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Inside Pittsburgh (Aug 9th, 2019)

TGIF, Pittsburghers!

We made it to another Friday. And this Friday includes a Steelers game – yes, it's that time of year again! #HereWeGo!

Speaking of the Steelers, there's been a lot of chatter about the possibility that Heinz Field could change names soon. It got me to thinking: If Heinz Field's name does change, what would you like to see it be renamed? Send me an email at bobby@inside.com or hit reply with your thoughts.

– Bobby

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1. Highmark will offer insurance plans next year that give access to rival UPMC hospitals and doctors, as well as additional plans in its own Community Blue network. Highmark Health officials made the announcement Thursday. Plans will be customized for each of the 1,400 groups and employers that use Highmark insurance. Highmark's portfolio includes the Allegheny Health Network. The company has about 200 active construction projects that include the AHN Cancer Institute Academic Center going up on the North Side campus of Allegheny General Hospital. After years of public battles, Highmark and UPMC officials in June announced a 10-year pact that would allow most Highmark insurance subscribers to use UPMC facilities. – PG

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2. Lidia's Pittsburgh, the popular Strip District restaurant, will close in September. The news came Friday from Gregg Perelman, CEO and managing partner of Walnut Capital, which owns the restaurant’s building on Smallman Street. “There are many things that affect business ... And restaurants have a cycle. They’ve hung in there. It’s a great institution, but now there are so many other options," Perelman said. The restaurant is owned by Lidia Bastianich, the popular and Emmy-winning public television host. It opened in 2001 following the opening of Lidia’s Kansas City, which was her first restaurant outside of Manhattan. No specific date was given and restaurant staff have not yet publicly commented. – TRIBUNE-REVIEW

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3. At least one person died in a motorcycle crash inside the Squirrel Hill Tunnels on Friday. The incident happened around 10:20 a.m. and forced the closure of the inbound and outbound lanes of the tunnel. The Parkway East outbound remained closed for nearly three hours. The outbound lanes opened around 2 p.m. No other information was immediately released. – WPXI

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4. Just in time for tonight's pre-season Steelers game, KDKA-TV is back on the air for DirecTV customers. CBS Corp. and AT&T reached an agreement Thursday that ended the three-week blackout DirecTV customers faced. The two companies sparred over "unprecedented increases" fees – CBS apparently wanted to raise the per subscriber fee from $2 to $3. Along with broadcast programming like "The Young and the Restless," viewers also lost CBS Sports Network and the Smithsonian Channel. – TRIBUNE-REVIEW

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5. Speaking of the Steelers... it's time to pull out those Terrible Towels because the Steelers take on Tampa Bay in a pre-season game at Heinz Field at 7:30 tonight. The game will be broadcast locally on KDKA-TV, 102.5 WDVE and 970-AM WBGG. Here are some pre-game reads I suggest to get you back into the spirit of football (and to ease the pain of the Pirates season):

  • It’s Chris Boswell versus the world, Alex Kozora writes for Steelers Depot.
  • For SteelersNation.com, Matt Papiernik offers a look at what to watch for tonight, including the battle to be Big Ben's backup.
  • Former Steelers receiver Antonio Brown apparently got frostbite during a cryotherapy session and local cryotherapy experts are shocked, Paul Guggeinheimer writes in the Trib.
  • Redditor kpro16 says, "When your boyfriend is a Browns fan you drink wine and silently root against them." User CacaphonyMollusk offered a great reply: "Don't be silent about it. Shame him; incorporate the Lonbardi trophy in your everyday interactions. Get up in the middle of the night and watch Super Bowl highlights with the volume cranked. If he asks what you're doing, tell him, 'you wouldn't understand!'" Agreed.
  • Don't forget: You can get your Kennywood Park Potato Patch kick at Heinz Field now.
  • And, finally, from JuJu Smith Schuster: "We back, baby!"
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6. Kraft Heinz reported earnings for the first half of 2019 and revealed operating income fell 54.6 percent and revenue fell 4.8 percent over last year. The company lost over a quarter of its market cap since reporting. New CEO Miguel Patricio said the decline "is nothing we should find acceptable moving forward." The company has not figured out how to pivot from processed foods that built its empire to more organic and natural choices aligned with consumer preferences today. - CNN

This originally appeared in our Inside Retail newsletter.

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7. Pittsburgh Transgender will host a community picnic Aug. 10 to "celebrate the lives of those lost from our community in the world due to hate and misunderstanding." The event will be held from noon to 7 p.m. and the group will supply burgers, hot dogs, buns, ice and condiments. They also will serve veggie burgers and veggie chilly. Guests are encouraged to bring something to share that does not involve electric. The event, which will be held at the Wyoming Grove on Ridge Road in North Park, is free and open to everyone. – PITTSBURGH TRANSGENDER

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Bobby Cherry is a senior editor at Inside.com. Follow his love of all things Pittsburgh and more on Twitter and Instagram.

Editing team: Inside Managing Editor and Pittsburgh-based freelance journalist Kim Lyons and David Stegon, senior editor at Inside, whose reporting experience includes cryptocurrency and technology.

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