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Government
7:27 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Armed Security, Metal Detectors among the Changes Proposed for UPMC Medical Facilities

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala is recommending a number of security upgrades following the March 8, 2012 shooting at Western Psych, and a report released this week by OSHA on the incident. While the shooting was an isolated incident, Zappala said his recommendations extend to all UPMC facilities in Oakland.

“An issue as far as I was concerned, which is not negotiable, was that there would be an armed presence, uniformed or otherwise, on these campuses,” he said.

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Government
2:09 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Judge Halts PA's Voter ID Law

A judge postponed Pennsylvania's controversial voter identification requirement on Tuesday, ordering the state not to enforce it in this year's presidential election.

The decision by Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson on the law requiring each voter to show a valid photo ID could be appealed to the state Supreme Court. The law could go into full effect next year, under Simpson's ruling.

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Health
7:35 am
Tue October 2, 2012

Hospitals Face Penalties for High Medicare Readmissions Rates

Starting this month, hospitals will not get as much money from the federal government if they have too many too many Medicare patients readmitted within a month of being discharged.  More than a hundred Pennsylvania hospitals will face this penalty.

Hospitals with high readmission rates for Medicare patients treated for heart attack, heart failure, and pneumonia who return for care within 30 days of discharge will lose up to one percent of their regular reimbursement from the federal government.

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Government
10:59 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Allegheny County Issues First New Voter IDs through CCAC

Update (Oct. 2, 2012 4:45pm): Following the judge’s ruling to put on hold the implementation of Pennsylvania’s voter ID law until after the November election, Allegheny County suspended the issuance of voter-only IDs at CCAC campuses and Kane Regional Centers. According to Allegheny County spokesperson Amie Downs, any ID’s issued in the first day and a half of the program will remain valid until November of 2017.

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Government
10:03 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Pittsburgh Area Jobless Rate Rises

Unemployment in the seven county Pittsburgh labor market rose two tenths of a percentage point in August.  The Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) reports the seasonally-adjusted jobless rate for the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) increased to 7.3% in August from July's 7.1%.

In the region, Butler County had the lowest jobless rate at 6.7%, unchanged from the previous month; Fayette County had the highest at 9.4%, up one tenth of a percentage point. Allegheny County's unemployment rate held steady in August at 7.1%.

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Health
7:07 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Rite Aid is Very Different 50 Years Later

The residents of a Pittsburgh area senior high-rise helped to celebrate the 50th anniversary of a Pennsylvania-based company Monday by rolling up their sleeves.  Rite Aid Corporation marked its birthday by giving free flu shots to seniors across the country.

Rite Aid Pharmacy District Manager Brian Bobby vaccinated dozens of elderly residents of Town North Tower in Ross Township. He said the event is an example of how the pharmacist's role is different now than it was fifty years ago.

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Transportation
6:28 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Pittsburgh Airport Celebrates 20th Anniversary, Looks Ahead to the Next 20 Years

A cake shaped like Pittsburgh International Airport greeted visitors Monday as they arrived for a celebration marking the facility’s 20th year. County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said the economic impact of owning and developing the land upon which the airport sits has resulted in great successes for the county over the last two decades.

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Education
5:37 pm
Mon October 1, 2012

Pittsburgh is #5 College Town

Academics are a key factor, but others like quality of life and professional opportunities are also taken into consideration in the American Institute for Economic Research's (AIER) College Destinations Index.  Pittsburgh ranks as the 5th best mid-size college town out of 20 in the nation.

Steven Cunningham, Director of Research and Education for AIER said Pittsburgh is a “good solid area” for college students.

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Arts
7:35 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Speaking Volumes: Bruce Boni on Banned Books

http://2cccd5dfe1965e26adf6-26c50ce30a6867b5a67335a93e186605.r53.cf1.rackcdn.com/10115_SPEAKING VOLUMES_Bruce Bonni.mp3

In recognition of Banned Books Week (9/30-10/6), we talk literary censorship with Bruce Boni of the American Civil Liberties Union of PA.

The following titles are just a few of the hundreds challenged or removed from U.S. schools and libraries in 2011, but you can still find them at your local CLP branch:

 

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Health
7:35 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

http://2cccd5dfe1965e26adf6-26c50ce30a6867b5a67335a93e186605.r53.cf1.rackcdn.com/Breast Cancer Wrap.mp3

Today marks the beginning of Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Susan B. Komen for the Cure Pittsburgh has planned several events including the 4th annual Paws for the Cure, a dog walk through Hartwood Acres on October 7th, and the Tickled Pink Survivor Luncheon at the Omni William Penn on October 20th, along with other local events. 

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Government
7:35 am
Mon October 1, 2012

New Medicaid Co-Pay

A new Medicaid co-pay will require some parents of disabled children to pay out of pocket for services. While The Department of Public Welfare calls the amount a “fair share” some parents say it will infringe on their ability to provide care to their children.

Parents of some children in Pennsylvania with physical, intellectual and mental disabilities will have a new concern going forward – finding the money to pay for services that up until now, were paid for by the state.

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Science & Technology
7:35 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Human Workers Can Learn From Ants And Bees

How bees, wasps, and ants think, and how that heightens their work efficiency is the focus of a discussion Monday at Carnegie Science Center at 7 p.m.

“The Wisdom Of The Bee: How To Organize A Team When No One Knows What She Is Doing” will show how these swarm insects have one of the most successful workforces on the planet, despite every single worker not knowing all of the information required to normally make a decision.

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Education
7:35 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Chatham University Adds New Sustainability Track

Chatham University is offering a new program that it believes will push the school to the forefront of new business ideology.

The sustainable business track, which will complement programming within the School of Sustainability and the Environment, will attempt to expand students’ business knowledge.

Bruce Rosenthal, Director of the Department of Business and Entrepreneurship at Chatham, said it used to be that businesses only looked at profit margins, but now they look at the three P’s: people, planet, and profit.

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Science & Technology
7:35 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Pitt Engineer Working With Homeland Security On Laser Technology

The Mars Rover Curiosity recently used a high-powered laser beam to blast and analyze a Martian rock. 140 million miles away, an engineer at the University of Pittsburgh is working with the Department of Homeland Security to improve that technology to make Earth safer.

The blasting method used by Curiosity that employs a beam of light is called laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS), which can detect the composition of soils and rocks without ever touching them.

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Economy
7:35 am
Mon October 1, 2012

Pittsburgh International At 20

20 years ago today the state-of-the-art Pittsburgh International Airport opened for business.   The late Allegheny County Commissioner Tom Foerster greeted passengers at 5:30, the morning of October 1st, 1992.  US Air Flight 620 was the first to land at the new airport. 

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Environment & Energy
2:39 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

Poland Hopes to Frack Shale Deposits

A map showing major shale gas basins around the world.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ask Poles how they feel about fracking for natural gas and responses are mixed. They hope for big money and free flowing gas. They recognize legal, environmental and societal concerns, but ask them why fracking for homegrown gas is important and the answer is the same: energy independence.

Poles from all walks of life say if they can get to the natural gas that geologists and energy companies say is trapped deep underground, Poland would be free from reliance on its neighbors to the east — Russians.

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Environment & Energy
2:25 pm
Sun September 30, 2012

A Test Drill in Lesniowice

A test drill for shale gas was done by Chevron in Lesniowice earlier this year.
Erika Beras/90.5 WESA

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Poland has the same kinds of natural gas shale formations we have here in Pennsylvania. Many Poles hope hydraulic fracturing technology and the resulting release of natural gas will bring the country energy independence and a financial boom, but also like here in Pennsylvania, a number of Poles have a not-in-my-backyard attitude toward the developments. 

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Education
12:19 am
Sun September 30, 2012

Does Your Historical Site Have a Marker?

The Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) is once again asking people, cities, and historical societies to nominate their historical sites for a marker.

Since 1914, PHMC made more than 2,600 of the familiar blue and gold markers designating historical events, people, and dates.

PHMC spokesman Howard Pollman said the markers help communities recognize and preserve their local history.

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Local
4:00 pm
Sat September 29, 2012

When is a Street not a Street?

In Pittsburgh’s late summer, Charles Carthorn and his son, Chuckie, rode their bikes over a favorite shortcut, a path sandwiched between the former Reizenstein Middle School and The Ellis School.

But he worried that 12-year-old Chuckie might be tempted to jump over a five-foot wide sinkhole on the path that looks as if it would gobble up about one-third of an adult bike. The surrounding streets, however, are an even greater gamble for cyclists.

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Economy
7:26 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Pittsburgh Region's Workforce Aging Fast

The Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board (TRWIB) has issued a report on the aging of the region’s labor pool warning of a future shortage of workers.  The report finds the region will be faced with a high number of retirements in the future and not enough qualified younger workers to fill critical jobs in key sectors like manufacturing, education, health care, and the trades.

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Government
5:42 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Allegheny, Butler, Beaver and Greene Get DPW Block Grants

Four southwestern Pennsylvania counties are among the 20 that will be allowed more flexibility when it comes to using Department of Public Welfare dollars.  Allegheny, Butler, Beaver and Greene counties have been chosen to be part of the block grant pilot program.

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Health
5:32 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

West Penn Allegheny Health System says Highmark Breached Affiliation Agreement

West Penn Allegheny Health System said it is released from its obligations to Highmark under the affiliation agreement signed by the two entities in 2011. The reason, said WPAHS Board Chair Jack Isherwood, is a breach of the agreement on Highmark’s part. That breach, he said, comes in the form of an indication that Highmark would not consummate the agreement, even if the insurance commissioner approved it.

“Instead Highmark wants a new deal that involves West Penn Allegheny Health System undergoing a bankruptcy process,” said Isherwood.

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Local
3:45 pm
Fri September 28, 2012

Judge Halts Williams Execution

A Philadelphia judge has halted Wednesday's scheduled execution of death-row inmate Terrance "Terry" Williams and granted him a new sentencing hearing.

Judge M. Teresa Sarmina said Friday prosecutors suppressed evidence that Williams' victim was an alleged pedophile who abused boys, including Williams.

However, Sarmina upheld Williams' first-degree murder conviction.

Williams' lawyers say police and prosecutors withheld evidence about the sexual link between him and victim Amos Norwood, so the jury never heard about it before voting for a death sentence.

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Government
11:43 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Judge Suggests Striking Part of Voter ID Law

A judge considering a challenge to a politically charged Pennsylvania law that requires voters to show photo identification suggested Thursday he may strike part of it so that someone who doesn't have a valid ID at the polls can cast a provisional ballot that will still count without getting one.

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Local
10:35 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Pro Anglers Compete In Pittsburgh

Professionals and celebrities will be casting their lines into Pittsburgh's rivers Friday and Saturday as part of the inaugural Marcellus Shale Coalition 3 Rivers Challenge.  

"They'll have a tugboat down here.  They're going to have a free fishing family day," said Chris Hoover, spokesman for  event coordinator FLW Outdoors, "where you can come down and fish off the bank.  You don't have to have a fishing license, and they'll be giving away about 400 rods and reels."

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