News

Despite 'Urban Renaissance' Suburbs Continue To Dominate In U.S.

6 hours ago
Stockton Williams / ULI

The traditional narrative goes like this: After World War II, upper and middle class white families fled the inner cities for the suburbs. They were chasing the "American Dream" of white picket fences, two car garages and shopping centers you could drive to. The children of those Baby Boomers grew up, fought back and now, are moving back to the cities. According to a new report from the Urban Land Institute's Terwilliger Center for Housing, the first part of that story is more true than the...

PPG Industries

Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries will cut its workforce by about 1,700 jobs, or about 3.6 percent of its 47,000 workers worldwide, company officials said Friday. Spokesman Mark Silvey said the cuts will be spread across all geographic regions so there "is expected to be minimal overall impact to any specific region." PPG is a Fortune 500 company founded in Pittsburgh in 1883 by John Pitcairn Jr. and John Baptiste Ford. Once known for plate glass production, they're now a global supplier of...

Jill Stein 2016

The Confluence – where the news comes together is 90.5 WESA’s weekly news program. Each week reporters, editors and bloggers join veteran journalist, and host, Kevin Gavin. They’ll go behind the headlines taking an in-depth look at the stories important to the Pittsburgh region. This week we’ll address the status of the recount request by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. StateImpact PA reporters join us for a look at gas drilling in the commonwealth. We’ll open a reporter’s notebook to get the story behind the story of the Pittsburgh Legionnaires’ outbreak. We’ll also mark the 75 th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Urban Redevelopment Authority is paying for what will be the third round of environmental testing of the former Civic Arena site.

Eneko Muino / Flickr

We may not be ready for the snow yet, but WESA’s Sarah Kovash, Josh Raulerson of the PA Environmental Council and Rachel Carlson of Yelp Pittsburgh have you covered for a snow-inspired weekend. You can kick off the weekend at the Carnegie Science Center’s 21+ Night holiday party on Friday . In addition to music, drinks and the usual, you can even make fake snow (or is it artificial snow? We digress …) You can also learn about Christmas light circuits – pesky burned out bulbs no more! And...

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

When Larry Nugent retired from his job as a sheet metal worker, he thought he would spend his days boating, fishing and hunting. In reality, all he did was set down his paying job for a volunteer effort that keeps him busy each week. In 1991, his church, Bethlehem Lutheran in Shaler, began picking up unwanted furniture and delivering it to those in need. “I joined in, probably around 2001, because I had a pickup truck,” Nugent said. “It has just grown.” The ministry, called New Start,...

Philadelphia To Ban Employers From Asking Salary History

Dec 8, 2016
Matt Rourke / AP

Philadelphia will soon ban employers from asking job applicants for their salary history. Supporters have argued such questions perpetuate pay discrimination against women and minorities. Councilman Bill Greenlee, a Democrat who sponsored the legislation, told The Philadelphia Inquirer "it's about fairness." He said employers should base the salary offer on what the job is worth and what experience the applicant brings. A spokesman for Mayor Jim Kenney said he will sign it into law....

Pennsylvania Fights Green Party Recount Bid In Federal Court

Dec 8, 2016
Paul Sancya / AP

Pennsylvania election officials want a federal judge to throw out a Green Party-backed lawsuit that seeks a recount of paper ballots cast in Pennsylvania's Nov. 8 presidential election and an inspection to make sure election software wasn't hacked. Thursday's court filing says Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein lacks the necessary standing to challenge the election result because any change won't make her the winner. The state's lawyers also call it "rank speculation" to suggest...

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Dressed in all black, Tamara Tunie stands on the stage of the City Theatre, which has been transformed into a supper club, complete with tables and candlelit lamps. She’s singing “Papa Loves Mambo.” Most people know Tunie as Dr. Melinda Warner from “Law & Order: SVU,” but she wasn’t always solving TV crimes. “A lot of people don’t know I have a degree in musical theater from Carnegie Mellon,” she says. Tunie’s back in town for her show, “Tamara Tunie: Legends from the ‘Burgh,”...

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

A Pittsburgh man who was arrested in May for being in the United States illegally declined to take a plea deal negotiated in federal court Thursday as expected. Lawyers for Martin Esquivel-Hernandez said they'd hoped their client’s felony re-entry charges would be reduced to misdemeanors, which would have decreased the possibility of his deportation.

What To Expect From PennFuture In The Trump Era

Dec 8, 2016
Lou Blouin / Allegheny Front

For the past few weeks, we’ve been tracking how the environmental movement is responding to Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the U.S. presidential election. This week, we talked with Larry Schweiger, head of PennFuture , one of Pennsylvania’s leading environmental advocacy organizations. And he says he’s approaching the incoming Trump administration with a mix of apprehension and optimism. In particular, action on climate change and a push for more renewable energy top PennFuture’s agenda,...

Gerry Broome / AP

As the Green Party pushes for election recounts in key states, leaders of Pennsylvania's Republican Party have expressed concerns the delays could ultimately hold up President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration. But, those fears now appear to be eased — a lawyer for the state GOP has said he's confident Pennsylvania's results will be validated on time. States are federally required to settle controversies surrounding the appointment of their electors on Dec. 13. Otherwise, their electoral...

Brad Larrison / for NewsWorks

A Philadelphia judge has refused the request of Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein to do a digital audit of a small fraction of the city's voting machines. It's the latest setback for Stein's recount effort in Pennsylvania. Stein's gotten nowhere trying to get a statewide recount of the presidential vote aside from a few instances where individual voters petitioned for recounts in their home precincts. That happened for about 4 percent of Philadelphia's polling places, Elections...

Jarus Health Technologies

Public health organizations are increasingly considering how they can use technology to battle the opioid epidemic that has claimed hundreds of lives in southwestern Pennsylvania in recent years. Health care experts, students, investors and entrepreneurs will gather Thursday evening to discuss the opioid epidemic and develop collective solutions utilizing technology. “The resources we have are only going to stretch so far,” said Jan Pringle, director of the Program Evaluation and Resource...

Virginia Alvino Young / 90.5 WESA

Albert and Jen Wolf love the sound of their daughters practicing their instruments at home, but that wasn’t always the case. “When they first begin, it’s a lot of very unusual sounds and you’re not sure what’s coming out of that instrument,” Jen Wolf said.

Eugene Tanner / AP

Nathan Rosswog showed his eighth grade students a photo of his grandfather, a World War II veteran. The Urban Pathways Charter School teacher told them his grandfather wasn’t at Pearl Harbor, but shared stories of friends he knew who were at the naval base during the attack.

ShotSpotter

Pittsburgh City Council has given tentative approval to a contract that would extend the city’s gunfire detection program for a fifth year.

University of Pittsburgh/UPMC

Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh said they have discovered a promising possible antidote for one of the most common causes of poisoning death in the United States: carbon monoxide. “If you have a snake bite, there’s an antidote for the venom. If you have cyanide poisoning, we have antidotes,” said Mark Gladwin, chair of medicine at the Pitt School of Medicine and director of the Pittsburgh Heart, Lung, Blood and Vascular Medicine Institute. “But carbon monoxide poisoning … there’s...

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Though Pennsylvania’s revenues are lagging to meet the $31.5 billion budget, Gov. Tom Wolf said seven months is plenty of time to make up the difference. The state Department of Revenue has taken in $262 million less than anticipated since July, a deficit of about 2.4 percent. “If that (negative five-month trend) continues and the big months are also down 2 percent, that’s a real problem,” Wolf said. All three major revenue streams for the state are coming up short. So far this fiscal year,...

Ryan Loew / for Keystone Crossroads

Deckhands Jeremy Groves and Dustin Frazee descend from the towboat D.L. Johnson to inspect their cargo: a single barge of coal. They circle the barge, walking along its edges — the gunnels — to make sure everything looks okay.

Ephrata Police Department / Facebook

A Pennsylvania police department says a black cat was lucky for one of its officers tracking down a fugitive. The Ephrata Police Department posted on its Facebook page that officers were searching for Jonathan Michael Steffy last month over an outstanding bench warrant. They found the 23-year-old in a backyard but he fled. As they searched the area, one officer noticed a black cat in a nearby yard staring intently at a shed. The officer checked that shed, but it was empty. The officer again...

Gerry Broome / AP

President-elect Donald Trump has toured the country, celebrating his victory. NPR transcribed and fact-checked his speech in North Carolina Tuesday. Loading...

PA Game Commission

A mother bear and three cubs have been found dead in a Pennsylvania church parking lot. The Pennsylvania Game Commission calls the deaths of the sow and the cubs "highly suspicious" and is seeking information. Wildlife conservation officers responded Tuesday to a report of dead bears in the parking lot of St. Monica's Church in West Wyoming. They discovered a nearly 300-pound female bear and the cubs. The bears showed no signs of bullet wounds or external trauma. The game commission says it...

DEP Says Greene County Stream Poses 'No Radiation Concern'

Dec 7, 2016
Reid Frazier / Allegheny Front

Testing at a Greene County stream once suspected of contamination shows it has “no radiation concern,” the Department of Environmental Protection announced Thursday.

Virginia State Parks / Flickr

Pennsylvania counties and municipalities mishandled millions of dollars meant to offset the negative effects of the Marcellus Shale gas boom, according to a report published Tuesday by the state Auditor General. In one notable example, auditors say North Strabane Township, Washington County, spent $32,602 on recreational events and parties– including $7,500 on fireworks, $1,200 for a performance by former American Idol contestant Adam Brock, and $4,250 on inflatable party rentals. “I’m pro...

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Pennsylvania's governor is cleaning up dozens of what he calls outdated and unneeded executive orders that he inherited from seven previous governors. Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf on Tuesday announced he was rescinding 46 of them, some that were established about three decades ago. Six were signed in the past decade. Wolf says many of them involve entities that no longer exist. The list includes a water task force that never reconvened, a public safety communications council that was never set up...

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Could a virus offer a cure to cancer? That’s the question researchers at Western Oncolytics, based in Harmar , are trying to answer. In fact, they’re hoping to start clinical trials in 2017. Chief science officer Stephen Thorne said the idea that a virus could help kill cancer has been around for a century, but only since the 1990s have scientists been able to modify DNA to create a virus specifically designed to fight cancer. The first wave of research focused on creating a virus that could...

Google Maps

Police are investigating allegedly Satanic graffiti spray-painted onto a central Pennsylvania church. The vandalism included the digits "666" and upside-down crosses sprayed on the cupola above the roof of the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Lancaster County's Manheim Township, about 40 miles southeast of Harrisburg. The graffiti was discovered Sunday afternoon. Pastor Michael Rogers said the church has never experienced anything like this. It appeared to be the work of "somebody stupid...

Federal Bureau of Prisons

Federal prosecutors say an inmate's killing of a guard at a federal prison in Pennsylvania was a calculated slaying that saw the suspect pause to chew a piece of gum he took from the dying man's pocket. Federal prosecutors detailed the attack in court documents filed Monday, arguing that a jury should see surveillance video showing the 9-minute attack, and 22-minute aftermath in which guard Eric Williams lay dying before other guards arrived. Jessie Con-ui is charged in the February 2013...

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Carnegie Mellon University will receive $14 million in federal funding to develop innovations in smart transportation, research and education, the school announced Tuesday. The U.S. Department of Transportation dollars will be rolled out over five years to establish Mobility21, which will focus on efficiently improving the mobility of people and goods in the 21st century. That work could include smart city technologies, connected and autonomous cars, improved access to disadvantaged...

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