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Local
11:57 am
Sun July 22, 2012

Penn State Takes Down Paterno Statue

Penn State University's president has ordered the removal of the Joe Paterno statue outside the school's football stadium.

In a statement released online Sunday morning, PSU President Rodney Erickson said, "Coach Paterno's statue has become a source of division and an obstacle to healing in our university and beyond."

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Local
7:57 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

New Voter ID Card Announced for those Who Can’t Get Driver’s License or other ID

The Secretary of the Commonwealth announced Friday that Pennsylvania will be issuing a new ID card that can be used as voter identification. The card is aimed that those who many not be able to get a state-issued driver's license or non-driver ID.

In order to get a voter identification card, a state resident must only provide two proofs of residency, such as a utility bill or lease, and their birth date and social security number.

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Environment
4:54 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

City Debuts New “Green” Stormwater Management System in Greenfield

With the goal of decreasing street and basement flooding in an often-affected area, the City of Pittsburgh and Penn State partnered to build a Bioswale on the corner of Saline and Alexis Streets along Four Mile Run in Greenfield. A bioswale is green technology designed to hold and filter stormwater in flood-prone areas.

"We transformed a site that, and don't tell anybody this, wasn't even compliant with city code," said Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, "to see what it looks like today is really remarkable."

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Local
4:40 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

DEP Declares Drought Watch for 15 Western Pennsylvania Counties

The Department of Environmental Protection has issued a drought watch aimed at individuals and water suppliers in 15 Western Pennsylvania counties (Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Clarion, Crawford, Erie, Fayette, Forest, Greene, Lawrence, Mercer, Somerset, Venango, Warren and Washington), calling for a voluntary five percent reduction in nonessential water use.

Precipitation this year was normal until about April, said Joe Palko, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service, but now groundwater, reservoirs, rivers and sample wells are low.

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Economy
4:26 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

US Trade Rep Touts Pittsburgh for Export Potential

The White House brought its message of increasing US exports and decreasing outsourcing to Pittsburgh Friday with a stop at Pittsburgh International Airport and a meeting with Steel Workers Union leadership. United States Trade Representative, Ambassador Ron Kirk, said by focusing on those two goals more jobs will be created in the US.

Kirk said it is important to focus on Pittsburgh's success and potential. "Last year for example, Pennsylvania business exported almost $41 billion. That's a 118 percent increase over 2002. 217,000 [PA] jobs are supported by exports," said Kirk.

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Economy
3:45 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Small Businesses Will Have Equal Opportunities When Bidding For State Contracting

Small businesses have been called up to the big leagues as they now have the opportunities to compete for state contracts as heavy hitters. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett announced new efforts to provide equal footing for self-certified and veteran-owned small businesses to bid on procurements.

Troy Thompson, Press Secretary for the Department of General Services, said the Small Business Procurement Initiative will give companies with 100 or fewer employees and meet maximum revenue requirements a chance to prove they are capable of being prime contractors.

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Local
7:00 am
Fri July 20, 2012

The Quecreek Accident: 10 Years Later

The word "Quecreek" became well-known ten years ago. Western Pennsylvania residents as well as people around the world waited, listened and watched to learn the fate of nine men trapped in the Quecreek Mine in Somerset County.

"I was actually at home getting ready to go to bed and received a call from one of my supervisors that there was an accident in Somerset County. The Quecreek Mine had breached into an adjacent abandoned mine," recalled Joe Sbaffoni, the Director of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Mine Safety then and now.

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Local
9:45 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Jordan Miles Testifies in Civil Trial against Three Pittsburgh Police Officers Accused in Beating

Jordan Miles gave details Thursday about the night he was beaten by three plain clothes police officers. In day three of the civil suit trial against the officers, the young man said he was terrified of the men.

Miles took the stand and outlined the events that took place the night of January 12, 2010. That's when three white police officers beat and, he said, wrongfully arrested him. Miles said he didn't realize the men were police officers, which is why he ran from them and resisted arrest.

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Local
8:30 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Corbett “Disappointed” in Old PSU Leadership

The special investigation by former FBI Director Louis Freeh into Penn State unearthed incriminating emails never obtained by the commonwealth's investigation into Jerry Sandusky for child sex abuse, and that has Governor Tom Corbett a bit miffed. Corbett said during a news conference today that he did not get those emails during the grand jury investigation led by him when he was the Pennsylvania Attorney General.

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Local
8:30 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Pennsylvania ACLU Files Lawsuit On Behalf Of Man Arrested For Recording Police Officer

Gregory Rizer of Fayette County was arrested and his cell phone was confiscated by Point Marion police officer Kevin Lukart on January 3 after he recorded a question and answer session between Lukart and his friend while at home. The ACLU has now filed suit claiming police trampled upon Rizer's civil rights.

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Local
8:15 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Kennywood One Step Closer to Alcohol Sales

Kennywood Park has agreed to limit proposed beer sales to satisfy a Pittsburgh area state lawmaker who had planned to fight the park's application for a liquor license.

West Mifflin authorities approved the decision to transfer one of the borough's liquor licenses to Kennywood in April, but in an attempt to make the implementation of alcohol at Kennywood a more "safe experience," State Senator Jim Ferlo (D-Allegheny) intervened.

Now Ferlo is satisfied with the conditions Kennywood officials have agreed to in order to maintain the park's "family-friendly" atmosphere.

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Transportation
8:00 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

U.S. Airways CEO Says Time For Merger With American Airlines is Now

U.S. Airways CEO Douglas Parker said a merger with the bankrupt American Airlines could create the "greatest airline in the world."

U.S. Airways has more flights coming into Pittsburgh International Airport than any other airline. Douglas said a merger with American benefits more than just U.S. Airways' bottom line.

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Economy
6:30 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Midwest Drought Might Drain Pockets in PA

The drought in the Midwest is bad enough to cause economic ripple effects across the country, including noticeable price hikes in Pennsylvania grocery stores in coming months, according to PNC economist Kurt Rankin.

"The drought may not affect western Pennsylvania directly, although I haven't had to cut the grass quite as much this summer," Rankin said, "but we will see the price increases."

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Government
5:00 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

State Stands by Voter ID Law, Despite New Controversy

There is little concern on behalf of the Corbett administration regarding the state's new discovery that fewer voters have PennDOT-issued IDs than previously suspected.

"No one will be disenfranchised in Pennsylvania. No one," Commonwealth Secretary Carol Aichele said.

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Local
2:09 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Mom Didn't Recognize Jordan Miles After Police Beating

The mother of a young black man who claims three white Pittsburgh police officers wrongfully beat and arrested him told jurors Wednesday that her son's injuries made him unrecognizable when she picked him up at the county jail the next night.

Terez Miles' testimony came in her son's federal civil rights trial against the officers stemming from an incident on Jan. 12, 2010.

At about 9:30 the next night, Miles went to pick up her 18-year-old son, Jordan, and watched several other inmates emerge from jail and fan out to other waiting cars.

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Local
11:30 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Vintage Grand Prix Celebrates 30th Year

It's been thirty years since the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix first began showcasing fine automobiles to raise money for autism research.

Since then, the event has raised nearly $3 million for the Autism Society of Pittsburgh and the Allegheny Valley School, thanks to the help of the late former Steelers broadcaster and local legend Myron Cope.

This year, the event is expected to be bigger than ever, with 2,200 cars predicted for the general show in Schenley Park on Saturday and Sunday.

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Local
10:09 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

PWSA Unveils First Draft for Massive Regional Sewer Overhaul

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) briefed City Council Wednesday on a preliminary plan to overhaul the region's sewer systems.

According to PWSA officials, not only will the project be expensive, but it will also require new sewage agreements between Pittsburgh and scores of other municipalities.

In order to catch up with new regulations from the federal government, Pittsburgh and its neighboring municipalities must add new sewer lines and storage tanks to prevent "combined sewer overflow" (CSO) from spilling out of sewage systems after heavy rainfall.

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Health
8:00 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Racial Disparity in Diabetes Rates Focus of Meeting at Pitt

More than 25 million people in the U.S. are living with Type 2 Diabetes. That's about 8.3% of the population, but there is one group experiencing higher rates.

"If you look at blacks over the age of 20, non-Hispanic blacks, almost 19% have diabetes," said Mim Seidel, a registered dietician with the Food Studies Program at Chatham University.

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Health
7:30 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Medicaid Expansion In PA Could Add 800,000 Recipients

State Representative Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny) has introduced legislation that would allow more Pennsylvanians to be insured through Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. If his measure is passed, medical coverage would be expanded to include residents who earn less than 133% of the federal poverty level.

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Environment
5:26 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Artists Celebrate The Lives Of Aquatic Life That Perished In Dunkard Creek

Ann Payne and Wendy Henry exchange anxious glances as they walk. They are heading down a path to the bank of Dunkard Creek in Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania. The two haven't been to this spot since Henry asked her friend Payne, a Morgantown artist, to look at an unfolding disaster on the creek near her home.

"Remember we walked down this way toward the creek and off to the left there was a bunch of birds and I thought good grief- there's a bunch of green herons. We got closer and they were eating bodies of dead fish" says Payne.

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Science & Technology
4:00 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

State Prison Uses Landfill Methane for Power

The state prison in Somerset County is using methane gas from a local landfill to generate the electricity and steam that power the penitentiary.

Though the methane-to-electricity plant has been online since January, officials from the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections dedicated the plant Tuesday in memory of the late DOC Operations Director Robert Calik.

With an estimated cost-savings of $68 million over the next fifteen years, the plant would pay for itself and more.

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Economy
4:00 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Pennsylvania's Debt Downgrade has Wide Impact

Pennsylvania's recent debt downgrade means it may cost the state more to borrow money, because investors will want to pay less for taking on riskier debt, but the effect of the lower score might be more political than financial.

The drop from Aa1 to Aa2 by Moody's Investor Service is likely to have a small effect on typical investors who invest in state bonds, but analysts are taking note of the major reason given for the change: ballooning pension costs expected to hit the state in increasingly large waves over the next several years.

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Environment
1:00 pm
Wed July 18, 2012

Hot, Dry Conditions Halt Water Withdrawals from Susquehanna

Near-drought conditions persist throughout the Susquehanna River Basin, and businesses that usually take large amounts of water out of the system's streams and rivers are being told to stop.

It's mostly natural gas companies that have seen their water withdrawal permits suspended, but others got the kibosh as well: resorts, golf courses, a trout park and hatchery.

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Government
8:38 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

Mitt Romney Outlines Five Steps to a Better Economy

Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney told a large crowd of supporters in Irwin that Barack Obama has failed America and called the president's policies "job crushing." The former Massachusetts governor said the upcoming presidential election is about "the soul of America."

Romney said Mr. Obama has seen a steady unemployment rate and a decrease in median income.

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Local
6:45 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

NCAA Head: “Death Penalty" Possible, Lawyer Thinks Unlikely

The president of the NCAA said he isn't ruling out the possibility of shutting down the Penn State football program in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal, but a well-known sports lawyer said he thinks it is unlikely that will happen.

In an interview Monday night on PBS's Tavis Smiley Show, NCAA President Mark Emmert said he doesn't want to "take anything off the table" if the NCAA determines penalties against Penn State are warranted. Emmert said he's "never seen anything as egregious as this in terms of just overall conduct and behavior inside a university."

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