In-depth news

Original and in-depth coverage about topics important to Pennsylvania

Millennials are buying homes later, but still want a place of their own

Part of the project: #generation

The lingering fallout from the economic recession, and social trends of delaying marriage and children, has left Millennials struggling to take the first step on the property ladder.

Two men. One coal-ash dump. No answers.

Inmates at a state prison in LaBelle, Fayette County, and town residents believe a coal ash dump has made them sick.

Jesse James and sister

Prison release rarely an option for dying state inmates

Only nine terminally ill inmates have been released from Pennsylvania state prisons since 2010. Advocates think the law is too strict and confusing.

PA group takes first steps to protect seniors

An advisory council moves quickly to implement initial measures to benefit seniors in the courts and financial matters.

DEP to investigate creek near mine discharge for radioactivity

The agency will seek an answer to whether Ten Mile Creek has been contaminated because of shale gas drilling; the risk to the public is unknown.

Tax Calculator: Comparing the House Republicans’ tax plan with Wolf’s

With billions of tax dollars at stake, how the state chooses to implement property tax relief will have wide-reaching implications.

Hepatitis C: Cost in the way of a cure

Public and private health plans reserve expensive hepatitis C medications for patients with severe liver damage, leaving those in early stages of the disease with the festering virus.

Millennials wanted as Boomers expected to leave a crater in the job market

Part of the project: #generation

The Pittsburgh area is attracting many highly educated Millennials, but what the region needs are younger people willing to look at manufacturing jobs.

PA law prohibits needle exchanges that can save lives

Part of the project: Heroin: Riding the Rush

Trouble getting clean needles means spikes in HIV and hepatitis C. But Allegheny County and Philadelphia ignore the law.

Mara Sweterlitsch

People with speech disabilities, their advocates relieved by proposed policy

Medicare’s proposed coverage policy for speech-generating devices includes text messaging, email and phone capabilities, signaling an about-face from its position last year.

8 facts about the shale gas industry’s air pollution

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection recently released data on air emissions from the shale gas industry in 2013.

PublicSource looked into the data and built a series of interactive charts so you can more easily explore the information.

Is certification for community health workers a good idea?

One day about five years ago, Sharine Eliza was working as a medical assistant in Camden, N.J., when she was warned about the next patient.

He was difficult, and always exasperated with the doctor. He wouldn’t take his medications and he frequently ended up in the emergency room because of it. The 72-year-old man was receiving hospice care, but he continued to smoke cigarettes and drink a 12-pack of beer every day.

Tax credits help offset the high cost of adoption

In 2011, the year Christi and John Rooke adopted two of their five children, the Pittsburgh couple filed for an adoption tax credit — $13,000 for each daughter who joined their family.

The couple used the $26,000 combined credit to pay off their debt, and to buy a 12-seat passenger van and a pop-up camper to take their family on cross-country adventures.

Though it may sound like a windfall, Christi Rooke said the family is strapped much of the time. She and her husband work flexible jobs so someone is always home with the children, who have an array of needs resulting from foster care and the circumstances that got them there, she said. All five of the children, ages 3 to 14, were adopted through Pennsylvania’s child welfare system.

Tax calculator: How Gov. Wolf's budget would affect you in Allegheny County

Since Gov. Tom Wolf announced his ambitious budget proposal that would rework Pennsylvania’s tax structure, you may have simultaneously heard you will be better off and worse off under his proposal.

The administration said the average family of four will save 13 percent on its total tax bill, while the Commonwealth Foundation, a conservative-leaning think tank in Harrisburg, said an average family of four will pay about $1,400 more under Wolf’s proposal.

How accurate are state heroin overdose statistics?

Heroin abuse has reached crisis levels in the commonwealth and across the Northeast.

But determining the full scope of the problem is proving harder than one might think.

Without a single standard in Pennsylvania, the state's 67 county coroners and medical examiners operate under their own individual set of rules to determine if a drug overdose was caused by heroin.


Subscribe to PublicSource: Investigations