News

Pages

Health
8:00 am
Tue December 27, 2011

Plan to Quit Smoking in the New Year

As 2012 approaches, it brings with it New Year's resolutions and promises by many to live a healthier lifestyle, including quitting smoking.

The Mid-Atlantic American Lung Association's CEO, Deb Brown, said that it's not uncommon for people to attempt quitting around the New Year.

"There are about six out of ten smokers who actually require multiple attempts to quit smoking," Brown said. "But we know that 80 percent of individuals who smoke out there, at some point in time, are trying to quit smoking."

Read more
Environment
8:00 am
Tue December 27, 2011

Shale Gas Industry Hoping for Statewide Regulations in 2012

The leader of the Marcellus Shale Coalition said that the past year was a mixed bag for Pennsylvania's shale gas industry, and she expects more of the same next year.

Coalition President Kathryn Klaber said that the industry added 200,000 new jobs in Pennsylvania in 2011, and expanded shale gas infrastructure across the state. However, she said that she's disappointed that the legislature didn't pass a set of statewide laws to regulate industry practices.

Read more
Government
8:00 am
Tue December 27, 2011

Job Growth is Altmire’s Focus in 2012

Congressman Jason Altmire (D-PA 4) plans to focus his attention on creating jobs in his district when he returns to Washington D.C. in January.

"Western Pennsylvania is ahead of the game," said Altmire. "That's why we have an unemployment rate that's below the national average. There are still places that are struggling and we have work to do, but I think we are uniquely positioned to take advantages of our resources and grow in a way that the rest of the country will be a little bit jealous of."

Read more
Economy
8:00 am
Mon December 26, 2011

State Efforts Underway to Help Returning Iraq Veterans Find Jobs

With the official conclusion of the Iraq War, local officials have made much of Pennsylvania's efforts to help returning service members come back into the civilian workforce. The state's Civil Service Commission held a recruiting event specifically for military veterans earlier this month. About 150 people showed up for information and advice.

Veterans face many challenges when returning from combat. One of the first steps to finding civilian employment is to get veterans to cut the shorthand out of their speech.

Read more
Transportation
8:00 am
Mon December 26, 2011

Tougher Laws for Teen Drivers to Take Effect in Pennsylvania

Starting Tuesday, drivers under the age of 18 will face more stringent requirements for obtaining a driver's license, and more restrictions when they first get one.

The new law adds 15 hours of supervised, behind-the-wheel training for driver's license permit holders younger than 18. That brings the total to 65 hours. Ten of those additional hours must be completed after dark, and five of them in poor weather conditions.

Read more
Local
8:00 am
Mon December 26, 2011

Pittsburgh Company’s Peak Season Comes After Holidays

For most retailers, November and December are the biggest shopping months of the year. But after the holidays, a lot of merchandise inevitably ends up going back to the store. Some of those bad gifts get returned to the store shelves, but many can't be resold right away. That's where companies like Pittsburgh-based GENCO ATC come in. They specialize in reverse logistics.

Read more
Transportation
8:00 am
Mon December 26, 2011

Army Corps: Lock and Dam Work to Continue

Army Corps of Engineers Deputy District Engineer Jeanine Hoey is not quite sure what the new year holds for the Pittsburgh District. That's because their budget was just finalized and the details have yet to filter down.

"We probably have some work on some of our locks and dams. We have a little bit of work on some of our flood control structures, but probably not a significant amount … there'll be some work out at East Branch Dam also," explained Hoey.

She says that the amount of work they do each year varies.

Read more
Local
8:00 am
Mon December 26, 2011

Allegheny County Gets Ready to Connect the Carrie Furnace Site

Allegheny County is set to break ground in 2012 on a flyover that will connect the Rankin Bridge to the Carrie Furnace Redevelopment site. In December, the site was awarded a $10 million grant through the U.S. Department of Transportation's TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Awards, one of three in the state.

Read more
Government
4:06 pm
Sun December 25, 2011

Onorato Proud of County Executive Legacy

Outgoing County Executive Dan Onorato may have failed in his 2010 bid for the governorship, but he said his time in Allegheny County's highest office was a success.

His eight-year record of keeping county property taxes level was besmirched a bit when Allegheny County Council passed a 21% property tax hike this December, a fact about which Onorato seems displeased.

Read more
Economy
8:00 am
Sun December 25, 2011

Consumer Preference for Certain Products Presents Double-Edged Sword for Manufacturers

Apparently "what's on the inside" doesn't really count, at least when it comes to product choice. A recent study from a team of market researchers found that when it comes to consumer choice, packaging makes a big difference in the perceived effectiveness of a product.

Read more
Local
11:41 am
Sat December 24, 2011

Merry Band of Brothers, and Dozens of Friends, Keep Caroling Tradition Alive

Christmas caroling is one of those traditions that surveys show has been declining in recent decades. But there are still pockets of holiday singers here and there.

Nate Wildfire is one of those remaining carolers. He was 16 when he asked his mom if he could host a caroling event.

"So we had a big party," he says. "We decided, 'Let's sing! Let's spread some cheer.' Then mom makes enough food to feed an army."

Read more
Health
8:30 pm
Fri December 23, 2011

Holidays Can Be Hard

For those that have lost a loved one, the holidays can bring back painful memories.

Cynthia Oliver, Director of the Good Grief Center in Squirrel Hill, which provides bereavement support, notes that the holiday season can be a difficult time, with all the celebrations and rituals that may bring back memories of the person who has passed away. Oliver said that grief affects everyone differently and is a unique experience that is different for every person. In some cases, cultural and gender roles play a part.

Read more
Environment
8:00 pm
Fri December 23, 2011

Christmas Bird Count Underway

The Pennsylvania Game Commission is inviting wildlife enthusiasts to help in the Audubon Society's 112th Annual Christmas Bird Count. Last year, 62,624 people counted more than 60 million birds throughout the United States, Canada, and Latin America.

Game Commission spokesman Jerry Feaser said that information gathered during the event is very helpful.

Read more
Local
8:00 pm
Fri December 23, 2011

Bipartisan Taskforce Will Study Death Penalty

The Pennsylvania State Senate will create a task force and advisory committee to study the capital punishment system.

In 2007, an American Bar Association panel found the system flawed, with insufficient safeguards to protect the innocent or to avoid racial and economic bias.

Senator Daylin Leach, a Democrat from Delaware and Montgomery Counties who has sponsored legislation that would repeal the death penalty, welcomed the study as a way to ascertain exactly how much the policy costs taxpayers and whether it is effective and fair.

Read more
Local
8:00 pm
Fri December 23, 2011

Pennsylvania Starts to Fill Budget Office Positions

Pennsylvania's equivalent to the Congressional Budget Office is finally coming together after a long wait. The Independent Fiscal Office (IFO) was created in 2010 to provide apolitical economic and budgetary analysis. However, it only existed in theory, because it has never been staffed.

The IFO got its first slice of the state budget pie this year, and more than 5 months later, two key staffers have finally been appointed. The department is meant to serve lawmakers.

Read more
Local
6:55 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

Pitt Pegs Wisconsin's Chryst as New Football Coach

Dressed all in blue and gold, Paul Chryst accepted the University of Pittsburgh's offer to become its second head football coach in as many years on Thursday.

Chryst comes to Pitt directly from Wisconsin University, where he's had success as the Badgers' offensive coordinator since 2006. He replaces Todd Graham, who controversially left the Panthers for Arizona State after just one season in Pittsburgh.

Chryst said that he's excited to meet Pitt's players and staff.

Read more
Science & Technology
6:41 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

NASA Funds a New Solar Odyssey at Carnegie Science Center

The Carnegie Science Center will soon be selling round-trip tickets to the sun.

As part of a new 3-D presentation called SolarQuest: Exploration of the Sun-Earth System, the Science Center will dive into the study of heliophysics, a branch of science that looks into the continuous interactions between the earth and sun.

Read more
Environment
5:16 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

Proposed Pipeline Would Ship Marcellus Gas Out of State

A Texas-based company is moving forward with plans to build a pipeline to transmit natural gas from the Marcellus Shale formation in Pennsylvania to distributors along the eastern seaboard.

The Williams Company of Houston has filed a pre-application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to review its preliminary plans to construct the 258-mile pipeline from West Virginia through southern Pennsylvania, including Somerset and Bedford Counties.

Read more
Local
3:45 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

Congressional Payroll Tax Cut Battle Goes Local

An impromptu food drive was held outside the Mount Lebanon office of Congressman Tim Murphy (R-PA 18) on Thursday, but the effort was more a political statement than earnest charity.

The idea was to imply that more people will need to accept rations from the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank if no agreement is reached on a bill to prolong the federal payroll tax cut, unemployment benefits, and a reduction of Medicare fees for doctors. The protesters believe that Murphy is standing in the way of a deal.

Read more
Local
2:47 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

Highmark – UPMC Extend In-Network Deal

Highmark and UPMC announced today that the two nonprofits have reached a deal to allow Highmark subscribers continued access to UPMC hospitals and physicians at in-network rates until June 30, 2013.

Such access was to expire in 2012 as the terms of a deal between Highmark and UPMC expired. Highmark, the largest health insurer in western Pennsylvania, and UPMC, the largest health care provider in the region, are locked in a bitter fight over rates and access to facilities.

Read more
Local
2:02 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

Funding May Come Through for System of Gauges that Monitor River Crests

Funding may be flowing after all for the system of gauges that monitored river crests during this year's floods in Pennsylvania.

The federal government, the Army Corps of Engineers, regional groups, and state agencies are all pitching in on the effort.

Read more
Local
10:39 pm
Wed December 21, 2011

Candlelight Vigil Held for Departed Homeless Man

A candlelight vigil was held on Wednesday evening for Craig Duncan, a homeless man who died this year while living on the streets of Pittsburgh.

Sundown on December 21 usually begins the longest night of the year, and Operation Safety Net has held memorial services for departed homeless people on that date for 21 years.

About twenty people gathered to pray and sing "Amazing Grace," standing beneath an underpass in downtown Pittsburgh, where a wall of plaques denote the 120 local homeless persons who've passed away since 1990.

Read more
Health
9:10 pm
Wed December 21, 2011

Use of Blood Thinners Could Save Cancer Patients’ Lives

Blood clots are a major cause of death among cancer patients, but currently, anticoagulants are only used on patients when they're hospitalized. A study led by Margaret Ragni, M.D., Ph.D., professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, tracked what would happen if anticoagulants were used in outpatient cancer treatments.

"There is increasing evidence that using blood thinners has a beneficial effect on cancer. The mechanism isn't well known but it probably inhibits extra vessel growth and it inhibits tumor growth," said Ragni.

Read more
Local
8:24 pm
Wed December 21, 2011

Occupy Pittsburgh Eviction Lawsuit Begins

Thursday marks the first court date of an eviction lawsuit recently filed by BNY Mellon to remove the Occupy Pittsburgh encampment from its downtown property.

Judge Christine Ward will hear the case in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.

The bank wants to evict the protesters because of health and safety concerns, largely due to the fast-approaching winter. However, Occupy Pittsburgh said that it has taken strides to clean up the encampment and make it safe for the occupiers and the public.

Read more
Local
7:05 pm
Wed December 21, 2011

New Plan Unveiled for Former Braddock Hospital Site

When the UPMC Braddock hospital was demolished beginning last year, the community was left with a huge gap in the center of the financially woebegone town.

On Wednesday, Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato detailed a plan to fill in that void with an office building, housing, and a 20,000-square-foot park.

Drafted with input from Braddock's elected officials, the $20.3 million dollar plan would be carried out over the next two years, with a tentative completion date of late 2013.

Read more

Pages