News

Alex Brandon / AP

Pennsylvania wasn’t among the states where large-scale immigration enforcement took place last week, but communities in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh have reported raids.  

On Wednesday morning, the City of Philadelphia tweeted on its official account, “City is working to gather info on how many people have been impacted by increased ICE enforcements,” and gave the number for a hotline created by New Sanctuary Movement, an interfaith immigrant justice organization.

A Song Within The Storm: How Motherhood And Addiction Collide

Feb 16, 2017
Maranie Staab / PublicSource

Sarah Womack stands in the center of her daughter’s pink room and explains why she had to take the frame off the bed and leave the mattress on the floor. After the Office of Children, Youth and Families inspected her home, the agency claimed that a bed with a frame would make a room seem too much like a bedroom and a bedroom would make things “too confusing” for Sarah’s daughter, Lola. The mattress on the floor makes Lola’s room a playroom instead.

Lola lives with her great aunt and uncle. That is her home. Not with Sarah. Not yet.

Cliff Owen / AP

Female executives at nonprofits in southwestern Pennsylvania still don’t earn as much as their male peers, but the gap is getting smaller.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto is hoping to stabilize and grow affordable housing options in the city through a series of executive orders.

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

On Dec. 15, 2016, Morgan Yoney’s life changed. She received a phone call in her hospital room – a pair of lungs had become available. Morgan had spent 21 days in the ICU at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital waiting for a lung transplant.

“They said I was on death’s doorstep,” Morgan said.

The 22-year-old’s quest for lungs had spread through the region, thanks to the “Morgan’s Army” Facebook page and a campaign by several North Hills businesses.  

Beginning of the Journey

Google Maps

The developer of the North Side's Nova Place announced Tuesday it will outfit the building with high speed internet available to the community for free.  

The five-year $8.8 million investment will turn portions of the former Allegheny Center Mall into a community technology hub.

Developer Faros Properties, which renovated the building, said it would include “innovation pods” where local groups can meet.

Comcast will provide $1.3 million in cash and services including free one-gigabit-per-second wired and wireless connection.

Schell Games

The video game industry brought in $79 million in revenue in Pennsylvania in 2015, according to the Entertainment Software Association.

Employment grew at a rate of nearly 5 percent that year and the industry directly and indirectly supported 1,200 Pennsylvania jobs at game developers, publishers and retail outlets.

A new report from the ESA, titled “Video Games in the 21st Century: The 2017 Report,” details growth in the industry nationwide.

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

When Alhena Torres turns on her car, a gentle rumble of pop music spills out of the speakers. She used to listen to the news while she drove, but after the first few weeks of the new administration in Washington, she says music has felt like a better option.

“Sometimes I’m just sad and disappointed,” she said, pulling up Google maps on her phone and plugging in an address.

Torres drives all around Pittsburgh for work, a cleaning business she started in 2015.

“I like organizing and fixing things,” she laughed.

Environmentalists Oppose Permits For Pennsylvania Pipeline

Feb 15, 2017
Matt Slocum / AP

Environmental advocacy groups are trying to halt construction of a $2.5 billion natural gas liquids pipeline across southern Pennsylvania while they appeal newly issued permits that they say would unleash massive and irreparable damage to the state's environment and residents.

In filings Monday night, three groups said the state Department of Environmental Protection had approved incomplete and legally flawed permit applications for Sunoco Logistics' Mariner East 2 pipeline hours earlier "in response to heavy and sustained political pressure."

Kobi Gideon, GPO via AP

President Trump is the latest in a succession of U.S. presidents pledging unbreakable support for Israel. Last year, for instance, the US signed a $38 billion military aid package with the Israelis even as Washington pressed Israel to make peace with the Palestinians. 

City of Pittsburgh

The city of Pittsburgh is looking for feedback on its Burgh’s Eye View application at a series of public meetings this month and next.

The application is an interactive map that shows data related to public safety, 3-1-1 requests, building code violations and city facilities.

The site has had more than 10,000 unique users since being introduced in October 2016, according to lead developer Geoffrey Arnold.

Hans Pennink / AP

According to some school administrators, we’re entering truancy season -- the time when schools start taking action on students who have racked up too many missed days.

Marcus Charleston / 90.5 WESA

A flush and boil water advisory affecting 100,000 Pittsburghers earlier this month, delays in lead test results and billing snafus have led Mayor Bill Peduto to call for an advisory panel to mull the idea of restructuring the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority.

Westmoreland County Jail / Westmoreland County

A bill aimed at withholding funds from sanctuary municipalities is making its way through the state legislature, but some western Pennsylvania counties aren’t sure how it will affect their policy.

A Qualitative Study of Youth and the Juvenile Justice System: A 100 Percent Pittsburgh Pilot Project / Pittsburgh Foundation

Youth need more of a say in shaping the juvenile justice system they're a part of, according to a report released Monday by the Pittsburgh Foundation.

What's Next For Boscov's After Retail Titan's Death

Feb 14, 2017
Carolyn Kaster / AP

Albert Boscov was the public face of a department store chain he built from a single corner store in downtown Reading, Pennsylvania, to a regional powerhouse with locations in seven states and more than $1 billion in annual sales.

After his death Friday at age 87, Boscov leaves behind a chain with devoted customers and a tremendous amount of civic goodwill. But the century-old company still faces the headwinds that are buffeting the industry. Analysts say Boscov's long-term prospects are uncertain.

Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA

A new partnership between Carnegie Mellon University and one of the world’s largest business service firms could eventually result in smarter computer aided accounting.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

Brentwood Middle School geography teacher Casey Phillips was scared to take a step forward, lest he fall 64 stories from the top of the U.S. Steel Tower to the street below.

“That’s how realistic it is,” he said. “That is nuts.”

Phillips wasn’t really standing atop the building in downtown Pittsburgh, but it felt like he was because of the HTC Vive virtual reality headset he was wearing.

LM Otero / AP

In recent years, DNA tests have proved something surprising: people sometimes confess to terrible crimes that they definitely did not commit. One reason seems to be traditional American methods of police interrogation. 

Gregory Bull / AP

The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education is bracing itself for changes spurred by financial troubles.

The Reading Eagle reports enrollment at the 14 state-owned universities has dropped by nearly 15,000 students since 2010. Pennsylvania schools are also receiving ten percent less in state sponsored aid this year.

State budget constraints offer even less hope for the system.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Jerry Kraynick bends at the waist, hands on hips, and peers over his glasses. He gestures towards a bike. “Throw it up on the stand, and I’ll look at it.”

Rachel Carlson / Yelp Pittsburgh

It may be the middle of winter, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find anything fun to do! WESA’s Sarah Kovash, Josh Raulerson and Rachel Carlson of Yelp Pittsburgh have you covered for a weekend full of fashionable – and tropical outings.

Centre County Correctional Facility / AP

One of Jerry Sandusky's sons was arrested Monday on multiple sexual offense charges involving children, more than five years after the former Penn State assistant coach was himself first arrested.

Jeffrey S. Sandusky, 41, a stalwart supporter who attended many of his father's court proceedings, was charged with 14 counts, according to court records. He was jailed on $200,000 bail.

His defense lawyer, Lance Marshall, declined to comment on the allegations.

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

The state Senate has been closed for a day following a vandalism incident.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports an email was forwarded to all Senate employees on Sunday announcing the closure of the Senate side of the Capitol on Monday. Drew Crompton, counsel to Sen. Joe Scarnati, says a man gained access to the Capitol early Sunday and sprayed a fire extinguisher in the hallways by the Senate's offices and chambers.

PixController via Youtube

High winds have taken down power lines in Pittsburgh and also knocked down a tree that was home to an eagle's nest.

The Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania has a camera that live streams video of the nest. But on Monday morning, all the camera was showing was the downed tree where the nest had been.

Winds that gusted up to 60 mph Sunday knocked over the tree at about 9:45 p.m.

Megan Harris / 90.5 WESA

Between Scott Schubert's recent appointed as Pittsburgh's new police chief and President Donald Trump's vow to be a “law and order" president, Pittsburgh Director of Alliance for Police Accountability Brandi Fisher is very busy.

Keri Rouse / Allegheny Land Trust

A 450-acre parcel of land in McKeesport that was once an industrial site has been nursed back to health to the point that it has been recognized as a Pennsylvania wild plant sanctuary.

The land, known as Dead Man’s Hollow was acquired by the Allegheny Land Trust in 1994 and crews began in earnest in 2014 to remove non-native invasive plants and build foot trails.

Mark Lennihan / AP

Terminally ill people with higher body mass indices, or BMIs, are less likely to die at home than people with lower BMIs, according to a new study authored by University of Pittsburgh professor John Harris.

Katie Blackley / 90.5 WESA

Clairton Mayor Rich Lattanzi can recall a time when the city’s credit was so poor, they couldn’t purchase Easter candy. Lattanzi said the story is a good example of how far the town has come from its nearly 30 years in Act 47 financial distressed status. 

Friday, he announced the community had received $3.3 million in state tax credits and corporate grants.

“There were times when the cupboards were bare,” Lattanzi said. “And the city of Clairton just kept clawing and clawing.”

Deanna Garcia / 90.5 WESA

A Washington County funeral director is expected in court April 21, charged with stealing $340,000 from elderly clients.

A criminal complaint against Lynn Taucher of the Taucher Funeral Home in Burgettstown alleges theft of amounts ranging from $600 to $11,000 from 49 individuals. 

Pennsylvania law requires that money pre-paid for funerals go into a special, individual escrow account.

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