Lawrenceville Art

As Pittsburgh neighborhoods, like Lawrenceville, undergo revitalization, art can often reflect changes.

Furniture designer Joe Kelly has been there since the beginning. Kelly spent a lot of time investing in the changes that helped make Lawrenceville one of the city’s most popular – and valuable – neighborhoods.

“Well, this was post-steel industry decline,” Kelly said. “This was a distressed area at that time.”

Kelly said he and other industrial artists in the neighborhood joined forces to boost neighborhood appeal.

Matt Rourke

On Election Day, Pennsylvania voters will decide whether the mandatory retirement age for Supreme Court Justices in Pennsylvania should be increased from 70 to 75. 

The judicial reform group Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts is staying out of the debate, which has often been contentious. 90.5 WESA's Josh Raulerson spoke with PMC's Maida Milone to unpack the key issues and their political implications.


Prices for health care coverage on Affordable Care Act exchanges nationwide are going up 25 percent, but in Pennsylvania that number is more than 32 percent and for some in southwestern Pennsylvania the increase will be nearly 50 percent.

After Highmark and UPMC requested rate hikes for 2017, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department approved even bigger hikes in an effort to bring stability to the market.

Why Some Birds May Be Planning An Extended Stay This Fall

19 hours ago
Thomas James Caldwell / Flickr


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says 2016’s trend of record-breaking temperatures has continued into the fall. And that unseasonably warm weather may be changing the timing for birds heading out of our region for their fall migrations.

Jessica Kourkounis / Keystone Crossroads)

 After more than two years of contentious legal battles, Uber and Lyft may operate legally in Pennsylvania. On Monday, the Senate voted 47-1 to allow ride-hailing services to operate in the state — and to begin regulating them as their own transportation entity. Governor Tom Wolf plans to sign the legislation. 

Mark / Flickr

Pennsylvania officials are making progress on rules to govern the state's new medical marijuana program, including how dispensaries will operate and the fees paid by growers and processors.  

The Department of Health on Tuesday posted draft regulations for dispensaries .

No facilities in Pennsylvania have been approved to sell medical marijuana, but there are 103 families in the state who can already legally own the drug.

Carolyn Kaster / AP Photo


The Pennsylvania Turnpike is trying to shame trucking firms and other commercial haulers into paying more than $1.5 million in unpaid tolls.  

One firm, Green Coast Logistics of South Plainfield, New Jersey, owes the bulk of that money, more than $678,000 stemming from more than 7,000 violations.

The violations occur when vehicles drive through EZPass lanes and don't have an electronic toll-paying device attached -- or don't have enough money in their EZPass account to cover the tolls.

Marcus Charleston / 90.5 WESA

Holding her newly minted citizenship certificate and voter registration application, Sumebha Gupta grinned.

“I just wanted to give my vote to be counted,” she said. 

Gupta is one of 39 people who became a United States citizen this month, many of whom cited the upcoming presidential election as their major motivation. 

“I feel excited," said Omar Coker, originally form Sierra Leone. He said registering to vote was "definitely a must."

PA’s Voting Machines Are So Old, They Can’t Be Hacked

Oct 26, 2016
Matt Rourke / AP


For weeks, we've been hearing about whether a cyberattack could somehow interfere with the upcoming presidential election results.

Different types of voting machines are used on Election Day throughout the area, and some are more vulnerable.

"I don't think a large-scale attack is likely," Henry Carter, an assistant professor at Villanova University, said. His expertise centers on cybersecurity and cryptology.

Library of Congress

It seemed like a typical low-budget horror flick, the kind being churned out by aspiring directors in the 1960s. The cost of production was only $150,000, shot on black and white film and crew members used Bosco chocolate syrup for blood.

And yet “Night of the Living Dead,” a movie made entirely in Pittsburgh with Pittsburgh-based actors, defied the odds and the critics to become a cult classic that has brought an entire zombie culture to life and made a profit well into the millions -- all that despite a rocky start.

Sarah Schneider / 90.5 WESA

School district enrollment levels have dramatically shifted in Pennsylvania over the past 25 years.

John Minchillo / AP

Vice President Joe Biden stumped for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Katie McGinty at Chatham University on Tuesday.

SkinJect / YouTube

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, one in five Americans will develop skin cancer over the course of their life

But thanks to a new device from a Pittsburgh-based company called Skinject, some people with skin cancer may be able to skip invasive surgeries.

“Skinject is a totally new approach to handling this problem which is growing throughout the world as more and more people expose their skin to the sun,” said the company’s CEO James Nolan.  

Alan Levine / Flickr

The Pennsylvania Senate has approved legislation that would allow beer distributors to sell beer for off-site consumption in any amount, including six-packs and growlers.

The bill, approved Monday, would let manufacturers ship up to 192 ounces of beer to consumers each month.

Consumers would also be able to buy mixed drinks at the state's sporting venues that currently sell beer.

The legislation now heads to the state House of Representatives.

A spokesman for Wolf was non-committal Monday night on whether the governor would sign the bill.

According to the Department of Justice, around 70 million Americans have criminal records which hinder their chances of finding jobs. Monday, the city of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County signed the White House’s Fair Chance Business Pledge to help those who have done their time get a second chance.

Ed Ivanushkin / flickr

Many people may not realize how little of a charitable donation goes toward fighting the cause at hand.

State Rep. Tony DeLuca (D-Allegheny) found this to be a problem for some his constituents who were solicited by charities seeking donations to fight cancer. In some cases, as little as less than 1 percent of money raised goes toward aid.  

Via Wikipedia, Katie McGinty

Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate race this year will likely set a new record for spending, as outside groups pour money into the contest hoping to influence the control of the Senate.

Ex-Attorney General Gets 10 To 23 Months In Jail For Perjury

Oct 24, 2016
Matt Rourke / AP


Former Attorney General Kathleen Kane was sentenced Monday to 10 to 23 months in jail for illegally disclosing details from a grand jury investigation to embarrass a rival and lying about it under oath.


The World Series gets underway in Cleveland Tuesday night. Forty-five years ago though, it was Pittsburgh in the Fall Classic. The Pirates were not expected to win that year, until a moment of extreme on-field confusion turned the series in their favor.         

The 1971 World Series, a best of seven game affair, pitted the Pirates against the defending champions, the Baltimore Orioles. Baltimore had four pitchers who each won 20 games that year, which was only the second time to happen in Major League baseball.

Keith Srakocic / AP



The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's management and musicians union have agreed to let an independent expert assess the organization's finances in hopes of ending a musician's strike that began Sept. 30.

Management is seeking a 15-percent wage cut, plus pension concessions saying that's necessary to keep the symphony solvent in the face of more than $20 million in debt over the next five years.

The musicians' union says management is overstating the orchestra's financial problems.

Kathleen Kane To Receive Sentence Monday

Oct 24, 2016
Bill Fraser / Bucks County Courier Times/AP


Supporters of Democrat Kathleen Kane once hoped the ambitious lawyer might reach the U.S. Senate.

But the one-term Pennsylvania attorney general instead will learn Monday whether she's going to jail in a perjury and obstruction case that stemmed from a political feud.

The case is being heard in Montgomery County, where former President Bill Clinton stumped for her in 2012.

Kane's lawyers say she has been punished enough after losing her career, law license and reputation. They will ask for probation or house arrest so she can raise her teenage sons.

Matt Rourke / AP


Vice President Joe Biden will be in Pittsburgh campaigning for Hillary Clinton on Tuesday while rocker Jon Bon Jovi will play a concert supporting the Democratic presidential nominee on Thursday.

Biden is scheduled to speak at Chatham University at 11:30 a.m. for what's billed as a Get Out The Vote event.

Bon Jovi's concert at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall and Museum is also billed as a Get Out The Vote event. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. though a start time has not been announced on the link where people can get tickets.

Richard Drew / AP


Restrictions on what Medicaid and Medicare will cover for nursing home patients can often lead to unnecessary hospitalizations – an estimated $8 billion in unnecessary hospitalizations each year, in fact.

Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania / Facebook

When the groundwork was laid for Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania in 1916, it was illegal to obtain or distribute any kind of contraceptive. Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger was starting her clinic in Brooklyn, N.Y., and a few dozen Pittsburgh residents were also looking for ways to improve health care for women. A century later, PPWP still faces the near-constant threat of de-funding, but boasts the second-highest volunteer base in the country.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA


In 2014, three roommates in New Paltz, New York discovered that their $20 thrift store couch wasn’t lumpy with age, but envelopes stuffed with cash. More specifically, the life savings of a widow whose husband wanted to be sure she was taken care of when he was gone. 

Abortion Gets Heavy Attention In Pennsylvania Senate Race

Oct 23, 2016
Margaret J. Krauss

The battle to persuade swing voters in Pennsylvania's close U.S. Senate race includes a heavy emphasis on abortion rights.

This week it's bringing the presidents of Planned Parenthood and NARAL to moderate southeastern Pennsylvania to campaign for Democrat Katie McGinty.

McGinty supports abortion rights, and her allies have spent millions on TV ads attacking Republican incumbent Pat Toomey's record. Toomey opposes abortion rights, with exceptions for rape, incest and saving the life of the mother.

He's also voted to halt federal payments to Planned Parenthood.

Emma Lee / WHYY


Some people go out for dinner and a movie.

But for Heather Huff and her fiancé, Friday nights are for paying the bills.

PA Dept. of Labor and Industry

Pennsylvania's unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.7 percent in September.

The state Labor and Industry Department said Friday that total nonfarm jobs declined 5,300 for the month.

The agency says jobs were down in seven of 11 categories.

The education and health services sector, and the government sector, each lost 6,400.

But state officials say two sectors reached record high employment levels — professional and business services with a gain of 6,700 jobs, and leisure and hospitality with 4,800.

Keystone College


Keystone College is a small liberal arts school in a rural area outside of the city of Scranton. No part of that preceding sentence screams "high earning potential."

But for graduates of Keystone College, salary might not be the most important consideration when getting a job after graduation. Many students want to go into the non-profit world, become teachers or pursue careers in the arts. Others want to stay close to family in Northeastern Pennsylvania, even if it means taking a lower-paying job. 

But wait, there's loans

Rich Copeland / WITF

  The union representing striking professors at 14 Pennsylvania state universities says it has reached a tentative contract agreement and is ending its walkout, now in a third day.

The strike had disrupted classes for over 100,000 students.

Professors walked off the job Wednesday after the union turned down what the university said was its last contract offer.

Union spokeswoman Kathryn Morton said Friday it had made concessions on salary and benefits in return for the university system withdrawing proposed contract changes faculty had opposed.