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Carbondale officials violated state law when they encouraged four city police officers to retire last year by sweetening their pension benefits, state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale charges in a new audit report.

The police department recently introduced a new crime fighting tool that allows the public to track criminal activity neighborhood by neighborhood.

It isn't often that lawmakers spend years shepherding legislation they know will likely not be enforced.

The visible blanket of smoke from our steel days may have dissipated, but our region’s air continues to rank among the worst in the nation.

Imagine a business trying to operate with customers constantly owing it tens of thousands of dollars.

Then picture the same business trying to stay open with its customer base owing $500,000, or more than $1 million. 

These are real scenarios for midstate municipal authorities expected to manage sewer systems like businesses.

An education adviser to the governor has stepped down from his post, weeks after a newspaper report found little evidence he was working.

Ron Tomalis’ resignation letter includes a list of his accomplishments as a special adviser on higher education. Those accomplishments were called into question by a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report last month that found little in schedule documents, phone logs, or interviews to suggest Tomalis had been doing much in his job paying nearly $140,000 a year.

The Allegheny County Crime Lab is a full lab that performs a wealth crime-related tasks, such as DNA testing and crime scene analysis, but it’s funding has been cut by the state in recent years.

If the lab continues to receive no state funding, it’s in danger of closing. On Tuesday, a joint legislative hearing heard from a list of speakers about why the lab should be a funding priority. Allegheny County Medical Examiner Karl Williams said, for starters, it’s a one-of-a-kind facility.

Two roll-off boxes holding waste with detectable levels of radiation at a Marcellus Shale impoundment in Mt. Pleasant Township will soon be trucked to Michigan for disposal.

Range Resources, which operates the Carter impoundment on Fort Cherry Road, initially detected “above-background” levels of radiation in about 20 inches of water and four inches of sludge in May. Those materials were found when a contractor cleaned out the impoundment’s weir tank, which allows solids to settle as water flows into the impoundment.

Mucky algae on Lake Erie recently turned the water running out of Toledo taps toxic. More than 400,000 residents had to scramble for bottled water. At first, they were told not to use the municipal water for any reason. In the midst of the three-day ordeal, Michigan Radio spoke with residents, like Pat Haines.

“Everything is closed. It just really has knocked the socks off of Toledo. All the McDonald’s, all the restaurants are closed," Haines said. "It has really shut down Toledo.”


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