Associated Press

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.

Public Safety
5:19 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Police to Test Electronic Gunshot-Detection System in Homewood

Pittsburgh police plan to test an electronic gunshot-detection system later this month in a three square mile area stretching from the East Hills to East Liberty.

Councilman Ricky Burgess, who represents the neighborhoods, said there are three reasons for installing the ShotSpotter system, which can pinpoint the location and direction of shots fired.

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Federal Budget
3:00 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Casey: 'Bipartisan Frustration Over Budget'

"It's hard to make predictions around here and be accurate," says U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) about the fate of the $1.1 trillion budget.

It's now up to the Senate to pass the huge  spending bill to keep the government running through the end of the current fiscal year — Sept. 30.  

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Health
5:28 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Website Aims to Clear Confusion of Highmark/UPMC Contract Termination

The state is launching a website to help consumers through the impending termination of a contract between a Western Pennsylvania insurer and the region's dominant hospital and outpatient network.

Officials said they're posting information to stayInformed.pa.gov about changes taking effect Jan. 1 when most Highmark subscribers lose in-network access to UPMC doctors and hospitals. This change has raised many questions, and they have been fielded through the PA Department of Insurance.

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Government & Politics
6:58 am
Thu November 13, 2014

AG Employees Disciplined Over Email Porn

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has taken steps to remove several of her employees.
Credit Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General Kathleen Kane said Wednesday four of her employees have been fired and 11 suspended without pay for involvement in a pornographic email scandal that also prompted a state Supreme Court justice to step down.

Kane said two other union employees face possible termination after "the exhaustion of their contractually mandated rights." Two others quit before being disciplined, and several others described as having limited involvement received written reprimands or counseling.

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Public Safety
10:53 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

Pitt Researcher Guilty of Poisoning Wife

A University of Pittsburgh researcher charged in the cyanide poisoning death of his wife last year was convicted on Friday of first-degree murder.

Dr. Robert Ferrante, who hung his head when the verdict was read in court, faces a mandatory life sentence in the April 2013 death of 41-year-old neurologist Dr. Autumn Klein.

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Public Safety
8:22 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

State Police Fugitive Eric Frein Caught

A survivalist accused of ambushing two Pennsylvania state troopers, leaving one dead and seriously injuring the other, was captured on Thursday by U.S. marshals in an abandoned airplane hangar, ending a seven-week manhunt for him, authorities said.

State police confirmed Eric  Frein was taken into custody but released no details.

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Government & Politics
2:07 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

PA Supreme Court Says No to Orie; Former Sen. Promises Fed Appeal

Former state senator Jane Orie promised Wednesday to file a federal court appeal now that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has refused to hear a challenge of her campaign corruption conviction and prison sentence.

"I have always been known to be a fighter — and I fight for what I believe in and in what is right," Orie said in an emailed statement. "My case is by no means over, and I will aggressively pursue my appeal in federal court."

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Marcellus Shale
6:04 am
Fri August 29, 2014

DEP Posts Impacted Well List

Six years into a natural gas boom, Pennsylvania has for the first time released details of 243 cases in which companies prospecting for oil or gas were found by state regulators to have contaminated private drinking water wells.

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Health
2:17 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Tax Revenue Boost Expected for Cambria County Following Sale of Conemaugh Health System

A western Pennsylvania judge has approved the sale of the Johnstown-based Conemaugh Health System to a for-profit Tennessee network, Duke LifePoint Healthcare.

Under the deal approved Wednesday by Cambria County Judge Timothy Creany, Duke LifePoint will pay $111 million for Conemaugh, and agree to invest $425 million more on capital improvements, including new facilities in Richland Township, near Johnstown, and Ebensburg, over the next decade.

Additionally, the properties in the system will now be taxable.

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Government & Politics
5:20 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Obama Touts Manufacturing, Access For Entrepreneurs In Pittsburgh Stop

President Obama holds a town hall on manufacturing at Pittsburgh's TechShop Tuesday.
Credit whitehouse.gov

American manufacturing was the focus of President Obama’s visit to Pittsburgh Tuesday.

The president stopped at TechShop in Bakery Square, a facility that allows start-up businesses, tinkerers and hobbyists to use high-end instruments they may not otherwise have access to. Obama said part of continuing the manufacturing boom in the country will be finding ways to make resources of the federal government more available to the general public.

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Public Safety
4:10 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Heroin Ring in Monroeville Wore 'Bricks R Us' Shirts

Federal prosecutors and the FBI say they've charged 44 people in a suburban Pittsburgh heroin ring that brazenly sold drugs while wearing T-shirts with the slogan, "Bricks R Us."

U.S. Attorney David Hickton and the FBI say the group was supplied out of Newark, New Jersey. They say the ring sold drugs in Pittsburgh and several of its south and east suburbs.

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Economy & Business
6:36 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Vegas Company Bets $465 Million on Meadows

An eastern Pennsylvania company that owns the real estate of Penn National Gaming Inc. is buying The Meadows Racetrack & Casino near Pittsburgh for $465 million.

Gaming and Leisure Properties of Wyomissing plans to keep The Meadows buildings and real estate, but will sell its gaming licenses and other assets to a company that will continue to operate the harness racing track and casino.

The Meadows, about 15 miles south of Pittsburgh, has been owned by Cannery Casino Resorts LLC, of Las Vegas, since 2006.

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Public Safety
3:28 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Suit Says Parking Meters Too High

The City of Pittsburgh has replaced most traditional parking meters with electronic ones.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

A woman has sued the Pittsburgh Parking Authority, saying that its new electronic parking meters are too tall for her to reach from her wheelchair.

Fifty-three-year-old Debra J. Stemmler filed the class action lawsuit in U.S. District Court, claiming that the parking authority is violating the Americans With Disabilities Act. Her lawsuit says the new meters have working parts more than 48 inches above the ground, including coin slots.

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Middle East
1:01 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Taliban Suspends Talks On Prisoner Exchange

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 1:45 am

The Taliban has suspended talks over a possible exchange of Taliban and U.S. prisoners due to the "complexity" of the situation in Afghanistan, the militant group said on Sunday.

"Due to the political complexity of the current situation in the country, the leadership of the Islamic Emirate has decided to suspend the issue for some time," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in an email to media organizations, using the name the Taliban gave their 1996-2001 government.

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Around the Nation
12:40 am
Sun February 23, 2014

One Dead, 28 Sickened By Carbon Monoxide At New York Mall

Originally published on Sun February 23, 2014 3:21 am

A 55-year-old restaurant manager died and more than two dozen others were taken to hospitals Saturday after being overcome by carbon monoxide at a New York mall, police said.

Suffolk County police identified the man who died as Steven Nelson, a manager at the Legal Sea Foods restaurant at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station on Long Island.

Police said 28 others affected by carbon monoxide were taken to area hospitals.

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Health
2:28 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Allegheny Health Network, Johns Hopkins to Collaborate on Cancer Care, Research

Dr. Tony Farah and Dr. David Parda announce that Allegheny Health Network has signed a memorandum of understanding with Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Allegheny Health Network and Johns Hopkins Medicine have announced that they have signed a memorandum of understanding between their two cancer centers.

When finalized, Allegheny Health Network and the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center will collaborate on several initiatives, share research and participate in joint projects, among other things.

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Economy & Business
11:52 am
Fri January 17, 2014

PA Casinos Suffer Revenue Hit Despite Table Games

Revenue from Pennsylvania’s 12 casinos dipped 1.4 percent in 2013 to $3.1 billion. That’s the first time the industry has experienced an overall decline in revenue since casino play began in 2006.

“We saw a little up, we saw a little down,” said Doug Harbach, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. “Table games continue to be a growing segment. We saw their revenue go up around 6 percent. A slight decrease in slot machines, but that’s not unexpected.”

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Around the Nation
7:08 am
Sat January 4, 2014

Boeing Machinists Approve Contract To Secure 777X Work

Boeing workers cry after learning that the Boeing machinists union voted to accept the company's latest contract offer to keep the assembly of the Boeing 777X airplane in Washington state.
Ted S. Warren AP

The stakes were high and the vote was close as Boeing production workers agreed to concede some benefits in order to secure assembly of the new 777X airplane for the Puget Sound region.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Boeing hailed Friday's vote, which proponents said solidifies the aerospace giant's presence in the Seattle area.

"Tonight, Washington state secured its future as the aerospace capital of the world," Inslee declared.

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Around the Nation
12:52 am
Sun December 1, 2013

'Fast & Furious' Star Dies In Car Crash

Actor Paul Walker in March.
Joel Ryan AP

Paul Walker, the star of the "Fast & Furious" movie series, died Saturday in a car crash that killed one other person north of Los Angeles, his publicist said. He was 40.

Walker died Saturday afternoon, Ame Van Iden told the Associated Press.

A statement on the actor's Facebook page said he was a passenger in a friend's car, and that Walker was in the area to attend a charity event for his organization Reach Out Worldwide.

"We ... are stunned and saddened beyond belief by this news," the statement said.

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Lottery
5:35 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Lottery Bid Extended Again

Gov. Tom Corbett's keeping his option alive for at least two more months to hire a private manager for the $3.7 billion Pennsylvania Lottery.

The administration said Tuesday that the British national lottery operator, Camelot Global Services, agreed to extend the company's bid through Dec. 31.

Corbett began searching for a private manager in April 2012, but Attorney General Kathleen Kane rejected the contract with his eventual choice, Camelot, as illegal.

Corbett hasn't said whether he's asking state lawmakers for help or whether he'll resubmit the contract to Kane.

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Penn State
3:24 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Judge to Decide Later on Paterno Family Lawsuit

Although his statue has been removed from the Penn State campus, Paterno's family and other continue to fight for his legacy.
Credit audreyjm529 / flickr

A Pennsylvania judge said Tuesday he would decide later whether to allow a lawsuit filed against the NCAA by the family of longtime Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and others to go forward.

After hearing more than three hours of arguments, Judge John B. Leete said he planned to issue a written opinion in the case but did not say when.

A lawyer for college sports' governing body urged him to throw out the complaint.

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Public Safety
1:05 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

Effort to Curb Cell Phone Theft Comes to Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane has joined top prosecutors in San Francisco and New York in a nationwide initiative to thwart smartphone thefts by rendering the devices useless after a robbery.

The “Secure Our Smartphones” initiative was introduced in Pennsylvania by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman this week. It’s a collaboration among attorneys general and municipal leaders asking cell phone manufacturers to develop a “kill switch” for stolen phones.

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Government & Politics
2:10 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

ACLU Threatens Robinson Twp.

The American Civil Liberties Union is threatening to sue a Pittsburgh suburb for allegedly singling out Republican campaign signs in a crackdown to remove such items from public rights of way.

The ACLU sent a letter Wednesday to Robinson Township officials. Township manager Jeffrey Silka says he isn't commenting because "it is a legal issue and a subject of potential litigation."

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Courts
7:36 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Judge to Decide if UPMC Has Any Employees

UPMC argued in court Monday that it has no employees.
Credit Flickr user jrgcastro

A federal judge says she's likely to put on hold a civil rights lawsuit over Pittsburgh's challenge to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's tax-exempt status.

Meanwhile, in the related state case, attorneys wrangled Monday over whether UPMC has employees.

The city sued UPMC in earlier this year, saying the medical center shouldn't be treated like a charity because it doesn't act like one.

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Public Safety
2:55 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Former Pittsburgh Police Chief Harper Pleads Guilty

Former Pittsburgh Police Chief Nate Harper, seen here at a November 2012 new conference, pleaded guilty in federal court.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Former city police Chief Nathan Harper has pleaded guilty to federal charges that he conspired to steal police funds deposited into unauthorized credit union accounts and willfully failed to file income tax returns.

The guilty plea was entered Friday in a hearing before U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon and is the latest incident in a remarkable fall from grace for Harper who joined the city's police force in 1977 and rose through the ranks before being appointed chief in 2006 by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.

Harper, who is 60-years-old, will be sentenced Feb. 25.

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Education
2:48 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

Edinboro University Won't Cut B.A. Music Program

Officials with Edinboro University say the school won't cut bachelor degree programs in music and music education as it works to address a budget deficit. In July, the state system of higher education school had said that it might cut the music programs because there were only 70 students enrolled in them. Now, the school's interim provost and vice president for academic affairs, Michael Hannan, said the music department will not be cut, but will be restructured a bit.

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Europe
7:29 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Three U.S. Economists Win Nobel Prize

Americans Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen and Robert Shiller won the Nobel prize for economics on Monday for developing new methods to study trends in asset markets.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said the three had laid the foundation of the current understanding of asset prices.

While it's hard to predict whether stock or bond prices will go up or down in the short term, it's possible to foresee movements over periods of three years or longer, the academy said.

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