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Government
4:15 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Drowning and Gassing Cats & Dogs Would Be Illegal

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Legislation prohibiting the use of  drowning and carbon-monoxide gassing to euthanize cats, dogs and other animals in Pennsylvania awaits Governor Corbett's signature. 

State Senator Andy Dinniman (D-Chester) first introduced the bill in March 2011, and again in October 2011 with provisions from House members.   Pennsylvania would be with 20th state to adopt a ban on animal gas chambers and individual gassing or drowning of animals.

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Transportation
4:13 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Allegheny River Locks Services Changing

As part of a national effort to redirect funding from operations to maintenance,  the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Pittsburgh will change the hours and days of operation of several locks on the Allegheny River. Three locks will be restored to 24/7 service and Locks 6 and 7 will be reduced to commercial appointments only.

Given the deteriorating condition of the locks, services are being adjusted based on usage to help reduce costs. Jeff Hawk, Public Affairs Officer for the Corps’ Pittsburgh branch, said there is a direct relationship between funding and lock usage.

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Government
4:12 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

PA Atty. Gen. Candidates Battle over Independence and Experience

It was independence versus experience as the Republican and Democratic candidates for Pennsylvania Attorney General tried to define the race on their own terms in Monday’s debate in Harisburg.  It was the only face-to-face meeting of Republican David Freed and Democrat Kathleen Kane during the campaign.  Libertarian Marakay Rogers was not part of the event.

For Kane, questions inevitably led to claims of independence.  The former Lackawanna County prosecutor said she stands on her own.

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Government
8:35 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Toomey: PA's Lack of Early Voting is Reason for Few Romney Visits

Pennsylvania has been on the sidelines for the last several weeks when it comes to the presidential candidates and their TV advertising dollars.  However, Pennsylvania’s junior U.S. senator says that's because it's too soon to focus on the commonwealth because it doesn’t allow early voting. 

Pat Toomey (R-PA) says he thinks the Romney campaign is watching Pennsylvania very closely, but he suggests the GOP presidential nominee doesn’t yet have to start campaigning in earnest in the commonwealth.  

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Government
8:35 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Local Foundation Funds Efforts So Women Benefit from PA's Health Exchange

A Pittsburgh area foundation want to make sure women benefit from coverage policies in the state health care exchange as well as from job opportunities that will come from establishing the exchange.

The Women and Girls Foundation of Southwest Pennsylvania is providing a half million dollars to organizations who will then lobby and work with regulators at the state or federal level on the creation of the exchanges which are part of the Affordable Health Care Act.

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Government
8:03 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Pittsburgh Will Argue Monday for Removal from Act 47 Financial Oversight

Pittsburgh is well-prepared to argue next week for its removal from state financial oversight, according to Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.

At a Monday afternoon meeting in the City Council Chamber, officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) will hear why the city's administration believes Pittsburgh should be removed from Act 47 fiscal oversight. DCED Secretary Alan Walker will make the final decision on the city's fiscal independence.

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Economy
5:20 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Pittsburgh Gas Prices Dropping, Still 32 Cents Higher Than A Year Ago

Pittsburgh’s retail gasoline prices have fallen 4.2 cents per gallon over the past week, averaging $3.80.  However, that drop is just half that of the national average, which has declines between 9-10 cents per gallon to $3.67 according to PittsburghGasPrices.com.

Gregg Laskoski, a Senior Petroleum Analyst for GasBuddy.com, says that the fluctuations in gas prices are usually a matter of timing.

“We are fortunate to be at the time of year when winter blend gasoline is put back into the market… It is a cheaper gasoline to produce because it has fewer additives.”

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Local
4:06 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

One Young World Conclusion and Reaction to Pittsburgh

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1,300 delegates from 182 countries are departing Pittsburgh for home after the conclusion of the One Young World Summit. Pittsburgh was the first U.S. city to host the event; the previous two were held in Zurich and London.

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Science & Technology
7:35 am
Mon October 22, 2012

Researchers: When Predicting-Go with Your Feelings

Wondering whether the Dow Jones will make a jump in the next week? How about what the weather will be like? One study is saying you should trust your gut.

A research team comprised of professors from the University of Pittsburgh and Columbia University has found that when people trust their feelings, they can more accurately predict the outcomes of future events.

Researchers, through eight studies, asked people to predict outcomes including the 2008 Democratic Presidential nominee, the score of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and the winner of “American Idol.”

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Government
7:35 am
Mon October 22, 2012

Research Center Denounces New State Tax Credit Proposal

The left-leaning Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PennBPC) is criticizing a new tax credit proposal passed out of the state legislature last week, saying it allows companies to "pocket" income tax withholdings of new employees with little accountability.

House Bill 2626 would create the "Promoting Employment across Pennsylvania" (PEP) program. The initiative is meant to spur job creation by allowing qualifying companies to keep new employees' income tax withholdings, which normally would go to the state.

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Government
7:35 am
Mon October 22, 2012

PA Vehicle Code Gets a Size Update

Pending changes to the state’s vehicle code would allow your vehicle to be a foot-and-a-half wider, as long as it’s a piece of farm equipment.

The state’s vehicle code is about to receive the first husbandry-related updates it’s had in decades – allowing farming equipment on the roads to be up to 16 feet wide. Changes to the vehicle code would also make it legal to drive such equipment longer distances – trucks and other larger vehicles could go as far as 50 miles on the open road, up from just 25 miles under the old code.

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Government
7:35 am
Mon October 22, 2012

Voter ID Causes Absentee Voting Problems

Most of the provisions of Pennsylvania’s voter ID law have been blocked for the November election, but what’s left is creating headaches for some voters trying to get absentee ballots.

Before the voter ID law was passed, voters had only to provide name, address, and birth date to get their absentee ballots. Now, voters must provide either their driver license number, or the last four digits of their Social Security number.

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Government
7:35 am
Mon October 22, 2012

One Young World Leaves Pittsburgh

More than 1,200 young adults are heading home today after spending the last four days in Pittsburgh searching for solutions to some of the world’s most perplexing problems.  But local organizers wanted to make sure the One Young World delegates also had plenty of time to learn about the city. 

After returning to Pittsburgh from the 2011 One Young World Summit in Zurich Switzerland where she served as a delegate, Leigh Halverson decided that when the 2012 summit came to Pittsburgh, local residents needed to have more opportunities to engage one-on-one with the delegates.

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Government
11:04 am
Sun October 21, 2012

Top 10 Campaign Givers in PA hit $9 Million

Ten wealthy Pennsylvanians, including a husband supporting his wife for political office and a gay man seeking equality, contributed nearly $9 million to their favorite candidates and issues since 2011.

PublicSource, working with the Investigative News Network, identified the 10 biggest campaign contributors in the state using state and federal campaign databases.

In Pennsylvania, those numbers can lag by months because they are received as written reports and entered by hand. Most states receive reports of campaign contributions electronically.

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Government
11:57 pm
Sat October 20, 2012

Ryan Touts Coal, Assaults Obama Energy Plan

Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of about 500 people at a commercial hanger near the Pittsburgh International Airport Saturday, saying the country couldn't afford "four more years" of the Barack Obama administration's energy policies.  The Congressman repeatedly mentioned the importance of coal mining during the event in an effort to support his point.

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Government
12:53 pm
Sat October 20, 2012

New Voter ID Suit Asks State to Stop Spreading Misinformation

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a motion asking the court to order the state to stop spreading what the ACLU believes are misleading messages over whether voters must show photo identification on Election Day.  The motion also calls for the state to clearly broadcast the message that a photo ID isn't required.

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Transportation
1:07 am
Sat October 20, 2012

Expect 2 Hour Delays for Squirrel Hill Tunnel Closures... Again

UPDATE: This story was originally published Oct 11th.  The second weekend of work began Friday night.  The detours are once again in place and the state is warning that delays could grow throughout the day.

ORIGINAL POST:The inbound lanes of the Squirrel Hill Tunnel are closing the next two consecutive weekends in order to complete work that raises the ceiling.  PennDOT spokesman, Jim Struzzi, said to expect significant delays during the closures starting at 9 p.m. on Friday through 5 a.m. Sunday on October 12-15th and 19-22nd.

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Veterans Day Parade
9:29 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Veterans Day Parade Gets New Route and Date

The 2012 Veterans is year’s parade is being moved up a day and it will take a slightly different path.  The parade will step off the corner of Liberty Avs. and Grant street Saturday Nov. 10th at 10:30 and finish at Point Park in Downtown Pittsburgh.

Tony Filardi, chairman of the parade since 1990, said the change is designed to bring in more spectators. He said the parade usually has a large number of participants, but few people observing.

“And this year we’re hoping to stop that and get more people watching this parade,” said Filardi.

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Arts
8:03 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Downtown Partnership Offers Party for One Young World Participants

A night of music, bocce, and food awaits attendees of One Young World as they leave the David L. Lawrence Convention Center tonight.

The Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership (PDP) is organizing the One Young World Welcome Exchange.

“We have a beautiful downtown. I was lucky enough to get to go to the welcome ceremony,” said PDP President and CEO Jeremy Waldrup. “What they were saying was ‘What’s your initial reaction?’ ‘Everyone in Pittsburgh is super-friendly; your city’s beautiful and very clean.’ And those are incredible first impressions to have.”

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Arts
7:52 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Home Dinners Will Give One Young World Delegates A Taste Of America

In a city known for its love of food, international delegates taking part in the One Young World Summit this weekend will attend “home dinners” throughout Pittsburgh. The dinners will provide the young adults with a taste of authentic American cuisine and hospitality.  Some of the dinners will be at private homes, others at institutions such as Phipps Conservatory and the University of Pittsburgh.

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Government
7:51 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Mayor Ravenstahl Supports National Immigration Reform

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl signed a pledge Friday saying he supports national immigration reform.

The mayor said the reforms would increase the tax base, increase business and add diversity to the city.  Ravenstahl signed the pledge at a meeting of the nonprofit group Vibrant Pittsburgh, which believes "a more diverse and talented workforce means a more vibrant future for the Pittsburgh region meeting."

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Economy
7:41 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

Pennsylvania Unemployment Up Slightly in September

Pennsylvania’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate climbed to 8.2% in September, up one-tenth of a percentage point from the August rate of 8.1%.  Resident employment was up 23,000 to 5,974,000, and the number of unemployed residents was up 5,000 to 530,000. Pennsylvania’s labor force was 130,000 above its September 2011 level.

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Government
7:32 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

ALCOSAN Told by Ratepayers to Go Green

A long line of speakers formed inside the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN) boardroom this morning as ratepayers waited their turn to ask the authority’s executive director to find a “greener” solution to the region’s sewage overflow problems.  Earlier this year ALCOSAN released a draft wet weather plan that would, when implemented, end sewage overflows during heavy rains.

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Government
5:25 pm
Fri October 19, 2012

One Young World Mural Sends Snapshot to the Future

When the hundreds of teens and twenty-somethings in Pittsburgh for the One Young World Summit head for home Monday, more than just money will be left behind.  A mural celebrating the event has been installed on a building at the corner of Market Street and the Boulevard of the Allies in downtown Pittsburgh. 

Kyle Hollbrook is the artist behind the mural.  He says he and his organization, Moving the Lives of Kids, jumped at the chance to do the work. He approached the work with the idea of capturing the event as a snapshot in time.

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Government
11:29 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Sandusky Asks for Overturn of Convictons

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky asked a judge on Thursday to overturn his child sexual abuse convictions and grant him a new trial, claiming his lawyers lacked sufficient time to prepare and the statute of limitations for some charges had expired.

Sandusky's lawyers made the filing at the courthouse in Bellefonte where he was sentenced two weeks ago to 30 to 60 years in prison after being convicted of abusing 10 boys, some on Penn State's campus in State College.

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