Jon Dawson / flickr.com

Uniontown Tornado Ranked EF-1, Winds Up To 105 MPH

Weather officials say the tornado that touched down in western Pennsylvania on Thursday was an EF-1 packing wind gusts up to 105 mph.

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Politics & Government

New Maps Could Improve Democrats' Chances In Pennsylvania

Feb 16, 2018
Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

 *Updated

 

 

Democrats' chances at picking up congressional seats in Pennsylvania likely would improve under new models of district boundaries drawn to replace the Republican-drawn boundaries thrown out in a high-stakes gerrymandering court case, independent analysts said Friday.

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

In the aftermath of this week’s high school shooting in Florida, Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) is calling for improved federal background checks for firearms sales.

In a Facebook post Thursday, Toomey said he and his staff will “continue to reach out to senators on both sides of the aisle to see where progress can be made” on the issue.

Keith Srakocic / AP


In the special election to fill the vacant seat in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District south of Pittsburgh, 33-year-old Democratic candidate Conor Lamb (Mt. Lebanon) has presented himself as part of a new generation of leaders, and he says voters are excited for the change he represents.

Science, Health & Tech

Keith Srakocic / AP

It's been nearly two years since Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana, and this week, a handful of dispensaries began selling it.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

At about 1:45 p.m. on Thursday, the door at the Solevo Wellness medical marijuana dispensary in Squirrel Hill opened, allowing in a line of patients that wrapped around the building.

Identity & Justice

7 Guards Charged With Sex Abuse At Pennsylvania Jail

Feb 15, 2018
Marc Levy / AP

Seven prison guards have been charged with sexually abusing inmates in what the Pennsylvania attorney general said Thursday was an effort to stop a "persistent culture of abuse" that has plagued the scandal-ridden lockup for more than a decade.

Current and former guards at Lackawanna County Prison in Scranton abused their positions of power to coerce sex from female inmates, Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. The abuse was widely known, he said, broadly hinting at a cover-up.

Education

Amy Sisk / 90.5 WESA

The 2,400 teachers who work for Pittsburgh Public Schools are one step closer to a strike, but will hold off doing so as the union representing them continues to negotiate with the district. 

Good Question!

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Why Does WESA Say 'Broadcasting From Pittsburgh's Historic South Side'?

"Broadcasting from Pittsburgh’s historic South Side, this is 90.5 WESA, Pittsburgh’s NPR news station."

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Development & Transportation

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

While the upswing in temperatures might have some Pittsburghers excited to ditch their coats, it’s helped create a nightmarish pothole season for city roads.

Google Maps

Residents of Homewood and North Point Breeze have requested the Urban Redevelopment Authority postpone its search for development proposals for a former industrial site between the two neighborhoods.

Arts, Sports, & Culture

Mister Rogers Still Lives In Your Neighborhood

2 hours ago

It wasn't anything spectacular at the time. When the show first aired on Feb. 19, 1968, it seemed to be a typical children's educational program. On a black-and-white screen, a tall, dark-haired man nearing 40 years of age wandered into a staged living room, softly singing a song as he changed from a blazer into a much softer, cozy cardigan.

That man, Fred Rogers of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, quickly rose into recognition and a half-century later is still an American icon.

David Bachman Photography

Pittsburgh Opera’s new world-premiere performance, Douglas J. Cuomo’s Ashes & Snow, might be an edgy, contemporary work, but it was inspired by a classic piece of music: Franz Schubert’s Winterreise, meaning "winter journey."

Schubert wrote this song cycle in the 1820s, as a musical setting for a series of 24 poems by German poet Wilhelm Muller. The poems tell the story of a jilted lover wandering a rural landscape in winter.

“I am finished with all my dreams. Why should I linger among the sleepers?” runs one line of the English translation.

Environment & Energy

DEP Extends Comment Period For Shell's Ethane Pipeline

Feb 16, 2018
Reid Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection will extend the public comment period for Shell’s 97-mile Falcon pipeline, which will carry ethane to the company’s $6 billion petrochemical plant in Western Pennsylvania.

The DEP will also hold public hearings in each of the three counties the pipeline route traverses: Washington, Allegheny, and Beaver counties. Instead of the comment period closing on Feb. 20, it will be extended to April 17, the DEP said in a news release.

Economy & Business

90.5 WESA

Last month, the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records ordered the City of Pittsburgh to release its bid to become Amazon's second headquarters.

Mayor Bill Peduto said at the time he'd fight the ruling, even if it meant going to court. 

Local Headlines

Jon Dawson / flickr.com

Weather officials say the tornado that touched down in western Pennsylvania on Thursday was an EF-1 packing wind gusts up to 105 mph.

Food & Drink

Keith Srakocic / AP Photo

Seven Pittsburgh chefs and establishments have been named semifinalists for this year's national James Beard Foundation awards.

Whitfield, the restaurant inside the Ace Hotel in East Liberty, houses semifinalists in two categories: Casey Renee for Outstanding Pastry Chef, and Executive Chef Bethany Zozula for Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic region.

National & International

President Trump spent the weekend at his his Mar-a-Lago resort tweeting about the Russia investigation after a federal grand jury on Friday indicted 13 Russians and three Russian companies in connection with what prosecutors describe as a covert Russian campaign to help Trump win the presidency.

Stories from National Partners

In early November, Strava — a technology company that can track athletic activity for its users through its website and app — released an article on Medium that proudly announced its first major global “heat map” that the company had released since 2015.

The article contains a list of astounding numbers including a billion activities, three trillion latitude/longitude points, 13 trillion rasterized pixels, 10 terabytes of raw input data and 17 billion miles covered.

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