National Briefs: Christie signals intent with PAC

January 27, 2015 12:00 AM Share with others: WASHINGTON — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and his supporters have formed a political action committee, or PAC, ahead of a likely bid for president, according to a source with knowledge of the matter. The PAC is the clearest sign yet that Mr. Christie, 52, is running […]

Federal debt will explode over next 10 years, CBO says

WASHINGTON — The federal debt is set to explode over the next decade even as the budget deficit is projected to reach its lowest level of the Obama presidency, the Congressional Budget Office said Monday. The annual deficit should total $468 billion for the 2015 fiscal year, which will end Sept. 30, the nonpartisan budget […]

Pittsburgh nonprofit amendment proposal spurs debate

Mayor Bill Peduto blasted a proposed state Constitutional amendment on nonprofits Monday, decrying the bill as hurried — even as efforts mounted to slow it down. Senate Bill 4 would amend the Constitution to give the Legislature sole discretion in defining which organizations are public charities deserving tax exemptions. In a statement, Mr. Peduto denounced […]

Pittsburgh Public Schools program turns teachers into pupils

The first-graders weren’t the only ones learning in this classroom at Pittsburgh Woolslair PreK-5 in Bloomfield. The 11 children were learning how to recognize groups of five, and six visiting veteran teachers were learning more about teaching math. The six are among the 54 teachers at 36 schools who are Instructional Leader Teacher 2s, the […]

Wrenn, Burkley to run for Pittsburgh school board seat

January 26, 2015 10:35 PM Share with others: Related Media: Pittsburgh school board losing veteran members Two candidates for the Pittsburgh Public Schools board today officially declared their candidacy for the District 4 seat being vacated by Bill Isler of Squirrel Hill who has served since 1999. They are Lynda Wrenn, 49, of Point Breeze, […]

Big Belly stations are trash cans of the future

January 25, 2015 10:42 PM Share with others: Two plastic coffee cups, several stray pieces of paper and a strawberry smoothie wrapped in paper napkins littered the sidewalk around a Big Belly waste and recycling station near the intersection of Smithfield Street and Sixth Avenue Downtown one day last week. It’s not uncommon to see […]

Obama to seek wilderness designation for Alaska refuge

JUNEAU, Alaska — President Barack Obama is proposing to designate the vast majority of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge as a wilderness area, including its potentially oil-rich coastal plain, drawing an angry response from top state elected officials who see it as a land grab by the federal government. “They’ve decided that today was the […]

Development project uses art to control water flow in Larimer

Betsy Damon, an international water artist, was invited to Pittsburgh to create a museum exhibit several years ago but decided instead to find an amenable neighborhood. “Pittsburgh has buried most of its streams in huge pipes,” she said. “Finding the right place was a story in itself.” The plot twisted to Brooklyn, where a Pittsburgh native […]

Obama administration wants to dramatically change how doctors are paid

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Monday announced an ambitious goal to overhaul the way doctors are paid, tying their fees more closely to the quality of care rather than the quantity. Rather than pay more money to Medicare doctors simply for every procedure they perform, the government will also evaluate whether patients are healthier, […]

Health happenings for the week of Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Special Events • The Parish Nurse and Health Ministry Program of Pittsburgh Mercy Health System is holding its occasional “Foundations of Faith Community Nursing” course from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 27-28 and March 20-21 at UPMC Mercy, Uptown. The cost is $395, with scholarships available. The deadline is Feb. 20. Call 412-232-5815. Blood […]

Diabetes in the elderly: safe sugar isn’t simple

Older people with diabetes are often told about the importance of keeping their blood sugar levels under control to prevent long-term complications, like cardiovascular disease or kidney damage. But studies are showing that some are actually controlling their disease too tightly, which is raising additional health risks.  Success in keeping blood sugar levels steady is […]

Obituary: Madeleine Hershey / Massage therapist was advocate for transgender youth

Madeleine Hershey was a loving gale force of a person who reached others through her work as a massage therapist, as an advocate for transgender youth, as an extravagant party-giver, and as the proprietor of a business that helped people get organized.  Ms. Hershey, known as “Mad” to her friends, was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer […]

Obituary: Elizabeth Kealey / Marine Corps pilot didn’t waver in wake of challenges

When Marine Capt. Elizabeth Kealey returned from a deployment during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan, she showed her mom, Chris Kealey-Thompson, photographs of her helicopter covered in bullet holes. “She was like, ’No big deal, Mom,’” said Ms. Kealey-Thompson of Salisbury, N.C. That probably really was no big deal for a young woman who wanted to […]

Study indicates use of nasal steroids can stunt growth in children

Use of intranasal steroid medications for allergies causes a small but statistically significant growth reduction in children, an Allegheny Health Network clinical trial has determined, marking the first time such a connection has been shown. The study, to be published in today’s online version of the journal Pediatrics, is the first such trial to be […]

Pediatric kidney stones are on the rise

The first time the reddish color appeared in Bella’s urine, Monessen resident Loren Carroto blamed the ice pops her daughter had eaten at a birthday party. But the discoloration returned intermittently. It turned out to be blood, not food coloring, and the diagnosis was one affecting a growing number of children: kidney stones. Five years […]

Monster snowstorm swirling into Northeast

NEW YORK — The Philadelphia-to-Boston corridor of more than 35 million people began shutting down today as a monster storm that could unload a paralyzing 1 to 3 feet of snow swirled into the Northeast. Snow was blowing sideways with ever-increasing intensity in New York City by midafternoon as flurries began in Boston. Forecasters said […]

Pittsburgh region dodges worst of ‘weather bomb’ that pummelled Northeast

A large, shape-shifting winter storm spilled 7.1 inches of snow on the Pittsburgh region on its way to the Atlantic coast Monday, where it turned into a massive Nor’easter expected to pummel a 250-mile stretch from Philadelphia through New York City and Boston to northern New England. The potentially historic storm — which could dump […]

PennDOT postpones Fort Pitt Tunnel lane closures

January 26, 2015 11:37 AM Share with others: Related Media: Weather forecast causes postponement of Fort Pitt Tunnel closure PennDOT has postponed overnight lane closures for the inbound Fort Pitt Tunnel. Lane restrictions had been scheduled to begin tonight. The work is being rescheduled due to the postponement of the inbound tunnel ceiling work, which […]

World Briefs: Philippines clash strains peace pact

January 27, 2015 12:00 AM Share with others: MANILA — At least 43 Philippine police were killed in a clash with two Muslim rebel groups during a search for a Malaysian bomb expert on the U.S. most-wanted terrorists list, threatening a peace pact with insurgents in the Mindanao region. Police looking for Zulkifli bin Hir […]

Islamic State flees Kobani battle in Syria

IRBIL, Iraq — Kurdish fighters in Syria claimed Tuesday to have lifted the Islamic State’s four-month siege of the northern Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani and said the last Islamic State attackers were on the run. “The Islamic State is on the verge of defeat,” Idriss Nassan, a spokesman for the local Kurdish militia, said […]