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Government
2:07 am
Fri September 7, 2012

Port Authority Pleads its Case to RAD

The Port Authority of Allegheny County is counting on The Allegheny Regional Asset District (RAD) to contribute $3 million for ten years to help open the door for state funding.

At RAD's budget request hearing Thursday, Port Authority CEO Steve Bland and Jennifer Liptak, chief of staff for Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, made the argument to board members that public transit should be considered a regional asset, and therefore eligible for funding.

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Local
9:01 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

New Court for Veterans in Butler County

The latest treatment court for veterans opened Thursday in Butler County. Judge Tim McCune will preside over the court. 

"It doesn't cost the county anything because we are dealing with these cases anyway," he said. 

Of the veteran's cases reviewed in 2011 by The Butler County Probation office, 56 percent of the vets had been homeless, 62 percent had mental health issues and 47 percent had substance abuse issues.

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Government
6:41 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Smith Calls For Flat Tax, Balanced Budget Amendment

Republican U.S. Senate nominee Tom Smith of Armstrong County today unveiled a five-point economic plan as he prepares for the final two months of the election campaign.  Smith criticized incumbent Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) for voting to raise the nation's debt ceiling seven times but "never heard him come forward with a plan" on growing the economy or "how we get our deficit spending under control." 

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Environment
5:32 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

Gas Exploration Landscape Disturbance in Bradford and Washington Counties Mapped in Federal Report

The natural gas boom in Pennsylvania is unlocking energy, but it’s also changing the landscape. A study released by the U.S. Geological Survey documented changes in land usage between 2004 and 2010. Bradford and Washington Counties were chosen for the first report, because they were identified as “exceptionally productive” areas of Marcellus Shale Development. The USGS report finds 642 sites in Bradford County and 949 in Washington County.

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Education
3:34 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

The Next 5 Years And The Carnegie Library Of Pittsburgh

After nine months of collaboration by board, staff, and community members, the final draft of Carnegie Library’s next five-year strategic plan is ready to be shown to the public.

On Saturday, September 15 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh in East Liberty, the Library will hold an interactive workshop on the plan.

Library spokesperson Suzanne Thinnes said the workshop will be interactive and will utilize ideas presented by the public in further sessions.

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Government
3:18 pm
Thu September 6, 2012

City Council Moves to Block Land Sale to Highland Park CDC

(This story was updated 3:20 pm 9/06/12)

Pittsburgh City Council has voted to block the pending sale of a residential property to the Highland Park Community Development Corporation (HPCDC), with Council Members portraying the group as tax-delinquent and "abundantly negligent" of its current properties.

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Government
12:38 am
Thu September 6, 2012

Local Reaction to Democratic National Convention

The chair of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee said she's pleased with the Democratic National Convention taking place in Charlotte this week, although it's "quite different" from the party's 2008 convention.

"It's not only the venue and the geography, but also I think that the number of people that are here -- we have the same amount of delegates, but there may be somewhat less in general population," said ACDC Chairwoman Nancy Patton Mills. "But keeping that all in mind, this has been very, very pleasant. Charlotte's been a very good host city."

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Education
8:23 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Still No Contract for Bethel Park Teachers

Hundreds of teachers of Bethel Park School District started teaching classes Tuesday under a contract that expired more than two years ago.

The Bethel Park Federation of Teachers (BPFT) said it will continue to negotiate with the district in a Thursday night session. The union agreed in late August to continue contract talks while teaching classes under the 2005-2010 agreement.

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Government
6:14 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

IBM to Study Pittsburgh Transportation Systems

Pittsburgh has won a $350,000 grant from International Business Machines (IBM) that will come in the form of the company studying the city's various transportation systems.

City Council gave the grant preliminary approval on Wednesday, and a final vote is slated for next Tuesday.

After the grant is formally accepted, IBM employees will spend three weeks working out of the City-County Building from late September to mid-October. At the end of their stay, the researchers will present a list of transportation recommendations to the mayor and to the general public.

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Government
5:53 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

General Fund Collections Are Not Meeting Expectations

The Pennsylvania Revenue Department thought it would collect $32.3 million more for the General Fund in taxes and investments than what it did in August.  That makes estimates for the first two months of the 2012-13 fiscal year nearly 1% below projections.

Revenue Secretary Dan Meuser said even though projections for this year are off so far, the state is collecting more than what it did last year for the same period.

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Local
5:48 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

“Party Like it’s V-J Day” Aims to Raise Funds to Complete Pittsburgh WWII Memorial

Visitors to Market Square on Thursday may feel as though they’ve entered a time warp. In an effort to raise public awareness of a planned World War II memorial on the North Shore, River City Swing will be performing songs of the era, while dancers from Arthur Murray Downtown Pittsburgh trip the light fantastic.

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Government
4:46 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Housing Authority Receives A Half Million Dollar Grant

The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh has been awarded a federal grant to help the agency connect public housing residents with opportunities for education and upward mobility.  The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is providing the  $558,545  Resident Opportunities and Self-Sufficiency (ROSS) grant over three years.

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Environment & Energy
2:18 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Looking Forward For Poland

A field near where a gas well was drilled earlier this year.
Erika Beras/90.5 WESA

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Poland has seen many changes in the last 30 years – democracy has come to the country, Poles have embraced capitalism the nation has forged relationships with multi-national corporations and it has entered the European Union.

At the same time, there has been a growing focus on finding for cleaner forms of energy.

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Local
1:14 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Kansas Woman Says UPMC Ex-Employee Infected her with Hepatitis C

A Kansas woman who believes she was infected with hepatitis C by a former medical technician now accused of stealing narcotics filed a lawsuit Tuesday against a Pittsburgh hospital where he once worked.

Linda Ficken said in the lawsuit, which was filed in Pittsburgh, that the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center was negligent for not telling law enforcement or any government agency that technician David Kwiatkowski allegedly stole and used narcotics in 2008.

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Local
1:09 pm
Wed September 5, 2012

Penn State Says Students Aren't Paying for the Defense Team

Penn State's costs for legal fees, consultants and public relations firms hired to help deal with the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal have reached nearly $17 million, the university said in an online report that it updates regularly.

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Environment
9:35 am
Wed September 5, 2012

Looking Forward for Poland

Poland has seen many changes in the last 30 years – democracy has come to the country, Poles have embraced capitalism the nation has forged relationships with multi-national corporations and it has entered the European Union.

At the same time, there has been a growing focus on finding for cleaner forms of energy.

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Education
10:51 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Steelers QB Batch Mediates Sports Dispute Between Local Schools

Steelers backup quarterback Charlie Batch spoke to students from Brentwood and Monessen High Schools on Tuesday, emphasizing the importance of sportsmanship and respect not only in high school sports, but also in daily life.

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Health
8:31 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Ryan Clark’s Cure League Tackles Sickle Cell

The Steelers play in Denver Sunday night, and Ryan Clark, who usually starts at safety, will once again be inactive. If he has his way however, Clark and others eventually won’t have to shy away from activities that could affect their genetic disorder—sickle cell trait.

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Local
8:14 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

3 Days of Caring in Pittsburgh Begins Wednesday

Volunteers from the Pittsburgh community will be welcoming kindergarten students to their first day of class at six local elementary schools as a way to launch an expanded United Way Day of Caring.

Robert Nelkin, President of the United Way of Allegheny County, said the first Day of Caring was held in 1991 and focused on mobilizing volunteers in the spirit of service. Since then, it has expanded to several days, usually spread out over the course of the year.

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Government
7:56 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Teen Motorcycle Laws Get Stricter

16 and 17 year-olds are now required to attend a safety course before receiving their motorcycle licenses. This is in addition to passing a basic motorcycle knowledge exam and an operating skills test.

Act 84 was signed by Governor Corbett on July 2nd and took effect last Friday. It requires minors to complete the Pennsylvania Motorcycle Safety Program’s Basic Rider Course before they can test for their license.

Jan McKnight, spokesperson for the PennDOT Safety Administration, said the legislation is part of a push to enact Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) laws.

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Economy
4:11 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Job Growth for Men Outpacing that for Women in Pennsylvania

It’s no secret that women get paid less, on average, than men. However, a new study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research finds women are also recovering more slowly from recession job losses than men. The Women and Girls Foundation in Pittsburgh commissioned the study, which found that by end of 2011 women in Pennsylvania had regained 12% of total recession job losses while men had gained 62% of their job losses.

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Economy
3:44 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

CONSOL Energy Responds To Decrease In Steel Demand By Idling Mines

CONSOL Energy Inc. announced starting today it has temporarily shut down the Buchanan Mine in southwestern Virginia.  The company is also considering a partial or complete idling of the Amonate Mining Complex in southern West Virginia.  According to a statement from CONSOL, a decision is expected soon.

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Environment & Energy
2:22 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

A Trip To The Northern Province

A test drill in the Northern Province of Poland.
Erika Beras/90.5 WESA

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Poland has the same kind of shale gas deposits found throughout southwestern Pennsylvania. Poland’s government hopes to tap into their deposits to fulfill the country’s future energy needs but, like in the United States, it comes with a great deal of controversy. 

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Economy
9:35 am
Tue September 4, 2012

A Trip To The Northern Province

Poland has the same kind of shale gas deposits found throughout southwestern Pennsylvania. Poland’s government hopes to tap into their deposits to fulfill the country’s future energy needs but, like in the United States, it comes with a great deal of controversy. 

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Economy
7:35 am
Tue September 4, 2012

Economy Improving While Wages Shrink

Over the last decade, Pennsylvania’s economy grew. However, the average PA family is now earning less than they would be at the turn of the 21st century.

This new information comes from the left-leaning Keystone Research Center’s annual State of Working Pennsylvania report.  According to the report, the state's economic growth could have supported a rise in living standards for all Pennsylvania workers, but a disproportionate amount went to the top one percent of earners.

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