Jill Daly | Thursday, August 29, 2019, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Gov. Tom Wolf came to Pittsburgh Thursday to shine light on his statewide initiative to tackle the serious health problem of lead exposure in young children, starting with a call for mandated blood testing throughout Pennsylvania.
Even low levels of lead have been linked to a child’s IQ and ability to pay attention, how well he or she does in school and other behavioral issues. Mr. Wolf said about 30% of children are tested in the state.
Natasha Lindstrom | Wednesday, August 28, 2019, Pittsburgh Tribune Review
UPMC facilities are preparing to meet the “pent-up demand” among Highmark-insured patients who now can choose to go to UPMC doctors and hospitals, particularly when it comes to specialty care, UPMC’s chief financial officer said Tuesday.
“We’re seeing (patient) volume increases,” said Robert DeMichiei, CFO of UPMC, a nonprofit health system based in Downtown Pittsburgh’s U.S. Steel Tower that, like its rival Highmark, controls both provider and insurer arms. “We have plans with physicians to accommodate that demand.”
Deb Erdley | Tuesday, August 27, 2019, Pittsburgh Tribune Review
With more and more states legalizing both medical and recreational marijuana, sooner or later some bright scientist had to invent a marijuana breathalyzer.
Now it appears researchers at the University of Pittsburgh may have just walked to the head of the class.
Sam Wood | Monday, August 26, 2019, The Philadelphia Inquirer
The U.S. Department of Justice said Monday that it plans to expand the number of marijuana growers authorized to supply institutions conducting federally approved cannabis research.
The move could benefit leading cannabis companies with sizable footprints in the region, such as Columbia Care and Pharmacann. But whichever firm might win a federal contract, it will be producing marijuana for researchers, not the general public.
Michael A. Fuoco | Thursday, August 22, 2019, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Hidden from the view of patrons, major changes are taking place at several locations inside the Meadows Racetrack & Casino in Washington County, including preparations for its first sportsbook.
Vibe lounge closed several weeks ago for construction of a new sports-betting area at the facility. The Food Court was closed in July for the installation of a new four-restaurant concept by celebrity chef Fabio Viviani.
Jan Murphy | Tuesday, August 20, 2019, Harrisburg Patriot News
Rep. Frank Ryan is looking to move Pennsylvania in a direction it has resisted for decades in order to eliminate school property taxes. He wants to tax retirement income and he wants to make food and clothing subject to a sales tax.
The Lebanon County Republican discussed his proposal at a Capitol news conference on Tuesday. It calls for replacing the $15 billion that was raised from school property taxes this year – a tax deemed the most hated in Pennsylvania by far – with an assortment of new taxes.
Christopher Huffaker | Thursday, August 15, 2019, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Election security experts told the Allegheny County Board of Elections in June that the best choice for secure elections is a voting system where most voters make their selections with a pen on paper — while those who need them have access to ballot-marking devices.
A new analysis shows that for Pennsylvania counties that have already selected new systems, that is also the cheaper option.
Ed Blazina | Wednesday, August 14, 2019, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The state House Transportation Committee is considering a bill to reinstate those little vehicle registration stickers on Pennsylvania license plates.
But the bill proposed by state Rep. Barry Jozwiak, R-Reading, would do more than reinstate the registration sticker. Critics say it would completely overhaul the system by establishing a combination inspection-registration sticker that would be placed on license plates, requiring owners to have an inspection before they can register their vehicles rather than keeping them separate transactions.
Deb Erdley | Tuesday, August 13, 2019, Pittsburgh Tribune Review
Gov. Tom Wolf on Tuesday vowed to level the playing field between Pennsylvania’s traditional public schools and charter and cyber charter schools.
He said the latter lack accountability and transparency and are draining millions of dollars from struggling school districts.
Daniel Urie | Monday, August 12, 2019, Harrisburg Patriot News
The state recently awarded millions of dollars in grant money for redevelopment projects though the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program. The grant program is administered by the State of Pennsylvania’s Office of the Budget and is for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational, and historical improvement projects.
Grant money has been awarded from the state through the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program since 1986.
Jan Murphy | Thursday, August 8, 2019, Harrisburg Patriot News
Pennsylvania state lawmakers are making overtures once again about attempting to address the intractable issue of school property tax relief this fall.
A bicameral, bipartisan group of lawmakers along with administration officials are meeting behind closed doors later today to informally discuss possible pathways to lead to a new way to fund public schools.
Harold Brubaker | Tuesday, August 6, 2019, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Here’s another dispatch from the weird world of Pennsylvania liquor law: The Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board has explicitly barred the state’s wineries from promoting volume discounts — such as 25 percent off a case of Cabernet Franc — because that amounts to an inducement.
Wineries are, on the other hand, allowed to offer a list price for a case of wine that is lower than the per bottle price, as long as they don’t promote the discount, according to an advisory opinion published last week.
Jan Murphy | Monday, August 5, 2019, Harrisburg Patriot News
To say Gov. Tom Wolf struck a nerve with the charter school community when he recently referred to their schools as “private” is putting it mildly, but his administration is not backing away from that description.
An organization representing those schools sent Wolf a letter on Thursday voicing their “grave concerns” about his comments as well as his perception of charters, which are public schools that operate independently of school districts.
Diana Nelson Jones | Thursday, August 1, 2019, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Pennsylvania Lottery announced Thursday that this year’s $4.5 billion revenue from Pennsylvania Lottery games hit a record, topping last year’s record $4.2 billion.
A record $2.9 billion was paid out to winners, and 70 people won $1 million or more.
Linda Hasco | Wednesday, July 31, 2019, Harrisburg Patriot News
Student loan debt has become a hot-button issue for Democrats hoping to nab the party’s nomination for president in 2020. Some have suggested offering refinancing options, larger grants and free community college educations. Others have proposed debt-free college. And a few candidates are even calling for forgiveness of student debt.
Jan Murphy | Tuesday, July 30, 2019, Harrisburg Patriot News
Mysterious charges appeared on E-ZPass statements of Pennsylvania Turnpike customers at least 350,000 times over the course of a year.
Called V-tolls, these are $10 charges incurred by E-ZPass users when an E-ZPass transponder doesn’t get read as a vehicle exits the turnpike.
Ed Blazina | Monday, July 29, 2019, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
As a senior traffic operations manager for the Pennsylvania Turnpike, John Parker knew that tons of information is available about conditions on the toll road from a variety of sources: public safety reports, mobile apps such as Waze, even social media.
But at the turnpike’s control center in Harrisburg, it was a cumbersome process, at best, for the Traffic, Engineering and Operations personnel to monitor and use that information in the best ways possible.
Alyssa Biederman | Wednesday, July 24, 2019, Harrisburg Patriot News
Take a road trip through the Capital Region and you’ll see John Harris Memorial Bridge, the Sen. John D. Hopper Memorial Bypass, the Army Major Richard D. Winters Bridge, the Cpl. Paul Walters Memorial Bridge and more.
It’s a great way to open your eyes to important figures in local history – so long as you’re OK with forgetting about the women.
Jan Murphy | Tuesday, July 23, 2019, Harrisburg Patriot News
Organizations that assist poor and disabled individuals have turned to the courts to try to salvage the state’s cash assistance program scheduled to end next week.
Community Legal Services of Philadelphia and the Disability Rights Pennsylvania filed paperwork in Commonwealth Court on Monday asking for a preliminary injunction to keep the program alive for the 11,844 poor and disabled people who came to depend on it.
Alyssa Biederman | Monday, July 22, 2019, Harrisburg Patriot News
When Sen. Mario Scavello was growing up, his house was filled with smoke from his father’s cigarette habit. His wife, Mary Ann, knew the same familiar acrid scent.
But that’s how it was “back in those days,” Scavello said – an easy argument to make until both his father and his father-in-law died from lung cancer.