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City Government
12:31 pm
Mon January 26, 2015

Heinz Endowments to Fund Pilot Project Aimed at Increasing Efficiency in City Departments

Since he launched his mayoral campaign in 2013, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto has been promising residents a more efficient and cost-effective style of governance.

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Charity Law
11:42 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Senate Bill Taking Control of Nonprofit Qualifications Comes Under Fire

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto is taking a strong stance against a bill making its way through Harrisburg that he says would “would hurt city taxpayers & hamstring efforts to cooperate with nonprofits.”

The state’s finance committee passed and sent to the Senate floor last week Senate Bill 4 , which would clarify the Purely Public Charity Act of 1997 to make the legislature the sole body to determine what qualifies an organization as a charity.

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Religion & Faith
11:28 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese Nearly Doubles Fundraising Goal

The leader of the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh was hoping to raise $125 million in a first of its kind campaign for the diocese “to strengthen parishes and evangelize.”

The Our Campaign for The Church Alive instead brought in $230 million in pledges with nearly $63 million received to date.  “I continued to emphasize this campaign was really not about the money, it was about continuing the work of the church,” said Bishop David Zubik.  “ It (the amount pledged) shows that our people love their faith and are willing to make sacrifices for it.”

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Donate Now!
8:38 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Enter to Win a $500 Amazon Gift Card

What would you do with an extra $500?

One lucky WESA listener will have the opportunity to answer that question. We’re giving away a $500 Amazon gift card, and you can be automatically entered to win just by donating today.

So donate now for your opportunity to win. This giveaway ends Saturday, Jan. 31  at 1 p.m.  

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Education
3:30 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Pittsburgh Home to Four School Districts with Highest Poverty Rates

The four Pennsylvania school districts with the highest percentage of students living in poverty are in the Pittsburgh region.

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Tax Season
3:30 am
Mon January 26, 2015

United Way Expands Free Tax Prep Program

Free tax preparation services are now available for income-eligible taxpayers in eight southwestern Pennsylvania counties this tax season, thanks to the United Way of Allegheny County’s Money In Your Pocket Coalition.

Households earning up to $53,000 a year can get free, in-person assistance with 2014 tax returns from one of more than 300 IRS-certified volunteers. Taxpayers with $63,000 or less in annual income can take advantage of a free online tax preparation service.

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Allegheny County
3:30 am
Mon January 26, 2015

Zero-Tolerance Policy for County Email Misuse Proposed

The Allegheny County Controller is hoping a little preventative legislative action could stave off a scandal like the one involving lewd emails sent among members of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s office and at least one State Supreme Court Justice. 

The measure being promoted by Controller Chelsa Wagner would create a zero-tolerance policy for any “misuse” of the county email system.

“When you look at the scandals that have really rocked Pennsylvania … I think there is a clear need,” Wagner said.

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Public Safety
3:30 am
Mon January 26, 2015

New Child Abuse Reporting Training Offered by Pitt Online

The list of individuals in Pennsylvania who must report suspected child abuse grew at the close of 2014 thanks to the state’s newly enacted child protection law and the University of Pittsburgh wants to help. 

Along with expanding the universe of those who must report, the law, which went into effect Dec. 31, 2014, also changes the way suspected abuse is reported. In reaction, the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work began offering on-line training that lives up to the new mandates included in Act 31.

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Essential Pittsburgh
10:24 pm
Sun January 25, 2015

Monday Rundown: Local Muslims Challenge the Message of Extremists

Friday morning at Oakland's Islamic Center of Pittsburgh.
Credit Islamic Center of Pittsburgh

These topics air Monday January 26, 2015 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Pittsburgh Muslims Speak Out

Pittsburgh area Muslims are challenging the message of the extremists involved in the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris. We'll talk with Sheikh Atef Mahgoub, Islamic Center of Pittsburgh in Oakland. He says the killers in France were not defending the honor of Islam. He joins us in Studio A.

Deflate Gate

It's the week before the Super Bowl and the New England Patriots, one of the participating teams, is accused of cheating to get there. How will Deflate-gate impact the big game? Also, now that the NCAA has restored Joe Paterno's career victories back to 409, once again making him the winningest Division I college coach of all time, will Penn State bring his statue out of storage? Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sportswriter emeritus Bob Dvorchak discusses these and other sports matters. 

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Environment
3:30 am
Sun January 25, 2015

Department of Environmental Protection Awards More than $22 Million in Grants

Conservationists hope to keep a well-used section of Stonycreek alive thanks to a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

In all, the DEP is awarding more than $23.2 million for various watershed projects.

The DEP awarded the grants to a total of 109 projects in the commonwealth through the Growing Greener Program, Acid Mine Drainage Set Aside Program and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Program.

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Government & Politics
4:08 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Race For PA Supreme Court Begins, But Some Wonder Why?

The race for the three open seats on the seven-member Pennsylvania Supreme Court is expected to be intense this year, and there is no doubt it is starting earlier than normal.

All six Democratic Supreme Court candidates will be in Pittsburgh at 2 p.m. Sunday for a forum at Chatham University. In total there are 18 announced candidates.

But little is known and will be known about them. 

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Government & Politics
2:13 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Wagner Withholding VisitPittsburgh Funding

Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner is threatening to withhold nearly $682,000 from VisitPittsburgh until the nonprofit tourism promotion agency explains why it allocated public funds to Mayor Peduto’s “Undercover Boss” appearance last month.

As part of the CBS reality show, Peduto promised $155,000 to four city employees for college tuition, mortgage payments and startup costs for a new church. Peduto said no public funds would be used, but according to Wagner, VisitPittsburgh was asked to contribute $25,000 toward the gifts.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:13 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Great Scott! Remembering Robert Burns in Pittsburgh

Credit SummondByFellas / Flickr

When you hear someone exclaim, “Great Scott,” chances are they could be referring to Scotland’s favorite son, poet Robert Burns.

This weekend marks the 256th anniversary of his birth. We’ll preview dinners set to take place in his honor and discover why his legacy endures with Paul Thompson, president of the St. Andrews Society of Pittsburgh and Tim Wolfson, co-owner of Music Night on Jupiter, a grassroots local music event promotion company.

Paul and Tim tell us about Robert Burns and his importance to not only Scotland, but the world.

Take a look at the poems of Robert Burns below, more can be found at Robertburns.org

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Essential Pittsburgh
1:59 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Film Censorship in Pittsburgh: A History

Mae Marsh in a publicity still for the 1915 silent film "The Birth of a Nation."
Credit Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research / Wikipedia

Last month the motion picture "The Interview," garnered headlines due to terroristic threats. This led Sony pictures to withhold the movie's release. The saga of "The Interview" is the latest story in the history of film censorship. A legacy with ties to Pittsburgh as pop culture contributor Joe Wos explains.

"The Interview" might be a recent example of self-censorship, but the film industry has a long history of both bowing to government pressures and constructing its own rules and standards. According to Wos, this can be traced back to the premiere of the controversial film "The Birth of a Nation" in 1915. Wos says Pennsylvania was on the forefront of the film censorship movement.

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Public Safety
7:50 am
Fri January 23, 2015

5 Buildings Burned in Homestead Fire

Five buildings burned as part of an early Friday apartment fire that spread to neighboring structures in the business district of a poorer suburb of Pittsburgh.

There were no immediate reports of injuries. Two residents rescued from a second-story window of the apartment building in Homestead were taken to a hospital for evaluation, but it wasn't clear if they were injured, said Alvin Henderson, chief of emergency services for Allegheny County.

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Government & Politics
7:47 am
Fri January 23, 2015

GOP Bridles As Wolf Retracts Lame-Duck Picks

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf said Thursday he would void 28 last-minute nominations made by his Republican predecessor, Gov. Tom Corbett, as well as the "midnight appointment" of Erik Arneson as director of the state's Office of Open Records.

Arneson, a former top aide in the state Senate GOP, was selected to run the OOR less than two weeks before Wolf's inauguration.

Wolf criticized the appointment at the time.

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Inventing Pittsburgh
7:29 am
Fri January 23, 2015

In Sewickley, George Washington's Favorite Sport Is Alive And Well

John Tabatchka, huntsman for the Sewickley Hunt Club, leads the hounds to the start of a foxhunt.
Credit Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

John Tabatchka affectionately pats his horse, Will, and flips the switch on the Electro-Groom. He begins to methodically vacuum Will’s flanks.

“It’s designed to groom show cattle, horses, etc,” Tabatchka said over the roar of the machine. Will shudders his flesh as if shooing a fly. “He’s a little ticklish.”

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Donate Now!
3:30 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Neil deGrasse Tyson Fan? Enter To Win Our Front Row Ticket Giveaway

Neil deGrasse Tyson
Credit Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

When you donate today, you will be entered in a drawing win an A Pair of Front Row Tickets for an evening with Neil deGrasse Tyson.

The celebrated American astrophysicist, author and science communicator will be coming to the Benedum Center on Thursday, May 7, 2015.

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Essential Pittsburgh
10:14 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Friday Rundown: The "Great Scott" and Poet, Robert Burns

Robert Burns statue in Kilmarnock, Scotland
Credit SummondByFellas / Flickr

These topics air Friday January 23, 2015 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

Great Scott! 

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Government & Politics
4:52 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Grand Jury Report Aims At Reporters’ Shield Law

A grand jury report made available by a special prosecutor looking into allegations that state Attorney General Kathleen Kane leaked information from a separate grand jury has called for a narrowing of the state law protecting reporters.

Pennsylvania’s so-called Shield Law exempts reporters from having to disclose confidential sources, even in the course of a governmental investigation.

Melissa Melewsky, counsel for the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, says she’s never heard of a past effort to scale back the statute.

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Community
4:46 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Councilwoman: When It Comes to Sidewalks, Is Concrete Always Best?

Pittsburgh’s city code requires that sidewalks are made out of concrete, but Councilwoman Deborah Gross is questioning whether that’s the best option.

During a post-agenda meeting Thursday, Gross heard from various organizations saying there are better alternatives to concrete, which often times is lifted or cracked from trees and their roots.

Gross said solving this problem could help with Pittsburgh’s issues managing water, which includes flooding and water pollution.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:02 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

The New Girl's Fab Five List for Museum Hopping

The Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.
Credit Mrs. Gemstone / Flickr

While the overcast days of winter may tempt you to stay inside and binge watch your favorite programs, it’s a good time to get out and see some great museum exhibits. From major metropolitan areas to smaller cities there are some interesting museums to be found.

This week travel contributor Elaine Labalme suggests museums with great exhibits to enjoy on a winter’s day.

When considering a museum visit, Labalme explains, it’s worth considering its size: smaller museums might have a tendency to be less busy than bigger ones, she says.

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Community
3:01 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Set on Public Display for the First Time

King Friday XIII's castle is one of many items on display from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.
Credit Rachellynn Schoen / Heinz History Center

One of Pittsburgh, and America’s, most iconic figures, Mister Rogers, had one of the longest-running children’s programs on television. Now, for the first time, the sets and props from the show will be on display to the public.

On the fourth floor of the John Heinz History Center is the special collections gallery, which is organized by neighborhood: there is an Irish neighborhood, an African American neighborhood and a "Neighborhood of Make-Believe."

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:44 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Plans for the Civic Arena Site Taking Shape

Credit Mr.T77 / Flickr

Negotiations between the city, the Penguins and the Hill District Community Development Corporation have resulted in plans to move forward with the development of the former Civic Arena Site. We’ll discover what could be next for the site with Hill District CDC President and CEO Marimba Milliones.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:33 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Staying Fit While You Sit, New Reasons Not to Slouch at Your Desk

Credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/markjsebastian/1264424156/ / Flickr

 

Headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome and joint pain are some work related injuries sending people to the chiropractor. What can be done to create a healthier work environment and reduce sick days?

Chiropractor Dr. Justin Foltz of Pittsburgh Physical Medicine tells us about the newly developed Fit While You Sit program.

Foltz explains that many people are missing work due to a variety of different pains which is affecting their mind set while they work. As humans, we are not meant to sit for long periods of time and need to minimize this down time to prevent stress on the body which, can lead to pain.

Sitting properly and standing more frequently during the workday will make a huge difference on the stress of your body, says Foltz. Some businesses are incorporate standing workstations to minimize the amount of time the body is in one certain position. If you give your muscles a break, they will reward you.

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Health
1:39 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

New Liver Preservation Technique Aimed at Improving Transplant Outcomes

Hoping to increase the number of successful liver transplants, a new organ preservation system is being tested which uses what’s called a “machine perfusion” technique.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine say the new system pumps cooled, oxygen-rich fluid into donor livers. This keeps the organs in excellent condition for up to nine hours before transplantation.

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Economy & Business
3:30 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Report: Pittsburgh's GDP Growth Is Slowing, But It's Still Ahead of the Nation

In 2014, Pittsburgh saw a 0.4 percent increase in the employment rate and no growth in terms of gross domestic product per capita.
Credit The Associated Press

While Pittsburgh’s economy has recovered from the recession that began in 2008, growth is slowing, and policy makers need to address that reality.

That’s according to a new report from the Brookings Metropolitan Policy Program. The fourth edition of the Global MetroMonitor examined economic performance in the 300 largest metropolitan economies in the world. Pittsburgh ranked at #253 in 2014. That’s down from a ranking of #192 between 2009 and 2014.

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Essential Pittsburgh
12:02 am
Thu January 22, 2015

Thursday Rundown: Next Steps for the Site of the Civic Arena and the Hill District

Credit Jarrett Stewart / Flickr

These topics air Thursday January 22, 2015 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002.

The Future of the Civic Arena Site

Negotiations between the city, the Penguins and the Hill District Community Development Corporation have resulted in plans to move forward with the development of the former Civic Arena Site. We’ll discover what could be next for the site with Hill District CDC President and CEO Marimba Milliones. 

Fit While You Sit

Headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome and joint pain are some work related injuries sending people to the chiropractor. What can be done to create a healthier work environment and reduce sick days? We’ll pose that question to Dr. Justin Foltz who will explain how we can be fit while we sit.

Travel Segment - Museums

From major metropolitan areas to smaller cities there are some interesting museums to be found. This week travel contributor Elaine Labalme suggests museums with great exhibits to enjoy on a winter’s day. 

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Economy & Business
4:20 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

PA Business Organization Concerned Over Possible Sick Leave Proposal

Before he took the oath of office, Gov. Tom Wolf said that as governor he would push for legislation that would implement paid sick leave for employees of businesses with 50 of more employees. That has some business groups in the state concerned.

“We’ve gone through this issue before,” said Gene Barr, president of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry. “The problem isn’t in having people get sick time, it’s in government mandating or dictating exactly what that structure needs to look like.”

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:48 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Ph.D. Graduates Face a Difficult Job Market

Credit Jens Schott Knudsen / Flickr

The Steel City is justifiably proud of its many universities, but with more education can come more problems.

People graduating with Ph.D.s and other advanced degrees face an employment crisis in today’s university and the larger economy.

Joining us to talk about their efforts in expanding the options for Pittsburghers with advanced degrees are Alexandra Oliver and anupama jain. They're local representatives for Versatile PhD, a business that fosters networking and professional development for people with graduate degrees who may want to explore non-academic work.

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