Alexandra Kanik is PublicSource's web and interactive developer. In addition to managing the website you're looking at right now, she works with the reporters to organize data and create applications that allow readers to visualize stories. Sometimes she writes about data and technology.
<p>Alexandra is a strong supporter of open-source, language-agnostic development and scalable design.</p>
<p>Before joining PublicSource, she worked at Pittsburgh Filmmakers, and has a degree in Graphic Design from the Maryland Institute College of Art.</p>
Despite public health research that supports needle exchanges, state law continues to say that distributing syringes for drug use is illegal. If you support or oppose a change in law, let your state senator and state representative know. If you want to know more about the Commonwealth’s response to the heroin crisis and increased risk for HIV and hepatitis C, contact the Department of Health and the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs.
If you support or oppose executive action, contact Gov. Tom Wolf. For local changes, contact your city and county government. If you support or oppose federal funding for needle exchanges, contact your senator and representative.
Ways for veterans to file disability claims
Veterans who register online can track the progress of their claims and ask questions. https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits-portal/ebenefits.portal
VA Benefits Information and Claims Assistance. There are eight call centers across the country. 1-800-827-1000
The following organizations help veterans submit disability claims. Their offices are in the federal building, downtown Pittsburgh, which also houses the Veterans Benefits Administration. American Legion: 412-395-6230
American Veterans: 412-395-6248
Disabled American Veterans: 412-395-6241
Military Order of the Purple Heart: 412-395-6252
Paralyzed Veterans of America: 412-395-6255
Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs: 1-866-754-8636
Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs: 412-395-6225
Veterans of Foreign Wars: 412-395-6259
Source: Veterans Administration
The Department of Veterans Affairs
The Department of Veterans Affairs offers many benefits to veterans and their families.
TANF: Temporary Assistance for Needy Families is meant to help single mothers and other low-income families find and maintain employment. SNAP: Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits can be used at grocery stores, convenience stores and some farmer’s markets and co-ops. PA WORKWEAR: For those on TANF, it provides professional attire for job interviews, employment and training. KEYS: The Keystone Education Yields Success program helps TANF and SNAP recipients attend community college. To sign up, visit www.ccac.edu.
Big rig crashes kill nearly 4,000 Americans each year and injure more than 85,000. Since 2009, fatalities involving large trucks have increased 17 percent. Injuries have gone up 28 percent.
Given these numbers, you might expect Congress to be agitating for tighter controls on big rigs. In fact, many members are pushing for the opposite — looser restrictions on the trucking industry and its drivers.
The lack of legislative or executive accountability and the absence of effective ethics entities, as well as weak laws and lackluster oversight of lobbying, political finance, and elections, have combined to give Pennsylvania an F in the 2015 State Integrity Investigation, conducted by the Center for Public Integrity and Global Integrity. Pennsylvania's numerical score of 58 placed it tied for 44th among the 50 states.
Jason Collinsworth travels more than three hours each way to Santa Cruz, California, once, sometimes twice, a month to buy the medical marijuana he smokes to help deal with his gastrointestinal disorder.
Even though there are dispensaries much closer to the Tuolumne County resident, he said they don’t test their marijuana for contaminants and potency.
Collinsworth, 38, said one of those nearby dispensaries once sold him marijuana that was stripped of its “medicinal” THC component with butane, the same chemical found in lighter fluid.
PITTSBURGH - In room 716 of the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, 12-year-old Hannah Pallas is motionless, but for an occasional turn of her head and the blink of her eyes, following a series of life-threatening seizures. On the same day, 5-year-old Sydney Michaels is down the hall in room 749, waiting to be discharged after 15 grand mal seizures within 36 hours.
Their mothers have known each other for years, though it’s a hapless coincidence caused by their daughters’ epilepsy that brings them to the pediatric unit on the same day.
Pittsburgh: Alleged embezzlement from charity for terminally-ill kids
Former high school baseball coach Steven Wetzel, 39, founded the Hero Program after the August 2008 death of an 18-year-old player who died of cancer. Facing federal charges, he apologized and said he’d plead guilty to some of the criminal counts he faces related to using $91,000 of the donations. Pittsburgh: Parkway congestion
Construction on inbound I-376 and the Fort Pitt Tunnel will cause the thoroughfares to close until about 10 a.m. today and again at 9 p.m. into tomorrow morning. Last time this happened, people were experiencing delays of three hours or more in surrounding areas. Check for detours.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Advocacy groups have poured millions of dollars into legalizing both recreational and medical marijuana in states across the country.
One of the most powerful and influential groups – Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project – was behind successful recreational measures in Alaska and Colorado, two of four states that now allow recreational use. MPP organizers hope to replicate those efforts in five other states during the 2016 elections, an undertaking they say will – if successful – prove significant for the effort to end marijuana prohibition.