Pennsylvania's  Ethics Commission has too few powers to properly monitor legislators' conflicts of interest.

Who polices legislative ethics in Pennsylvania?

The Ethics Commission is in charge of oversight, but it’s largely toothless. Are there solutions to prevent conflicts of interest?

about 10 hours ago

 “There’s pent-up demand to go there,” Paul Busang, president of Gulliver's Travels, said of Cuba.

Cuba watchers in Pittsburgh cheer opening of trade relations, easing of travel restrictions

The easing of some restrictions will be “one of the best things to ever happen in the travel industry,” says one travel agent.

about 15 hours ago

 Lyft cars line up in a parking lot at the Waterfront in Homestead.

Is Lyft too friendly to battle Uber?

Lyft wants its drivers to be quirky and personable, leaving plenty of room for creativity.

about 15 hours ago

Pa. Supreme Court lawyer: No new improprieties in email trove

Seamus McCaffery resigned his high court seat following the disclosure that he sent emails containing pornography to the AG’s office.

about 1 hour ago

 Jerry Sandusky was convicted by a jury of sexual abuse of 10 boys and sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison.

AP: Jerry Sandusky won't get his pension back

Sandusky’s attorney Chuck Benjamin said today that the State Employees’ Retirement System issued a 122-page opinion with the decision.

about 2 hours ago

Winter weather advisory posted for Allegheny County

The advisory was in effect until 9 a.m. with a possible accumulation of ice from freezing drizzle and a trace of snow.

about 10 hours ago

 Jerry Sandusky is escorted from the Centre County Courthouse after his sentencing on child sex abuse in October 2012.

Judge delays January trial on Penn State sanctions

The judge says she needs more time to resolve disagreements about which documents the NCAA must produce.

about 6 hours ago

 The FBI said in a statement it has enough evidence to conclude that North Korea was behind the punishing breach, which resulted in the disclosure of tens of thousands of leaked Sony emails and other materials.

FBI declares North Korea responsible for Sony hack

The FBI said it has enough evidence to conclude that North Korea was behind the punishing breach of the Hollywood studio.

about 3 hours ago

Pennsylvania unemployment rate falls to 5.1 percent

The state’s November unemployment rate was the lowest it has been in more than six years.

about 4 hours ago

 Cheswick vendor Denise Gasper of Uncommon Recyclables sells unique, unisex belts made from recycled materials.

Shop Holiday: Fair-trade, eco-friendly and organic gifts

A belt made from recycled materials or a reusable lunch bag are a couple of suggestions.

about 15 hours ago

 U.S. President Barack Obama announces a shift in policy toward Cuba while delivering an address to the nation.

Obama intends to lift several restrictions against Cuba on his own

President Barack will act as soon as next month to lift curbs on travel, commerce and financial activities with Cuba, despite congressional

about 15 hours ago

Philadelphia-area couple charged in boy's death waives hearing

Jillian Tait and Gary Lee Fellenbaum III are accused of shopping, napping and eating pizza as the boy lay dying in their mobile home.

about 6 hours ago

Sony hacking 'merits an appropriate response,' White House says

The White House calls the Sony movie studios hacking “a serious national security matter.”

about 15 hours ago

Putin cites ‘external factors’ for Russia’s economic woes, tries to reassure public

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday faulted the global oil price drop and Western sanctions.

about 15 hours ago

Report on White House security: Need higher fence, new leadership

Homeland Security panel decries Secret Service “starved for leadership.’’

about 15 hours ago

Pakistan grants bail to key suspect in 2008 Mumbai attacks

A court in Pakistan on Thursday authorized the release on $5,000 bail of the militant who coordinated the 2008 terror attacks.

about 15 hours ago

Obama goes from midterm drubbing to checking off bucket list

Mr. Obama’s recent spree of actions shows he’s using his executive powers “to the hilt” to create a new paradigm.

about 15 hours ago

Holiday Herald: The bike that rode from Christmas miracle to family infamy

As a child in the 1950s, my brief possession of a 26-inch cobalt blue Schwinn Phantom was a signal event.

about 15 hours ago

Missouri sues 13 St. Louis suburbs over ‘predatory’ traffic fines

The state attorney general in Missouri has sued 13 St. Louis suburbs, saying they ignored a law limiting revenues derived from traffic

about 15 hours ago

Obituary: William J. 'Bill' Walter / Westinghouse Electric Corp. executive

William J. Walter overcame a stutter, became a Westinghouse Electric Corp. executive and headed the Service Core of Retired Executives.

about 15 hours ago

 Philip J. Kendall

Former Philadelphia publishing exec killed in Florida accident

Authorities said Philip J. Kendall, 85, former president of Packard Press, and Francine Freedman, 80, had moved to Florida this week.

about 4 hours ago

Icy roads blamed for death of truck driver in Interstate 79 crash

Police said Robert Chafin, 51, of Weirton, died when his tractor trailer rolled over about 11 p.m. Thursday as he was heading north on I-79.

about 9 hours ago

 Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps walks into a courthouse for a trial on drunken driving and other charges on Friday in Baltimore. Documents show that the 29-year-old was leaving Baltimore's Horseshoe Casino Sept. 30 when he was pulled over for speeding and crossing the centerline on a highway.

Gold medalist Michael Phelps pleads guilty to DUI

Phelps, 29, was sentenced to a year in prison, but the prison sentence is suspended. He must be on probation for a year and a half.

about 2 hours ago

National briefs: Boston Marathon bombing case court date

Plus: Feds sue over inmates; ex-governor loses appeal; Obama pardons 12; illness outbreak response; car plows into crowd; high power bills?

about 15 hours ago

World briefs: Kurds retake territory from Islamic State

Plus: Ex-Blackwater chief hired; drug suspect sent to U.S.; doctor dies of Ebola; no fries with that?

about 15 hours ago

 Even before factoring in outside income, lawmakers in Pennsylvania make more than the state’s median household income of $52,007.

Does the Pennsylvania Legislature have a conflict of interest problem?

A state legislator sits on a committee and votes on bills that could affect his outside financial interests. Is this OK?

1 day ago

Ten indicted in connection with Akron dog-fighting ring

Investigators discovered firearms, narcotics and more than $52,000 in cash.

about 22 hours ago

Pennsylvania auditor general weighs in on charitable property tax exemptions debate

Eugene DePasquale put out a report highlighting the $1.5 billion in property taxes charitable organizations don’t pay in 10 counties.

about 15 hours ago

Pennsylvania lawmakers to face bill banning gift-taking

Lancaster County lawmaker says he’ll introduce bill that would ban nearly all gift to public officials and employees in the state.

about 15 hours ago

 A car sporting the Lyft mustache drives down a Downtown street in Pittsburgh last summer.

PUC grants ride-share company Lyft experimental license

The terms of the agreement contain specific conditions Lyft must adhere to before the permission takes effect.

about 16 hours ago

 A public health nurse demonstrates drawing flu vaccine from a bottle.

High-dose flu vaccine found more effective for elderly

University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine study finds that the frail elderly benefit from the high-dose flu vaccine.

1 day ago

 Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in April 2013.

Lawyer for Boston bombing suspect plans to seek trial delay

Three people were killed and more than 260 were injured when two bombs exploded near the finish line of the April 2013 marathon.

1 day ago

 The Pittsburgh Public Schools' administration building in Oakland.  The 2015 budget holds the line on the property tax rate of 9.84 mills.

Pittsburgh school board OKs budget with no change in property tax rate

Pittsburgh Public Schools’ board of directors unanimously approved a final budget Wednesday night of $556.8 million for 2015.

1 day ago

 A Pakistani soldier walks amid the debris in an army-run school Wednesday after an attack by Taliban militants in Peshawar on Tuesday.

As it mourns, Pakistan plans response to school massacre

Pakistan is immersed in three days of mourning, with all educational institutions closed and the entire city of Peshawar shut down.

1 day ago

McConnell aims to fight tighter coal regulations

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell pledged Wednesday to do all he can to stop President Barack Obama’s coal plant regulations

1 day ago

Swap of Cuban who spied for U.S. is at the heart of exchange package

Key U.S. “intelligence asset” imprisoned in Cuba for nearly two decades was swapped for three Cuban spies.

1 day ago

 John O'Brien, one of hostages of the Sydney cafe siege, poses for a photo as he relaxes in his front yard in Sydney, Australia Wednesday. O'Brien, 82, was the first hostage to escape the Lindt Chocolat Cafe after a gunman took 17 people hostage on Monday. Three people including the gunman were shot after police ended the siege at the coffee shop early Tuesday.

Aussie hostage, 82, planned daring escape

John O’Brien, the eldest hostage in the Sydney terror siege earlier this week, describes his harrowing captivity and bold escape plan.

1 day ago

Child agencies found failing

At least 786 children died of abuse or neglect in the United States in a six-year span in plain view of child protection authorities.

1 day ago

Report: Wealth gap widens

The wealth gap between middle- and upper-income households has widened to the highest level on record.

1 day ago

Israel suffers setbacks in Europe; Palestinians push at U.N.

European Union court, citing technicality, orders the Palestinian militant organization Hamas removed from the EU terror group list.

1 day ago

Church of England picks first woman bishop

The Church of England has appointed the Rev. Libby Lane as its first female bishop.

1 day ago

Congress ends feds’ ban on medical pot

Congress’ spending bill passage effectively ended federal ban on medical marijuana.

1 day ago

World briefs: Vigilantes clash in Mexico

MEXICO CITY — Two rival vigilante groups faced off in western Mexico in a shootout that left 11 people dead weeks after federal authorities

1 day ago

 Albert "Al" Alu performing as Conrad Birdie in Pittsburgh CLO's 1972 production of "Bye Bye Birdie."

Obituary: Al Alu / Pittsburgh-native entertainer found a home in Los Angeles

The actor, artist and arts educator found success on Pittsburgh stages before becoming a regular on the Los Angeles theater scene.

1 day ago

Random Acts of Kindness: Caring people helped counter water torrent

Plus: A fall in street didn’t spoil her theater trip and a plunge on icy steps revealed two angels.

1 day ago

National briefs: 4 charged in chemical spill

Plus: Recount affirms GOP win; actor admits sex abuse; Alcatraz escape study; Johns Hopkins snafu; death penalty dropped; rapper is

1 day ago

Tax increase anticipated in Peters school district

Peters Township schools is expecting a $2.8 million budget deficit in the 2015-16 spending plan.

1 day ago

Justices to Ariz: Issue driver’s licenses

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday let stand a ruling requiring Arizona to issue driver’s licenses to young immigrants spared

1 day ago

14 who worked for pharmacy held in fatal meningitis

BOSTON — Fourteen employees of a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy were charged Wednesday in connection with a fungal meningitis outbreak

1 day ago

 A Pakistani soldier walks amidst the debris in an army-run school Wednesday after an attack by Taliban militants in Peshawar on Tuesday.

Pakistan lifts curb on executions in wake of slaughter

Pakistan mourns and then acts against terrorists in wake of the Taliban militant assault Tuesday on an army-run school in Peshawar.

1 day ago


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