News

John Marino / flickr

OneJet has named Pittsburgh a "focus city" and plans to add daily flights to Hartford, Connecticut and four other cities.

The carrier uses seven-passenger Hawker 400 jets to cater to business travelers. It launched service from Pittsburgh International Airport in May, with nonstop flights to Indianapolis and Milwaukee.

At a news conference Thursday, the company pledged to add nonstop flights to four still-to-be decided destinations later this year, and to hire about 40 pilots, mechanics and other workers in Pittsburgh.

Local Runners To Compete For Spot On Olympic Marathon Team

3 hours ago
Laura Harnish

Hundreds of long distance runners will converge in Los Angeles for the Olympic Marathon Trials Saturday, each hoping to qualify to represent the United States in the games this summer in Brazil. Three of those who have met the requirements are Pittsburgh-area residents. Essential Pittsburgh’s Paul Guggenheimer sat down with two them, Jed Christiansen and Laura Harnish, to learn what it takes to qualify for the Olympics.

Ideas Worth Stealing: Replace All Lead Pipes

6 hours ago
Paul Sancya / AP

Ideas Worth Stealing: Every week, Keystone Crossroads looks to cities across the world for lessons in urbanism and municipal governance that could benefit Pennsylvania. No city does it all right, and we hope these examples from metropolises near and far inspire and encourage cities here to think outside the box. 

Matt Rourke / AP

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane gets to keep her job -- for now. 

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Fish fry season has begun, so here's where to get your fish sandwiches, dinners and other Friday staples. 

There are several guides online if you're looking for a fish fry near you or looking to try a new one. 

KDKA has its annual fish fry guide posted. You can also find a county-by-county list on WPXI's website

Jacob Caddy / flickr

Should money collected from parking meters after 6 p.m. in some of the city's entertainment areas be reinvested in those areas? Should citizens even be required to pay for parking at night. Well, it's being considered by the Pittsburgh City Council. Joining us to address this issue is council president Bruce Kraus.

Matt Hintsa / flickr

 

The coal industry is breathing easier after a surprise decision from the U.S. Supreme Court. On Tuesday, the court voted to halt implementation of President Obama’s plan to address climate change until legal challenges to the regulations are resolved.

The Clean Power Plan would require states to lower carbon dioxide emissions from electricity production. Coal-producing West Virginia is one of 29 states and state agencies challenging Obama’s plan.

More Foster Families Wanted In Allegheny County

Feb 10, 2016
Elliot Brown / flickr

With recent changes to the foster care system both nationally and locally, noticeable trends have developed, including a decrease in the amount of children in need of foster care and a new process for placement.  Katie Stoehr, senior child welfare administrator for the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, visited Essential Pittsburgh to talk about the trends and the experience of fostering children.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The penguins at the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium took a field trip from their regular enclosure to the outdoor cheetah yard on Wednesday.

With the cheetahs indoors for the winter, a fresh coating of snow and temperatures in the 20s, it was the perfect condition for a snowy, penguin play day.

The six penguins were carried in by zoo staff in plastic tubs and released into the yard. Some walked around and poked their faces in spectators' cameras; others plopped on their bellies and frolicked in the snow.

Urban Redevelopment Authority

Pittsburgh changed street names in East Liberty almost two years ago to distance itself from the 1960s urban renewal project "Penn Circle," which displaced thousands of residents in favor of a pedestrian mall.  

Mayor Peduto Addresses The 'Two Pittsburghs'

Feb 10, 2016
Keith Srakocic / AP Images

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto makes his monthly visit to the program. In a recent University of Pittsburgh address, Mr.Peduto lamented the existence of "two Pittsburghs." We'll discuss his plans to address short and long-term inequities as well as his efforts to provide sufficient housing for low-income residents.           

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

A soldier in the field with little or no technical training could fix a piece of high-tech weaponry, seniors might use a complex health monitoring device and a newlywed couple can be coached through complicated IKEA instructions, all without the help of another human. 

Researchers at the Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science are using wearable technologies like Google Glass to place an "angel" on a user's shoulder to do those types of tasks.

Keith Srakocic / AP/ File Photo

 

The Chronicle of Philanthropy is describing the late publisher of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Dick Scaife, as 2015's "most generous American."

The publication on Tuesday put the Mellon banking and oil heir atop its annual ranking of the 50 Americans who donated the most to charity.

In his will, Scaife left $759 million to two foundations and two art museums.

He died on July 4, 2014, but his will was not executed until last year.

David Goldman / AP Images

New Hampshire isn't the only state where there is lots of enthusiasm for Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Even though the Pennsylvania primary is over two months away, young voters in the Keystone state are excited about the senator from Vermont including 26-year-old Adam Wells of Aspinwall who runs the twitter account @PittsBern. We'll talk with Post-Gazette Washington Bureau Chief Tracie Mauriello, who is covering the New Hampshire primary, about the chances that Sanders will be able to ride his momentum to victory in PA.   

Matt Rourke / AP Images

Does Pennsylvania have too many state legislators? That’s what Brian O’Neill, columnist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, believes. He has been advocating shrinking the legislature since 1994. Essential Pittsburgh’s Paul Guggenheimer sat down with O’Neill to discuss the idea and how to make it a reality.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

  Gov. Tom Wolf Tuesday laid out a new spending plan for lawmakers — even as they keep fighting over billions in the current budget.

Governor Tom Wolf / flickr

Pennsylvania unions bucked a national trend of stagnant growth this year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In A Noisy World, Our Brains Still Need The Sounds Of Nature

Feb 9, 2016
Kerry Klein / Allegheny Front

Kurt Fristrup is standing in the middle of a prairie and he’s the loudest thing for miles. He and I are huddled near an empty cattle pen in Pawnee National Grassland in northern Colorado. Before he pulled out his tools, the silence here was palpable. The breeze carried no sound except the rustle of a million stalks of yellow grass. A family of pronghorn, kind of like furry antelope, padded over to us to investigate.

Is Pennsylvania's Primary Relevant?

Feb 9, 2016
John Minchillo / AP Images

As New Hampshire holds its' first in the nation presidential primary, voters in Pennsylvania are waiting until late April to cast their ballots for their preferred Republican and Democratic presidential candidates. We'll talk with Terry Madonna, Director of the Franklin & Marshall College Poll, about the chances that the Pennsylvania Primary will still be relevant.

Baldwin High School Special Olympics Club / Twitter

More than 300 athletes converged on Seven Springs and Johnstown this past weekend, to compete in the 2016 Special Olympics Pennsylvania Winter Games.

Competitions, which began Sunday, run through closing ceremonies and awards on Tuesday. Events include alpine and cross-country skiing, figure and speed skating and snowshoeing at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort, in addition to the Cambria County War Memorial Arena and Planet Ice in Johnstown.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Acrobatic lion dance teams and traditional Chinese melodies entertained attendees at this past Saturday’s celebration of the beginning of the Chinese New Year in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood. In the 12-year Chinese zodiac rotation, 2016 is the Year of the Red Fire Monkey. Essential Pittsburgh assistant producer Katie Blackley spoke with Squirrel Hill Urban Coalition executive director Marian Lien about what to expect during the two weeks of festivities.

UPMC / Inside UPMC

A fourth patient infected during the UPMC mold outbreak has died. The infection was contracted while the patient was being treated at UPMC’s transplant program. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporter Ben Schmitt, joins us to discuss this latest development.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

 

Pennsylvania lawmakers are returning to the Capitol with growing questions over the state government's increasingly confusing budget situation.

Luke H. Gordon / Flickr

Some 12,000 daily riders of the Port Authority’s light rail Red Line are going to have to find an alternative mode of transportation for six months starting March 27. 

The transit agency will replace a nearly mile-long stretch of deteriorating tracks and street pavement in Beechview.

This section on Broadway Avenue, “has reached the end of its useful life,” according to Authority spokesman Jim Ritchie. And it has required “22 costly repairs” since 2008 to keep it open.

The Red Line provides service from the South Hills to Downtown and the North Shore. 

www.governor.pa.gov

Pennsylvania recently became the first state to launch a federal campaign to stop sexual assault on college campuses.

The national initiative was announced in 2014 by President Barack Obama with the goal of building a movement to address, respond to and ultimately prevent sexual violence. A local "On Us PA" launched in late January.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

No women represent Allegheny County in the Pennsylvania state legislature, and only 18 percent of the state seats are filled by women at all. The situation is more than a diversity problem, argued Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner. She called it a crisis. As a former member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, she’s advocating for more women to run for office, to improve the political process and better reflect the actual demographics of the Commonwealth.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh officials met with the owners of an East Liberty apartment complex Friday to determine where the remaining tenants can go before their Feb. 28 eviction deadline.

LG Realty sent 90-day eviction notices to tenants of Penn Plaza in July. That deadline has since been extended to March 2017 for one of the apartment complex's two buildings and the end of the month for the other.

Mike Richards / 90.5 WESA

Urban poverty is a serious issue for any city, but a new report shows that Pittsburgh’s suburban neighborhoods may be even more concerning.  

A study done by Jefferson Regional Foundation last June found national suburban poverty rates were increasing nearly five times faster than urban poverty rates. In Pittsburgh's South Hills, 20 percent of families make less than $35,000 a year, and the number of children eligible to receive free or reduced lunch has increased every year since 2010.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

After quadrupling visitation during his previous position as head of a New Zealand museum, Eric Dorfman hopes he can use his techniques and experience to improve profits as new director of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. Dorfman comes to the Steel City after five years with the Whanganui Regional Museum and Ward Observatory. He shared his vision for the museum’s future with Essential Pittsburgh’s Paul Guggenheimer.

James St. John / Flickr

A group that supports the legalization of marijuana for medical use is responding to the Pennsylvania Medical Society’s stance against it.

Right now, cannabis is what’s called a Schedule 1 substance by the FDA, which means it can’t be used medically. Medical society physicians have said they won't endorse legalization until cannabis is classified as a schedule 2 drug, and they can research its effects.

Pages