News

Pages

Government
8:00 am
Mon February 13, 2012

State Cardiac Arrest Bill Aims To Save Student Athletes

Cardiac arrest is the number one killer of student athletes across the country, but currently there is no policy in Pennsylvania to screen athletes and possibly prevent unnecessary death. A new bill in committee in the state Senate addresses that discrepancy.

Sponsor state Senator John Blake (D-Lackawanna) said the goal of this bill is to protect student-athletes without overstepping the government's boundaries.

Read more
Local
3:57 pm
Sun February 12, 2012

Corbett Defends Proposed Budget Cuts

Governor Corbett is taking to the road to explain and defend his budget proposal.

He's asking for critics to take a big-picture view of his proposed reductions to higher education.

Sure, 20 and 30 percent cuts to state-supported colleges and universities might sound bad, but the governor urged Pennsylvanians take a look at what those cuts would mean for the schools' overall operating budgets.

He said they would all make up between one and four percent of the schools' spending.

Read more
Environment
2:03 pm
Sun February 12, 2012

PUC Assures Extension Of Energy Savings Law

Pennsylvania's Public Utility Commission (PUC) has convinced environmental advocates that the state's energy savings programs will not be left for dead come next summer. PennFuture has withdrawn its petition to the commission asking to begin the process of extending the energy savings law known as Act 129, which is set to expire in May of 2013.

Read more
Health
8:30 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

Senator Calls For Stricter Smoking Laws

Pennsylvania State Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf (R-Montgomery) wants to strengthen the Clean Indoor Air Act to ban smoking in casinos and all restaurants, bars, and taverns.

In September 2008, the Clean Indoor Air Act took effect prohibiting smoking in most indoor work and public places through the state.

Under the current law, smoking is allowed in half of a total floor space in casinos, and bars can apply for exceptions to the smoking ban if they show they earn less than 20 percent of their revenues from food sales.

Read more
Science & Technology
7:01 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

Different Approach To Environmental Argument

People either believe in climate changing patterns, or they don't. Dr. Andrew Hoffman, Director of the Erb Institute at the University of Michigan, looks beyond the scientific debate and considers the social aspect of the believers and non-believers.

Read more
Health
6:11 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

Unveiling of the Giving Life Wall at UPMC

On Saturday, UPMC will dedicate the Giving Life Wall, a photomontage on permanent display at UPMC Presbyterian hospital that honors those who gave the gift of life through organ donation.

The wall is a collaborative effort between the hospital system and the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE).

Read more
Local
12:56 pm
Fri February 10, 2012

Bradford County Blow-Out Costs Chesapeake more than $250K

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has fined a gas driller more than $500-thousand dollars for three separate violations. Chesapeake Appalachia violated rules protecting streams and wetlands. The Oklahoma City-based driller was also fined for one of the state's most high-profile incidents. Read more on the results of last spring's Bradford County blow-out.

Economy
10:16 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

City Hall Renovations To Save Taxpayers Hundreds Of Thousands Per Year

Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu today unveiled plans for energy-efficiency improvements to the 97 year-old City Hall building.

Overall, the renovation process will save the city an estimated $475,000 per year, and will also generate nearly 40 constructions jobs.

Ravenstahl said one main renovation will be to the steam line that provides heat and air conditioning to City Hall.

"We estimate that this will reduce our carbon footprint by 800 metric tons each year," Ravenstahl said.

Read more
Local
9:55 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

U.S. Energy Secretary Touts Benefits of Natural Gas on Stop in Pittsburgh

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu said the Department of Energy supports the responsible development of natural gas, and added it's an important part of the nation's energy future. On a stop in Pittsburgh Thursday, Chu said the U.S. needs an "all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy."

"Yes we want to develop wind and solar, and we especially want to develop it so they can compete with any form of energy without subsidy, and we think this is around the corner. By 'around the corner,' we mean within a decade or so," said Chu.

Read more
Environment
9:32 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Study Focuses on Marcellus Shale Environmental Violations

A report by the PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center shows that, over the past four years, gas operators accumulated 3,355 violations of environmental laws. [PDF] The study was compiled using information from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

Erika Staaf, clean water advocate with PennEnvironment, claims more than 70 percent of the violations were possibly a direct threat to the environment.

Read more
Local
7:53 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Children of Incarcerated Parents Bear the Brunt

A recently published report says the number of children of incarcerated parents in Allegheny County is on the rise, and the effects of their parents' incarceration affects the children adversely.

Nearly ten years ago, The Pittsburgh Child Guidance Foundation did a survey in Allegheny County. They found there were 7,000 children with one or both parents in jail. Today, the numbers are up to 8,500, according to the report released today, but the effects on the children are the same and can include depression, anger, and substance abuse.

Read more
Local
6:55 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

Pitt Gets Huge Grant For Energy Technology Development

The Center for Energy at the University of Pittsburgh has received $22 million from the Richard King Mellon Foundation, one of the largest private foundation grants in Pitt's history.

The majority of the money will be used to create new faculty positions and graduate fellowships and to establish a fund for spurring innovative research.

"The center has tremendous potential to make an impact in Pittsburgh, as energy will be the major driver of our regional economy for years to come," said Scott Izzo, the foundation's director.

Read more
Local
1:18 pm
Thu February 9, 2012

‘Mellon Green’ No Longer ‘People’s Park’

Allegheny County Sheriff's deputies moved into the small greenspace near BNY Mellon's downtown office this morning around 5:00 AM to make sure all of the Occupy Pittsburgh protesters were gone. Sheriff Bill Mullen said all the deputies found was trash and rats.

A bomb-sniffing dog was brought in to check out the tents and wooden structures left behind by the protesters. Nothing was found and crews hired by BNY Mellon quickly erected a fence round the park.

Read more
Arts
8:00 am
Thu February 9, 2012

Play Explores Gammage Death

A new play exploring the 1995 arrest and death of Johnny Gammage opens tonight at the Henry Heymann Theater. It runs through February 19 before moving on to the August Wilson center Downtown March 2nd.

Essential Public Radio's Mark Nootbaar had a chance to speak with "The Gammage Project" author Attilo Favorini. He asked the University of Pittsburgh Professor what drew him to the nearly 17-year-old story.

Read more
Local
8:00 am
Thu February 9, 2012

Strip District Makeover To Move Forward

The Urban Redevelopment Authority Board voted today to approve a Memorandum of Understanding between the URA and The Buncher Company to begin renovation of the Strip District. Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said this would bring about new riverfront development and modernization of the area while preserving the historic Produce Terminal. Arthur Ziegler, President of the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation (PHLF), said the refurbishments will maintain the function of the district's historic structures and not detract from its authenticity.

Read more
Environment
9:51 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

Pennsylvania Legislators Have Passed An Impact Fee. Here’s What Happens Next.

Pennsylvania's House has passed a Mar­cel­lus Shale impact fee on a 101–90 vote. Now that the leg­is­la­tion is on its way to Gov­er­nor Corbett's desk, what hap­pens next? Here are some key mile­stones to look for.

Read the rest of this story at StateImpact Pennsylvania.

Health
9:28 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

Pitt Study Finds Majority of Hookah Websites Don’t Include the Word “Tobacco”

The popularity of smoking through a hookah has been on the rise for several years, with many towns and cities having cafes or bars specifically for hookah. The National Cancer Foundation funded a study into whether or not websites that offer Hookah products are candid about their products.

The research team at University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine did a systematic search of some of the most prominent Hookah Tobacco websites on the Internet.

Read more
Government
8:50 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

Allegheny County Democrats to Endorse Candidates Using 2001 Legislative Map

The Allegheny County Democratic Committee will meet this weekend to endorse candidates for U.S. Congress and the Pennsylvania General Assembly for the primary. But the ongoing dispute over state legislative maps has caused some confusion in the party and beyond.

"We set up our endorsements based upon the 2011 lines, then after the Supreme Court decision, we were instructed by the court to return to the 2001 lines, which we have done," said Nancy Patton Mills, chair of the Allegheny County Democratic Committee.

Read more
Government
7:04 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

Majority Leader Wants Capital Funding Assistance to Promote Jobs

State House Majority Leader Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) is sponsoring legislation to reform the process for state assistance in capital project funding.

Turzai said the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Project's debt ceiling has ballooned in the past two gubernatorial administrations, and he hopes to lower that ceiling.

"It takes the limit immediately down from $4.05 to $3.5 billion and then over the next eight years it takes it to $3.1 billion, and then it takes it down further over the remainder of the 20 years to $1.5 billion," Turzai said.

Read more
Local
6:53 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

Budget for Higher Education Cuts Community Colleges a Break

Last year, Governor Tom Corbett's budget called for an 18 percent reduction in funding for Pennsylvania state schools. The governor's 2012-2013 budget that was unveiled Tuesday slashed appropriations by 20 percent for the 14 state-owned universities.

The proposed funding reduction for community colleges is smaller at $8.8 million statewide.

Read more
Economy
6:50 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

Housing Advocates and Lawmakers Call on Governor to Fund Program that Helps Homeowners Facing

The Homeowners' Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (HEMAP) helps Pennsylvanians catch up on mortgage payments when they get behind because of circumstances beyond their control, such as an illness. The program was put on hold in July 2011 because of a lack of funding and is not included in Governor Tom Corbett's $27.1 billion budget. The Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania said leaving it out is a mistake because of the benefit to counties.

Read more
Local
5:13 pm
Wed February 8, 2012

Congressman Murphy Fights Base Closure

As the Air Force looks to trim more than $8 billion, Congressman Tim Murphy (R- PA 18) is battling a third attempt to close the Pittsburgh 911 Airlift Wing. He's sponsoring a House Bill that stipulates that the Air Force has to keep C-130 aircraft at the Pittsburgh base, and cannot move them elsewhere. The bill is co-sponosred by Democratic congressmen Jason Altmire, Mark Critz, and Mike Doyle as well. Murphy said the Pentagon has the freedom to close bases that employ 300 or fewer personnel, but said the 911th has at least 318 workers.

Read more
Government
11:30 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

City Council Blasts Senate Shale Bill

Pittsburgh City Council Members sharply criticized state Senate legislation that would set a comprehensive policy for Marcellus Shale exploration in Pennsylvania.

The bill, which is expected to clear the state House soon, would assess an "impact fee" on each Marcellus Shale gas well drilled in the state, and set zoning laws regarding where such infrastructure could be built within municipalities.

Both of those points drew heated words from City Council Members, who unanimously passed a resolution that denounced Senate Bill 1100.

Read more
Local
10:36 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

SUV Crashes Into PNC Office Building

An unidentified driver crashed a stolen sport utility vehicle into PNC's Firstside Center on Tuesday afternoon.

The blue SUV "came flying down Ross Street" and into the First Avenue building's revolving doors about 2:30 PM, according to Bob Molyneaux of the Bureau of Building Inspection.

"From what they are saying, [the driver] jumped out on foot and ran down Ross Street, and into 200 Ross Street, and that's about all we know," said Molyneaux. The suspect hadn't been apprehended as of Wednesday morning.

Read more
Local
8:51 pm
Tue February 7, 2012

Education Groups Say Governor’s Budget Still Leaves Districts with Tough Choices

Governor Tom Corbett isn't proposing any slashes in K-12 education funding in the $27.14 billion budget he laid out for lawmakers Tuesday. But he's changing things a bit, increasing the use of block grants to school districts. Corbett said there is actually a slight increase in state funding to basic education. But education groups aren't so sure.

Read more

Pages