarian and Green party candidates each received less than 1 percent of the vote.

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Education
11:43 am
Sat December 8, 2012

WVU Mascot Told To Not Use School's Musket For Hunting

The musket toted by West Virginia University's Mountaineer isn't just a prop — it's a bona fide weapon, and mascot Jonathan Kimble demonstrated that when he brought down a black bear with it in the woods.

Now WVU has ordered Kimble to stop using his university-issued weapon on hunting trips after a video of this week's kill was posted online. He says hunting with the gun is a Mountaineer mascot tradition.

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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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