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Education
8:19 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

PA Democrats Argue Creative Solutions Could Restore Education Funding

http://2cccd5dfe1965e26adf6-26c50ce30a6867b5a67335a93e186605.r53.cf1.rackcdn.com/School Cuts Wrap_Jenelle Pifer_SOC.mp3

As the school year approaches, public school officials are scrambling to find new ways to pinch pennies and Pennsylvania Democrats are insisting they shouldn’t have to.

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Local
8:08 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Motions hearing in Curley, Schultz Penn State Case Wrap Up

Attorneys for two Penn State administrators charged in connection to the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse case await a judge’s ruling on whether charges will be dropped in response to pre-trial motions, which wrapped up today.

Prosecutors charged retired Penn State Vice President Gary Schultz and former Athletic Director Tim Curley back in November for failing to report allegations that Sandusky abused a child -- and then, lying about what they knew to a grand jury.

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Health
6:22 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

First Liberty Mile Run Will Feature Olympic-Caliber Talent

Pittsburgh continues to grow as a racing town as the city hosts the inaugural Liberty Mile run this Friday, August 17. Top competitors from across the country as well as recreational runners will participate in the event that is a partner of the Bring Back the Mile campaign. The closest race distance to the mile is the 1500 meter, about 0.93 of a mile. The 1500 has been an Olympic event since the 1896 summer games.

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Government
4:34 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Controller Finds Pittsburgh’s Equal Opportunity Review Commission Failing in its Mission

In the first audit of the agency that “assists Minority Business Enterprise/Women Business Enterprise (MBE/WBE) with prime contracting opportunities,” city Controller Michael Lamb found it is not living up its mission. The Equal Opportunity Review Commission (EORC) is required by law to produce an annual report and three quarterly reports.

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Environment
12:01 pm
Thu August 16, 2012

Gas Fume Vapor Systems Have Net Negative

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The federal  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requires gas stations surrounding areas historically recognized as having air quality issues to equip gasoline pump nozzles with vapor recovery systems intended to siphon off fumes while pumping gasoline. But now Pennsylvania will no longer require new gas stations to have the vapor capture technology.

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Transportation
8:30 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

State Lawmakers Examining Tax Options for Alternative Fuel Vehicles

Gasoline and diesel fuel vehicles still make up the majority of those on the state’s roadways, but as more transportation entities look to alternative fuel vehicles, gas tax revenue might take a hit. A hearing of the Pennsylvania House Transportation Committee took on that issue in downtown Pittsburgh Wednesday. Chair, Representative Richard Geist (R-Altoona), asked an official from the Department of Revenue how many electric cars are on the state’s roadways. That wasn’t clear, so Geist took a different track.

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Local
7:30 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Dublin, Ireland Man Charged with Pitt Bomb Threats

A 64-year-old man has been charged with sending more than 40 email bomb threats targeting the University of Pittsburgh this spring.

Adam Stuart Busby of Dublin, Ireland faces 35 total counts of wire fraud, maliciously conveying false information, and international extortion for the Pitt bomb threats, made in March and April.

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Government
6:29 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Reaction to Voter ID Court Ruling Roll in

Lawmakers and non-profit groups across the state are responding to Wednesday’s court ruling against a request to prevent the implementation of Pennsylvania’s new voter ID law.  The law requires all voters in the state to show a government-approved photo ID before stepping into the voting booth.  Supporters say it is needed to prevent voter fraud, opponents say it will disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of voters.

Senator Jay Costa

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Government
6:10 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

State Representative Jake Wheatley Appointed To Property Tax Committee

State Representative Jake Wheatley (D-Allegheny) has been appointed to a new committee focused on property taxes and funding for public education. The House Select Committee on Property Taxes will meet for the first time on Monday, August 13 and will begin hearing ideas for a solution to the issue.

Established in June, the purpose of the committee is to investigate, review, and propose changes regarding the relationship between school districts and local government tax and funding levels from federal and state programs.

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Government
5:15 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

ACLU Will Appeal Voter ID Ruling

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Pennsylvania will file an appeal of a Commonwealth Court decision in favor of the state's new voter ID law. 

Judge Robert Simpson's ruling Wednesday allows the state government to continue with its mandate that voters present valid photo identification before casting ballots.

The ACLU now turns to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to block the voter ID law with an injunction for the November 6 general election.

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Local
4:39 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

9/11 Motorcade Begins Thursday

From August 16th to 19th America's 9/11 Foundation will host its 11th annual motorcycle ride from Somerset, PA to New York, NY.  The goal is to raise money for, and honor the 9/11 victims and their families, especially the first responders who were called to duty during September 11, 2011's terrorist attacks on the nation.

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Government
1:30 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Judge Won't Halt Voter ID Law

A Pennsylvania judge on Wednesday refused to stop a tough new voter identification law from going into effect, which Democrats say will suppress votes among President Barack Obama's supporters.

Commonwealth Court Judge Robert Simpson said he wouldn't grant an injunction that would have halted the law requiring each voter to show a valid photo ID. Opponents are expected to file an appeal within a day or two to the state Supreme Court as the Nov. 6 presidential election looms.

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Government
8:52 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Lamb Bashes “Unfortunate and Sloppy” Management of City

Pittsburgh City Controller Michael Lamb is using news of the filing of a suit by three Pittsburgh firefighters claiming they were denied overtime payments as an opportunity to criticize the Ravenstahl administration. The suit comes a year after the city paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars to Pittsburgh Police officers in a similar suit.

“It really just comes down to the day-to-day operation of the city and the unfortunate and sloppy management that we have here right now,” said Lamb.

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Government
8:00 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Facebook, Twitter Will Be Used To Inform Voters About Pennsylvania's Voter ID Law

Pennsylvania’s Department of State is calling attention to its social media efforts to spread the word about the new voter ID law. The agency is using Facebook and Twitter to post information and field questions regarding the law requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls this November.

Critics say it will take more than tweets and Facebook posts to reach the people least likely to have the proper photo identification that will be required to vote under the controversial new law.

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Government
7:56 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Report: Seniors Could Be Disenfranchised by Voter ID Law

A Pittsburgh-based labor group has released a report that estimates 13% of Pennsylvania seniors currently lack the photo identification required to vote under the state's new voter ID law.

However, the Pennsylvania Department of State said it's undertaking a grassroots campaign to educate seniors about the new voting requirements.

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Health
6:30 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

No Reprieve from Ragweed for Allergy Sufferers this Season

An unusually hot and dry summer in the Pittsburgh area may have had some hoping that it would lead to some relief from ragweed allergies, unfortunately the hot temperatures and lack of rain had little to no impact on the plant, according to Dr. Barry Asman, an allergist with the Allergy and Asthma Care Center in Monroeville.  “Ragweed has been growing all summer long. For some reason, the ragweed seems to be drought resistant, whereas my yard has not been drought resistant.

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Education
5:00 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

"Promise Coaches" Program Hopes To Increase Number Of Volunteers

After recently celebrating the graduation of the first class of Pittsburgh Promise scholarship recipients, the program now has another reason to smile. The Promise will benefit from a $100,000 grant to support its “Promise Coaches” initiative. The money comes from the Coca-Cola Foundation to the Mentoring Partnership of Southwestern Pennsylvania. The partnership aims to increase the high school and higher education rates among Pittsburgh residents.

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Health
4:35 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Pitt Study Shows 'Decoy' Can Fight Cancer

An injection of 'decoy' material into human tumors helped reduce certain cancer activity, according to a new study from the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

Pitt Professor of Otolaryngology Jennifer Grandis said the decoy targets a protein called "Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3" (STAT3), which is difficult to treat because it's found mainly in the nuclei of cancer cells.

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Government
1:22 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Corbett Defends Voter ID Efforts While State Awaits Court Ruling on Injunction

Gov. Corbett is chiding the parties suing the state, implying they’re wasting time trying to block the law he said is being implemented to ensure it doesn’t negatively affect registered voters. “What we heard in the testimony in the courtroom were the people saying, ‘well we can’t – they can’t get their photo ID,’ and they were there in the courtroom, rather than, ‘We can help you get a photo ID,’” said Corbett on the Radio Pennsylvania show, “Ask the Governor.”

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Education
1:13 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

PSU Warned by Accreditation Group

Penn State has been put on notice by an accrediting organization that says the university's status is "in jeopardy" based on recent developments in the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.

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Government
12:45 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Pittsburgh Mayor Fails to File Required Diversity Reports

The mayor’s office has been required since 2006 to produce an annual report showing at least the gender, age and zip code of members appointed to Pittsburgh boards, authorities and commissions.

Six reports should be part of the public record. But none exist.

Each report would have been the responsibility of Mayor Luke Ravenstahl who took office eight months after the passage of the “Fair Representation law, which outlines efforts toward diversity and transparency in board appointments.

Government
8:53 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

No Help in Sight for PennDOT Money Woes

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An update to Pennsylvania’s Transportation Program reveals PennDOT will likely have to deal with lower funding levels for the next dozen years.  The report recently released by the State Transportation Commission estimates $41.6 billion dollars will be available for transportation projects, which is about $10 billion less than the previous update two years ago.

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Government
7:50 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Public Comment Period for Toxics Ends With Gathering of Local Businesses, Groups

To mark the end of the public comment period for Allegheny County's proposed new air toxics guidelines, local community groups and businesses gathered outside of the Allegheny County Courthouse and delivered a letter to County Executive Rich Fitzgerald encouraging him to sign-off on the new guidelines.

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Health
5:35 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

State Gives CMU $1 Million to Study New Cancer Diagnostics

The Pennsylvania Department of Health has given a $983,783 grant to Carnegie Mellon University to fund two studies of a new digital scanner that could improve cancer diagnostics.

The two-year project will compare the scanner's capabilities with the current methods of diagnosing a tumor's status by placing a biopsy under a microscope. CMU principal investigator Dr. Robert Murphy said each study will focus on the diagnosis of a specific cancer.

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Government
5:22 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

State Lawmaker Wants Commonwealth to Consider All-Mail Elections

With the ongoing debate over the state’s new Voter ID law, at least one state lawmaker thinks it would be easier to move to mail-in ballots in the future. Representative Nick Kotik (D-Allegheny) introduced a bill months ago that would allow for all-mail elections. That is needed, he said, as the state’s voting system becomes antiquated, “we need to a whole host of options to make it easier and more convenient for people to vote, especially in today’s technological world, I mean I can envision a system down the road where there will be no more polling places.”

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