In-depth news

Original and in-depth coverage about topics important to Pennsylvania

Will PA corruption scandals result in ethics reform?

Amid a torrent of recent corruption scandals, the Pennsylvania Legislature is considering changes to the state ethics law.


Who knows best?

Dispute over disabled man's care magnifies guardianship’s complexities

Guardianships are a necessary arrangement for many people who are unable to make personal or financial decisions, such as an elderly person with dementia or a person with a developmental disability. But court-appointed guardianships also can pit an unknown third party guardian against family members who feel they know what’s best for a relative.

Can we trust crime numbers?

In his weekly video address on March 10, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder warned of an “urgent and growing public health crisis” in America: the abuse of heroin and prescription opiates.

Rail cars moving crude oil need makeover

For more than 20 years, safety officials have warned about DOT-111 rail cars, which transport crude oil and ethanol across Pennsylvania and the country. As accidents involving them continue to multiply, state, federal and industry officials are demanding that regulations be put in place to improve their safety.

Under the Keystone

A Veteran's Progress

Earl Granville, of Scranton, Pa., is the second person featured in our Under the Keystone series. A veteran who lost his leg in Afghanistan and lost a brother to PTSD, he is now studying mental health counseling so he can help veterans and others who have come through difficult situations.

More than 81,000 children have a parent in prison in PA

An estimated 1.7 million children in the country have a parent in prison, according to a new report from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. Millions more may have a parent in county jail.

PA fifth in the nation in hazardous spills

Only 2 percent serious

Every year, thousands of hazardous materials move through or are stored in Pennsylvania. They may be piled up close to your house, rumbling through your neighborhood on a railcar or transported in a semi-truck you pass on the highway.

We don’t often think of these chemicals — until there’s an accident. In January and February, a deluge of events has reminded us of the consequences of chemical spills.

Westmoreland derailment puts spotlight on increase in crude-oil spills

The derailment of railcars in Westmoreland County that caused a spill of thousands of gallons of crude oil is the largest crude oil spill in the state since 1990, according to federal records.

Under the Keystone

Steep Street Music Man

Joe Bonadio, 90, lives on Canton Avenue in the Beechview section of Pittsburgh. He is proud to live on one of the steepest streets in the country, despite the difficulties it sometimes causes.

Funds allegedly embezzled from Cambria County guardianship agency

The Social Security Administration is investigating the alleged embezzlement of funds from a Cambria County guardianship agency, which handles the finances of incapacitated people under its care.

According to a source close to the matter, more than a quarter of a million dollars has been bilked from the accounts of several dozen wards.

PA couple lives with love and disability

The Norrises are unique for many reasons, one being that they both have cerebral palsy.

Each tries to fill the gaps where the other one falls short, doing their best, not always succeeding — just like any other couple.

1.5 million Pennsylvanians live close to large amounts of hazardous ammonia

Ammonia, a toxic gas the Environmental Protection Agency classifies as extremely hazardous, is the most widely used dangerous chemical in Pennsylvania.

One in every eight Pennsylvanians — 1.5 million people -- lives close enough to facilities that store large amounts of ammonia to be at risk in a catastrophic chemical accident, according to a PublicSource analysis of federal records.

A new pipeline from PA fracking fields stirs controversy in the Bluegrass State

A proposed pipeline that would transport natural gas liquids from fracking in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia to petrochemical markets in Louisiana is causing quite a stir in the land of Thoroughbreds and bourbon.

Armed forces scale back, PA young people often disappointed

As the U.S. military brings troops home from Afghanistan and reduces the number of recruits for budgetary reasons, services that once were thought to be the employer of last resort are now being much more selective.

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

Bills in legislature stalled

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.


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