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Local
5:26 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

Democratic Race for PA Attorney General Nomination Heats Up

With less than two weeks to go before Pennsylvania's April 24th primary, the Democratic contest for state attorney general is starting to look like a tennis match of endorsements. The Democratic race for attorney general has been all about one-upmanship.

First, there are the ads. One supporting former Lackawanna County prosecutor Kathleen Kane touts her as a "prosecutor, not a politician," and sends a message she's got the Democratic party's backing. "Endorsed by President Clinton, she's the Democrat with the most experience. 3,000 cases," the Kane ad intones.

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Local
4:31 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

PA Auditor General Calls For Bridge And Highway Spending

Auditor General Jack Wagner has renewed his call for Governor Tom Corbett and the General Assembly to expand funding for comprehensive transportation and infrastructure repairs. Wagner hints that there is more crumbling infrastructure than there is fast food in the state.

"We have [almost] 6,000 structurally deficient bridges. You will pass structurally deficient bridges or drive over structurally deficient bridges ten times more than you will see a McDonald's restaurant," said Wagner.

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Local
4:17 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

New Program Helps Voters Understand County Races

The League of Women Voters is partnering with Allegheny County to expand a voter education program that makes County elections easier to understand.

County Executive Rich Fitzgerald admits it takes some extra self-motivation on the voters' part to know what's going in local races. "People are seeing advertisements for President and maybe for U.S. Senate, but some of these other races don't have advertising going on and people may not know," he said.

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Environment
3:08 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

One Navy Sailor Reflects on His Time Outdoors—Before, During, and After War

Active duty Navy Sailor Ed Klonowski is an outdoorsy guy. He grew up in the country in a family that hunted and fished and watched birds. So when he was deployed to Iraq, those were the kinds of things he missed.

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Local
12:17 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

Portion of PA Shale Law Put on Hold

A Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court judge on Wednesday ordered a temporary halt to the sections of Pennsylvania's new Marcellus Shale law that put limits on the power of municipalities to regulate the booming natural gas exploration industry, a victory for the seven municipalities that sued.

However, the Commonwealth Court senior judge, Keith Quigley, suggested that the towns' wider challenge to the constitutionality of the local zoning limitations is questionable, saying in a two-page order that he's not convinced that "the likelihood of success is on the merits is high."

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Local
11:44 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Pitt Bomb Threat Moves Forward

Authorities investigating dozens of bomb threats at the University of Pittsburgh said Wednesday they've made significant progress with help from the public.

Information from students and community members has helped them to focus on potential suspects, said U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton, who encouraged people who think they may have information to continue sharing it with law enforcement.

The Pitt threats began in mid-February, at first targeting a landmark building at the center of campus. But in recent weeks numerous buildings, including dorms, have been threatened.

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Local
7:29 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Garden Marketplace Back For Another Year

With warmer temperatures coming a bit early to the region this year, many people are gearing up for gardening. Pittsburghers with a green thumb can get a jump on their garden shopping at this year's Garden Marketplace in Fox Chapel.

The marketplace, open from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM Saturday, is provided by the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences Cooperative Extension (Penn State Extension). It will host more than 30 vendors selling plants, gardening equipment, and garden art.

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Science & Technology
6:10 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Somerset County Latest to Enact Marcellus Impact Fee

The Somerset County Commission has voted to enact an impact fee on Marcellus drilling operations, though at this point, they're not sure how much money that will mean for the county. At a meeting Tuesday Commissioners John Vatavuk and Joe Betta approved the fee. Commissioner Pamela Tokar-Ickes was absent from the meeting, though Betta said she does support the move.

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Government
6:00 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

Santorum’s Decision Could Impact Down-Ticket Races

With Rick Santorum out of the presidential race, Pennsylvania Republicans have lost the biggest get-out-the-vote rallying cry they had. Now party leaders are wondering what will happen to the other races facing Pennsylvania Republican voters.

"This was the marquee election on the ballot," said Muhlenberg College political science professor Christopher Borick. "For the marginal voter who would be interested in that race and not very interested in anything else, the likelihood that they show up is going to be lower."

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Local
3:15 pm
Wed April 11, 2012

RMU Students Generate Electricity From Abandoned Mine Drainage

Four senior students spent the afternoon putting the finishing touches on their integrated engineering and design project by installing a turbine into an acid mine drainage overflow pipe in the Wingfield Pines Conservation area. The turbine will be driven by drainage from abandoned coal mines.

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Economy
8:46 pm
Tue April 10, 2012

Governor Corbett Touts Budget Plan on Tour of Western Pennsylvania Business

After a tour of Giffin Interior and Fixture, Inc. in Bridgeville, Governor Tom Corbett told a group of workers and media that companies like Giffin will continue to thrive under his budget proposal. He's urging lawmakers to pass the $27.14 billion spending plan in its current form.

"It's not an easy budget. Last year was not an easy budget," said Corbett. "It's built the way you in business and you at home have to build your household budget: you can spend no more than you have, and I think that's very important."

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Government
8:31 pm
Tue April 10, 2012

Council Hears about Public Transit Cuts

Political and transit leaders today warned Pittsburgh Council about the dangers of another round of service cuts.

According to Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, the Port Authority of Allegheny County (PAT) will be facing a huge service reduction this September due to a $64 million deficit.

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Government
8:15 pm
Tue April 10, 2012

Santorum Suspends Campaign

Former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum kicked off his presidential campaign in Somerset, Pennsylvania last June and has brought it to an end just a few miles to the east in Gettysburg.

"While this presidential race for us is over for me — and we will suspend our campaign today — we are not done fighting. We will continue to fight," said Santorum.

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Local
8:14 pm
Tue April 10, 2012

Pittsburgh is First Stop in Football Hall Of Fame Tour

The world will soon have a chance to look at a piece of Three Rivers stadium. The Senator John Heinz History Center and the Pro Football Hall of Fame announced today they have teamed up to create a major exhibition about the history of professional football.

Gridiron Glory: The Best of the Pro Football Hall of Fame will make its national premiere at the History Center on October 6, 2012 and will run through January 6, 2013 before embarking on a nationwide traveling tour.

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Local
7:47 pm
Tue April 10, 2012

Urgent Care Facility Coming to Braddock

Through an agreement between MedExpress and Highmark Inc., a new urgent care center will be opening in Braddock next year. The facility will be part of a larger development being erected on the site of the closed UPMC Braddock Hospital.

"You have no idea what this will mean to a single mother at 6:00 at night on a Sunday knowing that she can take her child now to get her ear ache looked at," said Braddock Mayor John Fetterman.

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Health
5:48 pm
Tue April 10, 2012

DOJ Closes Antitrust Investigation into West Penn – Highmark Deal

The U.S. Department of Justice's Antitrust Division announced Tuesday that it has closed its investigation into Highmark's affiliation agreement with West Penn Allegheny Health System (WPAHS). The D.O.J. launched the antitrust investigation in February.

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Government
5:27 pm
Tue April 10, 2012

Municipalities to Challenge Act 13

A Commonwealth Court judge will hear a request tomorrow by seven Pennsylvania municipalities seeking an immediate injunction against the state's new Marcellus Shale law, Act 13.

South Fayette Township in Allegheny County, Peters, Cecil, Mt. Pleasant and Robinson Townships in Washington County, and Yardley and Nockamixin in Bucks County claim that Act 13 unconstitutionally strips the power of the local governments to control their land and zoning. The land use provisions of the law are to take effect April 14.

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Economy
9:21 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Good News for Southwestern Pennsylvania Housing Market – Sales and Prices Up in March

The number of homes placed under agreement and the average home sale price in southwestern Pennsylvania showed improvement in March over the same month a year ago. That's according to West Penn Multi-List, Inc., a real estate service company.

In March 2012, the number of homes placed under agreement increased 20% from a year ago, and home prices went up 1.25%.

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Local
4:45 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

April “Financial Education Month” in Pennsylvania

With the hope of encouraging Pennsylvanians to better understand their personal finances, Governor Tom Corbett has declared April to be "Financial Education Month" in the state.

The administration believes a basic financial education is essential to ensuring that Pennsylvanians of all ages are prepared to manage money, credit, investments, and debt.

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Arts
4:35 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

City Joins Partnership to Reduce Entertainment District Crime

The city of Pittsburgh is bringing together community groups and individuals to promote the social aspects of the city, while trying to limit the rising crime rate in the city's entertainment districts.

Working with the Responsible Hospitality Institute, the only organization of its kind that uses research to promote safety and vibrancy in a nighttime economy, Pittsburgh will use $100,000 from this year's budget to present a summary of research into improving the South Side, Downtown and Lawrenceville neighborhoods.

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Government
3:13 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Pennsylvania Gearing Up for Primaries

With Pennsylvania's April 24 primary election drawing near, the commonwealth's top elections official is traveling the state trying to motivate residents to cast ballots, especially younger voters.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 58.5 percent of citizens ages 18 to 24 were registered to vote, and nearly half of them did so in 2008. The younger age group was the only category to show a significant increase in turnout.

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Local
1:35 pm
Mon April 9, 2012

Pitt Ups Security

The University of Pittsburgh is setting up security check points at building entrances after a series of bomb threats have prompted evacuations of educational buildings and residence halls.

School officials say students and faculty will now need a school ID to get into buildings, which will also have security checkpoints set up to search bags. Non-residents will also not be permitted in dormitories.

If the school does receive more threats, university officials say they'll also limit access to buildings once they're cleared.

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Government
10:00 am
Mon April 9, 2012

Push to End Pennsylvania Property Taxes Gets New Life

State lawmakers will make another attempt to get rid of property taxes statewide.

A Republican-proposed bill would do away with the real estate taxes by funding school districts through sales and income taxes. The income and sales tax rates would be increased by about one percent each, an arrangement that Rep. Jim Cox (R-Berks County.) said is a more fair way to fund schools.

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Health
5:05 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

Public Input Sought by Board of Health Air Toxics Guidelines Committee

The Allegheny County Board of Health will hold a public meeting from 6:00 to 8:00 PM this evening at the Clairton Municipal Building (551 Ravensburg Blvd.).

Dr. Donald Burke, dean of the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health, chairs the 22-member committee formed in January, 2010 to revise air toxics guidelines that haven't been changed since 1988. He says the last public meeting took place about a year ago in Avalon.

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Local
4:52 pm
Fri April 6, 2012

No Suspects in Pitt Bomb Threats; Students Nervous

There have been more than 20 bomb threats against University of Pittsburgh buildings over the last 7 weeks, but authorities have no suspects. Two new threats against multiple buildings were received Thursday, one at 10:00 AM and the other about 12 hours later.

Campus police, federal authorities and experts are stumped by the threats that have prompted building evacuations and canceled classes.

Students nervous

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