Archive for November, 2009

Nemacolin Light Up Night
November 30, 2009

Thanks once again to Nemacolin Woodlands Resort for another $10,000 donation to Project Bundle Up!

Here is Melissa Feraday with Project Bundle Up accepting the check from General Manager Trey Matheu and Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations for 84 Lumber Jeff Nobers.

How generous!

SkyMap- Designed Here!
November 26, 2009

Cool story on this Thanksgiving on two local guys who developed a very cool thing for your cell phone. (click here to watch my report)

It’s like a planetarium in your palm…. You can download to your cell phone! FREE!  The app allows you to map the stars… so if you’re out looking at the night sky and want to know what you’re looking at you can point your cell phone in that direction and SkyMap will tell you… or if you’re in a place where you can’t see the night sky but want to know what’s above you…. or if you want to find your zodiac sign in the sky …. lots of possibilities!

Here are the two guys who headed it up…. Kevin and John …. and they show me how it works tonight at 5:45! If you’re wondering what John (on the right) is holding… it’s all the things he needed to combine into the app to map the sky… a GPS, clock, map of the sky, level and compass.

Kelly Frey’s Miracle
November 23, 2009

Click here to watch Mike Clark’s emotional interview with Kelly Frey and her husband Jason as they welcome home their little miracle, Bennett.

(The video will come up for you on the upper right box.)


Komen on FB & Twitter
November 20, 2009

Do you have Facebook or Twitter?

Click here to follow the Pittsburgh affiliate of the Susan G Komen foundation.  The great group will keep you informed of  what you need to know about breast cancer and what’s being done to fight it.

Click here to follow Pittsburgh Komen on Twitter.

Social media is cool and educational!






Steeler Fan Poisoned Donations
November 20, 2009

Many of you responded after my story aired about Zack Heddinger.  After a Bears game in Chicago he went into a bar with some of his friends who were all wearing Steelers gear and trash talking got out of hand. Zack says a Bears fan offered a drink as a ‘peacemaker’ and only Zack took the drink.  Soon he couldn’t breathe and almost died in the hospital. When he woke up he was blind.  Doctors in Chicago suspected his drink was spiked with something like antifreeze. A Pittsburgh doctor said it could have also been strong grain alcohol. Whatever it was left Zack without his sight and with some brain damage.

After I told Zack’s sister about the calls and emails we got…. she had this fund set up in his name to help with his medical bills.




Stem Cells and Heart Attacks
November 20, 2009

Click here to watch my report on a study to see how adult stem cells could change the treatment for heart attack victims.  If the study continues to show the amazing results seen so far…. heart attack patients might get an IV of stem cells (donated by healthy adults) to repair the damage within a few days after having a heart attack.

Allegheny General Hospital is the only local hospital participating in the national study.  I talked to the only local patient who’s been treated in the phase two trial.  She had a heart attack a couple of weeks ago. At first she thought she slept on her shoulder the wrong way…. then she thought she was getting a chest cold…. then it dawned on her… she was having a heart attack.  Doctors asked her to join their study… and a couple of days later she got what could change the future of medicine. She might have gotten the placebo… but she thinks she got the real deal because she’s feeling so good and a nurse that came in to look at her results after the treatment said, “I can’t believe it’s the same heart.”

(Here is my photographer Ken getting video of a Cardiac MRI at Allegheny General Hospital yesterday)

Allegheny General is looking for more patients to join the study.  It hopes to have as many as 16 local people join in the next year of the 220 people nationwide.

Back Pain Treatment
November 19, 2009

Click here to watch my report.

I’m doing a very interesting story today on back pain. A cool procedure sends pulses of radio frequency into the back. My photographer Ken Murray and I got to watch a treatment and talk to the patient and Dr. Doris Cope at St Margaret.  It was amazing to see and I’ll tell you all about it tonight at 5.  My thanks to Amy Dugas Rose (pictured here with Ken) for helping set up the story. She’s is the media coordinator in the public relations department at UPMC and she’s so wonderful to work with! Also a big thanks to our patient Barb who was kind enough to share her story. If you’d like more information on this treatment click here.

Finders Keepers… Not Here
November 18, 2009

Click here to watch my report on the PA law that says if you find a winning voucher in the casino …. you are not allowed to keep it. If you don’t turn it in expect a visit from police. They can track you down and ask for the money back…. no matter how small the amount!

We talked to Nancy Amdurs who thought it was her lucky day when she found a winning voucher for about $30 and no one was around to claim it….. but she was soon surrounded by law enforcement. She is not in any trouble … they just told her she had to give the money back.… but  she was surprised at the whole situation!   My thanks to Nancy for being such a good sport in sharing her story with us!  (She’s still visiting the casinos, by the way)

Steelers Fan Poisoned
November 17, 2009

I did a story yesterday on a Steelers fan who says he was poisoned by a Chicago Bears fan after a game there in September.  Click here to watch the story.

Zack Heddinger said he and some of his friends… all wearing Steelers gear (he had on a Lambert jersey)… went to a bar near Soldier Field called Kitty O’Sheas after the game. (Steelers lost that game)  He says the trash talk started getting out of hand and a Bears fan got them a drink as a “peacemaker”.  Zack’s buddies said they didn’t want the drink because they were still angry but Zack took it.  Next thing he knew he ended up in the hospital.  Doctors had to revive him several times… and soon after he woke up he lost his sight.

Doctors in Chicago think it was antifreeze that did it…..  a local doctor told Zack yesterday that it could have been something like grain alcohol. But his drink was spiked with something that almost killed him.

Zack is getting oxygen treatments in hopes of getting his vision back.

In the meantime, Chicago police tell me they’re investigating and  the bar is cooperating in hopes of catching whoever did this.


Aneurysms – What you should know
November 12, 2009

Click here to watch my full report on aortic abdominal aneurysms.

I was invited into the operating room to see a relatively new procedure that is saving lives.  My story was on abdominal aneurysms. It’s when the blood vessel wall has a weak spot and start to balloon out. Eventually, as blood flows through it, it will burst.  When that happens in the abdomen… it’s almost always deadly.  Dr Satish Muluk of Allegheny General Hospital told me hundreds of thousands of people have aneurysms right now and don’t realize it…. and what’s worse is there are no warning signs.


Dr. Satish Muluk/Allegheny General Hospital

Jim Howvalt from West Virginia (he’s passionate about WVU sports! he and my photographer Ken couldn’t stop talking about that right before his surgery!) found his in time.  He was having a stent put in his heart when doctors spotted the problem.  The old method required full open surgery. Now, doctors are able to fish a stent graft up the artery through the groin, all the way up to the aneurysm. Doctors are able to watch the whole maneuver on monitors. When sealed, blood will flow through the graft so the aneurysm won’t burst.  Aneurysms are the third leading cause of death among men. Now, the easiest way to catch it is through a physical exam with your doctor but there is one thing that you can do yourself at home to check:  Dr Muluk said if you can feel a pulsating bulge in your belly you should see a doctor right away.  The best way to catch them is by getting an exam by your doctor.  Researchers still aren’t sure what causes aneurysms but do say smoking and high blood pressure makes the condition worse.

My thanks to Dr Muluk and to Jim Howvalt for letting me share this with you!

Kurt Angle / Trenesha Biggers
November 11, 2009

Today, for the first time I sat down for a one-on-one interview with Trenesha Biggers. She’s the former girlfriend of Kurt Angle who filed charges against him in August.


I did a one on one exclusive interview with Kurt Angle …. once a hometown hero for bringing home the Olympic gold medal…. after the charges came out in August. But this was the first time we’ve heard from Biggers.

She claims she’s the victim of domestic violence and wanted to speak out to let people know that anyone can be a victim. She also told me that she’s an entertainer and not a fighter and the persona we see when she’s in being her wrestling character Rocka Khan….. is not the person she really is.

Despite her claims of abuse, the magistrate dropped all charges.  Angle’s attorney said the judge dropped the case after Biggers contradicted her testimony and the fact that she stayed in Angle’s home for nine days after the alleged incident.

Angle left the courtroom in tears of joy saying he wants to move on with his life now.

Click here to watch my interview.

Fallingwater & Carnegie Science Center
November 9, 2009

This just in from the Carnegie Science Center:

PITTSBURGH, November 9, 2009 – Carnegie Science Center is pleased to announce that its popular Miniature Railroad & Village® exhibit will reopen for the holiday season on Friday, November 27. New to the exhibit this year is a scale replica of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, often referred to as the most unique home in the world.

Intrigued by Frank Lloyd Wright’s enlightened ideas and unorthodox tastes, Pittsburgh department store owner Edgar Kaufmann, Sr. commissioned Wright to build the family’s weekend home in 1936. The Kaufmann family’s love of nature inspired the architect to envision a residence where they would not only be able to see nature, but actually live within it. Among the many unusual attributes of Fallingwater are its terraces, floating stairs that lead to pools; and beams that were re-shaped to move around trees. Voted the most important building of the 20th century in a poll conducted by the American Institute of Architects, Fallingwater was entrusted to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy by Edgar Kaufmann, jr. in October 1963.

Zombies in Deep Creek!
November 9, 2009

Take a look at the zombies who’ve taken over Garrett County, Maryland! It was all for charity… they raised $30,000 for Thrill the World.  It’s an event where people all over the world perform Michael Jackson’s famous dance at the same time.

Here’s the information from the Thrill the World website:

22,923 people danced in 32 countries and broke the Record Holders Republic! Volunteers in 278 events around the world Thrilled The World in 2009 raising over $85,000 USD for 80 charities! Official list of TTW 2009 Participant NumbersPDF will be made available soon. Start planning for 2010: Sunday, October 24 @ 04:30am GMT/UTC which is Saturday in some parts of the world. Event Registration will be open in the new year.

Nina and Pinta Tours
November 3, 2009


If you want to see what it might have been like for the crew of Christopher Columbus back in 1492 …. head down to the North Shore. (watch my story tonight at 5:55)

Right between the two stadiums along the river… you can hop aboard the closest replicas ever made to the Nina and the Pinta. (The Santa Maria didn’t make the voyage … her mast it too tall for our bridges! and she’s part of another foundation anyway)


It took three years of research in Spain for The Columbus Foundation to get what they needed to design the ships… and then several more years to build. The crew in Brazil who made it didn’t use any electricity …. it’s all handmade just the way they would have done it during Columbus times.


They’ll be here until November 15th …. It’s open from 9-5 daily. $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, $5 for children, and kids under 5 are free.  You can get aboard and see what the crew had to put up with for 33 days as they sailed across the ocean.

Kaleena’s Story
November 2, 2009

I just got off the phone with a beautiful young mother who’s dying from cancer. On Wednesday she’s coming to Pittsburgh hoping a procedure pioneered at the Hillman Cancer Center (Interleukin-2) will help extend her life.


Kaleena is just 25. Her daughter, Hailey is six months old.

She lives in Canada but the treatment she needs isn’t offered there. So she and her husband and baby girl are coming to Pittsburgh on Wednesday hoping a procedure pioneered here can help extend her life. Four years ago she was diagnosed with melanoma. She had a small mole removed from her arm and didn’t have any trouble. But two months after Hailey was born, doctors found the cancer in her lymph nodes, stomach, lungs, chest, arm and neck.


I hope you can see my story which airs tonight at 6:15. If you are in a position to help Kaleena with her expenses click here. I will be following Kaleena’s progress and my thoughts and prayers are with her and her family.