5 of the ACM winners en route to Pittsburgh this summer

Written by Scott Mervis on .

aldeanpresale fullsize story1Jason AldeanGeorge Strait took Entertainer of the Year (by a fan vote) Sunday night at the 49th ANNUAL ACADEMY OF COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS in Las Vegas.

Strait doesn’t have a show booked here, but five of the other big winners are on their way to Pittsburgh this summer.

Jason Aldean, who won Male Vocalist of the Year, his second consecutive win in this category, will be at PNC Park on July 26. Florida Georgia Line, winner for Vocal Duo of the Year, is on that Aldean bill, as is Lee Brice (Song of the Year for “I Drive Your Truck”).

Miranda Lambert, who won a record fifth consecutive year as Female Vocalist of the Year, is set to open for Luke Bryan at Heinz Field on June 21.

Tim McGraw, Video of the Year winner for “Highway Don’t Care,” plays the First Niagara Pavilion on June 6.

Here is the list of winners

Entertainer of the Year
George Strait

Male Vocalist of the year
Jason Aldean

Female Vocalist of the year
Miranda Lambert

Vocal Duo of the year
Florida Georgia Line

Vocal Group of the year
The Band Perry

Justin Moore

ALBUM OF THE YEAR [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]
Same Trailer Different Park – Kacey Musgraves
Producers: Luke Laird, Shane McAnally, Kacey Musgraves
Record Label: Mercury Records

Single Record of the Year [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]
Mama’s Broken Heart – Miranda Lambert
Producers: Chuck Ainlay, Frank Liddell, Glenn Worf
Record Label: RCA Nashville

Song of the Year [Awarded to Songwriter(s)/Publisher(s)/Artist(s)]
I Drive Your Truck – Lee Brice
Songwriters: Jessi Alexander, Connie Harrington, Jimmy Yeary
Publishers: Beattyville Music (BMI), EMI Blackwood Music, Inc. (BMI), Great Day At This Music (BMI), Happy Tears Music (ASCAP), Vistaville Music (ASCAP), Watch This Girl Publishing (BMI)

Video of the Year [Awarded to Producer(s)/Director(s)/Artist(s)] *(Off Camera Award)
Highway Don’t Care – Tim McGraw Featuring Taylor Swift & Keith Urban
Producers: Tameron Hedge, Chandra LaPlume
Director: Shane Drake

Vocal Event of the Year [Awarded to Artist(s)/Producer(s)/Record Company–Label(s)]*(Off Camera Award)
We Were Us – Keith Urban And Miranda Lambert
Producers: Nathan Chapman, Keith Urban
Record Labels: Capitol Records Nashville, Hit Red Records, RCA Nashville

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Bike escalators for Pittsburgh hills?

Written by Jon Schmitz on .



The Atlantic Cities reports on an innovation that could literally give bicyclists a lift over hilly terrain:

CycloCable works very much like a ski lift. But most of the design structures are placed just below the street surface for a safer and more seamless integration into the road.

To begin, you just push the green button at the “start station” and wait for the first footplate. You then stand up on your bike and put your right foot and all of your weight on the footplate. The launcher at the start station will give you gentle push to accelerate from zero to 1.5 meters per second. The lift can go up to 2 meters per second, handling a maximum of 300 cyclists per hour. It supports inclines of up to 18 percent grade and can extend as long as 1,640 feet.

The first prototype was installed in Trondheim, Norway, in 1993. Since then, it’s become a popular tourist attraction that’s powered more than 200,000 cyclists up a 130-meter hill, with no accidents recorded. The original lift was dismantled in 2012, and replaced a year later with CycloCable, an industrialized version upgraded to meet new safety standards.

Now, POMA Group, the French cableway company behind the CycloCable, wants to sell the idea to other cities around the world.

Pittsburgh has also considered the lift. According to Stephen Patchan, bicycle/pedestrian coordinator at Pittsburgh’s Department of City Planning, the cycling community sees the steep terrain as an amenity, not a challenge. But Patchan says it would still be nice to have that kind of assistance for people tired at the end of the day, for example.

A Pittsburgh nonprofit even proposed a bike lift modeled after the one in Trondheim several years ago. But the idea generated some initial questions about liability and wasn’t pursued further.

This time around, liability would still be the primary concern, but not one that can’t be overcome.

Patchan is confident that the cost-benefit of implementing something like CycloCable will be more acceptable as U.S. bike infrastructure systems continue to mature.

“It only takes one smart and cavalier community to figure it out and establish a model for operations and maintenance,” he says.


In another boost for bicyclists, the state Senate has passed legislation to legalize pedal-assist electric bicycles.

Sponsor Matt Smith, D-Mt. Lebanon, issued this statement:

“Our goal is to modernize state law and pave the way for innovation. There are already a growing number of small businesses emerging to meet the demand for this transportation option. However, the continued growth of this industry relies on clearly defining and legalizing these bikes in the state code.

“As we encourage multi-modal forms of transportation, these bicycles offer another option for individuals with mobility issues or for the commuter tackling the hills of western Pennsylvania. I think there are more and more people who will reconsider cycling as a transportation option once they learn about pedal-assist electric bicycles.”

The bill, which goes to the House, defines the bicycles as having operable pedals and a motor of 1 horsepower or less, with a maximum 20 mph speed. The bikes are not motor scooters but are designed to assist the rider with pedaling.


And still more two-wheeler news, this from Friends of the Riverfront:

The 2014 Three Rivers Heritage Trail Map & Guide was released today. The map has been updated to include the one-mile segment of trail that will connect Aspinwall Riverfront Park to O’Hara through the Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority, currently under development. This map is ideal for trail users interested in exploring the Pittsburgh region on the 24-mile riverfront trail system and features an overview of the trail system and detailed maps of the North Side, Downtown and South Side segments.
Areas of interest, including business districts, green space, bike shops, cultural attractions, transportation, trail parking and dog parks can also be found.
This project was funded by ProBikes, Clearview Federal Credit Union, Eat’n Park, UPMC Sports Medicine, the EQT Pittsburgh Three Rivers Regatta, Rivers of Steel National Heritage Area, and Friends of the Riverfront members.
The Three Rivers Heritage Trail Map is available free. To request a copy, call 412-488-0212 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . The map can also be found on the Three Rivers Heritage Trail page at



This week is National Work Zone Awareness Week, and Pennsylvania officials are cautioning drivers that they will encounter more construction than usual this year, as the new transportation funding law ramps up spending by $600 million, to a total of $2.1 billion.

“We are asking drivers to use extra caution in work zones so all of us can get home safely,” said Brad Mallory, PennDOT executive deputy secretary. “With crews working right next to moving traffic, it’s especially dangerous and especially important that motorists obey signs and speed limits.”

According to PennDOT data, there were more than 1,800 crashes in Pennsylvania work zones last year, an increase of about 200 from the previous year.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike will conduct Operation Orange Squeeze, in which troopers stationed in construction trucks use radar to nab speeders. Fines are doubled in work zones, so offenders can kiss several hundred dollars goodbye.

“The State Police will have zero tolerance for unsafe and aggressive work-zone driving.” said Capt. Gregory M. Bacher, commander of Pennsylvania State Police Troop T, the unit in charge of turnpike patrols.

The turnpike plans 62 roadway and bridge construction projects for 2014 at a $1.3 billion cost.


From the PG’s Liz Navratil, a police training exercise at the ballpark:

Traffic near PNC Park will be restricted Tuesday while Pittsburgh emergency responders and federal officials conduct a training exercise.

Mazeroski Way from General Robinson Street to North Shore Drive will be closed from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., and parking there will not be allowed, city public safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler said in a news release. Only local traffic will be allowed on North Shore Drive, at Tony Dorsett Drive, she said.

The city’s Office of Emergency Management, Homeland Security, the Army National Guard, the Ohio State Civil Support Team and PNC Park officials will be training for a hypothetical scenario in which suspicious packages are reported during a World Series game.


Carnegie Mellon University’s spring carnival will cause road closures and parking restrictions in the area of the campus this weekend. Margaret Morrison Street, Tech Street, Frew Street, Circuit Road and Schenley Drive (Panther Hollow and Schenley bridges included) will be closed from 5 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens will remain open during normal hours. Visitors will need to park on the streets by the Carnegie Library and the surrounding area. Pittsburgh police stationed at barricades will give bus drivers instructions for passenger unloading.

On-campus parking will be limited for those without permits and other visitors all week. Additional parking will be available for $5 (cash only) from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday at the Bob O’Connor Golf Course at Schenley Park, with shuttles running to and from campus. Free parking will be available at East Campus Garage on a first-come, first-served basis on Saturday.


menatworkThe city will pave the section of McArdle Roadway from from the Liberty Bridge to Arlington Avenue starting at 11 p.m Tuesday and ending by 5:30 a.m Wednesday. Traffic from the inbound Liberty Tunnel will be detoured across the Liberty Bridge and traffic from Arlington Avenue will not be able to access the affected section of McArdle Roadway.

Lane closures are possible on outbound Route 51 between Fairhaven Road and Stewart Avenue in Overbrook and Whitehall from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. today through Friday. Cable crews will be installing lines in the area.

Overhead sign improvements will cause intermittent lane closures on the Parkway East after 10 p.m. on weeknights in both directions between the Squirrel Hill Tunnels and Second Avenue, through April 19.

A lane closure is possible on the inbound Parkway North in Ross from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. today through Wednesday for emergency repair of a washout.

Bridge construction has changed the traffic pattern on Interstate 79 at Route 422 in Butler County. Southbound traffic now crosses over to the northbound side, with one lane open in both directions. Work and restrictions will continue into the fall.
Cleaning in the Liberty Tunnels will close a lane in both directions starting at 10 p.m. today through Thursday. Traffic is restored by 5 a.m. daily.

Center Road in Plum reopened Friday afternoon after being closed since March 25 because of a collapse.

Hunter Road in Penn Hills has been closed between Barger Street and Colorado Street for about four weeks for emergency repairs.

Overnight lane closures have begun on Route 8 in Hampton. Traffic is down to one lane in both directions after 8 p.m. weeknights from the Pennsylvania Turnpike interchange to about 1,000 feet north of Hardies Road. The widening and turn-lane project continues through October.

A section of McKee Road in North Fayette and the Route 22/30 ramps at Oakdale have closed for reconstruction. The closure of McKee Road in the area under the Route 22/30 bridge will continue through April 26.

Alternating one-way traffic is in effect on Snowden Road in South Park between Riggs and Cochran Mill roads from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily through May 17 during utility pole relocation.

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Protecting a baby bunny nestled in garden straw

Written by Doug Oster on .

blog babby bunnyI'm trying to save this baby bunny from my dog. Photo by Doug Oster

When "Max the Wonder Dog" started rooting around in a thick layer of straw laid over a bed of asparagus, I knew something was up.

Even though a fence of chicken wire is attached to the bottom of the pickets which surround my garden, the rabbits have found a way in over the past few seasons.

Max finds their nests annually and usually dispatches the poor babies. I don't want to share my garden with the rabbits, but the thought of these cute, tiny rabbits meeting their maker at the hands of my dog set me into action.

The small rabbits are hidden by the mother in the nest at birth, she returns each night to feed. I talked to Jill Argall, director of the Animal Rescue League's Wildlife Center in Verona for advice.

Even though I've got the garden gate blocked, I wanted a second line of defense to protect the little rabbit. Jill said the baby is less than 10 days old and needs another couple weeks of care by the mother until it's ready to leave the nest.

blog rabbit houseShe recommended putting a laundry basket put in place over the nest during the day and removing it at dusk so the mother can feed the baby. Max would probably tear that basket to shreds, so I've opted for a large, heavy clay flower pot turned upside down with two big rocks on top. I'll replace them with a cinder block when I find one. There's a big enough hole for the mother to get into the nest in case I forget to remove it at the end of the day.

For the next couple of weeks my wife and I will remove the pot when we close up the chickens, I think that's the best way to remember.

Sometimes the garden holds another purpose. For now I'm happy to share it with the rabbits.

The Animal Rescue League's Wildlife Center can be reached online here or call 412-345-7300. 



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Empty Netter Assists - 04-07-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .


-Dave Molinari's recap from last night's game. “It means a lot to us to go out there and play like we did. That’s a gutsy win after a tough one [in Minnesota].” - Brandon Sutter.

-The Denver Post's recap. "I probably would have done the same." - Avalanche coach Patrick Roy on the Penguins resting some of their players.

-The Associated Press' recap. “It’s a credit to our team to be able to battle without a lot of key guys.” - Marc-Andre Fleury.


-A good look at Colorado's Semyon Varlamov allowing Jussi Jokinen's shootout goal:

-Dan Byslma speaks:

-Marc-Andre Fleury speaks:

-Jokinen speaks:

-Sutter speaks:

-"If you look at Brooks Orpik in this particular case, he's playing with an injury and it's not prudent to struggle through every game with the injury. Getting the opportunity to rest, not play in this game, is better for Brooks at this point in time." -  Dan Bylsma on giving Brooks Orpik a rest last night.

-Spencer Machacek scored each of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins' goals in a 6-2 loss to the Binghamton Senators. Nick Drazenovic recorded two assists for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton while teammate Eric Hartzell made 21 saves.


-Happy 47th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Jim Paek. The first Korean-born player in NHL history, Paek was a ninth-round pick of the Penguins in 1985 and spent parts of four seasons with the club. After appearing in three regular season games and failing to score a point in 1990-91, Paek saw action in eight postseason contests that spring and scored one goal while helping the franchise win the Stanley Cup for the first time. He followed that up in 1991-92 by playing in 49 games and collecting eight points. He would play in 19 playoff games that spring and collected four assists while also earning his second Stanley Cup ring. During 1992-93, Paek set career highs in games (77) and points (18) while helping the Penguins claim the only Presidents Trophy in franchise history. After 41 games and four points in 1993-94, Paek and Marty McSorely were traded to the Kings in exchange for Tomas Sandstrom and Shawn McEachern. In 170 regular season games with the Penguins, Paek scored 30 points. In 27 postseason games, he scored five points. He is currently an assistant coach with the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL.

-Happy 56th birthday to former Penguins forward Ted Nolan. Acquired in the 1985 offseason from the Sabres in exchange for cash, Nolan appeared in 18 games for the 1985-86 Penguins and recorded two points. He was released in the 1986 offseason. A former coach with the Sabres and Islanders, Nolan is currently the coach of the Sabres.

-Happy 35th birthday to current Penguins forward Pascal Dupuis (right). Acquired at the 2008 trade deadline along with Marian Hossa in a deal which sent Colby Armstrong, Erik Christensen, Angelo Esposito and a draft pick to the Thrashers, Dupuis has spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins. He finished 2007-08 by appearing 16 games and scoring 12 points for the Penguins. During the 2008 postseason, he appeared in 20 games, contributed seven points and helped the team reach the Stanley Cup final for the first time in 16 years. In 2008-09, Dupuis saw action in 71 games and recorded 28 points. He would appear in 16 postseason games that spring and had a point in helping the franchise claim its third Stanley Cup championship. During 2009-10, Dupuis played in 81 games and contributed 38 points. He would play in 13 games during the 2010 postseason and scored eight point, including the series clinching overtime goal of a 4-3 win against the Senators in Game 6 of an Eastern Conference quarterfinal series (below). In 2010-11, Dupuis has appeared in 81 games and scored 37 points. He saw action in seven postseason games last spring and scored one goal. During 2011-12, Dupuis appeared in all 81 games and has set career highs in goals (24) and points (58). That season's playoffs, he played in six games and scored six points. last season, Dupuis has played in all 48 games and scored 38 points. Last spring, he appeared in 15 postseason games and scored 11 points. This season, a knee injury limited Dupuis to 39 games and 20 points. In 418 regular season games with the Penguins, "Duper" has scored 232 points, 34th-most in franchise history. In 77 postseason games, he has scored 33 points.

-After the Jump: A dangerous hit by Philadelphia's Zac Rinaldo.

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So many Pittsburgh fashion events, so little time (and space)

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

Stylebook 400

Lately it seems like each week the Stylebook column in Monday's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Magazine section keeps getting longer.

The good news: This means there's more to do in Pittsburgh's fashion and beauty scene. On the other hand, unfortunately sometimes there's not enough space in the newspaper to feature all of the fashionable fun. 

So here are some more fashion events for the week ahead across Pittsburgh ...


Rickie Freeman, Teri Jon trunk show at Lintons, the Waterfront: Shop gowns suitable for destination weddings and other special occasions at 146 West Bridge St. It's 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and noon-6 p.m. Sunday.

Information: or 412-461-2600.

Style Truck benefit fashion show for Lupus Foundation of Pennsylvania
: Support the Lupus Foundation at a brunch and fashion show 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at Eleven Contemporary Kitchen, 1150 Smallman St., Strip District. Fashions featured will be provided by Style Truck.


Goodwill holds “Spring Into Fashion” photo contest: Show off your style on Facebook for the chance to win a 15-minute shopping spree at the Goodwill store in Cranberry, courtesy of Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania. To enter, shop at any Goodwill location and create a spring outfit in one of four categories: posh prom, tea time, funky flannel or wear to work. Post one photo to and include in the caption which items were purchased at Goodwill and what inspired the spring look.

People can vote for their favorite outfit on Facebook, and judges will pick winners for each category from the entries with the most votes. Second-place winners will receive a $25 gift card to Goodwill and a goodie bag, and third place will get a $25 Goodwill gift card. The last day to participate is April 20, and the winners will be announced the next day.

Asbury Fine Hats spring sale hours: The hat boutique at 1505 Asbury Place, Squirrel Hill, will be open 4-8 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday and noon-4 p.m. Sunday for a spring sale. Fashion, casual hats and fascinators are available. Additional hours available by appointment.

Information: Asbury Fine Hats on Facebook or 412-651-8229.

Trunk show at Brooks Brothers, Downtown: A special-order specialist will be in the store at 600 Smithfield St. through Saturday. Discounts will be offered. Schedule an appointment at 412-471-2300. Walk-ins are welcome.


Heart of the Earth grand opening celebration: The former site of the Shadyside Mining Co., 738 Copeland St., now has a new name, Heart of the Earth Shadyside, and owner — former manager and jewelry designer Grace Betancourt Jones. Shadyside Mining Co. rocks and natural history pieces are still in the space.

The changes will be commemorated with an opening event with jazz and refreshments on Thursday. Information: Heart of the Earth Shadyside on Facebook or 412-688-8088.

Fashions for him featured at Larrimor’s, Downtown: Suits by Hickey Freeman — known for elegant fabrics and comfort — will be at One PNC Plaza 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday. Complete his look with American-made footwear, designed with premium leathers and cork-fused soles, by Allen Edmonds, which will be in the store Thursday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Information: or 412-471-5727.

Trunk show at Littles Shoes, Squirrel Hill: Shop the latest looks from Munro shoes Friday and Saturday at 5850 Forbes Ave. Information: or 412-521-3530.

SCHEE shoes spring cleaning online sample sale: The fashion-forward shoe line headquartered in Cranberry is making room for new styles with a month-long spring cleaning sale. Visit to shop the collection at significant savings.



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