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8:53 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

Mister Rogers’ Sweater Drive Welcomes Every Neighbor

The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh kicked off its 13th annual Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive today, hoping to “warm up the winter for a family in need.”  The iconic Fred Rogers began each television show by putting on a pair of sneakers and a cardigan sweater.  One of his sweaters is displayed in the Smithsonian Institution's Museum of American History.

Marketing Director Bill Schlageter said the Children's Museum is proud of how many people have participated through the years.

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Government
7:15 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

Corbett's Numbers Are Up, So Is Apathy

A new poll suggests voters have a higher opinion of Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett’s job performance in the wake of super storm Sandy.  However, nearly 1 in 4 say they just don’t care.

Forty percent of respondents in a Quinnipiac University poll say Corbett’s doing all right on the job compared to 38 percent who don’t care for the job he’s doing.  The remainder of those polled had no opinion of the governor at all.

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Government
7:14 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

Cooperating on Transportation, Economic Development

Citizens and elected leaders from the city of Pittsburgh and 36 inner ring suburbs will discuss mutual concerns including public transportation and development at the second annual Community Briefing and Reception hosted by The Congress of Neighboring Communities (CONNECT) this evening in Oakland.

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Local
7:10 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

Families Serving the Community Together

50 adults and 50 children from all over Pittsburgh will gather at the Lincoln Park Community Center in Penn Hills Saturday to help organize and refurbish the community center, as well as help out with the food pantry operated by the center. 

Pittsburgh Cares, a philanthropic organization for the area, will host the event.  While Family Volunteer Day is a national event, this will mark the first time Pittsburgh has participated.

Holly McGraw-Turkovic, the Director of Youth Programs for Pittsburgh Cares, said the day is simply about helping as a family.

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Arts
5:45 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

Get Ready to Light Up Friday

The holiday season will officially hit Downtown Pittsburgh tomorrow as Christmas trees are lit, bands begin to play, and the city celebrates the 52nd annual Light Up Night.

This year’s Light Up Night begins at noon Friday as Mayor Luke Ravenstahl lights the City's official Christmas tree at the City-County Building and the U.S. Steel Plaza dedicates its crèche simultaneously.  The county lights its tree later that afternoon.

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Government
5:30 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

2 PA House Dems Want Probe of Voting Glitches, Misinformation

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Government
11:21 am
Thu November 15, 2012

City Council Considers Buying New Emergency Alert System

Pittsburgh would contract with a private vendor to implement a state-of-the-art emergency alert system under new legislation in City Council.

Councilman Corey O'Connor's bill would allow the city's Emergency Management Agency to send out a request for proposals (RFP) to technology companies that deal in emergency alert software.

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Education
12:47 am
Thu November 15, 2012

Higher Education Commission Issues 19 Proposals

A state-appointed commission on higher education has made its recommendations as to how Pennsylvania could improve the quality of colleges, universities, and trade schools while reducing student costs.

The Advisory Commission on Post-Secondary Education was created by Governor Tom Corbett in February, and submitted its final recommendations Wednesday, one day before the deadline. The panel was made up of 31 commissioners, including university presidents, education experts and business leaders.

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Government
9:27 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Saccone Lead Grows in 39th House District

There might be an official winner soon in the 39th Pennsylvania legislative district.  Representative Rick Saccone (R-Allegheny) is trying to fend off a challenge from the man who held that seat for 26 years.

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Education
9:26 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Penn State Post-Sandusky Has Not Changed, Says Auditor General

The Pennsylvania Auditor General is calling on the governor and the General Assembly to push for changes in the leadership structure at Penn State.  Auditor Jack Wagner released a report Wednesday with additional recommendations, including creating uniform term limits for all board members and preventing staff members from becoming trustees and vice versa with ease.
 

He says half of his recomendations require legislation, and the others would require action from the Penn State Board of Trustees. 
 

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Health
7:32 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Hospital Advocacy Group Outlines Future Challenges

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The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, an advocacy organization, has outlined how the fiscal cliff, deficit reduction, tax cuts and the Affordable Care Act could impact Pennsylvania's hospitals as they strive to meet financial demands while providing quality care to patients and communities.  

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Government
7:14 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

Invest in Downtown Pittsburgh, Here + Now

The Downtown Retail Task Force released its recommendations Wednesday to attract and retain retailers in the Golden Triangle.  A year in the making, the task force, Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and the Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) created 5 strategies to encourage retail investment downtown. 

The first step is enhancing street infrastructure.  Ravenstahl said the focus of the plan is on creating a welcoming environment with additional streetlights and trees as well as more pedestrian pathways. 

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Government
6:55 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

City Settles G20 suits for $215,000

The city of Pittsburgh has agreed to a settle a pair of lawsuits stemming from the actions of police officers before and during the 2009 Pittsburgh G20 summit.  The city admitted no wrongdoing in the cases but has agreed to pay out a total of $215,000 to the plaintiffs.

“As I think most often happens when you have a settelment, no party is exstatic and no party is upset but its probably a good resolution for both sides,” said  ACLU of Pennsylvania Legal Director Vic Walczak.

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Transportation
4:49 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

CMU May Study Month-by-Month City Parking Rates

If Pittsburgh City Council approves the necessary legislation this month, Carnegie Mellon University researchers will conduct a study of the optimal pricing for metered city parking spaces around the college.

CMU economics professor Stephen Spear said that means finding out the perfect parking price for each individual roadway, so as to keep every street's spaces 75 to 80 percent full.

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Government
2:36 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

The Perfect Financial Crime – Almost

How would you construct the perfect financial crime?

First, you need the prey – someone who has a big pot of money to invest and needs financial advice. Like a large transit agency.

Then you line up bankers who conspire to make profits big enough to pay kickbacks to the advisers who set up the deals.

Finally, you hope no regulators are watching.

Such a plan worked for eight years and one of the entities defrauded was the Port Authority of Allegheny County. This spring the authority was one of the patsies featured in a New York City trial.

Government
12:51 pm
Wed November 14, 2012

PA Farmers Worry About Fiscal Cliff

Add Pennsylvania farmers to the long list of people wary about automatic spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to take effect next year unless Congress works out a deal.

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Government
9:07 am
Wed November 14, 2012

New Laws Affect Women's Health Care

In the last few years, a glut of laws has been proposed or passed in Pennsylvania that women’s health advocates say threaten to shrink the availability of abortions in the state.  But lawmakers say the laws are all about patient safety. 

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Health
8:07 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Pennsylvania Receives “B” on Premature Birth Report Card

Pennsylvania was awarded its highest rating on premature births in 2011 since the March of Dimes began its grading system five years ago.

Pennsylvania decreased the percentage of babies born prematurely to 11 percent, from 11.8 percent in 2006.

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Government
11:55 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Councilman Proposes 'Scarlet Letter' for Absentee Landlords

One Pittsburgh City Councilman has proposed a unique solution to force landlords into fixing up blighted properties — "old-fashioned shame."

Councilman Bill Peduto has introduced a bill that would authorize the Bureau of Building Inspection to put large red signs in front of the ten worst properties in the city, based on Housing Court convictions and building code violations. The signs would be slightly larger than stop signs, and would list the landlord's name, home address, and phone number.

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Health
9:35 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Pitt Researchers Find Genetics Play a Part in Pancreatitis

A new study out of The University of Pittsburgh finds a genetic link between chronic pancreatitis and alcohol consumption in men.  Researchers found a genetic variant of the chromosome X near the claudin-2 gene that predicts which heavy-drinking men are at risk of developing chronic pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis is a serious disease that develops in the pancreas, a digestive gland that makes insulin. 

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Economy
9:20 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

$50,000 Donated For Pittsburgh Homeless

Five Pittsburgh agencies are receiving $10,000 apiece to assist their homeless programs.

Citizens Bank announced the $50,000 contribution to five nonprofits:  Light of Life Ministries, Bethlehem Haven, Familylinks, Pittsburgh Mercy Health System’s Operation Safety Net, and Sojourner House.

Henri Moore, spokesperson for Citizens Bank, said these organizations were selected because of the variety of ways in which they help.

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Economy
9:18 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

First Round of Improvement Grants Awarded to 12 Pittsburgh Neighborhoods

The Pittsburgh Neighborhood Renaissance Fund has awarded a total of $275,000 in community development grants to 12 neighborhoods in the North Side, West End and South Hills. The overall goal is to jumpstart development in communities that have experienced a long decline, but have not gotten improvement funds and resources like other areas of the city have received.

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Government
8:21 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Accused Cop Killer Rushed to Hospital on day of Jury Selection

Jury selection for the trial of a man charged with fatally shooting a Penn Hills police officer was put on hold indefinitely this morning after the defendant was found unresponsive in his jail cell.  Defense attorney Veronica Brestensky said 35-year-old Ronald Robinson is on life support at UPMC Mercy.   

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Government
7:22 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Mayor Presents Balanced $470M Budget for 2013

Noah Brode WESA

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl presented a $470 million operating budget proposal to City Council on Tuesday, saying the 2013 spending plan runs a surplus but includes no new or increased taxes while at the same time increasing pension fund payments.

Touting a continuation of fiscally responsible policies, Ravenstahl said the new budget would also put the city's rainy day fund at a "healthy" $50 million.

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Economy
5:47 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Time To Pay Up: PA Dept. of Revenue Collecting Unpaid Cigarette Tax

Pennsylvanians who purchased cigarettes online may have thought they were getting a good deal with cheaper prices, but the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue says the good deals might have come at the expense of breaking the law.  The Department reported nearly 23,000 residents did not pay state taxes on cigarette packs bought online and through the mail.

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