Yaël Ossowski is a national investigative reporter for Watchdog.org. He previously worked at the Gaston Gazette newspaper and Fox 29 News in Philadelphia. Contact him at yael@watchdog.org and on Twitter @YaelOss. Follow his written and video exploits on Yael.ca.

Western Pennsylvania school districts brought down by pension debt

By   /  July 31, 2015  /  Education, News, Pennsylvania  /  No Comments

Photo by: Shutterstock

A frank assessment from Moody’s rating agency this week has given several Pennsylvania school districts sour financial notes, and western PA’s schools top the list.

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Rand Paul’s ‘Economic Freedom Zone’ a fix for western PA?

By   /  July 24, 2015  /  Economy, Finances, Jobs + Growth, News, Pennsylvania, State Budgets, State Government  /  No Comments

Photo by Gage Skidmore

Rand Paul wants troubled cities declared “Economic Freedom Zones,” with targeted tax cuts and reduced regulation to promote growth and spur jobs.

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Erie stocks up on prison gear after shootings, but leaves community without answers

By   /  July 22, 2015  /  News, Pennsylvania  /  No Comments

West_21st_Street_Historic_District_Erie_PA_Apr_13

In the wake of several shootings in the Erie area, the city council last week agreed to spend $25,000 to boost police equipment in the city’s jails, upgrading the systems to take fingerprints and mugshots of suspects.

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Obama’s ‘girl power’ foreign policy boosts UN aid

By   /  July 3, 2015  /  National, News  /  No Comments

GOZARAH, Afghanistan-Village girls wait as the Afghan National Police unload a shipment of humanitarian aid at their village, Feb. 4. Food, winter clothing and supplies were delivered to 300 villagers of Gozarah district in Herat province of western Afghanistan.  (ISAF photo by U.S. Air Force TSgt Laura K. Smith)(released)

The U.S. government’s ‘girl power’ foreign policy has been signed into law, boosting support for a UN aid project to empower girls in developing countries.

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Welfare program for laid-off workers doesn’t work; renewed anyway

By   /  July 1, 2015  /  Economy, Federal Government, Jobs + Growth, National, News  /  No Comments

AP file photo

A billion-dollar welfare program to help laid-off workers displaced by foreign competition has been saved from extinction, even though it’s been judged ineffective and wasteful according to the federal government’s own commissioned studies.

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Deval Patrick’s travel slush fund no longer secret

By   /  June 15, 2015  /  Massachusetts, News  /  No Comments

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick speaks during an interview at his Statehouse office in Boston, Monday, Dec. 15, 2014. Patrick says he still has made no decisions about his future after leaving office. His final day as governor is Jan. 8.  (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

If your governor had a secret travel slush fund worth tens of millions of dollars used to jet set to Japan, Israel and the United Arab Emirates, wouldn’t you want to know about it?

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