News

Pages

Local
5:18 pm
Thu February 23, 2012

PUC Chairman: Commission Will Be Aggressive About Regulating Impact Fee Spending

The Public Utility Commission's Chairman may be "letting the play come to [it]" when it comes to collecting Pennsylvania's new impact and enforcing local zoning, but Chairman Rob Powelson says the commission will be aggressive about making sure local governments are using their impact fee revenue properly.

Read more
Environment
9:38 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Connoquenessing Water OK

At least 10 households in western Pennsylvania fear their drinking water has been ruined by natural gas drilling, but state officials say tests don't show that.

Residents say Rex Energy Corp. has sent letters notifying them it will no longer deliver drinking water to the households after Feb. 29.

Rex Energy says in a statement that testing found no notable differences in pre and post-drilling water chemistry in Connoquenessing Township, about 35 miles north of Pittsburgh.

Read more
Local
8:03 am
Thu February 23, 2012

State Related Schools Plead Case

The heads of the four state-related universities tried Wednesday to make the case that state funding is a major piece of their budgets. The move comes as their institutions face deep cuts for the second year in a row.

The Presidents of Penn State, Pitt, and Temple went before lawmakers in Harrisburg to testify on their budgetary needs. The Corbett Administration is calling for a 30 percent reduction to state funding for the schools. The presidents called that too harsh.

Read more
Local
8:02 am
Thu February 23, 2012

2001 Districts to be Used in Primary

Leaders in the Pennsylvania Senate say the primary election will be held as scheduled, on April 24th, using the current legislative districts. The signal comes as the panel in charge of redistricting blew its first self-imposed deadline.

Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi said lawmakers won't try to push back the primary to accommodate the second round of map-making, nor will there be any fiddling with existing district boundary lines.

"Absent legislative or judicial action, they are the rules of the road for the upcoming primary," said Pileggi.

Read more
Local
7:36 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Roethlisberger Foundation Gives Grants for Police Dogs

The Ben Roethlisberger Foundation has given $52,400 in grants to nine local police and fire departments, meant to bolster K-9 units across the region.

The local departments will buy police dogs, the dogs' training, and their protective vests with the funding from Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

Stephanie Sandler is Vice President of the Giving Back Fund, which administers Roethlisberger's foundation. She says the two-time Super Bowl winner wants to focus on funding for police dogs.

Read more
Local
6:34 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

2013 Reassessment Information Easier To Access

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald introduced several new ways to make the 2013 court-ordered reassessments easier for property owners.

The county has created a simplified webpage to better access data on the 2012 base year values, the 2013 court-ordered reassessment values, and get information on when the 2013 market values will be mailed. Additionally, visitors to the site can download formal appeal forms, schedule an informal review or set corrections to property characteristics.

Read more
Government
5:40 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Critz Campaign Challenges Validity of Altmire’s Petition Signatures

The campaign for Congressman Mark Critz has filed objections to Congressman Jason Altmire's nominating petition, challenging the validity of more than half of the signatures on the petition that would place him in the April Democratic Primary. A spokesman for Critz said there are numerous irregularities found on the petition, including 385 signatures they said came from a circulator from outside the congressional district, which goes against state law.

Read more
Local
5:15 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Lottery and Liquor Might Mix to Boost State Revenue

Pennsylvania's revenue watchers say putting lottery ticket sales in state liquor stores would be a boon. But not all lawmakers are keen on the idea.

Profits from the Pennsylvania Lottery have held pretty steady over the past few years, according to the Revenue Department, and many believe that number can grow, which would add more money to the state's coffers. One key to boosting those sales is to increase the number of retailers.

The first place the Revenue bean counters are looking to is the state-run liquor stores.

Read more
Local
4:51 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

UPMC, Highmark Do Battle in Monroeville

Highmark health insurance subscribers won't be able to use UPMC East at in-network rates when the hospital opens in Monroeville this July.

The health insurer turned down a one-year contract offer from UPMC on Tuesday, saying the proposed deal was too short.

Read more
Local
2:37 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Pennsylvania Education Secretary Points to Past

The state's top education official is defending the governor's budget plan for next year but in doing so he is focusing on the past.

Corbett's budget proposal would increase the largest share of state education spending by $20 million dollars compared to the budget that was passed last year. School districts say that specific increase is overshadowed by the proposed $100 million cut to another education funding stream, known as accountability block grants.

Read more
Science & Technology
10:06 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Penn State Explores Direct Digital Manufacturing

By the time the next academic year rolls around, scientists at Penn State University hope to have a cutting-edge manufacturing technology lab installed on campus.

Leaders of the school's Center for Innovative Materials Processing (CIMP) said the new facility explores "direct digital manufacturing" — a relatively new process by which machines can create products automatically, using only a digital blueprint.

Essentially, an engineer would be able to enter specifications into a computer and pick up the real, finished product at the other end of the lab shortly thereafter.

Read more
Government
8:13 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

County Controller: Give Weights & Measures Duties to State

Controller Chelsa Wagner wants to let the state handle the auditing of weights and measures in Allegheny County, rather than relinquish control of the duty to the County Executive's office.

At Tuesday night's County Council meeting, Wagner plans to offer up a bill that would authorize the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to inspect scales, parking meters, gas pumps, and UPC price scanners in Allegheny County.

Read more
Local
7:29 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Library to Work on Stategic Plan

This week, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will be holding the first of several meetings to gather community input on a strategic plan for the next five years.

Because their main source of funding comes from The Allegheny Regional Asset District, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh has to provide them with a strategic plan about every five years. This time around, the library is seeking input from the community in drawing up their plan.

Read more
Science & Technology
4:34 pm
Tue February 21, 2012

Highmark Launching First Statewide Health Information Exchange

Highmark has chosen Verizon to develop Pennsylvania's first comprehensive health information exchange (HIE). Doctors will be able to enter a patient's information into a system that will then be accessible by other physicians treating that patient.

"Health information exchanges are designed to provide a clearinghouse for health care providers and hospitals to share and exchange information to improve patient care," said Aaron Billger, a spokesman for Highmark.

Read more
Government
9:20 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Public Education Group Analyzes Pittsburgh Schools

An independent study by A+ Schools reports the Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) has made "solid progress" towards financial stability.

Carey Harris, executive director of A+, said the city school system took decisive action to cut its budget deficit from a projected $100 million to $30 million.

She said the report also notes the Governor Corbett's proposed state budget for 2012-2013 has not restored funding cuts made last year to public schools.

Read more
Local
7:51 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Protesters Criticize New State Prison Construction

A score of protesters gathered outside the downtown office of the design firm Astorino today, where architects are drafting blueprints for a $315.8 million, two-prison compound in Montgomery County.

Members of the activist group "Decarcerate PA" held aloft a banner reading "No More Prisons" while traffic zipped by along Fort Pitt Boulevard.

Read more
Local
7:18 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Pittsburgh Region Shines in Annual Report

Pittsburgh TODAY has published its annual report on how the region compares to fourteen other areas of the country in ten categories: arts, demographics, economy, education, environment, government, health, housing, public safety and transportation.

Read more
Arts
7:14 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Museum of Art Announces Additions

A 19th century papier-mâché pianoforte, a daguerreotype photograph of President Barack Obama inaugural address, and water decanters commissioned by President James Monroe are among the works acquired by the Carnegie Museum of Art in 2011.

Jason Busch, the museum's chief curator, said the pieces are a great fit.

Read more
Arts
5:17 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Praying Anti-Abortion Activists Will Return for Lent

February 22 to April 1 is not only a period to give up a favorite guilty pleasure for the Christian Lenten Season, activists also plan to make it a time to take a stand against abortion. The Pittsburgh 40 Days for Life Campaign plans to pray and hold vigils outside of the downtown Planned Parenthood location starting Wednesday.

Read more
Economy
4:00 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

Table Games Revenue Up At Commonwealth Casinos

Gross revenue from table games in January was nearly $9.7 million higher than last year, according to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board.

962 tables at 10 casinos generated $52,980,494 last month compared to $43,310,753 in January 2011.

Spokesman Doug Harbach said the casinos are still in a stage of growth.

Read more
Science & Technology
8:00 am
Mon February 20, 2012

Track Crime In Your Area Online

The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Deliquency (PCCD) has launched a new website that will give the public better access to crime-related data.

The website is a clearinghouse for state and county justice statistics, data trends, and PCCD-funded research and evaluations. The site includes general information about crime in specific communities, including number of arrests, types of offenses, and the number of people incarcerated and paroled. The information is free and open to the public.

Read more
Government
8:00 am
Mon February 20, 2012

New Bill Focuses on Reforming Teacher Hiring

Pennsylvania State Senator Anthony Williams (D-Philadelphia and Delaware) has introduced legislation that would close a "loophole" in the public school code known as "passing the trash."

"Passing the trash" occurs when a school district gives an educator accused of sexual misconduct incentives for resigning such as health benefits, letters of recommendation, and confidentiality agreements.

Read more
Government
8:00 am
Mon February 20, 2012

David Freed Unopposed as GOP State Attorney General Candidate

Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed is the only Republican in the race to become Pennsylvania's next state attorney general. His candidacy was made official last week when he filed more than 7,000 signatures, seven times what he needed to be on the ballot. The deadline to submit nominating petitions passed February 15.

Read more
Local
8:00 am
Mon February 20, 2012

Foster Care Support Could Be Extended In Pennsylvania

A proposal from the governor's office may save Pennsylvania nearly $4.5 million by fully implementing a federal Act that promotes adoption and improves outcomes for foster youth. The Fostering Connections and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 provides federal funding for states that comply with its various programs, which largely center on financial support for adoptive families and extending foster care for youth who need it.

Read more
Local
8:09 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Governor Corbett Tours Calgon Carbon's Ultraviolet Technologies Division in Coraopolis

Governor Tom Corbett said he has been visiting private sector employers around the state in the past two weeks because he believes the role of government is to create an environment where they can be competitive with other companies in the U.S. and the world. To keep and attract companies, the state must help keep their costs, i.e. taxes, down.

Read more

Pages