PITTSBURGH (AP) – The Heinz Endowments is funding a $415,000 study by researchers to determine whether asthma rates among Pittsburgh Public Schools students are as bad as school nurses say.

The nurses estimate as many as half of the city’s school students use rescue inhalers or are otherwise dealing with asthma a figure that – if true – would be more than triple the national average.

Allegheny General Hospital researchers announced the study Monday and say they hope to pinpoint childhood asthma rates in the city and what’s triggering such cases – no matter what the real numbers turn out to be.

One of the researchers, Dr. David Skoner, calls the 50 percent estimate “hard to believe” but not impossible. If that number is real, Skoner says, “It means we have some real problems related to air quality.”

GOP businesswoman running for Pa. Senate’s 46th

MONONGAHELA, Pa. (AP) – A southwestern Pennsylvania actress who also owns a vehicle oil change business says she’s running for the state Senate.

The (Washington) Observer-Reporter ( ) says Camera Bartolotta, of Monongahela, will run for the Republican nomination to oppose state Sen. Tim Solobay, the veteran Democratic incumbent who was elected to the Senate in 2010 after six terms in the state House.

Bartolotta owns Duke of Oil, a quick lube business in the Mon Valley, which is part of the 46h District that also includes Greene County and parts of Washington and Beaver counties.

She has previously created a cooking and lifestyle show on WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh and continues to work as an actress. The Internet Movie Database says her latest project is a low-budget horror flick to be released in March called “Pro Wrestlers vs. Zombies.”


Information from: Observer-Reporter,

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