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Local
8:00 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Metcalfe: Limit Providers that Get Public Health Dollars

Health care providers in Pennsylvania would be unable to receive public dollars if they perform abortions under a Republican state lawmaker's proposal introduced today. Representative Daryl Metcalfe (R-Butler County) is singling out Planned Parenthood in particular as one of the largest providers of abortion services that he wants to defund.

"They're utilizing taxpayer subsidies for their window dressing and as their public relations funding arm, and that's what needs to come to an end," said Metcalf.

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Local
7:30 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Hundreds March in Opposition to Governor’s Education Cuts; Several Arrested

Amid chants of "Hey Corbett, you can't hide, we can see your greedy side," hundreds of protesters marched from the United Steelworkers building in downtown Pittsburgh to Governor Tom Corbett's regional office on Fifth Avenue. They were pulling a large wheeled sign that read, "Save our Schools," and were calling on the governor to back off of proposed cuts to public education.

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Environment
5:53 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Phipps ‘Living Building’ to Open Soon

Phipps Conservatory is almost ready to open a structure that will likely be the greenest of Pittsburgh's many green buildings.

The Center for Sustainable Landscapes was designed to meet a standard called the "Living Building Challenge," in which a building's environmental impact is reduced to as close to zero as possible. To that end, the new office building will produce all of its own energy, and provide all of its own water using rainfall and aquifers.

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Economy
5:41 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

United Way of Allegheny County Surprises Nation With Campaign Total

United Way of Allegheny County announced they have raised more than $32.3 million in the 2011 annual campaign. That is a 1.6% increase from last year. The total exceeded their goal of surpassing the $31.8 million raised the previous year.

Campaign co-chairs David J. Malone, President and Chief Executive Officer of Gateway Financial Group, and Art Rooney II, President of the Pittsburgh Steelers, revealed the total at the Annual Campaign Celebration this week.

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Transportation
3:00 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Parkway West Traffic Ranks Among U.S.'s Worst

Even the most "livable" city has its problems. The Parkway West's (I-376) stretch from Green Tree to the Fort Pitt Tunnel is the ninth worst traffic corridor in the nation according to the National INRIX Traffic Scorecard.

Of the 162 corridors INRIX evaluated across the country, Pittsburgh's problem area is the only one outside of New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco to make the worst-10 list.

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Local
2:50 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

Pennsylvania Attorney General Arrests Senior Fraud Artists

The Pennsylvania Attorney General's office is charging four southeastern Pennsylvania men with leading a financial fraud scheme targeting seniors throughout the state.

"There are a number of different forms of contact but most of it we believe was simply cold calls, just approaching seniors directly in their home, to see if they were interested in buying these services," said AG Spokesperson Nils Frederiksen.

The services and goods offered allegedly included shopping assistance, personal organizer services, bogus safety equipment and fraudulent insurance.

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Local
1:00 pm
Wed May 23, 2012

City Council Honors Sudanese Activist

Pittsburgh City Council has given honors to a Sudanese women's rights activist who was recently released from government custody.

While accepting Council's proclamation on Tuesday, Hawa Abdullah Salih explained in a thick accent why she first became an activist.

"The Sudan government has destroyed and bombing my village. Immediate my family, more than 100, they was been killed in the same times, and after that we were forced to live in Abu Showk as refugees camps in Darfur, since 2003," said Salih.

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Local
7:40 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Survey Finds School Districts Ready to Cut

More than half of the Pennsylvania school districts that responded to a recent survey expect to scale back their offerings next year in response to having less money to spend.

The third annual survey [PDF] conducted by the Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials and the Pennsylvania Association of School Administrators was released this week in Harrisburg.

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Economy
7:00 am
Wed May 23, 2012

‘Loan Shark’ House Bill Chewed Out by City Council

Pittsburgh City Council is denouncing a state House bill to allow high-interest payday loans in Pennsylvania.

Council unanimously passed a resolution against HB 2191 on Tuesday, saying the bill would "trap borrowers in debt."

Councilwoman Natalia Rudiak wrote the Will of Council. She said HB 2191 would not only increase interest rate caps from 24% to as high as 680%, but it would also codify "balloon payments."

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Economy
8:30 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

$3 Million Offering from Pittsburgh Nonprofits ‘Not Sufficient’

A bill in Pittsburgh City Council would authorize about $3 million in voluntary payments from a group of the city's largest nonprofit organizations, but the legislation's sponsor really wants the nonprofits to pay three or four times that amount.

The group of nonprofits is offering the funds in an effort to offset some of the costs incurred by the city that cannot be recovered because group members are exempt from real estate taxes.

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Health
8:00 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Allegheny General Hospital Announces First-of-its-Kind Therapy for Single-Sided Deafness

Several years ago Paul Getsy woke up and went to work like any other normal day. He put on a headset and thought the right ear had stopped working, only to discover it was actually his ear that wasn't working. Getsy suffered what's called sudden sensorineural hearing loss. That's a fast, frequently one-sided and often uncorrectable hearing loss that occurs when there is damage to the inner ear. A steroid treatment didn't work, and traditional hearing aids don't do much for people with this type of hearing loss.

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Government
5:38 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Frankel Announces Package of Bills to Lessen “Damaging Effects” of New PA Voter ID Law

Even as Pennsylvania's Voter ID law goes through legal challenges, one lawmaker is introducing a package of bills aimed at "fixing" parts of the bill. The so-called "Every Voter Counts" package contains three parts. The first part would create an online voter registration system. The second would require the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to use new technology and mobile outreach to help registered voters obtain needed photo identification.

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Local
4:51 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

Are School Districts Keeping Money In Reserve While Asking For More State Funding?

State House lawmakers are blasting school districts for keeping millions of dollars in reserve while education advocates lobby for more state funding. Representative Mike Vereb (R-Montgomery County) is singling out the five school districts with the highest fund balances.

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Health
4:16 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

US Study Shows Screening Is Effective At Preventing Colorectal Cancer, Reducing Mortality

Screening for colorectal cancer has shown to be effective and decrease the likelihood of death caused by colon cancer, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. University of Pittsburgh Professor of Medicine Dr. Robert Schoen, the lead author, said that the screening exam was not a full-blown colonoscopy.

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Local
3:40 pm
Tue May 22, 2012

House Budget Vote Nears

State House lawmakers are moving forward with a budget proposal and plan to vote during the first week of June.

Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee Monday approved a spending plan that caps spending for 2013 at $27.6 billion dollars, a ceiling minority Democrats object to as being too low.

In a session that lasted hours, Republicans voted down a series of Democratic amendments that would have shielded some educational and social services programs from further cuts.

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Local
8:30 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

New Partnership Aims to Market Pittsburgh Universities Around the Globe

The U.S. Commercial Service, part of the Commerce Department, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with GlobalPittsburgh and its parent organization, the National Countil for International Visitors. The goal is to draw more attention to an export market that sometimes goes unnoticed.

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Government
8:30 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Orie Resignation Leads to Special Election

The criminal conviction and resignation of Republican state Senator Jane Orie leave a political void in the North Hills, with the GOP and Democrats both rushing to fill it.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of State, a special election must be held by mid-August for the 40th Senate District.

Republican Committee of Allegheny County Chairman Jim Roddey said he's confident about his party's chances this summer.

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Local
8:10 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Duquesne Junior High Students Likely To Be Sent To Other Districts

7th and 8th grade students in the Duquesne City School District and their parents will have a big decision to make over the next week and a half. Parents were called and students were informed through an assembly Monday afternoon that children entering the 7th and 8th grades in the fall will be sent to either the East Allegheny or West Mifflin School Districts. The possibility of such a change has been discussed at board meetings since last fall.

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Local
7:35 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese Moves on Suit Against Health Care Mandate

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh was joined Monday by a pair of associated agencies in filing suit in federal court asking a judge to overturn a portion of the soon-to-be implemented Affordable Care Act. The Diocese, along with the Catholic Cemeteries Association and Catholic Charities, is asking to have the portion of the Act that would force insurance providers to offer contraceptive drugs and procedures for free stricken from the law.

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Local
7:00 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Pre-Memorial Day Celebration Honors Vets

One of the region's veterans will be named the winner of the inaugural First Class Patriot Achievement Award at the Saluting Service celebration Tuesday at the Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall in Oakland.

23 of Western Pennsylvania's veterans have been nominated for the honor. The award, created and presented by the Financial Planning Association of Pittsburgh (FPA), serves to acknowledge past or present community service by Western Pennsylvania veterans of any U.S. military branch.

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Local
12:24 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Senator Orie Submits Resignation

Western Pennsylvania state Senator Jane Orie is stepping down from her seat in the wake of her conviction earlier this year on charges she used her taxpayer-funded staff for political work.

The letter to Senate President Joe Scarnati obtained by The Associated Press says Orie's resignation is effective today.

Orie calls it "an honor and a privilege" to have served in the state Senate in the two sentence letter dated Friday.

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Arts
10:30 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Kevin McMahon

Josh Raulerson covers the highbrow-lowbrow split with Pittsburgh Cultural Trust President & CEO Kevin McMahon.

McMahon recommends:

Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child, Gideon's Corpse

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Health
7:00 am
Mon May 21, 2012

UPMC Ultrasound Technique Could Lead to Better Pacemaker Placement

A special type of cardiac ultrasound developed at UPMC allows doctors to pinpoint the placement of pacemaker wires on the heart, according to a recent study from the hospital system.

Principal investigator Dr. Samir Saba said the speckle tracking echo technique improves upon doctors' methods of placing the left ventricular wires for biventricular pacemakers.

Well, it would improve the current technique if there were any standard method of placing those wires.

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Local
7:00 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Salvation Army Sends Hundreds to Harrisburg

As budget debates heat up in Harrisburg, the Salvation Army is sending hundreds of staff members to the capitol to gently remind lawmakers about the work the organization does statewide.

"A lot of them may not realize the true impact that we have, specifically on the constituents in their district and the true needs that have been increasing over the past couple of years," said Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations Sara Swaney, who works for the Salvation Army's Western Pennsylvania Division.

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Local
7:00 am
Mon May 21, 2012

Kayak Pittsburgh Expanding into Millvale

Boat rentals will continue at Millvale's Riverfront Park, but through a new operator. Venture Outdoors, a Pittsburgh area non-profit that makes "it easy for you to get outside," is taking over boat rentals there starting Memorial Day weekend.

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