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Wolf gets down to budgeting business -- sort of

Tom Wolf. (Larry Roberts/Post-Gazette

If you're the budget secretary of the sixth-largest state in the union, the phrase "only $1 million in the bank" is terrifying.

And that's where Pennsylvania stands at the moment, according to Charles Zogby, who has managed budgets for Gov. Tom Corbett – a shortfall of $1.85 billion at the start of fiscal year...

Read more http://earlyreturns.post-gazette.com/home/early-returns-posts/6382-wolf-gets-down-to-budgeting-business-sort-of

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Empty Netter Assists - 12-04-14

Written by Seth Rorabaugh on .

Penguins

-Robert Bortuzzo will have some free time the next few days.

-"Oh, I hope he plays 700 in a row." - Former Penguins captain Ron Schock on Craig Adams being on the verge of breaking his franchise record for consecutive games played.

-"You see the determination in both Ron and Adams’ case and you can understand why they play through things.” - Jim Rutherford on Schock, his former teammate, and Adams.

-Injuries have given Jayson Megna a promotion to the second line. Also, Scott Wilson is expected to be sidelined two weeks due to an undisclosed injury.

-“When you look at what was there and the opportunity, it’s unbelievable. You look at where they are in the standings, so that’s what type of team they are. And to have an opportunity to coach that kind of team is pretty special. That’s a special group. Not just [Sidney] Crosby. They have so much talent there and it’s a great city, too.” - Canucks coach Willie Desjardins on entertaining an offer to take over as Penguins coach this past summer.

-Bortuzzo speaks:

-Mike Johnston speaks:

-Sidney Crosby speaks:

-Marcel Goc speaks:

-Injuries in Pittsburgh are making it tough to fill out a lineup in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

-After the Jump: Alec Martinez gets paid.

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Freshmen will make impact in WPIAL basketball ...... predicted section winners

Written by Mike White on .

While the state football playoffs reach the semifinals this weekend, high school basketball in Pennsylvania begins.

There are a number of interesting storylines in basketball for this season. How long will New Castle's winning streak last (it is at 31 games)? Will New Castle and Hampton still dominate after dropping to Class AAA? How will Lincoln Park fare moving up to Class AA and Chartiers Valley up to Class AAAA?

But another one of the interesting storylines this season also will be the "fresh" faces that will show up on teams. It seems there are some freshmen around the WPIAL who could have big impacts.

One of the best is Phil Jurkovec, a 6-foot-5 ninth-grader at Pine-Richland. I have yet to see this kid play, but have been hearing about him for a few years. He scored a ton as an eighth-grader on a ninth-grade team. He is extremely athletic, dunking with ease as an eighth-grader. He will start for Pine-Richland at forward.

Jurkovec is more than a basketball player, though. He is an excellent quarterback in football. Current Pine-Richland quarterback Ben DiNucci called him a "stud" and said he is much further along with skills when DiNucci was a ninth-grader. But DiNucci said Jurkovec is probably better in basketball. That says a lot.

Pine-Richland coach Eric Kasperowicz kept Jurkovec on the ninth-grade team this season, but Jurkovec might very well be the Rams' varsity quarterback this season. If you wonder whether this kid has talent, check out his highlight tape from Hudl.

Other freshmen who might have big impacts this season are:

**Rob Carmody, a 6-3 guard at Mars. The son of coach Rob Carmody, the younger Carmody has good size and will start and be a key player for the Planets. He is solid in many phases of the game. He was a starting defensive back on the football team.

**Curtis Aiken, 6-1 guard at North Allegheny. Aiken isn't listed as a starter for North Allegheny, but he will see plenty of action. The son of former Pitt player Curtis Aiken, the younger Aiken is quick, has a good handle and has an extremely bright future.

**John Paul Kromka, a 6-7 forward-center at Gateway. Another in a line of Kromka brothers at Gateway, John Paul has good size. New Gateway coach Daryn Freedman isn't shy about talking about his team. He said the Gators are aiming to be the top defensive team in the WPIAL and state and that the team has one of the best frontcourts in the WPIAL. About Kromka, Freedman said, "He will likely lead all WPIAL freshmen playing varsity in points, rebounds and blocked shots."

One of Kromka's older brothers, James, will be a senior guard-forward for the team.

**Torian Leak, a 5-7 guard at Beaver Falls. It looks like Leak will start at guard for the Tigers, which means they will start a freshman and two sophomores (6-4 Donovan Jeter and 6-6 Josh Creach). Leak also is an excellent athlete. He was a running back on the football team and rushed for more than 200 yards in one game.

Some other freshmen around the WPIAL also could have impacts. Ford City coach Greg Hutcherson plans to start two freshmen - 6-4 Nate Baillie and 6-foot Dawson Porter

Three of New Castle's top reserves are freshmen - Marcus Hooker, Lorenzo Gardner and Geno Stone. Hooker is the younger brother of former New Castle star Malik Hooker, now a freshman football player at Ohio State.

Two of Beaver Falls' top players off the bench will be freshmen - 5-10 Malik Shepherd and 6-2 Syron Noyes.

Put it all together, and maybe the future looks bright for WPIAL basketball talent. But the question is how high will these freshmen rise and how much will they improve over the next few years?

Predicted section winners

The season starts with tipoff tournaments around the state. But section play begins next Friday.

Here are predicted section winners for the entire WPIAL and City League:

WPIAL CLASS AAAA - 1. Hempfield. 2. Gateway. 3. Seneca Valley. 4. Chartiers Valley.

WPIAL CLASS AAA - 1. Hampton. 2. Ambridge. 3. Indiana. 4. Steel Valley. 5. South Fayette.

WPIAL CLASS AA - 1 Lincoln Park. 2. Apollo-Ridge. 3. Seton-LaSalle. 4. Brownsville. 5. Aliquippa.

WPIAL CLASS A - 1. Sewickley Academy. 2. Vincentian. 3. Monessen. 4. Jeannette.

CITY LEAGUE - Allderdice.

 

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It's here! Pantone announces 2015 color of the year

Written by Sara Bauknecht on .

Pantone Introducing Color of the Year Marsala banner

Drum roll, please ... the Pantone color of 2015 will be Marsala.

The earthy wine hue will replace Radiant Orchid as fashion and design's "it" hue in the new year and is expected to "make for an elegant, grounded statement color when used on its own or as a strong accent to many other colors," color experts at Pantone declared.

So what do you think: will Marsala be hot as predicted or a flop?

 

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Body Cameras

Written by Rob Rogers on .

The Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson has started a national conversation about race. It has also started a national conversation about police equipment and body cameras.

120414 Body Cameras

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