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3EPA ready to go virtual with ANSYS to create cleaner engines

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is turning to a company whose home base is as old-school Rust Belt as one can get, but the company's specialty's undeniably new-school technology. The EPA has struck a deal with Pittsburgh-based ANSYS to model simulations of internal combustion engines. And while the models will be theoretical, the EPA is shooting for some very real results.

5Trendwatch: PA, SC the lastest to convert roads to bike-only area

How does Charlestonia or Steeltownia sound? Because the whole livability bug notably biting cities such as Portland has gotten bigger via the proliferation of dedicated bikeways in a number of US cities. The latest to join are Pittsburgh, PA and Charleston, SC, Treehugger most happily reports.

21100th anniversary of first gas station in US gives RFA a chance to tout ethanol

December 1st marked the 100th anniversary of the opening of the first gas station in the US. It's an interesting anniversary, and ethanol advocates are using the occasion to tout the advantages of corn-based fuel, Domestic Fuel reports. The Renewable Fuels Association says Americans can save as much as a dollar a gallon using ethanol and about 65 cents a gallon (in Michigan, at least) using an 85-percent ethanol blend (aka E85). About 15.5 million US vehicles are of the flex-fuel variety, while

79Woman embezzles $10M from car dealer, buys 2011 Honda Crosstour

You almost have to feel sorry for Patricia Smith, the former controller at Baierl Acura who embezzled over $10 million from the suburban Pittsburgh dealership. Despite having stolen roughly $4,000 a day, seven days a week, for seven years, Smith's personal automotive aspirations extended no further than a new Honda Crosstour. Apparently being a criminal mastermind does not ensure good taste.

119A Different Kind Of Car Thief Gets Six-Plus Years In The Slammer

Was dinner with "The Barefoot Contessa" really worth it?

It sounds almost like the background plot of the movie Fargo: a car dealership executive looking for an easy financial score and arranges the kidnapping of his own wife and daughter of the dealership owner, to line his pockets with ransom money. Only this time, in real life it was a dealership executive in suburban Pittsburgh who systematically embezzled more than $10 million to buy such absurd luxuries as a first-edition Harry Potter book and a private dinner with the celebrity chef known as "T

24Carnegie Mellon project offers EV conversions ... for $24,000

Let's just say this one's for both the environmentally conscious and the nostalgic.

159PSA: Sunbathing in the road can yield unfortunate tan lines

We know rural Midwestern folks sometimes do things a little differently than their urban cousins. If you want to get a tan in the reedy areas of The Corn Belt you don't need a booth, you just lie down in your own yard. One thing you don't do when bronzing, however – even in the Midwest – is lie down in the street. That is what two unlucky girls did in Economy, Pennsylvania and when they fell asleep during their sunlight session they got run over by a car.

41Batmobile Tumbler caravan snagged rolling through Pittsburgh

If you're like us, you must be thinking that the next Batman film The Dark Night Rises can't get here soon enough. Problem is, production work hasn't even finished yet. The crew was recently spotted in Pittsburgh filming scenes for the upcoming flick, and few lucky folks managed to capture footage of a trio of Tumbler urban assault vehicles rolling through town.

10FOLLOW-UP: Brother of dealer who died torching own cars found dead

As we reported earlier, Gregory Graham, a third-generation car dealership owner in Ligonier, Pennsylvania tragically died of a heart attack last month while setting fire to the cars on his lot. His company, Graham Colonial Motors, was evidently burdened by more than a million dollars in liens, in addition to the daily woes of doing business in this business climate.

48REPORT: Struggling dealer died of heart-attack while torching his own cars

With each passing day bringing more tough news about the state of the car companies and the plight of the autoworker, it's sometimes easy to overlook the effect that all of this economic gulag is having on mom-and-pop dealerships across the country. Bringing that idea into stark focus is news that Gregory Graham, a Pennsylvania car dealer recently died of a heart attack while torching cars at his own ailing dealership.

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