Oct. 12, 2015

PENNSYLVANIA

Pittsburgh: Peduto, Kafka and the ICA

City finance director Paul Leger compares the battle between Pittsburgh and the Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority to a Kafkaesque nightmare where a man is put on trial without being told why. Mayor Bill Peduto has fought the ICA’s financial oversight, and Leger says the organization has no plan and has failed to “give us an answer on where we have displeased them.”

Harrisburg: Legislature spent millions on defense lawyers

More than $2.8 million in public money has been spent by the Pennsylvania Legislature to fund private defense attorneys since 2011. The Associated Press review of legal fees found that parties in most cases either went to jail, resigned or cut deals. Interestingly, the state had already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to keep info on those expenses from the public.

Pittsburgh: Legal quirk keeps same-sex couple from marriage

After being together more than four decades, a Fox Chapel gay couple sought legal rights through adoption they couldn’t get through marriage. Same-sex marriage is legal, but that previous arrangement is preventing them from actually getting married.

Statewide: More cash for crime labs

The feds have awarded $305,000 to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency to increase the number of crime labs that get accredited (and stay that way) across the state. Commission Chairman Josh Shapiro said that testing recovered drugs is important to fighting the state’s heroin crisis.

Statewide: Businesses not optimistic

Employers in Pennsylvania are not entirely hopeful about the state’s economy. An annual survey from the PA Chamber of Business and Industry found that less than half of employers think the economy is excellent or good. Last year, that figure was 57 percent. Taxes and healthcare costs are blamed.

NATIONAL

Rice family calls shooting report a ‘charade’

Tamir Rice was killed almost a year ago at 12 years old, and now his family says the prosecutor investigating the killing by a Cleveland police officer is trying to avoid accountability. Two new reports -- apparently just a partial look at the evidence -- say the officer was justified in shooting. Rice had a pellet gun in a local park.

Million Man March commemorated in DC

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March, thousands of demonstrators gathered on the National Mall Saturday to draw attention to issues facing the black community. Speakers included Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who organized the first march.

Rich, white males lead election spending

In an already raucous election season, almost half of all campaign money has come from just 158 families. The majority of the money funding Republicans, and it’s coming from mostly white, older males who made their fortunes in finance and energy.

No increase for Social Security

Millions of Social Security recipients will likely see no cost-of-living adjustment this year. Gas prices are down, which means inflation is low, and the automatic calculator for COLA is expected to call for no additional benefit. If no increase is announced Thursday, it will be only the third time in 40 years that recipients have seen no adjustment.

IN OTHER NEWS

A ticket for Wiz

Rapper Wiz Khalifa got some interesting headlines while back in Pittsburgh for Pitt’s Midnight Madness. Around 2:30 a.m., Pittsburgh police ticketed him for public urination outside The Flats music venue on the city’s South Side.

The daily report was compiled by Jeffrey Benzing. You can reach him with questions or suggestions at jbenzing@publicsource.org.