Casey Chafin

News Assistant
AP

Vice President Joe Biden spoke to a group of union workers before the Labor Day Parade in downtown Pittsburgh Monday morning.

His speech was focused on the importance of organized labor to the health of the national economy and quality of life.

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According to the Department of Justice, 293,000 women are raped or sexually assaulted each year, and those are just the instances that are reported.

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, an event that aims to greatly reduce sexual violence by bringing awareness to the issue, is coming to Pittsburgh on Saturday September 12, according to event coordinator and sexual assault survivor Camille Goleb.

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

City and county officials, the Pittsburgh Penguins and St. Louis based-developer McCormack Baron Salazar announced Thursday the Danish architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group will design the residential portion of the lower Hill development at the old Civic Arena site.

“Part of what we’re doing is going to be a mixed-income community, and there will be opportunities for lower-income individuals and families to live in the community, just like we did in Crawford Square,” said Richard Baron, chairman and CEO of McCormack Baron Salazar. “So the idea here is to be an inclusive development.”

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Rugby is an intense sport in which players team up to tackle a ball-carrier. It is similar to football, except play is constantly ongoing and players wear very little padding.

Like football, rugby necessitates doctors to be on hand during matches in case of injury, according to Sam Akhavan, who will be traveling to England next month for the Rugby World Cup as a team physician for the U.S. National Rugby Team.

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Local organizations and agencies can start lining up Monday to make their pitch for grants from the Allegheny Regional Asset District, or RAD.

RAD annually awards tens of millions to support parks, libraries and cultural organizations.

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Allegheny County is one of four sites nationwide to be chosen for a new initiative aimed at improving health throughout the county.

The Bridging for Health: Improving Community Health Through Innovations in Financing initiative will have the health department working with the nonprofit Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to simplify and strengthen the links among different health-related areas, according to Karen Hacker, Allegheny County Health Department director.

Pittsburgh's Zone 4 police are warning homeowners in Shadyside, Squirrel Hill and Point Breeze to be alert for thieves attempting to steal copper downspouts like those affixed to drainage gutters.

Commander Daniel Herrmann said he's collected more than 25  theft reports since June.

Casey Chafin / 90.5 WESA

The first tenants will move into the new 54,000-square-foot 3 Crossings office building in the Strip District on Sept. 1, completing the first wave of a series of redevelopment projects between 25th and 27th streets.

Steve Guy, president and CEO of Oxford Development Company, said the project will give the area sorely-needed amenities like sidewalks, curbs, drainage and groundwater control systems, as well as updating the electrical pole configurations to more efficiently meet the needs of the neighborhood at large.

As little as a tenth of an inch of rainfall can be enough to overload sewers in some Pittsburgh neighborhoods, leading to the potential for untreated sewage to flow into area streams and rivers, according to James Stitt, Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority sustainability manager.

Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership

  Ridership along the Penn Avenue bike lanes is up at least 25 percent since June, according to data released last week by the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.

Spokesperson Leigh White said they counted roughly 1,000 trips per day on average in July. Ridership also spiked on weekends, she said.

Although they often go unnoticed, snails perform vital functions for the ecosystem, such as feeding squirrels and providing calcium in the shells of bird eggs.

The snail and its fellow mollusks will be the center of talk Monday at the Carnegie Science Center by Tim Pearce, assistant curator of mollusks at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

Monongahela is leading the way in the fight against abandoned, run-down properties, according to state Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-46).

There will be a roundtable discussion in the town on Tuesday evening to address the best ways communities can address the problem of blight, with Monongahela’s success at the center.

“When you go down main street in Monongahela, you cannot believe how different it is from eight years ago,” Bartolotta said. “I think there might be one, maybe two, storefronts that aren’t up and running with really cute businesses.”

Rebecca Devereaux / 90.5 WESA

This week, Pittsburgh will witness the crowning of several world champions. Their expertise?

Disc golf.

The annual Pro World Disc Golf Championships will be taking place at four area courses through Aug. 8. And while most of us have probably flipped a Frisbee in a park or on the beach, disc golf is much more than that.

You spend hundreds on a smartphone and a case to protect it, but are you protecting the information inside the phone?

Researchers at Robert Morris University received a $224,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to start a program to inform people of the importance of securing mobile devices.

State Rep. Susan Helm (R-Dauphin) said she believes many students throughout Pennsylvania experience unfair treatment under municipal laws.

Helm’s House Bill 809 would strike down municipal laws in the state that prohibit people from living somewhere based on their current status as a student.

U.S. Senator Bob Casey said the nation must increase its commitment to inspecting the safety of train bridges to avoid disaster on Thursday.

Casey said he wants an additional $1 million added to the Federal Railroad Administration budget to increase the number of railroad inspectors from eight to 15.

He said the eight inspectors are currently responsible for inspecting more than 70,000 train bridges nationwide.

Legislation awaiting action in the Pennsylvania Senate would amend the current school tobacco law to add electronic cigarettes and vapor products to the list of banned items.

House Bill 954, which was unanimously passed in the House on June 15, would ban the sale of electronic cigarettes and vapor products to minors. State Rep. Gerald Mullery (D-Luzerne) added an amendment to ban the use of these items on school grounds.

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The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law 25 years ago on Sunday.

The act was a major step toward full-scale accessibility for citizens with disabilities, but according to many, there are still substantial barriers in place.

More than 230 air emission sources and 350 natural gas drilling sites are located within one mile of a school in southwestern Pennsylvania, according to Women for a Healthy Environment.

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

President Barack Obama hits the Steel City on Tuesday to address the nearly 12,000 men and women expected to attend the 116th Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States national convention, which takes place July 18-22.

Joe Davis, director of public affairs for the VFW, said the organization hopes to hear from the president about national security, the recent Iranian deal and veterans' issues, including insurance and problems known to plague health care provided through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

British-American Connections Pittsburgh

  Dust off your finest tea service. Queen Elizabeth II will become Great Britain's longest reigning monarch Sept. 9, and Pittsburgh's never been one to snub a good soiree.

“Britsburgh: A Festival of Britain in Pittsburgh” runs through Sept. 14 featuring a variety of food, drinks, music and activities from across the pond.

Adjunct faculty at the Community College of Allegheny County voted to join their full-time colleagues as members of the American Federation of Teachers on Tuesday.

“Being able to negotiate a living wage for ourselves was obviously the number one issue,” said adjunct art professor Gene Marsh, “and some other issues relating to benefits or access to full-time positions as they open up.”

When Allegheny County’s Home Rule Charter was adopted in 1999, it established a council comprised of 13 members elected by districts and two at-large members: one Democrat and one Republican.

Now, Republican County Councilman Edward Kress of Shaler wants to increase the number of at-large members to three, to account for citizens who might not affiliate with either of the main parties.

Pittsburgh area nonprofits that receive state funding are being warned to prepare for a long budget delay.

Kate Dewey is president of The Forbes Funds, the host organization for the Greater Pittsburgh Nonprofit Partnership, which offers an array of services to assist nonprofits throughout the region. Dewey said the partnership is recommending several steps nonprofits can take to ensure their long-term stability.

In mid-June, the Port Authority announced it is considering a one-time $5 fee for ConnectCard service. The proposal has been met with some criticism from riders, who expressed their views at a public hearing on Tuesday.

Many who spoke also offered potential fixes to avoid charging for the cards.

Edward Wagner of Brighton Heights opened up the public comment session by suggesting the Port Authority should not only keep ConnectCards free, but should also offer a discount to riders who use them because they save time.

Pennsylvania residents can only buy “novelty fireworks,” such as party-poppers and sparklers under current law, but a trio of lawmakers wants that to change.

A bill will soon be introduced in the Senate that would make it legal for residents to purchase larger “consumer fireworks,” such as Roman candles, mortars and bottle rockets, according to co-sponsor Sen. Elder Vogel (R-Beaver).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in seven people currently living with HIV is unaware they have the virus.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health would like to see that change, and it's urging all people between the ages of 13 and 64 to get tested for the disease.

“The HIV rates in Pennsylvania continue to be a significant and serious health problem,” said Pennsylvania Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine.

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Average annual pay increased in the Pittsburgh region from 2013 to 2014, but not as much as in several other cities, including Denver, Cincinnati or Detroit, according to a report released by Pittsburgh Today.

Doug Heuck, director of Pittsburgh Today, an organization which measures progress in areas such as education, sustainability and economy, said local average annual pay rose by 2.7 percent.

Many natural gas drilling companies use treated water from abandoned coal mines for fracking, but that number is decreasing due to questions on liability issues, according to Sen. Camera Bartolotta (R-Greene, Washington).

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