Aaron Warnick / PublicSource

PA Schools Aren't Required To Test For Lead Or Radon, So Many Pittsburgh-Area Districts Don't

What was supposed to be a routine visit to the pediatrician with little Oren resulted in a finding that sent Katy Rank Lev and her husband, Corey, into a frenzy. Their 1-year-old had lead in his blood.
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Politics & Government

Jose Luis Magana / AP Photo

 

Time is running out for Pennsylvania coal miners. By Jan. 1, 13,000 coal miners could lose their pensions and thousands their health care. Legislation called the Miners Protection Act would avert the loss of benefits, but the U.S. Senate has yet to schedule the bill for a vote.

Identity & Justice

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

When someone is incarcerated, they family members – especially children – can be forgotten, but Elizabeth Mansley works hard to remember them. 

Last year, Mansley, a Mt. Aloysius College associate professor of criminology, and her students launched The Storybook Project.

“The idea actually came from my daughter,” Mansley said.

Science, Health, & Tech

Looking At Addiction As A Health Crisis

21 hours ago
Jessica Kourkounis / Keystone Crossroads

For the past 20 years, Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, R-Bucks, has been a vocal advocate for drug and alcohol rehabilitation in Pennsylvania. And he’s been pushing the public and lawmakers to stop looking at addiction as a crime.

“Addiction has to be looked at like a disease and it is, like other diseases, highly treatable, and treatment works,” he said.

Education

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Duquesne Elementary School kindergarten teacher Breanne Dolby thought she was bringing her students to the library for a “surprise guest reader” last Tuesday. Instead, she was awarded $1,500, a customized Steelers jersey and tickets to the New Year’s Day game.

Essential Pittsburgh

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Hill District Tours Aim To Change Impressions Of The Neighborhood

A few decades ago, Terri Baltimore tagged along with a group of architecture students and their professor while they were visiting the Hill District. “And what they said about this neighborhood broke my heart,” she said. “That it was dirty.
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Development & Transportation

Matt Nemeth / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority proposed mixing green and gray infrastructure to reduce the amount of raw sewage flowing into the Ohio River. 

The draft “Green First Plan” calls for millions of dollars in water retention systems that are both above and below ground. The systems would range from cement cisterns that hold water during rainy days to be processed later, to green spaces that can absorb storm water runoff into the ground.  

Environment & Energy

The Effect Of The Ohio River’s Legacy Pollution

Dec 1, 2016
David Kidd / Flickr

Legacy pollution continues to be a big problem in the Ohio River. Things like PCBs and dioxin, which may have been discharged into the river decades ago, can still make the water unsafe for living things—including us. For example, there are advisories limiting how many fish you can eat from the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio Rivers because these toxins build up in fish. This week, we caught up with Judy Petersen, executive director of the Kentucky Waterways Alliance, to tell us more about how legacy pollution—and new pollution—affects our lives.

Local Headlines

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The Confluence – where the news comes together is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program.

National & International

Updated at 8:48 ET with Lawrence Otter's comments

Jill Stein has ended her statewide ballot recount effort in Pennsylvania. Lawrence M. Otter, a lawyer for the former Green Party presidential candidate, withdrew the lawsuit filed with the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania early Saturday evening.

"Petitioners are regular citizens of ordinary means," the filing states. "They cannot afford to post the $1,000,000 bond required by the Court."

Arts, Sports, & Culture

Markus Spiske / Flickr

We’re back from the holiday! WESA’s Sarah Kovash, Rachel Carlson of Yelp Pittsburgh and Josh Raulerson of the PA Environmental Council took a two-week hiatus to stuff their faces, find the best pizza costumes and relax. So now, we’ve got all the local happenings to get you ready for the holidays … or holidaze, as Rachel puts it.

Economy & Business

US Census Bureau / Pittsburgh Today

The most recent data from the U.S Census Bureau show that while poverty in the Pittsburgh region dropped in 2015, it’s still higher than it was before the recession.

In 2015, 12.3 percent of those living in the Pittsburgh region had an income below the poverty level of $24,300 for a family of four. That’s down from the post-recession high in 2013 of 12.8 percent, but higher than it was when the regional benchmarking group Pittsburgh Today started tracking the number in 2005.

Food & Drink

Uniontown McDonald's Franchise Owner & Creator Of The Big Mac Dies

Nov 30, 2016
Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

 

The Pittsburgh-area McDonald's franchisee who created the Big Mac nearly 50 years ago has died. James Delligatti was 98.

McDonald's spokeswoman Kerry Ford confirmed that Delligatti died at home surrounded by his family on Monday night.

Delligatti's franchise was based in Uniontown, about 40 miles south of Pittsburgh, when he invented the chain's signature burger with two all-beef patties, "special sauce," lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.

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