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Local
10:29 am
Thu September 27, 2012

Penn State Officials Lose Pretrial Motion on Perjury

Two weeks before former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky is expected to be sentenced on child molestation charges, a county judge determined that perjury charges should remain in place against two university administrators.

Dauphin County Judge Todd Hoover ruled Wednesday against former Vice President Gary Schultz and Athletic Director Tim Curley on the felony perjury charge they both face, but he didn't decide on a separate request to throw out the other charge — failure to report suspected child abuse.

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Election
7:03 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Polls in PA Show Romney Trailing Obama

President Obama is showing a solid lead in two polls of registered Pennsylvania voters.  A Franklin and Marshall College poll shows a gap of 11 points between Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney among likely Pennsylvania voters.

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Government
6:53 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Revenues, Jobs Up At PA Casinos

Tax revenues from  the 11 casinos in Pennsylvania jumped 10% in the last fiscal year.  The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board released its 2011-2012 Annual Report which highlights the continued growth of licensed gaming iin the commonwealth between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012.  

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Education
6:47 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

African American Historical Convention To Be Held In Pittsburgh

African American Women in Culture and History is the theme for this year's convention of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH) in Pittsburgh. 

The organization, which created Black History Month, will hold its 97th annual convention at the Westin Convention Center Hotel downtown from Wednesday through Sunday, September 26-30.

Sylvia Cyrus, ASALH Executive Director, says the conference will honor the impact of African American women on the black community and the nation as a whole.

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Economy
6:29 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Job Growth Slows, But Up Overall in Recent Years

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Jobs grew by 1.1% in the Pittsburgh region over the last 12 months, but that figure is below the 1.3%  growth average of 15 benchmark cities.

Douglas Heuck, Director of Pittsburgh Today, says Pittsburgh is breaking its pattern of being at the bottom of the list.   Over the past four years, Pittsburgh is the only one of the 15 regions that reported growth in jobs.  The others all had a net loss over that period.

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Government
5:07 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Council Members Want to Change City Contracting Practices

Pittsburgh City Council soon will be discussing legislation to forge a citywide policy for hiring contractors, with an eye on normalizing the patchwork of policies used by Pittsburgh's authorities and departments. The goal is to encourage more bids from local firms, especially those owned by women, minorities and veterans.

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Education
4:47 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Social Network Model Reveals Global Food Trade Patterns Tied to Food Safety Standards

Food safety regulations can determine which countries trade corn with one another. That’s according to a new study by the University of Pittsburgh that used social network modeling to determine global trade patterns. Lead Author and Pitt Associate Professor Felicia Wu said it began with looking at the way countries regulate the contaminate aflatoxin, which grows on corn.

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Government
1:38 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Rally Calls For End To Human Trafficking

State lawmakers and human rights advocates rallied Tuesday at the state capitol in support of legislation aimed at putting an end to modern-day slavery.

Human trafficking is the second most pervasive crime in the world, behind drug trafficking. 

Under Senate Bill 388 and its companion, House Bill 235, the Human Trafficking Resource Center Hotline number must be placed prominently in certain establishments and locations.

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Transportation
1:08 pm
Wed September 26, 2012

Fancourt Bridge to Close

As of Thursday night the Francourt Bridge will be closed for long-term repairs, according to PennDOT District 11. The bridge carries the ramps from Fort Duquesne Blvd. to I-376.

Crews will be removing and replacing the superstructure, bridge deck, beams, bearing, and approach slabs during reconstruction.

Work will also be done on the walls adjacent to the bridge along the 10th Street Bypass.

Ramps from eastbound I-376 and southbound I-279 to the 10th Street Bypass will also close. According to PennDOT, the closures are necessary for work on the Fancourt Bridge.

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Economy
10:29 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Dozens Lobby City Council for 'Ban the Box' Legislation

Several dozen people gathered in Pittsburgh City Council Chambers Tuesday morning to demand that The Council pass a bill commonly known as "ban the box" legislation.

The bill would prohibit any criminal background inquiries on initial job applications for both public and private employers in the city, deferring those questions until the interview process. The measure was introduced last year by Council Finance Chair Ricky Burgess, but it is still awaiting a legal opinion from the city law department.

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Government
7:50 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Reported Crimes in Pennsylvania Decreased in 2011

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The overall number of crimes in the commonwealth dropped .7 percent in 2011, while violent crimes declined .9 percent and were at their lowest rate since 2003. The data comes from crimes reported to the State Police through the Uniform Crime Reporting System.

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Government
6:37 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

State Makes New Offers in Court to Move Voter ID Forward

At a court hearing Tuesday, Pennsylvania state officials once again produced an 11th-hour attempt to salvage a new law requiring all voters to show a particular kind of photo ID at the polls this November.

A senior Department of Transportation official, Kurt Myers, testified in Commonwealth Court that a newly streamlined process for get a voting-only photo ID card from the state was finalized Monday night in an effort to satisfy a week-old Supreme Court decision. The new process was supposed to become effective Tuesday morning.

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Government
6:25 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Labor Calls For Passage of Renewable Tax Credit

Ryan Motel was furloughed this year from his job making turbine parts at a Gamesa plant in Ebensburg Pennsylvania when demand for the company’s product slipped.  In all 73 workers from that plant and 165 Gamesa workers in Pennsylvania were sent home.  While Motel said the company did not tell him directly that the slowdown was a result of congress not taking action on the renewable electricity production tax credit, he said “[Gamesa] beat around the bush, that’s what it was.”

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Arts
6:17 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

This Week is Banned Books Week

Short films about banned books, a theater performance of The Wizard of Oz, and notable Pittsburghers reading from censored works will highlight Pittsburgh’s 17th Banned Books Week.

The ACLU of Greater Pittsburgh, in conjunction with the Carnegie Library and WYEP, is hosting “FREADom” on Thursday  to celebrate free expression in art and literature.  

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Government
2:00 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Pittsburgh Office Slow in Processing Veterans' Disabilities Claims

For more than two years, former Marine gunnery sergeant Matt Hannan has waited for a ruling on whether he is entitled to disability payments for PTSD.

The 35-year-old New Kensington resident said he filed the claim with the Veterans Benefits Administration before he was medically discharged in 2010, following 15 years of service and two tours of duty in Iraq. “Everytime I try to get an answer, I get no answer,” he said.

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Government
1:45 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Rendell Gives Mock Praise to Turzai

The state’s former governor is sweeping through Harrisburg to offer some mocking praise to the state House Majority Leader for a now-famous comment made in June.

On the eve of the state’s voter ID law’s second hearing in Commonwealth Court, Ed Rendell said it’s obvious the law was not passed to prevent voter fraud.

For that clarity, said the former governor, Pennsylvanians can thank the top Republican in the state House.

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Local
1:40 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Voter ID Goes Before Judge... Again

Pennsylvania’s voter ID law is heading back to the same Commonwealth Court judge who refused to block it last month.

Judge Robert Simpson will consider new information to help answer the question of whether or not the photo identification requirement at the polls is being implemented well enough that no voters will be denied their right to cast ballots.

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Government
7:35 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Medical Assistance Redetermination Process Frustrates Workers and Recipients; Produces Churn

Eva Bednar’s 44-year-old son Andrew is an epileptic, he has been diagnosed with intermitent explosive disorder and he is borderline intellectually disabled.  This summer he was one of thousands of adults who the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare cut from its medical assistance program for the poor and disabled.

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Transportation
7:35 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Electric Car Charging Station Now Open At Station Square

The next time you find yourself dining or shopping at Station Square on Pittsburgh's South Side and your electric car needs a charge, you don't have to worry about getting home.

Forest City Enterprises, the company which owns Station Square, has partnered with Car Charging Group (CCG) to install an electric car charging station that is now operational.  This is the latest car charging center in the Pittsburgh area. There are plug-in stations at some Giant Eagle supermarkets, UPMC hospitals as well as Whole Foods in Wexford.

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Health
7:35 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Profits for Pennsylvania’s Ambulatory Surgery Centers Up Slightly in 2011

Ambulatory Surgery Centers (ASCs) did slightly better in 2011 than they did in 2010 according to the Pennsylvania Healthcare Cost Containment Council (PHC4). An ASC is a facility that individuals visit for outpatient procedures, rather than going into a hospital. These are procedures that don’t require an overnight stay, such as a colonoscopy or endoscopy.

The financial margins for such facilities rose to 25.19% in fiscal year 2011, compared to 24.99% in fiscal 2010.

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Government
1:35 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Former Pennsylvania Governor Sings Praise For House Majority Leader

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On the eve of the state’s Voter ID law’s second hearing in Commonwealth Court, Ed Rendell said it is obvious the law was not passed to prevent voter fraud. The former governor also said Pennsylvanians should be grateful of House Majority Leader Mike Turzai for comments he made about the Voter ID law last June.

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Government
10:07 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

City Council Holds Information Gathering Session on Strip District Development

Stakeholders met in Pittsburgh Council chambers Monday to try and answer questions posed by council members about the proposed “Riverfront Landing” development by Buncher Co. in the Strip District.

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Health
8:35 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Study Shows More Antibiotics Prescribed To Elderly Patients In The South

Elderly patients in the southern states might need to be more cautious when it comes to their medications.  A recent study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh shows doctors are more likely to prescribe antibiotics to older patients in the south than any other region in the United States.

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Transportation
8:30 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Smart Signals Cut Pollution and Travel Time

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say they have been able to reduce travel time through an area of Pittsburgh's East Liberty neighborhood by 26-percent and reduce car emissions by 20-percent through the installation of a smart signal system.  The project is part of the Traffic 21 Initiative looking at the place where traffic management and information management collide.

The project spent a little more than $150,000 to add video cameras and other technology to nine intersections around the Target store near Penn Circle in East Liberty.

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Government
6:44 pm
Mon September 24, 2012

Open House for Minority, Women and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise

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Women and minority business owners can receive some tips on how to better compete for government contracts.

Allegheny County’s Department of Minority, Women and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (MWDBE) will host its ninth annual Open House tomorrow evening from 5:30 to 7:30 in the Liberty Room of the Human Services Building at One Smithfield Street downtown.  

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