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Government
5:20 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Pennsylvania Opens First Trade Office In Indonesia

Pennsylvania this week became the first state to open a trade-based office in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Department of Community and Economic Development’s (DCED) new center will provide support and resources to business throughout the state looking to develop viable international markets and increase sales.

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Government
3:53 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

President Obama Fights the Fiscal Cliff in PA

The nice thing about bully pulpits is they’re terrifically mobile. President Obama is bringing his to Montgomery County Pennsylvania this Friday to promote his plan for averting the fiscal cliff.

Christopher Borick, a pollster and political science professor at Muhlenberg College, says after a first term marked by deep conflict, a trip like this is fuel for the Republican critique that the president hasn’t been easy to work with.

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Government
12:35 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

Former DEP Sec Runs for PA Governor

John Hanger, a Democrat and former secretary of the state Department of Environmental Protection, is the first to announce he’ll seek the Democratic nomination for governor.

At an event in Harrisburg, he touted his record of breaking up the electric utilities' monopoly in Pennsylvania in the 1990s and leading the charge to create a renewable energy industry in the commonwealth.

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Education
8:52 am
Thu November 29, 2012

Town Hall To Address Achievement Gap In PGH Public Schools

Parents, community members, teachers and administrators will discuss potential solutions to the achievement gap in the Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) at a town hall this evening in East Liberty.

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Health
3:09 am
Thu November 29, 2012

In The Hill Dist. No Food Access Means More Health Problems

The Hill District has been without a supermarket for more than 30 years, and according to a new study, that dearth of easily available food for local residents has led to negative health impacts.

The study, Pittsburgh Hill/Homewood Research on Eating, Shopping and Health (PHRESH), sheds light on how an individual's food choices and general health are affected by the amenities of the neighborhood where they live. The study also focuses on how people adapt to living in “food deserts”: neighborhoods without access to full service markets or fresh produce.

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Government
2:54 am
Thu November 29, 2012

City Council Divided over Proposed Change to Council District Map

Pittsburgh City Council voted 5-4 on Wednesday to approve a controversial amendment to the Council District map proposed by the Reapportionment Advisory Commission (RAC) earlier this fall.

After half an hour of heated discussion, a slim majority passed the revision, which shifts around several wards in order to maintain the District 2 boundaries from the current 2002 Council District map. Councilwoman Theresa Smith represents District 2 and proposed the amendment during debate on Wednesday.

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Government
9:27 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Mother of Toddler Mauled by Zoo Dogs Will Not be Charged

The Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium should have launched a better immediate response to the early November incident in which a South Hills toddler was mauled to death by a pack of African painted dogs after falling into the zoo exhibit, according to District Attorney Stephen Zappala.

As he announced some preliminary results of his investigation into the incident, the DA did not say whether he would seek criminal charges against the zoo, but Zappala said he will not charge any family members.  Zappala did mention some potential charges he would review in similar situations.

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Government
8:36 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

City Council on Track to Create Equal Opportunity Department

Pittsburgh City Council gave preliminary approval on Wednesday to legislation that would give city government the ability to crack down on contractors who flout Pittsburgh's equal opportunity requirements while doing business with the city.

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WV Mine Blast
8:25 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Charged Exec Cooperating in WV Mine Blast Probe

An executive who ran several coal companies for Massey Energy and worked closely with former CEO Don Blankenship faces criminal conspiracy charges and is cooperating with federal prosecutors, a sign that authorities may be aiming their sights even higher in the company as they probe a fatal West Virginia blast that was the nation's worst mine disaster in four decades.

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Arts
7:25 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Carnegie Trees Back Again For The Holidays

A long standing holiday tradition in Pittsburgh returns as the Carnegie Trees at Carnegie Museum of Art kicks off its 51st year.

Seven grand, 20-foot trees, flank the museum’s perennial favorite, the Neapolitan presepio, a beautiful 18th century Nativity in the Hall of Architecture.

Each tree is stylishly decorated in an international theme celebrating Inventing the Modern World: Decorative Arts at the World’s Fairs, 1851–1939, now on view in the Heinz Galleries at Carnegie Museum of Art.

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Environment
7:23 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Environmental Groups: "Extend Wind Power Tax Credits"

Environmental advocacy groups are pushing Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senators to support the extension of two tax credits that aid the wind power industry.  The renewable electricity production tax credit (PTC) and the offshore wind investment tax credit (ITC) which both support the construction of new wind farms, are due to end come January.

Daniel Lagiovane, Project Communications Manager for Everpower, a Pittsburgh area wind power company, said if the tax credits expire, the wind industry will be “severely hampered."

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Science & Technology
6:19 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Energy and Innovation the Focus of 2-Day Conference

The 2nd annual Energy and Innovation Conference brings together officials from the energy industry, manufacturing, and environmental groups, to examine how all the sectors can work together. The conference also examines the country’s place in terms of oil, natural gas, and coal development.

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Environment
6:08 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Sandy Damage in PA hits $16 Million

The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency says the state's damage from superstorm Sandy in Pennsylvania tops $16 million.

PEMA spokeswoman Ruth Miller said Wednesday that the agency's staff continues to compile damage cost estimates that are still being reported.

The Pennsylvania figure is dwarfed by the billions of dollars in damage being reported in New Jersey and New York, but is in line with several other states that sustained damage.

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Education
10:32 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

State System Union Holds on Strike

The union representing faculty at Pennsylvania's 14 state-owned universities says it won't consider striking until next semester.

The Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties announced the decision Tuesday in a letter to students.

Union members frustrated with the lack of progress in contract negotiations gave their leadership the authority to call a strike earlier this month.

Bargaining has stalled over issues including pay for part-time instructors, health care benefits and compensation for online education.

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Government
9:01 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Child Abuse Task Force Calls For Sweeping Changes

A special task force created in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal is calling on the legislature to make changes in the law to allow reports of child abuse within an institution to go up the chain of command.

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Education
8:23 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Annual Heinz Distinguished Lecture Focuses on Green Chemistry and a Sustainable Future

Eco-friendly buildings and products don’t happen by accident, they require innovative planning. That’s the message of Paul Anastas’ lecture Tuesday night at the University of Pittsburgh.  The Teresa and H. John Heinz Professor in the practice of chemistry for the environment at Yale will focus his comments on creating a sustainable future through green chemistry.

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Transportation
7:03 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

State Investment Will Assist 24 Pennsylvania Rail Projects

Two dozen freight rail projects in Pennsylvania are receiving $18.6 million in state funding for infrastructure upgrades, much-needed repairs, and improving businesses’ rail access in 25 counties throughout the state.

The grant money is administered by PennDOT’s Bureau of Rail Freight, Ports, and Waterways.  PennDOT spokeswoman Erin Waters-Trasatt said the money will be divided based on the specifics of each project.

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Government
6:41 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Making Allentown Safer One Phase at a Time

Allentown is between Mt. Washington and the South Side, the T runs right down its main street, and there is a small business district. But, blight and safety concerns have hampered growth in the area. A little less than two years ago, the Allentown Business District Safety Initiative was launched to address that. Phase I added lighting, gates and fencing to improve the safety of the neighborhood.

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Environment
6:11 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Landscape Change A Direct Result Of Natural Gas Industry

With the number of natural gas wells growing in Pennsylvania, the likelihood of negative effects on the landscape is also increasing. A report released by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) was able to document highly detailed patterns of disturbance related to the industry.

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Environment
1:55 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Hunters Looking To Help Hungry Families

750 thousand hunters are expected to take to the woods across Pennsylvania during the two-week deer hunting season that began Monday, and hunters are being urged to donate deer meat to the “Hunters Sharing the Harvest’’ program, which distributes venison to Pennsylvania food banks, soup kitchens and pantries.

“Hunger affects more than 1.5 million Pennsylvanians in all corners of our state,” said PA Agriculture Department spokesperson Samantha Krepps, “By donating venison, hunters can help keep food on their neighbor’s tables this winter.”

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Environment
8:57 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Duquesne Talk Centers on Consequences of Global Climate Change

There’s little debate left among scientists that climate change is real and that the Earth is experiencing some of its effects already. To what extent, and to what extent further changes can be affected is up for debate. The head of the National Wildlife Federation will deliver a talk Tuesday evening in Pittsburgh, “Living in a New Climate Paradigm.”

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Government
8:57 am
Tue November 27, 2012

On-Line Holiday Shoppers: Don't Forget the Sales Tax

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Pennsylvanians who observed Cyber Monday by taking to the Internet for some holiday shopping should save their receipts. Consumers are responsible for reporting online purchases to the state when those purchases don’t include sales tax.

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Government
8:57 am
Tue November 27, 2012

$26.5M For Parks, Trails Improvements in PA

Nearly two hundred projects across the commonwealth are receiving a combined $26.5 million in grants intended to enhance existing and create new recreational opportunities as well as conserve natural resources.

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Economy
8:40 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Bakery Square Expansion Moving Forward

The successful office and retail development of Bakery Square in Larimer is on track to gain more property and add buildings.

After a special zoning proposal for "Bakery Square 2.0" drew no opposition at a public hearing before Pittsburgh City Council on Monday, the legislation will come before council on Wednesday for a preliminary vote.

If the special zoning is approved, developer Walnut Capital could demolish the former Reizenstein Middle School in January to make way for new construction across the street from the current Bakery Square site on Penn Avenue.

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Government
8:20 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Allegheny County Juvenile Justice Recommendations Released

Following two years of work, the Allegheny County Commission on Juvenile Justice has released a report outlining recommendations and rules for those working in all levels of the juvenile justice system.  

“Among the recommendations in the report are: judicial ethics, including mandatory formal training sessions on judicial ethics at regular intervals. Judicial training: including a recommendation that all family division judges attend a minimum of 12 hours of continuing education each year,” said Allegheny County President Judge Donna Jo McDaniel.

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