Government & Politics
4:11 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Partial Veto of Projects Could Prompt Lawsuit

Lawmakers think the governor overreached when he vetoed not just parts of the state budget, but parts of another related piece of legislation, and House and Senate leaders are weighing their options to retaliate.

The state constitution allows the governor to partially veto “appropriations.” Lawmakers have interpreted that to mean specific sections of a state budget can be struck down by the governor.

Last week, Gov. Tom Corbett did that.

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3:34 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

PA Hospitals Now Required to Perform 'Pulse Oximetry' Test on Newborns

In Pennsylvania, newborns are screened for more than 40 conditions, but only six of these screenings are mandatory according to Dr. Robert Cicco, the associate director of the neonatal intensive care unit at West Penn Hospital.

However, a new law will add a seventh condition to that list, requiring hospitals to screen babies for severe heart disease using a pulse oximetry test.

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Tuition Hike
12:24 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Tuition Going Up 3.9 Percent at Pitt's Oakland Campus

Already cited by the U.S. Department of Education as having the highest tuition for a four-year public university or college, the University of Pittsburgh is raising its rates for the 2014-15 academic year.

The Pitt Board of Trustees Friday approved a $1.97 billion operating budget for the fiscal year that started July 1 — up $10 million from the just completed year.

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Environment & Energy
12:13 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

No New Gas Leases in State Parks and Forests Pending Court Decision

The Corbett administration has announced that no new natural gas leases will be issued under state parks and forest land while the case of PEDF v. Commonwealth progresses in court.

The decision is part of a settlement, which includes the continued funding of the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The suit was brought by the Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation.

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10:50 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Pittsburgh's Cost of Living Below the 'Average' City

Pittsburgh’s cost of living was the third lowest among 14 peer cities, according to Pittsburgh TODAY.
Credit Flickr user josepha

More young people are moving to Pittsburgh while fewer are leaving, and Doug Heuck, the director of Pittsburgh TODAY, thinks this could be because of the region’s cost of living.

The nonprofit research organization found that in the first quarter of 2014, Pittsburgh’s cost of living was the third lowest among 14 peer cities – St. Louis and Charlotte had the lowest cost of living figures.

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90.5 WESA Celebrates
3:30 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Judy Bannon, Providing Cribs For Kids

Judy Bannon
Credit Debbi Casini Klein / 90.5 WESA

Read and listen to a story about Judy Bannon as part of a series honoring the individuals who make a difference in people’s lives: 90.5 WESA Celebrates People Making a Difference.

In 1992, research revealed that sleeping babies should be put on their backs instead of their stomachs. That discovery lead to a 50 percent drop in Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, or SIDS.

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Special Programming
9:00 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Today on Q: A Revealing Interview with Tom Petty

Artist Tom Petty with a revealing interview on The Really Big Questions, with host Dean Olsher.
Credit Brian R. Grubb / Wikipedia

Essential Pittsburgh will take a summer break July 14th – 18th.  We’ll return with live shows on July 21st.

While we’re away enjoy the daily arts and culture program Q with Jian Ghomeshi at noon. At 8pm find out what drives human behavior on the program The Really Big Questions (TRBQ) with Dean Olsher. 

You can listen to past episodes of Essential Pittsburgh here or check out the podcast in iTunes.

Today at noon on Q, with Jian Ghomeshi: The first hour of the show is completely devoted to Jian’s revealing interview with Tom Petty, who talks about his new record, his extensive list of hit singles, and his views of modern music.

At 8pm, The Really Big Questions, hosted by Dean Olsher: What’s your story? Research confirms our minds depend on the story as the driving force for comprehending, deciphering, recalling and organizing our lives. Why do stories have such power over our beliefs and behaviors?

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Economy & Business
4:28 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Sen. Casey: Change Tax Code to Bring Jobs Back to PA

In the last 10 years, an estimated 2.4 million jobs have been shipped off shore by U.S. companies, according to U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), and he says the tax code not only allows it, but encourages it. 

“It’s almost as if the tax code says ‘take your jobs overseas and the code will help you do it,” said Casey.  “Unfortunately I’m not exaggerating.”

For that reason Casey is calling on the Senate Committee on Finance to move the Bring Jobs Home Act (S. 337) to the full Senate for debate and a vote.

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Beer Fest!
4:22 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Social Club for the Weekend of July 18th

We love our booze — ahem, our craft beers — here at the Social Club podcast, so of course the upcoming Beer Fest is one of Josh and Rachel’s favorite happenings this weekend. For the sober-minded, however, there’s no need to worry: this week’s events include yoga in the square, fashion trucks, and overlooked Pittsburgh barbecue. Listen in for why, “This is like, deliberate yoga, not just a weirdo running around the Square.”

This week’s happenings:

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Environment & Energy
4:03 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Commonwealth Court Throws Out Several Challenges to Act 13, Including ‘Doctor Gag Rule’

Pennsylvania's Commonwealth Court has upheld several sections of the state's oil and gas law, including a provision dealing with doctors' access to the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing.
Credit Lindsay Lazarski / WHYY

Pennsylvania doctors have nothing to worry about when it comes to the so-called “gag order” on chemical exposures from oil and gas drilling. That’s the message from the Commonwealth Court today in a much-anticipated ruling on provisions of the state’s two-year-old oil and gas law. The court issued the ruling after the Supreme Court passed on the controversy, sending it back to the lower court.

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