Lou Blouin/Allegheny Front



Two years. That’s how long Eve Picker has been planning Pittsburgh’s first tiny house. It hasn’t been easy. She couldn’t even get a bank loan because the project was too unusual. And city zoning codes aren’t exactly set up for tiny houses. So the fact that ground is actually breaking and studs are finally being nailed, feels like a big deal.

“It makes it feel real,” Picker says, as she watches a five-ton excavator do some delicate ballet on the cramped building site. “I love construction. The messier it gets, the happier I am.”

A new group has been launched to help expand Uber, Lyft and other ridesharing platforms across the state. The effort is being led by the Internet Association, which represents dozens of well known companies, from Amazon to Zenga.

Lou Blouin / Allegheny Front


Pittsburgh, Pa. -- Driving around with Steve Smith, it's sometimes unclear whether he's a guy that fixes traffic problems or causes them. 

“This is the classic Pittsburgh left turn,” Smith says, laughing, waiting for his chance to bolt—illegally—in front of oncoming traffic the moment the light turns green. “Generally, it’s an accepted practice in Pittsburgh if you’re at a light, and want to turn left, that approaching vehicles expect you to dart in front of them. "

Researchers at the University of Rochester have figured out a new way to track teenage drinking using Instagram, and they hope to advance the study to equip educators with more effective tools to prevent it.

The first thing you do when you decide to compile a ton of data about teenagers is pick a social media platform.

"We decided we were going to use Instagram, which is the most popular social media platform for teenagers." 

(Video after the jump.)

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) visited the home of Philadelphia brand cream cheese in Lowville Wednesday. While parent company Kraft-Heinz was in the midst of closing plants nationwide last week, the company recently it would hire 100 new workers at the plant.  Schumer told those already employed their jobs are secure.

“Never say never, but highly unlikely.” That’s what Entergy spokesman Jerry Nappi said Tuesday about the possibility of the company reversing course and keeping open the FitzPatrick nuclear plant near Oswego.

The New York State Education Department has appointed a workgroup to improve outcomes for young men of color. It's called the Blue Ribbon Committee of Regents, and they had their first meeting at Nazareth College.


Protecting New York’s food supply includes more than farmers and land. It means protecting the pollinating insects that allow plants to reproduce and grow.

To help ensure that amateur gardeners and bee keepers help protect the nurturing insect population, the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Albany held a New York State Pollinator Conference.

Emma Mullen, an associate with the Entomology Department of Cornell University, spoke at the conference on the well being of honeybees, which have seen a sharp decline in colonies by 54%.

Talks over the future of the James A. FitzPatrick nuclear power plant in Oswego County  have resumed between Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office and Entergy, which owns the plant. 

Meanwhile, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) said he is in talks with the president of Entergy, about keeping the facility open. Entergy announced this week that it will close Fitzpatrick in about a year due to falling energy prices. They also complained about a lack of state financial assistance for the nuclear industry.


Mayor Lovely Warren is sticking to her plan to strengthen the presence of law enforcement in Rochester, and she’s put some pressure on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to increase its staff.

In a nondescript office in the heart of the city, agents hailing from other divisions have moved in over the past year.

The U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine operations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the New York State Division of Parole, and the Rochester Police Department have each sent one officer to work for the Rochester ATF. And in the last few weeks, the unit has hired four new ATF agents.

(Video after the jump.)


U.S. Photonics Hub Coming To Rochester

What does this mean for the economy of the Rochester region?