Oct. 22, 2015

PENNSYLVANIA

Pittsburgh: Point Park partners for journalism program

Point Park University is teaming up with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and the Allegheny Foundation to fund a new journalism center downtown. The $2.5 million Center for Media Innovation is scheduled to open in 2016.

Pittsburgh: United Way gets education grant

The First Niagara Foundation gave $125,000 to the charity organization for its “Be a Middle School Mentor” program, which pairs middle school students with adult mentors. The money will be used to pay for school supplies and field trips.

Pittsburgh: App helps the visually impaired

Carnegie Mellon University’s Robotics Institute and IBM teamed up to create NavCog, a free app that works like a GPS to help people who have impaired vision. The app, which is still in its pilot phase, uses vocal directions and Bluetooth sensors to help users navigate in near-real time.

Harrisburg: Senate committee discusses civil forfeiture law

Lawmakers talked about reforming the law that allows authorities to seize property related to crimes, like drug dealing, even if the owner is not convicted. State Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Dauphin) is sponsoring a new bill that would require suspects to be charged with a crime before authorities could take their assets.

Plum: School district considers limiting social media

The school board will vote next week on a policy that would limit social media interactions between teachers and students to strictly academic purposes. Three teachers in the district have been charged with having sex with students, and a student has accused another of sexual misconduct.

Westmoreland County: Fire chief accused of threatening firefighter

St. Clair Township Police charged a volunteer fire chief with allegedly threatening a fireman in a nearby fire department. The chief, who was arrested for an alleged traffic violation, reportedly intimidated the fireman because he thought he had witnessed the violation and reported the chief to police.

NATIONAL

Obama announces drug abuse attack plan

President Obama was scheduled to speak Wednesday with officials in West Virginia about how to address the nation’s heroin epidemic. The plan would entail different approaches for health care officials to deal with drug abusers, and easier access for treatment.

No Biden candidacy for 2016

Vice President Joe Biden announced he will not run for president. Although he will not be a candidate, he encouraged Democrats to support President Obama’s record.

Police leaders rethink incarceration

A group of police officials from around the country proposed alternatives to mass incarceration. The group, Law Enforcement Leaders to Reduce Crime and Incarceration, is scheduled to speak with President Obama Thursday.

Ryan tentatively offers to be House speaker

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) announced Tuesday night that he would run for speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives if the whole GOP conference agreed to endorse him. Conservatives will elect someone for the position on Oct. 28, said current House Speaker John Boehner.

WORLD

Syrian president surprises Putin

Bashar al-Assad, president of Syria, unexpectedly met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to commend the airstrikes he launched into Syria to target ISIS positions last month. Assad said the attacks curbed “terrorism” in the country.

IN OTHER NEWS

Artistic chemistry

Microbiologist Melanie Sullivan recreated Vincent van Gogh’s “Starry Night” with bacteria in a petri dish. She submitted her piece alongside other microorganism-based artworks for the American Society for Microbiology’s first Agar Art contest.

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