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Live Well Launch
3:33 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Live Well: National Health and Wellness Program Launches in Allegheny County

When he was sworn into office in January, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto tipped the scales at 240, the heaviest he’s ever been. Since then he’s dropped 12 pounds and has pledged to lose another 38 as a part of the Live Well initiative that he launched today alongside Allegheny County executive Rich Fitzgerald

According to Mayor Peduto’s non-profit and faith based manager Betty Cruz, Mayor Peduto’s shows how passionate the Mayor’s office is about this program.

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Tech Workforce
2:12 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Pittsburgh Technology Council Tries to 'Win the Talent War'

Nearly one in four workers (23 percent) in the Pittsburgh region is employed by the technology industry comprising about 29 percent of the city’s total wages at $16.9 billion, according to the Pittsburgh Technology Council (PTC).

To help "win today's talent war" the PTC is introducing several initiatives to assist tech firms in attracting new workers including launching the redesigned online Career Connector. The site claims it's the “largest Pittsburgh region technology-specific job board” with more than 10,000 searchable resumes already available.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:09 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

A Year in Review with Bishop Zubik and Local Members of the Catholic Church

Sister Nancy Langhart and Sister Margaret “Peg” Markey
Heather McClain 90.5 WESA

It has been a year since Pittsburgh Bishop David Zubik discussed the state of the Catholic Church with Essential Pittsburgh. In that time, Pope Francis has celebrated his one year anniversary.

When Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio took the name Francis, the Sisters of St. Francis of the Providence of God in Whitehall expressed their hopes and expectations of the new pontiff. This year Sister Margaret “Peg” Markey and Sister Nancy Langhart reflected on the last year of Vatican leadership.

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Food
1:19 pm
Wed April 16, 2014

Can Food Trucks Help Solve Pittsburgh's Food Desert Dilemma?

Food trucks are commonplace in cities such as Los Angeles or New York, but Pittsburgh has had a hard time embracing the mobile eateries.

All that could change with Farm Truck Foods.

Awesome Pittsburgh, which gives grants to people "with brilliant ideas," this week awarded the company $1,000 for its proposed solution to the city’s food desert dilemma.

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Public Safety
8:49 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Community Shows Support As Franklin Regional Students Return To School

Community members line a road near Franklin Regional High School Wednesday to show support as students return to classes.

One week after more than 20 people were injured in a stabbing spree at Franklin Regional High School, students returned to the classroom.

On a chilly spring morning Wednesday, students held a prayer service before school on the football field. Outside of the school, on a road in front of a nearby church, a line of community members stood holding signs with messages such as “FR Strong” and “courage.”

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Government & Politics
7:45 am
Wed April 16, 2014

From House Democrat, A Call For Divorce Equality

It turns out that legally ending a same-sex marriage in Pennsylvania is just as impossible as legally entering one.

In a co-sponsorship memo floated last week, Rep. Mike Schlossberg (D-Lehigh) said he plans to fix what he called “the marriage trap” — a limbo land reserved for same-sex couples who, after marrying in one of the 17 states (or the District of Columbia), move to Pennsylvania, decide to split up, and can’t legally end the union.

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Government & Politics
7:40 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Guzzardi Wins Ballot Challenge; Appeal Expected

A Commonwealth Court judge has ruled Bob Guzzardi will remain on the Republican gubernatorial primary ballot as Gov. Tom Corbett’s only challenger.

The state GOP’s general counsel, Lawrence Tabas, who argued against Guzzardi’s nominating petitions, said he’ll “absolutely” file an appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

“I’ll be prompt,” Tabas said.

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City Government
7:27 am
Wed April 16, 2014

For Peduto, Better Government Means Open Government

As a candidate, Bill Peduto promised Pittsburghers a more efficient city government through transparency, talent-based hiring and data-driven decision-making. Now, after 100 days in office, is that becoming a reality?
Credit Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

Peduto's 100 Days: Wednesday marks Mayor Bill Peduto’s 100th day in office, so we’re introducing an occasional series looking at the new administration’s progress toward promises made by candidate Peduto.

* * *

When Mayor Bill Peduto was a City Councilman representing District 8, he went back to school to get a master’s degree in public policy and management.

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Essential Pittsburgh
9:24 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Wednesday Rundown: Voices of the Catholic Church in Pittsburgh

Bishop David Zubik of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh.
Credit Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

These topics air Wednesday April 16, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. To leave a question or comment before or after the show dial 412-256-8783. Join the conversation LIVE between noon & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002. More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be heard here.

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Economy & Business
3:30 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

The Business of Summer Camp, from Architecture to Arts & Crafts

Summer camps give kids structure during their off time from school, and lets them learn and grow while making new friends.
Credit Adrián Merinero Sánchez / flickr

While winter is hardly a distant memory, it’s time to start making summer plans. If summer camp is in your child’s future, contributor Rebecca Harris says now is the time to sign-up. This week she focused on the business of summer camps.

More than six million children attend summer camps each year, and there are many different options. There are day camps, sleep away camps and even summer camps for adults. Rebecca has suggested just a few to check out before sessions fill up.

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Fracking
2:57 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Mars Parents Want Two-Mile Fracking Buffer

The fight over placing a nonconventional gas well about a half-mile from five Mars Area School District schools has moved out of the district’s boardroom and into the boardrooms of a pair of local townships.

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Public Safety
2:50 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

As Wounds Heal, Students Return To Franklin Regional High School

Classes will resume Wednesday at Franklin Regional High School, one week after stabbing incident left more than 20 wounded.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

A few of the most critically wounded in last Wednesday’s stabbing incident at Franklin Regional High School remain hospitalized. As they continue to heal, students, faculty and staff will return to a normal schedule Wednesday.

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Health Insurance
2:48 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Allegheny County Commits to Highmark Through 2015

Allegheny County employees no longer have to wonder about their health care options for 2015.

Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald announced Tuesday that the county will exclusively retain Highmark for health care coverage through December 31st, 2015 - even if Highmark and UPMC are unable to reach an agreement.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:30 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

PSO Violinist to Bring Pittsburgh Love to Boston Marathon

Susanne Park will join her sister Irene in this year's Boston Marathon. She'll be running for Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston.
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

Last weekend, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra violinist Susanne Park held a benefit to raise money for Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston.

The institution was key in helping victims of the Boston Marathon bombings last year. This year, Park has gathered donations from local businesses to help the cause. Her sister ran in the marathon last year and she said she tracked her sister’s progress in the race until everything suddenly stopped.

Park's sister was one of the many runners unable to contact family for hours amidst the chaos.

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Essential Pittsburgh
2:15 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Why These Pittsburgh Marathon Runners Are Returning To Boston

Joe Myers and Karen Harr both ran the Boston Marathon last year and plan to return again this year.
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

 

When Joe Myers and Karen Harr began the Boston Marathon one year ago, neither of them expected to be a part of the chaos following the bombings at the finish line.

After two explosions detonated on Boylston Street, many runners found themselves stranded in the masses. Myers, who had not yet finished the marathon, remembers the crowds of confused people in front of him.

He was unable to contact his family, but eventually returned to the hotel of a fellow runner. Despite the scare, he plans to return to Boston this year and finish what he started.

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Business
12:09 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

New Owners Offer Buyouts To Pittsburgh Heinz Staff

The new owners of H.J. Heinz Co. have offered buyouts to all 775 workers in Pittsburgh, where the ketchup-and-food giant has been based for decades, but says the move doesn't signal a plan to move the company's headquarters.

Instead, Heinz officials say the buyout is being offered because the new owners Berkshire Hathaway and 3G Capital — a Brazilian investment firm — recognize the company's new culture might not be "the perfect fit" for long-time Pittsburgh-based employees.

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Government & Politics
12:02 pm
Tue April 15, 2014

Tavern Gaming Glitch May Have Cooled Expansion Efforts

State lawmakers may be skittish about bridging budget gaps with any more expansions of gambling, due to a so-far failed attempt to bring in big bucks from tavern gambling.

Late last year, as state coffers were looking empty, lawmakers floated ideas of expanding gambling to fill shortfalls.

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Environment & Energy
11:50 am
Tue April 15, 2014

DCNR Natural Gas Advisory Committee to Discuss Development on State Forest Land

An advisory committee tasked with helping the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources manage natural gas drilling on state land will meet for the third time.

The Natural Gas Advisory Committee (NGAC) will cover two major issues in its April meeting.

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Government & Politics
9:45 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Obama, Biden To Speak In Oakdale Wednesday

The president and vice president will be in western Pennsylvania on Wednesday to talk about job training.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are scheduled to speak at the Community College of Allegheny County West Hills Center in Oakdale on "jobs-driven skills training in a 21st century economy."

The visit was originally scheduled to be held at Leetsdale about 15 miles away, but officials said the community college could better accommodate the event.

City Government
7:50 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Land Bank Legislation Passes in Pittsburgh City Council

Nearly 8,000 parcels of land are estimated to be abandoned in Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh Land Bank is meant to streamline the process of selling such properties and putting them back to productive use.
Credit Flickr user MichaelGoodin

After three months of community meetings, disagreements, and compromises, Pittsburgh City Council passed Councilwoman Deb Gross’s land bank legislation Monday morning.

Councilmen Ricky Burgess and Daniel Lavelle have had the greatest concerns about the land bank proposal, but both voted in favor of the legislation.

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Essential Pittsburgh
11:52 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Tuesday Rundown: Pittsburgh Marathon Runners Return to Boston

Marathon runners from Pittsburgh talk about going back to Boston for this year's race.
Credit BorisKasimov / flickr

These topics air Tuesday April 15, 2014 at noon and 8pm on 90.5 WESA. To leave a question or comment before or after the show dial 412-256-8783. Join the conversation LIVE between 12pm & 1 pm weekdays at 412-246-2002. More Essential Pittsburgh segments can be heard here

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Education
7:12 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Pittsburgh Promise Grows Closer To Its Goal

Since 2008, the Pittsburgh Promise made a pledge to pay for the higher education of city high school residents, and this past week it reached the 70 percent mark in raising the money it needs.

But to continue the program for the next 30 years the organization would have to raise $250 million, and so far it has collected $173 million.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:22 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Is MyPath 101 a New Path to Success?

MyPath101 was created in part because less than 32% of college students graduate within four year.
Credit Jessie Jacobson / Flickr

According to the Princeton Review fifty percent of college students change their major at least once. A Pittsburgh company has developed an app called MyPath101 to help students graduate on time.

Rachel Gogos, CEO of MyPath101, described the app in 3 parts.

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Essential Pittsburgh
5:09 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Think Before You Post: Mainstream Media's Increasing Reliance on Social Media

What should people be thinking before they post photos or updates to their social media accounts?
Credit Pat Williams / Flickr

 

As national media reports about the attacks at Franklin Regional High School began to unfold last week, a story of one of the injured victims taking a selfie from the hospital quickly went viral and prompted a range of reactions. Was the student showing off or simply communicating to his circle of friends?

Gordon Mitchell and Brent Malin, University of Pittsburgh associate professors of communication talked with us about the importance of media literacy and the evolving relevance of social media in our lives and in mainstream news.

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Essential Pittsburgh
4:46 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Is Video Replay in Major League Baseball Worth the Wait?

A challenge flag is thrown, the Major League Baseball officials talk to the coach who throws it, and one official goes to a screen and reviews the play. The official comes back and rules the runner out at first base.

That scene can and did happen at the Pirates' opening day Major League Baseball game, thanks to new rule changes that have increased the use of video replay in umpiring.

Are all of these replays really necessary or is it not worth the price of slowing down the game? Pittsburgh Post-Gazette sportswriter emeritus Bob Dvorchak has covered the Pirates for many years and shared his opinion on the hot topic.

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