News

GOP Leaders To Seek Halt To Pennsylvania Congressional Map

1 hour ago
Matt Rourke / AP

Republican leaders of the Pennsylvania Legislature said Wednesday they will soon ask the U.S. Supreme Court to halt the imposition of new congressional district maps, two days after they were announced by the state's highest court.

House Speaker Mike Turzai said that later Wednesday he and his Senate counterpart will request an emergency stay of what he called a "completely partisan, ultimate gerrymander."

Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Friday is the deadline for city leaders to either comply with or appeal to the Court of Common Pleas an order from the Pennsylvania Office of Open Records to reveal details of its application to have Amazon establish its second headquarters in Pittsburgh. 

Pennsylvania Church To Bless Couples Toting AR-15 Rifles

3 hours ago
Lisa Marie Pane / AP

A Pennsylvania-based offshoot of the Unification Church is encouraging couples to bring their AR-15 rifles with them to a commitment ceremony in the Pocono Mountains, a half-mile from an elementary school.

World Peace and Unification Sanctuary in Newfoundland said it planned the Feb. 28 ceremony months ago, well before last week's massacre at a Florida high school. Authorities say the alleged gunman used an AR-15 in the attack that killed 17.

Toomey Visits Pennsylvania Factory To Tout GOP Tax Overhaul

3 hours ago
Laura Benshoff / WHYY

New Hudson Facades in Linwood, Pennsylvania, makes the glass and aluminum skins that cover skyscrapers. On Tuesday, it was also the most recent stop in a string of appearances by Republicans to highlight the GOP-championed tax law, which passed in December.

The events are part victory lap — and part pep rally — and they coincide with rising approval ratings for the law.

After a tour of New Hudson Facades’ high-tech manufacturing facility, Pennsylvania U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey credited the tax bill, which he helped author, with strengthening the company.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

A shuttle service between Oakland, Four Mile Run, Greenfield and Hazelwood could be built by the City of Pittsburgh by 2020. The Mon-Oakland Mobility Plan was called a “proof of concept” for how transportation could work in Pittsburgh.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Political groups around Pennsylvania are working to figure out what the state Supreme Court’s new congressional map will mean for their agendas.

Several organizations that have backed efforts to redraw the districts say they are concerned that the new plan may dilute votes from black communities.

When drawing congressional maps, one key standard authors have to meet comes from the Voting Rights Act.

Bill O'Driscoll / 90.5 WESA

There aren’t many museums of cartoon art in the U.S. The handful of examples include Pittsburgh’s ToonSeum, which was launched in a hallway in the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh in 2007, and two years later expanded into a storefront on Liberty Avenue downtown.

Its smartly curated exhibits have explored everything from daily newspaper strips and superhero comics to the work of local comics star Ed Piskor, of Hip Hop Family Tree fame.

Keith Srakocic / AP

The new congressional map issued by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Monday shifts Democrat Conor Lamb — who lives in Mt. Lebanon and is running in the special election to fill the vacant seat in the current 18th District — into a new district and potentially a competitive primary.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

There are few options available to adults with autism spectrum disorder who want to improve their social or communication skills, but a study from the University of Pittsburgh that looks at two types of interventions has produced some promising results.

Keith Srakocic / AP

A survey of greater Pittsburgh's Jewish population done by Brandeis University shows the community is highly educated and made up of nearly 50,000 people, one quarter of which live in Squirrel Hill.

Researchers said the population has grown since their last study in 2002. They said the recent abundance of young couples and children suggest the community's growth is likely to continue.

Richard Drew / AP

Amazon has announced plans to create another 125 technology jobs in Pittsburgh, more than doubling its current tech workforce in the city.

Carnegie Mellon University

A team of students from Carnegie Mellon University was one of eight squads world-wide selected earlier this month by Amazon to compete in its Alexa Prize challenge.

The goal is to develop "socialbot" artificial intelligence software that can hold engaging conversations with people on a wide range of topics, like sports and current events. 

Jeff Roberson / AP, file

Methamphetamines have faded into the background as the opioid epidemic has taken hold of the country with deadly tenacity.

However, in the last couple of years, meth cases have been on the rise in some parts of Southeastern Pennsylvania.

The change is one of degrees, said Patrick Trainor, a supervisory special agent with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency in Philadelphia.

“These drugs have never gone away, but we have noticed an increase in seizures in this region,” he said.

Congressional Map Raises Democrats’ Hopes, Legal Test Ahead

Feb 20, 2018
(Left) PA Supreme Court, (Right) Office of Lt. Gov. Mike Stack

The map of congressional districts imposed by Pennsylvania's high court for the state's 2018 elections will set off a new legal battle, reconfigure perhaps dozens of campaigns and give Democrats a boost in their mission to wrest control of the U.S. House.

The map of Pennsylvania's 18 congressional districts is to be in effect for the May 15 primary and substantially overhauls a Republican-drawn congressional map widely viewed as among the nation's most gerrymandered.

Elaine Thompson / AP Photo

Attorneys General from 11 states, including Pennsylvania, have won a federal court case against the U.S. Department of Energy. 

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

The water main on Penn Avenue in Lawrenceville broke late on a Thursday evening in January. 

Keith Srakocic / AP

Winter is far from over, but a warm front through the Pittsburgh region is just enough to give Yinzers a taste of spring. With the high projected to be in the 70s Tuesday, we've put together a list of (totally silly) ways to take advantage of some unexpectedly warm weather in the heart of February. 

1. Go on a quick kayak trip ... on a major Downtown street.

An-Li Herring / 90.5 WESA

Attorney Conor Lamb (D-Mt. Lebanon) and state Rep. Rick Saccone (R-Elizabeth) largely stuck to their respective messages at Monday's first televised debate in the race to fill the vacant seat in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District south of Pittsburgh.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

An Australian investment firm has acquired The Mall at Robinson, one of the larger retail venues in the Pittsburgh area.

Cleveland-based Forest City Realty Trust said Monday that it had completed the previously announced sale of its interest in the mall to QIC.

Financial terms of the deal weren't disclosed. QIC already had an ownership stake in the mall, which Allegheny County recently reassessed at $89 million.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Republicans say they'll go to federal court this week to try to block new court-ordered boundaries of Pennsylvania's congressional districts from remaining in effect for 2018's elections.

Pennsylvania's New Court-Ordered Congressional Map Could Boost Democrats

Feb 19, 2018
Governor Tom Wolf / Flickr

Pennsylvania's high court issued a new congressional district map for the state's 2018 elections on its self-imposed deadline on Monday, potentially giving Democrats a boost in their quest to capture control of the U.S. House unless Republicans are able to stop it in federal court.

Gene J. Puskar / AP

When Philadelphian Cyndie Carioli was a new mother in the 1970s, she was like most first time parents: nervous. 

NorthWest EMS

It’s about a quarter to midnight on a Sunday at the NorthWest EMS Helen Street station in McKees Rocks. EMT Edd Keisling just clocked out after working a 40-hour shift.

Bill Haberthur / Bethel Park Historical Society

On a Thursday night, volunteers were gathered at the old Bethel Grade School building getting their hands dirty. Some sawed wood to use for new baseboards on the first floor; others, on the second floor, pulled down old ceilings. 

A similar scene has played out three nights a week since 2016, when the Bethel Park Historical Society decided to renovate and re-purpose the building.

Amy Sisk / 90.5 WESA

Negotiators for Pittsburgh's teachers union and school district wrapped up a marathon bargaining session late Friday night without a deal in place, but with no imminent plans for a strike.

Nina Esposito-Visgitis, president of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, said the two sides made progress Friday. They will meet again this week for another negotiating session.

Pittsburgh, And Other Cities, Pitching Diversity In Efforts To Lure Businesses

Feb 19, 2018
Rich Pedroncelli / AP

Some cities and regions are highlighting racial diversity along with positive business climates, competitive tax rates and available land in pitches to lure tech companies and high-paying jobs to town.

Places such as Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Detroit are touting their populations of people of color to chief executives and other corporate officials as part of being open for business.

Pennsylvania Awaits First Look At Court's Congressional Map

Feb 19, 2018
Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Pennsylvania's high court is on the cusp Monday of imposing a new congressional district map to take effect for the state's 2018 elections, all but ensuring that Democratic prospects will improve in several seats and boosting the party's quest to capture control of the U.S. House.

Monday is the state Supreme Court's self-imposed deadline to unveil new district boundaries, replacing the 6-year-old boundaries the court struck down in a gerrymandering lawsuit last month.

diane cordell / Flickr

Preliminary results from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show what everyone had suspected, this year’s flu vaccine isn’t very effective.

Final numbers might change slightly, but the vaccine’s effectiveness rate is only 36 percent.

Margaret Sun / 90.5 WESA

Under President Donald Trump's infrastructure plan, the federal government would supply 20 percent of funding to chosen projects across the country, with states, cities and private investors providing the remaining 80 percent.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburghers have gotten used to the sight of self-driving cars from various companies cruising the streets: there’s Argo AI, Delphi, Aurora, and of course, Uber. But there’s something different about Uber these days.

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