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Government
7:57 pm
Sat October 27, 2012

Voter I.D Issues Continue

Last week, the  people who brought the protracted legal challenge to the voter I.D law took issue with the state again.

They asked a judge to order the state to stop misleading ads and correct false messages to make sure voters know they don’t need photo ID to vote in November.

They specifically mention outdated mailings and misleading robocalls planned for the very near future.

The judge has given the state a chance to respond, with its deadline one week before Election Day.

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Education
3:16 pm
Sat October 27, 2012

Penn State to Host Conference on Child Sex Abuse

After having its reputation tarnished by a child sexual abuse scandal, Penn State wants to become a national leader in researching and preventing such abuse and sees a conference it's hosting this weekend as a major step toward that goal.

Organizers of the three-day gathering called "Child Sexual Abuse Conference: Traumatic Impact, Prevention and Intervention," hope the event sheds more light on a problem that gained national attention after former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was arrested on child sex abuse charges last November.

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Economy
7:35 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Fall Food Drive Underway

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Arts
7:34 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Bruce Springsteen Offering Benefit Concert For Rainbow Kitchen

Bruce Springsteen will take the stage in Pittsburgh Saturday night, but it will not be just another concert. The music icon has partnered with Rainbow Kitchen Community Services to help benefit its food pantry. The organization will be collecting monetary donations and non-perishable food items during the show at the Consol Energy Center.

The Homestead based charity offers several anti-hunger programs and support services for local families focused primarily on helping low-income people to achieve and maintain an improved quality of life and self-sufficiency.

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Government
5:18 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Casey, Smith Spar But Barely Scratch Surface

Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey tried to paint his Republican challenger Tom Smith as someone who would worsen partisanship in Congress, while Smith contended he knows better than Casey how to improve the economy, as the two candidates largely stuck to rehearsed scripts in their first and only debate Friday.

The hour-long debate broke little ground in their campaign discussion, and a panel of questioners from WPVI-TV in Philadelphia tried several times to ask questions that would produce more in-depth information.

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Science & Technology
4:43 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Carnegie Science Center To Host First-Ever Great Pumpkin Smash

What do you do with a jack-o’-lantern after Halloween is over? How about rolling it off the roof of the Carnegie Science Center!

The first ever Great Pumpkin Smash will feature explosive pumpkin-related demos throughout the day and is free with paid general admission.

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Transportation
3:55 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Locals Prepare for "Frankenstorm"

The pre-Halloween hybrid weather monster that federal forecasters call "Frankenstorm" is looking more ominous by the hour for the East Coast, and utilities and local governments are getting ready.

“We actually begin preparing for winter well before the fall months,” said PennDOT District 11 spokesperson Jim Struzzi.  “Right now we are just double checking everything to make sure all the equipment is as it should be.”

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Government
3:18 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Statewide Team Formed to Fight Methadone Abuse

Deaths from methadone overdose increased six-fold between 1999 and 2009 according to Pennsylvania State Senator Mike Stack (D-Philadelphia) who sponsored legislation recently signed by the governor, which creates a Methadone Death and Incident Review Team with the goal of reducing deaths and injuries.

The team would review all fatalities in the state where methadone is the primary or secondary cause of death and track methadone-related incidents that cause serious injuries.  That could include sales of methadone outside of a methadone clinic.

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Government
11:47 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Sandusky Questions to Corbett Have Become "Personal"

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Governor Corbett is again finding himself having to defend the handling of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case by the state Attorney General’s office.

The handling of the case was most recently questioned by the Democratic candidate for state Attorney General. 

Saying the criticism becomes personal after a while, Governor Corbett asked, where’s the evidence of a conspiracy?

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Government
8:40 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

For the 8,500 Local Kids Left Behind, Prison Takes its Toll

Bullying, trust issues, poverty—those are some of the problems that can affect a child whose parent is incarcerated.

The results come from a report released today by a Pittsburgh Child Guidance Foundation (PCGF) initiative examining how parental incarceration impacts a child.

According to the report, 2.7 million children in the U.S., including 100,000 in Pennsylvania, have a parent or parents in prison.  In Allegheny County, there are 8,500 children who are separated from one or both parents because of imprisonment.

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Environment
8:40 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

$1.6 Million in Grants to Trim Diesel Emissions

The Breathe Project and Allegheny County Health Department are providing $1.6 million to small companies to make their diesel construction vehicles more environmentally friendly.  This is the second round of grants to the Small Construction Contractors Retrofit Program which is operated by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Air Management Association.

Caren Glotfelty is the senior director of The Heinz Endowments’ Environment Program, which is a Breathe Project coalition sponsor.  She says retrofits can be costly.

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Government
6:13 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

State Takes Election Complaints Online

Registered Pennsylvania voters who see suspect behavior on Election Day or encounter unhelpful poll workers will be able to submit their complaints online for the first time this year.

The Department of State has developed a new section on its website to make it easier to lodge a complaint. But the state’s website is only a clearinghouse for voter beefs.

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Environment
5:50 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Environmental Groups Call for More Oil and Gas Industry Reporting

A group of seventeen environmental groups has taken its fight for more openness in the nation’s oil and gas fields to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  In a filing led by the Environmental Integrity Project, the EPA is being asked to include gas extraction and processing in its Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) reporting requirements.

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Science & Technology
4:51 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Duquesne Speaker Says America’s Most Trusted Foundations Led Fight for Eugenics

The Rockefeller, Russel Sage, and Carnegie Foundations were some of the biggest supporters of the eugenics movement and they need to apologize for the repercussions of their advocacy, according to William Schambra.

Schambra, the director of the Hudson Institute’s Bradley Center for Philanthropy and Civic Renwal, spoke at Duquesne University’s third annual Pascal Day Wednesday night with a focus on large philanthropic orginizations’ past support for the eugenics movement.

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Environment
4:44 pm
Thu October 25, 2012

Air Quality Action Day in Late October?

Pittsburghers unfortunately are used to Air Quality Action Days during the warm summer months—but in late October? The state Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) forecast a code orange Air Quality Action Day for fine particulate matter for today in the Liberty-Clairton area of Allegheny County.

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Environment
8:32 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

State Loan to Make Schenley Park "Great Jewel"

Pittsburgh’s Schenley Park is getting a little renovation that will move stormwater through the park in a more natural way.

State Representative Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny) announced the approval of a $617,540 low-interest state loan for a stormwater runoff control project in the park.

Frankel, a member of the Pittsburgh Park Conservancy Board, said the project will be completely green.

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Government
8:18 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Lost Your Medicaid Benefits? You Might Get Them Back

On Friday, the Department of Public Welfare will send out around one hundred thousand letters to Medicaid recipients in Pennsylvania who lost their benefits in the past year telling them they might want to consider reapplying.  They might even get some of their debts covered.

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Health
7:38 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Protesters Demand Highmark, West Penn Allegheny Negotiate an Affiliation

Chanting "Back to the table, while you're able!", protesters took to the streets of Pittsburgh on Wednesday to urge Highmark and West Penn Allegheny Health System to reach an affiliation agreement without going to court.

One day before a court date with Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas Judge Christine Ward, the group of about forty hospital employees, community members and politicians brought a "mock negotiating table" to the doorsteps of local juggernaut health insurer Highmark and the financially ailing WPAHS.

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Education
5:25 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Pocono Mountain School District Appeals Case Banning Christmas Fliers in School

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Should students in elementary schools be permitted to distribute fliers to their classmates inviting them to a Christmas party at a church?  That question was up for debate in federal court in Pittsburgh today. 

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Government
5:14 pm
Wed October 24, 2012

Without Appeal, Mt. Pleasant to Get Gas Fee

The Mount Pleasant Township man who filed an appeal with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) has withdrawn his complaint opening the door for the state to send out more than a half million dollars in Marcellus Shale impact fees to the township. Tony Pawlosky had appealed to the commission arguing that the township’s zoning ordinance did not comply with Pennsylvania ACT 13, which regulates gas drilling in the state.

PUC spokesperson Jennifer Kocher said the $511,855.78 check will be sent out within the next 10 days.

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Health
7:35 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Meningitis Cases Top 300; FDA Recommends Checking on Patients Who Received Injections

With a total of 308 confirmed cases of fungal meningitis in 17 states, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is recommending all patients who received an injectable medicine from the New England Compounding Center (NECC) be contacted and asked about their health.  So far one Pennsylvanian has contracted the disease.

Nationwide, 23 people have died from fungal meningitis after receiving steroid injections made by NECC.

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Government
11:32 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Pittsburgh Public Schools Wants to be More Competitive, Fiscally Responsible

In a wide-ranging discussion of education Tuesday, Pittsburgh City Council members heard about the Pittsburgh Public School District's goal of being more financially frugal and more competitive with its private counterparts.

PPS Executive Director of Strategic Priorities Cate Reed said the district's administration needs a five-year plan that would help the district be more thrifty with waning allocations from the state government.

"We need to embark on that vision, envisioning what a 21st Century educational delivery model looks like in an urban school system," said Reed.

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Environment
10:02 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

New PA Water Policy Concerns Environmentalists

14 Environmental groups concerned over a new policy in Pennsylvania that they say could negativly impact public health have filed suit calling on the Corbett administartion to rescind the policy.

The recent policy change puts Department of Environmental Protection Administrators in charge of reporting water contamination complaints, which environmentalists say will lead to delays in warning the public of water pollution from oil and gas development.

Specifically, DEP administrators will handle complaints related to oil and gas drilling within the state.

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Government
8:17 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Sen. Casey Makes Rare Campaign Stop

Republicans and Democrats alike have been criticizing Pennsylvania’s senior U.S. Senator for his lack of public appearances in the run-up to the November sixth election.  Now, with the election just two weeks away and polls showing an ever-tightening race, Democrat Bob Casey has hit the campaign trail with a stop in Hershey.

Casey met with union workers and later discussed how he contrasts with his Republican opponent, Tom Smith.  He said there is a stark contrast when it comes to Medicare benefits. 

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Government
7:44 pm
Tue October 23, 2012

Minority Businesses Want Revisions to City Contracting Practices

Minority contractors told Pittsburgh City Council on Tuesday that the city is not doing enough to give women- and minority-owned businesses equal access to city contract opportunities.

The public hearing stemmed from an August report from City Controller Michael Lamb, which found that Pittsburgh's Equal Opportunity Review Commission (EORC) is failing to report exactly how much city money is paid to "Minority Business Enterprise/Women Business Enterprise" (MBE/WBE) companies.

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