The Associated Press

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Public Safety
1:25 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

PennDOT Shells Out Road Salt to Help Municipalities Running Short

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation says it's supplied about 6,000 tons of road salt to municipalities that have run short this winter.

The highway department said Monday its salt stock stood at about 382,000 tons, with some 145,000 tons still to be delivered.

In an average winter, PennDOT goes through about 800,000 tons, but this year's series of storms has the department going through road salt more quickly than usual.

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Economy & Business
1:18 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Google Expanding Pittsburgh Office, Mum on Jobs

Internet search engine company Google Inc. is expanding its Pittsburgh office in the city's Bakery Square development, but not commenting on a developer's estimate that it could increase the company's employees to 1,000.

Google has confirmed the lease for 66,000 additional square feet, giving the company about 200,000 square feet in a development linked to the city's repurposed Nabisco bakery.

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Public Safety
10:20 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

On Social Media, Pittsburgh Pays Tribute to Fallen Police Dog Rocco

Pittsburghers, many of them pet owners, took to social media with heavy hearts following the death of Pittsburgh police dog Rocco Thursday evening.

Authorities say 8-year-old Rocco was injured Tuesday night when police arrested a man on warrants for probation violations and failing to register as a sex offender.

Twenty-one-year-old John Lewis Rush was one of Allegheny County's most wanted fugitives. Police say he stabbed Rocco in the back and wounded two officers before being taken into custody.

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Public Safety
10:19 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

6 Charged With Possessing Deadly Heroin

At least a half-dozen people have been charged by authorities in and around Pittsburgh with possessing heroin that is stamped with street names linked to drugs that investigators believe have caused 22 fatal overdoses in recent weeks.

After police had announced five previous arrests, on Thursday Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced similar charges against 39-year-old Tywon Laniel Newby of Clairton. Newby is being held at the Allegheny County Jail, unable to post $250,000 bond. No attorney was listed on court papers.

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Government & Politics
4:19 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Corbett Unveils State Energy Plan for PA

Gov. Tom Corbett is unveiling a state energy resource book that stresses the strength of Pennsylvania's business and energy sectors as a way to market the state to business people and investors.

Flanked by two-year students studying diesel engine technology, Corbett released the book Tuesday at Pennsylvania College of Technology's Earth Science Center near Williamsport.

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Government & Politics
10:20 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Judge Spikes Photo ID Requirement for PA Voters

A state judge has struck down the law requiring Pennsylvania's voters to show photo identification at the polls.

Commonwealth Court Judge Bernard McGinley said the requirement that was the centerpiece of Pennsylvania's embattled 2012 voter identification law places an unreasonable burden on the fundamental right to vote.

The decision paves the way for an expected appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Republicans approved the law over the protests of Democrats.

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Natural Gas Drilling
4:04 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

PA High Court Strikes Down Zoning Limits on Drilling

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court on Thursday struck down portions of a law that stripped some of the powers municipalities have to decide where the natural gas industry can operate — portions that the industry had sought from Gov. Tom Corbett and lawmakers.

The justices ruled the 2012 law unconstitutionally restricted the power of municipalities, although the 4-to-2 majority disagreed as to why it was unconstitutional.

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Pennsylvania
3:43 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

Corbett Inks Post-Sandusky PA Child-Abuse Bills

Pennsylvania enacted its first new laws Wednesday in the Legislature's wide-ranging response to the Jerry Sandusky and Roman Catholic clergy child sexual abuse scandals, a step that expands the nearly 20-year-old playbook for how caseworkers and investigators can handle reports of child abuse.

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Government & Politics
4:26 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Corbett Backs Gay Rights Bill On Discrimination

Gov. Tom Corbett is supporting a measure to ban the discrimination of Pennsylvanians based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

The proposal would update the commonwealth’s anti-discrimination law to include what supporters call basic protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Pennsylvanians.

The governor insists he’s not changing his stance on the issue, claiming it’s the first time he’s had any kind of position.

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Weather
7:49 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Weather Advisories Posted as Storm Rolls Into PA

Winter weather advisories and storm warnings have been posted for much of Pennsylvania as a storm bearing a wintry mix of precipitation rolls into the commonwealth.

The National Weather Service says snow, sleet and areas of freezing rain and ice are expected later Tuesday in areas from western to northeastern Pennsylvania.

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Transportation
10:39 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Corbett Hails Passage of PA Highways Bill

After more than a year of discussion, the state has a transportation plan in place.

A $2.3 billion plan to fund roads, bridges, mass transit, airports, waterways, bike paths and more has passed the state House and heads to the governor’s desk.

Gov. Tom Corbett is hailing passage of new transportation bill, saying he perceived an urgent need to fix roads and bridges after he took office three years ago.

The Republican spoke Thursday shortly after legislative approval of a law to pump billions into transportation infrastructure and mass transit.

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Public Safety
6:05 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Teacher, ACLU File Suit Against Pittsburgh Police Officer Over Summer Arrest

Dennis Henderson (center) and the ACLU have filed a federal lawsuit against a Pittsburgh police officer following an incident in Homewood last summer.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

The ACLU of Pennsylvania has filed a federal lawsuit against Pittsburgh police officer Jonathan Gromek, who last summer arrested a black teacher after a community meeting on police/community relations in Homewood.

All charges against Dennis Henderson were withdrawn by the district attorney, but Henderson said that the damage that was done can’t be undone.

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Government & Politics
5:47 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Republican, Democrat Write PA Marijuana Bill

Two state senators, one a Republican and the other a Democrat, are planning to introduce a bill to legalize a certain form of marijuana for medicinal use in Pennsylvania.

Sens. Daylin Leach and Mike Folmer said Monday their bill would help ensure Pennsylvanians can get medical benefits from cannabidiol, a compound found in marijuana that's credited with various medical applications without providing a high.

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Government & Politics
6:15 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Arguments Continue Over Church, Health Care Law

Lawyers for the federal government and two Pennsylvania Catholic dioceses say a central question in a lawsuit over Affordable Care Act mandates is how to define a "substantial burden" as it relates to religious beliefs.

The oral arguments took place Wednesday in Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh and Erie dioceses object to the new federal health care law and are suing the federal government to seek an exemption.

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Public Safety
3:56 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

16-Year-Old Charged in Shooting of 3 Students Outside Brashear High School

A police officer is stationed on Crane Avenue following a shooting outside Brashear High School Wednesday that left three students injured.
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

Update: 7:39 a.m. Thursday

Pittsburgh police have charged a 16-year-old student with shooting three others outside a high school, allegedly in retaliation for a drug-related robbery inside the school last month.

None of the students wounded minutes after Brashear High School dismissed classes Wednesday has life-threatening injuries. Police say two were grazed by bullets, while one was shot in the arm and foot. Police say a fourth was targeted but not hurt.

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Transportation
5:18 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Proposed Settlement Would Allow US Airways-American Merger

The Justice Department says it has reached an agreement permitting the $11 billion merger of American Airlines and US Airways, creating the world's biggest airline.

In August, the federal government, along with Pennsylvania and five other states, sued to block the merger, claiming it would restrict competition and drive up prices for consumers on hundreds of routes around the country.

The airlines have said their deal would increase competition by creating another big competitor to United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, which grew through recent mergers.

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Election 2013
11:38 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Stabile Overtakes McVay for Appellate Court Seat

Lawyer Vic Stabile has beaten Allegheny County judge Jack McVay Jr. to win a seat on the Pennsylvania Superior Court.

The battle for the mid-level appeals court was the only statewide race on Tuesday's ballot.

Stabile shook up the race last week by airing a TV ad criticizing McVay because his fiancee and sister-in-law are on the Allegheny County court payroll.

McVay called the ad unfair because he did nothing wrong, and a Pennsylvania Bar Association panel asked Stabile to take down the ad, but he has refused,

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Election 2013
10:09 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Voters Favor Keeping 4 PA Appellate Judges In

Pennsylvania voters have approved additional 10-year terms for four state appellate judges.

Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald Castille and Justice Max Baer and Superior Court judges Susan Gantman and Jack Panella faced up-or-down "retention" votes to decide if they should stay on the bench.

Judges are unopposed in retention elections.

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Election 2013
8:25 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Reports of Light Turnout in Off-Year PA Balloting

Pennsylvania's polls are now closed and the ballot counting is under way.

Spot checks at polling places revealed a light turnout Tuesday in an election featuring only one statewide race. That was the Superior Court contest between Harrisburg lawyer Vic Stabile, a Republican, against Democrat Jack McVay Jr., an Allegheny County judge.

Other closely watched races included mayoral contests in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Scranton, Lancaster and State College, as well as numerous races for local offices, school boards and county judgeships.

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The Heinz Endowments
4:13 pm
Mon October 28, 2013

Teresa Heinz Kerry: Family "Not Fully Aware" of Heinz Endowments Partnership With Energy Companies

Teresa Heinz Kerry says family members weren't fully aware of a controversial decision by the Heinz Endowments to partner with major energy companies on natural gas drilling standards, even though the organization approved two pilot grants for the project last year.

The Heinz Endowments, with assets of $1.4 billion, is the 49th largest foundation in the United States. Heinz Kerry is chair of the Endowments, and she told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that she was never involved with the Center for Sustainable Shale Development.

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Pittsburgh
11:31 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Top Pittsburgh Police Brass Go Before Grand Jury

The city's two highest-ranking police officials appeared Wednesday to testify before a federal grand jury believed to be investigating the mayor's use of police-issued bodyguards and other matters.

Acting police Chief Regina McDonald and Deputy Chief Paul Donaldson entered the grand jury room at about 9 a.m. and left about two hours later, declining to offer specifics.

"Can't tell you anything," McDonald said as she left. "We're not permitted to talk."

"We were just here to assist them with the investigation," Donaldson said.

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Courts
9:42 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Ex-Justice Melvin Faces Hearing Over Apologies

Former state Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin is due in court to explain why she hasn't yet sent autographed pictures of herself in handcuffs apologizing to other state judges for her campaign corruption conviction earlier this year.

Melvin's attorneys say the apologies unfairly force Melvin to incriminate herself while she appeals her conviction. Last week, the state Superior Court agreed and ordered that part of Melvin's sentence be delayed.

But prosecutors say Melvin has already apologized in court, so mailing more apologies shouldn't violate her rights.

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Government & Politics
1:12 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Corbett: Gay Marriage Remarks Not Meant to Offend

Pennsylvania's governor says he's sorry if anyone was offended when he compared gay marriage to the marriage of a brother and sister during a TV interview.

Republican Gov. Tom Corbett issued a statement Friday saying his "words were not intended to offend anyone" and apologizing if they did.

Corbett says his comment during the WHP-TV morning news interview was meant to provide an example of the categories of people who aren't legally entitled to obtain marriage licenses in Pennsylvania.

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Labor
3:20 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

National Labor Relations Board Files Another Complaint Against UPMC

The National Labor Relations Board has filed another complaint against the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, claiming four workers have been fired for union activity.

UPMC spokeswoman Gloria Kreps says, "The NLRB has not determined that UPMC has violated any labor laws and any representation that a violation has been found is false." She says the hospital network, which dominates western Pennsylvania, is looking forward to presenting its side.

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Transportation
1:56 pm
Mon September 30, 2013

Southwest to Offer Pittsburgh to Nashville Nonstops

Southwest Airlines will be offering daily nonstop flights between Pittsburgh and Nashville.

The company says the first flight will depart Pittsburgh International Airport at 7:55 a.m. Tuesday.

The Allegheny County Airport Authority says officials in both cities will hold dedication ceremonies, with polka music in Nashville and country music in Pittsburgh.

Nashville will be Southwest's ninth destination from Pittsburgh.

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