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Environment & Energy
5:16 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Pittsburgh Adds 22 Certified Green Buildings In 2012

More green buildings, new and rehabilitated, continue to pop up in the Pittsburgh region.  Pittsburgh ranked fourth among 15 benchmark cities by adding 22 Certified Green Buildings this year for a total of 109.

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Health
5:16 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Effort to Ease Transition for Children with Disabilities into Adulthood Going Strong into Second

In early 2012, the 21 and Able campaign kicked off. It’s an effort to help children with disabilities more easily transition into adulthood. As of now, when a person with disabilities gets cut off from many needed supportive services when they turn 21. While some services are available for adults, they’re hard to secure.

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Environment & Energy
3:15 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Winter Storm 'Euclid' Continues to Nag Travellers

Wednesday's snowstorm, named 'Euclid', dumped four and a half inches of snow on Pittsburgh Wednesday, and many modes of transportation are still experiencing the delays associated with the weather.

The Port Authority of Allegheny County says it is experiencing some delays on certain bus routes, although most routes are not affected by the snow. PAT warns bus riders to leave extra time in case their buses are experiencing delays.

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Environment & Energy
8:43 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Study: PA 'Water Trails' Boost Local Economic Activity

A study commissioned by the commonwealth found economic benefits associated with Pennsylvania's 'water trails' -- the 21 rivers outfitted by the state with boat launches, access points, and campgrounds.

The data gathered by ICF International show that just four of those water trails generated roughly $750,000 in local economic activity over three months this summer. From July to September, ICF conducted interviews with water trail visitors at the Schuylkill River; the Susquehanna River's north branch; the Juniata River; and the Three Rivers area in Allegheny County.

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Government & Politics
8:43 am
Thu December 27, 2012

Officials Want a Deadline for Highmark, WPAHS Merger Negotiations

A group of public officials and community group leaders has asked the state's insurance commissioner to speed up the process of merger negotiations between health insurer Highmark and the West Penn Allegheny Health System by instating a deadline to file an affiliation agreement.

Dated Tuesday, the letter from State Senator Jim Ferlo and 15 other signatories suggests that the likelihood of a merger between Highmark and WPAHS is diminishing as time continues to pass with no agreement.

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Economy & Business
8:43 am
Thu December 27, 2012

2013 Will Be Good But Not Great According to PNC

Pittsburgh received praise in 2012 for being among a handful of large and midsized cities that had recovered from the economic downturn, but PNC Financial Services Chief Economist Gus Faucher thinks the local economy will lag a bit in 2013.

“I think that we will see job growth of about 1 percent in 2013… But I think it’s going to be below the national average,” said Faucher.  “I would expect that the U.S. job growth is going to be closer to around 1.5 percent in 2013.”

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Economy & Business
6:36 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Tax Increases v. Budget Cuts, Who Wins in PA?

New analysis by the left-leaning Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) shows that proposals to end tax breaks for high-income earners would have very little impact on taxpayers in most Pennsylvania counties.

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Government & Politics
5:36 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Casey Calls For More Pressure on Pakistan

Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are responsible for more than 60 percent of U.S. troops killed and wounded in Afghanistan, and Pennsylvania’s senior senator wants to help stem the flow of the raw materials used to make the bombs.

U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D) chaired a meeting of the Foreign Relations Committee’s Near-East, South and Central Asian Affairs Sub Committee this month where those who gave testimony called on the U.S. government to put more pressure on the Pakistan government to work harder to make sure calcium ammonium nitrate does not cross over into Afghanistan.

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Transportation
4:34 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Storm Hits Pittsburgh

<strong> UPDATE: 3:21PM 12/26/12 </strong>

Non-essential state employees have been sent home early as winter storm Euclid spreads across the state. A thin layer of ice under a quickly falling snow has made travel throughout western Pennsylvania extremely difficult on this day-after Christmas. 

Pennsylvania State Police have closed Route 28 in both directions from Harmarville (Exit 11) to Tarentum (Exit 14). Turnpike officials have declared a weather emergency and have lowered the speed limit to 45 mph from the Ohio state line to the Blue Mountain Tunnel. 

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Economy & Business
3:01 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Marcellus Shale No.1 in Production in 2012

This year was one of new records and new questions for the boom in Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling.

Previous doubts about the size of the vast resource were mostly put to rest, as data showed that the Marcellus became the most productive natural gas field in the nation, even though well drilling slowed substantially.

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Economy & Business
8:42 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Lottery Privatization Could Put Senior Citizen Programs At Risk

Privatizing the Pennsylvania Lottery might have Governor Tom Corbett believing it will boost profits, but it could put programs that benefit senior citizens at risk.  In a new report, the left-leaning Keystone Research Center details how services for the elderly could suffer if the commonwealth rushes into a deal.

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Transportation
8:42 am
Wed December 26, 2012

AAA Urges Drivers to Take Active Role in Staying Safe and Avoiding Problems

AAA East Central anticipates having to help about 39,000 stranded motorists in the four-state region including Pennsylvania during the holiday travel period which started before Christmas and will end January 2nd. AAA’s Steve Popovich said the good news, is motorists can take an active role in avoiding being stranded.

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Economy & Business
8:42 am
Wed December 26, 2012

Region's Economy Looked Good 2012

The Pittsburgh region continued its “ahead-of-schedule recovery” in 2012 according to PNC Financial Services Senior Economist Gus Faucher. 

“Employment in Pittsburgh is now above where it was prior to the recession and it’s one of the few places in the country where that’s true,” said Faucher.  The recession officially began in December 2007.

Pittsburgh’s economy did not fall as fast or as far as other areas of the country, making it easier to rebound.  Faucher said there were a few sectors, including professional business services, which fueled the region’s growth.

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Government & Politics
5:52 pm
Tue December 25, 2012

Pittsburgh's Popular "Love Your Block" Program is Back

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl says applications are available for the city’s spring 2013 Love Your Block grant award program.

The program gives up to 30 organizations $1,000 to purchase supplies and equipment necessary to implement a neighborhood block project that utilizes community volunteers.

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Economy & Business
8:43 am
Tue December 25, 2012

“Energy Zombies” can have a Big Impact on Home Energy Bills

These days it seems nearly everyone is trying to save money where they can. Energy provider Direct Energy says some people may not be aware that some everyday things in their homes are causing their electricity and gas bills to go up.

“An energy zombie is actually anything that mindlessly eats away at your energy bill,” said Direct Energy Spokeswoman Bethany Ruhe, “these are things you may already know about, you may not know about, but if you don’t pay attention to them – boom – you have higher electricity bills.”

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Government & Politics
8:43 am
Tue December 25, 2012

Comfort Campaign for Fallen Officers

Pennsylvania State Police on duty over the holidays this year will be keeping an eye on the streets for problems, and scanning windows for comfort in the form of a lone blue light.  

Project Blue Light began in 1988 to honor police officers killed in the line of duty. This year the State Police saw that number increase by one, when Trooper Blake Coble died in October after his patrol car was hit by a tractor trailer running a stop sign.

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Environment & Energy
8:43 am
Tue December 25, 2012

Count Some Birds

Whether an expert or a beginner, the Pennsylvania Game Commission is asking for your help.

Game Commission officials are asking wildlife enthusiasts to join tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the United States in the Audubon Society’s 113th annual Christmas Bird Count.

Local counts will occur on one day between December 14 and January 5. Volunteers can pick the most convenient circle or participate in more than one count.  Each circle focuses on one specific geographical area.

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Environment & Energy
6:43 am
Tue December 25, 2012

Voting For PA River Of The Year Has Begun

Six waterways across the state, including two in the Pittsburgh region, have been nominated for the 2013 Pennsylvania River of the Year.

The public is invited again to vote online for one of the nominated rivers: Kiskiminetas and Monongahela Rivers in the southwest; Juniata River and Swatara Creek in south central Pennsylvania; Lackawanna River in the northeast; and Schuylkill River in the southeast.

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Arts & Culture
5:39 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Carnegie Museum of Art and National Endowment Team to Keep up Work on Teenie Harris Archive

More than ten years of work has already gone into archiving the work of Pittsburgh photographer Teenie Harris, but more needs to be done. To that end, the Carnegie Museum of Art has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, which will eventually fund a full-time archivist specifically for the Teenie Harris collection.

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Science & Technology
3:14 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

What's Everyone Looking At?

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

A robot that can understand human social situations is a technological curiosity that has been explored in many entertainment classics, like Star Wars, Star Trek, and Doctor Who.  The exploration into the possibility didn’t stop there.  WALL-E, I Robot, and other pop-culture motion pictures have looked into the possibility of artificial intelligence interacting with humans.

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Government & Politics
8:14 am
Mon December 24, 2012

Senior Rent/Property Tax Rebate Deadline Looms

The deadline for Pennsylvania seniors to apply for rent and property tax rebates is just days away and lawmakers are reminding eligible citizens to take action.
The deadline comes at the end of business December 31st.  The rebate program, is open to Pennsylvania homeowners and renters who are 65 and older; widows and widowers 50 and older; and people with disabilities 18 and older with incomes of $35,000 a year or less for homeowners and $15,000 annually for renters. 
Only half of a resident’s social security income counts toward the total household income.

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Government & Politics
8:14 am
Mon December 24, 2012

B-PEP Wants Black Male on Citizen Police Review Board

Pittsburgh Council has sent to the mayor the names of two residents to be considered to fill the open seat on the Citizen Police Review Board (CPRB), the panel that investigates Pittsburghers' allegations of police misconduct.

Council's nominees are Maurice Dickey and Karen McLellan; both are retired Pittsburgh police officers. The seat must be held by a law enforcement professional.   There's been no response from the mayor's office on which one, if either, he will accept.

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Education & Learning
8:14 am
Mon December 24, 2012

Gifting a Higher Education

http://2cccd5dfe1965e26adf6-26c50ce30a6867b5a67335a93e186605.r53.cf1.rackcdn.com/PA 529 Wrap_Emily Farah_SOC.mp3

Pennsylvania’s students are carrying about 10% more debt than the average student in the country, so what better gift to give a newborn, infant, or teenager than a college education fund?

It may not come with a shiny bow and fancy wrapping paper, but the state treasury’s 529 College Savings Programs are appealing to Pennsylvania families who want to save big on higher education. 

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Arts & Culture
8:14 am
Mon December 24, 2012

Speaking Volumes: Brian O'Neill

Brian O’Neill, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer and author of The Paris of Appalachia: Pittsburgh in the Twenty-First Century, talks about how fiction can impart a true sense of place, and the poetry of former Pennsylvania State Poet Samuel Hazo.

Kaui Hart Hemmings, The Descendants

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Government & Politics
8:14 am
Mon December 24, 2012

Altmire Leaves Congress, Won't Miss Partisanship

U.S. Representative Jason Altmire (D-PA-4) leaves office January 3 at noon when the 113th Congress begins.  "I feel very good about my six years in the House," said Altmire who was defeated in the April Democratic primary by fellow incumbent Mark Critz in the redrawn 12th district.  Critz then lost the November election to Republican Keith Rothfus.

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