Police: People Taken Into Custody At Allegheny Co. Hotel After Report Of Abduction – CBS Pittsburgh

Police say several people have been taken into custody at a hotel on Banksville Road after a report of an abduction.

Officials are on the scene of the Days Inn hotel on Wednesday. At one point, there were multiple police units, including SWAT in the parking lot.

Law enforcement says a call came in around 2:55 p.m. about a kidnapping in progress on Bausman Street, about 10 minutes away from the hotel. Not too long after, police said they located a vehicle that fit the description at the Days Inn.

“The call was for an adult female who had been kidnapped by two adult actors,” Pittsburgh police spokesperson Chris Togneri said.

Police say multiple suspects had rented out several rooms in the Days Inn and Comfort Inn and Suites hotels on Banksville Road.

Source: Police: People Taken Into Custody At Allegheny Co. Hotel After Report Of Abduction – CBS Pittsburgh

Common Pleas Court Judge Anthony Mariani sued for denying virtual access to court proceedings – Pittsburgh Current

By Charlie Deitch
Pittsburgh Current Editor
Charlie@pittburghcurrent.com

The Abolitionist Law Center filed a federal lawsuit this morning against Allegheny County Common Pleas Court Judge Anthony Mariani for his refusal to allow virtual access to proceedings in his courtroom.

The ALC is represented by the ACLU of Pennsylvania and the Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection at Georgetown University Law Center.

In December, the Fifth Judicial District in Allegheny County avoided a lawsuit from advocacy and media groups, including the Pittsburgh Current, by agreeing to put a mechanism in place to allow for the streaming of proceedings.

According to a press release announcing the lawsuit, Mariani is the only judge who has denied virtual access to volunteers from the ALC’s Court watch program. While some judge’s have denied access in certain circumstances, Mariani has offered consistent denials.

Source: Common Pleas Court Judge Anthony Mariani sued for denying virtual access to court proceedings – Pittsburgh Current

Pittsburgh area residents getting unsolicited debit cards, concerned about identity fraud

HOMESTEAD, Pa. —Some Pittsburgh area residents are getting debit cards they didn’t ask for from banks they don’t belong to.Customers of Chase Bank are being told it could be an identity theft issue.

“The consumer should also fill out the bank’s ID theft form so that the bank removes the account from its records and shares the information with reporting agencies,” Chase Bank told Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 in a statement.

Here’s a link to Chase’s online security center.

Pittsburgh, West Mifflin and Upper St. Clair police have put out notices that they’ve gotten reports of unsolicited debit cards being opened in residents’ names.

Cindy McGovern lives in Clairton. Multiple people in her office also got cards.

“There have been at least 30 people in that bank today, OK? There are people from all, many of the municipalities, many of the Mon Valley people, many of them South Hills people,” McGovern said.

Upper St. Clair Police says, aside from Chase, they’ve gotten reports that people have received cards from MetaBank and Go2Bank.

Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 heard back from Go2Bank Wednesday evening. They said they send mailers with cards that are clearly labeled as advertisements and have not received direct reports of any issues. The company is investigating if they’ve been impacted.

MetaBank has not yet responded to a request for a statement.

Pittsburgh police says people are encouraged to contact the bank, the three main credit reporting agencies and your local police department.

Source: Pittsburgh area residents getting unsolicited debit cards, concerned about identity fraud

Gov. Wolf says Pa. will vaccinate teachers, staff with J&J shot | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Gov. Tom Wolf on Wednesday said the state will give the Johnson & Johnson single-dose COVID-19 vaccine to PreK-12 teachers and other school staff, an announcement that comes as Pittsburgh Public Schools employees are expected to return to their buildings this month for the first time in a year.

Source: Gov. Wolf says Pa. will vaccinate teachers, staff with J&J shot | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Eviction ban passed by Pittsburgh City Council | TribLIVE.com

Pittsburgh City Council moved forward Tuesday with a temporary ban on evictions during the emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic.

The legislation, spearheaded by Councilwoman Deb Gross, with support from Mayor Bill Peduto’s administration, and several city activists, was unanimously approved, but only after extensive discussion among council members. They debated whether the law can be enforced.

“The administration agrees that protecting vulnerable tenants during the pandemic is vitally important and will continue to work with Council — as well as county, state, and federal partners — to protect residents from eviction proceedings,” Peduto spokesman Tim McNulty said.

 

Source: Eviction ban passed by Pittsburgh City Council | TribLIVE.com

Racist BABIES? Researcher reveals Arizona ‘equity’ toolkit that teaches ‘white fragility’ and other woke propaganda — RT USA News

Arizona is recommending teachers promote ‘equity’ and social justice through an ‘antiracist’ agenda that sees racism in toddlers and recommends progressive and Black Lives Matter materials as the cure.

An ‘equity and diversity’ toolkit for teachers, parents, and administrators posted by the Arizona Department of Education fully embraces the belief in “persistent racial biases in our society,” going so far as to demand of parents that they instill “antiracist attitudes and actions” from birth so their children don’t “absorb bias” from the world.

Researcher Chris Rufo posted a series of screenshots of the materials from the toolkit on Tuesday. He points out that some of the materials claim that babies show the first signs of racism at three months old, or that white children “remain strongly biased in favor of whiteness” by age five.

Source: Racist BABIES? Researcher reveals Arizona ‘equity’ toolkit that teaches ‘white fragility’ and other woke propaganda — RT USA News

Biden slams governors for lifting mask mandates, calls it ‘Neanderthal thinking’

While daily new cases of Covid-19 are significantly down from the peak in early January, the decline has plateaued in recent days at a worryingly high level.

  • Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, both Republicans, announced Tuesday they would allow businesses to reopen at 100% capacity and lift mask mandates.
  • President Joe Biden on Wednesday called the decisions a “big mistake.”
  • “The last thing, the last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking, that, ‘In the meantime, everything’s fine. Take off your mask. Forget it.’ It still matters,” Biden said.

Source: Biden slams governors for lifting mask mandates, calls it ‘Neanderthal thinking’

House cancels Thursday session over ‘possible plot’ to breach Capitol

The threat comes two months after the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol by supporters of Donald Trump who believed the election was stolen from him.

Source: House cancels Thursday session over ‘possible plot’ to breach Capitol

Bill Gates: Nuclear power will ‘absolutely’ be politically acceptable

Bill Gates says nuclear power will “absolutely” be politically palatable again. It’s safer than oil, coal, and natural gas and technology is improving.

Nuclear energy will “absolutely” be politically palatable, billionaire philanthropist, technologist and climate change evangelist Bill Gates recently told Andrew Ross Sorkin on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”

Nuclear power has to overcome a baneful reputation garnered by association with the atomic bomb and radioactive disasters, but it’s a necessary, worthy and surmountable challenge to correct the naysayers, according to Gates.

That’s because the need for clean energy is dire, and the operation of nuclear power plants produces no greenhouse gas emissions. According to Gates, new innovations in nuclear technology (in which he is an investor) are making nuclear energy safer and more affordable, and countries around the world are starting to adopt nuclear power.

Nuclear energy is safer than coal, oil, natural gas

Nuclear energy has long had reputation of being dangerous: Early innovations in nuclear power were made in furtherance of the nuclear bomb, and in more recent decades, there have been high-profile disasters like the Chernobyl plant meltdown in 1986 in Ukraine and the the Fukushima Daiichi plant accident in 2011 in Japan.

Source: Bill Gates: Nuclear power will ‘absolutely’ be politically acceptable

Reps. Roy, Budd, Hice: HR1 is Pelosi, Schumer’s dangerous ploy to cancel Republicans at the ballot box | Fox News

Pelosi and Schumer’s “For the People Act” H.R.1. is about taking away the rights of Republicans to have their voices heard, choose their candidates, and participate in free and fair elections.

Source: Reps. Roy, Budd, Hice: HR1 is Pelosi, Schumer’s dangerous ploy to cancel Republicans at the ballot box | Fox News

Pence continues to spread misinformation on 2020 election – CNNPolitics

Former Vice President Mike Pence is seizing on a Democratic-led initiative to streamline election standards to again push false claims of voting irregularities in one of his first public statements since leaving office.

Pence described the events of January 6, which put him and his family in direct danger, as “tragic,” and said the insurrection “deprived the American people of a substantive discussion in Congress about election integrity in America.”
In his op-ed, Pence strongly urged Congress to vote against a sweeping government, ethics and election bill, HR 1, that the House of Representatives is set to take up Wednesday.

Source: Pence continues to spread misinformation on 2020 election – CNNPolitics

‘Space hurricane’ spotted above Earth for the first time ever

A first-ever “space hurricane” was spotted whirling above the Earth, scientists said.

The 600-mile-wide mass of plasma occurred several hundreds of miles above the North Pole, according to a study in the journal Nature Communications.

“Until now, it was uncertain that space plasma hurricanes even existed, so to prove this with such a striking observation is incredible,” said Mike Lockwood, a space scientist at the University of Reading and co-author of the study, in a statement.

The spectacle was captured by satellites in August 2014, but only recently uncovered during research led by scientists from Shandong University in China.

The space hurricane “rained” electrons instead of water, had multiple spiral arms and lasted eight hours before gradually fizzing, researchers said.

“Tropical storms are associated with huge amounts of energy, and these space hurricanes must be created by unusually large and rapid transfer of solar wind energy and charged particles into the Earth’s upper atmosphere,” Lockwood said.

Source: ‘Space hurricane’ spotted above Earth for the first time ever

Civilian dies of heart attack in rocket assault on Iraq base hosting US troops | The Times of Israel

Western security sources told AFP the rockets were Iranian-made Arash models, which are 122mm artillery rockets and heavier than those seen in similar attacks.

“One civilian contractor died of a heart attack during the attack,” a high-level security source told AFP, adding that he could not confirm the contractor’s nationality.

The death marks the third fatality in rocket attacks in recent weeks, after rockets targeting US-led troops in the Kurdish regional capital of Erbil left two people dead.

Days later, more rockets hit a US military contracting company working north of the capital and the US embassy in Baghdad, but only injuries were reported.

Source: Civilian dies of heart attack in rocket assault on Iraq base hosting US troops | The Times of Israel

Biden strikes stimulus deal with Senate Democrats – POLITICO

Senate Democrats and President Joe Biden settled a last-minute debate over Biden’s $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill, choosing to keep federal unemployment benefit payments at $400 per week but narrow the phaseout of the measure’s $1,400 stimulus checks.

The breakthrough comes just a few hours before Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is hoping to kick off debate on the Covid aid bill. One Senate Democratic aide said the chamber is now waiting only on official scores from the Congressional Budget Office and the Joint Committee on Taxation to confirm its bill doesn’t run afoul of the rules of budget reconciliation, the process that allows passage of the package with a simple majority.

Source: Biden strikes stimulus deal with Senate Democrats – POLITICO

Man dies after being shot, crashing into pole outside Pittsburgh gas station

PITTSBURGH — A man who was shot before crashing into a pole outside a gas station in Pittsburgh’s South Side early Tuesday morning died at a hospital, police said.

It was shortly after 1 a.m. when police and paramedics were called to the crash near the intersection of East Carson Street and Arlington Avenue, right by American Natural.

When officers got to the scene, an off-duty firefighter was performing CPR on the man. He was then taken to a hospital in critical condition and later died.

The man was identified as Bradford McCary, 41, of Wilkinsburg.

The Jeep McCary crashed had bullet holes in it. There was a bullet hole through the windshield, and the back driver’s side window was shot out.It’s unclear where the shooting happened.

No arrests have been made.

Source: Man dies after being shot, crashing into pole outside Pittsburgh gas station

Michigan lawmakers slam “highly inadequate” food given to National Guardsmen still protecting the Capitol – CBS News

 

Michigan National Guardsmen tasked with continuing to protect the U.S. Capitol have said they’re being provided food that’s “badly undercooked, raw, moldy, and even filled with metal shavings,” according to a letter from the state’s House delegation obtained by CBS News on Tuesday. Some guardsmen have been hospitalized after eating the food, the letter said.

“It is clear that these contracted meals are poorly prepared, oftentimes inedible, and highly inadequate to support our soldiers,” the 14 lawmakers said in the letter, which was sent to the chief of the National Guard Bureau at the Pentagon. “It is completely unacceptable that our men and women serving in Washington, D.C., are being hospitalized due to the food they are being provided.” 

Source: Michigan lawmakers slam “highly inadequate” food given to National Guardsmen still protecting the Capitol – CBS News

BJ’s Wholesale Club coming to Ross Township

BJ’s Wholesale Club is putting a store at The Block Northway in Ross Township.

BJ’s is a membership-only club, similar to Costco and Sam’s Club.

The chain is also looking at building a store in South Fayette Township.

Source: BJ’s Wholesale Club coming to Ross Township

A Deadly Synthetic Street Drug Called ‘Benzo Dope’ Is on the Rise

FRANCISCO GARCIA

The emerging drug contains two highly-potent highs, fentanyl and etizolam, and has been linked to a string of drug deaths in Canada.

Fatal overdoses are more likely to occur after using benzo dope because the life-saving opioid overdose reversal drug, naloxone, is not effective against benzos.

Benzo dope, also known as ‘purple heroin’, is most commonly dark purple, blue and orange, but it has been found to be other colours.

Drug forensic experts in British Columbia found that in October last year one in six (16 percent) of fentanyl deals were cut with benzodiazepines – a type of drug not usually found cut into opioids – compared to five per cent last January and zero before 2019.

The most common benzo identified in benzo dope was etizolam, a super potent benzo that is fuelling record drug death rates in Scotland.

Authorities in Canada were first alerted to benzo dope when health workers noticed a cluster of 30 “atypical” overdoses over two weeks in Vancouver in April 2019, where drug users were not responding to naloxone. A warning about the new drug combo was issued by Vancouver Coastal Health.

The combination of benzos and fentanyl causes prolonged loss of consciousness, profound respiratory depression and amnesia. In January, half of the 165 suspected illicit drug toxicity deaths in British Columbia – most of which involved fentanyl – also involved benzos, compared to only 15 percent in July last year. Last year was the deadliest year on record for overdoses in British Columbia, the epicentre of Canada’s drug death crisis.

Source: A Deadly Synthetic Street Drug Called ‘Benzo Dope’ Is on the Rise

‘The View’ host: Maybe Democrats should ‘ignore everything’ about Andrew Cuomo harassment allegations

The View” co-host Joy Behar gave a confused response to the sexual harassment allegations against Democrat New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Tuesday, saying that Democrats should “ignore everything” and hope the scandal goes away while also calling for an investigation into the claims.

Source: ‘The View’ host: Maybe Democrats should ‘ignore everything’ about Andrew Cuomo harassment allegations

Latrobe woman’s tiny vacation house gets online magazine spread | TribLIVE.com

Shirley McMarlin

For Jessica Hooper, part of the appeal of tiny house living is that “when you strip away the clutter and distractions in life, you are able to focus your energy on what is truly important.”

That’s what the Latrobe resident told readers of Tiny House Magazine, an online publication that features her tiny vacation getaway on the cover of the current issue.

The 160-square-foot structure fulfills Hooper’s dream of being able to afford a vacation home in the Laurel Highlands, where she vacationed with her family as a child and now takes advantage of the hiking trails, ski runs, paddleboarding and whitewater opportunities.

She calls the house “Eventyr,” a word with Old Norse roots that means “an adventure, fairy tale (a folktale), something exceptionally great.”

She bought the house as a shell and spent 18 months working on it, completing the project last April. She purchased a lot at Roaring Run Resort in Donegal Township, where it now sits amid the woods.

Source: Latrobe woman’s tiny vacation house gets online magazine spread | TribLIVE.com