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Report: Shale industry throwing money around Harrisburg

Julia Rendleman/Post-Gazette

Let's take a moment to meet the new leadership of our state's legislature. And to check out a few numbers that could portend a rough time for the guy who will be the next governor.

The first number? Try $49 million, the amount of money spent by the energy industry on lobbying and political contributions in Pennsylvania...

Read more http://earlyreturns.post-gazette.com/home/early-returns-posts/6371-report-shale-industry-throwing-money-around-harrisburg

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Hornqvist, Spaling familiar as linemates - 11-14-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

At today's morning skate, the Penguins used some reconfigured lines. Of particular interest was the second line. According to the team's Web site. Evgeni Malkin appears set to center Nick Spaling on the left wing and Patric Hornqvist on the right wing.

Both players were acquired from the Predators in exchange for Malkin's former right wing, James Neal. And as it turns out, this won't be the first time a player with ties to the Penguins has been their center.

Earlier this season, both players talked about their history as linemates:

Hornqvist - "Actually, it started in the minors seven years ago [with Milwaukee of the AHL). It was me, [former Penguins center] Cal O'Reilly, who was here for a bit too, and Spaling. It's been on an off since then. Obviously, he's a good linemate to play with. He always works hard, battles down low and is good to find pucks. And really around the net."

Spaling - "I've played with him and I've watch him play for four our five years. I know exactly kind of what he does. He's an easy guy to play with because you know he's going to be at the net. You know what he's going to do. You know he's going to shoot. I know his style of play. For me, it's comfortable. I know what he brings to the table and I think that helps.

(Photo: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images)

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Channing Tatum shirtless and when Foxcatcher will open in Pittsburgh

Written by Barbara Vancheri on .

 

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So now that I have your attention with the photo of a shirtless Channing Tatum, you might be wondering where “Foxcatcher” is playing since TV interviewers such as David Letterman and George Stephanopoulos said it was opening Friday, meaning today.

It is, but only in New York and Los Angeles, not Pittsburgh, which may have to wait until mid-January to see “Foxcatcher.” If that changes, I'll share the news online and in print.

The movie is being very slowly released as opposed to something that goes “wide” as with “Dumb and Dumber To” or “Big Hero 6.” Studios and distributors sometimes bank on allowing possibly more challenging films to arrive in mid-size or smaller markets on a wave of positive reviews, which will absolutely be the case here. 

Unless the end of the year brings a dozen spectacular movies, I plan to include “Foxcatcher” on my top 10 list although it’s way too early to know where. It is dark but inspired by a true story and anchored by three excellent performances by Steve Carell (pictured below), Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo and Western Pennsylvania extras and locations.

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Photos: Sony Classics. 

 

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WPIAL semifinal predictions ..... TV games

Written by Mike White on .

Varsity Blog program note: Tonight's live semifinal blog will come from the West Allegheny vs. Thomas Jefferson game. For score updates and notes from other games, follow the @PGVarsityXtra Twitter account to the right of this blog. If you have a score update, note or photo, "tweet" it with #wpial.

Before we get to the WPIAL semifinal predictions, one note about TV games tonight. Root Sports will televise the Thomas Jefferson vs. West Allegheny game, to be shown on delay, following tonight's Penguins game.

Xfinity Comcast television is doing the Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic vs. Avonworth game, which can be seen "On Demand" starting tomorrow night.

Now, for the semifinal predictions, plus one PIAA game involving City League champion Brashear. 

WPIAL CLASS AAAA

Pine-Richland vs. McKeesport - I don't think there is any doubt that Pine-Richland's offense with quarterback Ben DiNucci (pictured) and his strong offensive line will move and score points. The biggest question is whether McKeesport's flexbone offense is good enough to keep pace with the Rams? I say no. Winner: Pine-Richland.

Central Catholic vs. Penn-Trafford - Penn-Trafford's offense is much more balanced than Central Catholic. But will that matter? I really like Penn-Trafford and this game is awfully interesting. Line play will be the key. I took Central Catholic at the start of the playoffs. Winner: Central Catholic.

WPIAL CLASS AAA

Thomas Jefferson vs. West Allegheny - A classic matchup between perennial powers. Do you think there has ever been a game with 11 WPIAL titles between the two coaches (Bob Palko with seven and Bill Cherpak with four)? Well, actually yes. West Allegheny played Woodland Hills this year and there were 13 between Palko and George Novak. It will be interesting to see if West Allegheny uses the wildcat offense tonight, like it did often last week. Run defense will be key for both teams. Winner: West Allegheny.

Central Valley vs. Ringgold - It has been 27 years since Ringgold has been in the semifinals. Standout running back Chacar Berry was slowed by a bad ankle last week. The Rams need him at full strength. But even so ... Winner: Central Valley.

WPIAL CLASS AA

Washington vs. Aliquippa - Aliquippa would be the favorite even if Washington was at full strength. But some injuries to key players could spell trouble to Washington. Winner: Aliquippa (fixed error from earlier this afternoon).

South Fayette vs. Seton-LaSalle - Seton-LaSalle's best player, Danzel McKinley-Lewis (pictured) did not play the first time the teams met. No doubt he will make a difference. But will he make THAT much of a difference? South Fayette won the first time, 41-14. Winner: South Fayette.

WPIAL CLASS A

Clairton vs. Neshannock - There is no question that Neshannock will give Clairton its best game of the season. But it's hard to see Neshannock giving Clairton its first loss of the season. Winner: Clairton (fixed error from this afternoon).

Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic vs. Avonworth - When CWNC beat Avonworth, 28-0, earlier this season, the game was scoreless at halftime. This one might be close the whole way, but the same team will come out on top. Winner: Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic.

PIAA CLASS AAAA

Erie McDowell vs. Brashear - City League champion Brashear goes on the road to play McDowell in Erie Saturday afternoon. Brashear has had a week off since winning the City League championship. Terrific job by coach Rick Murphy in getting his team to peak at the right time and knock off No. 1 Allderdice. This isn't a great McDowell team, but still a level above Brashear. Winner: McDowell. 

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Empty Netter Assists - 11-14-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Welcome back Pascal Dupuis ... to the first line with Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz.

-Welcome back Olli Maatta ... to the lineup next week?

-“The start of the game, I think it’s important to put teams off-balance with shots." - Penguins coach Mike Johnston on wanting his team to shoot more often.

-“I’m sure he’s got a target on his back. It’s not easy sometimes. It’s one of those flukey things. But no matter how many times you’ve done it, even if you talk to guys who have fought for years, anything can happen in a fight and you really do have to be careful.” - Crosby on Erie Otters star forward Connor McDavid suffering a broken hand in a fight Tuesday. McDavid is presumed to be the top overall pick in next year's draft.

-Mike Johnston speaks:

-Maatta speaks:

-Welcome back Jeff Zatkoff ... to the Wilkes-Barre/Scanton Penguins' lineup after missing nine games due to a "lower-body" injury.

-Happy 45th birthday to former Penguins defenseman Greg Andrusak. A fifth-round pick in 1988, Andrusak spent parts of four seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 1993-94, he saw action in three games and failed to record a point. During the 1994-95 campaign, Andrusak played in seven games and recorded four assists. In 1995-96, Andrusak only appeared in two games and didn't net a point. After spending all of 1996-97 with EHC Eisbaren Berlin in Germany, he returned to the Penguins in 1998-99. That season saw him play in seven games and record one assist. He did appear in 12 postseason games that spring and scored one goal. In the 1999 offseason, he joined the Maple Leafs as a free agent. In 19 regular season games with the Penguins, Andrusak recorded five assists.

-Happy 72nd birthday to former Penguins defenseman Bryan "Bugsy" Watson (right). Acquired midway through the 1968-69 season along with George Swarbrick and Tracy Pratt in a deal which sent for Earl Ingarfield, Gene Ubriaco and Dick Mattiussi to the Oakland Seals, Watson spent parts of six seasons with the Penguins. he finished 1968-69 by appearing in 18 games for the Penguins and recording four assists as well as 35 penalty minutes. His first full season in Penguins was 1969-70. He played in 61 games, netted 10 points and led the team with 189 penalty minutes. He played in all 10 of the team's postseason games but failed to record a point. Watson was limited to 43 games, eight points and 119 penalty minutes in 1970-71. He rebounded in 1971-72 by setting career highs in games (75), points (20) and led the league with 212 penalty minutes. He played in four postseason games that spring but failed to record a point. In 1972-73, Watson saw action in 69 games, scored 18 points and once again led the team with 179 penalty minutes. After 38 games, five assists and 137 penalty minutes in 1973-74, Watson was traded to the Blues along with Greg Polis and a draft pick in exchange for Steve Durbano, Ab DeMarco Jr. and Bob Kelly. In 304 regular season games with the Penguins, Watson scored 65 points and accumulated 871 penalty minutes, fourth-most in franchise history. In 14 postseason games, Watson did not score a point. At one time, Watson was the NHL's all-time leader in penalty minutes.

-Happy 42nd birthday to former Penguins forward Ed Patterson. A seventh-round pick in 1991, Patterson spent parts of three seasons with the Penguins. As a rookie in 1993-94, Patterson played in 27 games and scored four points.  In 1994-95, Patterson saw action in 35 games and recorded two assists. His final NHL season was 1996-97 and he was limited to six games and no points. He was released in the 1997 offseason. In 68 regular season games with the Penguins, Patterson scored six points.

-After the Jump: Kari Lehtonen comes up with the save of the year.

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