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Local
7:15 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett Disappointed By US Supreme Court Decision

11% of Pennsylvanians are uninsured. Now that the Supreme Court has upheld most of the Affordable Care Act, that may change, as well as many other aspects of the way health care is delivered.

When Governor Tom Corbett was Pennsylvania Attorney General in 2010, he was part of an unsuccessful lawsuit calling for a repeal of the act requiring Americans to buy health care or pay a penalty.

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Local
6:30 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Take Me Out To The Baseball Exhibit

The Senator John Heinz History Center and the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum are inviting baseball fans to step up to the plate and attend the new exhibit, "The Story of Negro League Baseball: We Are the Ship," opening Friday, June 29.

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Transportation
6:15 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Sunday Marks Hike in Port Authority Fares

For a zone one ride on an Allegheny County Port Authority bus or train, the one-way fare will increase by 25¢ and zone two fares will increase by 50¢ starting July 1st. Ticket and pass prices are also due to increase on Sunday.

Heather Pharo, PAT spokesperson, said even though most fares are increasing, some will remain the same.

"Transfers are going to continue to be $1 for a full fare," Pharo said. "The T surcharges on the cash fares will continue to be 75¢ for full fare."

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Health
1:45 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Speculation Grows on AdultBasic Court Case

A recent opinion handed down by the Commonwealth Court could signal problems with the way the state eliminated its low-cost health insurance program last year. A group of former enrollees of AdultBasic sued over how it was set to zero. Legislators used a provision in a budget-related bill called the "fiscal code" to make the change.

The court hasn't heard that case or ruled on it, but the opinion has overruled part of the state's preliminary objections to the lawsuit, signaling the way AdultBasic was slashed could still be deemed unconstitutional.

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Government
1:21 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Lawmaker Wants Better Oversight of Provider's Budgets

Language to shine a light on executive pay at nonprofits that contract with the state is now in the mix of budget-related legislation. State Representative Scott Petri (R-Bucks County) said after past state budget cuts to the Department of Public Welfare, and with more cuts looming, lawmakers were getting an earful from groups that contract with the DPW.

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Arts
7:00 am
Thu June 28, 2012

Shakespeare Competition Will Showcase Local Acting Talent

Fans of the Bard will have the opportunity to view and then judge short theater productions this week during "Bard Wars" at the Community College of Allegheny County. The school launches its first Shakespeare Creative Competition Festival June 28 with performances beginning at 8:00 PM each evening through June 30th.

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Government
6:20 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

City Council Gives Preliminary Approval to Agreement for Funding from Non-Profits

The Pittsburgh City Council is on path to reach another multi-year agreement with the city's largest non-profits to provide payments in lieu of taxes. Council gave preliminary approval Wednesday to a measure that would authorize the city to enter into an agreement with the Pittsburgh Foundation, which will collect and manage the payments.

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Science & Technology
6:20 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

DEP Offering Webinars To Promote Safe And Energy-Efficient Homes

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) wants Pennsylvania homes to be a bit safer and more energy efficient. It is trying to get out the word through a series of webinars. The online events will be offered every quarter starting Wednesday, June 27 at 7:00 PM.

Amanda Witman, spokeswoman for the DEP, said the webinars are a part of the Department's new initiative to promote better living. The first webinar, titled "Summertime Advisories," will run a little longer than one hour. Witman said several more will follow focusing on a variety of topics.

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Government
5:38 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Rare Voices: Pittsburgh Women in Politics

Women's voices are uncommon on the Pennsylvania political scene.

In fact, the state ranks 47th in the nation in terms of female representation and participation in politics.

That's one reason photographer Martha Rial took a closer look at the political lives of three women of different generations in the region.

From them, she found that the issue of gender in politics hasn't changed much in 50 years.

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Environment
4:00 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Urban Garden Tour to Help Northside Common Ministries

Garden aficionados will get a chance to tour some North Side urban gardens Saturday June 30th while at the same time helping to fund Northside Common Ministries. The annual walk raises money to help provide food and shelter for homeless men.

The tour leaves from the group's Food Pantry and Homeless Men's Shelter and wraps up in West Park with a concert featuring local band the Whiskey Holler.

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Government
12:50 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Details of State Budget Still Murky

Senate and House Republicans released spreadsheets Tuesday afternoon detailing their negotiated $27.7 billion spending plan, and said the House Appropriations Committee would vote on the amended plan Wednesday morning, but some budget matters are still fuzzy.

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Environment
12:45 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Rural PA Residents Fight to Keep Marcellus Waste Away From Swamp

When you drill for nat­ural gas, for every gal­lon of gas pro­duced, some amount of waste­water gets cre­ated as well.

Some­times it can be sim­ple brine that can be dis­posed of in sim­ple ways, such as using it to melt snow on Pennsylvania's roads in win­ter. Or it is used to keep the dust down in summer.

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Science & Technology
9:30 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Find Historical Markers on Smartphones

History buffs and travelers alike may find the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission's newly updated mobile website useful for finding interesting sites while on the go in the state. Smartphone users can go to PATrailsofHistory.com on their mobile web browser, click "Find What's Nearby," and locate historical markers and museums in close proximity.

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Local
9:22 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Equal Opportunity Could Become a Department in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh City Councilman Ricky Burgess has introduced legislation that would elevate the Pittsburgh Equal Opportunity Review Commission to a city department. The move comes after questions surfaced over the programs success rate.

While the commission does advocate for minority inclusion on all city-funded contracts it does not track the final results. Instead, it stops after the contracts are let, rather than watching to make sure the contracts are fulfilled. Burgess introduced a separate bill outlining new quarterly and yearly reporting guidelines.

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Local
9:01 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

UPMC Bashed on Wage and Tax Issues

For the second day in a row, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has come under fire in the halls of local government. On Monday, County Controller Chelsa Wagner questioned if all of UPMC's property holdings should be exempt from property taxes. On Tuesday the Pittsburgh City Council held a special meeting to look not only at the property tax issue but also at the health care provider's pay scale.

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Health
6:21 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

UPMC Study Explores Ingesting Amniotic Fluid in Premature Mice

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Children's Hospital doctor David Hackam conducted a 34-week study on mice that could be a breakthrough for the cause, treatment, and prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis, or NEC, a disease in which the intestines die in babies born prematurely. Hackam's findings, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, show that when premature baby mice were fed amniotic fluid, it reduced the risk of NEC.

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Local
5:34 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Monroeville's Two Hospitals

Next week, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center will open a new hospital in Monroeville, bringing 156 beds and a few hundred new jobs. There's just one thing- less than a mile up the road there's already an established community hospital run by UPMC rival West Penn Allegheny Health System.

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Government
3:45 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Turzai’s Voter ID Comment Draws Democratic Fire

Democrats are pouncing on Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai's (R-Allegheny County) statement that Pennsylvania's new voter identification law will allow Mitt Romney to win the state in November's presidential election. Turzai made the statement over the weekend while he was listing legislative accomplishments to the crowd at a state Republican Party gathering in Hershey.

Democratic state Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny County) countered by saying the statement finally makes it clear why the voter ID law was passed.

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Government
2:00 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Human Service Block Grant Fight Grows in Pennsylvania

A budget tussle in Harrisburg is heating up over the fate of seven county-run human services programs that serve people with intellectual disabilities and substance abuse problems. Both the funding method and the amount of state assistance are at issue.

An original 20% cut for the human services programs became a 10% cut after budget negotiators used improving revenue reports to persuade Governor Tom Corbett to soften his earlier proposal.

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Local
10:40 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Allegheny County Controller Calls for Review of Tax-Exempt Properties

Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner is calling for a review of all tax-exempt properties, and a strengthening of requirements to be eligible for that status. Wagner says county government is losing nearly $95 million in revenue each year to property tax exemptions, and says that hurts county residents.

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Government
8:45 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Democrats Continue Fight for Education Funding

In the final days of state budget negotiations, state House Democrats aren't letting up on their push for an increase in public schools funding.

Democratic Representatives Eddie Day Pashinski of Luzerne County and James Roebuck of Philadelphia headed to the governor's office today to lobby the Corbett administration to earmark more money for public education. They had petitions containing some 15,000 signatures, but they were met at the door by Education Secretary Ron Tomalis and that was as far as they were able to get.

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Local
8:15 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Tennis Stars to Raise Money for AIDS Fight in Pittsburgh

Team tennis is coming back to Pittsburgh in October, but it will be a one-night engagement.

World TeamTennis is bringing its 20th annual fundraising event to Pittsburgh this year. Since the event's inception it has raised $10.5 million to fight AIDS and HIV. The bulk of the funds raised will go to the Elton John AIDS Foundation, but a portion will be sent to the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force.

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Transportation
5:45 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Wozniak: End Emissions Testing

State inspections could soon be a bit less expensive if a Johnstown-area lawmaker has his way. Pennsylvania State Senator John Wozniak (D-Cambria County) is co-sponsoring legislation that would exempt new cars and alternative fuel vehicles from emissions inspections for 10 years.

"It's time to update our automobile mandates to reflect reality," said Wozniak. "When emissions inspections were enacted, there were still a lot of old, polluting cars on the road. Today, nearly all cars pass the emissions test and drivers have to pay up to $50 to be told what they already know."

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Local
4:02 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

South Side Market House's First Floor Opens

As "Sweet Home Alabama" played in the background, some of Pittsburgh's senior citizens line up for lunch and coffee Monday in the newly renovated South Side Market House. The facility has been closed for 15 months for renovations. Activities like this were moved to the Brashear Association's location on Sarah Street while renovations were underway.

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Economy & Business
4:00 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Advocacy Group For Homeless Veterans Asking Government For More Help

Monday, June 25, 2012

An estimated 150,000 American veterans are homeless or become homeless upon returning from overseas, and an advocacy group said the government is not doing enough to alleviate the issue. The Circle of Friends for American Veterans (COFAV) reported 150,000 are without shelter with only 1/10 of 1% of the Department of Veteran Affairs’ (VA) $130 billion budget supporting homeless veterans.

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