August 18, 2015

PENNSYLVANIA

Pittsburgh: Sexual assault suit filed against hospital

A lawsuit against UPMC Mercy for alleged negligence has been filed on behalf of an 85-year-old woman who says a man in the hospital touched her inappropriately. The man, a West Mifflin resident, faces charges related to sexual assaults of seven female patients.

Pittsburgh: Steel company to lay off 1,100

U.S. Steel in downtown Pittsburgh notified the United Steelworker union that it was planning to close their blast furnace in Alabama. This closure, effective in November, would cause 1,100 of 1,500 workers to lose their jobs.

Pittsburgh: Zoo leaves international nonprofit

The Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium announced that it was leaving the Association of Zoos & Aquariums on Monday. The zoo plans to work with other membership organizations and continue its relationships with national experts.

Allegheny County: Teachers still without contract negotiations

A spokesman for the Pennsylvania State Education Association said that negotiations have not been reached because of the “uncertainty” with the state budget. Pittsburgh is the largest school district without a contract.

Harrisburg: Expert recommends train derailment solution

Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration has issued 27 recommendations that would lower the risk of oil train derailment in the state. Read more about the report here.

Harrisburg: Court sides with widow who claims her husband ‘was worked to death’

A Commonwealth Court panel agreed that a woman should receive death benefits for herself and her child after her husband died during a shift at the Lower Bucks County Joint Municipal Authority. Robert Dietz died of a heart attack while working a 14-hour shift in November 2007.

NATIONAL

Federal initiative battles heroin epidemic

The White House announced a “heroin response strategy” on Monday to address the nation’s opiate epidemic. The plan identifies the epidemic as “a public health and a public safety issue.” Learn more here.

Report: Higher education isn’t a cure-all for inequality

The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis issued a report on Monday addressing the wealth gap that black and Hispanic college graduates face. The New York Times summarized the study, which overwhelmingly shows college degrees don’t offer the same kind of security to minorities as they do to white and Asian counterparts during economic hardship.

Wildfires persist

Wildfires are spreading through Oregon, Idaho, Washington and California. Authorities have issued evacuation orders because of potential threats to homes and buildings.

“Route 29 Batman” killed in accident

Leonard Robinson, known for dressing up as the DC character and going to hospitals, died in a car accident on Sunday. Over the last 14 years, he visited sick children and gave out Batman paraphernalia while dressed in full costume.

IN OTHER NEWS

One small step for man …

The Canadian space firm Thoth Technology Inc. recently patented a space elevator for astronauts. The elevator, which they plan to name ThothX Tower, will take astronauts 12.5 miles above Earth and then launch them into space.

The daily report was compiled by Elaina Zachos, a PublicSource intern. You can reach her with questions or suggestions at ezachos@publicsource.org.