News

Pages

Environment & Energy
8:35 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Monongahela River Runs Away With Award

Even rivers get awards.

The Monongahela River, flowing through Greene, Fayette, Washington, Westmoreland and Allegheny counties, has been named Pennsylvania’s 2013 River of the Year following online voting across the state.

Terry Brady, spokesperson for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), said the Mon won because of the strong voter turnout.

Read more
Government & Politics
8:13 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Pension Reform: Big Part of PA Budget Debate?

Governor Tom Corbett is expected to focus in part on the state’s rising public pension costs in his budget address Tuesday.  

Corbett has suggested he’s interested in a reform package that includes reducing the unearned benefits of current state and school employees.

But Dave Fillman, director of Council 13 of the Pennsylvania American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees, the state’s largest public sector union, said his group will definitely take the commonwealth to court if legislation is passed to change the benefits of current employees.

Read more
Education & Learning
6:25 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Diocese Of Pittsburgh Launches Catholic Schools Network

Pennsylvania’s third largest school system, the Diocese of Pittsburgh’s Catholic Schools, has a fresh outlook on education. The launch of The Catholic Schools Network is a marketing initiative to create a universal platform to promote enrollment, retention, vitality of curriculum and awareness, and the benefits of a Catholic education.

The Network will include all 91 Catholic schools in the diocese, ranging from pre-K through 12th grade, in the six counties of the western Pennsylvania region. The formalized network was introduced to school administrators in January.

Read more
Government & Politics
5:59 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Port Authority CEO Steve Bland Fired - National Search for Replacement Underway

The Port Authority of Allegheny County voted 5 -3 Friday to oust CEO Stephen Bland.  Bland has served as head of the Port Authority since 2006, but recently, rumors of friction between him and County Executive Rich Fitzgerald have circulated. Fitzgerald has been critical of Bland over budget numbers, union relations, and service cuts. 

The “no” votes came from board veterans Mavis Rainey, Eddie Edwards Jr., and Amanda Green Hawkins.

Read more
Government & Politics
4:36 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

Casey Urges Passage of Gender Pay Equity Bill

Nearly fifty years after President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, prohibiting employers from discriminating on the basis of gender, women still earn significantly less than men for doing the same work.

How much less? In 2012 in Pennsylvania, women were paid $694 per week while their male peers received $849, a pay gap of 18.3 percent.

U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called on Congress to pass pay equity legislation citing a recent report on the continuing gender pay gap.

Read more
Economy & Business
8:02 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

New Coke Battery Expected to Reduce Emissions from US Steel Clairton Plant

After more than four years of construction, US Steel Corp. welcomed government and labor officials Thursday to officially commission its newest coke battery. C Battery, along with new low-emissions quench towers are expected to reduce emissions from the Mon Valley Works Clairton Plant.

US Steel has invested more than $500 million in the project, which replaces ovens that were more than 50 years old in some cases. Officials say C Battery meets all regulations set by the federal Environmental Protection Agency and the Allegheny Department of Health.

Read more
Arts & Culture
8:00 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

“Stan the Man”…”A True Sports Hero”

The Pennsylvania State Senate today passed a resolution honoring Baseball Hall of Famer Stanley Musial.

“Stan the Man," as he was known, was a Donora, Pennsylvania native, and died January 22nd at the age of 92.

Senator Tim Solobay (D-Washington County), who introduced the measure, said Musial leaves behind a great legacy.

“ 'Stan the Man' Musial was an athlete from the greatest generation. He was a true sports hero in every sense of the word.”

Read more
Government & Politics
7:09 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Former SCI Pittsburgh Guard Found Guilty

A fired Pittsburgh state prison guard accused of physically and sexually assaulting inmates who were gay or serving time for child-sex crimes has been convicted on 27 counts of mistreating them and exposing himself, but was acquitted of dozens of other charges — including all of the sexual assault allegations he faced.

Read more
Economy & Business
6:34 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Beer Distributors in PA Irked By Privatization Plans

Governor Tom Corbett’s plan to sell off state liquor stores and allow consumers to buy wine, liquor, and beer from a wider array of retailers is rankling some businesses.

Pennsylvania has more than 1,200 beer distributors and their product is already privatized.

Under the governor’s plan, supermarkets and convenience stores would be able to buy licenses to sell beer.

That’s a scary prospect for Randy King, spokesman for the Malt Beverage Distributors Association of Pennsylvania.

Read more
Arts & Culture
6:31 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

Visitors Invited to Get Interactive at the Carnegie Museum of Art

Visitors to the Carnegie Museum of Art are being asked to take photos, share experiences, and eat free cake as part of the museum’s two new projects.

Debuting February 9 and 21 respectively,  20/20: Celebrating Two Decades of the Heinz Architectural Center and Oh Snap! Your Take on Our Photographs are designed to help visitors see a trip to the galleries as part of a conversation.

Read more
Government & Politics
6:16 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

"Wanna Bet?" Pennsylvanians Should Think Twice

http://2cccd5dfe1965e26adf6-26c50ce30a6867b5a67335a93e186605.r53.cf1.rackcdn.com/Betting Wrap_Emily Farah_SOC.mp3

Pennsylvanians should probably stop to think before saying, “Let’s bet on it.”  It’s illegal in the commonwealth to organize or participate in a small betting pool like ones often seen for the Super Bowl and March Madness. 

State Senator Lisa Boscola (D-Lehigh) wants to change that.  Boscola introduced legislation to legalize small betting pools, in part to save taxpayer money.

Read more
Government & Politics
1:20 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Arming Teachers Not High on Pennsylvania Lawmaker List

What has become a flashpoint in the national debate over guns doesn’t appear to be gaining traction in Pennsylvania: arming school teachers to ward off mass shootings.

The same day the state Senate adopted a resolution creating a task force to study how Pennsylvania schools could be better protected in light of the elementary school shooting in Connecticut last month, state Education Secretary Ron Tomalis said state law already provides for arming guards in schools, and about 140 school districts and charter schools have such officers.

Read more
Government & Politics
1:08 am
Thu January 31, 2013

Governor Corbett Proposes Liquor Privatization Plan

Grocery stores, pharmacies, convenience stores, restaurants and "big box" stores would be able to sell beer and wine to go under a liquor license privatization plan announced by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett in Pittsburgh on Wednesday.

"Why do we continue to deal with an antiquated liquor system that is seventy-five years old? The question should be, why don't we have choice? Why don't we have convenience, like 48 other states in the union?" asked Corbett, calling the state's system of liquor sales a "vestige of prohibition."

Read more
Government & Politics
6:51 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Senate Wants NCAA Fines Against Penn State To Remain in PA

Earlier this month Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett announced he would file an antitrust lawsuit against the NCAA for how it planned to appropriate $60 million in fines against Penn State from the Jerry Sandusky case.  Corbett said any fine money should remain in the state.

The state Senate today voted unanimously in favor of a bill that would require the fine money be spent on programs to prevent child abuse and help abuse victims in Pennsylvania.  

Read more
Government & Politics
5:48 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

Protesters Denounce Corbett Fundraiser in Pittsburgh With Shale Companies

As Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett reportedly held a campaign fundraiser with Marcellus Shale natural gas companies at the David Lawrence Convention Center on Wednesday, a few dozen protesters gathered outside to criticize Corbett's economic policies.

The activists from One Pittsburgh said the governor refused to put a tax on the gas companies while cutting state funding for education and human services.

Read more
Government & Politics
5:11 pm
Wed January 30, 2013

ALCOSAN's Plan Addressing Sewage Overflow Submitted to Federal Government

As required by the federal government, the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN) has submitted its plan addressing sewage overflows. ALCOSAN has also requested an extension to study the feasibility of adding green infrastructure improvements to the plan.

A 2008 consent decree required ALCOSAN to come up with a way to stop sewage overflows into waterways during wet weather. A draft Wet Weather Plan drew criticism because it didn’t include any so-called green options. Instead, it called for “grey” infrastructure improvements such as larger pipes and massive storage systems.

Read more
Government & Politics
11:51 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Scarnati Backtracks on Tactics For Liquor Privatization

You can’t always get what you want in the state Capitol. But if you do, it’s all right to claim the high ground afterward.

Gov. Corbett is expected to announce Wednesday afternoon his plan to privatize the state’s liquor stores, less than a week before his budget address. But Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati is already wrinkling his nose at the plan and espousing a bargaining philosophy that’s exactly the opposite of what he’s said in the past.

Read more
Government & Politics
10:28 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Governor Corbett Announces Funding for More State Police Training

In advance of Presenting Pennsylvania’s budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year, Governor Tom Corbett announced Tuesday it will include plans to fund three new State Police classes. By the end of FY 2014, 290 new cadets will be trained. This, said State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan, comes at a critical time.

“The responsibilities of the Pennsylvania State Police continue to increase and because of retirements and some spaces for classes we didn’t have, our manpower is about 500 below what our compliment is supposed to be,” he said.

Read more
Science & Technology
8:18 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

W28C4 Y68R P27S9O73S... (Watch Your Passwords)!

While teachers may have scolded your bad grammar in school, it could make for a stronger password.

Carnegie Mellon University researchers have built a password cracker that takes into account grammar and parts of speech to steal a password.

Ashwini Rao, a software engineering Ph.D. student at CMU who led the research team, said the cracker is different from others out there.

“Those take one dictionary word and make changes to it. They could combine maybe at max two words, but not more than that.”

Read more
Government & Politics
7:27 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Pavlot Grilled in Orie Melvin Trail

Suspended state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin's defense attorney is trying to cast doubt on the authenticity of documents prosecutors say ties the jurist to illegal campaigning in the office of her sister, former state Sen. Jane Orie.

Defense attorney Dan Brier asked the senator's former chief of staff Jamie Pavlot how documents dated in 2010 got into the files of political-related material that Pavlot testified she took home from Orie's office in November 2009 and turned over to prosecutors later that month.

Read more
Transportation
7:01 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

AIRMALL Renovates to Draw in More Customers

The center core in the landside terminal of Pittsburgh International Airport will look very different once renovations to update its retail space are finished at the end of this year.

AIRMALL USA, the operator of Pittsburgh International’s shops and restaurants is beginning a $10 million project to increase business in the airport’s stores.  Because of federal security rules only ticketed passengers can access the mall's stores.

Jay Kruisselbrink, vice president of development for AIRMALL, said the changes will reflect the airport’s transformation over 20 years.

Read more
Government & Politics
6:51 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Gov. Corbett's Approval Rating Tumbles

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett’s mid-term approval rating is the lowest it’s been since last June.  A Quinnipiac University poll finds 42 percent of registered voters disapprove of the way the governor is handling his job, while 36 percent approve of his efforts.

Read more
Science & Technology
8:18 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Pittsburgh Researchers: Online and Mobile Technology Could Mark the End of Total Privacy

More than one billion people around the world are active on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and more than a billion people have smart phones. To mark “Data Privacy Day” professors at Carnegie Mellon’s School of Computer Science hosted a panel examining how mobile apps and social networking impact user privacy. The consensus was that as of now, mobile privacy is unchartered territory.

Read more
Economy & Business
8:18 am
Tue January 29, 2013

DEP Expands Its Rebate Program For Alternative Fuel Vehicles

The Department of Environmental Protection is close to reaching a milestone and as a result is offering more rewards to drivers who want to purchase alternative fuel powered cars and trucks.

The Alternative Fuel Vehicle Rebate Program will be extended once it reaches its milestone of awarding 500 rebates of $3,500 for large-battery system plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and battery-electric vehicles.

Read more
Government & Politics
8:26 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

PA Budget Chief: Pension Reforms Essential

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett's chief budget adviser says his boss is likely to call for a reduction in future pension benefits for current employees in next week's budget speech.

Speaking at a Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon in Harrisburg on Monday, state Budget Secretary Charles Zogby said deep cuts in education or other programs are inevitable unless the rising cost of Pennsylvania's two major public pension funds is reined in.

Read more

Pages