News

Margaret J. Krauss / 90.5 WESA

Swissvale council member Julie Grose drives to the top of Grand View Golf Course in North Braddock. From up there she can see all of Braddock, the Monongahela River, and on a clear afternoon, east to Oakland and downtown.

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

About two dozen demonstrators gathered outside a Verizon store in downtown Pittsburgh on Thursday, chatting slogans like “Ho-Ho, Hey-Hey, Net Neutrality is here to stay” and “Pai, Pai, Stop the Lies.” 

Keith Srakocic / AP

Details of Pittsburgh’s Amazon headquarters proposal won’t be released to the public because the city signed non-disclosure agreements with private developers.

Frank Victores / 1988

Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been a busy investor this season, thanks to a presumed Steel City fan making changes to Google results.

This Age Of Humans That We're Living In? It Has A Name: Anthropocene

Dec 7, 2017
Kara Holsopple / Allegheny Front

As visitors enter a new exhibit at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, they’re asked for their opinion.

Ryan Loew / 90.5 WESA

UPDATED: 4: 27 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017.

Kevin Acklin, Chief of Staff to Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, is stepping down in January.

In a letter to Peduto dated Dec. 7, Acklin called the position “a dream job” and told the Mayor it had “been an honor to work alongside you these past four years to rebuild a city government that our residents deserve.”

Read Acklin's full resignation letter here

Scientists Call On US To Allow Research On Pot Meds For Pets

Dec 7, 2017
David Zalubowski / AP

Dr. Byron Maas surveys a supply of marijuana products for dogs that lines a shelf in his veterinary clinic. They're selling well.

Matt Rourke / AP

A conservative Pennsylvania lawmaker is doubling down on comments he made suggesting a fellow lawmaker might be gay for touching him on the arm.

The incident occurred Tuesday in the House State Government Committee between chairman Daryl Metcalfe, R-Butler, and minority chair Matthew Bradford, D-Montgomery.

During a discussion on a land use bill, Bradford briefly touched Metcalfe’s arm while making a point.

PA, States Sue EPA For Missing Ozone Deadline

Dec 7, 2017
Reid R. Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania is one of more than a dozen states suing the EPA for failing to enforce on an important air pollution regulation.

Julie Jacobson / AP, file

Two hundred Pennsylvania municipalities have already opted out of hosting a new miniature casino.

The option is part of a gambling expansion lawmakers passed at the end of October, which was designed to raise revenue to help fix the commonwealth’s chronically underfunded budget.

Municipalities have until January to decide whether they want to play host to a mini-casino, and more are expected to opt out this month.

National Aviary

The National Aviary has launched a new nest cam trained on two African penguin eggs expected to hatch later this month.

Kathleen J. Davis / 90.5 WESA

A new long-term care facility for older adults in Allegheny County could be the first of its kind, according to local mental health professionals. It will serve aging patients living with neurological and psychiatric conditions.

The 45-bed unit at Kane-Glen Hazel Regional Care Center in Hazelwood provides a nursing home environment while also treating the special emotional and physical needs of patients, including those with Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Kevin McCorry / WHYY

Republican-penned legislation in Pennsylvania to prohibit coverage for gender or sex reassignment surgery and services under taxpayer-paid insurance programs is on ice after lawmakers realized their own health insurance covers it.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Jesse Topper, said Wednesday he decided to pull the bill from the House's debate calendar a day earlier so he could find out more about the coverage.

Reid Frazier / StateImpact Pennsylvania

Environmental officials in Pennsylvania have long focused on cleaning up the most hazardous old mines, but they plan to start addressing other abandoned mining sites that pose fewer public health dangers.

Carolyn Kaster / AP

A former Pennsylvania lawmaker who served prison time for corruption has won his appeal to get his $20,000-a-month pension restored.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has reported Tuesday the State Employees' Retirement System board voted 6-5 to return former Democratic State Sen. Robert Mellow's pension.

GOP Lawmaker's 'I Don't Like Men' Comment Stirs Protest

Dec 6, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP

An outspoken and conservative Pennsylvania state lawmaker has stirred calls to resign or be demoted after he interrupted a committee meeting to accost his Democratic counterpart for touching his arm and suggest the man might be gay.

*UPDATED: This story was updated at 7:20 a.m., Dec. 7, 2017. 

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf on Wednesday called Rep. Daryl Metcalfe's comments offensive and discriminatory, and said it is "part of a disturbing pattern of behavior."

Keith Srakocic / AP

University of Pittsburgh police have issued a warning about a stalking suspect.

In a campus alert, police say they have received several complaints about Daniel Dintino approaching females on or near the campus and making them feel uncomfortable.

Dintino was released on bail after he was arrested on Monday on an outstanding theft warrant.

Police fear he may have returned to campus after he was warned not to.

Matt Rourke / AP

The state House has kicked forward a proposal to outlaw automatic deductions from state workers’ paychecks for union dues that contribute to political activity.

Supporters call it a “paycheck protection” bill.

Katie Blackley / WESA

 

The city of Pittsburgh is preparing to defend two laws that would impact local workers – one requiring private employers to offer paid sick leave, and another creating new training requirements for security officers in many city buildings.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently decide to hear cases challenging the laws early next year. 

So far, the city has lost in lower courts because, the courts found, it does not have the authority to impose these regulations on businesses.

 

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

The open enrollment period for people buying insurance through the Affordable Care Act marketplace ends next Friday.

Gov. Tom Wolf / Flickr

In the last several weeks, instances of sexual harassment and even assault have been revealed in Hollywood, in the media and in Congress.

Keith Srakocic / AP

Seven people arrested at a midstate protest of a $3 billion pipeline being built to carry natural gas from northeastern Pennsylvania to Southern states intend to fight their charges at trial.

LNP newspaper reports the protesters entered not guilty pleas to charges of defiant criminal trespass on Monday.

Joaquin Gonzalez / 90.5 WESA

Many recipes for holiday treats have been passed down through the generations, in dog-eared cookbooks or on tattered, chocolate-stained scraps of paper. But the Gluten Free Goat Bakery in Garfield is using the power of artificial intelligence, developed by Google, to add a little more spice to a holiday snack. 

Timeline: The Saga Of Meek Mill And How He Ended Up In Jail

Dec 5, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP

Meek Mill's imprisonment on a probation violation has set off a flurry of legal appeals, criticism of the criminal justice system, newspaper opinion pieces, rallies, billboards and bus ads. A look at how the 30-year-old Philadelphia rapper, whose "Dreams Worth More Than Money" won a Billboard award for top rap album last year, ended up in a Pennsylvania prison roughly a decade after his 2007 arrest:

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HOW DID ALL THIS START?

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

At least 49 genes contribute to whether one’s earlobes are attached or detached.

That's what researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found in a new study. Lead author John R. Shaffer says this work could help shed light on serious genetic syndromes.

"Some of these conditions, like an example is Mowat-Wilson syndrome, the ear involves earlobe malformations," said Shaffer. "In the same genes that affect normal variation in the morphology, when they're disrupted, they lead to genetic syndromes."

Lawyer: 'Voter-Proof' Pennsylvania Congressional Map Favors GOP

Dec 5, 2017
Matt Rourke / AP

A lawyer for a group of Democratic voters in Pennsylvania told a federal court Monday that it should throw out the state's congressional district map favoring Republican candidates because it was created to be "voter-proof."

Sarah Kovash / 90.5 WESA

In September, a report from the state auditor general’s office declared Pennsylvania’s child welfare system “broken.”

Now, lawmakers have begun considering how to improve it. 

The first committee hearing on the report focused largely on how to keep qualified case workers on the job.

On average, those employees don’t make a huge salary. The audit showed the average entry level pay is just over $30,000 per year.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said that might be why some counties see up to half of their case workers quit within in a year.

Matt Rourke / AP

A bill narrowing the window to get an abortion in Pennsylvania could be on a fast track to Governor Tom Wolf’s desk sometime soon.

Liz Reid / 90.5 WESA

The City of Pittsburgh will soon offer child care for city employees on days when Pittsburgh Public Schools are closed but city offices remain open.

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