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Essential Pittsburgh
9:00 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

President Taft at Rodef Shalom

President Taft visiting Rodef Shalom Temple in 1909
Credit Wikimedia

  On May 29, 1909, a Shabbat, President William Howard Taft became the first American President to speak  from the Bimah of a Jewish Congregation while in office. The Rodef Shalom Congregation, in Pittsburgh played host to the touring President. Archivist Martha Berg joins us to talk about Taft's visit to Pittsburgh and the importance of his speech.

Essential Pittsburgh
9:00 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Pop City Innovation News

Pop City innovation reporter Debra Smit
Credit Pop City Media

  Each week, the e-zine Pop City publishes stories of Pittsburgh’s newest innovations, startups and more. Pop City Tech and Innovation reporter Debra Smit joins us now for a look at Pittsburgh’s innovation news. Could Pittsburgh become a hub for "big data?"

Pennsylvania
6:00 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Duquesne Prof: PA Supreme Court All Talk, No Action on Vacancy Pick

One legal observer says the state Supreme Court is all talk, no action when it comes to making its own pick to replace the suspended justice who plans to resign in May.

The interim judge will fill the seat of suspended Justice Joan Orie Melvin, who’s resigning in May as she awaits sentencing for campaign corruption.

The high court’s chief justice suggests his colleagues might make their own choice for a replacement, preempting an appointment by the governor to fill the vacancy.

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Energy Efficiency
5:15 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Pilot Program Seeks to Help Allegheny Co. Families Deal with Energy Costs

U.S. Rep. Mike Doyle applauds new energy initiative that seeks to prevent home foreclosure in Allegheny County.
Credit Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

A pilot program in Allegheny County seeks to keep families in their homes by lowering their energy bills.

The Energy Efficiency Foreclosure Prevention Initiative (EEFPI) is a partnership between the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), ACTION-Housing, Inc. and four area utility companies.

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Veterans Affairs
4:32 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

VA Systems Would be Required to Report Instances of Legionella under New Casey Bill

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey will introduce a bill that would require VA facilities to report incidents of Legionnaires' disease.
Credit Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

U.S. Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) is introducing a bill that would require any Veterans Affairs health system to report an incident of Legionnaires ’ disease and detection of the Legionella bacteria within 24 hours.

“To be blunt about this, we shouldn’t have to legislate this,” Casey said. “This should be standard practice at the VA, but it isn’t. Therefore we have to legislate and provide a measure of accountability.”

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Chautauqua Institution Lectures
3:20 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Retired Diplomat Nicholas Burns on US Policy Toward Iran

Retired diplomat Nicholas Burns believes there are three basic choices the U.S. could make in foreign policy regarding Iran. The first two, he said, are so "absurd" that they shouldn't be taken seriously. The third, though, is the path he believes in, because it's "practical and right in the middle."

Mayoral Race
2:51 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Pittsburgh Mayoral Candidate Wants More Neighborhood Engagement

Under a Michael Lamb administration the Pittsburgh Office of Neighborhood Initiatives would be renamed and have its powers expanded.

Lamb, a Democratic mayoral candidate and current City Controller, announced that if elected he would rename the department the Office of Neighborhood Engagement.

The current Office of Neighbor Initiatives oversees projects like Green Up Pittsburgh, an initiative that works to create green spaces out of vacant lots, and Operation Weed and Seed, a partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice to improve neighborhood safety.

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Development
1:14 pm
Tue March 26, 2013

Bill Would Promote 'Camouflaged' Cell Phone Towers in Pittsburgh

Some examples of cell phone towers hidden within other structures.
Credit Pittsburgh City Council District 7

The Pittsburgh Planning Commission is reviewing legislation that would create incentives for communications companies to conceal cell phone towers and antennas within regular urban structures.

A Pittsburgh resident originally proposed the idea to District 7 Councilman Patrick Dowd, who introduced the measure to Council on Tuesday.

District 7 communications manager Nathaniel Hanson said the legislation would encourage companies to hide their new antennas within the most workaday buildings and objects.

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Crime
9:28 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Suspect named in Pittsburgh Target store stabbings

Police have identified a man who allegedly stabbed three people at a Target store in Pittsburgh, including a 16-year-old girl who remains hospitalized.

Court records show that 41-year-old Leon Raymond Walls is being held in Allegheny County Jail, unable to post $250,000 bond.

Investigators say Walls ran into the store in the East Liberty neighborhood on Monday after a fight nearby. They say he slashed two men and stabbed and seriously injured the girl.

Police say she remains in serious condition with cuts to the back and arm.

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Speaking Volumes
9:00 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Speaking Volumes on Essential Pittsburgh: Patricia Harman

Patricia Harman, CNM
Credit Bob Kosturko

As the popular British drama "Call the Midwife" returns for a second season on PBS, Morgantown-based author and certified nurse-midwife Patricia Harman offers recommendations for readers with an interest in the practice. Hear her discussion with 90.5 WESA Morning Edition host Josh Raulerson.

Essential Pittsburgh
9:00 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Senator Casey on the Budget All-Nighter

Unpacking the budget with Bob Casey
Credit Senator Bob Casey

Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Bob Casey discusses the 3.7 trillion dollar budget passed by the Senate in the wee hours of the morning Saturday. It's the first budget the senate has passed in four years. We also discuss proposed changes to the electoral voting process.

Essential Pittsburgh
9:00 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Same-Sex Marriage Argued Before Supreme Court

Examining the legal arguments and ramifications of two of this week's cases before the Supreme Court
Credit Mark Fischer / Flickr

Two cases regarding same-sex marriage are being argued before the US Supreme Court this week. The futures of the Defense of Marriage Act and California's Proposition 8 will be decided in June. University of Pittsburgh Law School Professor and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs Anthony C. Infanti weighs in on the arguments. And we'll talk about the potential impact on same sex partnerships in PA with Gary Van Horn, Board President of the Delta Foundation, sponsors of Pittsburgh Pride.

Essential Pittsburgh
9:00 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Fast Growing Occupations

Business contributor Rebecca Harris is Director of Chatham University's Center for Women's Entrepreneurship
Credit Rebecca Harris / Chatham Center for Women's Entrepreneurship

If you have the right education or training you may be well positioned for success in this growing job market. Business contributor Rebecca Harris looks at some of the fastest growing occupations.

Check out Rebecca's links for the fastest growing occupations.

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State Supreme Court
8:36 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Castille Says 7th Justice Key to Major Rulings in PA High Court

The state Supreme Court’s chief justice is emphasizing how much the high court needs a seventh member – and soon.  

Ron Castille says now that suspended Justice Joan Orie Melvin plans to resign in May, the slot should be filled.

Gov. Tom Corbett says he plans to nominate someone for the seat.

But Castille says the court might be able to appoint an interim justice more quickly since it wouldn’t need the state Senate to confirm its selection with a two-thirds majority vote.  

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US Airways Merger
5:18 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

US Airways' Moon Township Op Center Could Close Due To Merger

When US Airways and American Airlines announced their $11 billion merger on February 14, the new company was expected to retain fleet and ground service in Pittsburgh, with flight operations located in Moon Township.

But now that might not be the case after US Airways Chairman Doug Parker, who will be CEO of the new American Airlines, told employees last week that the Pittsburgh-area Operations and Control Center (OOC) could be shut down in a few years.

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Marcellus Shale
3:52 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Federal Study: Shale Development Fragmenting Allegheny County Forests

Credit The National Map, U.S. Geological Survey

A new study from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) delineates how the construction of new roads and pipelines for Marcellus Shale natural gas development and other energy industries can mince up local forests, leading to smaller ecosystems and limiting wildlife.

Using aerial imagery, USGS researchers found that developers laid 140 miles of new roads and eight miles of new pipelines for the sake of 647 Marcellus Shale gas wells drilled in Allegheny County from 2004 to 2010.

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Jerry Sandusky Scandal
3:16 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Penn State: Sandusky Interview Continues to Open Wounds

Penn State says Jerry Sandusky's assertion that a key witness misinterpreted his showering with a young boy continues to "open wounds" for his victims.

Excerpts of Sandusky's interview with a documentary filmmaker were broadcast Monday on NBC's "Today" show. The former Penn State assistant football coach says he doesn't understand how Mike McQueary concluded "sex was going on" when he witnessed the shower incident in 2001.

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Education
2:26 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Bill Would Create Community College Affordability Task Force

As community college officials continue their fight for more state funding, the Pennsylvania Senate is considering a bill that would convene a task force on community college affordability.

“I don’t think there has been any organized effort to really review how community colleges are funded, particularly at the state level and the local level,” said Alex Johnson, president of the Community College of Allegheny County. “Over time the funding from various sources, particularly government sources, has eroded to the extent that students have the burden.”

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Joan Orie Melvin
2:02 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Melvin Quits Pa. Supreme Court as of May 1

A Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice who was convicted last month of using taxpayer-paid staff for political campaigns told the governor Monday she is resigning from the bench as of May 1, about a week before she will learn her sentence.

The letter from Justice Joan Orie Melvin to Gov. Tom Corbett said she made the decision "with deep regret and a broken heart."

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Biking
1:55 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Pittsburgh Bicycle Film Festival to Roll Out Thursday

The inaugural Pittsburgh Bicycle Film Festival will take place Thursday evening, with doors at the Regent Square Theater on South Braddock Avenue opening at 6 p.m. 

Twenty five percent of ticket sales will go to Bike Pittsburgh to support their mission to make the city and the region safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

According to Seth Gernot of Events Unlimited, there will be two unusual bikes in the lobby: one that makes popcorn by pedaling and one that makes smoothies.  

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Hunting
12:29 pm
Mon March 25, 2013

Slight Uptick to PA Deer Harvest Last Hunting Season

Hunters killed roughly 343,110 deer in Pennsylvania during the 2012-2013 season, according to the state's Game Commission, a yearly increase of about 2 percent.

That includes roughly 133,860 antlered deer and 209,250 antlerless deer, both increases over the previous season.

Joe Neville, director of information and education for the Game Commission, said the numbers are on track with his agency's annual goal of harvesting about one-third of the state's population of roughly one million deer.

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Pennsylvania
11:09 am
Mon March 25, 2013

DA: Central Pa. Dad May Have Planned Son's Murder

PETERSBURG, Pa. — A central Pennsylvania man who fatally shot his 2-year-old son and wounded his estranged wife before killing himself may have planned the boy's death.

Huntingdon County District Attorney George Zanic says 52-year-old Kenneth Ayers didn't leave a suicide note but did other things the prosecutor wouldn't specify in the week before that suggest Saturday's shooting was planned.

Ayers was under a protection from abuse order filed by his wife when he went to his mother's home to visit his son, Michael.

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Essential Pittsburgh
11:03 am
Mon March 25, 2013

City Council Update with Noah Brode

Noah Brode is City Council reporter for 90.5 WESA
Credit 90.5 WESA / 90.5 WESA

  90.5 WESA reporter Noah Brode gives us a weekly update on funding approval for Pittsburgh's Bike Share program. And we'll discuss plans for the first steps in the redevelopment of the Civic Arena.

Robotics
7:20 am
Mon March 25, 2013

CMU Robot Designed to Deal with Disaster, and Some Competition

A team at Carnegie Mellon University is building CHIMP, a robot they say will be able to grab with both its hands and feet in order to operate tools in situations too dangerous for humans.
Credit Carnegie Mellon University

Imagine this situation: There is a fire in a warehouse creeping toward explosive material.

But instead of the fire department sending in firefighters, a robot saves the day by moving the material to a safe location.

A robotics team at Carnegie Mellon University is working to create that robot.

The team says the robot looks like a monkey and is named CHIMP (CMU Highly Intelligent Mobile Platform).

The machine is being built to work in human situations with tools normal responders would work with.

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Speaking Volumes
5:18 am
Mon March 25, 2013

Recommended reading for fans of BBC's 'Call the Midwife'

Patricia Harman, CNM
Credit Bob Kosturko

As the popular British drama "Call the Midwife" returns for a second season on PBS, Morgantown-based author and certified nurse-midwife Patricia Harman offers recommendations for readers with an interest in the practice.

Jennifer Worth, The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times

Read more

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