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Environment
5:25 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Green WorkPlace Challenge Gauges Progress

After four months of a Sustainable Pittsburgh challenge posed to local businesses to "green" their buildings and practices, the organization announced the aggregate energy savings on Friday.

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Transportation
4:47 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Region Unified in Blaming the State for Transit Cuts

Following a rally to urge Pennsylvania lawmakers to take action to provide consistent funding for public transit in the Pittsburgh region, protestors and officials filed into the monthly Port Authority board meeting.

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Transportation
9:48 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

County Executive Makes Case for Transit Funding to Lawmakers

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald followed the well-worn path to Harrisburg this week to talk to lawmakers, department heads, and the Governor about the transit funding crisis. Governor Tom Corbett is expected to release his transportation funding plan within the next couple of weeks, and Fitzgerald said he wanted to talk to the governor ahead of that announcement.

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Local
9:37 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Remembering Joe Paterno

"The Joe Paterno way has become the Penn State way, and success with honor has become the standard," said Senior Paterno fellow Lauren Perrotti at Thursday's memorial service for Paterno who died Sunday after a short battle with lung cancer.

Those words also reflect the mood at State College, where the ceremony was held to reminisce about the legendary Penn State football coach.

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Government
8:40 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Senate Democrats Outline Priorities for 2013 Budget

Senate democrats called for Governor Tom Corbett to keep certain priorities in mind before making his 2013 budget proposal next month.

The budget address will come on the heels of a state spending freeze announced after commonwealth revenue trailed budget projections by nearly $500 million midway through the fiscal year.

Lawmakers expect more cuts will be made in 2013, but Senate democrats maintained the governor should consider transportation, education, and fair taxes when making the budget.

But the top priority, democrats insisted, should be jobs.

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Economy
7:40 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Republicans Join Fight for New Pennsylvania Corporate Tax Laws

Several Republicans in the Pennsylvania House have thrown their support behind a bill that would lower corporate taxes while at the same time closing the so-called Delaware loophole. The move seriously bolsters the efforts of Democrats who have been fighting to get the measure passed.

"We need to lower the corporate net income tax rate," said House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny County). "We have the second highest [rate] in the nation. We also need to continue the phase-out of the capital stock tax. It's a tax on value. It's got to go."

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Local
6:53 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Pennsylvania Ranks Third in Nation for Murders in the Black Community

The Commonwealth's black homicide victimization rate is nearly six times the national overall homicide rate at 28.30 deaths per 100,000 persons. That's according to a new analysis of unpublished FBI Supplementary Homicide Report data. Anti-gun violence group CeaseFirePA said nearly half of all gun deaths in the state are murders, and nearly all are committed by someone with an illegal gun. But, Executive Director Max Nacheman said the issue hasn't been a legislative priority.

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Environment
4:45 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Power Plant Closures Slated for Pennsylvania, Ohio and Maryland – Environmental Rules Being Blamed

First Energy Corp.'s generation subsidiaries will retire six coal-fired power plants by September 1, 2012. The reason, said spokesperson Mark Durbin, is new environmental requirements.

"By no means is it a reflection on the fine work that's been done by our employees at those plants, but it's related to what the financial impact will be for these new environmental rules," he said.

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Local
8:00 am
Thu January 26, 2012

Legendary Columnist Collier Remembers Paterno

No one could blame Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Gene Collier if he felt a bit conflicted. He is a proud Penn State graduate who enjoyed his association with late head coach Joe Paterno over decades of covering the Nittany Lions football team. But he has also been blunt in his criticism of Paterno's actions — or lack of them — relating to former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky's alleged sexual abuse of young boys. Collier's critical remarks have brought him some hate mail from readers.

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Local
10:59 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Millvale Receives Water Grant

Eight hundred and fifty trees will be planted in Millvale thanks to a $703,525 state grant to help reduce storm water run-off and flooding into Girty's Run.

The funding is part of $98 million that Pennsylvania is investing into drinking water, non-point source, and wastewater projects across 19 counties.

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Government
10:40 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Tosses New District Maps

A divided Pennsylvania Supreme Court is invalidating a plan to redraw district lines for seats in the state House and Senate, calling the redistricting approach "contrary to law."

The justices voted 4-3 to send the plan back to the Legislative Reapportionment Commission. The majority said their opinion in the case would be released later.

The high court's ruling throws into disarray plans by candidates and parties for this year's General Assembly races.

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Economy
9:47 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Job Numbers In Pittsburgh Are Getting Stronger

For the third month in a row, the Pittsburgh region has had a record number of jobs. According to Pittsburgh TODAY, this rise in non-farm jobs has put Pittsburgh over pre-recession employment numbers.

Doug Heuck is the Program Director for Pittsburgh TODAY, a non-profit that provides timely statistical pictures of Pittsburgh life. He said compared to other cities, the Pittsburgh region had strengths that kept the worst of the recession away.

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Local
9:34 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Chester Upland Teacher Lauded by President

A schoolteacher from the embattled Chester Upland School District in suburban Philadelphia remembers her view of Tuesday's State of the Union Address from the First Lady's box as a sight to behold. Sara Ferguson sat alongside the First Lady, the husband of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the wife of the late Steve Jobs, and billionaire Warren Buffett's secretary.

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Local
8:32 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Allegheny Sports Medicine Becomes Official Sponsor on PGA Tour

In an effort to grow its brand, Allegheny Sports Medicine has become the official sports medicine sponsor of the PGA Tour. As part of the agreement, two branded sports trailers will follow all tour events providing care to the golfers.

Chief Marketing Officer for the Tour Tom Wade said the decision to name a sponsor to a four-year agreement wasn't a result of a bidding war.

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Economy
8:30 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

$80 Million in Bonds Ready for City Council Passage

After two months of debating, approving, disapproving, and more debating, it seems like the mayor's office, City Council, and the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority have all agreed on a plan for Pittsburgh to borrow a hefty $80 million.

It's the largest bond floated in city history, and the first new debt issued since Mayor Luke Ravenstahl took office. Pittsburgh City Councilman Bruce Kraus said it's necessary to pay for much-needed capital improvement projects.

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Environment
7:25 pm
Wed January 25, 2012

Environmental Group Critical of President Obama’s Natural Gas Push

In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama called on continued development of natural gas in the country, but he said it must be done in a way that protects the environment. This message didn't sit too well with PennEnvironment, a statewide environmental advocacy group. Clean Water Advocate Erika Staaf said natural gas isn't a clean energy, noting that the track record in Pennsylvania has been clear.

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Arts
8:00 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Cambria County Historical Landmarks To Be Put to Good Use

In order to prevent Johnstown landmarks from being stripped of their history and possibly even being torn down, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Cambria County will formally transfer the ownership of three former church buildings to 1901 Church Inc., a not-for-profit corporation that focuses on preventing church structures in the Cambria County area from being neglected.

The three church buildings — Immaculate Conception, St. Columba's, and Sts. Casimir and Emerich — will be transferred from Resurrection Parish to 1901 Church, Inc. this afternoon.

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Government
6:30 am
Wed January 25, 2012

Mt. Washington Democrat to Challenge Incumbent for 27th House Seat

Democrat Erin Molchany has announced she will run against the incumbent, Dan Deasy, for Pennsylvania's newly-drawn 27th state House district.

Molchany said she hopes to take advantage of the reapportioned district.

"It's a virtually new district and I really feel strongly that we as citizens in this area deserve better representation, deserve attention paid to our issues, and deserve resources coming into our community to improve the quality of life," Molchany said.

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Local
10:24 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

CMU Plans to Add New Research, Academic Buildings

A major new "Nano-Bio-Energy Technologies Building" headlined the presentation when Carnegie Mellon University unveiled its ten-year Master Plan to the Pittsburgh City Planning Commission Tuesday.

CMU hopes to install the seven-story, 120,000-square-foot structure in its core, along with another four-story academic building and additions to Margaret-Morrison Hall, Porter Hall, and Wean Hall.

In fact, new buildings are planned for nearly every part of the campus, from its western reaches in Oakland to its eastern boundaries in Squirrel Hill and Shadyside.

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Government
8:46 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Plan to Slash Number of State Representatives Advances in Harrisburg

A plan to shrink the ranks of state House lawmakers has made it out of a Pennsylvania House committee.

Several lawmakers say shrinking the legislature from 203 to 153 for the sake of cost-cutting and efficiency sets a good example to the rest of state government. Some have expressed concern the reduction would mean larger districts that make lawmakers rely less on shoe leather and more on big donors to win elections, while others say it's a debate they're ready to have.

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Science & Technology
7:22 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

Marcellus Shale Gas Potential Much Lower than Previously Thought

The U.S. Energy Information Administration's (EIA) latest report finds reserve estimates for the Marcellus Shale formation are dramatically lower than reported last year. The estimate in the Annual Energy Outlook 2012 (AEO2012) is 141 trillion cubic feet of gas, compared to 410 trillion in 2011.

Policy and Communications Director for the Marcellus Shale Coalition, Steve Forde, said that isn't of much concern, and added that the estimate is simply a "snapshot in time." He said the coalition will continue to look at longer-term trends.

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Local
5:29 pm
Tue January 24, 2012

City's Capital Budget Process May Be Overhauled

New legislation before Pittsburgh City Council would require a six-year plan for capital improvement projects and create a new board of city officials and Pittsburgh residents to choose which projects to fund in a given year.

Sponsor and Council Finance Chair Ricky Burgess said the intent of the reform bill is to spell out in greater detail the city's long-term plan for infrastructure repair and construction.

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Local
8:44 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Pennsylvania Elderly Hit Tangled System

As Governor Tom Corbett gets ready to unveil a budget on February 7th, an advocacy group is calling for legislators to streamline the delivery of services to the elderly.

LeadingAge PA says Pennsylvania requires its seniors to go through a maze of agencies to receive the services they're looking for and wants government officials to overhaul how things are done as part of the next budget process.

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Government
8:32 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Representative DeWeese Corruption Trial Underway

The trial against a former top Democratic leader in the state House for misusing taxpayer dollars for political gain has begun.

Representative Bill DeWeese (D-Greene County) has been charged as part of the Bonusgate political corruption investigation launched by the state attorney general's office in 2007.

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Environment
8:00 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Bill Would Mandate Green Building Practices in Pennsylvania

A bill being considered in Harrisburg on Tuesday would require that the design, construction, or renovation of any state-owned or state-leased building comply with specific energy standards. The so-called "Green Building" bill was introduced by State Representative Kate Harper (R-Montgomery).

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