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Local
7:15 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

ICA Learns About Pension Woes and Solutions

One of two boards that oversee Pittsburgh's budget gathered input Tuesday on the city's pension obligations, and heard the common refrain that the real answer lies in pension reform at the state level.

City budget director Scott Kunka opened the discussion before the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority (ICA) by noting that even if the city added all $10 million dollars expected from gaming revenues to its annual $60 million pension payment, it would only make a small blip in in the amount of money in the account 30 years from now.

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Local
7:00 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Pittsburgh: A Good Place to Live As You Age

Pittsburgh has been ranked as the 10th best city for "Successful Aging" for seniors ages 65-79, according to the Milken Institute's analysis of 100 cities in the nation.

This is the first year the California-based non-profit ranked cities on a successful aging index based on 78 factors, but it has been rating cities on "Best Performance" for a decade.

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Local
3:45 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Oscar-Winning Composer Marvin Hamlisch Dies at 68

Marvin Hamlisch, who composed or arranged the scores for dozens of movies including "The Sting" and the Broadway smash "A Chorus Line," has died in Los Angeles. He was 68.

Hamlisch collapsed and died Monday after a brief illness, his publicist Ken Sunshine said, citing the family. Other details were not released.

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Local
2:13 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

A Cracker Means Jobs, But Environmentalists Worry About Air Pollution

Pennsylvania's shale boom has drill rigs popping up all over rural parts of the state. Pipeline projects, truck traffic, and hotel construction have followed. Now, industry plans to build large-scale natural gas processing plants. Some question how those projects might impact air quality.

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Local
7:00 am
Tue August 7, 2012

New Program Would Provide Funding For Start-Up Companies in Pennsylvania

Start-up companies might have a new place to turn for seed money if a state lawmaker has his way.

State Senator John Blake (D-Lackawanna) has proposed the "Innovate in Pennsylvania Program," which he says would provide a predictable source of funding for early stage venture capital investment.

Blake wants to auction off future tax credits and then use that pool of money to invest in start-ups. The senator says $140 would be made available to start-up businesses through the Ben Franklin Technology Development Authority.

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Local
8:53 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Human Cases Of West Nile Virus Detected In Pennsylvania

The first report of human cases of West Nile Virus (WNV) in 2012 has been reported by the Pennsylvania Department of Health. The announcement comes as the Allegheny County Health Department steps up its mosquito spraying in several city neighborhoods.

A Franklin County woman was hospitalized with meningitis and is currently recovering and a woman from Lancaster County was diagnosed with West Nile Fever and is also recuperating. Both of their illnesses were directly related to WNV.

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Local
8:15 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

County Committee Recommends a New Jobs Office for People with Disabilities

For nearly two years the Allegheny 365 Committee has been working to create a completely accessible county in regard to services, facilities, and jobs. Its work has culminated in a report issued to County Executive Rich Fitzgerald. The main recommendation is that the county create an office of employment accessibility and inclusion. That office would, among other things, provide a single point of contact for those seeking employment, employers and the county.

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Local
8:00 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Study to Examine Long-Term Health Effects of Hosting The Olympics

A professor at Millersville University in Lancaster is examining the public health effects of Olympic Games on host cities.

Dr. Jeffrey Wimer is traveling to past, present, and future Olympic sites to determine whether the residents of host cities see long-term benefits from the games. He said he hopes to publish a report within six months.

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Local
7:30 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Monarchs to Visit Convention Center

The David L. Lawrence Convention Center is used to attracting a wide variety of visitors, but the facility is now preparing to welcome a special type of guest: Monarch butterflies.

Convention Center general manager Mark Leahy said the newly certified "Monarch waystation" on the roof of the building is equipped with all the plants necessary to feed the butterflies as they make their way south to Mexico or California.

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Local
6:15 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Experienced Dreamers Contest Winner Receives “Key To The City" And Grant

With the Pittsburgh skyline in the background, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl presented a "key to the city" to Tess Lojacono to kick off her business career in the city. Lojacono was the winner of the "Experienced Dreamers" contest, which awarded one baby boomer-generation entrepreneur $100,000 to start their own business in the city.

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Local
5:45 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Mine Subsidence Insurance Premiums Lowered

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has reduced premiums for MSI, or Mine Subsidence Insurance.

The MSI premium for a residence has been reduced 15% and for a non-residence 50%, in order to match residential rates. Residential rates are now about 55¢ for every $1,000 of coverage. That's $55 for $100,000 in coverage, which lasts one year and is annually renewable.

Amanda Witman, spokesperson for the DEP, said anyone living in an underground coal or clay mining region should consider obtaining MSI.

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Local
12:00 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

Pitt Researchers to Create 3D Liver And Arthritic Joints From Human Cells

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have received initial federal grants to create three-dimensional structures of the liver and arthritic joint system from human cells.

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Local
7:00 am
Mon August 6, 2012

BikeFest Runs through August 19

BikeFest, the annual riding event, began on Sunday and pedals through August 19. More than 80 bicycling events take place in that time — everything from trail rides and kids' rides, to advanced races and moonlight meanderings.

Bruce Woods, head of the Major Taylor Cycling Club in Pittsburgh, said he understands if some cyclists are nervous in light of the recent biking deaths in the headlines. He recommended those that are worried about their safety stick to side streets and ride in groups.

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Local
7:00 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Speaking Volumes: Patrice Matamoros

Pittsburgh Marathon Race Director Patrice Matamoros's reading interests range from philosophical ruminations on running to a certain popular "hardcore Harlequin romance" franchise you may have heard of…

She recommends:

E.L. James, Fifty Shades of Grey

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Local
7:00 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Special Election Tuesday to Fill Orie's Senate Seat

Three candidates are competing in a special election Tuesday to serve out the last two years of the term of former state Senator Jane Orie of McCandless Township.

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Local
7:00 am
Mon August 6, 2012

Figment Art Festival Gives Opportunity to Play With Art

A significantly different kind of art festival is coming to Pittsburgh this fall after making appearances in New York, Boston, Detroit and other major cities. The Figment Art Festival from October 6-7 in Allegheny Commons on the North Shore will focus on visitors interacting with the art.

The Figment Art Festival will not have vendors or sell anything, including admission tickets. Everything is free and open to the public.

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Local
8:15 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Emerald Ash Borer Infestation Causes Quarantine of Firewood

The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has quarantined all hardwood firewood and wood chips after the emerald ash borer beetle was discovered in six additional counties to the 22 already experiencing problems. No firewood will be allowed in or out of Pennsylvania without proper inspection and certification.

The beetles were recently found in Bucks, Franklin, Jefferson, Perry, Snyder, and Venango counties. Other counties in the state that have experienced infestations include Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Indiana, Lawrence, Mercer, Somerset, Washington, and Westmoreland.

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Local
8:00 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Corbett: PAT and Union Need to Step Up

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett is playing it close to the vest when it comes to what he is willing to do to help the Port Authority of Allegheny County stave off massive service cuts. PAT is set to eliminate 46 of its 102 routes and lay off more than 400 union and non-union employees in an effort to fill a $65 million budget deficit.

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Local
6:45 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Medically Fragile Children to Get More Care

Each year, 1,400 children are born in Allegheny County that Children's Home & Lemieux Family Center CEO Pam Schandwald says will need skilled nursing care every day of their entire life. Until a law was passed in Pennsylvania this year, those "medically fragile children" were no longer able to get the care at Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care Centers like the Children's Home after their 9th birthday.

Today, Governor Tom Corbett ceremonially signed HB 1960 at the children's home upping that to the age of 21.

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Local
5:15 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Regatta at Lake Arthur Will Be More Family-Oriented

Land and water activities will highlight the 14th Annual Regatta at Lake Arthur this Saturday and Sunday, August 4-5 at Moraine State Park.

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Local
5:15 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Pittsburgh Public Schools Unveils Plan to Tackle Racial Achievement Gap

Pittsburgh Public Schools already has a plan in place to address the racial achievement gap. A new plan, released Friday, builds upon that. The "Equity: Getting to All" report finds the district is doing many of the things that should lead to improvements in student achievement and to improvements in schools.

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Arts
7:00 am
Fri August 3, 2012

A New View of Whistler Comes To CMOA

While he might be best known for a painting of his mother, James Abbott McNeill Whistler was an accomplished printmaker and even more accomplished at managing his public persona. The Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) opens an exhibition Saturday titled Whistler and Rebellion in the Art World that delves into the places where Whistler's art and his personality cross.

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Local
9:00 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Attorneys in Jordan Miles Civil Trial say it all Comes Down to Credibility - Jury Now Deliberating

It's now up to the jury to decide if Jordan Miles' civil rights were violated two years ago, when he says he was beaten and wrongfully arrested by three plain-clothes Pittsburgh Police Officers. In closing arguments each side claims the other is making up ridiculous stories.

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Local
8:45 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

Voter ID Lawyers Rest

A commonwealth court judge is expected to rule on the future of the state's controversial voter ID law in a little more than a week. The announcement of a goal of August 13th for a decision came as lawyers for both sides wrapped up closing arguments Thursday.

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Local
8:30 pm
Thu August 2, 2012

DA Zappala Calls Automatic License Plate Readers “Public Safety” Tools

Allegheny County's top prosecutor says he doesn't object to a request by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Pennsylvania for information on how law enforcement uses automatic license plate readers to record and store the movements of drivers.

As part of a nationwide effort, the ACLU has sent requests to 15 police departments plus the Pennsylvania State Police for the information.

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