News

Hao Sun / University of Pittsburgh

A University of Pittsburgh researcher's work detecting the "health" of buildings has landed him a spot on Forbes' 30 Under 30 List in science.

Hao Sun, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Pitt, has developed a method that could help detect structural problems in buildings after a damaging event such as an earthquake or a hurricane.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

A new measure from state Rep. Dom Costa of Pittsburgh would add extra state control over the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority.

The struggling PWSA has dealt with many financial challenges over the years, and Costa says there should be an oversight committee in place to approve budgets. He's proposing a system similar to Act 47, which has overseen the city's finances for 14 years.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

Teachers in Pennsylvania's capital city are asking for support after a series of violent altercations with students has led to multiple resignations.

The Harrisburg Education Association says at least 45 teachers have resigned since July and October. Association President Jody Barksdale says more have resigned since then.

Speaking at a school board meeting Monday evening, first-grade teacher Amanda Sheaffer says she has been hit and kicked by her students.

Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

In the late 1990s, Kristee Cammack was taking classes at Slippery Rock University. For one course, she had to write a paper on what she’d like to change in society. She decided to visit a homeless shelter.

Matt Rourke / AP

After a year of fights over how to pay for Pennsylvania’s claims system for jobless workers, lawmakers say they’re getting close to a bipartisan solution.

A standoff last year over financial mismanagement in the unemployment compensation program resulted in nearly 500 layoffs.

Some workers have since been brought back, but not all.

A new plan passed through the House Labor and Industry Committee on Monday would give the UC program $115.2 million, which would be gradually phased out over four years.

Matt Rourke / AP

The state House has passed a bill to reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which covers kids from families who make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but can’t afford other insurance.

The routine bill became controversial this year, because the Senate included language that would have prohibited CHIP from covering transgender kids’ transition surgeries.

The House axed that provision; now the bill returns to the Senate, where lawmakers will have to decide whether to reauthorize CHIP without banning coverage of gender confirmation surgeries.

Marie Cusick / StateImpact Pennslvania

House lawmakers have begun moving a natural severance tax through their chamber.

It’s major priority for Democrats, who have been trying unsuccessfully to pass one for a decade.

But it’s slow going—the bill is saddled with well over 300 amendments.

Along with Democrats, the tax is championed by a coalition of moderate, largely southeastern Republicans.

GOP Representative Kate Harper, of Montgomery County, is one of the most vocal advocates.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

The 29-year-old accused of killing a New Kensington police officer last Friday has been charged with first degree murder of a law enforcement officer.

Sheila May-Stein / Twitter

Brandon Sears, 15, started playing soccer for Pittsburgh’s Obama Academy this fall. It didn’t take long for an opposing player to call him the n-word.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Funeral visitation began Monday for New Kensington Police Officer Brian Shaw, who was shot and killed Friday night during a traffic stop.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh's Zone 2 police officers have a new way station in the Cultural District where eight officers will be available during the day to assist residents, businesses and visitors.

Zone 2 Commander Cristyn Zett said she hopes the substation at Liberty Avenue and Market Street will help officers and the Downtown community develop a closer relationship. The main Zone 2 office is on Centre Avenue in the Hill District; Zett's officers rove a wide swath along the Allegheny River from Downtown to Upper Lawrenceville.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh-area robotics and 3-D printing companies displayed their designs as part of a preview of the Hazelwood Green’s Mill 19 facility.

The former steel mill will soon be the home to the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute, a public-private partnership between Carnegie Mellon University, community stakeholders and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Email Indicates Pennsylvania Election Chief Forced Out

Nov 20, 2017
Marc Levy / AP

Pennsylvania's former elections chief indicated in an email sent last month to Gov. Tom Wolf that he was forced out of his cabinet-level job, although he resigned.

The Associated Press on Monday obtained an Oct. 11 email from ex-Secretary of State Pedro Cortes in which he told Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf that he could not understand why he was being pushed out.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto has introduced legislation to City Council that would require companies contracting with the city to pay their full time employees at least $15 an hour.

Tyler Polk / 90.5 WESA

When Averill “Ace” Pippens received a call about becoming a head coach and general manager of a semi-professional basketball team, he had no hesitation.

“It was a no-brainer,” said Pippens.

Pippens, a coach of local basketball teams for 14 years, said the call came from a former player, about a new team called the Steel City Yellow Jackets.

Wolf Starting To Look Like A 'Two-Term Tom' As 2018 Approaches

Nov 20, 2017
Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

He's starting to look like two-term Tom.

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf likely has wrapped up his biggest first-term fights with the Legislature's huge Republican majorities and his record is largely set a year before voters decide whether to give him a second term. He now heads into the 2018 election year with political winds at his back.

Would This Bleeding Veggie Burger Get You To Skip The Meat?

Nov 20, 2017
Kara Holsopple / Allegheny Front

Few things have as big an impact on our environment as the food we eat. Agriculture accounts for one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions. And beef production, in particular, uses copious amounts of water, when compared with other foods. So, some environmentally conscious meat lovers have been working in the lab, to create a vegan burger that bleeds like beef, without all the downsides.

They’re serving these so-called Impossible Burgers at select restaurants around the country, so we went to check it out at Pittsburgh’s high end burger place, Burgatory, on the Waterfront.  

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The discussion around race in America has evolved over the past 20 years. That’s when the book Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race was originally published. Now, author and researcher Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum is out with an updated edition. 

An-Li Herring / WESA

Democrats have chosen former federal prosecutor Conor Lamb (D-Mt. Lebanon) to run in the March 13 special election to replace former U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District.

Pennsylvania State Police

UPDATED: 10:43 a.m. Monday, Nov. 20, 2017

Authorities are seeking a suspect in the fatal shooting of a rookie police officer.

As women go through menopause they may express greater interest in trying new ways of being intimate with their partners as a way to adapt to changes in sexual function.

That's according to a new UPMC study, published online this month in the journal Menopause, which looked at 39 women ages 45 to 60, most of whom were heterosexual. During hour-long interviews with researchers, the women answered questions including, "How do you define satisfying sex?" or "What does 'sex' mean to you?"

Allegheny County Police Department

UPDATED: 5:23 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017

An intense search continued Saturday for a suspect in the fatal shooting of a young New Kensington police officer.

Cheyney University / Facebook

The nation's oldest historically black college will remain accredited after a state commission decided to work with the school, citing "significant progress" after a two-year probationary period.

Evan Vucci / AP

President Donald Trump is congratulating college sports champions at the White House.

Lars Ploughmann / flickr

 A Pennsylvania couple is suing the police and an insurance company because they say they were handcuffed for hours in a patrol car after their hibiscus plants were confused for marijuana.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority is setting aside $1.8 million to assist low-income customers by replacing the private portions of their lead service lines.

Allyson Ruggieri / 90.5 WESA

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate dropped in October to a new post-recession low, although the labor force, employment and payrolls all shrank during the month.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh has a relatively concentrated downtown -- the distance between Firstside Park on the southern border and the David Lawrence Convention Center that hugs the Allegheny River is less than 1 mile.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Friday marks the start of Pittsburgh's Christmas season as thousands flock Downtown for Light Up Night, the city's annual Yuletide celebration marked by lights left on in buildings, plus entertainment, shopping and shows.

Chris Ayers / 90.5 WESA

With a chill in the air and the holidays fast approaching, many people make plans to visit downtown Pittsburgh for Light up Night and other holiday festivities.

One of the highlights of the season is the traditional lighting of the official city Christmas tree outside the City County Building on Grant Street, downtown. But selecting the perfect tree is a long process that begins months earlier, during the warm days of summer.

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