In-depth news

Original and in-depth coverage about topics important to Pennsylvania

Big trucks, big bucks

Heavy-spending trucking industry pushes Congress to relax safety rules.

Can Pennsylvania officials do more to address crude oil train safety?

Other states with heavy crude-by-rail traffic have passed various laws to address safety. Pennsylvania legislators have not.

Technology is changing the Millennial brain

Part of the project: #generation

The brains of the nation’s largest living generation are developing differently than other generations. Are they becoming addicted to technology?


Pennsylvania gets an F in integrity investigation

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.

2015 PA Supreme Court Voters' Guide

Part of the project: In the balance: PA Supreme Court 2015

Use this PublicSource voters’ guide to make an informed vote for this historic state Supreme Court election.

State won’t disclose names of doctors prescribing in youth corrections

Part of the project: Troubled kids, powerful drugs

The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services says the safety of the doctors around juvenile offenders would be compromised.

Where’s the oversight of psychiatric meds for PA youth offenders?

Part of the project: Troubled kids, powerful drugs

Other states have systems in place to track and control prescribing of powerful mood-altering medications.


Mystery donor group fuels attack ads in PA Supreme Court race

Part of the project: In the balance: PA Supreme Court 2015

Many familiar organizations gave to Pennsylvanians for Judicial Reform so it could run attack ads against the three Republican candidates for Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

In the past month, the group raised more than $2.2 million from affinity groups representing Philadelphia trial lawyers, teachers’ unions, labor unions and others.

Pennsylvanians for Judicial Reform is an independent expenditure group, meaning they can buy political ads but they cannot coordinate with the candidates or advocate for the election or defeat of a specific candidate.

PA juvenile offenders given psychiatric drugs at high rates

Part of the project: Troubled kids, powerful drugs

Psychiatric drugs flow at the state-operated secure youth correctional facilities, where chronic and violent juvenile offenders are sent. Are they drugged into behaving?

Group plans to sue over alleged Clean Water Act violations at Clyde Mine

Environmentalists intend to file a federal lawsuit if owners and operators of an abandoned mine site in Southwestern Pennsylvania don’t get a permit to dump acid drainage in waterways.

Would you eat at a restaurant with a ‘C’ on the door?

If you eat at a restaurant in Allegheny County, you’ve probably seen a green health inspection sticker on the door. But what does it tell you? Turns out, not much.

When PA State Police shoot, it’s almost always ruled ‘justified’

Policing the use of force by their own troopers, the Pennsylvania State Police routinely come out of shooting inquiries without fault.

State police vague on internal misconduct despite reforms

A major scandal in the early 2000s led to a crackdown on sexual misconduct within the agency, but details on punishment, if any, for any violations by troopers remain scarce.

The cancer vaccine: Why so many kids are not immunized against HPV

The HPV vaccine has been heralded as the best preventative tool against some cancers, but its implementation has been an uphill battle. Reasons include its connection to sex and that it’s not required by the state.

Are cheap sensors and concerned citizens leading to a shift in air monitoring?

The convergence of affordable technology, concerned residents and a government that has become more accepting of citizen data, either by desire or necessity, could lead to a revolution in monitoring air pollution.


Subscribe to PublicSource: Investigations