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Harrisburg : In the News

168 Harrisburg Articles | Page: | Show All

Rendell leaves governor's mansion, returns to Philly law firm

The Wall Street Journal reports that former Gov. Ed Rendell has returned to his old law firm in Philadelphia. He also plans to write a book and push for investment in infrastructure.

Mr. Rendell is rejoining his old law firm, Ballard Spahr LLP in Philadelphia, where he said he’ll advise clients on a wide array of issues, including energy, higher education, health care and public-private partnerships for infrastructure investment.

Original source: The Wall Street Journal
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Coal is still king in PA, but alternative energy, deregulation are changing the landscape

Coal provides more than half of Pennsylvania's electricity, but the growth of alternative power sources and deregulation of electric utilities is altering the energy landscape, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

At play in the energy debate is geography. On one side: the state's still-thriving coal towns, largely in the southwest. On the other: former industrial regions, such as Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Allentown, that after decades of job loss see fresh economic opportunity. At a former U.S. Steel site in Bucks County, for example, a wind-turbine manufacturer employs 265.

But deregulation of the electricity market makes the battle relevant to all Pennsylvanians. It has given them more choice over who supplies their electricity, and how much of it -- if any -- they want to come from alternative sources such as solar and wind power.

Original source: The Philadelphia Inquirer
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Pittsburgh's sustainability coordinator moving on to Harrisburg conservation group

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Pittsburgh's first sustainability coordinator, Lindsay Baxter, is taking a job with the Pennsylvania Environmental Council.

Over the past year, (Baxter) worked on a project to install 3,000 cost-efficient LED streetlights in business districts, and a project to retrofit the City-County Building with energy- and money-saving upgrades. She served on the city's Shade Tree Commission.

During her tenure, Baxter created a green guide for residents and businesses to lessen their impact on the environment and initiated a recycling drop-off program in the City Hall lobby. She addressed newly hired city employees at orientation meetings about the importance of conserving energy, said Joanna Doven, the mayor's spokeswoman.

Original source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
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Legal firm adds attorneys to focus on energy law

The Legal Intelligencer reports that law firm Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, which has offices across the state, has hired five attorneys who specialize in traditional and renewable sources of energy.

When it comes to energy and the Keystone State, utilities have been less of a focus than has renewable energy and natural gas. Pennsylvania -- particularly in the western and northeastern parts of the state -- has been a hotbed for firms looking to get a piece of the Marcellus Shale pie. A number of out-of-state firms have opened or grown offices in Pittsburgh and homegrown firms have added depth in their energy, corporate and litigation practices, all related to the growth of the natural gas industry in the state.

Original source: The Legal Intelligencer
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Gov. Corbett appoints advisor to focus on energy policy

The Daily Review reports that Gov. Tom Corbett has appointed an advisor to coordinate energy policy.

(Patrick) Henderson has been director of the Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee chaired by Sen. Mary Jo White, R-21, Oil City.

"This is one person whose job it is to develop and coordinate energy policy," said Corbett spokesman Kevin Harley.

The drilling boom for natural gas reserves in the Marcellus Shale formation is one reason why this job is being created, he added. But Mr. Henderson's portfolio will cover policies concerning clean coal technology, nuclear power and alternate energy as well.

Original source: The Daily Review

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Farm Show Complex full of energy-saving additions

The Reading Eagle reports that this year's Pennsylvania Farm Show is taking place in a venue with new energy-saving features, from a wind turbine to aerators on faucets.

Over the past nine months, the Pennsylvania Farm Show complex has gone through a $3.6 million upgrade designed to save on energy and money.

All told, the upgrades are expected to save Pennsylvania more than $300,000 a year, said Patrick J. Kerwin, executive director.

Energy improvements will also save 1,650 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, he said.

Original source: Reading Eagle
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PA legislator, voted out of office, pushing algae's potential to create fuel

State Rep. David Kessler got voted out of office last month, but is already working to bring algae-based fuel to Pennsylvania, WFMZ reports.
"We're talking about weaning ourselves off of foreign oil," Kessler said of his business venture, which is rooted in algae. "It's a blue green algae called TerraDerm."
In May, Kessler secured a $175,000 state grant to study the possibility of bringing that technology to Pennsylvania. Now, the results are in and positive.

According to the study, the initiative could bring more than 3,000 jobs to the state. It's also passed the first phase of testing for the military at the U.S. Air Force Labs in Ohio.
Original source: WFMZ
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PA intellectual property attorneys embrace high-tech devices

Pennsylvania's intellectual property lawyers are ahead of their colleagues in adopting devices like iPads and Kindles, The Legal Intelligencer reports.

In mid-November, The Legal Intelligencer ran a story headlined "Pennsylvania Firms Not Early Adopters of Tech Trends," in which several midsized general practice firms said they still prefer BlackBerry devices to alternatives like Apple's iPhone and see little practical use in devices like Amazon's Kindle eReader or Apple's iPad tablet computer.

Almost immediately after that story ran, we received feedback from lawyers who said they use these devices for work on a regular basis.

Invariably, they were intellectual property attorneys.

Original source: The Legal Intelligencer
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PA is No. 3 in U.S. for number of solar projects, says gov't survey

A recent government survey shows that Pennsylvania is one of the top states for generating solar power, EarthTechling reports.

The EPA highlighted new data from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s (NREL’s) latest open photovoltaic survey, which ranks Pennsylvania third nationally in the number of solar projects operating today and fourth in installed capacity. According to NREL, the state now has 2,434 projects that account for 38.5 megawatts of generating capacity–enough to power about 5,800 homes–second only to California and New Jersey.

Original source: EarthTechling
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Pennsylvania No. 2 on solar jobs creation list

The National Solar Jobs Census ranks Pennsylvania, with 282 solar companies and 6,700 solar jobs, behind only national leader California in its survey, reports the Pittsburgh Business Times.

A large chunk of Pennsylvania’s calculation likely came from two southwestern Pennsylvania manufacturing projects--Solar Power Industries and Flabeg Corp.

According to the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, which issues grants, loans and tax credits to projects meant to spur economic growth, Solar Power Industries promised to create 510 jobs on top of its existing 165 jobs at its manufacturing plant in Westmoreland County (inside the former Sony factory). Flabeg, which opened a 209,000-square-foot manufacturing plant in Clinton Commerce Park last October, promised the DCED it would add another 300 jobs to its 85 existing positions.

Original source: Pittsburgh Business Times
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PA set to receive $29M for small business loans

Pennsylvania's cut of the US Treasury's $15 billion State Small Business Credit Initiative is close to $30 million, reports Pittsburgh Business Times.

Under the SSBCI, states are offered the opportunity to apply for federal funds for programs that partner with private lenders to extend greater credit to small businesses. They are required to demonstrate a minimum “bang for the buck” of $10 in new private lending for every $1 in federal funding. Pennsylvania’s allocation is $29,241,232. That is expected to generate $292.4 million in new loans.

The funding is part of an incentive package signed into law by President Barack Obama Sept. 27, which also included restoration of many Small Business Administration programs that expired earlier this year.

Original source: Pittsburgh Business Times
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Warburg Pincus to buy $150M stake in National Penn Bancshares

National Penn Bancshares got a $150 million boost from Warburg Pincus on Tuesday, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The private-equity firm has been looking to make investments in struggling banks amid hopes to benefit from potential rebounds.

National Penn President and Chief Executive Scott V. Fainor said the move will help the 127-branch Pennsylvania bank speed its ability to repay the $150 million of aid it received through the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Original source: Wall Street Journal
Read the full story here.



PA earns No. 4 spot in state technology rankings

Cited for best practices in Enterprise IT and Health and Human Services, Pennsylvania earned a top-four ranking in the 2010 Digital States Survey, reports Government Technology.

The majority of servers and applications in Pennsylvania executive branch agencies, boards and commissions have been consolidated into and are hosted by the Data PowerHouse and Enterprise Server Farm. The PowerHouse has 268 physical servers, 337 virtual servers, five IBM and Unisys mainframes, and 185 terabytes of configured storage. In the coming years, server virtualization is expected to save $45 million through reduced space and power needs.

Original source: Government Technology
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Harrisburg U's social media ban: Epilogue

Student surveys, essays and forums reveal a largely positive reaction to Harrisburg University of Science and Technology's social experiment of banning social media for a week, reports Fast Company.

Upon the week's end, students responded to surveys, wrote essays, and participated in focus groups to discuss their experiences going cold turkey on social media. According to Darr, around 68% of the student responses were positive, demonstrating that most found the ban enlightening and revealing. However, the rest of the responses were negative: Some called the ban a "publicity stunt" and some "were not so eloquent in terms of what was said," Darr chuckles.

"One of the principal things we observed was the students' realization of how stressed they were over checking status updates on a variety of social media sites," he explains. "They weren't even aware of the stress they were under."

Original source: Fast Company
Read the full story here.


More than 1,000 Central PA jobs open at Amazon

Amazon is looking to fill up to 1,700 positions by the end of the year at its three Central PA distribution facilities, reports the Carlisle Sentinel.

The company recently opened a 1-million-square-foot warehousing operation on Allen Road in Carlisle. About 600 employees are expected to be hired for that facility this year and 1,500 people could be working there by next year, Barnard said.

The new building will serve as a "flagship" for Amazon, he noted, shipping and receiving general merchandise.

Original source: Carlisle Sentinel
Read the full story here.

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