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Pennsylvania
2:27 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

PA Triple-Murder Trial Opening with Jury Trip

The defense attorney for a western Pennsylvania glass shop owner charged with murdering his mother, sister and an elderly aunt says his client has a simple defense: He didn't do it.

Defense attorney Robert Bell says 52-year-old Kevin Murphy was close to the women, all three of whom helped him at his business, where they were found shot dead on April 23, 2009.

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Workforce Development
1:35 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Imagine! Career Week Kicks Off, Seeks to Prepare Area Youth for Jobs

The Three Rivers Workforce Investment Board kicked off its eighth annual Imagine! Career Week Monday morning with 120 employers, educators and community partners seeking to prepare area youth to step into the many jobs now held by people nearing retirement.  

During the week, about 5,000 students will leave their classrooms to experience the many opportunities open to them in the financial and healthcare sectors, trades and the global economy, according to Executive Director Stefani Pashman.  

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Election 2013
1:01 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

Pittsburgh Black Political Convention Throws Support Behind Wheatley

The Pittsburgh Black Political Convention has voted to endorse State Rep. Jake Wheatley in the city's upcoming mayoral election.

More than 200 people gathered over the weekend for the city's first-ever convention of black voters. The convention also aimed to create a clear agenda on issues including poverty, unemployment, police/community relations and violence, among other things.

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Pittsburgh Promise
12:39 pm
Mon April 22, 2013

With New Money, Pittsburgh Promise Shortens Fundraising Timeline

Saleem Ghubril, executive director of the Pittsburgh Promise, announces a shortened fundraising timeline for the program.
Credit Noah Brode / 90.5 WESA

Happily announcing a trio of major gifts from locally-based corporations, Pittsburgh Promise Executive Director Saleem Ghubril said Monday that the city's scholarship fund now expects to raise $90 million more by 2015, three years earlier than expected.

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Community
6:46 am
Mon April 22, 2013

It's NPR Coffee Week, Pittsburgh! Share your best mug shots

Hopefully your coffee mug is a bit more lively than this one.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

All this week, NPR's Morning Edition will be telling the stories behind your morning cup of coffee. If you're anything like us, you take pride in your coffee cup. Show your mugs via Twitter and/or Instagram with #PghCoffee.

If Pittsburgh stopped serving coffee tomorrow, bean aficionados in Brooklyn or Seattle might not gnash their teeth or tear their hair at the loss, but the loyal patrons of this city’s coffeehouses would mount a full-on revolt.

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Speaking Volumes
3:32 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Dr. Mario Fischetti interprets neuroses, novels

Dr. Mario Fischetti interprets neuroses, novels at the Pittsburgh Psychiatric Center
Credit Josh Raulerson/90.5 WESA

Dr. Mario Fischetti is a clinical psychologist with the Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Center, and the moderator of its ongoing "Reading Fiction with Freud" discussion series. 


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Housing Market
3:30 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Southwestern PA Housing Market Best It’s Been in 4 Years

"For sale" signs are appearing and disappearing quickly from front lawns all over southwestern Pennsylvania.

That’s according to the March real estate report from West Penn Multi List Inc., which found it’s good to be a seller.

“It’s phenomenal,” said West Penn chief operating officer Barbara Kohl. “The situation right now is there just is not enough houses to sell. There are a tremendous amount of buyers out there, so what happened here locally is it went from a buyer’s market to a seller’s market very quickly.”

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Infrastructure
3:30 am
Mon April 22, 2013

10 Years After Blackout, Power Grid Still Needs Updating

As the weather warms, the chances increase for strong storms triggering power outages. 

The last U.S. blackout was nearly a decade ago, when a portion of the nation's power grid was overloaded by re-routed electricity. It impacted 50 million people over two days in the northeast portion of the nation, and a small portion of Canada.

Recent storms, like Hurricane Sandy, have also caused extended power outages. 

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Earth Day
3:30 am
Mon April 22, 2013

Pittsburghers Celebrate Earth Day and Pledge Continued Action

Across the world, people are celebrating Earth Day in a variety of ways today, from trash clean ups to tree plantings.

Pittsburgh didn’t wait for the actual day, as Earth Day events started last week and will continue in the coming weeks and days.

On Friday ALCOSAN workers gathered at several spots in Allegheny County to pick up litter.

“All the litter we pick up has the tendency to blow into the rivers,” said ALCOSAN spokeswoman Nancy Barylak, “so that litter you see on the side of the road could easily end up in the rivers.”

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Public Records
3:30 am
Sun April 21, 2013

The Right to Know, or the Right to No?

Credit Alexandra Kanik / PublicSource

After getting a parking ticket at Pittsburgh International Airport, a driver requested a copy of the Allegheny Police Department’s report of the incident. The department didn’t respond.

A parent asked the Ligonier Valley School District for documents detailing planned teacher layoffs. The school district said it had no such documents.

A reporter asked Middle Smithfield Township for maps of local sewer lines. The township refused to turn them over, saying that could jeopardize the security of the sewage system.

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Essential Pittsburgh
3:00 am
Sat April 20, 2013

Sports Talk with Bob Dvorchak

Bob Dvorchak is sports writer emeritus for Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Credit Bob Dvorchak / Sports n'at

  After last week's bombing at the Boston Marathon and the passionate singing of the national anthem at Wednesday's Bruins game, sports contributor Bob Dvorchak talks about how sporting events can galvanize a city and a nation. Also, what concerns does the bombing raise about security at sporting events?

Essential Pittsburgh
2:59 am
Sat April 20, 2013

Earth Quaker Action Takes Direct Action Against PNC

Members of the EQAT walking from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh in 2012
Credit Earth Quaker Action Team

  The mission of the Earth Quaker Action Team, also known as EQAT, is to call attention to PNC Bank’s financial funding of coal companies engaging in mountain top removal coal mining. Last year they set out on a two-hundred mile walk from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh to protest at a PNC shareholders meeting. This year EQAT Board Member Ingrid Lakey is back in Pittsburgh, she talks with us about the actions they would like PNC's new CEO to take. 

Essential Pittsburgh
2:55 am
Sat April 20, 2013

Going Green by Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

  It's hard to deny that it feels good to live an eco-friendly lifestyle by shopping green. But how sustainable is sustainable consumerism when it comes to your bottom line? Can green products actually improve your economic situation and the world, or does it take action? Michael Maniates Professor of Environmental Science and Political Science at Allegheny College and advisory board member for The Story of Stuff Project, talks about how to go beyond green consumerism.

See how Maniates thinks citizens (not shoppers) hold the keys for change:

Politics
7:46 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Toomey Strikes Conciliatory, Final Note on Gun Debate

For Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, speaking to the annual conservative confab known as the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference days after the end of his brief foray into the gun debate was like heading into the belly of the beast.

The senator worked the crowd, shaking hands with people who politely told him they disagreed with his support for expanding background checks on firearm purchases. Introductory remarks that touched on Toomey’s failed amendment elicited sounds of dissent from the seated audience.

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Voter Registration
4:45 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Voter Registration Deadline Quickly Approaching

Voters will choose nominees for mayor of Pittsburgh, four city council seats and in seven Allegheny County council districts in the May 21st primary.

If you want to vote in that primary election, you must submit your registration forms by the close of business Monday. Registered voters who have moved or changed their name or party affiliation must also notify the Allegheny County Elections Division by that same deadline.

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Sports
4:26 pm
Fri April 19, 2013

Penguins-Bruins Game Postponed Due to Boston Manhunt

The Red Sox and Bruins postponed their games on Friday night while authorities searched for a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.

No makeup date was announced for the opener of the Red Sox three-game series against the Kansas City Royals scheduled for Friday night at Fenway Park. The Bruins game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at TD Garden was tentatively rescheduled for Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

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Religion & Faith
11:57 am
Fri April 19, 2013

In Times of Crisis, Where Do Faith Leaders Turn for Guidance?

In the midst of national tragedies this week, including the Boston Marathon bombing and the fertilizer plant explosion in Texas, many people are heading to their houses of worship and their faith leaders for counsel and guidance.

With congregations of varying size, a pastor or priest may hear from numerous people. So where then do the faith leaders turn for comfort?

The answer varies from religion to religion, but is also somewhat similar. For the Pittsburgh Presbytery, pastors are offered several options.

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Essential Pittsburgh
11:54 am
Fri April 19, 2013

A City on Lockdown: What Should Pittsburghers Know?

Do you have a plan for what to do in an emergency situation?
Credit Pittsburgh City Emergency Plans

  In light of Friday's unprecedented lockdown in Boston, Raymond Demichiei  Deputy Director of the Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security for the city of Pittsburgh explains the lockdown procedures for the city, and what plans they'll be considering for the Pittsburgh Marathon.

Essential Pittsburgh
11:32 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Where do Pittsburgh Clergy Turn in Moments of Crisis?

What kinds of guidance do clergy look for in moments of crisis?
Credit Heather McClain / 90.5 WESA

  When devastating events occur like the bombings in Boston, people often turn to their faith leaders for support. But where do the faith leaders turn for guidance? 90.5 WESA reporter Deanna Garcia spoke with Pittsburgh clergy about the resources they turn to in moments of crisis.

Community
10:34 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Cherry Trees Bring Japan to Allegheny County's North Park

Cherry trees near the North Park Boathouse bloom in the April sun.
Credit Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Walking through a grove of cherry trees, petals gently riding to the ground on a spring breeze, might sound like something out of a romance novel, but it's actually happening right now in North Park in Allegheny County.

Just like the Japanese government did in Washington D.C. decades ago, a local group has given a gift of cherry trees to Pittsburgh. 

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Courts
10:10 am
Fri April 19, 2013

State Lawmakers Mull Changes to Mandatory Retirement Age for Judges

The state constitutional mandate that Pennsylvania judges retire by age 70 is the subject of arguments before the Supreme Court next month, but that's not stopping state lawmakers from taking a swing at modifying mandatory retirement.

Given average life expectancy and the kinds of complex work that might be easier for people long on life experience, one House Republican is asking: Why are we kicking judges off the bench at 70?

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Campaign Financing
6:38 am
Fri April 19, 2013

State Senate Passes Campaign Finance Proposal to House

A proposal aiming to provide more transparency to campaign finance data has passed the state Senate.

Candidates for statewide office and the General Assembly would have to file their campaign finance reports electronically under the plan. They, along with political action committees, could also trigger more frequent filing deadlines if they raise $10,000 or more in a calendar year.

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Behavioral Health
3:30 am
Fri April 19, 2013

Redefining Asperger's: With a Diagnosis, Often Comes An Identity

Caitlin Freeman and Phil Garrow have Asperger's syndrome. When the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual comes out, they will be labeled as being under the umbrella of an autism spectrum disorder.
Credit Erika Beras / 90.5 WESA

When the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual is published next month, there will be several changes to psychiatric diagnoses.

Many of these changes are controversial — especially the one made to autism spectrum disorders. 

Phil Garrow has Asperger's syndrome. It's what’s written on his medical chart. He says the social struggles that come with the diagnosis is why he hasn’t been able to hold down engineering jobs despite his proficiency in the field.

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Essential Pittsburgh
9:30 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Professional Ballerinas Speaking On Pointe

New and broken in pointe shoes
Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre

  Instead of the traditional glass slipper, this weekend’s Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre production of Cinderella involves a glass ballet shoe. This notion made us wonder--how important is the perfect fit for a professional ballerina? Pittsburgh Ballet Principal dancers Alexandra Kochis and Julia Erickson give us a peek at the world of a dancer and her toe shoes.

Essential Pittsburgh
9:00 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

A Black Mayor for Pittsburgh?

State Representative Jake Wheatley Jr. is one of two African Americans currently running for mayor
Credit PA House of Representatives

  New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and DC have all had black mayors. Why hasn't an African American held the top spot in the Steel City? We'll look at the history of black mayoral candidates in Pittsburgh with Post-Gazette Reporter Tim McNulty and Duquesne Law Professor Joseph Sabino Mistick, a former executive secretary (deputy mayor) to Pittsburgh Mayor Sophie Masloff.

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