With Space To Spare, Pittsburgh International Draws Corporate Jet Carrier

Pittsburgh International Airport’s status as a former hub facility with space to spare helped draw OneJet, a new corporate jet carrier seeking to gain a foothold inside Concourse D.

“That’s one of the reasons Pittsburgh is one of the top five cities we put in place early on,” said CEO Matthew Maguire. “We see a bigger vision for it beyond the user service.”

OneJet, catering to business travelers on seven-seat Hawker 400s, launched between Milwaukee and Indianapolis in April, and Pittsburgh this month. A fourth destination will be announced within two months. Down the road, OneJet plans to add crews and maintenance operations in Pittsburgh.

OneJet’s business model focuses on gate-to-gate travel between midsized cities, allowing direct flights to destinations that otherwise involve lengthy layovers. A trip to Indianapolis with a connection may take 4 12 hours, compared with the about 60-minute service on OneJet

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/8416213-74/onejet-pittsburgh-service#ixzz3bGO3ekH3
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Officials Envision Reinvigorated Allegheny County Airport

The county airport authority wants West Mifflin’s Allegheny County Airport to be a destination — but not for commuter flights.

That sums up a meeting borough officials had Monday with new authority CEO Christina Cassotis that came 24 hours before a $1.5 million federal grant was announced for taxiway rehabilitation there.

“It was a positive meeting,” borough Manager Brian Kamauf said. “We discussed the history of the airport.”

It dates back to Pittsburgh and McKeesport’s window to the world between 1931 and 1952, when commercial service moved from West Mifflin to what then was Greater Pittsburgh Airport, now Pittsburgh International.

Read more: http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yourmckeesport/yourmckeesportmore/8407018-74/airport-county-authority#ixzz3asqtZ8jy
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Grand Jury Investigating Plum Sex Scandal Involving Possibly 8 Students

An Allegheny County grand jury is investigating whether teachers at Plum High School abused as many as eight female students over as many as eight years and that school officials kept it quiet, according to a sealed search warrant executed Tuesday.

The warrant — signed Monday by Common Pleas Judge Jill E. Rangos, who supervises the grand jury — sought records that could show whether district officials knew about inappropriate contact between staff and students.

The warrant indicates that a grand jury is investigating whether criminal charges should be filed against school officials for failing to report known sexual abuse.

Among the violations under consideration are tampering with records, fabricating evidence, obstructing the administration of law, failure to report abuse and intimidation, retaliation or obstruction in a child abuse case, according to the warrant.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/8399593-74/ruggieri-hearing-charges#ixzz3ahY6QGzu
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

In The Lead: Carnegie / The Comeback Continues

Hans and Virginia Gruenert wanted to start a theater company when they lived in New York City. That’s where you’d do something like that.

But Off the Wall Theater Co. was destined to be born in Western Pennsylvania when Mr. Gruenert’s work brought the couple here in 2007. And after five years in Washington, Pa., they found a better fit in Carnegie.

Their decision happened to mesh with the borough’s trajectory of late.

The economic doldrums that gripped the region for years didn’t miss Carnegie. Then in 2004, when Chartiers Creek overran the business district as a remnant of Hurricane Ivan, dozens of businesses were damaged and many did not return.

Read more:

http://www.post-gazette.com/in-the-lead-2015/reports/2015/05/14/In-The-Lead-Carnegie-The-comeback-continues

Mt. Lebanon Landlord With History Of Housing Violations Sued By State Attorney General’s Office

A Mt. Lebanon landlord who has been repeatedly fined for failing to have water service to his properties in Carrick and elsewhere – and who was accused of running a garden hose from someone else’s property to get water – is being sued by the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office.

The complaint, filed today in Common Pleas Court, names as defendants Davin Gartley, as well as his companies, Davin Investments Inc. and R.A.E.D. Investments Inc.

According to the complaint, the defendants operate at least 11 properties, including 2531-2539 Brownsville Road in Carrick, which has been the subject of the water problems.

The lawsuit alleges that the defendants are violating Pennsylvania’s Consumer Protection Law by failing to maintain habitable properties, failing to provide water service and failing to return tenant security deposits.

Read more:

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2015/05/12/Mt-Lebanon-landlord-with-history-of-housing-violations-sued-by-state-Attorney-General-s-office/stories/201505120157

Braddock’s Backers See Lots Of Potential In Community’s Future

When talking about Braddock, Molly Rice and Jeffrey Carpenter avoid the word “revitalization.”

The term, they say, implies what already exists in the community isn’t vital, and, therefore, doesn’t apply to the historic town.

“Braddock isn’t what you might think it is. There are so many elements and varieties of colors and layers and things to see,” says Rice, a playwright who’s working with Carpenter’s Bricolage Production Company and Real/Time Interventions to bring her “Saints Tour” immersive theater experience to Braddock in May and June.

The show is one of many efforts to draw outsiders in while the community continues to move forward from its unstable past.

Read more: http://triblive.com/aande/moreaande/8147634-74/braddock-sousa-theater#ixzz3ZrLDNYdB
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Pittsburgh Needs 21,000 Affordable Homes, Study Says

DSC01828Mayor Bill Peduto’s newly named Affordable Housing Task Force has daunting numbers to chip away at. For starters, a shortage of 21,000 homes in Pittsburgh that are affordable enough for families of four whose income is $24,000, which is 30 percent of the area’s median income for that size household.

Attorney Robert Damewood of Regional Housing Legal Services called the shortage “severe” and said that throughout Allegheny County, more than 30,000 people live in housing they can’t afford, most paying more than 50 percent of their income on housing. “This makes them very insecure and at risk of eviction.”

The  has just issued a report on a situation it expects to escalate as rents rise in more neighborhoods.

Mr. Damewood researched and prepared the report for the Housing Alliance’s Building Inclusive Communities work group. It recommends the city establish inclusive zoning, assuring a percentage of affordable units in any development, either by mandate or incentives to developers, such as land use approvals, height density bonuses and additional build-outs at no extra cost. In flat markets, a community land trust or land bank can preserve properties for affordable development.

Read more:

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2015/05/06/Pittsburgh-needs-21-000-affordable-homes-task-force-reports/stories/201505060095

Allegheny Health Network’s $600M Plan To Expand Reach Depends On Highmark

Allegheny Health Network proposes investing part of $175 million from Highmark Inc. in renovations and technology upgrades at its Allegheny General and West Penn hospitals, anticipating that they will accommodate more patients when Highmark insurance subscribers lose in-network access to UPMC next year.

The Highmark-owned hospital system would build outpatient medical centers and expand emergency, trauma and women’s health services to underserved parts of Western Pennsylvania as part of a spending plan that executives say will help it better compete with UPMC.

“The entire amount … will be used for capital improvements at Allegheny Health Network to fill in certain service line gaps,” Chief Financial Officer Karen Hanlon said during a state Department of Insurance hearing Monday. “No portion of the requested funding will go to pay operating expenses.”

UPMC Treasurer Tal Heppenstall Jr. said Allegheny Health Network is in worse financial condition than Highmark has reported and chided the company for its “profound lack of financial transparency.” He said it appears Highmark is hiding huge losses in “sporadic, fragmented and murky” financial statements.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/healthnews/8208546-74/highmark-health-network#ixzz3ZH4hmeqt
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

CEO Takes The Blame As Sales Continue To Fall At Vitamin Retailer GNC

Mike Archbold fell on his sword Thursday, calling an unexpected drop in first-quarter sales at GNC a “self-inflicted wound.”

Archbold, who was hired as CEO in August to turn around a yearlong slump in sales and profit, said he mistakenly cut the Downtown-based vitamin and supplement retailer’s advertising budget by $5 million.

“We intentionally did not deploy a full slate of marketing. … This caused us to talk to our customers less, a lot less,” he told analysts. “To be clear, this was a mistake.”

Not a factor in the decline, he said, was negative publicity from a probe by the attorney general of New York that questioned the purity and authenticity of some herbal supplements sold by GNC and other retailers.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/8253719-74/sales-million-cents#ixzz3YuG3RfYW
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Plum High School Teacher Hires Attorney Who Also Represents Jerry Sandusky

A Plum High School teacher has hired an attorney who also represents Jerry Sandusky.

Drew Zoldak, 40, of New Kensington, has hired Butler county defense attorney Alexander H. Lindsay Jr. to defend him against charges of witness intimidation.

Lindsay also represents Sandusky in the former Penn State assistant football coach’s post conviction relief act appeal of his conviction for molesting young boys.

Zoldak is accused of identifying a girl in his class as one who allegedly had sex with Joseph Ruggieri, 40, of Plum, an English teacher at the school charged with institutional sexual assault, corruption of minors and witness intimidation.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/8254654-74/zoldak-attorney-plum#ixzz3Yd9jBB00
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Allegheny County DA, Monroeville Police Team To Reduce Drug Activity, Violent Crime

The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office will work with Monroeville police to reduce drug activity and violent crime in the eastern suburbs, officials said Thursday.

Drug activity in Monroeville has increased in the past six or seven years as Pittsburgh police efforts pushed drug sales out of Homewood and into nearby suburbs, District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. said.

“In a relatively short period of time, I think we can knock those numbers down,” Zappala said at a news conference in the Monroeville municipal building.

Police are monitoring the movement of narcotics in Monroeville’s business districts, he said. His office and other law enforcement agencies plan to work with Monroeville police to refocus the department’s efforts to monitor certain areas of the municipality.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/8225273-74/monroeville-drug-police#ixzz3YFEFf2vU
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Third Plum High School Teacher Charged In Connection With Student-Sex Case

Plum police on Wednesday filed witness intimidation charges against a Plum high school forensic science teacher.

Drew Zoldak, 40, of New Kensington, was charged with two misdemeanor counts of intimidation of a witness or victim.

Zoldak was arraigned just after 11:30 a.m. in front of Magisterial District Judge Linda Zucco.

According to the criminal complaint, after investigators from the Allegheny District Attorney’s office interviewed Zoldak, he apologized to his class for being absent from class and singled out as the cause a victim one of the other Plum teachers is accused of having sex with. According to the complaint, Zoldak then called the victim to the front of the class and asked her if she would be okay with the following week’s topic: sexual assault.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/8216989-74/charges-assault-held#ixzz3Y3kPZQEK
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Community College Of Allegheny County Puts $22M Into Building Renovations At North Side Campus

Some buildings at Community College of Allegheny County’s Allegheny Campus in the North Side are showing their age, which is prompting a $22 million renovation.

One of the goals of the Ridge Avenue Revitalization Project is for students to come to brighter, more modern spaces, said Donna Imhoff, president of the Allegheny Campus.

“We want them to have a really positive experience,” she said.

The three-phase revitalization project will include work at the Physical Education Building, West Hall and the Foerster Student Services Center.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/8082667-74/building-student-center#ixzz3Xs5iolp9
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Transportation Challenges Rife As Pittsburgh Focuses On Making Fixes

Lori Minetti often feels stranded in her Carrick home.

The closest bus stop used to be across the street. Now it’s almost a mile away, because Port Authority of Allegheny County eliminated the 50 Spencer route four years ago.

She walks one of the farthest distances a city resident must go to catch a bus. It seems even farther to Minetti, who has an arthritic back.

“It’s kind of cloistered me,” said Minetti, 48, a former temp for Downtown companies who no longer works. Her husband uses the couple’s only car for his job as a maintenance worker in Munhall.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/7724350-74/million-transportation-pittsburgh#ixzz3Xo8paJ9t
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

PPG Axes 1,700 Jobs As Part Of Global Restructuring

DSC01801PPG Industries Inc. is trimming 4 percent of its global workforce as the world’s largest paint and coatings company tries to reduce costs related to a spate of recent acquisitions.

The Downtown-based company said it was cutting 1,700 jobs as part of a restructuring that also includes reducing production capacity. About 40 of PPG’s 2,500-person workforce in Pittsburgh will lose jobs, the company said.

PPG is aiming to achieve $100 million to $105 million in annual pretax savings by 2017 from the restructuring. Further details of the capacity reductions were not available, the company said.

PPG spent about $2.4 billion buying companies last year, part of a long-term strategy to grow through acquisitions.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/8177530-74/million-share-ppg#ixzz3XUlxVMxb
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Wilkinsburg Tour To Highlight Blight In Hopes Of Spurring Redevelopment

It’s a home tour visitors don’t typically take: overgrown gardens leading to homes with boarded-up windows, peeling paint and broken stairs.

The Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation and a group of Carnegie Mellon University students hope to highlight hidden beauty in the borough and reframe how people see vacant properties. The students conceived the idea for a Vacant Home Tour on May 9 as a way to address blight.

They’ll walk people through the history of five vacant properties in Wilkinsburg that could be prime candidates for restoration.

At each house, volunteer docents from the neighborhood, who researched the homes’ histories and owners, will present old photos or documents to show the houses in their heydays, said Marlee Gallagher, communications and outreach coordinator for the CDC.

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/allegheny/8083071-74/wilkinsburg-tour-properties#ixzz3XCZ490tS
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Southwest Pa. Is Safe, Prosperous — Struggles With Poor Air Quality, Obesity, Report Finds

Southwestern Pennsylvania has low unemployment, a plethora of high school and college graduates and relatively safe streets, but residents are more likely to smoke cigarettes and be overweight compared to a group other major U.S. metro areas, according to a University of Pittsburgh report released Wednesday.

The “2015 Pittsburgh Today & Tomorrow Report” from Pitt’s University Center for Social and Urban Research compared 11 quality-of-life factors in Southwestern Pennsylvania to 14 other metro areas.

Researchers found that while the region “continues to be a national model for economic recovery and public safety, the region still has major deficiencies in overcoming issues related to the environment, infrastructure, public health, and other matters that are key to the quality of life for most Americans.”

Read more: http://triblive.com/news/adminpage/8130203-74/percent-residents-report#ixzz3WjladgL5
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Logans Ferry Demolition Could Bring Development Possibilities

With the demolition of what once was Alcoa’s Logans Ferry Powder Works, Plum will lose a historic touchstone but could gain a new foothold to the borough’s future.

A real estate company that bought the 20-acre industrial site in 1987 when Alcoa idled the plant recently began to raze more than a dozen brick buildings moldering at the base of Coxcomb Hill Road.

Alcoa moved its powder works to Plum in 1918 after the aluminum powder it produced sparked an explosion at the New Kensington Works the prior year. It was the first of three explosions associated with powder production in Alcoa’s New Kensington and Plum facilities that killed 17 people, the last in 1979.

During its 68 years of existence, the plant produced powder that gave automotive paint its sparkle, added durability and cooling properties to roof coatings, and was used as a base in rocket fuel, dynamite and fireworks.

Read more: http://triblive.com/neighborhoods/yourallekiskivalley/yourallekiskivalleymore/8090067-74/powder-works-ferry#ixzz3WdmIZAK7
Follow us: @triblive on Twitter | triblive on Facebook

Commissioners Lament ‘Divisiveness’ Of Mt. Lebanon Deer Culling Debate

The most disappointing part of Mt. Lebanon’s deer management program that ended abruptly last week was “the divisiveness and mean-spirited rhetoric” that split the community, commissioners said at their meeting Monday night.

“For the good of the community, we must try to reset the dialogue,” President John Bendel read from a letter at the meeting.

But opponents of the program said there is still work to be done.

They again lined Washington Road before the commission’s discussion session and subsequent meeting.

Read more:

http://www.post-gazette.com/local/south/2015/03/24/Commissioners-lament-divisiveness-of-Mt-Lebanon-deer-culling-debate/stories/201503240130