After years of feuding capped by a bitter primary election battle, county Executive Rich Fitzgerald and county Controller Chelsa Wagner met for lunch Thursday in what both described as an effort to forge a more productive approach to the issues of county government.
When David Slifka was elected a Derry Township supervisor a decade ago, he learned that the position requires, well, a learning curve.
Pulling open the bottom freezer drawer of a new stainless steel Samsung refrigerator, Councilwoman Darlene Harris’ eyes widened.
State Sen. Matt Smith, D-Mt. Lebanon, who is resigning within the month, was Wednesday named president of the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce, a news release from the chamber said.
Courting voters who he said had been abandoned by both parties, Rick Santorum launched his second campaign for the White House with a pledge to battle the allied abuses of big government and big business.
Cabot, an unincorporated community in the southeast corner of Butler County with a downtown that consists mainly of a post office, will be in the national political spotlight this evening.
CAMP HILL, Pa. — Gov. Tom Wolf stood outside a state prison near Harrisburg on Tuesday alongside several district attorneys to support increased funding for early childhood education.
Allegheny County Council on Monday will interview applicants wishing to serve the remainder of the late Barbara Daly Danko's term in District 11.
Hoping to capture a larger share of the national political spotlight, some state lawmakers are proposing moving Pennsylvania's primary earlier in the calendar in time for next year's presidential nominating contests.
Picture this scrolling hundreds of feet above the iconic confluence of Pittsburgh’s three rivers: “Chipped ham, $1.39 a pound.”
Four judicial candidates will vie in the fall for three seats on Westmoreland County Common Pleas Court — down considerably from the nine who ran campaigns in this week's primary.
Proponents of lifting the 80-year-old alcohol sales ban in Bellevue are celebrating, a former Mars Area superintendent is nominated to that district’s school board and the Save NA Schools citizens’ group has won seats on the North Allegheny school board.
Scott will have a new district judge for the first time in 40 years, a former Moon Area school director was part of a group that ousted a couple of incumbents on the board, and three new members were nominated to the Montour school board.
In a race that featured few surprises Tuesday, Washington County voters made their choices clear: They are satisfied with the incumbents.
The incumbent Westmoreland County Controller Jeffrey Balzer believes he was vindicated in Tuesday’s primary win.
A Democratic incumbent and a Democratic challenger hope to win back the majority on the Westmoreland County commissioners’ board in the fall election after securing their party’s nominations on Tuesday.
Passers-by on Lincoln Avenue in Bellevue were greeted by an unfamiliar sight Wednesday — a bright orange poster in a restaurant window, signifying a new liquor license application.
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto isn’t up for re-election until 2017. His ally, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, is running unopposed.
Allegheny County Councilman Bob Macey resigned Wednesday from his part-time job in a state senator’s office following a board’s finding that holding both positions violated the county’s ethics code.
Four candidates will battle for three open seats on the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas in November.
HARRISBURG — Former Allegheny County Solicitor Michael H. Wojcik appears to have won a Democratic primary in a race for Commonwealth Court, though election results had not all been tabulated statewide late Tuesday.
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Numbers up for Obama/Casey

Published by Tim McNulty on .

New Q poll of Pa says approval numbers are up for both Obama and Casey.

Full results -- with breakdown that includes Allegheny County -- are here.

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Byrd stories

Published by Tim McNulty on .

See the full package of Robert Byrd stories today on the Post-Gazette homepage, including the obit by Jon Schmitz and a look at the senator's possible successors by Jim O'Toole. From the obit:

Mr. Byrd, who grew up dirt poor in the West Virginia coal fields, in a home that lacked running water or electricity, would graduate as his class valedictorian.

And he would graduate from bubble gum to billions in a historic political career that saw him reach the pinnacle of the U.S. Senate, where he used his power to unabashedly direct mountains of federal money to the Mountain State.

"I want to be West Virginia's billion-dollar industry," he proclaimed in 1990 -- a goal he surpassed at least three times over.

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Breakfast Sausage: 5 stories to read this morning

Published by Moriah Balingit on .

Happy Monday, Early Returners. If you're a Pens fan/motorist (hello, 90 percent of Pittsburgh), it wasn't a great couple of days. Hope you survived this weekend's apocalyptic traffic and performance on the ice. Oy.

1. Mark Belko wrote Sunday that presumed mayor-elect Bill Peduto wants to make Downtown into a "mini-Manhattan" in talking about his plans for developing the city, which would involve a greater partnership with Allegheny County. Hopefully, it means that you'll finally be able to get a decent bagel in the Golden Triangle. 

2. From Harrisburg, Kate Giammarise reports on a block grant program that debuted last year to help fill in the gaps that were left when the state slashed human services funding. The way the funding is currently structured, various programs -- for the homeless, for children and for the drug addicted -- are left battling it out for the grant funds. A bill will change that. 

Does a pilot program give county officials needed flexibility in how they spend dwindling human services dollars? Or does it pit the state's most vulnerable populations -- the homeless, the disabled, those with mental health issues or drug addiction -- against each other in a competition for funds?

3. If the state doesn't pony up more money to repair bridges, some will no longer be able to carry heavier trucks, reports Jon Schmitz. Around 1,500 bridges across the state are in such dire need of repairs that the state will be forced to post weight restriction signage if it can't foot the bill for maintenance. Right now, around 600 bridges have weight restrictions that prevent trucks, buses and some emergency vehicles from crossing them.

Weight limits are just one of several consequences of continued failure to adequately fund the state's transportation system, [Transportations secretary Barry] Schoch said. The state's ability to attract and retain businesses will suffer, public safety could be compromised and urban mass transit systems will face service cutbacks.


4. From Saturday, Tracie Mauriello writes that Pres. Barack Obama is fighting to keep subsidized student loan rates from doubling. 

5. And in case you missed Rich Lord's story from Saturday, Mayor Luke Ravenstahl's ex-wife, Erin Feith, has declined to meet with federal investigators, her lawyer said. She's at least the fourth person in the mayor's circle to be questioned by federal authorities. If you'll recall, the mayor's secretary and two bodyguards went before a grand jury in early May. 

And an Early Returns post-script: congratulations to PG alum Daniel "Sparky" Malloy, who wed Katie Cline this weekend. Mr. Malloy was a general assignment reporter, covering bears, among other things. He eventually moved up to cover the Pennsylvania delegation in DC for the Post-Gazette, where he did some stellar reporting on the Upper Big Branch mine disaster. He is now the Washington correspondent for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He and his wife, who works for the Ocean Conservancy, were married in Chapel Hill, where their union was sealed with Carolina-style barbecue. Here's a blurry iPhone picture from the affair:

photo 3

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Breakfast Sausage: 5 stories to read this morning

Published by Moriah Balingit on .

Happy Monday Early Returners. Here's a handful of links to get your week started. 

1. Not to toot our own horn (toot, toot), but the Post-Gazette's Sunday paper was a true masterpiece. First, check out Kate Giammirise's piece on why there are so few women in state politics, with women holding just 17.8 percent of seats in the the General Assembly. As an aside, Pittsburgh City Council fares a little better, with three women (including the council president) out of nine holding seats. 

2. Not politics related, but Mark Roth's series on former football players with brain disease is phenomenal. The series started Sunday.

3. Higher ed reporter Bill Schackner reports that former Penn State president Graham Spanier received the highest compensation package among university presidents in 2011-2012. Hopefully that massive severance package will help off-set his legal fees

4. Mayor Luke Ravenstahl made Sports Illustrated, and no, not for his brief career as a silver screen place kicker. Unfortunately, there's no link here, but here's an excerpt from the cover story about Sidney Crosby:

Pittsburgh has been disappointed lately by the behavior of other young stars-most famously, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, but also 33-year-old mayor Luke Ravenstahl, who took office at 26 and who recently dropped his re-election bid amid a federal investigation into police spending. (Last week Ravenstahl responded to an unfavorable story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette with a rant in the newspaper's online comments section. The highlight: "It's actually laughable to think that you print your newspaper everyday [sic] with a straight face.")

5. And finally, ICYMI, a story that broke late Friday. Rich Lord and I report that the mayor's house received an upgrade from a company related to contractor that did millions in work for the city. It's not the first time the Post-Gazette has inquired about the mayor's abode. In December, Brian O'Neill dared to ask where the mayor lives.

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Breakfast Sausage: 5 stories to read this morning

Published by Moriah Balingit on .

Happy Monday Early Returners! Today, we bring you stories from the South Side to Santiago, Chile.

1. The Pittsburgh Housing Authority hired a recently formed company connected to a drug felon to train residents to cut grass, Rich Lord found

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