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AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Following the shooting of a police officer in Philadelphia in early January, one state lawmaker is calling on his colleagues to consider legislation that would mandate the reporting of lost or stolen firearms.

“We have no way right now to go out and prosecute and finish a prosecution of a lost or stolen gun, because there is no responsibility on a gun owner to report a lost or stolen gun,” said Sen. Larry Farnese (D-Philadelphia), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The gun used in the Jan. 8 shooting of Philadelphia police officer Jesse Hartnett had been stolen from another police officer and reported in 2013. But Farnese said there are many crimes involving firearms in which a reporting law would help law enforcement.

Pennsylvanians who fly can still use their state-issued driver’s license to board a commercial flight—for the next two years.

The Department of Homeland Security this month revised its schedule for enforcing the REAL I-D Act of 2005, a security measure Congress passed on the recommendation of the 9/11 Commission.

“At this point, there’s no impact on Pennsylvania citizens. They can continue to use a Pennsylvania driver’s license to board commercial aircraft,” said PennDOT spokesman Rich Kirkpatrick.

Highways England / flickr

They come with every new app or piece of software -- they are required to be there by law -- but who actually reads those privacy policy statements that pop up when you are trying to add something to your computer or smart phone?

“Privacy policies that we have at the moment, which are these long legal documents, are important and they play an important roll,” said Florian Schaub, post-doctoral researcher at the Carnegie Mellon University Institute for Software Research. “However, these privacy policies are typically not useful to users and are not meaningful to them.”

Legislation is waiting in the wings to update the state’s Right-to-Know law, overhauled in 2008 to make government records more accessible.

The eight-year-old re-write corrected laws once considered among the worst in the nation and flung open the filing cabinets of some state and local government and let the public in – to sometimes overwhelming effect.

What’s the single largest category of people filing record requests?

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA News

Kids across the nation will be able to continue visiting Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood thanks to funding from Pennsylvania-based Rite Aid Foundation.

Daniel Tiger is the son of Daniel Striped Tiger, a puppet in the original Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, which aired on PBS. The younger Daniel wears a red cardigan and his friends are related to the original characters.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

  Police are puzzled why the city's aggravated assaults, shootings and calls for shots fired all rose in 2015 as the number of homicides fell to levels more on par with previous years, Police Chief Cameron McLay said Friday.

Traditionally, shootings are a good measure for a city's homicide rate, McLay said. That didn't hold true for Pittsburgh in 2015.

Pittsburgh-based law firm Reed Smith has cut 45 attorneys and an unspecified number of support staff employees.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports the cuts are part of a restructuring of the firm's offices in the United States, Europe and the Middle East.

The firm isn't saying where the layoffs have occurred.

The firm's Pittsburgh headquarters employs 250 of the 1,650 attorneys the firm employs worldwide.

John Fetterman

With just over three months to election day, Braddock Mayor John Fetterman will have to step up his fundraising efforts to catch up with his two Democratic primary rivals in Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate race.

Fetterman is running a populist campaign, and lately he's been trying to borrow some momentum from Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who's popularity is surging in Iowa.

Fetterman endorsed the socialist candidate earlier this week, and spoke about it Thursday night on Comedy Central's "The Nightly Show."

CCAC North Library / Flickr

Starting Wednesday, students at the Community College of Allegheny County will be able to earn a bachelor’s degree in education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania without leaving CCAC’s North Side campus. 

Pgh Murals / Twitter

After viewing the results of the workplace diversity survey, what can employers and employees do to make Pittsburgh a more inclusive and diverse region both in the workplace and in the community? Dignity and Respect, Inc. founder and CEO Candi Castleberry Singleton says the conversation in Pittsburgh echoes much of what her organization stands for: action and commitment. 

Pittsburgh Commuter Survey

  City officials released initial results from a survey of Pittsburgh-area commuters on Thursday, sharing insight into the commuting patterns of some city travelers. 

Wolf Still Hopes For Budget Deal As Next Proposal Nears

Jan 14, 2016
Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

 

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf says he's hoping to finish a budget deal for the half-finished fiscal year before he delivers a spending proposal for the year starting next July 1.

Raymond "Dmitri" Beljan / Flickr

 

Tuition at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh is increasing by 3.2 percent for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Vice President for Campus Affairs Michael Murphy told the campus in an email that the school's board of trustees has approved the rate increase, which brings tuition to $51,196 a year for undergraduates entering this fall and for those who entered in the fall of 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Undergraduates who came in the fall of 2012 will pay $50,690 a year. Graduate prices are set at the program level.

Eleanor Klibanoff / WPSU

 

Loan payments and credit downgrades mean that the state's community colleges won't recover right away.

Some of the upsides of a community college — lower tuition, shorter programs, local funding contributions — have quickly become challenges during the budget impasse. Pennsylvania's 14 community colleges have been hurt by the six month delay, and may continue to feel the pinch even though state funds have been released.

Order! Order! It’s time for Social Club. If you are like WESA’s Josh and Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel,  you have been watching way too much Netflix, so it’s time to go out and explore all the fun things going on in the city. You can always watch Making a Murderer and Jessica Jones when you get back.

'Suitable' Helps Connect College Students To Future Careers

Jan 14, 2016
Suitable / Facebook

To help college students be better prepared for the real world, Mark Visco came up with an idea. The result is Suitable a startup company tracking students out of classroom experiences. Mark Visco joins us to explain how his company could be a game-changer for college students.

Matt Rourke / AP

One legacy of Pennsylvania’s 2015 budget gridlock may prove to be the wave of retirement announcements from longtime state lawmakers.

More than a dozen House and Senate members are calling it quits, most of them with more than a decade of service under their belts.

Their reasons vary.

“Let me put it this way: the impasse didn’t convince me to stay,” said Rep. Mike Vereb (R-Montgomery), elected in 2006.

“The art of compromise needs to be revisited in the Capitol,” Vereb said, “and I think the art of the deal – someone should read up on it.”

Pittsburgh Today

People of color who live in the city are significantly less likely to recommend Pittsburgh and say race plays a more significant role in their jobs than their white counterparts. 

That was the finding of a survey done by the University Center for Social and Urban Research at the University of Pittsburgh. It’s called the Pittsburgh Regional Diversity Survey.

Western PA's Community Colleges In Decline?

Jan 14, 2016
State Farm / flickr

Community colleges are praised for their ability to provide a quality education at an affordable price. In addition, they've been a resource for communities when workers need retraining. However, declining enrollment is one of the challenges facing two-year colleges in western PA. Joining us to address this issue are Quintin Bullock, president of Community College of Allegheny County and Chris Reber, president of the Community College of Beaver County.

Daniel Lobo / flickr

Pittsburgh public transit users could pay less to ride the bus, or T, starting next year.

Allegheny County Port Authority officials are considering a flat $2.50 fare for one-way rides on the city's light rail and bus lines. It would be the system's first fare decrease in 35 years.

Customers currently maneuver two fare zones; a trip through one costs $2.50 and riding through two costs $3.75.

Keith Srakocic / AP

During his final state of the union address, Pres. Barack Obama once again called for support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement. But Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, who usually lines up politically with the president, said it is a bad idea.

Ken Marshall / Flickr

State lawmakers are bracing for a dizzying prospect: planning the next fiscal year’s spending before the current year’s budget has been finalized.

Dates are set for Governor Tom Wolf’s February budget address and the legislative hearings that follow.

“I will say it will be a little bit different if we don’t have a budget concluded,” said Republican House Majority Leader Dave Reed.

Matt Rourke / AP

Ed Rendell blew into Harrisburg Tuesday, late to a hearing and wearing running shoes with his suit, to tell the state Senate they’ve got it all wrong when it comes to state Attorney General Kathleen Kane.

The former Democratic governor was a last-minute testifier at a hearing meant to give Kane a chance to defend herself from suggestions that she be removed. Kane did not attend, though she sent her chief of staff.

Keith Srakocic / AP Images

During his first regular visit to Essential Pittsburgh of 2016, Mayor Bill Peduto previewed what is projected to be a great year in the Steel City.

Tuesday morning marked Mayor Peduto’s official announcement of Wendell Hissrich as the city’s new acting Public Safety Director.  A Forest Hills native, volunteer firefighter, and Duquesne University graduate, Hissrich’s extensive resume includes work with Pittsburgh EMS, as well as 25 years with the FBI.  Mayor Peduto says that with Hissrich’s diverse background, the public safety department is adopting a new focus centralized in community outreach.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto officially introduced Acting Public Safety Director Wendell Hissrich Tuesday morning, two weeks after announcing the hiring of the former Pittsburgh paramedic.

Burfict Ending? Evaluating Last Week's Steelers Wild Card Game

Jan 12, 2016
Gary Landers / AP Images

It's being called one of the greatest games in Pittsburgh Steelers history. Their come from behind 18-16 playoff victory over the arch rival Cincinnati Bengals was filled with thrilling, hold-your-breath moments. But there were plenty of ugly ones provided by several players including Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict who knocked the Steelers' two biggest offensive stars out of the game. In the wake of the release of the movie "Concussion," is this the image that the NFL wants to project? We'll put that question to John Affleck, Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society and the Director of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism an Penn State.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Would you leave your travel plans in the hands of a stranger not knowing where you’re going until you’ve reached your point of departure? Our guest Lillian Rafson, founder and CEO of the start-up Pack Up & Go bet on this premise when she made her pitch to the judges of the Invest in Her competition. The result - she won the competition which came with a cash prize to fund the venture.

swong95765 / flickr

The Pittsburgh International Airport is adding nonstop flights to Hilton Head International Airport in Savannah, Ga. and expanding nonstop service to Paris. The airport also announced Frontier Airlines will return in June, with nonstop flights to five cities.

Frontier will fly to Atlanta, Denver, Las Vegas and Orlando Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The airline will fly to Chicago on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.   

The destinations are already serviced nonstop by other carriers, but Spokesman Bob Kerlik said the added airline gives travelers more options.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Public Works crews will continue to work 12-hour shifts for the duration of the current snowfall event, according to city spokesperson Katie O’Malley.

Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr

    

New research found that one hookah session could leave you with much higher rates of toxicants than a cigarette.

University of Pittsburgh researchers took the findings of 542 scientific articles and pared them down to 17 studies comparing hookah use to smoking cigarettes. 

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