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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

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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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Transportation
8:53 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Pittsburgh’s New “Connected” Way To Pay For Travel

Slowly but surely, the days of cash and cardboard card passes for Pittsburgh mass transit are becoming a thing of the past. Starting November 16, riders who buy December monthly passes at the Downtown service center will get “ConnectCards,” plastic cards that a rider will use in place of cardboard passes.

Port Authority spokesperson Jim Ritchie said the new payment system will be more convenient for than cash.

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Science & Technology
8:53 am
Mon November 12, 2012

"Spaceplace" Will Offer Look Into Life Of An Astronaut

The International Space Station is coming to the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh in the form of a new permanent exhibit.  The new “Spaceplace” will feature hands-on simulated experiments and a real-life replica of the International Space Station (ISS).

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Environment
8:53 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Too Many Tote Bags? Donate Them

If you are one of the many people who receives a tote bag every time you volunteer and find yourself with a house full of totes, it might be time to start donating some

Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh are teaming up with The Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project to collect totes, gym bags, and backpacks to be distributed to local food pantries.

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Government
8:53 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Special License Plates for Military Heroes

Nearly one million of the 12.7 million Pennsylvanians are military veterans and many of those have been decorated for valor or meritorious service.

In time for Veterans' Day, The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) has unveiled seven new license plates that are available to decorated military personnel, active and retired.  "These are our heroes," said PennDOT spokeswoman Jan McKnight.

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Arts
8:53 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Speaking Volumes: Staycee Pearl

Staycee Pearl is a Pittsburgh-based choreographer who stages dance performances based on, or inspired by, works of literature. She offers a few favorite books and talks about their role in her work at the Kelly-Strayhorn Theater.

Octavia Butler, Wild Seed

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Government
8:53 am
Mon November 12, 2012

What is Art? Asks the Mayor's Office

The public this week will have its first opportunity to give input on Pittsburgh’s efforts to build a comprehensive public art and design plan.  The first two of six public meetings on ARTPGH and DESIGNPGH will be held Tuesday night and a spokesperson for the city is encouraging everyone to attend.

“We’ll ask residents what is important to them,” said City Spokesperson Joanna Doven.  “What do they even think art is in the city of Pittsburgh… What do residents care about most?”

Doven said the goal is to get Pittsburghers to help shape the plan.

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Government
12:00 pm
Sun November 11, 2012

Altmire Returns More Than $1 Million In Unused Congressional Funds

U.S. Representative Jason Altmire (D-PA-4) is wrapping up his third and possibly last term in the House.  Altmire, who was defeated in the April Democratic primary in the redrawn 12th district by fellow incumbent Mark Critz, says over his six years in office he has returned more than $1 million in unspent office funds.

A pre-determined budget is given to each member of the House at the beginning of each term and is used to administer offices in Washington and their districts.  That's about $1.5 million a year in taxpayer funds to be used at the discretion of the members.

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Government
1:57 pm
Sat November 10, 2012

Corbett Considers Expanding Lottery

The administration of Gov. Tom Corbett said Friday that expanding Pennsylvania Lottery gambling to keno and online games will be one of the best ways to produce more revenue from the $3.5 billion lottery system that funds programs for the elderly.

The administration made the statement as part of an update on its talks with companies about privatizing the management of the lottery under a 20-year agreement. Asked about it Friday, Corbett would only say that the ideas are "on the table."

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Local
1:44 pm
Sat November 10, 2012

West Penn Can't Look Elsewhere

A judge says the Pittsburgh-based West Penn Allegheny Health System can't seek other potential buyers, in granting an injunction requested by Highmark Inc. which still hopes to complete a $475 million takeover of the hospital network.

West Penn executives contend Highmark's insistence that West Penn file for bankruptcy to reduce nearly $1 billion in debt is a deal breaker.

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