PA’s hate-crime law still leaves many groups out

Jane’s whole life has been like one long hate crime.

As a teenager, her classmates beat her to a pulp because she shaved her legs. Her family believed that praying would cure what the belt didn’t. 

Jane was born a man. Today, she is a woman.

Most Port Authority pay stations faring well, PublicSource survey finds

Allegheny County’s 59 new pay stations at light-rail platforms and bus stops have been performing well, with the exception of some along the East Busway.

PublicSource recently tested 54 of the pay stations operated by the Port Authority of Allegheny County and found few problems with the machines along the West Busway and light-rail lines. But nine of the 14 machines along the East Busway had one or more deficiencies.

PA amusement park regulators must do better job, officials say

Pennsylvania officials said this week that the agency that regulates amusement parks must develop a better system to track the inspection reports that parks are required by law to file.

A PublicSource investigation recently found that the Department of Agriculture’s amusement park regulatory office did not have all of the inspection reports for more than half of the state’s permanent parks and water parks in 2012.

PA’s regulation of amusement parks falls short in inspections, enforcement

Pennsylvania has more amusement park rides than any other state, with 9,300 registered rides. And its parks are unmatched in safety, Gov. Tom Corbett said in a June press release, because of the state’s rigorous ride-inspection program.

But a PublicSource investigation shows that the state agency that oversees amusement parks doesn’t track the safety inspection reports that parks are required by law to file each month the park is open.

State records show that more than half of Pennsylvania’s permanent parks and water parks did not turn in all of their safety inspection reports in 2012. The agency had no reports at all for 12 of the state’s 117 permanent parks and water parks PublicSource analyzed.

Many accidents at slides at Seven Springs

Steve Bowers of Cincinnati can no longer close his fist all the way after a hunk of his arm was scooped out during an accident in 2012 at Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Southwestern Pennsylvania.

Since 2008, according to state records, there have been 17 accidents, including Bowers’s on the Alpine Slide, twin tracks that riders go down on a sled.