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Latest Pittsburgh news and updates

Money Matters - Simplified


This week in college basketball

Washington -- This week in college basketball for USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll ranked teams:


(5) Kansas State 89, Alcorn State 55.

(22) Washington 94, Portland 72.


(4) Kansas 81, (14) Memphis 68 at New York.

(7) Syracuse 72, (8) Michigan State 58 at New York.

(18) Purdue 76, Valparaiso 58.


(1) Duke 83, Bradley 48.

(3) Pittsburgh 70, Delaware State 42.

(6) Connecticut 78, Fairleigh Dickinson 54.

(11) Missouri 85, Vanderbilt 82 (OT).

(12) Villanova 65, Pennsylvania 53.

(15) San Diego State 77, California 57.

(16) Kentucky 72, (23) Notre Dame 58 at Louisville, Ky.

(17) Illinois 74, Oakland 63.

Pa. aviary hoping for penguin mating

Pittsburgh -- Officials at the National Aviary in Pittsburgh say they're hoping a pair of African penguins will mate now that the species has been declared endangered.

The institution is a national leader in protecting the species but has never had a birth at the facility, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Wednesday.

The species, which has declined from 141,000 about 50 years ago to 25,000 today, was officially declared endangered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Sept. 28 and by an international conservation body in June.

Crosby lead NHL All-Star Game balloting

New York -- Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins leads the fan balloting for the NHL All-Star Game, league officials said Tuesday.

Crosby has garnered 319,809 votes so far -- the most overall and in his forwards category, where Chicago's Jonathan Toews placed a distant second with 196,792 votes. Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos was third among forwards with 191,265 votes.

Write-in nominee Kris Letang of Pittsburgh was the leading vote-getter among defensemen, compiling 210,807 votes. He outpaced Philadelphia's Chris Pronger by 16,000 votes while the Blackhawks' Duncan Keith and Nicklas Lidstrom of Detroit were closely bunched in third and fourth place.

Mascot gets cold shoulder for snowballs

Cincinnati -- A snowball fight at the University of Cincinnati's football game got out of hand and led to the mascot's arrest, police said.

Snowballs began to be thrown between the crowd at Nippert Stadium and the UC Bearcat mascot around 1 p.m. Saturday, during UC's 28-10 loss to Pittsburgh.

Mascot M. Robert Garfield III, 22, was cited for disorderly conduct, UC Police Capt. Jeff Corcoran told the Cincinnati Enquirer.

"He was throwing them at the crowd and so of course, people threw back and missed him and hit other people," said Corcoran. "The officer asked him to stop and he took exception to that."

At one point, Garfield shoved the officer and both ended up on the ground, he said.

COL BKB: Pittsburgh 80, Duquesne 66

Pittsburgh -- Ashton Gibbs scored 22 points Wednesday and No. 3 Pittsburgh overcame a slow start to defeat Duquesne 80-66.

The Panthers (9-0) have won 10 in a row over their cross-town rival, the longest winning streak for either team in the history of the series.

Duquesne jumped to a 9-2 lead but Pittsburgh stormed to a 42-28 halftime advantage and led by at least eight points the rest of the way.

Gary McGhee added 12 points and 13 rebounds for the Panthers.

The Dukes (3-2) were led by 20 points from both Bill Clark and Damian Saunders. Duquesne had won its previous two games.

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

NFL: Pittsburgh 35, Oakland 3

Pittsburgh -- Ben Roethlisberger fired three touchdown passes and the Pittsburgh defense yielded only 182 total yards Sunday in the Steelers' 35-3 rout of Oakland.

Roethlisberger gained 275 yards, completing 18-of-29 passes, and added a rushing TD for Pittsburgh (7-3), which stayed even with Baltimore atop the AFC North standings.

The Steelers' defense easily handled Oakland, rebounding after allowing 453 yards to the Patriots last week in a tough home loss.

Mike Wallace made three grabs for 116 yards and a touchdown and Emmanuel Sanders also caught a TD pass in the win.

Jason Campbell completed only 7-of-19 passes, struggling for 70 yards with an interception before being replaced by Bruce Gradkowski in the third quarter for Oakland (5-5).

Police: Blaze started with picture fire

Pittsburgh -- Police in Pittsburgh said a man set fire to his home while burning pictures of his ex-girlfriend.

Lt. Jason Lando said Leonard Spagnolo, 33, and his current girlfriend were inside the home in the Greenfield neighborhood at about 1:30 a.m. Tuesday when the photo fire spread through the room, WTAE-TV, Pittsburgh, reported Tuesday.

"It appeared from speaking to him he was burning some of his memories of a past girlfriend. And from speaking with him he gave indications this was all a result of an argument that occurred tonight with his current girlfriend," Lando said.

Police said the fire was contained to one room and neither Spagnolo or his girlfriend was injured.

Family gets car back after 20 years

Pittsburgh -- A Pittsburgh man spent $20,000 to surprise his father with a Pontiac GTO he sold nearly 20 years ago.

Brian Laney said he wanted to purchase a GTO and was searching online five months ago when he spotted the vehicle his father purchased for $6,000 in 1970 and later sold, WTAE-TV, Pittsburgh, reported Tuesday.

Laney bought the car, which was being sold in Marina Del Ray, Calif., for $20,000 and surprised his father, Walter, with the discovery.

"I think it's great. It's just unbelievable after all these years, you know," said Walter Laney.

Brian Laney said it was "unbelievable" to have the car back.

COL BKB: Pittsburgh 85, Rhode Island 75

Pittsburgh -- Brad Wanamaker put in 24 points and made three key foul shots late in the game Monday, boosting No. 4 Pittsburgh to an 83-75 win over Rhode Island.

Wanamaker dished off eight assists and backcourt mate Ashton Gibbs contributed 22 points in the season openers for both schools at the 2K Sports Classic.

Talib Zanna grabbed 11 rebounds to go along with nine points and Gilbert Brown added 10 points and six rebounds for the victors.
The Panthers took the lead for good midway through the second half on Gary McGhee's slam dunk off an assist by Brown.

The Rams (0-1) made a run down the stretch, as Delroy James connected on a 3-pointer with 1:41 to go, pulling Rhode Island to within 76-74.

Pirates fire Manager John Russell

Pittsburgh -- Manager John Russell was fired Monday by the Pittsburgh Pirates, one day after the team finished 2010 with the worst record in the major leagues.

Russell, 49, was the Pirates' manager for three seasons, compiling a 186-299 record. Pittsburgh was 57-105 this season, finishing last in the National League Central, 34 games behind the Cincinnati Reds.

Pittsburgh General Manager Neal Huntington, in a statement, praised Russell as a "quality baseball man and a good friend," but "in the end, we decided that new leadership in the clubhouse would give us the best opportunity to move the Major League team forward."