Archive

In Pennsylvania, buying beer out of state makes you a bootlegger

September 2, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Adam Vickers is a just a regular guy who works for a general contractor and sometimes takes the back way home from work in Maryland. On occasion, he stops at a rural liquor store … Read the rest

No rest for the death industry as it awaits high court decision

August 28, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — The U.S. Supreme Court will decide this fall whether to hear a case concerning an alleged “antiquated,” “protectionist regime” in Pennsylvania’s death industry.

Those bringing the case say it could affect all Americans. The … Read the rest

With school budgets tight, prevailing wage again goes under microscope

August 28, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — When the Central York School District wanted to repair the roof on a middle school about two years ago, the school board found itself playing a game of financial chicken.

The roof … Read the rest

Philly family lost house over $40 drug purchase

August 27, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

In March, Chris Sourovelis’ son was caught selling $40 of heroin to an undercover police officer.

Officers from the Philadelphia Police Department responded by raiding the Sourovelis’ north Philadelphia home, with guns drawn — … Read the rest

Hailing the chief: Pittsburgh’s hunt for a police chief drawing to a close

August 26, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH —With its most recent chief of police living in a medium-security federal prison 600 miles away, the city has been searching for someone to lead the Bureau of Police.

The search is finally nearing an end.

It … Read the rest

Conflicting rules create ethics conundrum for mortuary inspector

August 25, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — Pennsylvania has some issues with death.

Specifically, Pennsylvania has some problems regulating the hows and whys of handling those who are no longer with us. And perhaps oddly, it also has issues with … Read the rest

Both parties use cynical strategy focused on driving down the vote in PA

August 22, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Eric Boehm | PA Independent

In Pittsburgh last month, Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa, D-Allegheny, laid out part of the Democratic strategy for swinging control of the Pennsylvania Senate in this year’s election.

That strategy includes making sure Republican … Read the rest

Philly’s school problems a cautionary tale of federal stimulus

August 21, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Yaël Ossowski | Watchdog.org

As financial problems plague the Philadelphia city public school system and politicians at the state level cast blame, the specter of federal stimulus has come to bear.

At the end of last week, parents and … Read the rest

Microlending grows small business in Pittsburgh

August 20, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — Merely driving through some of Pittsburgh’s careworn, left-behind neighborhoods is sobering.

But there are bright spots — some that came to life through innovative microfinancing.

Healcrest Urban Farm is just one. During … Read the rest

Riding with Uber, as it faces down regulators

August 19, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Rachel Martin | Watchdog.org

PITTSBURGH — While lawyers and judges continue trudging through the regulatory trenches, Uber drivers continue to pick up passengers, even though they risk daily fines. Drivers continue to relish the flexible opportunity that provides a speedy service … Read the rest

As clock ticks, lawmakers devise plan to revive property tax elimination bill

August 19, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

One year and five months — that’s how long bipartisan legislation that would eliminate school property taxes in Pennsylvania has been stuck in the Pennsylvania Senate’s Finance Committee.

“It seems like we’ve been pushing it … Read the rest

Lawmaker wants higher cigarette tax to fund property tax relief

August 12, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

All the talk about hiking the cigarette tax in Philadelphia to help fund city schools has some state lawmakers wondering, what about the rest of the state?

State Rep. John Lawrence, R-Chester, wants … Read the rest

Wolf’s PAC calls on Corbett to fire adviser

July 31, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

First, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette broke the story that Ron Tomalis, a special adviser to Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett on education matters, makes about $140,000 a year, yet hasn’t created much of a paper trail … Read the rest

PA’s No. 2: $1 billion education cut a ‘damned lie’

July 29, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley must have broken out his thesaurus Monday morning, considering he found several ways to denounce a recent political ad that accuses Republican Gov. Tom Corbett of slashing … Read the rest

Uber, Lyft granted temporary authority to operate in Allegheny County

July 25, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

As the chairman of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission put it Thursday, ridesharing services Lyft and Uber are getting a chance for a makeup exam in the Keystone State.

The commission granted both tech-savvy … Read the rest

Budget blues: Moody’s downgrades Pennsylvania’s bond rating

July 22, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

That didn’t take long.

Just weeks after Pennsylvania lawmakers passed a patchwork budget and skipped town without addressing pension reform, Moody’s has downgraded Pennsylvania’s general obligation bond rating. It dropped the state fom Aa2 … Read the rest

Even with GOP majority, Pennsylvania can’t push ahead conservative agenda

July 18, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

As Gov. Tom Corbett crisscrosses Pennsylvania to gin up support for public pension reform while lawmakers break for the summer, there’s ample opportunity to explore what has held up legislation that could save the … Read the rest

Ride-sharing services defy shut-down order in Pittsburgh

July 16, 2014 | By | Posted in General News

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

When Pittsburghers couldn’t catch a cab or spent more than an hour waiting for a taxi that wasn’t guaranteed to arrive, ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft suddenly appeared to fill the void.

Then, … Read the rest

Corbett signs budget, but Republican rift deepens

July 11, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Gov. Tom Corbett signed a $29 billion state budget on Thursday — 10 days late — but his showdown with the General Assembly over pension reform is far from over.

Corbett used … Read the rest

All eyes on Corbett as budget stalemate drags on

July 9, 2014 | By | Posted in General News, Governor, Legislature

By Andrew Staub | PA Independent

Another day has passed, and Pennsylvania is still without a budget.

So far, services haven’t been affected, but the impasse has made for intriguing political theater as Republican Gov. Tom Corbett jousts with the Republican-controlled Legislature … Read the rest