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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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Economy
5:15 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

New Leader For SMC Business Councils

Steve Shivak has been named the new president of the SMC Business Councils after a three-month search that included reviewing about 20 candidates. Shivak succeeds Tom Henschke, who resigned in late March. Shivak, who will be SMC's fifth president, said he is eager to work with the 60-year-old Pittsburgh-based organization that helps Pennsylvania businesses grow.

"My role is to take that storied history and bring it back so that whether you're a small business or you're a manufacturer you'll look to SMC to help you succeed," Shivak said.

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Transportation
4:00 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

Pennsylvania Legislature Passes Bill Eliminating PAT “Monopoly”

A local lawmaker's push to allow mass transportation providers easier access to Allegheny County has made it to the governor. House Bill 10 passed the Pennsylvania Senate Tuesday on a 27-21 vote. The same measure moved out of the House on a 118-81 vote last year.

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Local
10:46 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Gibsonia Family Receives Free Accessible Van

It looks almost like any other silver family van, but open the doors to the Guerino family's new ride and you'll find a few special features.

There's a ramp that unfolds when the back door slides open, and a pair of latches inside can lock in two powered wheelchairs: one for Gary Guerino, who has multiple sclerosis, and one for his sixteen-year-old daughter Miranda, who had a stroke while in the womb.

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Local
8:00 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Jury Selection Begins in Sandusky Trial

Connections to Penn State weren't enough to keep prospective jurors from being chosen to decide Jerry Sandusky's fate on child sexual abuse charges.

The start of jury selection Tuesday showed the strength of Sandusky's and Penn State's links to their rural central Pennsylvania community, but the presiding judge indicated that those connections weren't necessarily enough to keep them from being one of the 12 jurors or four alternates.

Nine jurors were selected Tuesday, including a longtime Penn State football season ticketholder.

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Science & Technology
8:00 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

County, City Controllers Launch Review of Steam Provider

The city of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County have purchased steam from Pittsburgh Allegheny County Thermal (PACT) for nearly three decades. The latest 10 year lease is up this summer, so in the interest of making sure the city and county are getting the best deal, County Controller Chelsa Wagner and City Controller Michael Lamb want to do a review of how PACT operates.

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Science & Technology
8:00 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Councilman Wants Inventory of County-Owned Natural Gas

An Allegheny County Councilman would like to know how much natural gas lies beneath the county's park system, and exactly how much money that gas is worth.

Councilman Matt Drozd (R-District 1) has introduced legislation calling for an inventory of the county's mineral resources, especially regarding the Marcellus Shale gas formation.

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Science & Technology
7:15 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Corbett Offers Tax Break to Shell

In March, Shell Oil announced it was considering building a multi-billion dollar processing plant in Pennsylvania. Governor Tom Corbett wants to give Shell a $1.7 billion tax break to convince the energy giant to build an ethane cracker plant in Beaver County that would be used to convert natural gas compounds into chemicals used to make plastic.

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Government
7:00 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Pennsylvania Lawmakers Seek to Sever Ties with Companies that Do Business with Iran

State Senator Mike Stack (D-Philadelphia) and Representative Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny) have introduced legislation aimed at breaking financial ties with companies that do business with Iran. Stack's Senate Bill 1543 and Frankel's House Bill 2427 would specifically go after businesses with direct investment in Iran's energy sector and bar them from bidding on Pennsylvania state contracts.

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Local
6:45 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Senator Costa Looks For Lottery Control

Democratic members of the Pennsylvania Senate are trying to get out in front of the Governor's office when it comes to privatizing the state's lottery system. Earlier this year Gov. Tom Corbett indicated that he might be looking to sign a contract with a private company to handle the day-to-day management of the lottery.

Senator Jay Costa (D-Allegheny County) has introduced legislation that he hopes will put safeguards in place to make sure there is enough cash flow to protect lottery-funded programs serving senior citizens.

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Local
6:00 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Proposed Legislation Changes Charter School Funding

Legislation introduced in the state House aims to increase accountability and transparency in the funding of charter schools in Pennsylvania.

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Local
5:45 pm
Tue June 5, 2012

Fitzgerald Supports Pay Stoppage for Reassessment Contractor

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald says it's appropriate for County Controller Chelsa Wagner to withhold pay from Tyler Technologies while she conducts an audit of the company's Countywide reassessment of property values.

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Local
9:00 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Property Reassessment Contractor Threatens to ‘Step Away'

The Texas-based company hired by Allegheny County to reassess countywide property values may walk off the job, because it hasn't been paid in months.

"We may have to step away from the reassessment without finishing the process because we haven't been paid since December," said Wesley Graham of Tyler Technologies, at a reassessment court hearing. Graham said County Controller Chelsa Wagner won't authorize payments, although the county administration has budgeted them.

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Local
8:45 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Nonprofit Wants Tweaks for Some Property Reassessments

A Pittsburgh nonprofit is asking an Allegheny County judge to order "tweaks" to the county's property reassessment, in order to make the process more equitable between affluent areas and poor communities.

The Community Justice Project (CJP) argued poor neighborhoods were given disproportionate property value increases in the reassessment. The group wants Common Pleas Judge R. Stanton Wettick to write an order that would force the county's reassessment contractor to lower the new property values in those areas.

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Economy
8:45 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Highmark Names New CEO

William Winkenwerder, M.D. will be the new president and CEO of Highmark starting in July. Winkenwerder was Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs from 2001 to 2007, where he led the Military Health System's 132,000 personnel and served as the principal medical advisor to Secretaries of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates. Most recently, he founded and led a health care consulting firm in Alexandria, Virginia.

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Government
7:00 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Orie Sentenced to Up to 10 Years in Prison in Corruption Case

Former Pennsylvania Senator Jane Orie has been sentenced to serve between 2 and a half to 10 years in prison. The Republican from McCandless was convicted in March of using her legislative staff to do campaign work, and for forging documents to cover up the criminal activity.

The judge will decide within the next 30 days what monetary penalty Orie must pay. That number could go as high as $2 million in legal fees and restitution to the state.

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Transportation
6:25 pm
Mon June 4, 2012

Alternative Fuels Education Day in Harrisburg

Representatives of Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future (PennFuture), the PennFuture Energy Center and alternative fuels businesses gathered in Harrisburg today to host Alternative Fuels Education Day. The event included exhibits and presentations in the capitol building's East Wing Rotunda, while electric, natural gas, and biodiesel vehicles were parked outside on Commonwealth Avenue.

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