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Pittsburgh Marathon
4:43 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

5 Things to Know for the Pittsburgh Marathon

Runners participate in the 2012 Pittsburgh Marathon.
Credit delayedneutron / Flickr

Some 30,000 runners are expected to hit the streets in the Dick’s Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon on Sunday. Whether you're a runner, a spectator or just someone who needs to navigate the city this weekend, here's some key things to know:

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Marcellus Shale
3:12 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Senate Panel Approves Bills to Expand Natural Gas Services

A pair of bills moving through the state legislature aim to give consumers more access to Pennsylvania’s abundant natural gas reserves.

Sen. Gene Yaw (R-Lycoming) is the primary sponsor of Senate Bills 738 and 739. Although he lives in the midst of the Marcellus Shale drilling, he doesn’t have the option of natural gas service at his own home.

“Pennsylvania has one of the largest gas deposits in the world and the citizens can’t take advantage of it.”

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Mayoral Election
3:02 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Unions Respond To Ravenstahl-Backed Ads Against Peduto

Several dozen union members who supported Pittsburgh’s prevailing wage law gathered in the City County Building Thursday to denounce advertisements Mayor Luke Ravenstahl’s PAC, Committee for a Better Pittsburgh, has taken out against mayoral candidate Bill Peduto.

Peduto supported the prevailing wage law, and union members feel he has been misrepresented in the ads.

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Allegheny County
2:49 pm
Thu May 2, 2013

Debt a Major Issue in Allegheny County, Controller Says

Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner outlines findings of the 2012 Comprehensive Financial Report for the county.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5/WESA

Allegheny County Controller Chelsa Wagner said Thursday one of the most concerning issues facing the county is the amount of money going toward debt services.

In 2012, the county’s debt load increased $90 million, according to the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). Total annual debt service payments have increased to $62.6 million.

“Of this $62.6 million, we are now paying more on the interest than on the principal,” Wagner said.

The debt service for the county poses a challenge to providing services and investments for communities.

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Essential Pittsburgh
11:03 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Coming Out in the NBA

Washington Wizards player Jason Collins came out earlier this week.
Credit Washington Wizards / NBA.com

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Tony Norman shares his thoughts on NBA player Jason Collins becoming the first active athlete in any of America's four major professional sports leagues to acknowledge his homosexuality. He'll discuss what it means for the LGBT community as well as the African American community.

#PledgeWESA
10:38 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Behind the Scenes: WESA's Spring Member Campaign

Volunteers work the phones during the 90.5 WESA Spring Member Campaign.
Credit Haldan Kirsch / 90.5 WESA

It's that time of year. Flowers are blooming, days are warming and phones are ringing at 90.5 WESA's studios in South Side Pittsburgh. It's time for the WESA Spring Member Campaign. From May 2 through May 11, you'll hear us on air asking for your support. Here's a glimpse behind the scenes. Want to share why you donate to WESA? Send us a note at web@wesa.fm or post to social media with #PledgeWESA.
 

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Agriculture
6:52 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Senate Bill Would Restrict Sharing of Undercover Farm Footage

One state Senator wants to make it a crime for animal rights activists to share undercover footage of farms with anyone but law enforcement.

Sen. Mike Brubaker (R-Lancaster) said Wednesday he's drafting a measure to allow people to take photos and videos of farms without the consent of the owner and hold the records indefinitely.

Under the measure, he said such photos and videos could only be given to state and local police officers, as well as humane society enforcement officers.

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90.5 WESA Spring Member Campaign
6:41 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Donate Now and Grow With Us!

 Its our Spring Member Campaign and we are inviting you to grow with us!

Everyone who donates today will receive our custom seed packet - a blend of basil, parsley, oregano and chives - in addition to any thank you gifts you choose.

Its your support that keeps 90.5 WESA strong.  Thanks for your membership.

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Essential Pittsburgh
8:40 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Negative Ads in the Mayoral Primary

Image consultant Bob Oltmanns
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

Negative ads, like shaking hands and kissing babies, have become a staple of political campaigns. The recent news of Mayor Ravenstahl's link to attack ads has turned our attention to the impact of negative ads in this year's mayoral primary. Joining us for this discussion is public relations advisor Bob Oltmanns, president of the OPR Group.

Essential Pittsburgh
8:29 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Images From the Silk Road

Spices sold in a market along the Silk Road
Christopher Rolinson Point Park University

In 1972, Alban and Virginia Curtze of Erie, PA traveled to Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal and India in an area known as the Silk Road. Little did they know their vacation photos would become artifacts of world history. Thirty nine of the Curtze's images have been transferred from slides to 11-by-14-inch prints and are on display at an exhibition on the Point Park University campus. The exhibition curator and associate professor of photojournalism and photography, Christopher Rolinson gives us a tour of the Silk Road images.

Essential Pittsburgh
8:09 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Girlfriend Getaways with the New Girl in Town

Enjoy a weekend away with the girls at he Waldorf Astoria in NYC
Credit Chris Breeze / Flickr

Bachelorette weekends, reunions spa retreats or the need to simply get out of town. Those are some of the reasons you and your best girlfriends may want to plan a weekend away. This week travel contributor Elaine Labalme offers up some suggestions for girlfriend getaways.

Start planning your own getaway with these recommendations from Elaine Labalme:

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Air Quality
5:14 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Liberty-Clairton Air Quality Plan Won't Include Environmentalists' Demand for Stricter Controls

A week after the American Lung Association declared that the Pittsburgh area has the seventh-worst air quality in the nation, the Allegheny County Board of Health approved an air quality improvement plan mandated by the federal government for the Liberty-Clairton area.

The vote of approval on Wednesday gave the go-ahead to the plan without including several local groups' suggestions for stricter pollution guidelines.

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Community
4:57 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Pittsburgh and Cleveland Square Off Again ... In Biking?

Pittsburgh versus Cleveland: The initial thought is the Steelers versus the Browns or the Carnegie Museum versus the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but one group wants you to think biking.

The two cities will square off for the title of “Rustbelt Champion” as a mini-competition within the National Bike Challenge.

How will the winner be determined? By registering more riders and logging more miles than the opponent.

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Marcellus Shale
4:40 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Ferlo Proposes Moratorium on Marcellus Shale Drilling

At a Harrisburg rally yesterday, there were petitions signed by 100,000 people for Gov. Tom Corbett, and State Sen. Jim Ferlo (D-Allegheny) announced he will introduce legislation calling for a temporary moratorium on any new Marcellus Shale gas drilling.  

Ferlo said with 10,000 wells operating, it's time to take a step back because evidence has grown of water contamination and air pollution, as well as adverse impacts on personal health property values and the state’s billion-dollar industries: agriculture and tourism. 

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Business
4:14 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Some Employers See Merit in Corbett's 'Drug Tests' Comment

Some employers say finding job applicants who can clear drug tests is a real concern, though it may not be as large a contributor to the state's 7.9 percent unemployment rate as a recent comment by Gov. Tom Corbett would suggest.

"There are many employers that say 'We're looking for people, but we can't find anybody that has passed a drug test, a lot of them,'" Corbett said on the Radio Pennsylvania show Ask the Governor. "And that's a concern for me, because we're having a serious problem with that."

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Pittsburgh Marathon
3:57 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Pittsburgh Marathon Medics Prepared For Not Just Sprains, But Trauma Too

Medical professionals usually expect heat-related injuries, heart problems or sprains at the Pittsburgh Marathon. But following the bombings at the Boston Marathon, plans have been made for more extensive medical care.

There will be 400 medical professional volunteers from UPMC, including physicians, nurses and athletic trainers, on hand. That's about a hundred more than last year.

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Port Authority
3:37 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Port Authority Bus Rapid Transit System Receives National Honor from Global Transportation Group

Walter Hook, CEO of the Institute for Transportation Development Policy, discusses BRT systems. Interim Port Authority of Allegheny County CEO Ellen McLean and County Executive Rich Fitzgerald look on.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5/WESA

The Martin Luther King Jr. East Busway in Pittsburgh has been designated as only one of five in the nation that meet Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) standards. It has been awarded the Bronze Standard by the Institute for Transportation Development Policy out of basic BRT, bronze, silver or gold designations.

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Mayoral Election
12:24 pm
Wed May 1, 2013

Mayor Ravenstahl Behind Ads Attacking Candidate Peduto

Pittsburgh's lame-duck mayor is behind ads attacking one of the candidates running to replace him, City Councilman Bill Peduto.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl is listed as chairman of the Committee for a Better Pittsburgh, according to Federal Communications Commission disclosure documents filed by KDKA-TV, which was paid to run the ads which began Monday.

The ads accuse Peduto of voting for things that benefit the neighborhoods he represent at the expense of poorer city neighborhoods.

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Liquor Privatization
10:02 am
Wed May 1, 2013

First Senate Hearing Doesn't Bode Well for Liquor Plan

Sen. Chuck McIlhinney has said he’s working to find consensus on a liquor privatization proposal, but you wouldn’t know it from his Tuesday committee hearing on the issue.

The chairman of the Senate Law and Justice Committee plays a central role in whether the House-approved plan to phase out state wine and spirits stores advances in the Senate. Tuesday marked the first of what he says will be three hearings on the issue.

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Health
9:49 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Southwest PA Kennel a 'Blessing' for Those in Crisis

Jamie Cochran, Vocational Supervisor at Caritas House, pictured with one of the cats at the facility.
Credit Erika Beras / 90.5 WESA

In rural Lawrence County, part way between Slippery Rock and New Castle, there's a repurposed farm building sitting on 42 acres of land.

Eleven people call it home, and on site there are mental health workers, a director and other staff.

There's also close to a dozen dogs and cats.

That's because the facility, known as the Caritas House, is not just an enhanced personal care home for those with serious mental illness. It's also a crisis center for pets.

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Essential Pittsburgh
12:01 am
Wed May 1, 2013

Finding Pittsburgh's Light Rail

Light Rail stops in the Free Zone, such as the sleekly designed Gateway Station Downtown, are highly visible
Emily DeMarco PublicSource

  Roughly 28,000 people ride the Pittsburgh area’s light-rail system every day. But many more could be using and funding the system if the stops were easier to access. Inspired by a study from the Center for Transit-Oriented Development, PublicSource reporter, Emily DeMarco embarked on a tour of the Port Authority's 52 T-stops. She took photos, gathered audio and asked commuters what they think of the light-rail system.

Essential Pittsburgh
7:56 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me Hits the Big Screen

Peter Sagal is the host of Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me, the NPR news quiz show
Credit Kyle Cassidy / Wikipedia

  NPR's weekly news quiz show Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me has been entertaining public radio listeners for more than 15 years. Now the show hits the big screen with a nationwide cinecast. We'll talk with host Peter Sagal about the radio show, it's failed TV pilot and his experience at the recent Boston Marathon.

Essential Pittsburgh
7:55 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Tightening Security for the Pittsburgh Marathon

City officials pledge to tighten security for the Pittsburgh Marathon
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5/WESA

  Less than three weeks after the Boston Marathon bombing, Pittsburgh will stage its own annual 26.2 mile event. While Pittsburgh Marathon officials say security has been beefed up since a bomb scare during the 2010 race, Public Safety Director Michael Huss joins us to discuss other plans in the works to secure the event and what racers and spectators can expect on May 5th.

Essential Pittsburgh
7:50 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

TALKPGH Pittsburgh's First Mobile Talk Show

The TALKPGH mobile talk show set parked outside a restaurant in the neighborhood of Beechview
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

  Throughout the month of April, an odd looking truck serving as a mobile talk show set drove to each of the Pittsburgh's 90 neighborhoods to interview residents.  TALKPGH is a collection of stories and opinions structured like a show. It's part of PLANPGH, Pittsburgh's comprehensive game plan for growth. Assistant Producer Nina Sarnelle and Pittsburgh Public Art Manager Morton Brown talk about the common threads they found, and the challenges of recording a mobile talk show on the streets of Pittsburgh.

Liquor Privatization
4:36 pm
Tue April 30, 2013

Administration Says Troopers Would Get More Money Under Liquor Plan

Law enforcement groups are asking state lawmakers to consider the impact liquor privatization would have on their efforts and adjust budgets accordingly.

The Pennsylvania State Troopers Association (PSTA) and the state’s Liquor Enforcement Association didn’t come down on either side of the liquor privatization issue. But they did chime in with their hope for more money if a plan goes to the governor’s desk that would result in a proliferation of alcohol retailers.

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