News

Pages

Government
2:42 am
Thu December 6, 2012

Dozens Demand UPMC Start Paying Property Taxes

At a public hearing before Allegheny County Council on Wednesday night, scores of residents thronged the County Courthouse to testify that they believe UPMC should no longer be considered exempt from property taxes.

UPMC was there to contest that notion, reminding Council that it performs millions of dollars worth of charity work each year and employs 36,000 residents of Allegheny County alone.

The large regional health system would have to pay out tens of millions of dollars to 21 local taxing bodies if the property tax exemption were to be lifted.

Read more
Government
8:37 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Castor: "Corbett Unable to Fulfill Promises;" Considers a Challenge

Just about halfway through his first term in office, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett could be getting a challenge for reelection--from within his own party.

Read more
Government
7:59 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

County Gets $44 and $21 Million Bids for Airport Shale

A pair of well-known energy companies have submitted multi-million dollar bids for the right to drill into the Marcellus Shale under Pittsburgh International Airport.  It’s the second time the Allegheny County Airport Authority went out for bids for the more than 9,000 acres available at the Allegheny County and Pittsburgh International airports.

Read more
Health
7:12 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Elective Surgery? Whether or Not you go Under the Knife Depends on Where You Live

The term “elective surgery” pretty much says it all. It’s a surgery that could be part of one’s treatment plan, but is not the only option. A new report from the Dartmouth Atlas Project found huge variations in the rates of Medicare patients undergoing elective surgeries in different parts of the country.

Read more
Science & Technology
6:20 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

New Center Opens for Heath Care Tech-Ed

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

A ceremonial ribbon cutting today marked the official opening of a new facility, funded by the public and private sectors, intended to meet a demand for greater technology training for healthcare professionals.

Read more
Government
1:17 pm
Wed December 5, 2012

Capitol Christmas Tree Moves Outside

The state Christmas tree has been lit on the Capitol steps, a return to the commonwealth’s holiday tradition of the symbol of the holidays outdoors.

Despite carolers’ best efforts, the weather outside was far from frightful – the temperature hovered just below 60 degrees at the time of the tree lighting Tuesday.  Three machines spewing artificial snow and foam whirred to life to conjure up a more wintry mood.

Gov. Corbett joked with Harrisburg Catholic Bishop Joseph McFadden about the balmy evening.

Read more
Government
1:13 am
Wed December 5, 2012

County Council Passes 2013 Budget, Cuts Controller Funding

Allegheny County Council passed a $799 million operating budget for 2013 on Tuesday night. The spending plan includes a deep funding cut to the County Controller's office, though the cut was not as large as originally proposed by County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.

The budget legislation passed on a 13-1 vote, with Councilwoman Heather Heidelbaugh as the only dissenter. The councilwoman said she voted against the plan because she did not want to cut funds for Controller Chelsa Wagner's office, and because she thought the plan could be more streamlined.

Read more
Science & Technology
9:59 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Pittsburgh Company Among Tech Belt Innovators Honored

Governor Tom Corbett today honored three Pennsylvania companies for their work in developing a 21st century  innovation called "additive manufacturing", or 3D printing.

Read more
Economy
9:23 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

More Companies Announce Special Dividends to Avoid Tax Hike

Walt Disney Corporation, Wal-Mart, Dish Network, and now Pittsburgh-based American Eagle Outfitters are just some of the many companies that have announced they are moving up their dividend payments.

American Eagle announced today they are moving up the payment of its first quarter dividend from April to December 28th.

Brian Koble, director of research at Hefren-Tillotson, an investment advisory and financial planning firm based in Pittsburgh, said companies are trying to take advantage of lower taxes on dividend payments this year.

Read more
Government
9:05 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

No More Winner-Take-All for PA's Electoral College?

It’s been nearly a month since the election and state Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi is taking a second run at changing the way Pennsylvania awards its electoral votes.

Pileggi said he’d introduce a bill next year to allocate them based on a candidate’s percentage of the popular vote.

He sponsored a similar proposal last fall, and spokesman Erik Arneson said some thought that was suspicious timing.

Read more
Government
8:46 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Casey Holds Fiscal Cliff Hearing: Don't Break Promises

Senator Bob Casey

The Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress will convene Thursday to search for a way to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff and the chairman, Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) says he thinks a solution can be found. 

Casey said the first step is for the Republican-led House to pass a middle-class tax cut that allows income tax rates on the nation’s top earners to increase.  “Most people who are making a lot of money understand that we have a big debt and deficit and they want to help us,” said Casey.

Read more
Education
7:49 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

From Slavery to Freedom – Heinz History Center Highlights Pittsburgh’s Role

Some 500 years of history are chronicled in the Heinz History Center’s “From Slavery to Freedom” exhibit, including the role Pittsburgh played both in slavery and in the fight for freedom.

“What we argue in this exhibit is that Pittsburgh was a destination of freedom and you will see in the exhibit, the various ways in which Pittsburghers really fought for free status, not only for African Americans, but freedom in upholding freedom as a part of the creed of the United State of America,” said Sam Black, the History Center’s director of African American studies.

Read more
Health
7:02 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Free Lodging Offered to Long-Term VA Hospital Visitors

The Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System officially opened a "Fisher House" on the campus of its main hospital in Oakland on Tuesday. When a member of a military family from out-of-town must be hospitalized, the house will provide free rooms and meals for the rest of the family.

Read more
Environment
4:05 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Water Testing Begins on Ohio and Allegheny Rivers

After three years of testing the Monongahela for pollution the West Virginia Water Research Institute is now turning its attention to the Allegheny and Ohio Rivers.

Dr. Paul Ziemkiewicz, the institute’s director, said the institute began testing the Monongahela in 2009 after high concentrations of “total dissolved solids” (TDS) began to appear. TDS include sulfide, chloride, and other chemicals that affect drinking water standards.

Read more
Government
1:10 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Toomey Returns to Ideas in Super Committee

The state’s junior U.S. Senator is working on attracting bipartisan support for a plan to avert the fiscal cliff.

Republican Pat Toomey said the framework is based on what he proposed while serving on the so-called congressional “super committee” to reduce the national deficit last year. That panel failed to reach a consensus, which triggered the 2013 automatic spending cuts and tax hikes involved in the fiscal cliff. But Toomey said he’s pushing for his super committee proposal once more.

Read more
Government
8:58 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Pittsburgh May Hire Contractor to Launch, Manage Emergency Alert System

If City Council passes the necessary legislation, Pittsburgh would hire a company to set up and manage an emergency alert system for its residents rather than build the system itself.  The Alert system would have the capability to send out mass phone calls, emails, and text messages.

Sponsoring Councilman Corey O'Connor said the new alert system probably would cost between $50,000 and $100,000 each year, depending on the number of city residents who sign up for the alerts and the level of competition in the bidding process.

Read more
Government
8:43 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Senators' Wives Advocating For Completion Of Flight 93 Memorial

Eleven years after 9/11, the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, Somerset County remains unfinished, and the spouses of Pennsylvania's two U.S. Senators are working to raise the remaining funds to complete the project.

Kris Toomey, wife of Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA), and Terese Casey, wife of Senator Bob Casey (D-PA)  will co-host an event tomorrow in Shanksville to raise awareness and funds.

Read more
Government
8:42 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Pennsylvania Republican House Representative Comes Out As Gay

http://2cccd5dfe1965e26adf6-26c50ce30a6867b5a67335a93e186605.r53.cf1.rackcdn.com/LBGT Wrap_Mary Wilson_SOC.mp3

The Head of the State’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender citizens lobby is applauding the decision of a Republican state House lawmaker to come out as openly gay. Representative Mike Fleck of Huntingdon County told his local newspaper the decision was part of his effort to be authentic, and that he does not expect it to change his voting pattern.

Read more
Transportation
7:38 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Governor Corbett: Healthy Transportation System Key to a Healthy Economy

Lawmakers are continuing to work on a comprehensive transportation funding solution, according to Governor Tom Corbett. The governor was in Wexford, highlighting the role transportation plays in the overall economy. He said Pennsylvania is currently at a very important economic juncture with the continuing energy boom as well as the growing manufacturing and technology sectors.

“The role transportation has will be putting all of these pieces together, allowing the people that are here to be able to move about from region to region,” said Corbett.

Read more
Transportation
6:32 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

United Airlines Ranks Last in Flight Timeliness

According to analysis by the company Lets Fly Cheaper, air travelers are more likely to leave the gate late if they choose United Airlines over other carriers.

United Airlines ranked last in terms of timeliness on a list of 15 major carriers, using federal data from January to September of this year. The company's flights were on schedule roughly 76.5 percent of the time.

Just ahead of United in terms of punctuality were Express Jet Airlines (76.72% on time); American Airlines (77.86%); Frontier Airlines (79.12%); and JetBlue Airways (80.41%).

Read more
Transportation
6:21 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Empowering Senior Drivers And Keeping Them Safe

In Pennsylvania, drivers must renew their licenses every four years.  Motorists 65 and older have the option to renew every two years but are not required to do so, and they don't have to take another driving test.

So PennDOT and law enforcement officials want to keep elderly drivers safe while preserving their independence. During this week there are several events being held across southwestern Pennsylvania to highlight safety for older drivers.

Read more
Government
5:58 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

51 Year Old Law for Libraries Gets Modernized

Pennsylvania libraries are being given more latitude as managers try to catch up with modern patrons with a new state code that updates old requirements involving staff education, collection requirements, facilities and technology. 

“Technology continues to change,” Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett said.  “It changes the way we are learning and advancing our learning, and it changes our libraries,” Corbett said as he signed the legislation.

Read more
Government
8:23 am
Mon December 3, 2012

City Councilwoman Critical of Mayor's Capital Budget Plan

Pittsburgh City Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak says the $64 million capital budget proposed by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is amorphous and needs serious refinement.

Rudiak said many of the budget line items are devoid of important details.

"We look at bike infrastructure, we look at bridge repairs, we look at building improvements, we look at pool rehabilitation -- there's no detail in any of these categories about which pools, or which buildings, or which playgrounds are going to be focused on next year or in the next five years," said Rudiak.

Read more
Education
8:23 am
Mon December 3, 2012

More International Students Studying In Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is near the front of national trend of increasing numbers of international students attending higher education institutions. In 2011/2012 the Institute of International Education (IIE) found the number of foreign students studying in the US increased by 6% over the previous academic year, for a total of nearly 765,000 from more than 200 countries. Pennsylvania experienced an increase of 10%, with Penn State University leading the way with 6,075 international students.

Read more
Health
8:23 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Health Officials Want to Needle You

Although no official cases of the flu have been confirmed in the Pittsburgh area yet this season, local health officials are urging residents to get a flu shot during National Influenza Week (December 2-8).

"We're approaching that time of year when you start to see influenza activity," said Guillermo Cole, spokesman for the Allegheny County Health Department.  "Influenza typically starts in late fall and peaks in the winter sometime in late January or February."

Read more

Pages