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A grand jury is recommending no criminal charges against officials in a western Pennsylvania school district where two teachers have already been convicted of having sex with students, and two more face related charges.

The 100-page grand jury report issued by the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office says the Plum Borough School District had "systematic failures to protect students" but that no school official broke laws requiring police to be notified of teacher-sex allegations.

Flickr user jrgcastro

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has signed a letter of intent to pursue an affiliation with a north-central Pennsylvania hospital network.

Susquehanna Health and UPMC jointly announced the letter of intent Thursday.

The details of the affiliation have yet to be determined.

Susquehanna serves 11 counties through four hospitals, Divine Providence, Muncy Valley, Soldiers & Sailors Memorial and Williamsport Regional Medical Center.

Scott Deutsch / Twitter

 

The state Department of Environmental Protection says a man who was burned after a natural gas explosion at a Pennsylvania pipeline complex was in a home that caught fire nearby.

Flames shot into the sky Friday morning when officials say an explosion traced to a 36-inch natural gas pipeline occurred at a facility owned by Texas Eastern Transmission.

Company officials shut off the pipeline, but not before the fire burned an area nearby in Salem Township.

Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr

 

Pittsburgh Public Schools have extended the district's contracts with its teachers union through June 30, 2017.

The previous contract expired last year on June 30, and the sides have been negotiating ever since.

The contract covers about 3,000 teachers, aides and clerical workers.

The school board and the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers announced the tentative deal Monday. Terms weren't immediately disclosed.

The teachers will vote on the deal May 16, and the school board must still schedule a vote.

 

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Crews have begun replacing the deck of Pittsburgh's Liberty Bridge, one of the busiest arteries crossing the Monongahela River and leading to the city's southern suburbs.

PennDOT says crews will replace the deck one lane at a time in four phases over roughly 160 days.

That will enable crews to keep at least one inbound and one outbound lane open at all times. The available lanes will shift throughout the day, according to the flow of traffic in and out of the city, especially during rush hours.

The project will cost about $80 million.

Megan Harris, Keith Srakocic / 90.5 WESA, AP

 

Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and John Kasich, as well as Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are all campaigning in Pennsylvania ahead of Tuesday's primary.

KDKA/NewsChopper 2

Two transit workers accused of racing their buses have been acquitted of the most serious charges against them in a 2014 crash.

Allegheny County Judge Jeffrey Manning said Thursday he believed 47-year-old Juliann Maier and 57-year-old Thomas Frauens were racing on Interstate 279. But he cleared them of reckless endangerment charges and acquitted Frauens of leaving the scene of an accident.

Manning found both fired Port Authority drivers guilty of summary offenses and fined the pair.

Port Authority of Allegheny County

 

A man convicted of beating a black man and pushing him onto subway tracks in Pittsburgh almost a year ago has been sentenced to three to six years in prison.

Twenty-two-year-old Ryan Kyle was sentenced Wednesday in Allegheny County. He pleaded guilty in February to aggravated assault, ethnic intimidation and robbery conspiracy as prosecutors dropped an attempted murder charge.

John Minchillo / AP

 

Four of the five presidential candidates will campaign in Pennsylvania this week, just days ahead of the state's April 26 primary election.

On Tuesday, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz will make a nighttime visit to Philadelphia while Ohio Gov. John Kasich will make an afternoon stop at the Original Oyster House in downtown Pittsburgh. They're seeking the Republican nomination.

Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

 

Senate backers hope medical marijuana legislation in Pennsylvania will get to Gov. Tom Wolf's desk this week.

A Senate committee made changes to the bill Monday, and the bill's backers say they hope it can win passage in the House and Senate this week.

xMizLitx / Flickr

 

Some scholarship providers in western Pennsylvania say they're having trouble giving away free money.

Officials with the National Scholarship Providers Association tell The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that community foundations that award local scholarships can find it more difficult to give out money than larger, national scholarships.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

 

A Pittsburgh man arrested a third time on drug and weapons charges stemming from a police search three years ago is a suspect in a cookout ambush last month that killed five people, including a pregnant woman, a detective testified Thursday.

Allegheny County Detective Steve Hitchings testified at a bond hearing that Robert Thomas is a suspect in the March 9 cookout shootings in Wilkinsburg and has been told he's a suspect, KDKA-TV first reported Thursday.

A fired Pittsburgh police sergeant accused of wrongly pushing and punching a drunken man at Heinz Field and then lying about it says he's fighting the criminal case against him.

Ex-sergeant Stephen Matakovich has been indicted by a federal grand jury. He's appealing his firing.

Defense attorney Blaine Jones said Wednesday they're prepared to fight the case wherever they need to fight it.

The police chief and the public safety director agreed to fire the 22-year veteran for using what was deemed to be "unreasonable" force during the arrest in November.

IUP.edu

 

Indiana University of Pennsylvania plans to implement per-credit tuition for full-time, in-state students, rather than the flat annual rate of $7,060.

IUP announced the change in January 2015 but didn't implement it last fall.

The school, one of 14-state-owned universities that are part of the State System of Higher Education, said Monday it will implement the new tuition scheme this fall.

Alan Kotok / Flickr

 

The Pennsylvania Game Commission may ban drones over 1.5 million acres of state game lands after reports of the unmanned craft near an eagle's nest and others interfering with migrating waterfowl.

LNP reports the commission may give preliminary approval to the ban at its next quarterly meeting April 4-5.

The game commission says there have been at least a half dozen reports of drones flying near migrating geese at the Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area and one of a drone flying near an eagle cam that monitors a nest near Hanover, York County.

Keith Srakocic / AP

 

A second Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice quit the bench Tuesday in a widening scandal over raunchy and otherwise offensive emails that he and others exchanged with friends and lawyers.

Justice Michael Eakin's decision to retire marks the latest fallout since embattled state Attorney General Kathleen Kane began releasing hundreds of emails in 2014 to the media and ethics agencies. Kane has since been indicted on perjury and other charges that she claims were trumped up because she took on the old boys' club of Pennsylvania's judiciary and law enforcement.

Office of Attorney General

 

Three ex-leaders of a Franciscan religious order were charged Tuesday with allowing a friar who was a known sexual predator to take on jobs, including a position as a high school athletic trainer, that enabled him to molest more than 100 children.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is raising the minimum wage by nearly $3 an hour, to $10.15, for state government employees and workers on jobs contracted by the state.

The Democrat signed an executive order Monday establishing the new wage minimum. It'll affect a few hundred state employees and a narrow set of state contracts.

Pennsylvania's Republican-controlled Legislature hasn't considered Wolf's request to set the minimum at over $10 for everyone. 

Michael Watkins / AP

 

Gov. Tom Wolf is asking for federal disaster aid to help Pennsylvania cover costs from last month's massive snowstorm.

Wolf sent a letter to President Barack Obama asking that he declare a major disaster in Pennsylvania to reimburse 31 counties for storm costs.

He says municipal, county and state agencies spent more than $55 million to respond to the historic storm between Jan. 22 and Jan. 23.

Audubon Society of Western Pa. / PixController

A third egg has been spotted in the Pittsburgh nest of a pair of bald eagles.

The Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania says the third egg was spotted Saturday afternoon. The eagles laid the first egg more than a week ago and the second last Tuesday. The eggs typically hatch about 35 days after they are laid.

Two years ago, the pair raised three eaglets. But last year, the eagles lost both eggs and then left the nest, prompting residents to place flowers and signs of encouragement at a memorial.

Pennsylvania Dept. of Corrections

 

A new study designed to reduce crime and the size of Pennsylvania's prison population is about to get underway.

Gov. Tom Wolf and other government officials on Thursday announced Pennsylvania will be getting data crunching help and policy recommendations from the study by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Council of State Governments' Justice Center and the U.S. Justice Department.

Topics will include how bail is set, the value of pretrial diversion and alternatives to incarceration.

Marty Gabel / Flickr

 

Pittsburgh International Airport officials say Southwest Airlines is adding daily nonstop service to Los Angeles starting Aug. 7.

The flights will leave Pittsburgh at 7:10 p.m. Eastern time and arrive at Los Angeles International Airport at 9:10 p.m. Pacific time. Flights from Los Angeles will leave at 4:55 p.m. Pacific time and arrive in Pittsburgh at 12:25 a.m. Eastern time.

The flights will give Southwest 16 nonstop destinations from Pittsburgh, the most of any carrier.

John Heller / AP

 

The man who once served as Allegheny County's first elected executive is stepping down as chairman of the county Republican committee.

Eighty-three-year-old James Roddey announced his resignation at the party's Spirit of Lincoln Dinner on Monday night.

Roddey says the county party raised $1.3 million under his leadership and that the Pittsburgh-based county now has more Republicans than any other county in the state.

Haraz N. Ghanbari / Associated Press

Antonin Scalia, the influential conservative and most provocative member of the Supreme Court, has died. He was 79.

The U.S. Marshal's Service in Washington confirmed Scalia's death at a private residence in the Big Bend area of South Texas.

The service's spokeswoman, Donna Sellers, said Scalia had retired for the evening and was found dead Saturday morning when he did not appear for breakfast.  

John Marino / flickr

OneJet has named Pittsburgh a "focus city" and plans to add daily flights to Hartford, Connecticut and four other cities.

The carrier uses seven-passenger Hawker 400 jets to cater to business travelers. It launched service from Pittsburgh International Airport in May, with nonstop flights to Indianapolis and Milwaukee.

At a news conference Thursday, the company pledged to add nonstop flights to four still-to-be decided destinations later this year, and to hire about 40 pilots, mechanics and other workers in Pittsburgh.

Keith Srakocic / AP/ File Photo

 

The Chronicle of Philanthropy is describing the late publisher of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Dick Scaife, as 2015's "most generous American."

The publication on Tuesday put the Mellon banking and oil heir atop its annual ranking of the 50 Americans who donated the most to charity.

In his will, Scaife left $759 million to two foundations and two art museums.

He died on July 4, 2014, but his will was not executed until last year.

UPMC / Inside UPMC

A fourth patient infected during the UPMC mold outbreak has died. The infection was contracted while the patient was being treated at UPMC’s transplant program. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporter Ben Schmitt, joins us to discuss this latest development.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

 

Pennsylvania lawmakers are returning to the Capitol with growing questions over the state government's increasingly confusing budget situation.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The handlers of Pennsylvania's most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, say the furry rodent has failed to see his shadow, meaning he has "predicted" an early spring.

Members of the top hat-wearing Inner Circle announced the "forecast" at sunrise, just before 7:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Felipe Dana / AP

Health officials are asking Pennsylvanians to pay attention to travel advisories as they test six to eight people for the mosquito-borne Zika virus. No cases are confirmed yet.

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