Brandon Addeo

Sanofi Pasteur / Flickr

Every year, about 300,000 students get immunized in Pennsylvania.

Now, the state Department of Health is asking for the public’s comments on proposed changes to its immunization policy.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

  The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission announced Thursday it will fine ride-sharing company Uber for operating in the state between February and August 2014 without a license.

The PUC voted 3-2 to fine Uber $11.4 million — a record amount for the Commission. The PUC initially considered a fine of nearly $50 million, but lowered the figure to $11.4 million because Uber “modified its internal practices” to comply with state law, PUC Commissioner John Coleman Jr. said in a release.

Marufish / Flickr

SolarCity, the largest solar energy provider in the nation, announced Monday it's extending service into the western Pennsylvania region.

Pennsylvania Lawmakers To Take Up Medical Marijuana Proposal

Mar 14, 2016
Brett Levin / Flickr

 

A proposal to allow marijuana to be prescribed for a list of medical conditions is heading to the Pennsylvania House floor, where it could face changes before a final vote.

The House planned to take up more than 220 amendments to the bill on Monday, and it could be Wednesday or later before the chamber decides whether to approve the legislation.

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As environmental news has garnered more attention in recent years, Point Park University will now have the opportunity to obtain environmental journalism degrees. 

The new degree, available to undergraduate and graduate students, will be offered in the fall of 2016.

Students will be able to focus on print or broadcast and will pair journalism classes with classes in environmental sciences, like ecology and biology, according to School of Communications Chair Thom Baggerman.

DBKING / Flickr

Pennsylvania's Democratic Party committee members went through a divisive process of buttonholing, cajoling and promising on Saturday but ultimately could not deliver endorsements in contested primary races for U.S. senator and state attorney general.  

U.S. Department of Agriculture / Flickr

Tazeen Chowdhury gets schoolchildren to eat avocados and edamame.

That bit of miracle-working earned her an invitation to testify this week before a Senate committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. She joined this week to enlighten lawmakers about the tricks she uses to get students in the Mt. Lebanon School District to eat better and healthier both on and off campus.

Chowdhury said students gobble up newer food choices like avocado, kiwi and edamame.

Diana Parkhouse / Flickr

Southwestern Pennsylvania saw more real estate listings in sales at the opening of 2016 than it did the year prior.

According to a report by real estate agency West Penn Multi-List, 191 more homes were put up for sale in January 2016 (2,511) than in January 2015. It also saw 71 more homes sold this January (1,432) than a year earlier (1,361).

The report includes statistics from Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Cambria, Clarion, Crawford, Fayette, Greene, Indiana, Jefferson, Lawrence, Mercer, Somerset, Venango, Washington and Westmoreland counties.

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.

Baldwin High School Special Olympics Club / Twitter

More than 300 athletes converged on Seven Springs and Johnstown this past weekend, to compete in the 2016 Special Olympics Pennsylvania Winter Games.

Competitions, which began Sunday, run through closing ceremonies and awards on Tuesday. Events include alpine and cross-country skiing, figure and speed skating and snowshoeing at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort, in addition to the Cambria County War Memorial Arena and Planet Ice in Johnstown.

Around 1,200 fish were killed in the Susquehanna River Saturday after a power plant malfunction caused water temperature to drop 13 degrees.

A glitch at a power unit at Brunner Island Steam Electric Station in York Haven, Pennsylvania, caused cold water to funnel through a discharge channel into the river. The water temperature in the river dropped from about 45 degrees to 32 degrees in one hour.

Jason Howie / Flickr

People who spend more than an hour a day, or 30 times per week, browsing through social media often don't get a good night's sleep.

A study from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine found adults who use social media more have a greater likelihood of having sleep disturbances. Nearly 1,800 adults between the ages of 19 and 32 were surveyed on their levels of social media use and how often they had disturbed, or restless sleep. Researchers found 30 percent of participants had high levels of sleep disturbance.

wsilver / Flickr

Gay and bisexual adolescents in U.S. schools are twice as likely to be bullied as their heterosexual peers, which could hinder development.

That’s according to a recent study by the University of Pittsburgh’s Graduate School of Public Health.

A total of 1,870 students were surveyed. Of those, 127 students identified themselves as being either gay or bisexual, and of those students, 24 percent reported being victims of bullying. Only 12 percent of heterosexual students reported the same.

Eddie Welker / Flickr

 

Over the weekend, Pittsburgh was hit by the fringe of a blizzard that left more than two feet of snow in parts of the East Coast.

Public works crews and residents diligently spread rock salt on roads and sidewalks —an effective de-icing measure. But the traditional sodium chloride salt can potentially harm or kill trees.

Trees in one part of Downtown, though, might be out of danger.

Courtesy of Carlow University

Oakland residents looking to buy groceries might not have to drive or ride a bus to the nearest supermarket anymore.

One in every four American women will die from cardiovascular disease each year, more than the number of deaths from breast cancer, stroke and lung cancer combined, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Cardiologists from Allegheny Health Network are looking to improve those odds.

Frankleleon / Flickr

A new report – the first of its kind in Pennsylvania – which looked at drug overdose totals for 62 counties, highlights the problem of prescription drug and heroin abuse. 

“What’s most notable about this report is the amount of overdose deaths that are attributable to prescription drugs and heroin,” said Drug Enforcement Agency Special Agent Patrick Trainor. “That’s where you’re seeing the most significant numbers.”

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

  That snow shovel idling in the garage might see less use this winter.

Forecasts show the upcoming winter will be warmer than average — about six-tenths to one-quarter of a degree warmer every day — with slightly higher odds for light precipitation, according to Matthew Rosencrans, head of forecast operations at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center. 

Garry Knight / Flickr

The state auditor general said Wednesday that the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) delayed the distribution of funding for two federal programs that would have helped homeless individuals and families.

State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said that a performance audit of the DCED found that it did not distribute funds in a “timely manner” from $5 million in Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) and $15 million from the HOME Investment Partnership Program, which both offer financial assistance for housing homeless and displaced individuals.

Rosmarie Voegtli / Flickr

Individuals who require health care in-home typically have to deal with multiple companies, in a process that can be complex and inefficient.

Allegheny Health Network (AHN) is addressing that issue by combining multiple areas of home health care under the banner of a single program.

Nicholas A. Tonelli / Flickr

If you'll be driving this Thanksgiving, you might see an increase in traffic as you make your way to holiday gatherings.

AAA predicts that about 42 million people will travel 50 miles or more by car for this holiday weekend—the highest number of travelers since 2007.

Courtesy of Josh Wigod

If you are out and about in Pittsburgh, be on the lookout for discarded books which read, “This Is A Lost Book”—it just might be your ticket to a prize.

walknboston / Flickr

One in every five children will experience the death of a loved one by age 18, according to the journal OMEGA

To raise awareness of the toll that death takes on children, Highmark Caring Place is hosting “Children’s Grief Awareness Day” Nov. 18 from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. at the Wexford Health and Wellness Pavilion in Wexford.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

Westinghouse High School officials announced Thursday a new Emergency Response Technology program promising career training for students interested in public safety. 

West Midlands Police / Flickr

In the first quarter of this year, more than 1,500 felons in Pennsylvania did not have their criminal history entered into a state database, meaning their records would not appear on a background check.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers / Flickr

  The Pennsylvania Department of Health  and the Department of Education announced Thursday a joint proposal to revise immunization regulations for school children.

Health Secretary Karen Murphy and Education Secretary Pedro Rivera said this week they want to better protect students’ health by requiring students to finish all immunizations within the first five days of school. If guardians fail to complete that schedule, a written note from a doctor outlining the plan to immunize the student must be submitted to school officials within the first five days of class.  Currently families have up to eight months to make sure school children have their vaccinations.

Environmental Protection Agency

  Residents driving past the Clack Health Complex in Lawrenceville might notice green, orange and red flags flying over the building -- a visual guide for those concerned about local air quality.  

The Allegheny County Health Department has adopted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s program of flying pennants to signify air quality levels. The color-coded banners went up last week.

Fishhawk / Flickr

Competition from foreign markets and struggles in the global economy are causing a drop in milk prices in Pennsylvania and across the United States.

The price for milk in 2014 was the highest in Pennsylvania history, but this year farmers are facing a 28 percent price drop. In Allegheny County, a gallon of milk currently costs a minimum of $3.70, compared to last November’s price of $4.36, as established by the Pennsylvania Milk Marketing Board.

State and national groups came together in Pittsburgh last week for a public launch party for videos detailing the lack of discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in Pennsylvania.   

Philadelphia-based Equality Pennsylvania paired with national LGBT advocacy groups SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders) and the Center for American Progress to create four videos detailing the struggles LGBT individuals face with no legal provisions against discrimination.

Pitt Scientist Receives Grant To Mass-Produce Stem Cells

Oct 22, 2015
Lwp Kommunikáció / flickr

An associate professor of bioengineering at the University of Pittsburgh is working on a way to produce human stem cells on an industrial scale.

Ipsita Banerjee of the Swanson School of Engineering, with co-researcher Prashant Kumta, recently received a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to research a method of mass-producing “pluripotent” stem cells.

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