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Health
7:00 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Rate of Preventable Hospitalizations Falls in Pennsylvania

Some hospital visits are inevitable, but many are preventable. Over the past decade, potentially preventable hospitalizations have declined in the commonwealth. The most recent report [PDF] from the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4) tracked 12 conditions and found that in the last ten years the rate of potentially preventable hospitalizations dropped from 231 per 100,000 residents in 2001 to 186.9 per 100,000 in 2010.

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Health
7:00 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Medicaid Changes Have Providers Pulling Teeth

Marcia Esters lives in a Hazelwood high-rise. As the result of a spinal congenital disorder that was compounded by a workplace accident, she gets around in a motorized wheelchair.

Last fall, she went to her dentist. He told her she needed crowns fused to six of her bottom teeth and her top dentures were wearing out, and because of changes made to Medicaid in the last fiscal budget, the care she needed wouldn't be covered. She would have to pay out of pocket.

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Transportation
7:00 am
Mon June 11, 2012

Portion of the Monongahela to Be Closed Intermittently Starting Today

All this week, the Monongahela Lock and Dam 4 at Charleroi will be closed periodically as crews install massive panels on the lower river guard walls.

"It's going to cause some delays with river traffic, but it won't be closed the entire time. There will just be intermittent closures. Any recreational boaters should expect delays as commercial vessels will have priority during that time," said Dan Jones, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

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Science & Technology
12:50 pm
Sat June 9, 2012

Penn State Astronomers Measure Binary Star System

A team of researchers from Penn State University has made precise measurements of a binary star system 200 light-years away.

The Kepler-16 system was discovered in 2011 by a team from NASA, but the Penn State study is the first to discern the light output from each of the two small stars using a spectrograph.

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Government
8:30 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

Commission Okays New Redistricting Map For Pennsylvania House & Senate

The five-member Legislative Reapportionment Commission this afternoon approved a second plan to redraw the legislative districts in the commonwealth.

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Arts
7:30 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

Carnegie Library Summer Reading Extravaganza Sunday

The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is kicking off its 12th annual Summer Reading Extravaganza this Sunday in Oakland from noon to 5:00 PM.

There will be a giant slide, puppet shows, music, plays, belly dancing, story times and wild animals, all to encourage children, teens, and adults to keep reading and learning during the summer months.

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Government
7:30 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority Management Contracted Out

The Board of the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) selected Veolia Water North America to provide Executive Management services to the Authority for twelve months with a possible six-month extension.

Jim Good will serve as the PWSA's Executive Director and fill the 18-month vacancy left by the resignation of Michael Kenney in 2010. Another Veolia executive, Doug Amos, will serve as Study Manager for PWSA.

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Government
7:00 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

Secretary Of The Air Force Visits 911th Airlift Wing

The Secretary of the Air Force, Michael Donley, visited the 911th Airlift Wing Thursday to meet with senior and civic leaders who lobbied him to keep the base open. While there he thanked the airmen for their contributions to national security and continuing focus on their mission.

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Government
6:30 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

Governor Corbett Holding Private Budget Meetings With Republicans

Budget talks continue in Harrisburg among legislative leaders and the governor. However, those negotiations are happening behind closed doors and without the input of Democrats. Gov. Tom Corbett has not avoided the fact that budget talks have been a Republicans-only affair so far.

"This, it has to be passed by a majority. The Republicans are in the majority in both houses. The discussions that the Democrats have put out there is that they want to continue to spend and at least I have the Republicans trying to save money in some areas," Corbett explained.

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Local
5:00 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

Pittsburgh Police Open Up Dialogue With Youth

Decreasing the number of African-American and Latino youth arrests in the Pittsburgh region was the focus of a forum today. About 100 law enforcement officials, community leaders and youth gathered at Duquesne University to brainstorm solutions to reduce the number of minorities having run-ins with the law and ending up in the justice system, which could become life-long baggage.

Allegheny County Juvenile Court Judge Kim Clark said the forum is a good starting point.

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Government
2:50 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

House Lawmakers Approve So-Called Payday Loan Regulations

The lending industry calls them small-dollar loans. Opponents call them payday loans. State House lawmakers approved a measure to regulate and expand the short term loan industry in the commonwealth.

Such loans tend to be issued with a two-week payback period, and they often come with high interest and fees. The small loans tend to be taken out for a couple weeks at a time, and they often come with high interest rates and fees.

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Local
1:40 am
Fri June 8, 2012

NAACP Head Addresses Pitt's Center on Race and Social Problems

Pitt's Center on Race and Social Problems celebrated its 10th anniversary Thursday evening with a keynote address by Benjamin Jealous, President and CEO of the NAACP, titled "Trayvon Martin: Racial Profiling and the Urgent Need to Heal America."

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Local
7:30 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

New Barns Added at Meadows Racetrack as Part of $6.25 Million Investment

In what racetrack operators call the largest capital investment at the Meadows in 50 years, five new barns have been built. Other improvements include a new race paddock, paved roads and upgrades to existing barns.

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Local
6:00 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

Pennsylvania to Borrow to Pay Off Unemployment Bill

Pennsylvania has been borrowing money from the federal government to pay out unemployment compensation claims since 2009, and has run up a nearly $4 billion tab.

The commonwealth is finally paying off its debt. It's effectively refinancing a mortgage — or using a second credit card — to foot the bill.

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Local
5:45 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

Parking Authority Inks New Meter Deal

The Pittsburgh Parking Authority has chosen a Swedish company to install a new pay-by-license parking meter system. The move is part of the Authority's effort to modernize and streamline its entire parking monetization effort.

Cale America, Inc. has received the contract. The Florida-based subsidiary of Cale Group has more than 11,000 meters installed in better than 125 cities throughout the U.S.

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Science & Technology
4:24 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

Panel Discusses Tapping Into Marcellus Shale

Businesses from the Pittsburgh region looking to break into the Marcellus Shale industry today received some advice from a panel featuring a keynote speaker from Shell Oil Company. Hosted by the Rotary Club of Pittsburgh, the presentation served as an informational session on how non-drilling companies can take advantage of the natural gas trapped in the rock formation underneath much of Pennsylvania's surface.

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Local
2:55 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

RAD Board Predicts Significant Funding for Special Projects

When sales tax revenue deflates, the Allegheny Regional Asset District is only able to fund day-to-day operations of organizations that qualify as assets, but that's not the case this year. With county revenue through May coming in 5.8% higher than last year, RAD's already planning to give at least $840,000 in capital grants for special projects in 2013.

"This will allow assets … to ask for funds to make repairs to buildings, make accessibility improvements, and so on, in addition to their operating support," RAD executive director David Donahoe said.

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Health
10:14 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Panel Discusses LGBT Health Problems

Public health experts from the University of Pittsburgh met in Oakland Wednesday to discuss health problems facing gays, lesbians, and other sexual minorities.

According to Pitt's Center for LGBT Health, sexual minorities are often more likely to develop certain cancers than heterosexuals. For example, Pitt assistant professor of psychiatry Dr. Tom Mills said lesbians haven't been proven to have higher rates of breast cancer, but that's probably the case.

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Science & Technology
9:45 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

New Community Collaboration to Focus Attention on Science and Math for Kids

Jobs in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields are growing at a much faster pace than the overall job market, but many people balk at the mention of math or science. Others think there's a "math gene." To combat negative attitudes toward STEM and the notion that you're born mathematically or scientifically inclined, the Carnegie Science Center, the Math and Science Collaborative, FedEx Ground, and WTAE TV have launched a community awareness campaign called "Math + Science = Success."

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Local
9:30 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Old Iron City Brewery Redevelopment Plan

The Lawrenceville Corporation and Collier Development have agreed to engage in a master planning process to redevelop the 10-acre Iron City Brewery location on Liberty Avenue. The site, owned by Collier Development, has been unoccupied since production was moved to Latrobe, PA in 2009.

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Local
9:26 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Sandusky Jury Selected

A jury dominated by people with Penn State loyalties was selected Wednesday to decide Jerry Sandusky's fate in the child sexual abuse scandal that rocked the university and led to football coach Joe Paterno's downfall.

The seven women and five men who will hear opening statements on Monday include an engineering administrative assistant at Penn State, a dance teacher in the continuing education program and a professor who has been on the faculty for 24 years.

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Government
9:25 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Committee Passes Bill to Change County Weights & Measures Oversight

A committee of Allegheny County Council has given an affirmative recommendation to a bill that would transfer the Weights & Measures Division from the Controller's office to the administration. The bill now heads to the full Council for a final vote.

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Local
7:50 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

PA Libraries to Join in Effort to Get All Voters IDs

The Pennsylvania Department of State and The Pennsylvania Library Association are joining forces. All 632 libraries across the commonwealth will provide information for patrons about the new voter ID law that will require all voters to provide a photo ID issued from PENNDOT, in an effort to curb voter fraud.

The law allows for people who don't have a photo ID to get one for free from The Department of Motor Vehicles.

If, in November, a voter shows up to vote without the proper ID, they'll be able to vote using a provisional ballot.

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Local
6:15 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Sandusky Jury Box Full, Three More Alternates Still Needed

A jury was selected Wednesday in the child molestation scandal that brought down Joe Paterno, and the makeup of the panel left no doubt this is Penn State country.

The seven women and five men who will hear opening statements on Monday in the case against former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky include an engineering administrative assistant at Penn State, a dance teacher in the school's continuing education program and a professor who has been on the faculty for 24 years.

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Local
6:15 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Big Players Weigh in on DPW Block Grant Idea

The group representing Pennsylvania's county commissioners has signed on to a plan changing the way the state delivers health care funding to counties. The change is key to selling Governor Tom Cobett's 12-13 budget spending plan.

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