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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

http://2cccd5dfe1965e26adf6-26c50ce30a6867b5a67335a93e186605.r53.cf1.rackcdn.com/Hospitals Wrap Web.mp3

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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Steelers
12:21 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Steelers Win Game, Lose Roethlisberger

Their franchise quarterback on his way to the hospital, the momentum firmly on the other side of the field after a stunning last-minute rally by one the NFL's worst teams, the Pittsburgh Steelers appeared lost.

Then linebacker Lawrence Timmons provided a reminder that — Ben Roethlisberger or no Ben Roethlisberger — Pittsburgh's identity begins and ends with defense.

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Health
8:34 am
Tue November 13, 2012

Pittsburgh Taking Part In World Diabetes Day

The Department of Health estimates more than 660,000 adults have diabetes including at least 330,000 in western Pennsylvania.   To highlight the impact the disease has locally as well as around the globe, November 14  has been designated World Diabetes Day.

Since 2007, the World Health Organization and International Diabetes Federation have encouraged the world to light buildings blue to attract attention to the impact of diabetes around the world.

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Environment
11:52 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Dozens Gather at New Castle-area Farm to Protest Nearby Drilling

Some 30 protesters gathered at a small farm in New Castle Monday to protest a nearby unconventional gas well. Maggie and Dale Henry operate the organic farm, and fear fracking could put their operation out of business. Anti-fracking advocates are concerned about the numerous abandoned wells in the area.

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Health
11:49 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Veterans Place Rededicates Facility in Honor of Late Founder

The Veterans Place of Washington Boulevard honored its founder Monday with something the late veteran Sidney Singer would have never done for himself.

In a formal ceremony the day after Veterans Day, a crowd of about thirty veterans, family members and friends watched as Veterans Place Executive Director Jared Souder christened the facility's primary building the "Sidney W. Singer Veterans Service Center".

Souder said the designation was overdue after Singer's passing in January 2010.

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Transportation
9:05 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Signal Violation to Blame in T Derailment

The Port Authority of Allegheny County said that “a violation of a light rail signal” was what lead to Friday night’s derailment between the Gateway and Wood Street "T" Stations. PAT said the signal violation resulted in the light rail vehicle trying to pass through a switch before it had fully moved, and locked, into the correct position. The train derailed when it hit the switch. An investigation continues.

Three passengers complained of minor injuries after the incident.

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Government
9:04 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

PA Lawmakers Praise Pro Vets Laws

http://2cccd5dfe1965e26adf6-26c50ce30a6867b5a67335a93e186605.r53.cf1.rackcdn.com/Veteran's Day Wrap_Mary Wilson.mp3

State lawmakers are recognizing Veteran’s Day by highlighting several measures passed in recent months that benefit Pennsylvania’s men and women in uniform.

Among the measures touted is a law that provides additional revenue for veterans programs. The Veterans Trust Fund will get $1.7 million from the sale of the Scotland School for Veterans Children in Franklin County.

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Government
7:13 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Williamsport Law OK, $300,000 Shale Payment to Follow

The city of Williamsport will receive an extra $300,000 from Pennsylvania's booming natural gas drilling industry after state officials said they corrected miscalculations in how revenue from fees was to be distributed among municipal governments.

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Education
6:54 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Gloomy Results for Pittsburgh Public Schools

Education Watch Dog Group, A+ Schools’ 8th annual report to the community looks good in some areas, but less than promising in others.  One area in need of improvement according the group’s executive director, Carey Harris, is closing the achievement gap.  She said closing the gap is urgent, because at this rate, it will take 40 years to be eliminated.

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Government
5:57 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Pitt Marks Vets Day with a Roll Call.

http://2cccd5dfe1965e26adf6-26c50ce30a6867b5a67335a93e186605.r53.cf1.rackcdn.com/Vet Wrap Web.mp3

The names of United States servicemen and women who died in Iraq and Afghanistan were read aloud Monday on the University of Pittsburgh campus as part of the school's Veterans Day celebration.  This is the second time the university has participated in the Remembrance Day National Roll Call. 

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