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Port Authority of Allegheny County

After thousands of public transit riders clamored for an easier-to-use system, the Port Authority of Allegheny County is now poised to get rid of its multi-zone fare structure.

A Friday morning board vote will decide whether the authority will adopt a flat fare system for 2017.

For now, riders pay $2.50 for each bus trip, and they have to pay an extra $1.25 if their routes cross the boundaries of PAT’s inner and outer zones.

If the changes go through, zones would be a thing of the past.

Kristi Jan Hoover / City Theatre

We'll go between the lines of City Theatre's four person on court drama that unfolds during the course of a tennis match between an aging American champion who is a cross between Pete Sampras and Tim Mayotte and a fiery young Russian. We'll talk with actors Danny Binstock and JD Taylor who portray the two players at the center of the story.

Erica Dilcer / heatherkropf.com

When talking about working on the album “Chrysalis,” producer Jeff Berman sounds like he’s describing a painting.

“Sculpting out the motion of the piece,” Berman said. “The overtones of that piano. The way that interacted with the rhythm section and helped us sculpt the landscape, we created a musical environment for that tune. The guitars add another part that would add a certain internal motion.”

Mayor Peduto Discusses ICA, PWSA And Twitter BFF 'Guster'

Apr 28, 2016
Keith Srakocic / AP Images

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto makes his monthly visit to the program. We'll ask him about the state Department of Environmental Protection's decision to cite the PWSA for making an unapproved modification to its drinking water treatment process. We'll also discuss the recent comings and goings at the ICA, and his possible duet with Guster.

Charlie Neibergall / AP

Well, of course. But it's been a long time.

Pennsylvania has become a fairly solid blue state since then-candidate George H. W. Bush won the Republican presidential nomination in 1988, but that didn’t stop GOP hopeful Donald Trump from winning a substantial number of votes on Tuesday.

Flickr user Rob Boudon

The operators of southwestern Pennsylvania’s two casinos have both been fined by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control board.

Washington Trotting Association, which operates the Meadows Casino in Washington County, was fined $40,000 after allowing two men who have placed themselves on the state’s self-exclusion list to access the casino and gamble at table games and slot machines.

Doug Harbach is communications director of the Gaming Control Board and said more than 9,700 people have placed themselves on the self-exclusion list.

PBS NewsHour / flickr

Only 17 of the 71 delegates headed to this summer's Republican National Convention are bound to support the presidential candidate who wins the primary. Pittsburgh Post Gazette reporter Chris Potter joins us to discuss the gap between what voters know about these delegates and how they are going to act.

Calico Records / Blogspot

Among the bands being honored Thursday night at the 2016 Pittsburgh Rock 'N Roll Legends Awards Celebration at Stage AE on the North Shore is legendary 50s doo-wop group The Skyliners

Best known for “Since I Don’t Have You” and “This I Swear,” The Skyliners’ lead singer/songwriter Jimmy Beaumont joined Essential Pittsburgh to discuss his career and Pittsburgh roots.

Jacqueline Larma / AP Images

Pennsylvania garnered national attention in yesterday's presidential primary with candidates making a last-minute push in an effort to secure their parties nomination.  In addition, there were some high profile races for a senatorial candidate and attorney general. John Baer, political columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News joins us for a look at the election day results. We'll also talk with Katie McGinty, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate and Josh Shapiro, the Democratic Attorney General nominee for the state.

Sanofi Pasteur / Flickr

Every year, about 300,000 students get immunized in Pennsylvania.

Now, the state Department of Health is asking for the public’s comments on proposed changes to its immunization policy.

Mora McLaughlin / 90.5 WESA

Paleontologists have unearthed the most well-intact titanosaur skull ever found. The herbivore was 40-to-50 feet long and weighed twice that of an average zoo elephant.

After presenting their findings in Pittsburgh, Dr. Rubén D. F. Martínez of the Universidad Nacional de la Patagonia San Juan Bosco; Dr. Lawrence Witmer of Ohio State University and Matt Lamanna of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History published their research in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Democrats in Pennsylvania chose their party establishment's choice for a U.S. Senate candidate and rejected an ex-congressman who six years ago nearly won the office.

Katie McGinty, who spent more than a decade as a state and federal environmental policy official, got millions of dollars from the party and its allies that helped her side heavily outspend her rivals. She received endorsements from top Democrats, from President Barack Obama on down.

Robert Couse-Baker / Flickr

 

Pittsburgh Public Schools have extended the district's contracts with its teachers union through June 30, 2017.

The previous contract expired last year on June 30, and the sides have been negotiating ever since.

The contract covers about 3,000 teachers, aides and clerical workers.

The school board and the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers announced the tentative deal Monday. Terms weren't immediately disclosed.

The teachers will vote on the deal May 16, and the school board must still schedule a vote.

 

Melinda Roeder / 90.5 WESA

As companies like Uber and Google work to make self-driving cars, a local company is working on another autonomous vehicle: forklifts.

Engineers and designers at Seegrid have spent the last decade perfecting technology that allows automated forklifts to travel through warehouses and move heavy product without a human behind the wheel. The machines roll about like robots, making noises that sound like beeps, bells and sirens as a means of communicating with one another and employees.

Tom Wolf / Twitter

  

Nearly 250 million Americans have the right to vote, but many don't exercise it.

University of Pittsburgh Professor Victoria Shineman said there are plenty of reasons for that.

"Voter registration is one of the biggest barriers, especially for initial participation," she said. "A lot of states have deadlines well before the actual election. A lot of people miss that deadline. Also things if you move, if you change your address, remembering to update your address."

Ted Eytan / flickr

Several western Pennsylvania schools are considering or actively creating bathroom policies for transgender students.  While many districts have been receptive to the policies, some parents have expressed concerns. We’ll examine the issue and what a policy could look like in schools.

Dawn Endico / Flickr

Electronic ballots or paper ballots? Voters in Washington County today will use both.

Counties across the commonwealth have been scrambling to adhere to a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision last week that ordered the reinstatement of Joseph Vodvarka to the Democratic primary ballot in the U.S. Senate contest.

Mel Evans / AP

Attention will shift from the campaign trail to the voting booths as Pennsylvanians cast ballots on presidential primary contests and races for Congress and state offices on Tuesday.

Googlemaps

 

Crews have begun replacing the deck of Pittsburgh's Liberty Bridge, one of the busiest arteries crossing the Monongahela River and leading to the city's southern suburbs.

PennDOT says crews will replace the deck one lane at a time in four phases over roughly 160 days.

That will enable crews to keep at least one inbound and one outbound lane open at all times. The available lanes will shift throughout the day, according to the flow of traffic in and out of the city, especially during rush hours.

The project will cost about $80 million.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Ted Cruz addressed a crowd of around 1,000 at Gateway High School in Monroeville on Saturday, April 23, 2016.

This is the full, unedited recording.

___

TED CRUZ:

God bless the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. (audience cheers)

And let me say something that is profoundly painful for someone who grew up as a fan of the Houston Oilers. God bless the Pittsburgh Steelers. (audience cheers)

Megan Harris, Keith Srakocic / 90.5 WESA, AP

 

Republican presidential candidates Donald Trump and John Kasich, as well as Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are all campaigning in Pennsylvania ahead of Tuesday's primary.

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Domestic abuse victims in Pennsylvania will no longer have to wait for as long as two years to get a divorce from spouses convicted of abuse.

Gov. Tom Wolf signed legislation on Thursday which makes two major changes to how courts deal with domestic violence divorce proceedings.

Greg Sciulli

While many vacant homes continue to crumble in Wilkinsburg, a select few will have their stories told.

The Wilkinsburg Vacant Home Tour began as a project by Carnegie Mellon University to address the issue of urban decay in the borough. The Wilkinsburg Community Development Corporation adopted the tour during its second year.

Hidden Pittsburgh: Behind The Scenes Of Local Landmarks

Apr 25, 2016
Emily Stock / 90.5 WESA

On this special edition of Essential Pittsburgh we'll take listeners on a unique tour of the city. Even if you’ve been to Kennywood, The Frick Pittsburgh or the National Aviary you’ll discover what goes on behind the scenes at a number of  local landmarks.

Matt Slocum / AP

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz made his first Pittsburgh-area campaign stop Saturday, becoming the last major presidential candidate to stroll through the Steel City ahead of Tuesday's Pennsylvania primary.

Courtesy University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health have found that areas that are hot spots for drug trafficking haven’t necessarily seen a corresponding increase in overdose deaths. The findings are based on overdose data from 1979 to 2014 and are published in the journal Preventive Medicine.

Is Technology Ruining Millennials' Study Abroad Experience?

Apr 22, 2016
Marco Verch / flickr

Studying abroad is an American college tradition. It is the chance for students to go outside of their comfort zone and explore a foreign land. But is technology ruining the experience? Duquesne Law Professor Jacob Rooksby thinks so, as outlined in his essay, Digital Cocoons and the Raw Abroad. Essential Pittsburgh’s Paul Guggenheimer spoke with Rooksby about this development.

F. Carter Smith / AP Images

A contemporary art series called "By Any Means," founded by Kilolo Luckett, is bringing nationally recognized artists and art leaders of color to Pittsburgh for a two-part panel discussion on the influence of black culture in contemporary art. Kilolo Luckett joins us in studio to preview the symposium.  She also shares her memories of seeing Prince in concert and remembers his legacy.

 

KDKA/NewsChopper 2

Two transit workers accused of racing their buses have been acquitted of the most serious charges against them in a 2014 crash.

Allegheny County Judge Jeffrey Manning said Thursday he believed 47-year-old Juliann Maier and 57-year-old Thomas Frauens were racing on Interstate 279. But he cleared them of reckless endangerment charges and acquitted Frauens of leaving the scene of an accident.

Manning found both fired Port Authority drivers guilty of summary offenses and fined the pair.

 Yes, ‘Game of Thrones’ returns this weekend and we know you are excited. But that isn’t until Sunday night, so that means you can go out and explore the city (and get off your couch) all weekend long. There is a ton going on and WESA’s Josh and Sarah and Yelp Pittsburgh’s Rachel are here to talk you through it.

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