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Economy
7:00 am
Mon May 14, 2012

Are Pennsylvania Corporate Tax Rates Too High?

Many business leaders believe Pennsylvania's regulatory and tax policies make it a poor place to do business, according to a survey of 650 CEOs across America.

A recent ChiefExecutive.net survey shows Pennsylvania scored fairly well in the "Workforce Quality" and "Living Environment" categories, but lagged badly in the "Taxation and Regulations" section.

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Economy
8:10 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

May 11 Proclaimed “Travel and Tourism Day” in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl joined Visit Pittsburgh in declaring May 11 Travel and Tourism Day, though Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald went a step further and declared the week of May 5-13 as Tourism Week, to coincide with National Tourism Week.

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Local
6:45 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

B-PEP Decries Black-on-Black Shootings

The Black Political Empowerment Project (B-PEP) gathered together with other organizations and community leaders this week to decry the recent spate of shootings in the African American community in and around Pittsburgh.

"We as a people are killing ourselves," said B-PEP Chairman Tim Stevens. "We're killing ourselves, we're killing our families, we're killing our youth, we are indeed killing our future."

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Transportation
6:30 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Steps in Place to Avoid North Shore Connector Delays this Weekend

Port Authority CEO Steve Bland issued a personal apology to all riders who were affected by last weekend's North Shore Connector Delays.

"Without a doubt everyone at Port Authority, from our rail operators to our operations management, from myself and our board of directors, think that was inexcusable and cannot be allowed happen again," he said.

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Local
1:00 pm
Fri May 11, 2012

Susquehanna River Basin Commission Hears Public Comment on Water Withdrawal Permits

The agency that vets applications from energy companies to pull water from the Susquehanna River Basin is hearing public comment on its next steps.

Environmental advocates and anti-drilling activists are asking the Susquehanna River Basin Commission (SRBC) to reject the latest requests from natural gas drilling companies to siphon water for hydrofracking purposes, or at least delay approving those applications until the SRBC has revised its overall water usage guidelines.

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Local
10:18 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Bill Would Boost State Police Numbers

Funding woes and waves of retirements have thinned the ranks of the State Police, so lawmakers are hoping to spur new hires by setting up a sort of rent-a-trooper program with municipalities.

The state Senate proposal in question would let municipalities contract directly with the state police if they have no police force of their own. Backers say it would allow local governments to rest easy, knowing they're getting the protection they need.

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Local
5:45 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Armed Service Committee Helps 911th

The U.S. House Armed Services Committee has passed budget legislation that aims to prevent the Air Force from closing the 911th Airlift Wing. The wing, along with the 171st Air Refueling Wing, is located at Pittsburgh International airport.

Rep. Mark Critz (D PA-12) noted after the early morning vote that the budget bill, which hasn't become law yet, would increase funding and stop the Air Force from retiring or transferring aircraft such as the C-130 used by the 911th.

The measure adds $642 million to the Air Force operations and personnel budgets to support the aircraft.

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Local
5:45 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

School Board Elections Could Become Nonpartisan

A state Senate committee is considering a new bill that would eliminate primary elections for school board races, and omit those candidates' party affiliations from general election ballots.

State Senator Andy Dinniman is the Democratic Chair of the Senate Education Committee and sponsor of the legislation. He said there are two reasons to remove partisan politics from school board elections.

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Local
4:29 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Regional Arborists Up a Tree This Weekend in Pittsburgh Competition

This weekend 25 arborists will take part in the Western Tree Climbing Championship, sponsored by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).

"It's to bring professional arborists and tree care workers together for some healthy competition and to learn some new techniques along the way," said Matt Erb, Director or Urban Forestry at Tree Pittsburgh and Chairperson of the Penn-Del ISA Tree Climbing Competetion.

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Local
2:40 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Pennsylvania House Scans Budget

Now that the Pennsylvania Senate has passed its version of a 2012-2013 state budget, the state House is now considering the spending plan, and it looks like changes will be made.

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Arts
2:34 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

James Gibson

Rabbi James Gibson puts in long hours in his book-lined study at Temple Sinai, poring over scripture and theological texts. But, as he tells Josh Raulerson, he's also an avid reader of spy novels and contemporary history.

Lately, Rabbi Gibson has been reading:

Benny Morris, 1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War

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Arts
2:30 pm
Thu May 10, 2012

Walls are Bad, Outside is Good

Friday marks the start of Sustainable Pittsburgh's 11th annual Great Outdoors Week, or as organizers like to call it, the "ten day weekend." The event running from May 11th to May 20th is a compilation of more than 60 outdoor recreational activities over a week and a half period.

Sustainable Pittsburgh Communications Manager Ginette Vinski said people of all ages and all skill levels can participate.

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Transportation
9:15 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Turnpike Speed Limit Boost Bill Heads to House

Motorists may have the option of going a full five miles per hour faster on the Turnpike, if one state House proposal is approved. The plan would raise the roadways upper limit from 65 to 70 miles-per-hour.

The 70 miles per hour speed limit idea is a bit of a throwback. In fact, the Turnpike was something of a wild west in its early days.

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Local
7:44 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Senate GOP's Budget Bill Sent to House

The Pennsylvania Senate has approved a $27.7 billion state budget plan that would avoid many of the cuts Governor Tom Corbett included in his 2012-13 budget. The plan penned by the Republican majority in the senate was approved Wednesday by a 39-8 vote. The vote came after nearly two hours of debate.

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Health
6:00 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Pitt Scientists Find Promising Treatment for Rare Skin Cancer

A research team at the University of Pittsburgh has discovered a possible treatment for Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC), just four years after determing the cause of the rare skin cancer.

The husband-and-wife team of Dr. Patrick Moore and Dr. Yuan Chang has found that the experimental drug YM155 is an "extremely potent killer" of MCC tumors in laboratory mice.

Moore said the drug was not toxic to the rodents, so human trials are expected to begin within six months.

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Economy
4:53 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Council Approves Housing Resolution

It was more of a celebration and less of a protest in the City-County Building today as homeowners gathered to recognize Pittsburgh City Council for being among the first in the country to call on the President to be more proactive with homeowner rights.

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Local
4:51 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Public School Parents to Protest Pittsburgh Opera's Award to Governor Corbett

When Gov. Tom Corbett receives a Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to the arts and education at Pittsburgh Opera headquarters Saturday evening, there will be protesters outside who think the award is "ill-conceived." Kathy M.

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Health
4:09 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

ACHD Warns Whooping Cough is On the Rise

The Allegheny County Health Department is reminding the public to get vaccinated for pertussis, also known as whooping cough. Department spokesman Dave Zazac noted there have been 46 confirmed or probable pertussis cases countywide this year, far above the typical average of seven. He said the bacterial infection can be picked up by touching tissues with the disease, or by coming into contact with bacteria put in the air through coughing.

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Local
11:20 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

State Senate Panel Counters Governor's Budget Plan

A state Senate panel has countered Governor Tom Corbett's budget proposal with a plan of its own, returning significant funding to social service programs, schools, and higher education.

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Local
11:10 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

Less Fruit? Blame Early Spring and Late Frost

Farmer's Markets and roadside stands won't have as many peaches and apples for sale this season.

A mild winter, an early spring and late frosts have wreaked havoc on local orchards.

Adam Voll is the Farm Manager at Soergel Orchards, a 450-acre operation in Wexford where vegetables and fruits, including apples and peaches, are grown.

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Government
9:00 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

Proposed Legislation Calls for Certificate of Need

Pennsylvania Senator Jim Ferlo (D-Pittsburgh) is sponsoring a new Certificate of Need (CON) law that would lower health care costs by decreasing duplicate amenities or construction and mold medical facilities' spending based on the needs of the community.

Ferlo said that his proposed CON law would give local governments, unions, corporations, and shareholders a voice in determining whether healthcare expenses are reasonable.

"Despite the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars, we're really not meeting the true community need," Ferlo said.

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Science & Technology
4:10 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

Social Media Gives Researchers New View of Pittsburgh Neighborhoods

Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University used a popular social network called Foursquare to get a better understanding of the city. Foursquare allows users to "check in" at a location, and it posts the information online.

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Local
4:05 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

Sojourner Truth Award Received by Local Professor

Imogene Hines, an English professor at the Community College of Allegheny County, is the recipient of the 2012 Sojourner Truth Award from the Pittsburgh Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs.

Much like Sojourner Truth, Hines advocates for women's rights and political change. Hines is involved with numerous organizations, including the Pittsburgh chapters of NAACP, TheGirlfriends, Inc., Omega Wives and more.

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Local
3:03 pm
Tue May 8, 2012

Reapportionment Fight Continues in Harrisburg

The five-man panel that was sent back to the drawing board to create a better redistricting plan for state House and Senate districts in Pennsylvania has concluded its last scheduled public hearing. Local officials and political candidates Monday urged additional changes to the set of tentative maps.

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Local
8:51 pm
Mon May 7, 2012

Higher Education Cuts Remain Despite Stronger Tax Revenues

The governor is sticking by his proposed budget cuts to higher education, despite healthier tax income for Pennsylvania.

At a conference for the Pennsylvania Association of Township Supervisors, Governor Tom Corbett acknowledged that the Commonwealth's revenues are coming in higher than expected.

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